Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Moving Parts

from the Ottawa Citizen via the Star Phoenix,

Enjoy them while you have them. The NHL didn't offer this little caveat to hockey fans when a new collective bargaining agreement was reached with its players last summer, but it might have. Enjoy your favourite players on your favourite teams because the new system does not foster long-term relationships. These are more like Hollywood marriages. Breaking up is hard to do . . . but inevitable in today's NHL. ...Now, Team A drafts a player with the understanding that Team B might soon benefit from A's wise selection. Twenty-nine teams missed out on drafting Sidney Crosby. Guess what, though. All 29 could be eligible to have him as a 25 year old, if he wants to explore the market. It's safe to assume Crosby might still have a few good years left -- 10? 15? -- by then.

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Guerin Will Bounce Back

from the Star-Telegram,

There was a sadness in his voice when we spoke Tuesday, because Guerin knows that by the time you read this, he may have less than 48 more hours to call himself a Dallas Star. At only 35, Guerin is a relic of another era, another economic system. ...Thus, sometime Friday you can expect the Stars to announce that they have bought out the final year of Guerin's contract. No one fought harder to hammer out a better deal for the players than Guerin, who was on the Players Association negotiating committee during the lockout that cost the league the 2004-2005 season. There's no question that Guerin's rather unique situation and the emotional impact of that year from hell led to his worst season in the NHL last year, when he scored just 13 goals and had 27 assists. "It definitely played a part. I had a lot on my mind, a lot on my plate that never seemed to go away," said Guerin, who spent much of last season trying to deny that his role in the negotiations was affecting his play. "Once you get caught behind the eight-ball, it's hard to catch up all year. "That's definitely a burden that's been lifted."
read on

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The Cost Of A RFA

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Now, under Exhibit 15 of the CBA, agents for restricted players are allowed to open discussions with teams. That means players like Ottawa's Martin Havlat, Jason Spezza, Ray Emery and Peter Schaefer -- who all require compensation if they were to sign elsewhere -- are allowed to see if anybody might be willing to take a chance with a Group II offer. This new twist in the CBA is there to try and entice owners into signing players as restricted free agents. In the past, teams were forced to give up five first round draft picks, but that's not the case anymore.

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Top UFAs

from Scott Burside of ESPN,

Here's a look at 25 of the top free agents that will be available on July 1: Zdeno Chara: The biggest, in almost every sense of the word, free-agent defenseman on the market. The Senators will try and keep both Chara and Wade Redden, but if they have to choose one, Chara will be looking for a new, expensive home. Jason Allison: The big center with the soft hands had 60 points in 66 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was, however, minus-18 and rumors persist that he's a difficult guy in the dressing room. Still, there's always room for a point-a-game pivot in the NHL and Allison will have much to prove.
more...the players listed above were listed first and last. I am not sure if Scott listed them in order, but Lidstrom is ranked #19.

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Cuban & Marino Show Interest In Pens

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

Mark Cuban is known for baiting NBA officials, and Dan Marino is the most prolific passer in NFL history. But the Pittsburgh natives now want to expand into a different sport in their hometown -- hockey. The two have joined with a New York City financier in trying to buy the NHL's Penguins from Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux's group, which is selling the two-time Stanley Cup champions even as the team seeks a new arena deal.

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Forget The Bowl Games

from Newsday,

A Rangers-Islanders game at frosty Yankee Stadium on New Year's Day? There's a chance it could happen. Preliminary discussions between NHL and Yankee executives, the two NHL teams, city officials and NBC---which would televise the proposed Jan. 1 regular-season contest between the arch-rivals---took place last week, according to three people with knowledge of the talks. "Everybody likes the idea," said one person. "But there are some obstacles. The question is whether the stadium will be usable at that time of year for that purpose."

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Report- Dave Lewis Will Coach Boston

from Sportsnet,

Sources tell Sportsnet that the Boston Bruins are expected to announce Dave Lewis as the team's next head coach. Last year's coach Mike Sullivan was fired by the team on Tuesday. It is also believed that Team Canada's Marc Habscheid is close to joining the team as an assistant.

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Pronger Expensive Right Now

from Darren Dreger of Sportsnet,

Some NHL general managers appear ready to shift their focus away from Chris Pronger and toward the free agent market come July 1 unless Kevin Lowe lowers his asking price. Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe still has an asking price for Chris Pronger considered too high by rival NHL GMs. The Pronger trade is an expensive, long-term proposition. However, the value in this player is enormous and there is a market for him. But, based on conversations I've had with NHL executives, that market will weaken once Pronger's free agent colleagues become available this weekend.

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Looking For Defense

from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Slam,

With so much media attention paid to Nicklas Lidstrom, Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Rob Blake and Ed Jovanovski, it's easy to forget there are other talented NHL defencemen slated for unrestricted free agency when the market opens Saturday. "For free agency, this is the year of the defenceman," Nashville Predators GM David Poile said Tuesday. "We don't know what's going to happen between now and July 1, but if there's not too many signings this week, there's going to be a lot of quality defencemen available."
continued...a long list of dmen awaits you...

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Sullivan Done In Boston

from the CP via TSN,

The Boston Bruins relieved Mike Sullivan of his coaching duties Tuesday in an announcement that was hardly surprising given the team has been interviewing candidates to replace him. New Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has interviewed former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn and former Detroit Red Wings coach Dave Lewis and planned to speak to other candidates as well. ''Peter communicated to us that he has talked to candidates and expects to give us his decision on a new head coach in the near future,'' added Gorton.

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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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