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Team USA Camp Starts Tuesday

from the AP via The Ledger,

If the U.S hockey team skates off with a gold medal in the Turin Olympics, no one will call it a miracle or rush to make a major motion picture. Truth is, it might not be all that surprising. This is not 1980 and these players aren't unknown college kids like the ones who shocked the world by beating what was thought to be an invincible Soviet team during the height of the Cold War. Starting Tuesday, 39 Olympic hopefuls from 21 NHL teams will gather for a three-day orientation camp at the home of USA Hockey. Many of the invited players are familiar because most have spent time in the NHL and a bunch have starred.

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Datsyuk Signing Official

via TSN,

MOSCOW - It appears that Pavel Datsyuk meant it when he set a Monday deadline in his talks with the Red Wings. The restricted free agent signed a one-year contract with Russian club Avangard Omsk today. The 27-year-old All-Star centre, who reportedly turned down a $5 million offer by Detroit was apparently looking for a deal of at least $6 million with the Red Wings. "I think I am worth at least what (Dany) Heatley or (Joe) Thornton got from their deals," Datsyuk told the Russian media. Datsyuk has a clause in his Avangard contract, allowing him to leave for the NHL midway through the season.

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The Maven’s Musings

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-Mark Messier eventually turning to the coaching realm is a real possibility, but certainly not for at least a year. If Wayne Gretzky wins in Phoenix, you can bet that will motivate Mess toward a bench job. In the meantime, Mess had better decide whether he wants to play for buddy Kevin Lowe in Edmonton. Our guess is NO! -The Scott Stevens’ silence over his future perplexes a Midwest hockey exec who wonders what effect it’ll have on Lou Lamoriello’s Cap plans. “Scotty owes it to Lou not to leave him in a tough spot,” the official opines. -A full-length Gordie Howe movie is in the works. Fresh from his Oscar-winning flick, “Ray,” Howard Baldwin is ironing out the film about Mister Hockey, himself. Baldwin will be happy to know that Russell Crowe, who starred in Howard’s hockey flick, “Mystery Alaska,” still has the NHL on his mind. Instead of wearing a helmet when piloting his Harley, Crowe dons a Maple Leafs cap! -Brett Hull’s physique will be closely eyed from here to opening night. The Golden One was falling away to a ton during the Lockout. His pal, The Wayner, just happens to be coaching the Coyotes and will need a fit Brett, big-time. Already, Hull, 41, is talking big. He told the Arizona Republic’s David Vest that he’s not planning to retire. “This is not my ‘Farewell Tour,’” says Hull. “In a month or two you can talk to Gretz and maybe he’ll tell you it is my farewell tour.” He sure will, if His Majesty Brett isn’t in shape!

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Zetterberg Wants Nash Type Money

The Wings negotiations with Zetterberg are not going well. According to Afton Bladet, Zetterberg is looking for a Nash type contract.

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Datsyuk Reportedly Signs With Awangard Omsk

from a poster at Red Wings Central, the same poster who has supplied numerous translations of Russian newspaper articles: He reports Datsyuk has signed with Avangard Omsk of the Russian League. No details have been announced but there is a possibility of an "out" clause. update 12:43pm, The Wings have laid out numerous scenarios for Datsyuk. Contracts anywhere from 1yr to 5yrs have been proposed. It is now up to Datsyuk to take it or leave it but it appears he is trying to gain as much leverage as possible. The Wings have no room to pay him anymore than what they are offering and it is time to move on. The next step in the give and take game is trying to sign a replacement for Datsyuk. It should be interesting to see how Datsyuk reacts when he receives word the Wings are about to sign his replacement. Holland has showed his hand, has Datsyuk done the same? update 12:56pm, Peter at Mlive found a link to the story of Datsyuk's signing. I tranlated it too and basically it says he has signed with Omsk but Dynamo has 10 days to match the offer. Article from Sovsport and translation: "advance guard" signed contract with tsentrforvardom by Pavel datsyuk. As reported RIA of "news" on Monday in the press- service of professional hockey leagues (PKHL), Omsk club officially presented the signed contract with the player, who now can be declared for the "advance guard". In this case the "hawks" were packed in the necessary periods. However, the capital "dynamo", whose colors Datsyuk protected in the past season, has the right during 10 days to propose to hockey player the agreement, analogous so that proposed the "advance guard", and to attempt to preserve rights to forvarda, they reported in the press- service PKHL. update 1:57pm, see the comments of this post to read another translation of this story.

