Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Biron Disappointed

from the Buffalo News,

"I'm disappointed after this weekend," Biron said. "I thought there'd be a little more movement this weekend. I thought I'd be a part of it, too. Didn't happen." Biron woke up Sunday morning still a Sabre. He was optimistic Saturday's NHL draft, a fecund setting for trades with all 30 teams and a horde of agents converging on GM Place in Vancouver, would lead him to a new employer. "When Luongo got traded," Biron said, "my first thought was, "Maybe there will be more movement.' Usually the dominoes fall not too far after a big trade like that." Yet Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier departed Vancouver with Biron as his backup goalie. "There's an awful lot of a feeling-out process taking place," Regier said late Saturday night on the GM Place floor. Regier has indicated he won't trade Biron until they have a suitable replacement in house.
more...Biron also mentioned the Wings may have interest in him. But in an earlier post today, Jim Nill mentioned the Wings will probably go the UFA route for a goalie. added 3:25pm, from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
"We would like for him to be traded as fast as possible," Biron's agent, Gilles Lupien, told The Associated Press on Monday. Lupien said he will recommend his client accept the $2.1 million offer by the NHL's mid-July deadline because it would potentially make a trade easier. By matching his salary last year, the Sabres retained rights to Biron.
more

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HOF Inductees

Did you know there was a Black Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame? I never knew about it but thanks to Ted Leonsis for mentioning the inductees. I tried to find a web site for the Black Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame but had no luck. If anyone has some information, please pass it on.

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Pronger’s Agent Talks

Pat Morris, agent for Chris Pronger was on Fan 590 in Toronto and was asked about Pronger wanting to play in the US. He responded he would consider Toronto "South of the Border". He stated they are circumstances that would not allow Pronger to play in Edmonton and if he went into details, it would get into personal lives and he won't do that. Morris was asked about an Ottawa destination and Morris replied he has not been "asked" if Ottawa would be considered as "south of the border" so he had no response about the Sens. Morris talked about Jay McKee, another one of his players and says Buffalo has started contract talks but he thinks he will be hearing from about 29 other teams July 1st.

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Huet Signs With Canadiens

from the Montreal Canadiens,

Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Monday the signing of goaltender Cristobal Huet to a two-year contract (2006-07, 2007-08). As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Cristobal Huet is a very valuable player to the Canadiens’ organization. Last season, he led our team to a playoff berth, and more importantly, his playoff performances showed that he is amongst the top goaltenders in the NHL. We know that Cristobal likes the city of Montreal, we were convinced he wanted to stay with the Canadiens, and we are pleased to have him under contract for the next two seasons," said Gainey.

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How Do You Really Feel

Bill at A2Y is beginning to understand what Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press is all about. The last word of his rant fits perfectly.

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NHL Needs ESPN

from Gary Shelton of the St. Peterburg Times,

What in the wide world of sports is ESPN thinking? Dominoes? What, did someone forget the Pick-Up Sticks? Paintball championships. Poker tournaments. Rodeo. Game shows. Billiards. Kickboxing. Logrolling. Hot dog eating contests. Sports writers yelling at each other. If these are sports, they should hold the Olympics at Chuck E. Cheese's. The other day, I was in a restaurant, and bowling was on the TV. Not just any bowling, but trick bowling. Arena bowling, if you will. ...At this point, Bettman needs to bend a knee and issue a plea. He needs to point to all of the various ESPN channels and beg for one of them, any one, to show his league's games. He needs to settle for any announcer, even Chris Berman. If it takes it, he should offer to let the players play Trivial Pursuit between periods. Parcheesi, maybe. Frankly, the NHL needs ESPN. And despite the low ratings of the past year, ESPN could use the NHL.
more...I am not sure if Mr. Shelton realizes it or not, but ESPN did not want the NHL on their network. The best course of action is just wait, if the NHL continues to improve, maybe we can have a bidding war for network rights in the not to distant future.

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Lidstrom Talk

Jim Nill, Wings Assistant GM was on WDFN this morning and one thing I found interesting was Nill said when the Wings talked to Lidstrom in Vancouver, Nick wanted to know the layout of the team for next season. Nill said the Wings will sign him, it is a matter of coming to a $$$ agreement. Nill mentioned the Wings need to get younger and the cap wil force them to make some changes. He also stated the Wings will probably go the UFA route for a goalie instead of a trade. They will take their time in getting a goalie, if they jump in now they will be forced to overpay. Nill again pointed out the key is getting Lidstrom signed, then everything will fall into place. I imagine Yzerman will be asking the same question when he meets with Holland this week to discuss his future plans. My take on this, if Yzerman feels the Wings have a Cup run in them, he will return, if not, #19 will be hanging from the Joe rafters sometime this upcoming season.

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Islander Plan

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

Now that the future is in place, Smith and Nolan can direct their attention to the present. Decisions must be made on qualifying restricted free agents such as Arron Asham, John Erskine, Eric Godard, Trent Hunter, Mike York and Rick DiPietro. It is possible Smith might let one or two walk to create room on the roster for players he and Nolan want. DiPietro's agent, Paul Krepelka, already has begun preliminary negotiations for a long-term contract. DiPietro is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2008. He maintains that he wants to be an Islander for the rest of his career. Meanwhile, in five days, Smith will go back into the free-agent party he used to crash as Rangers GM. He joked about still having "post-traumatic stress disorder" from those free-spending days working for the Garden, throwing money at all of the top free agents available while small-market teams had no chance to compete. "I felt like I was going to the execution every year, like, 'Boy are they gonna hate me tomorrow,'" Smith said
read on

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Decision Time

from the Star-Telegram,

If Guerin made half of his $6.7 million salary, perhaps the Stars wouldn't be seriously considering a buyout by Friday. Instead, in the salary-cap era, they could save $4.5 million toward the $44 million cap - and they currently have only about $8 million left with 15 players under contract and free agency ahead. The decision facing team owner Tom Hicks and general manager Doug Armstrong - if they haven't already made it - seems to be all about the numbers. For instance, could they even theoretically keep Guerin and sign free-agent center Jason Arnott and either defenseman Willie Mitchell or Jon Klemm? "It just becomes a math equation then," Armstrong said. "Look at your roster and add that number. You really do have to rob Peter to pay Paul in a cap system to get it all in there."
more

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Things Have Happened

from the Edmonton Sun,

Chris Pronger has a message for Edmonton: It's not you, it's me. The soon-to-be ex-Oiler, through his agent Patrick Morris, wants the city and its hockey fans to know that he doesn't hate them. He still wants out, but he doesn't hate you. "He's a great player and the Oilers wanted this to last a long, long time, as Chris did,'' said Morris, who made Pronger's trade request public last Friday. "But at the same time I think they understand that people come before business and things have happened - not necessarily to change Chris's mind, but to change his ability to stay there.'' See, it's not you, it's him.
continued

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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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