Kukla's Korner

Ovechkin Cleared to Play in NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Alexander Ovechkin has cleared the way for himself to play in the NHL this season. TSN has learned the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NHL entry draft has exercised his option to void his contract for this season with Omsk of the Russian Super League. Ovechkin, property of the Washington Capitals, could escape the Russian contract if he were given a contract offer by the Capitals on or before a deadline of July 20 (today). Although the NHL is not yet officially open for business, Washington apparently was able to make some sort of offering that gave Ovechkin the choice to void the contract with Omsk. And sources say Ovechkin informed the Capitals today that he is, in fact, escaping his commitment to Omsk and wants to play for the Capitals in the NHL this season. Based on the terms of the new CBA, Ovechkin and the Capitals can officially begin negotating a contract on Saturday. It likely won't be much of a negotiation. As a No. 1 overall pick and potential franchise player, the Capitals will likely give Ovechkin everything he's entitled to as a 2004 draft pick. Ovechkin is eligible to receive slightly more money than the players who will be drafted in 2005, but not as much as he would have received if he and the Capitals had negotiated a contract prior to the beginning of the lockout.

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No time To Point Fingers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the National Post,

Mike Peca came to the players' meeting not only to vote on the new NHL labour agreement but also to support the union leadership that negotiated it. The New York Islanders captain is tired of players griping about the deal and the negotiators at the NHL Players' Association who are responsible for it. "I think it's unfair for guys to start to point the finger," Peca said prior to a meeting of more than 200 players Wednesday evening at a Toronto hotel. "It is what it is. "Any deal that we would have gotten was going to be significantly worse than the one we came off from. We tried to go in a certain direction and at a certain time the executive committee tried to make the best of the situation they were in and I think they did that. I think they did a nice job."

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CBA Tidbits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Tom Benjamin states,

A little birdie - a player agent who has seen the summary of the CBA - tells me that costs are indeed certain in the new CBA. Escrow is not 15% as has been widely reported. It will be adjusted four times a year, presumably depending on spending and revenues.

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Roenick Says Goodenow Will Quit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

On the eve of the ratification vote, Philadelphia Flyers forward Jeremy Roenick went on the record today when he sat down with Michael Landsberg for Wednesday's Off The Record (seen tonight at 6pm et/3pm pt on TSN). Roenick who made headlines for his comments throughout the lockout was candid in his reponses. When asked about Bob Goodenow's future with the NHLPA, Roenick held nothing back. "It (the salary cap) is not something he's been in favour of from the start," Roenick said. "I really think the players are going to vote it into the game and he's going to quit and go someplace else."

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Is It Time To Celebrate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Maven and MSG Network,

Celebrate good times, come on Let’s celebrate Celebrate good times, come on The disco hit of yesteryear will be applied to the National Hockey League Friday – likely in mid-afternoon at a Times Square Hotel. At this point in time even Las Vegas odds-makers are claiming that there’s no way neither NHL players nor owners will reject the landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement that took longer to write than anything in league history. “I’m calling it 1-2 odds in favor of it being passed,” Vegas’ hockey betting book author Bobby Bryde tells me. “That’s a very good sign.” Everything hinges on the players’ secret ballot. There’s no question that the Board of Governors will vote 30-0 in favor but there’s no guarantee that it will easily pass among the players. For the past few days there has been a smattering of ominous signals emanating from the NHLPA’s Toronto headquarters. Clearly, there’s dissent among some members of the union’s ranks but the precise size of the dissenting group is uncertain. And even though the Players’ Executive Committee, led by NHLPA President Trevor Linden, has given the new CBA a green light, comments from team representatives are far from enthusiastic.

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Pronger Clears the Air

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via CJAD,

There may be more than a tentative labour deal to sort out during NHL player meetings this week. Throughout the NHL lockout, there were stories that some players were more involved behind the scenes than others. And perhaps without the blessing of their union leadership. Not true, says Chris Pronger. The St. Louis Blues player representative insists rumours of him, Jarome Iginla, Robert Esche and Jeremy Roenick getting directly involved in February are greatly exaggerated. "What Jeremy Roenick has been doing? I don't talk to him so I don't know," Pronger said before a player rep meeting Wednesday. "I did talk to Iginla and Esche but I talked to a lot of other players as well." According to some reports in mid-February, the four players tried to broker a deal behind the union's back. Roenick was quoted in the Inquirer at the time saying the four players had called NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly directly. Pronger scoffs at the notion he was doing anything untoward.

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2005 NHL Entry Draft- How Good Are You

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sticky Post

Who can predict the top five picks in order for the upcoming 2005 NHL Entry Draft? Winner of this contest will receive a Commemorative Media Pass from The Final Game at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. The pass is signed by Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell and in excellent condition. In order to win, you must list what teams will be drawn (in order) for the top 5 picks of the NHL Draft. List them like this: 1. Carolina, 2. Nashville, etc up to #5. If more than one person picks the correct order, a random drawing will be held to select the winner. You can either enter your selection into the comment area of this post, make sure you include your first name and email address, or you can .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) me. Good luck and please don't flood me with numerous emai accounts. You can only enter once and the contest closes at 2pm EST on Friday, July 22nd. One more thing, if all five teams are not picked correctly, then I will narrow it down to the top 4, 3, etc... PK

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NHL.com Will Stream Entry Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL.com will provide live streaming video of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft lottery live this Friday beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Check back for further details.

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BOG Meeting Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

he National Hockey League’s Board of Governors will meet Friday to vote on the ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and to consider rule changes for implementation. The meeting will be conducted at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m., ET Media work room facilities will be available in The Riverside Suite on the Third Floor. Following the Board of Governors session, beginning at approximately 3 p.m., ET, Commissioner Bettman will conduct a news conference in The Riverside Ballroom, also on the Third Floor. Should the Collective Bargaining Agreement be ratified, a Draft Drawing will be conducted to determine the Order of Selection for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The Draft Drawing will be televised by TSN in Canada and by various outlets in the U.S., beginning at approximately 4 p.m., ET.

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Contract for Rookies Could Grow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

If Alexander Ovechkin decides to play in the NHL next season, he could still make mega-bucks, writes the National Post. An agent told the Post that the NHL's soon-to-be-ratified CBA will cap entry-level salaries at US$850,000, but will allow players to earn another US$850,000 in performance bonuses and up to US$4-million more if he finishes in the top 10 in goals, assists, points, or wins a major award, such as the Calder Trophy. Goalies would receive similar bonuses. "The entry-level system is not bad at all," a top agent told the Post. "It could be very lucrative. It's based on merit. If you perform well, you will make a lot of money."

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