Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Bruins Have Work to Do

from the Boston Herald,

The Bruins deserve the highest praise for the manner in which they have attacked the NHL's free agent market – with preparation, aggressiveness and tenacity equaled by few, if any, teams. In signing five players during the wild first three days of free agency – including 37-year-old defenseman Brian Leetch yesterday – the Bruins have done well. But have they met their stated goal of quickly building a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup? Not yet they haven't. Not even close.

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Niedermayer Makes His Decision

Scott Niedermayer has made his decision and it will be announced later on Thursday. I have a strong feeling he will be playing with his brother Rob this year in Anaheim. update 1:15am, from the LA Times (reg. req.),

The Mighty Ducks, who have yet to jump in the wild NHL free-agent signing bonanza, have set their sights on New Jersey star defenseman Scott Niedermayer and are trying to land the Norris Trophy winner. A source familiar with the team said Niedermayer was in Anaheim on Wednesday and is seeking a four-year contract worth $6.7 million a year. Epp said his client has expressed strong interest to play with his brother Rob, a center with the Ducks the last two seasons. "He has a lot of interest in being a Duck," Epp said. "Anytime you can play with your brother in a nice environment in a nice city where it's a good place to raise your kids, I think it has to be a good thing."

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Parity is Here

from bob Duff and MSNBC

, Since Monday, when the free-agent season opened, an avalanche of activity has thundered across the hockey landscape and the traditional powers are finding life very difficult amidst the NHL’s brave new world. Listen to the movement. This is what parity sounds like. It’s also what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman promised he’d deliver to the game with the new collective bargaining agreement and it’s exactly what hockey needs right now.

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Hawks Rejected

from the Chicago Tribune,

Two superstars—Peter Forsberg and Mike Modano—signed contracts Wednesday for less money than the Hawks had offered. In the case of Modano, he accepted a five-year contract worth $17.25 million to stay in Dallas, turning down a reported four-year, $20 million offer from the Hawks. The Hawks offered Forsberg, 32, a two-year deal worth $12 million, but the Swede instead accepted a two-year deal worth $11.5 million to play for the Philadelphia Flyers. "We made [Forsberg] a good offer," Tallon said. "It wasn't [about] money."

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NHL Player Movement for Wednesday

Sportsnet FA Tracker--- TSN FA Tracker ---TSN Team Tracker with Salaries 8:12am, Markus Naslund signs with Vancouver, 3 years, $18 million. 10:59am, Sergei Gonchar 5 years, $25 million to Penguins. Also, Iginla re-signs with Flames, $21m for 3 years. 11:25am, The NHL free agent frenzy continues. MSG's Deb Kaufman reports free agent ex-Ranger RW Alexei Kovalev is returning to the Montreal Canadiens. update 11:47,Kovalev deal is four-year, $18 million deal. update 11:55am, TSN now picking up the report. update 1:38pm, The Montreal Canadiens re-signed star winger Alexei Kovalev to an $18 million US, four-year contract Wednesday, a source told The Canadian Press. 11:28am, The Dallas Stars have signed free agent defenceman Martin Skoula to a two-year contract. 12:40pm, from RDS (translated), Ramzi Abid, former player of Penguins, would have signed a one year old contract with Thrashers of Atlanta. 2:22pm, Mathieu Dandenault a Canadien. 2:53pm, Brent Sopel traded from Vancouver to the Islanders for a conditional pick. 3:47pm, Leetch a Bruin. 4:24pm, Defenseman Bryan Berard signed a contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday. The Deal is two years worth 4.5 million dollars. 4:48pm, Satan an Islander, numerous reports had him going to the Habs so I held off until now. 5:15pm, Andre Roy to Pittsburgh. update 7:51pm, I just checked this link and it no longer works. Trying to track it down, noticed no indication on any FA trackers that he did sign. Will update if I find anything out. update 9:30pm, Found another link. 5:17pm, New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent left wing Martin Rucinsky. 5:34pm, Schneider re-signs with Wings. 5:46pm, Peca to the Oilers for York. TSN link. 6:42pm, Forsberg to Philly, 2 years $10.7 mil. TSN breaking news. 6:54pm, Roenick traded to Kings for picks, more details coming. update 7:20pm, Roenick may be going to Phoenix instead, but he is traded and he may have a say to what team he goes to. 8:51pm, Brisebois to Colorado. 9:09pm>, Pierre Turgeon headed to Colorado. 9:35pm, Modano Again, from the Dallas News,

Stars center Mike Modano said at 8:10 p.m. that he has agreed to terms with the Dallas Stars on a five-year deal worth in excess of $17 million. Modano and his agent had rejected the deal earlier in the day, but Modano agreed to the offer after a phone conversation with Stars owner Tom Hicks.
Finally!!! And one more for good measure!

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Zhamnov Could be a Bruin

from Sportsnet,

While a deal is not done, sources tell Sportsnet free agent centre Alexei Zhamnov will soon become a member of the Boston Bruins.

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Refs React to Walkom Hiring

from HockeyRefs.com, The reaction poured in late Wednesday from members of the NHL community. Paul Devorski, a veteran referee and close friend of Walkom, was informed of the news by HockeyRefs.com. “I think it’s a great move by the NHL,” he said. “I can’t think of a better guy that could do the job.”

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I Have Heard it All

Listening to Mojo Radio in Vancouver, a guy calls up all emotional about Niedermayer. Says the Canucks need to clear cap room for him to sign with them. Then he started crying and breaking up. It was not a put on call, the producer came on the air and said the guy called back and apologized about being so emotional.

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Niedermayer Race

from TSN,

The race to land free agent defenceman Scott Niedermayer is down to three teams, TSN has learned. According to NHL sources, the teams are New Jersey, San Jose and Anaheim.

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Canucks Press Conference

Vancouver held a press conference earlier in the day to announce the Naslund signing. Now having another press conference at 5pm5:45, EDT. Could Forsberg or Niedermayer be headed there. The traded Sopel earlier in the day to clear some cap room. update 5:57pm. Canucks talked about Sopel trade and said expect a dman coming to them in a trade shortly.

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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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