Kukla's Korner

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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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Tanguay Close To Long Term Deal & Move To Center

from the Calgary Sun,

Darryl Sutter is so close to signing Alex Tanguay long-term, he has already pencilled him in as Jarome Iginla's opening day centreman. Answering two of the biggest questions being asked by Flames fans these days, Sutter told the Sun his extensive talks with Tanguay yesterday included discussion on moving from left wing to the middle. "I'd like to see Alex and Jarome playing together and I don't have a problem with him playing centre," said Sutter.
continued update 10:27am, TSN is reporting he has signed a new contract, but no details yet. added 11:4pm, per TSN,
The contract pays him $5 million in the first year, and $5.375 million in the next two seasons.

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Nashville Done With UFA Market

from the Nashville City Paper,

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile may rifle through some bins in hockey’s bargain basement, but he isn’t going back to Neiman-Marcus this summer. Poile quickly found what he wanted in the free agent market, signing center Jason Arnott from the Dallas Stars for $22.5 over the next five years and returning back-up goaltender Chris Mason to the roster at $2.5 million for two years. “Our team is pretty well complete for our NHL roster,” Poile said. “We are looking, but I would say we are done in the free-agent market. What we are going to do in the offseason is try to improve our depth with players for Milwaukee that will come up and help us due to need and injuries.”

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Olczyk Replaces J.D.

via the NY Post (reg. req.),

With John Davidson becoming the president of the St. Louis Blues, NBC Sports plans to announce today that Eddie Olczyk will be the new lead game analyst for its NHL coverage. Olczyk will work the regular season, playoffs and the Stanley Cup Finals with Mike (Doc) Emrick. Emrick and Davidson were OLN's lead game broadcasters as well, so it wouldn't be surprising if Olczyk - who worked the studio last season for OLN - also takes that job.

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It Wasn’t Chara’s Choice To Leave Ottawa

from the Ottawa Sun,

Before leaving Ottawa yesterday, he agreed to an exclusive one-on-one interview with Sun hockey writer Bruce Garrioch. Here is an edited transcript of their discussion: SUN: Are you disappointed things didn't work out with Ottawa? CHARA: "Oh, yes, for sure. My first priority was to stay in Ottawa. I love the city. I love the fans. The fans here are so passionate about hockey. They care for the team and every game was sold out. I love the guys. I loved living here. I'm obviously very sad to leave. But I had to move on. It wasn't my choice. It wasn't my decision. I'm excited to go to Boston."
read on

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Wing Talk

from Mlive,

Veteran goaltender Ed Belfour is scheduled to be in town today to take a physical for the Detroit Red Wings, who want to determine the condition of his surgically repaired back before deciding whether to offer him a contract. The Wings have also had a preliminary talk with the agent for goaltender Dominik Hasek. And they're hoping to learn soon, perhaps by today, whether forward Brendan Shanahan will accept their offer of a one-year contract for $4 million. Shanahan was in Los Angeles Tuesday, talking to the Kings, as he continues to explore the free-agent market.

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Dallas Close To Adding Barnaby & Halpern

from the Dallas Morning News,

The Stars are expected to sign free agents Jeff Halpern and Matthew Barnaby on Wednesday. Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong confirmed he was in discussions with the two players and said talks are "well down the road." "We are looking at players who can give us a little grit and a little bite, and those players certainly fall into that category," he said. "Plus, I think both can also add to our team character, along with a player like Darryl Sydor."
continued update 9:34pm, via TSN,
The Dallas Stars have signed agitator Matthew Barnaby to a one-year contract worth $625,000.

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Standings Since July 1st

from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Slam,

Who knew the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild would be such heavy hitters on the NHL free-agent scene? But they were, and they came out clear winners after a couple of frenzied opening days of free agency. The Anaheim Ducks also won the jackpot. They added former Norris Trophy winner Chris Pronger to a back end that already included Scott Niedermeyer, making the Southern California team an early contender for the Stanley Cup next season.

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Robitaille Going To Philly

from TSN,

The Philadelphia Flyers have agreed to terms on a contract with 5-foot-11, 195-pound center Randy Robitaille, according to general manager Bob Clarke. Robitaille signed a one-year contract. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed. "Robitaille was one of Minnesota's leading scorers last year," said Clarke in making the announcement. "He was their top faceoff man and can play center or wing. He had 40 points, is a really good skater and can play both ends of the rink. We believe that he'll add to our offense next season."

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Cajanek Stays With Blues

via Hadley on Sports,

The Blues Petr Cajanek to a two-year deal for $3.7 million. The Blues are likely done on the FA market however there could be further roster alteration via trades. The Blues are now officially out of the Brendan Shanahan sweepstakes.

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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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