Kukla's Korner

Talking Offer Sheets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey News,

The new NHL includes shootouts, but what about offer sheets? It’s a question agents and GMs are asking themselves heading into the first summer of free agency under the new collective bargaining agreement. And the likely answer is…not yet, if ever. With the salary cap projected at up to $46-million for 2006-07, there has been talk that high-profile restricted free agents such as Tampa center Brad Richards ($3.4 million this season) or Philadelphia’s Simon Gagne ($2 million) might attract offer-sheet interest.
continued

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My How The Game Has Changed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Meridian Booster,

No one thought the officiating in the NHL would be figured out completely in one season, but they still have a ways to go. Buoyed by the declaration from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that officials would be forced to call the game as they had in the regular season, the men in stripes have not only kept up that pace but may have actually increased the tightness of the calls. To the long-time NHL observer this flies in the face of everything that should be playoff hockey – a war decided by the players on the ice not the referee. For better or worse it is safe to say that brand of hockey is dead. It is quite ironic actually, that with the NHL’s advertising campaign building up the game as war on ice – pulling every cheesy Hollywood trick they can – they don’t want the game to be anything like that. It’s quite sad really.
more

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OLN-HD

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

INHD is now listing two HD games. The May 8th & May 10th games between NJD & Carolina. The May 14, 16 & 18th games between these two teams are scheduled for HD too. INHD hasn't put these games on their schedule yet, or maybe they just won't show them.

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Fixing Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

* Sutter must hand over the coaching reins and concentrate on his GM duties. * Find a team -- any team -- to take 14-goal man Tony Amonte and his grossly over-inflated $1.85 million salary. * Ditto slooooooow Chris Simon and his $1.216-million deal. He doesn't score and he's too slow to be a consistent physical presence. Nice hairdo, though. * Make sure fourth-liners remain on the fourth line. That means the Flames need three of them, not nine.
more

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Anyone Care

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tirdent Online, the independent student newspaper at Washington & Lee University,

The NHL is still suffering from the strike last year. They have done some very smart things in making the league much higher scoring. However, one major thing holding them back is that ¾ of the country does not play ice hockey. With the exception of the northeast and the great northwest there are almost zero youth hockey leagues. Average attendance for NHL teams that were not one of the original eight is below that of Major League Soccer. The point is, the NHL is great for those diehard hockey fans, and its great to see the highlights on Sportscenter. The problem is no one really cares about who wins or losses outside of the hockey fanatic population in NHL cities. I'd be willing to bet, more people in Raliegh, NC are concerned about UNC and NC St. making the college baseball world series than the Hurricanes winning the Stanley Cup.

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Building The Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

As you know, only 10 players are under contract for next season - Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev and Mathieu Dandenault for three more years, and Steve Begin, Radek Bonk, Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec, Craig Rivet, Sheldon Souray and Richard Zednik for one year. Who goes? Who stays? Koivu, Kovalev, Markov, Rivet, Begin, Plekanec and Dandenault are certain to remain. You can add Souray to the group, although there were nights when the new and speedier My NHL was something of a mystery to him.
more

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Clarke Living In The Past

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Phillyburbs, Dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago. Then the ice age came, so some of them started playing hockey with a certain gap-toothed center. Finally, all of the dinosaurs died and went away. All but one, that is. Our man Clarkie. The last dinosaur. The guy who thinks it's still 1975. As in, we can win a Stanley Cup now the same way we did in 1975. continued

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The Best Avs Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

This is the fun, unexpected tale of how the mighty Avalanche learned to become the underdog and love every doggone minute of a difficult season that would have kicked the tail of most teams. This is a franchise, long envied and loathed throughout the NHL, that discovered how to patch together wins with bailing wire, hockey tape and three spare bolts from a Zamboni. The man who taught the Avs how to do all this wonderful stuff is Joel Quenneville, by far the best coach this team has had since it moved to Denver in 1995.
continued

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The Strain Of The Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

New York Rangers head coach Tom Renney has said having nine participants in the Winter Olympics three months ago affected the club's "mental state," while Philadelphia GM Bob Clarke said yesterday having eight Flyers in Olympic competition hurt his eliminated club. The problem with the theory, however, is the Detroit Red Wings. Still, if you subscribe to the theory that Olympic participation is bad for teams wanting to win the Cup, you'll have to like the chances of Anaheim or Edmonton at least getting to the final. Those two teams all had four players each in Turin, the least of any of the eight remaining playoff clubs.
read on

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Regier Deserves Credit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

During the time Darcy Regier has been general manager of the Buffalo Sabres and Lindy Ruff has been his coach, the Florida Panthers have employed five different general managers and six different coaches. Over the same nine years, the Leafs have had three general managers and are about to hire their third head coach. "Change, more often than not, destabilizes your franchise rather than stabilizes it," said Regier, the general manager nobody knows or at least notices. "I think if you miss the playoffs three years in a row and blow everything up, you're more likely to miss the playoffs seven years in a row. We got lucky here. We didn't get fired. The team was sold. We could have been fired. Ownership gave us a chance." And here they are, in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs in a playoff matchup that is almost unfair. It's too early for either the Sabres or the Ottawa Senators to lose. Not the way they play the game.
continued

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