Kukla's Korner

Panic in Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

Two days into the brave new hockey world and already John Ferguson's reputation is taking a pounding. What, players and agents are wondering, is the general manager of the Maple Leafs doing? The answers, however varied, are not encouraging. Ferguson's clumsy handling of negotiations with Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk -- where he attempted to have close friend Roberts undercut close friend Nieuwendyk -- sent a cryptic message to those within the industry. And then, to follow that up with a desperation offer to Nieuwendyk, after first trying an end run on him, only demonstrated his own inexperience in deal making.

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Russia is an Option

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

If it's not enough that the Maple Leafs must compete for players in a new economic world, now they must also compete with the world. Toronto forward Nik Antropov said yesterday he has received two serious offers from Russian club teams that would double or triple the $1 million (all figures U.S.) qualifying offer he has received from the Leafs. The 25-year-old said the money is so good in Russia now that he expects some players to spurn the relatively frugal offers from the salary-capped NHL to go home. He's just hoping, he's not one of them. "I have to think about it with my agent (Don Meehan) very hard. I've been thinking about it for the last month and a half. We haven't make a decision yet," said the Kazakh. "I hope to stay here in Toronto and play for the Maple Leafs." While staying in Toronto and playing "in the best league in the world" is clearly Antropov's preference, he's also raising two young children while plying a career that can be cut short at any time. Other considerations, such as higher, tax-free income, come into play.

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More Modano

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Dallas News,

Tom Hicks believes Mike Modano will become a Dallas Star for life Wednesday morning. Modano is about 90 percent sure. Hicks and Modano spent much of yesterday discussing a new five-year, $17.75 million deal to keep Modano in Dallas, and Hicks, who is spending time in California, said when he hung up the phone that he believed Modano was as good as signed. "The last thing I said was, 'Do we have a deal?' and he said, 'Yes.' So I said, 'Congratulations on finishing your career with us,' and we left it that," Hicks said. "Is it legally binding? No. Could Mike change his mind? Sure, that's his prerogative. But, in my mind, we have a deal."

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Pronger Traded

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

CP reporting Pronger traded to Edmonton Oilers. On TSN Website as Breaking News. update 1:04am, per TSN,

St. Louis Blues Senior Vice President & General Manager Larry Pleau announced the club has traded defenceman Chris Pronger to the Edmonton Oilers for defencemen Eric Brewer, Doug Lynch and Jeff Woywitka. "Eric Brewer has been a premier defenseman in the National Hockey League for the past several seasons and we are very excited about the talents he brings to the Blues," said Pleau. "We are also adding two skilled younger defensemen who are clearly up-and-coming players at this level. We're looking forward to having all three of these players in our lineup together one day in the future.

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Naslund Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

CKNW Radio in Vancouver reporting Naslund will re-sign with Vancouver.

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Tuesday Player Movement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sportsnet, The Flyers have agreed to multi year deals with big defensemen, Derian Hatcher, Mike Rathje and Chris Therien. update to the Philly story, 12:06pm The Flyers also re-signed Phantoms forward Jon Sim to a a one-way NHL contract. Sim played with Hatcher in Dallas. To make cap room for all four players, the Flyers traded defenseman Danny Markov to the Nashville Predators, according to league sources. That trade will be announced later today. 9:51am, The Chicago Blackhawks have signed free agent defenseman Adrian Aucoin to a four year deal worth $16-million, TSN has learned. 12:28pm, Sportsnet reporting Holik signs with Atlanta. 12:44pm, Still not official from msnbc, The Boston Bruins are close to signing 35-year-old center Mike Modano to a free-agent deal, beating out the Atlanta Thrashers and Pittsburgh Penguins, a Canadian website reported Tuesday. RDS.ca, a French language website affiliated with TSN.ca, reported the news, citing no sources. TSN.ca provided the translation. 1:11pm, Wings sign Yzerman to one year deal, will be announced today. 2:18pm, Bruins sign Murray and McEachern. 3:02pm, Sportsnet has learned that Pavol Demitra has signed with the L.A. Kings. 6:26pm, Martin Gelinas signs with Florida per Sportsnet FA tracker. 7:05pm, Tony Amonte signs with Flames, 2yrs, $1.8 mil per year. 7:10pm, Brian Boucher re-signs with Coyotes. from azcentral, Phoenix re-signed its starting goalie to a one-year contract Tuesday. 7:15pm. Stillman to Canes. 7:20pm, Marek Malik signs with Rangers. This has been posted at the NHLPA site all day, but now it is official. 7:21pm, The Islanders have signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Alexei Zhitnik to a four-year contract. 7:28pm, New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has signed unrestricted free agent forward Martin Straka. 7:35pm, Dave Scatchcard signs with Boston. I know he had said he signed with an Eastern Conference team, just received confirmation it is Boston. 7:41pm, New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Kevin Weekes. Some other player transactions have taken place, so make sure you check out the TSN Tracker for all the tranactions. I try to post the "name" transactions but may have missed some of your favorite players. 8:22pm, McCarty signed a two-year deal for $1.6 million ($800,000 per season) with the Flames. I have moved the Modano story to a regular post. I am still not comvinced that the deal is 100% complete.

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Yzerman Ready to Go and Chelios Offered a Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press (Wed. edition) via the Mercury News,

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland locked up captain Steve Yzerman for another year, tendered an offer to defenseman Chris Chelios, is working on re-upping with the team's restricted free agents and trying to figure out what goaltender he can live with. The big news Tuesday, though, was the long-awaited announcement that Yzerman would be back for a 22nd season with the franchise. He was offered a deal worth between $1.5 million and $2 million last Wednesday and, after two days of telephone tag, he and Holland finally connected. Though his team at the moment is in shambles only 12 players are under contract Yzerman expressed confidence that he'll be playing with a Stanley Cup contender. "With all teams, I think between now and next month, teams will be dramatically different," Yzerman said. "But I expect ours to be extremely competitive, one of the best teams in the league." Yzerman is known as one of hockey's great competitors, and it's little surprise that he's back. He hasn't played since May 1, 2004, when he left the ice bloodied after being struck in the face in Game 5 of the second-round playoff series against Calgary.

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Amonte Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Calgary radio reporting Amonte to be a Calgary Flame.

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Modano Rumor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Rumors coming out of Dallas are Modano has re-signed with the Stars. Seems a few radio stations in Dallas are reporting this. update 6:46pm, from the Dallas News,

The Stars are close to signing center Mike Modano to a long-term deal, almost assuring that he will finish his career with one team. "We’ve had a number of productive conversations today and from my understanding we’re very close to a deal," Stars owner Tom Hicks said. "But I do not yet have confirmation on it."
update 7:39pm, Brian Lawton, agent for Modano was just on Vancouver radio, said decision will be made either later tonight or by noon tomorrow. Three teams interested in Mike, Dallas, Boston and one not mentioned. update 8:10pm, Stars have offered $3.5 million per year for 5 years. That would take him to age 40. update via TSN,
After speculation that he may be on the move to another city, it appears that Mike Modano will remain - and most likely finish his career - with the Dallas Stars. According to RDS.ca, Modano signed a five-year deal to remain with the same organization that drafted him in 1988. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. On Monday, reports indicated that Modano would sign with one of three teams that were courting the forward's services - the Boston Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

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All Quiet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Not much action in the last few hours. But posting something like this normally does the trick and action picks up right after all of the GMs and agents read this, yea right. I have been monitoring Toronto radio all day and Leaf fans are not happy campers right now. They feel players are passing them by. Will panic set in shortly?

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