Kukla's Korner

Talking Atlantic Division

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Martin Brodeur, Mark Recchi, Keith Primeau, Alexei Yashin and Steve Rucchin took part in a teleconference recently. If you are a fan, you will enjoy the conversation. The transcript of the conversation is in the comment section of this post. The Northeast, Southeast and Pacific divisons will be posted throughout today and tomorrow. The Northwest and Central Divisions have been posted in the last two days or so.

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Talking Central Division

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kris Draper, Adrian Aucoin, Rick Nash, Paul Kariya and Patrick Lalime participated in the Central Division Conference call yesterday. Well worth the time to read the long transcript. Q. Kris, especially in light of Pavel Datsyuk's apparent decision to stay in Russia, could you talk about how the Red Wings have been affected by the new CBA and by the salary cap and how much the team has changed as a result of that? KRIS DRAPER: It's definitely affected us a lot. Not only were we unable to get Pavel signed, we also had to buy out three quality hockey players and three quality people in Darren McCarty, Ray Whitney and Derian Hatcher. That's the unfortunate thing of what this has done. It kind of handcuffed Detroit. We had a lot of money tied into a lot of players. Kenny had to step up and make some changes to free up some money. The transcript of the conference call can be found in the comment section of this post.

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Nash Maturing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

What Jarome Iginla, Martin Brodeur, Joe Sakic are to their respective teams and cities, Rick Nash is to the Columbus Blue Jackets. And Columbus President and GM Doug MacLean aims to keep it that way. So, that in a nutshell, is the reason MacLean stepped forward and signed his emerging power forward to a five-year contract this summer, a deal that will see Nash continue to develop and grow into one of the NHL's top stars. The pact means that emergence will happen in a Blue Jackets' uniform.

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Kovalchuk & Datsyuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Atlanta Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk has threatened to follow fellow countryman Pavel Datsyuk and play in Russia this season, only it appears that Datsyuk has left the door open for the Detroit Red Wings to sign him before training camp opens next week. According to a National Hockey League source, Datsyuk has yet to file his contract with the Russian Professional Hockey League and has given the Wings a Sunday deadline to work out a contract. Meanwhile, 22-year-old Kovalchuk and the Thrashers remain far apart in their contract discussions. Kovalchuk wants a long-term deal worth between $6.66-million and $7-million a season, too steep a price for Thrashers general manager Don Waddell. With no reason for immediate optimism a deal can be worked out between the squabbling sides, Kovalchuk is scheduled to play for Khimik of the Russian league next week.

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Saskin Defends Salary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

How does a man at the helm of an association that recently suffered what has been characterized as a major defeat command an annual salary (US$2.1-million) double that of Donald Fehr, the long-time chief of the baseball players' union? "If people are going to talk about comparables," Saskin said in a one-on-one interview at his Toronto office yesterday, "it would be fair to note that the comparables for my position consists of an executive director at football who is paid significantly more than me, and an executive director in basketball that is paid significantly more than me. And in terms of the reference to Don Fehr, there are other elements of his compensation that are not being accurately reported.

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Respect for Stevens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chico Resch of MSG Network,

Scott Stevens' retirement marks the end of an era for the attitude he brought to the game. Scott exemplified an era where everything was about the game, about the team, and about bringing your best stuff every night and leaving everything you have on the ice. Martin Brodeur, with Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedermayer, and now Stevens gone, is now the last remaining member of the Devils' "Core of Four" that were the staples, the one ingredient that you knew would make the Devils a contender
.

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Datsyuk, Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I thought we could make it through the day without andy Datsyuk news, but no, Peter did some digging. Basically reports are now Datsyuk is back with Omsk, Dynamo filed papers too late to sign him. It also states Datsyuk may come back to Detroit but the Russians would lose a talented player but it would not be their fault.

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Hatcher Suffers Knee Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

per Sportsnet,

Derian Hatcher's debut with the Philadelphia Flyers may be delayed. The monstrous defenceman injured his knee during action at Team USA's Olympic orientation camp in Colorado Springs and has returned to Philadelphia for further evaluation. Sources tell Sportsnet the Flyers expect to know the extent of the injury and Hatcher's prognosis either late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

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Trap is Evil

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Kris Draper hopes new rules and a crackdown on obstruction will erase the neutral zone trap from the NHL lexicon. "Let's hope we don't hear that word 'trap' anymore," the Detroit Red Wings veteran said Thursday on a conference call. "I think everyone realizes what a negative impact it had on the game. "It really slowed things down. Teams were successful playing that way, but it didn't lead to exciting hockey." The NHL has promised higher-scoring, more free-flowing hockey when play resumes Oct. 5 after the 2004-05 season was wiped out by the lockout. One of the aims is to rid the league of the stifling defensive systems like the dreaded trap that saw top offensive stars more often fighting through traffic at centre ice than making crowd-pleasing dashes to the net.

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Avs Giveaway

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Colorado Avalanche will celebrate its 10th season with a look back at the team’s 10 greatest moments and the biggest fan appreciation contest in Denver sports history. The 10 prizes being given to fans, and the prize sponsor, are: • Single-family home – Amber Homes • Custom Colorado Avalanche motorcycle – Rocky Mountain Harley-Davidson • Ten roundtrip flights – Frontier Airlines • Trip for two on Colorado Avalanche team charter – Colorado Avalanche • One week ski vacation – Vail Cascade Resort and Spa • Avs game in Pepsi Center luxury suite/dinner for 10 at Elway’s – Denver Post • Colorado Avalanche “Assistant Coach for a Day” – KeyBank • Three-night Las Vegas vacation – Mirage Hotel & Casino • Pool table and six-person hot tub – Pool Table Warehouse and Cal Spas • Mitsubishi 65-inch HDTV monitor – The Big Picture

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