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The Top Line

The votes are in at ESPN on the top line in hockey history.

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Check out how the ESPN experts voted too.

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Thrashers Have Talked To Leetch

via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (reg. req.),

Despite rumors linking the Thrashers to a possible trade for a defenseman, Waddell said the team is not currently in the market for that position. He said the team is comfortable having Mark Popovic in the minors, knowing they could recall him at any time if necessary. Also, Garnet Exelby (mononucleosis) could be back in another week.
Other rumors have linked the Thrashers to free-agent defenseman Brian Leetch. His agent, Jay Grossman, confirmed that he had discussions with Waddell about Leetch, but Grossman would not reveal when.

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York A Flyer

via the Philadelphia Flyers,

The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired forward Mike York from the New York Islanders in exchange for center Randy Robitaille and a fifth round draft choice in 2008, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.

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Slot License Vote

Follow along by watching the web stream, now live....

added 10:16am, Keep an eye on Lets Go Pens too…

added 10:20am, Well the TV station just went back to regular programming.  Thwy will cut back in when the announcemnt comes…

added 10:48am, Meeting is underway, follow the first link to watch via the web… they have some regular business first, then the vote announcement.

update 11:28am, PITG Majestic Star gets the license.  Don Barden is the owner.

added 12:04pm, from TSN,

The future of the Pittsburgh Penguins was thrown into further doubt after the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awarded a casino license to Majestic Star Casino.
St. Louis-based Isle of Capri, who had their casino license application rejected, had promised to build a new $290-million arena for the Penguins.
Majestic Star, which is led by Detroit businessman Don Barden, has offered to help pay for an arena by contributing $7.5-million a year for the next 30 years. However, the state and the team would have to contribute money as well under their proposal.

continued

added 12:48pm, Kansas City view of this situation…

added 1:22pm, Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist, attempts to figure out what is the next step…

added 2:50pm, Gary Bettman statement…

Continue Reading »

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Looking At The Lockout

Spector gets on his soapbox and leaves you with this…

The unintended consequence of the lockout, however, is that it killed what little interest there was in the National Hockey League in the minds of American sports fans.

read on

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Pair Leading Chicago Resurgence

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

Nikolai Khabibulin and Tuomo Ruutu, two of the players counted on to lead the Hawks out of the doldrums last season after the NHL lockout, finally appear to be up to the task. Their individual improvements make the Hawks’ climb into playoff contention during the last three weeks pale in comparison.
Ruutu (sprained knee) was on the shelf for 10 games this season and Khabibulin (broken finger) for eight, but both are going full-throttle heading into the Hawks’ home game tonight against the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators. The Hawks have earned 14 of a possible 18 points in the last nine games that Khabibulin has played. Ruutu has goals in the last three games and in four in the last five.

more

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Burke Not A Fan Of The Lady Byng

from the OC Register,

“I don’t want Lady Byng,” Selanne said after Monday night’s game, smiling. Seriously?
“Burkie (General Manager Brian Burke) would probably trade me if I won Lady Byng,” he said, laughing loudly.
I assumed Selanne was joking, too - until calling Burke and repeated my conversation with the Ducks star.
“Teemu’s not very far from the truth,” Burke said bluntly. He wasn’t laughing.
Burke went on to say the Lady Byng is the only NHL postseason award he “won’t give a bonus for” when negotiating incentive clauses in contracts.
“It’s something I don’t particularly want to see on my team,” he said of the Lady Byng.

read on

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Flyers Need To Work Harder

from Philly Burbs,

The Flyers made club history Tuesday night with their record-setting seventh straight loss, but didn’t play like a team trying to avoid an ignominious place in franchise lore….
“In my opinion, there were young players, veteran players in the second period who didn’t play hard enough,” he said. “We need to dig in for 60 minutes, not just first effort, but second and third. Working is one thing, competing is another. Working is working with a will, and that’s what we need from our team.”

more

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Will Lawsuit Follow

from the Toronto Star,

Whoever winds up owning the Pittsburgh Penguins may inherit an unpleasant chore: defending a multi-million-dollar lawsuit from a disgruntled Canadian billionaire.
Investment bankers who specialize in the sports industry say it’s likely that Jim Balsillie, chief executive of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, will sue the Penguins to recoup the reported $10 million (all figures U.S.) deposit he gave the team to look at the team’s finances as he considered making an offer to buy the 39-year-old franchise.

continued

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What Happened

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Balsillie walked away and left the team without an owner as the hours slipped away before the state’s all-important decision on the gaming license.
Sources tell ESPN.com that had those same restrictions been in place for other owners who have purchased teams in recent years, those owners would have walked away from the league in a heartbeat….
But the team source said Lemieux might be equally chagrined at the league for pushing away a man whose personal wealth would have allowed him to purchase the team without financing.
“I can’t imagine the current ownership group in Pittsburgh is very happy with Gary,” the source told ESPN.com.
Unless Bettman is already in the process of negotiating a backroom deal with the state and/or city to ensure a palatable Plan B is already in place if Isle of Capri is dealt a losing hand.

more

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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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