Kukla's Korner

Nothing New With Boynton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Canada.com,

With Ilya Kovalchuk now under contract with the Atlanta Thrashers, Nick Boynton remains the only notable restricted free agent that hasn't re-signed with his club. But the all-star defenceman and the Boston Bruins are no closer to a deal as the NHL season heads into Week 2, despite the fact both sides are only $150,000 US apart on a new deal. "There's nothing new to report," Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell said on Saturday from Pittsburgh, where his club faced the Penguins.

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Players Give Back 12%

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

When National Hockey League players receive their first paycheque on October 15th, 12 per cent of it will be withheld to fulfill the escrow payment as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Sources tell TSN, the precise 12% figure for escrow has now been posted on the NHLPA secure web site, The Source. TSN reported, earlier this week, that the rate of escrow for the first quarter of the season would be at least 10% and perhaps more. Although members of the NHLPA have been aware of the escrow situation, it's not likely too many of them will be thrilled when they see 12% missing from every paycheque they receive in the first quarter of the season.

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Kovalchuk Could Play Wednesday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Ilya Kovalchuk is staying in Atlanta for the long term. The Atlanta Thrashers signed the restricted free agent to a five-year deal Friday night and all that is required is league approval from the NHL. The new contract is expected to be approved by the league Saturday. Pending that and his immigration status, Kovalchuk is expected to be in the Thrashers' lineup either Wednesday against Montreal or Friday against Toronto. The contract is worth $6.5 million the first year, then $5 million, $5.5 million, $7.5 million and $7.5 million in the final year, agent Jay Grossman told ESPN.

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Geoff Sanderson Traded To Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Coyotes have acquired left wing Geoff Sanderson and right wing Tim Jackman from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for left wing Jason Chimera, defenseman Cale Hulse and center Mike Rupp.

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NHLPA To Vote On Visors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via Slam,

The NHL Players' Association will hold a vote Tuesday to decide whether players want to make wearing visors mandatory. Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson made it pretty clear where he stands on the issue yesterday. "I think they should be grandfathered in," said Alfredsson. "I believe everybody should be wearing them and I think some people have to change their attitudes on them. "I know a lot of guys don't want to wear them, but I believe it should be a standard piece of protection. I know some people don't think Canadian players should wear them. I don't think it affects the way you feel about a player one bit."

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Praise For Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Winnipeg Sun via Slam,

It's about time. About time for me to do something I thought I'd never do. Not in a million years. Give kudos to Gary Bettman (wince!). Often referred to in these pages as a cross between Lord Voldemort, Darth Sidius and Viktor Tikhonov, the diminutive NHL commissioner finally did something that could well keep him out of the villains' hall of fame. Little Man Gary came up big. He promised a salary cap and he delivered. He promised a level playing field for Canadian and small market American teams and he delivered. He used time during the lockout wisely, spearheading rule changes which were destined to make the NHL game stronger.

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Wings Sign Woolley

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

The Detroit Red Wings signed Jason Woolley to a one-year contract Saturday, adding a solid veteran to bolster a defense that is without Niklas Kronwall. Woolley is in his 15th NHL season and third with the Red Wings. The former Michigan State star had 42 points in 117 games in two seasons in Detroit. "We're very happy to have Jason return to the Red Wings," general manager Ken Holland said. "He's a veteran defenseman who handles the puck very well and should excel with the new rule changes in the NHL." Detroit sent defenseman Brett Lebda down to Grand Rapids of the AHL to make room on the roster.

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Canadians Embrace The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

It wasn't supposed to be like this, was it? There was so much anger and bitterness during the 16-month NHL lockout. It was spewed in a lot of different directions. Somebody would have to pay, right? Some jilted Canadian fans vowed to stay away from the NHL game when and if it returned. Some fans blamed the greedy players. Some blamed the greedy owners. But now, it turns out here in Canada, the anger and bitterness of fans were not directed at either the owners or the players, but towards not having NHL hockey. It was not what caused the gaping hole in our long winter which made us so angry, apparently, but the hole itself. This is Canada, after all, and the NHL is, for many Canadians, the embodiment of hockey.

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NHL Facing Challenges

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

In the cramped backroom of the Manhattan sports bar Ship of Fools, 70 expatriate Canadians gathered on Wednesday in front of a dozen television screens tuned to a half-dozen hockey games to celebrate the return of their national sport. In the more spacious front two rooms, a small crowd watched the Boston Red Sox drop their second game to the Chicago White Sox while awaiting the New York Yankees' late-night playoff start. As the National Hockey League relaunched its game with the hopes of captivating U.S. fans, Ship of Fools owner Glenn Treacher declared "hockey is dead" as a draw in the highly competitive New York sports market.

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Saskin Fails To Show For Islander Meeting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post,

Acting NHLPA chief Ted Saskin infuriated some Islanders yesterday when he did not show up for a scheduled meeting, the Post has learned, adding kerosene to what is becoming an explosive situation. Facing mutiny from within the PA, Saskin didn't make any friends in the Islanders' dressing room and may have intensified the growing protest surrounding his replacement of former union head Bob Goodenow. A group of NHL players recently filed complaints with the NLRB for what they believe was an improper signing of Saskin to a six-year contract that will reportedly pay him $2 million annually, setting off what one source said yesterday may become "a bit of a bloodbath."

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