Kukla's Korner

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NHL On Its Last Breath

from the Ledger,

Now that the NHL hoopla has died down, it's time for the painful truth. Hockey is still on its last breath as anything other than an Olympic sport. Sorry to break the bad news. Believe me, it's not the type of thing I'd want to hear either. But the fact is that without a national television deal, the NHL might not last past the next season. There's a few rumblings that ESPN is willing to carry some NHL games next season, but the network will only do a revenuesharing agreement or pay an extremely small rights fee for the product -- all the while continuing to reduce its NHL schedule in favor of college basketball and the NBA. In the end, it's doubtful this will happen because the NHL's administrators will be insulted by the offer and overplay their hand again, much like they did when they expected the public to go into hockey withdrawals.

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Goodbye Colorado

via the Vail Daily,

Goodbye, Adam Foote. Goodbye, Peter Forsberg. Goodbye to elite status in the NHL, Colorado Avalanche. The new $39-million salary cap creamed the players and it's blasted the Avs, an added bonus. Yes, oh faithful Avs fan - is there such a thing; we'll find out this year - you say you still have Joe Sakic, Rob Blake, Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay. It doesn't matter. Foote was the most underrated cog in the Avs' machine and Forsberg, well, there's a reason he's Peter the Great. The bottom line is that the Avs are going to be lucky to finish third in the Northwest Division and could well be watching the playoffs on TV come April.

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Pittsburgh Interested in Curtis Joseph

from the Tribune-Review

, The Penguins' search for a goaltender might start to shape up today, the fifth day of NHL free agency. On Thursday, Don Meehan, agent for 38-year-old Curtis Joseph, said that he and Penguins general manager Craig Patrick had a discussion earlier this week and that Patrick expressed interest in the veteran goaltender. "He's going to get back to me at the end of the week," Meehan said yesterday. "He had some other priorities, but he's indicated he is going to have an interest."

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Zetterberg Rumor Addressed

Jimmy D. was on The Fan 590 Radio in Toronto, was asked about Zetterberg rumors. Jimmy said Z is a RFA, no one else is negotiating right now with him, and he expects Henrik to be with the Wings for the upcoming season. He sounded confident that no other team had an interest in offering Zetterberg a contract right now. update Friday, 8:53am, from the Toronto Sun,

Ferguson, meanwhile, adamantly denied the Leafs have extended an offer sheet to Detroit Red Wings restricted free- agent Henrik Zetterberg, who has received a qualifying offer from the Wings for just over $500,000. Zetterberg's agent, Marc Levine, said any link between the Leafs and his client was news to him.

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L.A. Kind of Guy

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

"I think I fit well in L.A. I'm an L.A. kind of guy," said Roenick. "I really think the team [GM Dave Taylor] has put together is going to be a force to be reckoned with. I can see they're trying to do a lot of good things in Anaheim also," Roenick said. "Getting [Scott] Niedermayer is a big push for them. But I still think we'll kick their butts next year." "It's a little bit like Showtime, with what the Lakers used to have," said an optimistic Luc Robitaille.

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Reminder

Don't forget to catch Sidney Crosby on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight.

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Domi Stays with Leafs

Tie Domi re-signs with the Leafs for two years, $2.5 million.

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Any Free Agents Left

from the CP via the Globe and Mail, So who's left? The Big Three are all gone after Scott Niedermayer left the NHL's unrestricted free-agent market and joined his brother in Anaheim on Thursday. Peter Forsberg and Markus Naslund signed the day before, leaving the 2005 free-agent class deprived off its three biggest names. Even the next level of star players is mostly gone, centre Alexei Zhamnov joining Boston on Thursday, while winger Martin Lapointe went to Chicago and defenceman Brian Rafalski decided to stay in New Jersey. For teams such as Washington, Minnesota and Toronto that have yet to dip into the market, there's not much left on the top rack.

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Colorado Trying to Adjust

from the AP via Canada.com,

When the Colorado Avalanche were last seen on the ice, they were exposed as a slowing, aging team that got outskated in the NHL's Western Conference semifinals by San Jose. When the Avalanche are next seen on the ice, they will look pretty much the same, but without two of their best players, Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote.

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Caps Trade for Chris Clark

The Washington Capitals today obtained right wing Chris Clark from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft

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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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