Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Sakic Supports Saskin

from the CP via TSN,

It takes a lot to upset Joe Sakic but talk of a rift among NHL players over executive director Ted Saskin and president Trevor Linden has the Colorado Avalanche star steamed. "Everybody on our team supports Ted Saskin and Trevor Linden, there's no issue whatsoever," Sakic said on the phone Monday. "All the guys I talk to are happy with Ted. I can't believe this is even an issue. It's crazy. Here in Colorado, the focus is on training camp, where it should be."

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Iginla Ready

from the Calgary Flames,

The team was revved and ready to begin training camp Monday, as the first day of fitness testing and medical examinations began for the veteran players at the Talisman Centre. Among those players was Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who was glad to have completed the intense fitness tests by the early afternoon and, along with others, anticipated the teams return to the ice the following day. "It was tough (fitness tests); it always is," Iginla told the media huddled around him. "It's sure good to be done, but it's nice to be back preparing for a season, that's for sure." According to Iginla, after having a year off, he decided to change his off-season routine slightly in order to better prepare himself for what the season would bring. In order to do this, the forward concentrated more on his speed and power, which would in turn help quicken him on and off the ice.

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Camping In The East

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Oh, there'll be cobwebs on the dressing room doors and rust on the skates, but hockey's back. Sixteen months after the last meaningful NHL games were played and almost exactly a year after the start of the lockout, training camps open across the NHL this week. Many teams started Sunday with team meetings, followed by physicals and a battery of physical tests that will assess players' physical preparedness. On-ice sessions begin Tuesday for most teams. With new coaches in seven NHL cities (eight if you count Larry Robinson reprising his role in New Jersey while Pat Burns recovers from cancer) and an unprecedented movement of players during this offseason, there is no shortage of story lines to carry the league through training camp into opening night Oct. 5. Here's a look at some of those story lines for the Eastern Conference. We'll break down the West on Tuesday:

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NHL Inks $100 Million Deal

from Buffalo Business First,

The NHL and XM Satellite Radio have partnered a 10-year, $100 million agreement for broadcast of more than 1,000 games each season including the Stanley Cup playoffs. XM will designate a specific channel for coverage beginning with the 2005-2006 season beginning on Oct. 5.

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Thrashers Closing In On Bondra

from the Atlantal Journal-Constitution,

Free agent right wing Peter Bondra is en route to Atlanta where he expects to complete a contract with the Thrashers, if not by the end of the day then by sometime on Tuesday, Bondra's agent Ritch Winter said. Bondra, 37, has 477 goals in 984 career games and while he has slowed down a bit, he has still managed to score an average of almost 32 goals over the last three NHL seasons, which is probably plenty more than the Thrashers would expect from him. "We're working on details," Winter said. "But I can confirm we're getting very, very close to finalizing it."

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OLN Gearing Up

from Advertising Age via Crain's Detroit Business,

In the sports world it’s known as faking left and going right. A month after telling investors it had no plans to take on cable-sports giant ESPN, Comcast Corp. seems to be fast-tracking its Outdoor Life Network to do exactly that. After spending — some would say overspending — $135 million over two years for the rights to National Hockey League telecasts last month, OLN is now a serious contender for Major League Baseball and National Football League packages. Executives close to the respective negotiations said OLN is bidding for the Wednesday-Sunday package of baseball games that ESPN now has and that expires after this year. And, even more surprising, OLN is considered the front-runner for the Thursday-Saturday late-season package of NFL games in 2006.

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Ryder Signs

via the CP,

The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed winger Michael Ryder to a $1-million US, one-year deal. he Habs open training camp Tuesday. Ryder was the last Montreal player to re-sign. The 25-year-old St. John's native was a nominee for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 2003-04 after scoring 25 goals and adding 38 assists in 81 games.

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The Waiting Game

from the Detroit Free Press,

On and on it goes. On the day Red Wings general manager Ken Holland was to have received a definite answer regarding Pavel Datsyuk, all he got was another delay. Gary Greenstin, the agent for Datsyuk, has told Holland that another week is needed to make a decision. Greenstin did not say why.

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Messier Tribute

from TSN,

The 2005-06 NHL season will begin without the league's second-leading scorer of all time, as Mark Messier has officially announced his retirement from the game. The Rangers announced that the team will retire his jersey on Jan. 12 in a game against the Edmonton Oilers. Messier, who turns 45 in January, has been decorated with endless awards, trophies and international accolades during his NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.
more update 3:00pm, Stan Fischler pays tribute to "Moose",
Where does Mark Messier stand in the pantheon of hockey players? I have always considered Gordie Howe the greatest all-around player of all-time; Wayne Gretzky included. Messier is the latter-day Howe.

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Getting Personal with Crosby

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Crosby’s 18th birthday celebration (on Aug. 8) was a perfect representation of his humble personality. “I was in Los Angeles and my family was out there and we just had a barbecue at my agent’s house,” he said. “I kicked back and relaxed a bit and played some beach volleyball. It was just a relaxing day to spend with friends and family.” Well, what did he get? “I got an iPod. It was cool,” he said. “I don’t know how I am going to work it because I am not much good with computers.” Nevertheless, it was useful gift for an avid music fan. Crosby says he likes country and rock music the most and points to Tim McGraw as his favorite singer. “I like pretty much everything, though,” he said. Crosby enjoys watching movies as well. “Wedding Crashers was hysterical,” he said. “I liked Ladder 49, too, but that is a more serious one.”

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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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