Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Leafs Close To Cap

from the Toronto Sun,

The waiting game has begun for John Ferguson, but Paul Maurice can't afford to wait at all. This is where the Maple Leafs find themselves, three days into NHL free agency, with the team almost tapped out and capped out. There are needs to fill but little money with which to address them. There are holes but no clear way to address them. Ferguson has approximately $4 million US left to spend on as many as four players, which means he's caught playing the hockey version of musical chairs, wondering which players will be left without seats.
continued

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That’s A Lot Of “D”

from the OC Register,

He carries pucks, carries power plays. Carries franchises. And now he's toting the Ducks' wheelbarrow, but he only has to handle one handle. Scott Niedermayer has the other. That's $13million worth of defensemen next season, about 30 percent of the Ducks' salary cap, but no one in hockey can remember two such deluxe D's on one team. "But the price was high," said Brian Burke, the Ducks' general manager, and he wasn't kidding. They had to surrender Lupul, the Ducks' top producer in the playoffs and a charismatic and feisty 22-year-old who should be contending for trophies after Pronger has retired (he turns 32 Oct.10). Playing in his hometown will only enhance the Prolific Palindrome, who scored four goals at Colorado in Game 3 of the second round. "I don't think they would have done this if they didn't get Lupul," Burke said.
more

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Out OF Touch

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

Speaking from his home in St. Louis, Mo., and buoyed by the fact the Oilers had just traded him to the Anaheim Ducks, Pronger said he was aware of the sentiment in Edmonton, so aware that "the best part was I was out of the country. Out of sight, out of mind." Wow. Now that's interesting. Sign a five-year deal worth $31.25-million (U.S.), ask to leave after one season, fly to Mexico and let your agent make cryptic comments about things couples go through. Let it be known that the reasons for wanting out are personal and private. Let a lot of people twist in the wind of speculation while you remain silent and then, when you finally speak, you say the best part was being out of the country. Out of sight, out of mind. Try out of touch, too.
read on

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A True Champion

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Before the Detroit Red Wings won their first of three Stanley Cups in six seasons back in the spring of 1997, captain Steve Yzerman was in Las Vegas during the offseason playing craps. Two elderly gentlemen from Detroit's Canadian neighbor, Windsor, Ontario, sauntered by and noticed Yzerman. "Let's go play somewhere else. There's no luck at this table," the one said to the other. Yzerman told that story after the Wings' Cup victory in 1997, the first in 42 years, not with smugness or a sense of self-righteousness, but rather to illustrate the sometimes imperceptible line that separates stardom from being a champion.
continued Want to read more on Yzerman? May I suggest Abel to Yzerman, Behind the Jersey & On the Wings. Dedicated Red Wing bloggers presenting the Yzerman retirement in unique ways.

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Burke On The Cutting Edge

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

Pronger had asked for a trade from Edmonton and yesterday shed little light on the reason he wanted out, other than that it involved his family. The rest, he said, was "none of your business, basically. "I understand why people were hurt. I feel for them. I didn't want it to turn our this way, but it was a personal matter and it's going to stay that way." In some ways, it's a good deal. With Scott Niedermayer already in place, the Ducks now have the kind of defensive tandem that is rarely seen in today's hockey. It's reminiscent of Gary Suter and Al MacInnis on the blue line of the Calgary Flames when they were one of the dominant teams in the league. The creation of such a potent pairing shows that Burke is right on the cutting edge of today's NHL thinking which puts a premium on elite defencemen. But if that's what he wanted, why didn't he just buy Zdeno Chara?
more

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Witt Is An Islander - Guerin Goes To The Blues

via the New York Islanders,

One of the most relentless defensemen in the National Hockey League is now a member of the New York Islanders. The Islanders have agreed to terms with Brendan Witt on a three-year contract. 'We were looking for competitors and today we signed one of the fiercest in the league in Brendan Witt," said Islanders Vice President and general manager Neil Smith. "Our coach Ted Nolan holds Brendan in the highest regard and was very interested in bringing him to Long Island, and I know Brendan was extremely excited about the prospect of playing for Ted."
from TSN, T
he St. Louis Blues have signed unrestricted free agent Bill Guerin. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Numminen Staying In Buffalo

from WGR550,

The Sabres have come to terms with veteran defenseman Teppo Numminen. Numminen netted 2 goals and 38 assists in 75 games during the 2005-2006 regular season, his first with Buffalo and seventeenth in the NHL. The announcement comes on Numminen's 38th birthday.

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Rucchin Now A Thrasher

via TSN,

The Atlanta Thrashers have signed unrestricted free agent center Steve Rucchin. Terms of the deal were not disclosed

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All Over This Wonderful League

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-By Their Works Shall Ye Know Them: A year ago, big-mouth Bryan McCabe declared he’d quit rather than play under a hard cap. So, how come he just signed a five-year deal at $5.75 mil a year? Then again, you know the answer! -On the other hand, we have NHL heavyweight champ Georges Laraque, willing to take a pay cut from $1.083 mil if he can land another NHL spot other than Edmonton. -Nice Knowing You Dep’t. Michael Peca on his Edmonton farewell: “Some of us Unrestricted guys got the ‘Thanks for your great work in Edmonton speech.’ It was clear there wasn’t interest on their end.”
read on

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Spezza Extends Contract With Sens

from the CP via TSN,

The Ottawa Senators re-signed restricted free agent forward Jason Spezza to a two-year contract on Monday. The 23 year-old had 19 goals and 71 assists for a career-best 90 points last season, which placed him third on the team in scoring. "We feel that he's a great asset to our organization," said Senators GM John Muckler. "We're happy to have him aboard."

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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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