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Talking Northwest Division

from the Edmonton Oilers,

NHL Conference Call Transcript - Northwest Division Oilers' Chris Pronger joins division foes Iginla, Sakic, Naslund and Roloson Compiled by NHL Public Relations Department DAVID KEON: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm David Keon of the National Hockey League's public relations department, and I'd like to welcome you to this call, the fourth in a series of six divisional conference calls we are hosting this week in preparation for the opening of training camps next week, and as we move closer to the opening of the 2005-2006 National Hockey League regular season on October 5th. This afternoon we are featuring the Northwest Division and are pleased to have with us from the Minnesota Wild, goaltender Dwayne Roloson; from the Calgary Flames, Captain Jarome Iginla; from the Colorado Avalanche, Captain Joe Sakic; from the Edmonton Oilers, defenceman Chris Pronger; and from the Vancouver Canucks, Captain Markus Naslund.

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Patrick Retires

Buffalo Sabres defenceman James Patrick has announced his retirement from the NHL after a 21-year career. The 42-year-old from Winnipeg will join the Sabres coaching staff as a skill development coach, the hockey club said Thursday in a release.

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OLN NHL Spot

A 15-second video (will open wmp video) promoting the NHL on OLN.

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Crosby could Earn Close To $4 Million

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The NHL's new labor agreement caps Sidney Crosby's entry-level salary at $850,000. But if his contract is structured just right -- and if Crosby puts together a season even more spectacular than almost anyone anticipates -- he could have a chance to earn nearly $4 million as a rookie. That total wouldn't include so much as a penny from his endorsement deals, but might require Crosby to produce one of the most remarkable seasons in NHL history. Penguins general manager Craig Patrick and one of Crosby's agents, Pat Brisson, have discussed the parameters of Crosby's first pro contract and will begin negotiations tomorrow. Both sides have expressed confidence a deal will be worked out well before the start of training camp Tuesday.

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What’s Left For The Avs

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

The roster for this season will be decidedly different. The Avs, an NHL powerhouse since moving to Denver for the 1995-96 season, will take the ice minus some lineup fixtures, notably center Peter Forsberg and defenseman Adam Foote. Two other more recent acquisitions, Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne, also have departed. Also moving on are veterans Matthew Barnaby and Chris Gratton, meaning that quite a bit of experience has left town. So, what's left? A lot more than most people are giving the Avalanche credit for, and that's a credit to GM Pierre Lacroix and his ability to acquire top-notch talent.

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Hamrlik wants The Cup

from Slam,

Roman Hamrlik wouldn't divulge if the rumours were true but word is he spurned more lucrative offers to join the Flames. The whispers say some five teams chased the defenceman who opted for a two-year, $7-million US pact from Calgary as an unrestricted free agent. Hamrlik did, however, relay what made Darryl Sutter's offer most appealing. "I didn't really look at the money, I signed here to try and win the Stanley Cup," said the rearguard after partaking in a conditioning camp skate with a collection of pro players at Father David Bauer Arena yesterday. "This is a hard-working team and really exciting to play for.

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Team USA Goalies

from the AP via the Daily Press,

Ty Conklin became a goalie out of necessity -- his dad and brother needed someone to shoot pucks at. Rick DiPietro was drawn to the position because he thought the masks were really cool. Ryan Miller demanded to be a goalie because he couldn't stand watching his 8-year-old teammates do it all wrong. And Robert Esche liked the local minor league goalie because he was flashy. That was enough for him to give up baseball and football. Even though they are all in the NHL and strong candidates to represent the United States in next year's Olympics, this quartet of goalies question their desire to do what might be the toughest job in sports.

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Bondra Still Talking With Caps

from the Washington Post (reg. req.),

The agent for unrestricted free agent Peter Bondra informed the Washington Capitals last weekend that his client was wil ling to drop his demand for a two-year deal and explore a one-year contract. Yesterday, the sides talked. Bondra's agent, Ritch Winter , said via e-mail that he had spoken to Capitals General Manager George McPhee . Another source confirmed that negotiations with Bondra are ongoing.

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Talking Escape Clause

With the recent debacle with Datsyuk, why such a concern with an escape clause? The Russians are not part of the IIHF agreement and therefore if you want to sign a player from Russia to play in the NHL, just do it. The only rules that need to be followed are the rules set by the NHL. Kovakchuk is in the same boat. He signed with a Russian team a week or so ago and everyone said it was a fall-back signing. If he could not come to terms with the Thrashers, then he would play in Russia. So the escape clause scenario really doesn't matter when signing a player who has a Russian League contract. Here is an example of another story about Datsyuk. from Russian Prospects,

Pavel Datsyuk closer to rejoining the Red Wings in NHL. RussianProspects.com has learned that Dynamo has matched Avangard’s contract offer, making the young forward obligated to play for the Moscow based club if he decides to remain in Russia. As was the case with Alexander Ovechkin prior to that young forward joining the Washington Capitals, Datsyuk is not likely to rejoin Dynamo after clearly showing intent to leave the 2005 RSL Champion. Furthermore, RussianProspects.com has learned that neither Avangard’s or Dynamo’s offer sheets have been ratified by the PHL, Russia’s professional hockey governing body, which means the young forward remains free to sign a NHL deal until the start of the NHL season in early October.
What does it matter if the PHL ratifies the contract or not? The Russians are not part of the IIHF, if the player signs with an NHL team, what do the Russians do? In my opinion, they have no recourse.

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Russians In Olympics An Issue

from the CP via TSN,

Not allowing Russian hockey players to participate at the 2006 Winter Olympics because their federation hasn't signed a transfer agreement would be stupid, Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, said Wednesday. ''It's not my way to do business,'' said Fasel. ''We have to bring the best athletes to the Games. Why punish good Russian NHL players by not allowing them to play in the Olympics? That would be a stupid decision.''

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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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