Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

FYI

I will be unavailable for the next 3 hours or so. Wings fans are awaiting word on any Datsyuk or Zetterberg news, but I don't think anything will happen today.

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NBC Snubs Gretzky

from the Arizona Republic,

NBC has snubbed Wayne Gretzky and the Coyotes. The television network, which is broadcasting NHL games this season, released its regular-season schedule Wednesday. Phoenix is noticeably missing. NBC Sports spokesman Brian Walker said the network's schedule was made, in conjunction with the NHL, before Gretzky was named head coach of the Coyotes last month. Nevertheless, multiple team officials said they were disappointed that the network is ignoring the team. "Wayne coaching in the NHL is a national story," said veteran NHL broadcaster Darren Pang, who recently joined the Coyotes organization. "How can you not put him on NBC? It's mind-boggling."

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Datsyuk News

Many Wings fans think September 1st is the deadline to sign Datsyuk but the real date is September 5th. The Russian League starts September 7th and rosters need to be finalized by the 5th. Wings want to sign him to a long term deal, but Datsyuk wants to test the UFA market and would prefer a 2 or 3 year contract. Look for the Wings to agree to that with a salary of $3.5 million or so. update 1:25am Thursday, via the Detroit News,

Finally, perhaps, there was a positive sign late Wednesday in the ongoing negotiations between the Red Wings and restricted free agent Pavel Datsyuk. A report in today's Soviet Sport newspaper in Russia indicated Datsyuk was a last-minute no-show as the Russian national team left Moscow Wednesday for today's EuroTour game against Sweden in St. Petersburg, Russia. Datsyuk had been practicing with the national team this past week. Datsyuk's agent, Gary Greenstin, last week told The Detroit News he wanted to have the framework for a new deal for Datsyuk in place by Sept. 1. He also said Datsyuk faced a Sept. 5 deadline for signing with Moscow Dynamo, the Russian SuperLeague team he played for last season during the NHL lockout. Last weekend, Datsyuk, 27, rejected multiple contract offers from the Wings, ranging from 1-5 years in length. Greenstin, who met with Datsyuk in Moscow earlier this week, is believed to have faxed the Wings a counteroffer either Tuesday or Wednesday -- a three-year deal appears to be the common ground -- but neither Greenstin nor Wings general manager Ken Holland could be reached for comment Wednesday.

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Enjoy The Weekend

The long Labor Day holiday weekend for the U.S, and Canada is upon us. I will be posting over the weekend but I really don't see much player movement until next week. Enjoy the weekend with family and friends and remember, no drinking and driving. Our lives are so precious and the tragedy in the Gulf States is proof our plans and dreams can change in a matter of moments.

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Canadian National Pond Hockey Championship

The race is on for Canadian and international recreational hockey players to register their teams for the inaugural Source For Sports Canadian Pond Hockey Championships. To be contested January 27-29, 2006, the championships will take players, spectators and volunteers back to the roots of hockey, set amidst the rustic northern setting at Deerhurst Resort, Muskoka, Ontario. Hundreds of players will make the journey for a chance to stake claim to pond hockey superiority and to have their names engraved on the Championship Cups for all to see at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Eligibility to the tournament is open to men's and women's adult pond hockey teams from Canada and all over the world, and registration has now officially begun. The official championship web site is www.canadapondhockey.ca.

