Kukla's Korner

Isles Sign DiPietro

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

The Islanders on Wednesday have signed goalie Rick DiPietro to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

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Bowman Motivates Irish

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Observer,

Irish hockey coach Jeff Jackson pinches himself every morning when he approaches campus and spots the Golden Dome gleaming in the early sun, just to remind himself how lucky he is. And everyone in attendance to hear legendary professional hockey coach Scotty Bowman speak at the opening hockey banquet on Tuesday night couldn't help but have the same reaction in the presence of a man so influential to his game. Bowman was asked to speak at the Drop the Puck Dinner to kick off the 2005-06 hockey season by Jackson, where the big-name guest mingled with players and fans alike.

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NHL Gets Outbid In Datsyuk Deal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The intrigue over the status of the Detroit Red Wings' centre Pavel Datsyuk continues. Two days ago, Datsyuk spurned the Red Wings by signing a contract with Avangaard Omsk, the Russian team owned by billionaire Roman Abramovich. Under the Russian league's player transfer rules, however, Datysuk's former team, defending league champion Moscow Dynamo, had a right to match the contract offer — which they did Wednesday, according to a report on the International Ice Hockey Federation's web site. In announcing that they'd retained the rights to Datsyuk, Dynamo president Anatoli Kharchuk said he needed help from the team's sponsors to satisfy Datsyuk's salary demands.

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What About Messier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Ledger,

While the Devils announced the retirement of captain Scott Stevens, the plans of the Rangers' captain are not so clear. According to Rangers team spokesman John Rosasco, Mark Messier "has not decided what his plans are regarding the upcoming season and has not said when he will announce his decision, or where, or how."

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Exposing The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Women's USA Hockey team did a little posing recently.

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Flyers Helping With Relief Effort

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Phildadelphia Inquirer,

The Flyers' exhibition season was not supposed to start until next weekend, but that was before Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast and turned a major U.S. city into a Third World-like disaster zone. So the Flyers are adjusting their schedule and will play an intrasquad charity game Sunday at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. All ticket proceeds will go to the flood victims. "I spoke with some of the guys this Saturday, and we decided to hold a charity game for the people down South. God knows they need it," Flyers trainer Jim McCrossin said. "We're just going to shuffle the deck. We're not going to do Flyers and Phantoms, we'll mix them up, play a good game for a good cause and try and raise some money." McCrossin said the game is set for 7 p.m. Sunday and tickets will be $10. McCrossin said coach Ken Hitchcock will arrange to have guest coaches from local radio stations.

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Dynamo Matches Omsk Offer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Reuters, Pavel Datsyuk, a restricted free agent with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, will remain at Dynamo Moscow for at least another season after they matched the offer of their Russian league rivals Avangard Omsk.

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Give New Rules A Chance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

There is no truth, according to an NHL spokesman, to the rumour that goaltenders will be wearing advertising on their new, slimmed-down jerseys this season. But to hear New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur tell it, it's the blueliners whose uniforms could have something extra, like perhaps a target. With the NHL cracking down on obstruction, taking away the defenders' ability to slow forecheckers, combined with limiting the areas in which goalies can handle the puck, Brodeur figures the defencemen will often be defenceless as they hustle back to retrieve dump-ins. "Guys are going to go back and pick up the puck and goalies aren't going to be able to help them out any more. So I think you'll see a lot more banging and maybe your top defencemen getting hurt because your goalies can't interfere and make plays for your own team," he said. And Brodeur, it must be pointed out, is generally an enthusiastic supporter of giving the new rules and rule interpretations a try. However, if one thing was clear yesterday as 10 NHL players — including Brodeur — took part in a media conference call, it's that it remains very unclear as to how the style of play is going to unfold this season. The game is changing but no one, not even the guys who play it, are sure where it's going.

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Leafs Set Up To Fail

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

John Ferguson Jr., it appears, has thus far assembled a team that would be far more suited to play under the old "obstruction, what obstruction?" approach. The Leafs, with seven forwards at 6-foot-3 or more, are a big, big team, having added Eric Lindros and Jason Allison up the middle for extra heft. If, however, this latest crackdown on obstruction actually holds and if the removal of the red line for two-line passes does open up a new degree of movement and flow, there is likely to be a premium on quick, nimble players. And the Leafs don't have a lot of those. They have some, to be sure. Darcy Tucker, Matt Stajan and Tomas Kaberle are quick players and Alexander Steen might fit that description if he cracks the NHL. But in general, the Leafs are big and lumbering, with players like Nik Antropov, Chad Kilger, Wade Belak and Alexei Ponikarovsky likely to be regulars up front and a blueline corps few would describe as particularly fast. Experienced players with light feet like Alexander Mogilny and Joe Nieuwendyk are gone, as is Brian Leetch from the back line.

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Talking Datsyuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mlive,

Datsyuk's agent, Gary Greenstin, told Wings general manager Ken Holland Tuesday that there is no escape clause in the one-year contract the talented center signed Monday with Avangard Omsk of the Russian Superleague. But the Wings have not relinquished their efforts to sign him. "I want Pavel in a Red Wings uniform. I believe he wants to be a Red Wing," Holland said. "I'm continuing to explore all options available." Ordinarily, the lack of an escape clause in a European contract would prevent a player from signing with an NHL team. But the Russian Hockey Federation last month rejected the NHL's transfer agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation, so the same rules don't necessarily apply to Russian league players.

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