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All Iggy

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

Through eight NHL season in Calgary, Jarome Iginla has been able to feel the love, becoming one of those special athletes who has a symbiotic relationship with the place he plays. The fans of the Calgary Flames have heaped plenty of affection on their team's captain and Iginla has been more than happy to return the embrace. It really is something to see. So, while Flames fans are delighted to have the NHL revving up for the 2005-06 season and delirious about the additions of Tony Amonte, Roman Hamrlik and Darren McCarty, they are positively beside themselves with the news that Iginla signed a three-year deal this summer.

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The Razzle Dazzle Lne

from the Alameda Times-Star,

If you're a part of hockey history, a Stanley Cup champion, your name should be spelled correctly on the coveted Cup, especially when the NHL has had 61 years to make that correction. That's all Gerry Heffernan is asking, and it's not such a tall request even for a short hockey career, which happened to be his puck luck. Two years is all he had in the NHL, but he is satisfied. For two years and one Stanley Cup is better than 22 years and no Stanley Cup. However, did the NHL idiots have to make him suffer for his 1943-44 season in the sun with the Montreal Canadiens by botching his name on the Cup? He is Gerry Heffernan, not "Jerry Hefferman." Can't the league spell? "Does it bother me? Not really," Heffernan said a few days ago. "It was a means to an end. To get to the top of your sport, the apex, it's not only an honor but a privilege."

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Philly Fans Can’t Wait

from the Philadelphia Business Journal,

After speaking to about 60 team sponsor representatives at a private luncheon last week, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock was asked if he is worried about any kind of fan backlash following the labor contract dispute that canceled last year's National Hockey League season. He isn't. "In hockey, you're either a hard-core fan or nothing," said Hitchcock, speaking outside the Wachovia Center's Victors Club. "There's no such thing as a casual hockey fan. ... We have a fanatical following, it's almost a spiritual kind of following." The loyalty of the Flyers' fans has shown itself at the box office, where the team has received more than 83,000 phone calls from people inquiring about season tickets.

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Prove It

from the Tampa Tribune,

"We are going to crack down on all the clutching and grabbing that is slowing down our game. We have instructed the referees to call penalties on any type of obstruction infraction in order to showcase the skill of our game." That mantra has been repeated many times in the past five years of the National Hockey League. We've heard it so many times, in fact, that not a lot of people of put much credence into the statement when it was repeated again at the conclusion of the lockout. Not coaches. Not general managers. Not players. Not fans.

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Wings Closing In On Datsyuk Decision

I happen to be in the Traverse city area this weekend and while in downtown T.C, I happened to run into a Wings management type. I introduced myself, told him about the blog and talked hockey a bit. Conversation turned to Datsyuk and Zetterberg and I was basically told Wings want a decision tomorrow from Datsyuk and then will direct their efforts into signing Zetterberg on Tuesday. Wings have made numerous offers to Datsyuk, with different lengths of contract, but the only stumbling point seems to be the dollar amount. Datsyuk is shooting for the moon, and feels he is worth more than the Wings think he is. Wings will not budge on the money part and the decision is in the hands of Pavel. They have not received any trade offers but of course will listen but they hold the cards. No RFA offers either, teams do not want to lose the draft choices on Datsyuk just yet, other players with more talent are or will be available next year, and besides, no other teams feel Datsyuk is worth what he is asking.

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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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