Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Not All Has Changed

from Jeff Gordon Of St. Louis Today,

The new system certainly levels the competitive playing field, er, ice rink. That is how the NHL ended up with a Carolina-Edmonton matchup in the Stanley Cup Finals. But the lockout did NOT bomb the players back to the bad old days, when, relatively speaking, they were mere serfs trapped in a feudal system. NHL owners can still overspend on talent -– and they have done so this summer, throwing massive contracts at prime-age stars and rewarding ordinary and/or aging players as well. The New Economic Order does not prevent mid-market owners from losing lots of money, if they so choose. The owners retain their free will, which has led to frantic bidding on talent just one year after the lockout ended.
read on

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Thanks KK Readers- Stats For June ‘06

The stats continue to show a nice growth pattern. You can review the stats from previous months starting here. image

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Watch Blake Press Conference

via the LA Kings, The Los Angeles Kings will hold a press conference on Wednesday, July 5, 2006 to welcome back veteran All-Star defenseman Rob Blake to the hockey club. The press conference will take place at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California beginning at 1:00 p.m. (PT). LIVE WEBCAST TO BEGIN WEDNESDAY JULY 5 AT 1:00 PM (PT)

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Ruutu A Good Fit For Pens

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

"He came here for the right reasons," Shero said. "He had other options. I don't think we were on his radar on Day 1 [of free agency Saturday]." That apparently began to change when Ruutu, who is in his native Finland, and Shero had a telephone conversation. "He just listened," Shero said. "I told him what we're trying to do here, and why I thought it would be a good fit for him. "I know people from Finland who know him very well. He has leadership and character and can help us get this thing turned around and going in the right direction."
more Also from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette- The Pens have some interest in Yanic Perreault.

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He Was Wrong

from the Mirror,

Last week, I wrote a column about a hockey fan I saw on television while watching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between Carolina and Edmonton. I turned on the tube late in the game and watched the final minutes. During those last few minutes, I noticed a Carolina Hurricanes fan waving an American flag. This upset me, because I thought that he had an Americans vs. Canadians mentality and that the U.S. team was superior. I found this odd because most of the Carolina players either were native Canadians or from other countries, mostly European. If only I had watched the entire game. After reading my column online, a few people from the Atlantic Coast set me straight about what really was going on at that game.
continued...readers of KK also brought out the point last week...

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Blues Doing It The Right Way

from Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

So into that mess step Checketts and Davidson, who seem to have a basic intuition about what they need to do to salvage such a bad situation. There is only one way to win back the few fanatical hockey fans they still have (who by the way are still steaming mad after last season's debacle and would like nothing better than to have someone from the old regime's bloody carcass tossed onto center ice like a dead squid) and lure in the much larger base of casual hockey fans whose interest sways easily with the dwindling winning percentage: Just care, baby. In a flurry of activity since taking ownership, Checketts' Blues are doing something that just might work. These guys seem to be at least smart enough to know that the interim product between rebuilding and championships has to be worth looking at.
read on...Burwell goes on stating the Blues should overpay and sign Shanahan, but reports I have read state Shananhan has eliminated the Blues...

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Bruins Learning

from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,

To their credit, the Bruins learned. They learned that the old Jerry Jacobs/Harry Sinden strategy of always looking for a bargain would be a ticket to failure in the “new” NHL. This time, Jacobs, Sinden and acting general manager Jeff Gorton, whose extraordinary performance the last few weeks should mean that one day, in Boston or elsewhere, he’ll have the GM title for real, waited approximately 60 seconds after the opening of free agency. However it happened, the Bruins pulled off the coup of the free agent market, a single mega-transaction that drastically changed the direction of this team.

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When You’re Theodore…

from the Rocky Mountain News,

When you're Jose Theodore, your life is a perpetually roiling raft trip through Class VI white-water rapids. You party like a rock star. You hang with international starlets. Your photograph regularly adorns the covers of gossip tabloids. You become entwined in odd, out-of-the-clear-blue-sky scandals that always seem to have some sort of bizarre twist. When you're Jose Theodore, life is, uh, let's say, eventful.

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Cup Run For Flyers Decreases

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

Judging from the expected popularity of their free-agent signings, it's probably a good thing for the Flyers that the New Jersey casinos are likely to shut down today, because their odds of winning the Stanley Cup dropped dramatically over the extended weekend. Although it's difficult to assess just how much money they set aside for free agents, it's reasonable to assume that with about $31 million committed to players on the roster and another $9 million set aside for contract negotiations with Simon Gagne, Joni Pitkanen, R.J. Umberger and Antero Niittymaki, the Flyers had about $4 million in spending money for the free-agent market.
read on

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Danger Sign(ing)s

from the Edmonton Journal,

Pronger's tenure here may well be remembered as a cruel tease. Danger signs are sprouting up, here and there. Lowe acknowledged in his conference call on Monday that the free-agent market in the NHL is inflated right now. Not a good sign. In the New NHL, the idea was that free agents were going to be plentiful enough that demand would not wildly outstrip supply and drive salaries up. But when Chara, who is not yet in Pronger's class, is signing for $7.5 million US with Boston, when Bryan McCabe is locked up for five years in Toronto for the ridiculous sum of $28.75 million, when Boston is paying Savard $20 million over a four-year term, there's little doubt some teams are overpaying. And, in some cases, such as Patrick Elias, with his seven-year deal with the Devils, clubs are committing to recklessly long-term contracts.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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