Kukla's Korner

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Fischler: Justice has Triumphed

from The Maven of MSG Network,

Bob Goodenow is gone as hockey’s union boss and if that isn’t the best news of the month, it’s only because completion of the Collective Bargaining Agreement is better. Anyone who has read my columns for the past year of the National Hockey League labor strife knows my feelings about Goodenow and how his policies, in my estimation almost destroyed an institution dating back to 1917. More than once I’ve commented that Goodenow running the union--to my eyes--was the worst thing that ever happened to the NHL, give or take Alan Eagleson, his predecessor. It was Eagleson’s misdemeanors that landed him in jail, forcing the union to find a replacement. The players had a choice; they could have chosen a more moderate personality such as agent Steve Bartlett of Rochester, who would have made an excellent successor to The Eagle. But Goodenow--who had represented several name players--apparently sold the NHLPA on his tough-guy image and got the job. All I needed was one look at Goodenow in action for me to get the feeling that he was bad news for the league.

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Official Announcement of Shanahan Signing

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland today announced that forward Brendan Shanahan has exercised his option on a one-year contract for the 2005-06 season. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. This will be Shanahan's ninth season with Detroit and 17th in the National Hockey League. Shanahan, 36, is a 6'-3", 220 lbs. native of Mimico, Ontario who shoots right. He was originally acquired by Detroit from the Hartford Whalers October 9, 1996 along with Brian Glynn in exchange for Keith Primeau, Paul Coffey and a first round pick in the 1997 Entry Draft (Nikos Tselios).

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39 Players Invited by Team USA

from TSN,

Free agent Mike Modano, Bill Guerin of the Dallas Stars and Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight of the St. Louis Blues have a chance to play for the United States Olympic team for the third straight time. USA Hockey announced on Thursday the list of 39 players that have been invited to its Olympic orientation camp for the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

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Shanahan to Return to Detroit

Kevin Allen was on WDFN radio in Detroit and said Shanahan will return to Detroit for the upcoming season.

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Goodenow Resigns

"With the conclusion of the negotiations and the ratification of the new agreement, the parties concur that this is an appropriate action for the future. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the Players over the past 15 years and to have had the support of a tremendous staff at the NHLPA. I wish the Players every success under the new CBA." - Bob Goodenow Robert W. Goodenow today advised the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) that he would step down as its Executive Director and General Counsel. This decision followed discussions between Goodenow and members of the Executive Committee about the organization's future. "With the conclusion of the negotiations and the ratification of the new agreement, the parties concur that this is an appropriate action for the future," said Goodenow. "I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the Players over the past 15 years and to have had the support of a tremendous staff at the NHLPA. I wish the Players every success under the new CBA." Today, the NHLPA named Ted Saskin, its Senior Director of Business Affairs and Licensing, to succeed Mr. Goodenow as Executive Director and General Counsel. "I have enjoyed working closely with Bob for the Players over the last 15 years. I know how dedicated Bob has been to the Players. I plan to continue to serve them by building on the strong base that Bob created at the NHLPA." Trevor Linden, the President of the NHLPA, said "Every NHL Player has benefited enormously from Bob's leadership and dedication. He has been a tireless advocate for the Players and he dramatically improved the Players' situation in every respect. Bob built the NHLPA into a first class organization and we are all very grateful to him. Ted has worked closely with Bob every step of the way and has done an excellent job for the Players in our recently concluded CBA negotiations. We have every confidence that he will be able to lead our Association well in the years to come. " update 12:30pm, TSN.ca will cybercast today’s NHLPA news conference where Executive Director and General Counsel Bob Goodenow will announce his decision to leave the Association. Watch it live at 3pm et/noon pt.

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NHL could Fade Away

from Sports Illustrated,

Yes, the lockout is over and the NHL is back. And hockey fans will return. But the year-long hiatus of what has long been regarded as the No. 4 sport raised a prospect that we might see something that's never happened before -- a major sports league just fading away. Maybe the NHL will bounce back the same way the NBA did, riding Sidney Crosby as its savior. That's the preferred scenario. But when your players are agreeing to pay cuts and ESPN decides it can live without you, things don't look promising.

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Draft Lottery Draws Fans

from Broadcaster Magazine,

Millions of viewers worldwide tuned in to watch hockey history in the making as the Pittsburgh Penguins drew the first pick – and first dibs on Canadian hockey phenom Sidney Crosby – during TSN's exclusive coverage of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft Order of Selection. The five-hour SportsCentre news special, which aired last Friday (July 22) from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, attracted a national average minute audience of 239,000 viewers, and a national audience reach of 1,176,000 viewers. Audience levels peaked at 378,000 viewers from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed the 2005 NHL Entry Draft order.

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Four Divisions in the Future

from the Chicago Tribune,

Bob Pulford's surprising disclosure earlier this week that the NHL seriously is considering a return to a four-division alignment and divisional playoffs is a potential blockbuster. "When I first brought it up to [Commissioner Gary Bettman] he assured me it would be addressed after the collective bargaining agreement was done," the Hawks' senior vice president said at a Monday news conference announcing broad league and team changes. A league spokesman declined comment on any potential changes to the playoff format, but word around the league is the change could happen as early as next season.

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Singing the Blues

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

As the National Hockey League prepares to relaunch its product to a curious, if skeptical, public, the Blues are in an unfortunate, depressing situation. With the other NHL franchises busy making grand plans to celebrate a return to the ice, the Blues are in the corner, hands in pockets, looking rather glum.

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The Cost of Diving

via Sportnet,

In order to crack down on obstruction, sources have told Sportset the NHL plans on implementing both fines and suspensions to deter players from embellishing fouls. In the past, the league was only able to levy a $1000 maximum fine to any offender. Now, the league will give a written warning to first time offenders before proceeding as follows with repeat offenders: Second time: $1000 fine Third time: $2000 fine Fourth time: Automatic one game suspension During the regular season, any player who exceeds the four-time plateau will see the ruling doubled for every incident. Repeat offenders who violate the rules during the playoffs will get a one-time loophole to avoid suspension, but will pay a $5000 fine.

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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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