Kukla's Korner

Thrashers Closing In On Bondra

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Atlantal Journal-Constitution,

Free agent right wing Peter Bondra is en route to Atlanta where he expects to complete a contract with the Thrashers, if not by the end of the day then by sometime on Tuesday, Bondra's agent Ritch Winter said. Bondra, 37, has 477 goals in 984 career games and while he has slowed down a bit, he has still managed to score an average of almost 32 goals over the last three NHL seasons, which is probably plenty more than the Thrashers would expect from him. "We're working on details," Winter said. "But I can confirm we're getting very, very close to finalizing it."

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OLN Gearing Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Advertising Age via Crain's Detroit Business,

In the sports world it’s known as faking left and going right. A month after telling investors it had no plans to take on cable-sports giant ESPN, Comcast Corp. seems to be fast-tracking its Outdoor Life Network to do exactly that. After spending — some would say overspending — $135 million over two years for the rights to National Hockey League telecasts last month, OLN is now a serious contender for Major League Baseball and National Football League packages. Executives close to the respective negotiations said OLN is bidding for the Wednesday-Sunday package of baseball games that ESPN now has and that expires after this year. And, even more surprising, OLN is considered the front-runner for the Thursday-Saturday late-season package of NFL games in 2006.

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Ryder Signs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the CP,

The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed winger Michael Ryder to a $1-million US, one-year deal. he Habs open training camp Tuesday. Ryder was the last Montreal player to re-sign. The 25-year-old St. John's native was a nominee for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 2003-04 after scoring 25 goals and adding 38 assists in 81 games.

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The Waiting Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

On and on it goes. On the day Red Wings general manager Ken Holland was to have received a definite answer regarding Pavel Datsyuk, all he got was another delay. Gary Greenstin, the agent for Datsyuk, has told Holland that another week is needed to make a decision. Greenstin did not say why.

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Messier Tribute

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The 2005-06 NHL season will begin without the league's second-leading scorer of all time, as Mark Messier has officially announced his retirement from the game. The Rangers announced that the team will retire his jersey on Jan. 12 in a game against the Edmonton Oilers. Messier, who turns 45 in January, has been decorated with endless awards, trophies and international accolades during his NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.
more update 3:00pm, Stan Fischler pays tribute to "Moose",
Where does Mark Messier stand in the pantheon of hockey players? I have always considered Gordie Howe the greatest all-around player of all-time; Wayne Gretzky included. Messier is the latter-day Howe.

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Getting Personal with Crosby

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Crosby’s 18th birthday celebration (on Aug. 8) was a perfect representation of his humble personality. “I was in Los Angeles and my family was out there and we just had a barbecue at my agent’s house,” he said. “I kicked back and relaxed a bit and played some beach volleyball. It was just a relaxing day to spend with friends and family.” Well, what did he get? “I got an iPod. It was cool,” he said. “I don’t know how I am going to work it because I am not much good with computers.” Nevertheless, it was useful gift for an avid music fan. Crosby says he likes country and rock music the most and points to Tim McGraw as his favorite singer. “I like pretty much everything, though,” he said. Crosby enjoys watching movies as well. “Wedding Crashers was hysterical,” he said. “I liked Ladder 49, too, but that is a more serious one.”

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NHL Future Appears Rosy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Reality for the NHL will set in this week, when training camps open in 30 cities across North America. Judging by the excitement generated by the wild player movement last month, the influx of budding superstars Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin and simply the game's best suiting up again after a year-long hiatus, the NHL's future appears rosy. "I think we have to be optimistic, that's why we're back," Anaheim Mighty Ducks defenceman Scott Niedermayer said. "This time of year is all about that. "Everybody's excited about the new year, their team's chances, their own chances for a good year. I think we should probably have the same feeling towards hopefully the fans coming back.

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Dealing With Datsyuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

According to the translation by Snapshots at Mlive, Omsk is claiming "By Russian Law, Datsyuk is Ours". Not surprising to me, they are in a battle with Dynamo but I am going out on the limb and think this is business, you know CYA (cover your a**). If you recall, a few days ago, one of the chiefs from Omsk said, if we lose Datsyuk, to Detroit, it is not our fault. The latest Datsyuk is Ours is just another way of deflecting the blame of losing Datsyuk to Detroit. Just my opinion, but I have seen this before and it is a common Russian strategy. We should know something about Datsyuk's final destination sometime today. update 5:53am, via the Detroit Free Press,

Zetterberg said he had talked to his buddy throughout the summer, and he hopes Datsyuk, a centerman, will be back. Coach Mike Babcock said the same thing last week. "We need him," Zetterberg said. "He's a good player. It's new rules. It's tough to get everyone you want. Hopefully we can get him back. I think he wants to be back here."

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Preds Invite Perreault To Camp

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

The Predators added yet more depth at center yesterday when veteran Yanic Perreault agreed to attend training camp on a tryout basis. Nashville won't have to pay Perreault unless he makes the regular-season roster.

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Re-launcing The Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Jose Business Journal,

At the San Jose Sharks' home opener on Oct. 12, miniaturized versions of the Pacific Division banner being hoisted that night will be given to fans as a reminder of the team's 2003-2004 success along with miniaturized Stanley Cup trophies to symbolize the franchise's ultimate goal. "We look at it as a relaunch," says Greg Jamison, president and chief executive officer of the San Jose Sharks. While the Sharks expect to lose money in 2005-2006 season, it will be nowhere near the $15 million annual loss club officials announced after each of the past two regular seasons, Mr. Jamison says.

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