Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Flag Waving

from the Mirror (Kansas),

The last game of the professional hockey season capped an exciting championship series that Carolina led, 3-1, at one point, only to have Edmonton tie the series at three games each before Carolina claimed the pivotal seventh game. While watching those final moments, I noticed a fan in the mostly red-clad Hurricanes crowd vigorously waving an American flag. If he properly were celebrating the Hurricanes first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history, his flag-waving likely would have resembled the entrance to the United Nations.
more...good point!

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Preds Tipping Their Hand

from the Tennessean,

Predators General Manager David Poile didn't rule out the possibility of making an offer later this week to Eaton. But he acknowledged that, barring a trade between now and Saturday, it's looking increasingly unlikely the Predators will re-sign Eaton, defenseman Brendan Witt or center Yanic Perreault. "We'd have to make some pretty strong approaches (to re-sign Eaton, Perreault or Witt) at this point, but that's why we have deadlines," Poile said. "And you never know what kinds of dynamics might change the situation between now and then." Asked if a trade would be one such factor, Poile said, "Exactly."

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Very Early Odds

Ottawa Senators 6-1 Detroit Red Wings 6-1 Carolina Hurricanes 10-1 San Jose Sharks 12-1 Philadelphia Flyers 12-1 Buffalo Sabres 12-1 Calgary Flames 12-1 New Jersey Devils 12-1 Anaheim Mighty Ducks 15-1 Dallas Stars 15-1 Colorado Avalanche 20-1 Vancouver Canucks 20-1 New York Rangers 20-1 Nashville Predators 20-1 more

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Demitra Signing May Influence Gaborik

from the Pioneer Press,

Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik skated their first shifts together as Wild teammates during an informal workout Tuesday in Slovakia, a routine Demitra hopes to maintain with his comrade for years. "We always were talking about it, one day we're going to play on the same team. Now we've got a chance," Demitra said. "He'd better sign for a long time." The Wild's newest scorer and playmaker was referring to pending contract negotiations between the team and its star winger, Gaborik, who seeks a long-term extension and is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2007. That is the intriguing back story to the trade the Wild swung with the Los Angeles Kings to acquire Demitra for hot minor league prospect Patrick O'Sullivan and a first-round pick during Saturday's entry draft.

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It’s Hard To Take

In a story from Bloomberg about the gimmicks the Detroit Tigers have had to use to attract fans to Comerica Park, Tiger owner Mike Ilitch was quoted-

"They (fans & media) don't know how bad you feel when they are ripping you,'' he said. "It's hard to take.''
Well Mike, you are only a year os so away from that "feeling" from Wings fans. Time to make the JLA friendly again, the arena has become stale and boring and whatever happened to the new overhead scoreboard you said would be installed at some point last season? Plus, a shakeup of the Red Wings is needed, so far it is status quo and that is NOT going to cut it.

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We Want Cuban

Mike Chen at his Hockey Blog wonders if Mark Cuban would run on the ice to dispute a call and would like to see Cuban as the owner of the Pens. I would love it too, another owner of an NHL team that would actually respond to email would be a plus for hockey fans. By the way, I am up to 22 emails to the Wings organization without a response! image added 10:30am, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Here’s the first thing that ran through our mind after we heard Mark Cuban wants a piece of the NHL’s action: For goodness sake, Gary Bettman, don’t cough up the puck on this one. Do whatever you’ve got to do, but make it happen. For Cuban, Bettman should be planning the welcome mat party to end all welcome mat parties. He should be offering up flaming piñatas modeled after NBA referees, and organizing $500-a-plate fundraisers to help Cuban pay his NBA fines. He should be working a side deal with OLN to finance and broadcast new episodes of Cuban’s short-lived reality TV series.

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Avs Overreacted

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

If the Avalanche dramatically uses salary cap room freed up by Alex Tanguay's trade to Calgary for defenseman Jordan Leopold and two second-round draft choices, the weekend deal will be defensible. Otherwise, it's shaky. A trade for Edmonton's disgruntled Chris Pronger or the landing of an elite unrestricted free agent after the signing period opens Saturday would justify banishing Tanguay. Not much else would. The caveat: The salary cap makes this tricky. New Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere and those around him will have to be ingenious to pull off anything but the 2005-06 status quo - minus Tanguay. But they have to at least try.
read on

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Sens Scrambling To Keep Dmen

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Ideally, the Senators would like to get Redden and Chara at the same price -- around $6 million per season. But Chara stands to make a lot more on the open market and Redden's value is going up, which means a deal with him has no chance of happening at the moment. Sources say after learning defenceman Chris Pronger wants to be dealt out of Edmonton, the Oilers' interest in Redden has increased dramatically. And they've got the money -- and cap space -- to sign him.

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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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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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