Kukla's Korner

Datsyuk Remains Calm

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Another Russian story this time talking about Kovalchuk and Datsyuk. Pavel says he is letting his agent handle all the negotiations so he can focus on hockey. He says he doesn't have a ciontract with the Wings so he remains in Russia. Read the translation of the article in the comments of this post and if you have a better translation, feel free to post it. Also, Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press chimes in about Datsyuk,

Not to be a wet blanket, but Red Wings fans, party at your own risk. Hockey may be back, but when your best offensive player isn't even on the continent, only a fool pops champagne. Here are two sobering words: "Pavel" and "Datsyuk." Any hockey expert will tell you he's the future of the Wings. And he's not here! He's in Russia, possibly under contract to not one but two teams. Ken Holland, charged with tightening Detroit's belt, has muffed the first lesson of Salary Cap 101: Sign your biggest star. "Pavel signed a contract with Omsk," Holland told me this week, "and then another team, Moscow Dynamo, matched it. His agent has told me ... there's no out clause in the contract. Obviously, it's a matter now of Pavel negotiating ... to see if there's a way that he can get out."
more update 9:25am, Art Regner was on WXYT this morning and thinks Greenstin, agent for Datsyuk is "on the take" and the Russian mob is somehow involved. Regner said Greentstin is trying to convince Datsyuk to stay in Russia while Pavel wants to play for the Wings. Art believes Datsyuk will be back with Detroit by the end of next week.

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Pens Expect To Lose $7 Million

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

The Pittsburgh Penguins expect to lose at least $7 million this season despite a more favorable NHL labor agreement, player salary concessions and a big jump in ticket sales created by adding rookie Sidney Crosby. Owner-player Mario Lemieux said Tuesday his ownership group decided to increase the payroll by about $9 million, from $22 million in 2003-04 to about $31 million, in an accelerated effort to contend for the Stanley Cup immediately. "We've been rebuilding for three years, it's time to put a great team on ice and, to do that, we're willing to lose and we're going to lose more money next year," Lemieux said. "We're prepared to do this to have a chance to win. We feel this is a great opportunity for us."

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Fragile Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Jason Allison missed the first scrimmage with a minor hip problem. Eric Lindros was sent flying by a solid body check during that same scrimmage. Day 2 at the Maple Leafs training camp reminded everyone on hand just how fragile Toronto's chances are of remaining among the NHL's top echelon teams. The two oft-injured centres, brilliant when they're healthy, must stay out of the medical ward this season for Toronto to have any chance. In the media fishbowl that is Toronto, Allison knew his no-show in the team's first official scrimmage of camp would cause a few snickers. But he can't worry about that.

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$505K Base For Bondra

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Wichita Eagle, But Bondra kept lowering the price, finally agreeing on an incentive-laden deal that guarantees him a base salary of $505,000 - far less than he could have made with another team. He could earn another $2.9 million in bonuses if the Thrashers win the Stanley Cup. Bondra was so eager to play in Atlanta that he took part in the first day of training camp, even though he had yet to sign his new deal. Waddell said there were still some insurance issues to work out, but he expected things to be finalized in a day or two.

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Camping In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN, On Monday, we took a look at what was on the training-camp docket for teams in the Eastern Conference. Now, here's what's happening in the West: read on

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Russians And The IIHF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Translating this story, it appears the Russians will be meeting with the IIHF on September 15-17 in Portugal to discuss the upcoming Olympics. They will also be discussing limiting the size of goalie equipment and a few other items. The translation appears in the comments of this post and if you can translate any better, please pass it on.

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Russian Threats

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

The NHL is back in business as training camps open around North America, and still two teams have to worry about whether two of their best players will be in Russia once the season begins. The Detroit Red Wings started training camp Monday in Traverse City, Mich., knowing that Pavel Datsyuk has signed a provisional contract to play for Avangard Omsk in Russia if he can't reach an agreement with Detroit by Oct. 5. Meanwhile, agent Jay Grossman reaffirmed that his client, Ilya Kovalchuk, will be signing with Khimik Voskresensk or another team in the Russian League if he can't reach a deal with the Atlanta Thrashers. Kovalchuk is currently with the Khimik team, but if it cannot afford his asking price, he could look elsewhere in Russia. "(General manager) Don Waddell is trying to minimize the differences between us, but the difference is sizable," Grossman said. Grossman confirmed that Kovalchuk has withdrawn the last offer he made to the Thrashers. If he plays in Russia after Oct. 5, he would have to clear waivers to return to the NHL.

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Pens Ticket Sales Are Brisk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Imagine working for 14 hours, six days a week with your phone ringing off the hook. Now you know what it’s like to work in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ ticket sales department. While most people would cringe at the high demands of the job, the Penguins’ 20-member staff wouldn’t have it any other way. The Penguins have not seen a ticket-selling frenzy like this in years. Mario Lemieux’s return from retirement in December, 2000 was close, but that came in mid-season, when a large amount of ticket inventory had already been sold. Penguins tickets are among the the hottest in all of sports and the team has already sold more seats this year than during the last season in 2003-04.

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Brad Richards In Pain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Petersburg Times,

Center Brad Richards continues to feel pain associated with his January surgery for a tear in his abdominal wall. It's not enough to keep him from playing, and tests show the pain likely is coming from scar tissue, not from the surgically repaired area. He doesn't appear to be at risk for reaggravating the abdominal wall. But he doesn't feel 100 percent. "I've been told it's probably going to take a year to get back to feeling 100 percent," Richards said. "I'm not worried. It only bothers me some days and it's not enough, I don't think, to affect my play. I expect to be able to do what I've always done on the ice.

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OLN Oops

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Anyone see a problem here. Plus, OLN needs to start ramping up for the NHL season. The same logo announcing the opening game is getting quiet boring. update 12:35pm, A reader just pointed out that the error has been corrected.

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