Kukla's Korner

No More Cap Guessing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin were asked whether salary-cap guesswork would be alleviated on their websites. "The NHLPA will continue its practice of providing player salary disclosure on NHLPA.com," Saskin said. "Given the intricacies of the new system and the desire of fans and media to have the most thorough information, we will make further enhancements to our website in the near future to include information on team upper-limit levels." "Yes, I believe there will be," Daly said. "[But it] probably will not be up and running until after the start of the regular season."

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Saskin Should Step Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damine Cox fo the Toronto Star,

As a professional and political organization, the NHL Players' Association has historically struggled with the basic concepts of democracy. Now, with Ted Saskin's new leadership coming under intense fire from within, that absence of commitment to democratic processes is threatening to plunge the once-potent union into chaos. To save the union, therefore, Saskin almost certainly has to quit his job. At least for now. To a large extent, the basic nature of the union reflects the basic nature of hockey players. Most are trained to follow orders and demands of coaches and general managers, not to think individually.
The Saskin situation has been big news lately in Canada, but the U.S. hockey media has barely touched on this subject. I wonder why?

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Gaborik Ready To Lead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pioneer Press,

In the past two years, the Wild have jettisoned veterans such as Andrew Brunette, Richard Park, Sergei Zholtok and Antti Laaksonen to make room for untested prospects whose time has arrived. The veterans' departures have created a production and leadership vacuum that Gaborik is eager to fill. "Expectations for me as a player and a leader will be higher. I'm cool with that," he said. "I've seen a lot of things. I'm not going to be like I was two or three years ago, kind of quiet. There are a lot of young guys coming up. We need someone older who should spice it up a little."

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Pronger WIll Carry The Load

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

He'll dispense with formalities like coughing for the doctors, weighing in and pumping the stationary bike when the Edmonton Oilers report for medicals and fitness testing at the University of Alberta this morning. We'll have to wait a bit longer to see how Chris Pronger is at carrying the hopes of a franchise and the expectations of Oiler fans on his shoulders as the biggest name on the marquee in this town since Doug Weight bid farewell. Given Pronger's pedigree - stop the presses, the 2000 winner of the Norris Trophy and Hart Trophy as MVP with the St. Louis Blues is pretty good - he'll seize the opportunity and run with it.

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Big Gap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

The Edmonton Oilers and agent Don Meehan are continuing negotiations on a multi-year contract for Ryan Smyth, but don't expect there to be a deal in place when the veteran winger reports for his camp medical and fitness testing at the U of A today. Smyth, 29, will be on the ice tomorrow when camp opens at Rexall Place, but indications are Meehan and the Oilers have a big financial gap to close on a four-year deal after exchanging proposals on the weekend.

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Panthers Sign Jokinen & Van Ryn

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Palm Beach Post,

With the opening of training camp just two days away, the Florida Panthers have reached contract agreement with two of their three remaining restricted free agents. Center Olli Jokinen and defenseman Mike Van Ryn, both 26, agreed on one-year contracts, according to NHL sources and the players' agents. The lone remaining unsigned restricted free agent is defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.

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Team USA Thin On Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun via Slam,

When it came to piquing Americans' interest in hockey, Olympic participation seemed to be a surefire bet, at least during the last 25 years. But as the USA Hockey Olympic orientation camp concluded on Thursday, it was difficult not to look at the potential roster without a multitude of questions ... and perhaps a bit of skepticism. The Americans will argue that this is a team with the proper mix of international and NHL success. Some of the older components have been replaced with younger talent.

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Wings Still Recognized

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

At first glance, a gander at the list of players who have left Detroit since the end of the 2003-04 season would make you think that the Red Wings are about to be clipped. Brett Hull, Ray Whitney, Boyd Devereaux, Steve Thomas, Matthew Dandenault, Darren McCarty, Derian Hatcher, Curtis Joseph, and Dominik Hasek are all former Red Wings -- a pretty good core for a team. So, surely, the Red Wings are in full-blown rebuilding mode for 2005-06, right? Not exactly. The Red Wings have long had a stacked lineup, and even with the departure of so many "name" players, some of the names that still reside in Hockeytown are among the most recognizable in the sport.

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Talking Red Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Herald,

Fans may believe that the NHL's elimination of the red line, making passes across two of the three center-ice lines legal, will instantly produce the sort of wide-open, high-speed attacking game the Edmonton Oilers played in the 1980s - with the great talents of the game suddenly free to fly up the ice unfettered by the trapping defenses that have so adversely changed the game the last 10-15 years. Sorry, folks, but it ain't necessarily so. For as long as the red line removal has been discussed as a possible antidote to what ails the NHL, analysts have concluded it really won't change much. The trap, which is said to have been devised by Swedish coaches in an effort to contain richly talented Soviet teams, can be sprung within the offensive zone or, more commonly, in the neutral zone, once a puck-carrier has crossed his own blue line.

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9/11

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Don't Ever Forget!

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