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OLN & NBC Schedule

The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the U.S. national television network schedule for the 2005-06 regular-season. New television partners OLN and NBC will highlight the national television debuts of teen-age Pittsburgh phenomenon Sidney Crosby, Phoenix head coach Wayne Gretzky, and Philadelphia superstar Peter Forsberg. The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the U.S. national television network schedule for the 2005-06 regular-season. New television partners OLN and NBC will highlight the national television debuts of teen-age Pittsburgh phenomenon Sidney Crosby, Phoenix head coach Wayne Gretzky, and Philadelphia superstar Peter Forsberg. OLN, the exclusive cable partner of the NHL, begins its 58-game schedule Opening Night (Oct. 5, 7 p.m., ET) when the re-vamped Philadelphia Flyers, led by scoring sensation Peter Forsberg, host Atlantic Division rival, the New York Rangers. On Monday, Oct. 10 (7 p.m., ET), U.S. fans will see Crosby's national television debut when the Penguins visit Buffalo. The following night, Tuesday, Oct. 11 (7 p.m. ET), Wayne Gretzky will be behind the Coyotes' bench as Phoenix faces a Pacific Division foe, Dallas. OLN's exclusive NHL coverage, which spotlights the new rivalry based-schedule, continues throughout the season on Monday and Tuesday nights. Featured are such games as Boston vs. Montreal (Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m., ET), Chicago vs. Detroit (Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m., ET), Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia (Nov. 16, 7 p.m., ET), Anaheim vs. Los Angeles (Jan. 23, 10:30 p.m., ET) and Colorado vs. Detroit (Feb. 12, 5 p.m., ET). NBC Sports' broadcast season begins Saturday, Jan. 14 with three regional games, highlighted by Forsberg facing his former team, Colorado, for the first time. Other games include marquee matchups between the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, and Mike Modano and the Dallas Stars visiting Joe Thornton and the Boston Bruins. NBC will preview the NHL season, and examine how the new rule changes will transform the game, with a half-hour show on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m., ET. NBC Sports will present six weeks of Saturday afternoon regular-season action: Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, April 8 and April 15. Schedule highlights include Crosby, Pittsburgh owner and captain Mario Lemieux and the rest of the Penguins hosting the Flyers on Jan. 21, and the Red Wings visiting their Conference rivals, the Avalanche, on Jan. 28. On-air talent, new broadcast enhancements and playoff coverage will be released at a later date for both networks.

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Smyth Wants Fair Market Value

from the Edmonton Journal,

Oilers winger Ryan Smyth wants to have the security of a long-term contract, but he doesn't know whether he'd take a pay cut to stay in River City. "Everybody knows I've bled Oiler blue and I'm happy playing in front of my family. I was was born and raised in Alberta," said Smyth, a native of Jasper. "But I don't want to sell myself short. I just want fair market value."

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Let The Fans Know

from Newsday,

Comcast-owned OLN, the NHL's new cable TV partner, refuted a newspaper report that declared that Cablevision subscribers would be able to watch NHL games this season on the company's sports tier. "We cannot discuss specific language within the NHL contract," an OLN spokesman. "We can state with certainty that, while it's our desire to resolve this issue prior to our first game, the blackout guidelines previously communicated remain in effect."
The story they are referring to is the Larry Brooks article from a few days ago. Here's and idea- why not let the fans of hockey know what exactly is going on. Bettman, OLN and Comcast need to put the guessing games to rest. Just lay it out folks, enough of this!

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The Best Captain

from the Arizona Republic,

Captain Coyote can't catch a break. He wears the most important uniform on his team. He's a national hero back home, the guy who scored the game-winning goal for Canada in the 2004 World Cup. Wayne Gretzky went so far as to call Shane Doan the best captain in the NHL, the kind of praise that can make a grown man blush. Yet here in Arizona, Doan is overshadowed in his own dressing room by a host of big names and big mouths. Despite the "C" on his chest, his Q rating is below Gretzky, Brett Hull, Mike Ricci and possibly even Curtis Joseph. He's not even the most popular Canadian in the Valley, an honor he dutifully concedes to Steve Nash.

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Bondra Decision By Friday

from the Washington Post,

Peter Bondra plans to inform the Washington Capitals by Friday of his plans for the upcoming season, he said yesterday. Bondra has been offered a one-year contract, believed to be worth $1.5 million, to return to Washington. The 37-year-old right wing also said he is weighing offers from "four or five" other teams. "I'm really happy the Caps are trying to sign me. Who knows? Maybe by the end of the week, we might have a deal with the Caps. It would be nice be back, stay here, play for the Caps."

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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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