Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Battle In Goal

from the Boston Herald,

Based on youth and pedigree - the 22-year-old Toivonen was drafted 29th overall, the 32-year-old Thomas was an unheralded free agent signee - it would appear Toivonen is poised to make a push for the No. 1 spot, though Thomas proved capable of carrying the load for a stretch. “My interests are, first off, making the team, secondly, getting playing time and then getting to my own level and just improve and improve,” said Toivonen, who skated with a nearly full complement of rookies yesterday. “I know I can play in this league, and I know I’m capable of doing it well.”

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Sykora Likes Edmonton

from Robin Brownlee of the Edmonton Sun,

It's only September, but Sykora likes it here! He wants to be here. Really "I would like to do that. I'd like to stay," said Sykora, who hasn't played a single shift for the Oilers yet. "I really see myself doing well here. It's a good team. It's an offensive team. It's a team on the way up. It's a good situation here."
read on

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Still To Be Answered

from the Toronto Sun,

The big story last year was the rebirth of the NHL and in Year 2 of the rebirth, it's on to proper parenting techniques. Here are some major questions heading into the 2006-07 season: 1. HOW HAS THE SALARY CAP CHANGED THE WAY TEAMS OPERATE? - The goal of letting small-market and frugal spenders compete on a level field was achieved to a degree when the final four included Carolina, the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks. But this year will be more challenging with the cap rising to $44 million US, tricky salary arbitration and a lower bar for unrestricted free agency that will impact a team's highest-paid player down to its first-round draft pick.
many more questiona & answers...

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Without Yzerman

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star via the Ottawa Citizen,

His teammates knew the anguish Yzerman put himself though in an effort to prolong his playing days. "He was suffering a lot," Holmstrom said. "He couldn't play as well as he wanted to. "There was a lot of pain that he was going through, especially with his (surgically repaired right) knee. You could see how much it hurt him. "Before he had the bad knee, he could do so much with the puck. And even with the bad knee, he could be our best player still." With Yzerman gone, life goes on for the Wings, defending President's Trophy winners as the NHL's top regular-season team. There is still a season to prepare for and games to be played.

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Gionta Going “Camping”

from the NY Post (reg. req.),

The Devils will owe Brian Gionta one. Their record goal-scorer intends to attend training camp on his own dime. After considering sitting out camp while unsigned as a restricted free agent, the 48-goal man was in the process yesterday of obtaining insurance to cover the substantial career risk of scrimmages and exhibitions to a star without a contract.

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A 15 Year Deal

from Newsday,

According to an NHL executive, Islanders owner Charles Wang and DiPietro are on the verge of announcing they have reached agreement on a 15-year contract worth $67.5 million. The deal is believed to be the longest in NHL history and second in the history of major North American professional sports behind the 25-year deal worth $25 million that Magic Johnson signed with the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers in 1981. DiPietro, who turns 25 a week from today, is scheduled to receive $4.5 million in each season of the contract. Although the total financial package represents a major investment by the Islanders, DiPietro's salary ranks eighth among NHL goaltenders for the coming season, leaves them $2 million under the current salary cap and should look like more of a bargain as the cap rises in the future.
more from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
Of course, we all have been told that the Islanders are being run by a committee these days, and of course, we don't believe it. The decision to give the unproven goalie one of the longest contracts in the history of pro sports is not the work of a committee. It has the fingerprints of only one man, owner Charles Wang, who likes to think big. County officials forced Wang to abandon his plan for a huge tower at the proposed Coliseum redevelopment, so he has decided to do the next-best thing. He is making a monument out of a 24-year-old goalie who has decent statistics but never has won a playoff series or an Olympic medal. The deal isn't horrible. Silly, maybe, but not horrible. It is not going to hamstring the Islanders the way Wang's misguided 10-year, $87.5-million commitment to Alexei Yashin has hurt them. They are going to pay DiPietro an average of $4.5 million a year, which probably is a lower salary than he would get if he were to become a free agent in two years.
read on

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Report- Kozlov To NYI

via the NY Post (reg req.), The Islanders will sign center Viktor Kozlov to a one-year deal, The Post has learned, though goalie Rick DiPietro remains unsigned with just three days remaining before training camp.

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New Nets Unlikely: Calls For “McSorely” Probable

from the Globe and Mail: Strachan's "bigger net" theory has been shelved:

"No, it wasn't a big concern at all in our meetings," Brodeur said. "People like to make a big deal about it because the bigger nets are being used [in rookie tournaments]. But it's not even close to coming up. Maybe in five years, if we see a dip in goal scoring like we did before the lockout. "But the only reason we see them being used is to test how big a difference the bigger nets make. Personally, I can't see it happening for a long time -- if it happens at all."
The shootout rules are changing:
With the curvature of sticks being increased to three-quarters of an inch from half an inch, referees will no longer measure sticks before the shootout. But an opposing team can still request a measurement. If the player's curve is deemed illegal, the shooter would forfeit a chance for his team, but if the stick is legal, then the team that requested the measurement would surrender one of its shootout chances.

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There It Is

I feel like I was watching a secret tape when viewing the Sabres new logo at center ice. image

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Same Type Of Day Five Years Ago

from Rich Libero at NHL.com (note- Rich Libero is NHL.com's Vice President of Editorial and Production),

Driving in on the New Jersey Turnpike this morning I couldn't help but notice that the cloudless blue skies and bright sunshine were identical to the conditions five years ago on that fateful September 11. As you head off Exit 14 toward the "Bayonne Extension" that takes you to the Holland Tunnel, the lower portion of Manhattan unfurls before you. For tourists visiting New York City for the first time, the panorama gives folks from smaller towns a hint of the sheer size and scale of Manhattan as they travel in from Newark Airport. With those two Twin Towers missing like Bobby Clarke's old gap-toothed grin, the skyline appears to still be aching from the destruction of our famous buildings. There's no doubt the pain lingers for New Yorkers, Americans and the folks here at the National Hockey League.

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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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