Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The New Look

from the CP via TSN,

The new hockey jerseys Canadian teams will wear at the Olympic Games and world junior championships have been designed to be cooler, lighter and make the players faster. The jerseys were unveiled Wednesday at the Olympic team orientation camp. The home white sweaters feature the Hockey Canada Maple Leaf logo on the front, black trim around the neck, and red and black stripes on the shoulders. There are also red and black stripes on the sides. The red away sweaters have black and white stripes.
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Can’t Keep Up

from the CP via TSN,

Kris Draper has given up trying to keep track of who is playing where in the post-lockout NHL. ''I'll wait for opening day and will kind of take a look at the rosters then,'' Draper, the veteran Detroit Red Wing forward, said Wednesday after the Olympic hockey team had its first day of workouts at the Prospera Place arena in Kelowna. A new $39-million US salary camp plus new liberal free agency kicking in next season has resulted in players switching teams like pieces on a chess board.

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Decision on Thursday

from Media Week,

The National Hockey League is expected to wait until Thursday morning to announce which network has been awarded the rights agreement to televise its games, as a result of confusion over the deadline for ESPN to file a matching bid to Comcast's Outdoor Life Network. OLN bid a guaranteed $135 million for the first two years, and another $72.5 million for a third option year, according to sources, and OLN believed the deadline was 5 p.m. Wednesday, while ESPN believed the deadline was midnight. ESPN would not comment on whether it would make a bid, but earlier in the day, an ESPN representative had said, "We've been carrying hockey for a long time. Sure we're interested in continuing."

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Friends Fighting for A Piece of the Pie

from Canadian Business,

Lecavalier's $6.875-million annual pay has eaten a big chunk out of the Lightning salary cap. It means St. Louis, a restricted free agent who was the last NHLer to be named regular-season MVP, will probably have to sign for less than $5 million a year. Welcome to the new NHL, where friends fight for a piece of the same pie. "Everybody's doing the math, it's not rocket science to see what it means," said fellow Tampa star Brad Richards. "I'm very good friends with both guys, it's a tough, tough situation - it sucks. There's no other way to put it.

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Down to the Last Hour

from Media Week (reg. req.),

Don't count ESPN out in the bidding for NHL TV rights. With a little less than an hour to go before a 5 p.m. deadline to match a three-year $210 million offer by Comcast, ESPN executives were said to still be interested in carrying the NHL games and trying to determine whether the dollars and other terms make financial sense. "We've been carrying hockey for a long time," said an ESPN representative. "Sure we're interested in continuing." ESPN would not comment on whether it will indeed submit a matching bid prior to the deadline, but Comcast insiders aren't popping champagne corks just yet. For competitive reasons, ESPN might have no choice but to match the offer.

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Stumpel to Panthers

Jozef Stumpel signs with Florida, 2 years, $3.25 million.

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Bourque Signed

The Washington Capitals have signed forward Chris Bourque, the team’s fourth choice (second round, 32nd overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, to a three-year contract. Did I get anyone wih that headline? Thanks to a reader of Kukla's Korner for the heads up.

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Tampa Talks Turn to Martin St. Louis

from the St. Petersburg Times,

That leaves Martin St. Louis as the only big piece of the Lightning's puzzle left to be re-signed. St. Louis' agent, Lewis Gross, is expected to meet with Feaster on Thursday in Tampa to discuss what is believed to be a multi-year deal that could pay St. Louis, the 2003-04 NHL MVP, somewhere between $4-million and $5-million a year. While Feaster is confident St. Louis will be re-signed, talks could get sticky now that Lecavalier is the highest-paid player on the team and in the same pay scale as Calgary's Jarome Iginla and Boston's Joe Thornton.

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Flyers Favorite to Win Cup

After a busy off-season, Sportsbook.com has updated the odds on the Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup aspirations, bumping them to the top of the list at 5-1 from an opening line of 10-1. The additions of former league MVP Peter Forsberg, Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje and the resigning of goaltender Robert Esche are the major factors in Philadelphia's bright outlook.

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Rivals Working Together

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Wayne Gretzky insists he never worried he might wander into the Team Canada locker room one day and find his Olympic coaching staff in a roiling three-way melee. Sitting a few feet away from Gretzky, head coach Pat Quinn recalls a different version of the evolution of what has become a fascinating relationship with often bitter NHL rivals Ken Hitchcock and Jacques Martin.

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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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