Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Who’s Smiling Now

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The good news: Zdeno Chara didn't sign with the arch-rival Maple Leafs. The bad news: His choice of a new home isn't much better for Ottawa. Peter Chiarelli got the last laugh on the Senators yesterday and owner Eugene Melnyk must be furious. The outgoing Ottawa assistant GM couldn't participate in contract negotiations, but he must have had a smile a mile wide when he found out Chara had signed a five-year, $37.5-million (all terms US) agreement with the Bruins -- the team Chiarelli will take over in two weeks.
continued

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Teams Wearing Dunce Cap

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

One summer and one day of triple- capped free agency has proven that there is no such thing as an NHL idiot-proof system, try as hard as the myopic league power brokers did to install one. For after reviewing some of the free-agent signings of last year and yesterday, we can only conclude that the NHL's 54-percent solution comes in the guise of a pointy dunce cap, hard though it may be, and the payroll upper limits enforced by the CBA on big-market clubs merely provides all of the league's 30 clubs with an equal opportunity for lunacy.
continued (reg. req.) Also from Larry Brooks, Elias turned down bigger offers to stay with the Devils...
On the day when flawed players with marquee names were signed by desperate teams for staggering sums of money, Sather's Blueshirts were believed offering a long-term deal worth $7M per to Elias, while the Blackhawks, according to sources, were in at $7.5M per. But Elias, who was weighing his options at his offseason home in the Czech Republic, spurned the extra cash to remain with the only NHL organization for which he's played. A two-time Cup champion, Elias is the Devils' signature skater and is all but certain to be named team captain next season.
more (reg. req.)

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See You Soon

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Elias Staying In New Jersey

via TSN,

The most sought-after forward in the NHL's free agent pool is staying in New Jersey. Patrik Elias has signed a seven-year, $42 million contract to remain a New Jersey Devil.

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Sean Hill Bought Out

from Sports Ticker via TSN,

While most teams added players on Saturday, the Florida Panthers parted ways with one when they bought out the contract of defenseman Sean Hill. Signed as a free agent in July 2004, Hill appeared in 78 games in his only season with the Panthers in 2005-06, recording two goals, 18 assists and 80 penalty minutes.

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Johnsson Headed To Minnesota

from TSN, The Minnesota Wild continue to re-tool their defence. After signing Keith Carney earlier on Saturday, the club has signed Kim Johnsson to a four-year, $19.4 million contract.

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It Was A Tough Day

from Bob Foltman of the Chicago Tribune via the Mercury News,

Like a post-Christmas shopper who arrives 10 minutes after the store opens, Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon found the best items already taken before he could get his checkbook out as the NHL's free-agent frenzy got under way Saturday. "It was a tough day," Tallon said. "It was frustrating." Every year it's expected general managers will exert caution and fiscal restraint, but even with a salary cap in place, the contracts given Saturday were long and rich. "I thought it would take some time (for deals to get done)," Tallon said.
continued

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Kuba Moves To Tampa

vis Sportsnet Tracker, Filip Kuba signed a 3 year, $9 million contract with Tampa Bay.

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Blues Still TalkingTo Arnott

from Hadley on Sports,

The St. Louis Blues remain in the hunt for center Jason Arnott. The Blues offered Arnott a four-year, $16M contract, which was declined. Regardless, conversations continue with Arnott's reps. The Blues were very close to a deal for Martin Gerber however lost out in the end to Ottawa. It appeared as though the Blues had reached terms however the Senators late offer changed the course of the talks.
continued It appers I read Davidson right when he was on Detroit radio a few weeks ago,
J.D. said the Wings may be interested in Martin Gerber. Davidson had high praise for him, almost like he would go after him if he were involved with a team. He said Gerber had a bad virus and lost about 12 pounds right before the playoffs and lost all of his strength.

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It’s Never Over

No UFA period in recent history (in any sport) matches what we witnessed today. Who thought Chara would end up in Boston (after making a slight visit to LA)? Jovanovski in Phoenix, it must be the dry heat that convinced him. McKee will be wearing a blue note on his sweater in the upcoming year, probably the last place you would expect him to play. Gerber ends up in Ottawa, quiet possibly putting Hasek's NHL career at an end. The best thing about today is it can happen again tomorrow. Granted on a lesser scale, but we all know how that 2nd tier player can perform. Sure, Elias is still available and some teams covet Shanahan wearing their jersey. What will happen next? Well, if you are a regular reader of Kukla's Korner, you know what to expect tomorrow. If this was your first visit, and believe me many of you where (thank you Spector), then please stop back. It is hockey 24/7 except for a much needed vacation in a few weeks. Don't forget Pronger is still available, but the teams in need of him dwindled down to a few after today.

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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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