Kukla's Korner

Now What?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector and Fox Sports,

The 10-month long nightmare for NHL hockey fans concluded today with the official ratification by the league board of governors of the new collective bargaining agreement. The deal was ratified a day earlier by a majority of the NHLPA membership. So where do we go from here? In the short term, the teams and players have less than three months to prepare for the start of the 2005-06 season, and there's plenty to be done over that time. Teams now have from July 23 until 5 p.m. ET on July 29 to buy out those players whose salaries could create problems under the new salary cap system. Those players cannot renegotiate their contracts, nor can they be re-signed this season by their former teams. Speculation has been brewing for weeks as to which players could be bought out. The most likely candidates include John Leclair and Tony Amonte of the Philadelphia Flyers, Derian Hatcher and Ray Whitney of the Detroit Red Wings, Pierre Turgeon of the Dallas Stars, Bryan Smolinski and Greg de Vries of the Ottawa Senators and Owen Nolan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Other possibilities include Joe Sakic or Rob Blake in Colorado, Keith Tkachuk or Doug Weight in St. Louis, Patrice Brisebois in Montreal and Darius Kasparaitis of the New York Rangers.

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New NHL Logo Pays Homage to the Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The switch from orange to silver pays homage to the game's most cherished trophy, the sterling silver Stanley Cup. NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League introduced an updated shield logo today in conjunction with the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement. The invigorated mark uses upward-reading letters to project a vibrant, optimistic image, yet defers to tradition by maintaining the time-honored shape of the original shield. The new logo's dominant color is silver, in homage to the most cherished trophy in sports, the sterling silver Stanley Cup. The new NHL Shield, which was created by NHL Design Director Paul Conway, is part of a comprehensive brand identity initiative launched in 2004 by the NHL with SME, a leader in branding and design

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Now the Fun Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Tomorrow begins the "buyout" period for the NHL teams. I will be updating as NHL news breaks so please visit Kukla's Korner for all of the latest NHL news.

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#1 Pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft Goes To…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

...the Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby stats. The full 2005 Draft order.

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Collective Bargaining Agreement FAQs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

CBA FAQS

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Schedule Format

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL SCHEDULE FEATURES RIVALRY-BASED FORMAT NEW YORK (July 22, 2005) - The National Hockey League is returning with an exciting new regular-season schedule format that emphasizes division rivalries. Format * Each club will play eight games against each of its four division rivals (32 total). * Each club will play four games against each of the 10 non-division clubs in its conference (40 total). * Each club will play 10 inter-conference games, hosting one game each against all five clubs from a designated division and traveling for one game each against all five clubs from a different division. For the 2005-06 season, Northeast Division clubs will host the Pacific Division and visit the Northwest; Atlantic Division clubs will host the Northwest and visit the Central; and Southeast Division clubs will host the Central and visit the Pacific. Division vs. division assignments will rotate annually. Features * The new schedule strengthens division rivalries; division rivals played each other six times under the previous schedule. * The new schedule maintains integrity of the conference-based playoff format; each club continues to play 40 games against non-division, intra-conference opponents. * The new schedule allows for continued exposure of teams and star players from the other conference. * The new schedule allows for more compelling television matchups, thanks to the combination of stronger division rivalries with continued intra- and inter-conference play.

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Remarks from Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

EXCERPTS FROM COMMISSIONER BETTMAN REMARKS NEW YORK (July 22, 2005) - Following are excerpts of remarks by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman following today's Board of Governors meeting: "Today, our Board of Governors gave its unanimous approval to a Collective Bargaining Agreement that signals a new era for our League -- an era of economic stability for our franchises, an era of heightened competitive balance for our players, an era of unparalleled excitement and entertainment for our fans." * * * * "Our foundation for the future now is in place. It is the mandate of this new partnership, achieved at enormous cost, to reconnect with our fans and refocus the spotlight where it belongs: on the ice, on the beauty and the skill of our remarkable game and on the world's best professional athletes." * * * * "We will return with a modified shield, with a new 'look' on the ice and a new outlook off it, and we will return this game to our fans with a promise: We will do everything in our power to be the best we can be and to earn your continued devotion. This was a terrible time for everyone associated with the game. We will do everything we can to make it up to you." * * * * "The greatness of hockey, and the NHL, is best measured by the character and commitment of our players. The greatness of our game is best reflected by the character and commitment of our fans. We appreciate the patience and the support they have shown through this difficult time. It's time our fans had some fun again, and our objective is to give them all they can handle."

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Official Rule Changes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The National Hockey League's Board of Governors today approved a series of rule changes that will emphasize entertainment, skill and competition on the ice. Commissioner Gary Bettman, who presented the package to the Board, also formally announced the creation of a new Competition Committee which was responsible for formulating and recommending the proposed slate of rules changes for approval by the NHL Board of Governors.

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A Letter to the Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

July 22, 2005 Dear Friend of Hockey, This is a letter I had hoped to be able to send you several months ago. I am certain it is one you had hoped to be able to read long before today, and I will never be able to express adequately my appreciation -- along with that of the entire National Hockey League -- for the patience you have shown through the most difficult period in our history. While it may be said that the greatness of hockey, and the NHL, is best measured by the character and tenaciousness of its players, I would add that the greatness of our game is also reflected by the character and tenaciousness of you, our devoted fans. I thank you all for that passionate support and I apologize to all of you, on behalf of everyone involved, for testing that support as severely as we did. The negotiation of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was an extremely complex undertaking and it took a painfully long time to complete. I promise you it did not take one second longer than absolutely necessary; and while it required a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice by a lot of people -- including you -- the result is that a great game will be even better upon our return. As we move forward now in partnership with our players, we move equally, to a new era of exceptional entertainment, in partnership with you. We will come back with new rules, with a new spirit of cooperation and with a renewed sense of excitement as the best athletes in the world display their skills for the best fans in the world and strive to win the best trophy in the world, the Stanley Cup. Over the past year, there has been entirely too much talk about the business of hockey and entirely too little talk about the joys of hockey. At last, it's time, once again, to have fun -- the kind of fun only hockey can offer. I cannot wait to get back to the rink and I very much look forward to seeing you there. Let's get ready to drop the puck! Sincerely, Gary Bettman

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Detroit Area Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL Press Conference is on FSN-Detroit.

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