Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Where Did Everyone Go

from the CP via the CBC,

Some star players are set to meet their new NHL teammates, others their new coaches. Chris Pronger, Brendan Shanahan, Zdeno Chara, Ed Jovanovski, Eric Lindros and Roberto Luongo are among the players who will report to new teams as camps open Thursday after a summer marked by trades and free agent signings. Most clubs will have physical examinations on Thursday, with the first on-ice sessions scheduled for Friday. Eight teams have new head coaches, including Alain Vigneault in Vancouver, Paul Maurice in Toronto, Guy Carbonneau in Montreal and Jim Playfair in Calgary. As well, Claude Julien takes over in New Jersey, Marc Crawford in Los Angeles and Dave Lewis in Boston. Ted Nolan also makes his long-awaited return to the NHL with the New York Islanders.

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Carter To Columbus

from TSN,

Faced with the prospect of unsigned offensive forward Nikolai Zherdev playing this season in Russia, the Columbus Blue Jackets have agreed to terms with free-agent winger Anson Carter. Sources tell TSN Carter will receive $2.5 million on a one-year contract with the Blue Jackets.
added 5:04pm, from the Columbus Blue Jackets,
"Anson Carter is a big, strong power forward who is a proven 25-30 goal scorer in the National Hockey League and we are very excited to welcome him into our organization," said MacLean. "We are committed to putting a winning team on the ice for our fans. Bringing in a player of Anson's caliber is another step in that direction and we'll continue to work daily towards that end."

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New Captain In Washington

What do Cap fans and bloggers think of Chris Clark being named captain of the Caps today?

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Would You Want Keenan

from Ken Campbell at the Hockey News,

...despite his obvious flaws, Keenan is an outstanding hockey mind and a keen judge of talent who has the cojones to make bold decisions and even bolder moves. His reputation as a GM has been sullied by the fact he has left more messes than a three-year-old with anger management problems, but he nevertheless has made some brilliant moves as both a coach and GM. Check out Joe Thornton’s career trajectory. It’s no coincidence he scored a career-high 37 goals and truly became an offensive force during his one year playing for Mike Keenan with the Boston Bruins. As coach of the Panthers, he got into Olli Jokinen’s face and challenged him to be more than an overweight underachiever. Jokinen responded by leading the Panthers in scoring three straight seasons.
read on

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Clarke Responds

from TSN,

"I don't give a (expletive deleted) if nobody likes me, I could care less," Clarke told TSN. "But they shouldn't be getting mad at me, I didn't put the (offer sheet) rule in the collective bargaining agreement. If they're mad, they should call Gary Bettman and complain to him. Get mad at Gary Bettman. He's in charge of the rules, not me. I didn't realize there were some rules we're not allowed to use."
read on added 3:22pm, A KK Forum poll is now up regarding this topic. KK members can vote and respond to this poll.

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Wings Will Try It Again

from the Traverse City Record-Eagle,

How would the Wings respond? Would General Manager Ken Holland simply tweak the roster for the 2006-07 season? Or would he overhaul it? "We struggled with that internally for probably four to five to six weeks, leading up to July 1 (start of free agency)," Holland said. "In the end, we felt we had a pretty good team. We had one of the most successful regular seasons in the great history of Red Wings hockey. It's hard to blow that up. So we're bringing most of our team back to try it again."

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More Like Us

Today at my NHL.com blog, I suggest hockey players are more like us than other professional athletes. I also point to a few hockey blogs which I plan to do on a weekly basis.

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Avs Extend Brunette

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has signed forward Andrew Brunette to a one-year contract extension good through the 2007-2008 season. “Andrew had a very strong season last year,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere. “He’s been a solid, consistent performer throughout his career and we’re looking for much of the same from him over the next two years. He’s a gifted athlete and a key contributor to our offense.”

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A Look From The Atlantic

By Patrick Hoffman In the first of six installments, I will look at the goaltending in each division of the National Hockey League. Let’s start out in the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference. Will Martin Brodeur be dethroned? Will this finally be the year in which Rick DiPietro provides consistent goaltending out on the Island? Will there be a goaltending controversy down in Philly? Will the Penguins future suddenly become the present? Will Henrik Lundqvist follow up last season’s performance with an even better sophomore season? All this and more in: A Look from the Atlantic. New York Rangers The Rangers were one of the top defensive teams in the NHL, finishing fourth out of 30 teams. Many hockey pundits would say that everything went through “Route 68” but if one was to dig a bit deeper, they would find that the goaltending of Vezina Trophy finalist Lundqvist was the big reasons that the lights were up on Broadway this past season. Lundqvist posted stellar numbers this past season as he won 30 games, posted a miniscule goals against average of 2.24 and had a sparkling .922 save percentage. Ranger fans have not seen this kind of goaltending since Mike Richter reigned the Rangers goal for 13 seasons. Lundqvist struggled down the stretch as he tried to play through a hip injury and that certainly cost the Rangers a victory in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New Jersey Devils. However, look for Lundqvist to come back stronger than ever and look for him to prove that last year was no fluke. Kevin Weekes holds the title of backup goaltender for the Rangers. Weekes had 14 wins while posting a 2.95 goals against average and a .895 save percentage. Weekes struggled at home this season, often drawing the well-known boo birds of Madison Square Garden. However, he stole some games on the road for the team and provided some quality goaltending when Lundqvist needed a rest. For him to succeed this season, he must cut down on the softies he lets up and be a bit more consistent on home ice when he is given the chance to do so. New Jersey Devils After a slow start and some problems adjusting to the new rules, Martin Brodeur went onto win over 40 games (43) once again while posting 2.57 goals against average and a .911 save percentage. He was one of the main reasons that the Devils got so hot towards the end of the season to help them clinch the Atlantic division. Look for him to play between 55-70 games. The backup goaltending duties for the Devils have yet to be established. Last season, that role belonged to Scott Clemensen, as he won three games, had a 3.35 goals against average and posted a .881 save percentage. With Brodeur playing the majority of the games, you would expect his backup to be quite rusty. However, there are rumors floating around that former Devils goaltender Mike Dunham will sign with the club. He would certainly be an upgrade over youngster Clemensen.

Continue Reading »

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It Is Bad For All Of Us

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

If the Canucks want to hold onto Kesler at the end of this season, they must extend him a qualifying offer of $1.9 million. That qualifying offer can be used as a comparable by other Group 2 players who file for salary arbitration. ''So the going rate for a young 10-goal scorer in this league is going to $1.9 million,'' an NHL GM said. ''We're starting a whole new inflation spiral. It's going to cost every team in this league. It's bad for all us. It's really bad business.'' Another GM said he could understand the Flyers' offer sheet tactic if the Canucks were unable to fit Kesler's $1.9 million under the salary cap, but that apparently is not the case. Sources suggest Kesler's figure of $1.9 million will take Vancouver to $43 million for 22 players – that's $1 million under the cap and one player under the 23-man roster limit.
more..on the crazy Tuesday...

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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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