Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Playoffs May Judge Bryan Murray

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, With only 28 games left in the regular season, there have been no contract talks between GM John Muckler and Murray.
And there may be no talks until the club judges its playoff performance this spring.
“I think I’ll address that at another time,” said Murray when asked if he wanted to return here next season. “I don’t know if it’s normal or not. It’s just better for me not to talk about that issue at this point….”

read on

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Rangers Will Hold On To Young Talent

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Post has learned that two weeks ago LA GM Dean Lombardi offered to send Avery, veteran defenseman Mattias Norstrom and veteran center Craig Conroy to Broadway in exchange for 20-year-old defenseman Marc Staal, who by acclamation is considered the organization’s brightest prospect.
“I’m not going to talk directly to that, but we’ve gotten some very interesting proposals from teams looking to pick off our best young guys,” Sather said. “It would be insanity to do something like that.”


Brooks also chimes in on Messier,

Mark Messier is entitled to aspire to whatever post-playing career he wishes and his rat pack of Oilers cronies is entitled to treat his every wish as if it were a command to be communicated to the outside world with a puff of white smoke.
Doug Messier is entitled to shamelessly campaign for his son to take over the Rangers upon Glen Sather’s retirement with exactly the same fervor as he sought top dollar on every single contract he negotiated in Edmonton, New York, Vancouver and New York again as No. 11’s agent.


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Facts On Forsberg

Many of you may be familar with the name Chuck Gormley, the Philadelphia Flyers beat writer for the South Jersey Courier-Post and also of NHL.com, where he does a weekly Atlantic Division feature.

Tonight, Chuck begins posting at Kukla’s Korner too.- Paul

By Chuck Gormley
KK Contributor
South Jersey Courier-Post

With 20 days remaining until the NHL trade deadline, there are only two ways the Flyers and Peter Forsberg can end speculation that the 33-year-old Swedish center will remain in Philadelphia for the rest of this season.

One, the Flyers can say they are not trading Forsberg. Two, Forsberg can refuse to lift his no-trade clause.

Neither has happened and as a result, the entire hockey world is speculating which uniform Forsberg will be wearing on Feb. 27. Will he be a Red Wing? A Shark? A Duck? An Avalanche? Or, will he remain a Flyer?

“You can wonder all you want,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Tuesday. “That’s one great thing about America.”

Holmgren categorically denied reports that Forsberg gave him permission to begin taking trade offers from other teams.

“That’s bull,” Holmgren said.

Holmgren said Forsberg knows the Flyers want to re-sign him and they will try to do that next week when team chairman Ed Snider returns from a business trip in California. Snider, who is due to return on Sunday, said he is not interested in trading Forsberg, then trying to re-sign him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Snider believes Forsberg is an integral part of the Flyers’ rebuilding plans and will try to convince his captain to remain in Philadelphia when the two meet next week.

“I think that’s what he wants to say, that they’re going to put the best team on the ice next year,” Forsberg said. “I never doubted that. I know how he is and he wants to win badly. It’s great to play for an owner that feels that way. We’ll see what happens. I’d like to sit down and hear it from him.”

Continue Reading »

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Sather Has No Plans To Leave

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

Sather had given no indication he was ready to leave.
“Who knows in sports business, but I don’t have any plans to do anything immediately,’’ Sather said Tuesday before the Rangers played the Devils at the Continental Airlines Arena. “I understand that Mark can make a comment basically about anything he wants to do in his future, but anything that we’re going to talk about between each other is going to stay with us, at least it’ll stay on my side.’‘
Sather said he has not specifically talked about the general manager’s job with Messier, who ended 54 years of frustration in New York by leading the Rangers to a Cup in 1994. He said any comments between the two would remain private.

read on

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Protecting Sid

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

It appears that although Sidney Crosby is running away with the National Hockey League scoring lead, opponents have spotted a flaw in his game.
Even Crosby loses some of his effectiveness once he has been impaled on a hockey stick.
Jason Blake of the New York Islanders was the first to exploit this weakness when he speared Crosby during a game in mid-January.

continued..., and welcome back Al.

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No News On Tocchet

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

“Waiting a year suggests the evidence may not be as strong as they’d like,’’ said George C. Thomas, a professor at the Rutgers University School of Law in Newark.
But Mike Pinsky, a prominent New Jersey defense lawyer, says it’s not unusual for the state Attorney General’s Office to take more than a year to sort through evidence between filing charges and seeking an indictment.
“With wiretap cases, I don’t consider a year a long time for a state grand jury,’’ Pinsky said. “After year and a half or two years, I’d wonder what’s going on.’‘


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Smyth Deal Being Worked On

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

The length of terms is pretty much now the only stumbling block preventing the Edmonton Oilers and Ryan Smyth from signing a contract extension. Smyth is trying to land a five-year deal worth, on average, $5 million (US) per year. The Oilers are thought to be OK (and not stuck on) four years and offering between $4.25 and $4.5 million per. The number is closer to $4.5 million if Smyth is willing to settle for a four-year deal.

read on... and according to Jim, Forsberg wants to play in Canada, plus more NHL talk…

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An Every-Team Deadline Assessment

from Pierre Lebrun of the Canadian Press via the Globe and Mail:

The clock is ticking on the bubble teams this month. Every single game looms large on the ultimate decision every NHL GM must make: Are we sellers or buyers?
The NHL’s 3 p.m. ET Feb. 27 trade deadline is three weeks away.
Here’s a team-by-team outlook

Philadelphia: If Flyers GM Paul Holmgren can’t convince Forsberg to re-sign, the pending UFA is gone. Holmgren has been feeling out the market while Forsberg tries to figure out his foot/skate issues. Just how much can Holmgren fetch? A first-round pick and a real good prospect? Other UFAs on the Flyers include F Kyle Calder, G Robert Esche, F Sami Kapanen and F Michael York. The Flyers began talks with Kapanen on an extension last week.



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ASG Jersey Sales

NEW YORK (February 6, 2007)
The NHL All-Star Game set a new record for one-day sales in the American Airlines Center (AAC), up approximately four percent from the previous record set by the Dallas Mavericks during Game One of the 2006 NBA Finals.

“Dallas provided us with a great platform to showcase a wide assortment of licensed products, headlined by Rbk and the unveiling of the Rbk EDGE Uniform,” said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President, NHL Consumer Products Marketing and Retail Operations. “We couldn’t have been more pleased with the results.”
Sidney Crosby Eastern Conference jerseys were the top-selling player All-Star jerseys, followed by local All-Stars Marty Turco and Philippe Boucher of the Dallas Stars and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

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Setback For Samuelsson

via Mlive,

Well, maybe Mikael Samuelsson shouldn’t have been practicing so hard on Saturday. He’s had a setback, said he heard “a pop’’ while skating Monday morning in New York. He was back on crutches Tuesday, his broken right foot packed with ice. It doesn’t look like he’ll be back for at least a couple of weeks.

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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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