Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Semin’s Agent May Have Violated Court Order

from the Washington Times,

Semin's U.S.-based agent, Mark Gandler, who has very close ties with the Russian hockey community, was ordered not to help the 21-year-old find a new team when a temporary restraining order was granted a week ago. But according to an interview with Semin in the Moscow newspaper Sports Express, Gandler is assisting the player in his effort to find a spot on another roster. The Russian league is currently on hiatus so players can compete in a tournament. "Who is working to find you a team in Russia?" the paper asked Semin. "The same agent, Mark Gandler," the paper quotes him as responding. Semin's rights in Russia have been acquired by Khimik, another Super League team, and it expects the player to report once play resumes. "I'm expecting a lot of things, too, [that] doesn't mean they are going to happen," the player said. Semin then suggested in the interview that he was prevented from returning to the United States by someone in Russia, where, he maintains, he is still serving a military obligation.

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Every Dollar Counts

from the Globe and Mail,

The Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, rewarded Colaiacovo for playing his best game in their uniform by sending him back to their American Hockey League farm team the next day. They did it not to punish him, but to save a grand total of $9,544.44 (all figures U.S.) against the salary cap. What matters in the NHL is not where you stand under the cap at the start of the season, but where you are at the end of the season. Every day a player is on the active roster is a day's salary counted against the cap, which means teams that are close to the cap or run into injuries have to be extra frugal. Ditto for those such as the Leafs who will want to fix a problem -- their defence -- at the trade deadline. The $9,544.44, Leafs general manager John Ferguson said, "will be worth a lot more on that day, March 9, than it is today."

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Brodeur Ready To Play

from North Jersey,

"Everything has to get going now," Brodeur said Thursday after practice at South Mountain Arena. "It's been a long time. The excuse about getting used to the rules, everything is out the window now. We're digging ourselves a hole and teams around us are winning. It's going to be tougher and tougher if we don't start being accountable for the way we play, the way we take penalties, the way our special teams work." Although Devils coach Larry Robinson said he would hold Brodeur out until Saturday afternoon's rematch with the Capitals at Continental Arena - and rookie Ari Ahonen was told to be ready to make his first NHL start today - Brodeur plans to play in both games of the home-and-home series after testing his knee during a strenuous practice Thursday. "I was doing everything I wanted," he said. "I made a point to make the third and fourth effort on shots just to see how everything is going to be. This was the first full practice where I had my own net and a lot of work. I was practicing a lot of things, so it was good. "I'm ready to go."

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Leafs #1 According To Forbes

from the Toronto Star,

In its Nov. 28 issue, Forbes reports that the Leafs are the most valuable team in the NHL at $325 million (all figures U.S., unless otherwise indicated), that their operating income has been $85 million over the past five years and that the 86 per cent increase in the value of the franchise over that time is tops in the league. Ozanian (Forbes writer) predicted the viability of at least two NHL franchises will become a relevant topic very soon. "The two places where I think there will not be teams in two years are Carolina and Atlanta," Ozanian said, "and I still need more convincing in Florida and Nashville."
read on update 7:40am, related story- The Business of Hockey, from Forbes,
Since the early 1990s, the National Hockey League has undergone a major transformation: rapid expansion, two nasty labor wars and teams relocating from Canada to the southern United States. Result: huge losses and falling television ratings. After canceling the 2004-05 season, the owners enter this year armed with control of player salaries, and the league's best players can more fully showcase their talents, thanks to new rules designed to remove player interference and speed up the game.

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Tkachuk Still Sore

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Keith Tkachuk looked happy to be on the ice Thursday, even if it was only a practice. "It's a good sign, but I've still got a ways to go," said Tkachuk, who has been out since suffering a rib injury Oct. 15 against Nashville. (An MRI taken Oct. 28 revealed Tkachuk had three nondisplaced cracked ribs.) "It's getting better each day, but it's still pretty sore. I'll do all I can out there without re-aggravating it."

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Ottawa Taking Advantage Of New Rules

from Shawn P. Roarke of Fox Sports,

The Ottawa Senators, under new coach Bryan Murray, have broken free from the chains that once held the team back. With new rules placing a premium on skill all over the ice, it was clear to see that these Senators were perfectly positioned to go for the goals. Murray — a man that has coached more than 1,000 NHL games and won more than he has lost — realized that immediately and seized the opportunity by flashing the green light to his skill players. "I think under Jacques, we were very much a team that played extremely well defensively," said Daniel Alfredsson, the team's captain. "And, as the years went on with Jacques, we got better and better offensively, as well, and were able to score more goals and capitalize on other teams' mistakes.

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TSN Player Rankings

1. Simone Gagne 2. Daniel Alfredsson 3. Eric Staal 4. Dany Heatley 5. Peter Forsberg

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Kings Try To Sneak Player Thru Waivers

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The strategy is used as a bluff — or it was until this past week, when the Los Angeles Kings actually tried to slip a player back to the NHL after he started the year in Europe. His name was Yanick Lehoux, one of the Kings' top minor-leaguers last season, who decided to play in Switzerland over the summer. Lehoux was unhappy with his European experience, so he agreed to re-sign with the Kings and try his luck in the NHL. L.A. signed him, put him on waivers, crossed their fingers — and promptly lost him when the Phoenix Coyotes, a divisional rival, put in a claim for his rights.

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Fleury Back With Pens

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it was announced today by General Manager Craig Patrick. To make room on the roster, the Penguins have placed goaltender Sebastien Caron on injured reserve. Caron was placed on injured reserve after suffering a strained quadriceps muscle in last night’s game in Atlanta.

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Look At The Good Side Of The Game

Flyers Chairmain Ed Snider quoted from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

"This is going to sort itself out," he said. "So talk to someone positive for a change. Stop talking to the players and coaches and general managers who are complaining, and quote someone positive. "Because I love the way this is going. I was on the competition committee and this is exactly what we had in mind. Our sport is a sport of speed and skill and beauty, and our fans are finally getting a chance to see that. "They haven't been able to see that in a long time. People forget that. People forget that those kinds of comebacks were impossible 5 years ago, with the all the clutching and grabbing.

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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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