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OLN News

from Sports Business Journal,

The future of Comcast’s OLN network calls for a 40-cent-a-month rate increase and Time Warner possibly taking an equity stake in the network, sources say. Time Warner has an option to acquire an 11 percent stake in OLN, multiple sources said. It’s one of many such options that Time Warner Cable has written into carriage deals with cable networks owned by other media companies. The deal with OLN dates back to 2001 when Time Warner reached a new carriage agreement with OLN after Comcast acquired the network. Time Warner is expected to exercise its option and become part-owner of the network if OLN successfully acquires rights to the NFL or Major League Baseball. OLN, fresh off adding NHL rights, is in talks with both leagues, sources said. Should OLN add the NFL, internal plans call for the network to ask cable operators to pay 40 cents more per subscriber per month, according to a source with knowledge of OLN’s long-term business plan.

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Looking Forward To The Season

Word is that Czech model Karolina Kurkova is looking forward to having the NHL end its one-year timeout. "Can't wait for her beloved Rangers to resume playing hockey Oct. 6 at the Garden -- especially because there will be five of her countrymen on the team -- Jaromir Jagr, Martin Rucinsky, Martin Straka, Marek Malik and Petr Prucha.'' "Prucha is from Kurkova's hometown of Decin. She's never met him, but wants to take all of them out for dinner before the season starts.'' "I can't wait to see my Czech brothers on the ice again,'' she said. "I was miserable for a year without hockey, I'm so glad it's back.

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Small Town, Big Time

from Canada.com,

Many Canadian boys dream of making the National Hockey League, but a new study shows that those born in smaller cities have a better chance of becoming professional athletes. "We have this stereotypical image of hockey players as these big boys who come from small towns," Cote said in an interview from Ireland. "It turns out, the odds of making it are much better for those living in smaller populations."

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Datsyuk Demands Too High

Detroit area reports on Datsyuk signing with Omsk: from Mlive,

"He's priced himself right off of our team," Holland said. "I don't see any way he's on the team; the numbers don't add up." "I upped my offer significantly," Holland said. "It got to the point where you can't go any higher. "We have no choice, we got to get on with it." If Datsyuk's contract contains an out clause, he would need to sign with the Red Wings by Oct. 5 (the start of the regular season) to be eligible to play in the NHL this season (restricted free agents who don't sign with a European team have until Dec. 1 to sign with an NHL club). But, there's no reason to believe the sides will suddenly bridge the enormous gap in contract talks.
from the Detroit News,
"Obviously it's a disappointing loss," Holland said. "We were really counting on him." "We'll be a difficult team to play against," Holland said.
from the Detroit Free Press,
It was four o'clock in the morning in Moscow when Ken Holland finally got through to Pavel Datsyuk's agent. Their conversation lasted 30 seconds and left more questions unanswered than answered. Yes, Datsyuk had signed a contract with wealthy Russian Super League team Avangard Omsk. But as of late Monday afternoon, Holland, the Red Wings' general manager, was still waiting to find out one very crucial little fact. "Everything," Holland said, "depends on the out clause." A Reuters report said Datsyuk does have an out clause, but Holland said he didn't want to comment until "I know it's based on fact."

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Why No Offer Sheets

Somebody want to wake this guy up? from proicehockey.com,

In the NHL's new economic era, the rules governing restricted free agents are unchanged. Any team can sign a player like Datsyuk or Zetterberg to a tentative contract - or "offer sheet." Detroit must then match the offer or let the player go and take draft choices as compensation. Zetterberg reportedly wants $2 million a year. Nobody will name Datsyuk's asking price, but let's say he'll take Sergei Samsonov money - $2.77 million. Or call it $3 million. At that price, why won't a team take a run at the pair? With several roster spots to fill and little cap room, the Red Wings can't match two offer sheets. So you would get one or two excellent young players and all you give up are draft picks. Depending on the exact salaries, the cost might be a first and second-round pick for Zetterberg, two first-round picks and maybe a second rounder for Datsyuk.

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What About Bondra

Peter Bondra's name keeps popping up as a stop gap measure for the Wings. My understanding is Bondra wants to play in Washington and may ahave ctually gained a slight bargaining tool today. He may be able to use the Wings to negotiate a better deal with the Caps. The Caps recently turned down his request for a 2yr. deal so Peter is looking for a 1yr. deal in the area of $2 million.

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Datsyuk Responds

Thanks again to Peter for breaking down this phone interview with Datsyuk and Sovsport. Datsyuk sure does not give the impression that he is happy with the decision he has made. To my knowledge, the Wings are keeping mum on any comments regarding his status. Some experts believe this is another ploy from the Datsyuk camp and he will be with the Wings in Traverse City.

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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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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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