Kukla's Korner

Ohlund Signs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet, The Canucks have signed Mattias Ohlund to a multi-year contract extension avoiding arbitration. Sportsnet has learned the extension is a four-year contract. A press conference has been called for 1:30pm ET at the Canucks training facilites at 8 Rinks where Dave Nonis will be available for comment.

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Trade Benefits Both Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

If you rummage around the bag of sports cliches long enough, you pull out the one that says "the best trades are the ones that help both teams." Well, in the case of Tuesday's big-time swap between the Atlanta Thrashers and Ottawa Senators, the trade -- sending Dany Heatley to the Senators for forward Marian Hossa and defenseman Greg de Vries -- not only helps both teams, but two of the principal players involved in the deal. Heatley got the change in address he was looking for and Hossa nailed down the long-term contract he was seeking.

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Luongo’s Agent, “You’ll Have To Trade Him”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Palm Beach Post,

"I think my numbers are right," Lupien (Luongo's agent) said. "I said to Mike (Keenan), 'Give him four (million) and four (million) and you've got two full years to find out what number you want to give.' If you go to arbitration, it's over. You'll have to trade him.' Arbitrator Gil Vernon received briefs from both parties in the case Tuesday and will hear 20-minute arguments this morning. His ruling could come as early as today, though it is not expected to be made public until Thursday.

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Patrik Elias Accepts QO

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The New York Post reports that the New Jersey Devils have signed forward Patrik Elias to his one-year qualifying offer of $4.18 million US. If Elias and the Devils do not negotiate a long-term deal this season, the 29-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Recovering from Hepatitis A, Elias is not expected to be ready for the start of the season. His salary could be deductible from the payroll under the long-term injury provision that requires players to miss at least 10 games. Once he returns, his salary would count against the cap. As it stands, Elias' salary puts the Devils' payroll at about $44 million US, which is $5 million over the league's salary cap.

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Pasi Nurminen Forced to Retire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via RDS (translated from French to English),

Tuesday August 23, the 2005 - HELSINKI (AFP) - international guard Finnish Pasi Nurminen, which was to join this autumn Thrashers of Atlanta Trashers, put a term at his career because of a wound to a knee, announced Tuesday his club Finnish.

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All On The Same Page

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Deb Kaufman of MSG Network,

Let me be the first to disagree with my colleague Stan Fischler about media access in the NHL. On the Friday night in July that the CBA was ratified, Stan asked Commissioner Gary Bettman to promise more access to the players and coaches in the dressing room before the game, after the game, and during the game. But more access doesn't necessarily mean better access. In truth, the longer the window, the more time players have to get annoyed that their space is being invaded, their time is being requested, and the greater the lengths to which some of them will go to avoid the daily, yet inevitable questions. You haven't lived until you've tried corralling a Maple Leaf who's dodging the Toronto media and sneaking out the trainer's room into a back alley in 15 degree weather after a morning skate.

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New Rules Are A Joke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Slam,

Ed Belfour calls it "a joke." And he's not laughing. The Toronto Maple Leafs veteran yesterday ripped into the National Hockey League's decision makers for limiting the areas in which goaltenders will be allowed to handle the puck this season. Under terms of the rule ratified by the league's board of governors on July 22, goaltenders may play the puck behind the goal-line only in a trapezoid-shaped area defined by lines that begin six feet from either goal post and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the end boards.

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Doc Emrick Will Be Busy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post (reg. req.),

In a move that will instantly give OLN NHL's coverage some credibility, the network is expected to make Mike (Doc) Emrick its lead play-by-player, sources said. Emrick will also be the lead voice on NBC's coverage of the NHL, though the network has not officially announced its announcer teams. Reached at home, Emrick declined comment. "We are talking to all the top hockey talent," an OLN spokesperson said. "We hope to make announcements soon." Emrick will still be the Devils' play-by-player. John Davidson, who will be Emrick's NBC partner, is also negotiating with OLN.

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Hossa Shocked

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

While there was speculation Hossa was going to be dealt because he had rebuffed a five-year, $25-million deal from the Senators on Sunday, he was excited about coming back to the only NHL team he had ever known. "I'm not mad ... I'm shocked and I'm disappointed because I've been with that team for six years and I really enjoyed playing in Ottawa. I loved the fans there and I loved playing in the Corel Centre," said Hossa. Sources say Hossa requested a no-trade clause in his contract just minutes before the deal was signed but the club refused. The hearing was scheduled for a 9 a.m. in front of arbitrator Michael Picher, but was cancelled because the two sides came to an agreement at 8:55 a.m. After the deal was signed, Hossa couldn't hide his excitement. He agreed to pose for photographs for local newspapers at a Toronto hotel before boarding a flight yesterday.

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Fighting For The Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

form the Union Leader,

Kent Carlson weighed nearly 300 pounds last year when he started skating in a Concord men's league. It was the first hockey he played since quitting the game in 1989. Saturday night he'll be back in uniform, one of 16 contestants in the "Battle of the Hockey Enforcers," a pay-per-view hockey fight tournament on ice at CN Centre in Prince George, B.C. Carlson is the oldest combatant, two years older Byers, 41, who is second on the card in seniority. Half of the contestants are in their 20s. All but two played or currently play professional hockey, four — Carlson, Byers (Bruins, Sharks), Jason Simon (North Stars, Sharks) and Link Gaetz (Islanders, Coyotes) — in the NHL. "These kids are animals," laughed Carlson, not a tinge of self-doubt in his voice. "Some are still hoping to get into 'The Show.'" The event has been the cause of some controversy, Prince George coming under fire for agreeing to host it after Lowell, Mass., Minneapolis and Winnipeg turned it down. Hockey purists say events such as this give the sport a black eye. Fanatics say the more black eyes, the better. Why participate? "I miss competition," Carlson said, before adding a more pragmatic reason: "I need the money."

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