Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.
more

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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.
continued

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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."
continued

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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.
more

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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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F. Kaberle Stays With Carolina

from the Carolina Hurricanes,

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed defenseman Frantisek Kaberle to a four-year contract. The deal will pay the team’s top-scoring defenseman from last season $2.2 million per year.

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Avs Made The Right Move

from the Longmont Daily Times,

As strange as it may sound, the Colorado Avalanche picking a 37-year-old over a 25-year-old was the right choice. That’s one way to look at the Avs’ choice to trade Alex Tanguay and sign Joe Sakic. The transactions came a few days apart last week, and they make sense. First, Sakic is an icon. He is John Elway on hockey skates: reliable, likeable and the owner of some special talent. Even though Sakic is on the far back nine of his career, signing him last week to a one-year, $5.75 million contract was worth it. He’ll fill seats, he’ll be beloved and, as he has shown year after year, he’ll rack up the points.
continued

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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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