Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Sean Burke Leaning Towards Pittsburgh

from azcentral,

Free-agent goalie Sean Burke, 38, is leaning toward accepting a two-year offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins. "If Phoenix was willing to make an offer that was fair, then I would definitely be interested and considering it," Burke said. "That hasn't happened."
update 10:20am, Related article via TSN, The Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to make a final decision on goaltender Curtis Joseph, possibly as early as Friday.

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No Pity

from the Calgary Sun via Slam,

Detractors complain that fans in Toronto, Colorado, Detroit and other big cities frozen out of the free-agent pool this week deserve better for supporting their clubs so well. Well, for years people in the prairies, Pittsburgh and Columbus -- not to mention Winnipeg and Quebec City -- have stood on the sidelines watching the big teams buy up all their stars. Meanwhile, fans in cities where team operated on lean, responsible budgets continued to support their teams despite having little chance to chase the Cup. All that's changed now and just because the party isn't heating up for the Leafs or other irresponsible clubs doesn't mean the system won't work.

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Same Old for Sabres

from the Buffalo News,

Well, that didn't take long, did it? Had Darcy Regier even hung up the phone before Miroslav Satan came to terms with the New York Islanders, receiving more than the Sabres were willing to pay him, casting doubt on whether Buffalo's front office has a handle on the NHL's newfangled marketplace? The Sabres miscalculated, and they miscalculated badly. They should have signed Satan to the qualifying offer of $3.8 million and then, if they were so inclined, dangled him as trade bait. They should have realized that the value of players who can skate and shoot had expanded, or at least held fast, now that the league is welcoming back the days when the Yvan Cournoyers sizzled up and down the wing unimpeded. Which overlaps with Regier's playing days, by the way.

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Russia Still Playing Hardball

from Mosnews,

Russia has refused to ratify an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and National Hockey League (NHL). NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has met with the leadership of Russia’s Professional Hockey League and clubs of the upper league but he was unable to convince them to ratify the agreement.

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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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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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