Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Best Ever UFAs…

...over the age of 35... from Sports Illustrated,

To say that the clock is ticking on an NHL career at age 37 is quite an understatement. After all, among the many who have been fortunate enough to play until that age, few have been very productive. Then there's Brendan Shanahan. The power forward scored 40 goals for the Red Wings last season, during which he turned 37. There is no reason to expect much of a decline in his overall productivity on Broadway... Shanny, Rob Blake (L.A.) and Bill Guerin (St. Louis) are among the free agents in the back end of their 30s who have been signed for next season. Below is a list of notable players who were at least 35 when they signed with new clubs. 1. Wayne Gretzky Signed by Rangers at age 35 in July 1996
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Networking Coming

from Yahoo,

The National Hockey League will introduce the first league-sponsored social networking environment on NHL.com called NHL Connect, beginning with the upcoming 2006/2007 season. This new initiative will offer NHL fans the ability to easily create rich, multimedia personal profile pages and share interests and ideas with other users in the NHL community, displaying comments, photos, podcasts and video casts, links to new articles and content, friends or colleagues and RSS feeds. "We're excited to be introducing NHL Connect to our fans on the Web and provide them an opportunity to express their passion for the game, their favorite teams and players and relive the NHL game experience wherever and whenever," said Keith Ritter, The National Hockey League's President of NHL ICE & Senior Vice President, Business Development.
continued...FYI, I have been beta testing NHL Connect and it has great potential...

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Radio Shake-Up

from the Chicago Blackhawks,

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that John Wiedeman has joined the radio broadcast team as the play-by-play announcer. Wiedeman joins color analyst Troy Murray to complete the new radio broadcast team for the upcoming Chicago Blackhawks hockey season. “The Blackhawks are extremely happy to welcome John Wiedeman to Chicago as the new radio play-by-play voice of Blackhawk hockey,” said Blackhawks Executive Director of Communications, Broadcasting, & Community Outreach Jim De Maria. "John’s enthusiastic call of the game is one that I’m sure Blackhawk fans are going to enjoy. Along with Troy Murray, we feel we have a broadcast team that will bring all the excitement of Blackhawks hockey to our radio listeners.”
from the New York Islanders,
Islanders radio play-by-play announcer John Wiedeman is leaving the organization to take his "dream job" as the radio voice of the Chicago Blackhawks. "We love John and made our feelings clear to him that he had an important place in the Islanders family," said Chris Botta, the team's Vice President of Communications. "But this is a special opportunity for John. He told us that this is a dream job for him, a job he'd never thought would open up in his lifetime, and we did not want to stand in his way. We wish John and his family the best in their new life in Chicago."

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Pick Your Player

If Gordie Howe played soccer for Brazil... image

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Vokoun Will Visit Mayo Clinic For Update

from the Tennessean,

Predators goalie Tomas Vokoun has stopped taking the blood-thinning drug coumadin in anticipation of his visit to the Mayo Clinic on July 24. Doctors wanted Vokoun off the coumadin for two weeks prior to the visit so they could get a better read on the blood clots, which brought a premature end to Vokoun's season. "They didn't explain all the details, but they just want to see how I react, and they can monitor it better when I'm off the blood-thinner," Vokoun said. "That should give them conclusive results."

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Sabres In A Bind

from the Buffalo News,

As press gatherings go, Tuesday was not one of the Sabres' better days. Brian Campbell was supposed to be on hand to discuss his new two-year contract but failed to show because of a miscommunication. Then there was the news release, which generously announced Campbell's deal as "multiyear." "Well, two years is longer than one," said General Manager Darcy Regier. That says a lot about the state of the Sabres, who have a slew of free agents yet to sign in a volatile NHL marketplace.... The Sabres are in a bind, with so many emerging players positioning themselves to hit free agency as soon as possible. You can't blame them. In the end, pro athletes are mainly interested in getting paid. Generally, they go for the best deal, whether it's here or elsewhere. Maybe that's why fans obsess so much over logos. Logos stay no matter who wears the jersey. The players have one main allegiance, and that's to themselves.

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Ducks Vs. Kings

from the Daily News,

A major portion of the dressing-room area at the Kings' training facility in El Segundo is being renovated this summer, an apt metaphor for a franchise in search of an entire new identity and direction. The Kings are in overhaul mode, but the Ducks mostly have been buffing and shining. A new logo here, an all-world defenseman there and voila, it's a ready-made Stanley Cup contender. It's been 13 years since the Ducks joined the Kings in the Southern California hockey market, and this is by far their most interesting off-season as neighbors. The Ducks have made their championship aspirations clear while the Kings are attempting to rebuild but still remain competitive in the short term.

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Expectations High For Havlat

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Martin Havlat understands he's in a new sporting marketplace in Chicago, facing an entirely different challenge. While he's not quite ready to accept the tag as saviour of the Blackhawks franchise -- an organization that has missed the playoffs for seven of the past eight seasons -- the club has nonetheless put those lofty expectations on the former Ottawa Senators' right-winger.

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Hockey Cards Booming

from the Globe and Mail,

Sensational rookies Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Dion Phaneuf did more than spark a resurgence of interest in hockey among average fans this past season. They also reignited the passion of card collectors, which had been all but snuffed out by the National Hockey League lockout of 2004-05. Then out of nowhere came another hot rookie commodity in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward, who became the postseason star of the card galaxy. "We can say that our hockey business is actually performing at a remarkably high level compared to all other sports and entertainment lines," said Kerri Stockholm, Upper Deck's senior marketing manager for sports.
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Roberts Likely Staying With Florida

from the Toronto Star,

Panthers GM Mike Keenan told reporters in Florida yesterday that there's almost no chance he'll grant Roberts his request to be traded to the Leafs for the final year of his two-year deal. "I don't know if it's dead, but we're not making any progress and we've pretty much put it to rest as far as we're concerned," Keenan said. "The expectation is that he'll be back in a Panther uniform. His agent (Rick Curran) confirmed that he is going to play hockey next year. He's going to have to deal with that from a family perspective."
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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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