Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Leafs Lunch

Bill Watters stated the Wings may be floating Zetterberg's name in trade rumors and of course, the Leafs are interested. update 1:30pm, Watters is now saying Z coudl go to Toronto with an offer sheet,since he is a RFA, this info is coming out of Sweden. update 4:45pm, Holland was on Detroit radio, did not mention anything about Toronto rumor. Said it will take some time to sign both Zetterberg and Datsyuk. Holland also mentioned he is looking at two other goaltenders besides Osgood and also wants to add some size up front. He feels there will be some good players available right before training camp starts.

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Iginla at Home

from Phil Coffey and nhl.com,

Jarome Iginla scrapped a lot of plans for NHL teams Wednesday. The Calgary Flames superstar could have been an unrestricted free agent next summer and you can be sure there were teams already planning on showing the dominant power forward quite the tour of their hometowns. But that's all gone now as Iginla opted to sign a new three-year deal with the Flames for $21 million and continue playing in the place he loves to call home. To be sure, Iginla also ranks among the NHL's highest-paid players, but the special bond that is so evident between Iginla and Calgary proved to be unshakeable.

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Can Yashin Breakout

from Newsday,

Mike Milbury avoided the point for as long as he could. But at the end of his conversation with reporters last night following his busy day reshaping the Islanders' roster, which included the giddy acquisition of Miroslav Satan and the troubling departure of captain Michael Peca, even Milbury couldn't deny there was a message sent to Alexei Yashin. "It's time for Alexei to have a breakout season," Milbury said of his oft-maligned No. 1 center. "The table's been set for him to have a breakout."

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Leafs Beaten Again

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It's almost as if the Philadelphia Flyers were ready for this. Well, of course they were. That the Flyers, known primarily as a big spender in the old NHL order, have proven to be so flexible and aggressive in the new capped NHL is a rather large compliment to general manager Bob Clarke and his organization. Moreover, the Flyers' preparedness to compete forcefully under the altered economic landscape stands in rather sharp contrast to another team that also was known for its economic muscle in pre-lockout times. That, of course, would be the Maple Leafs. While the Flyers have stunned the industry by making a flurry of exciting personnel moves in the past few days, including yesterday's acquisition of the brilliant Peter Forsberg, the Leafs and GM John Ferguson have appeared as the proverbial deer in the headlights, looking around as though they'd like to call a timeout.

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Stars Bend to Sign Modano

from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram via the TimesLeader,

The Dallas Stars broke their own rules for center Mike Modano because they needed him, and Modano eventually kept his word because he needed them. Capping a bizarre 24 hours of negotiations, the 35-year-old center signed a five-year, $17.25 million contract Wednesday night. It's the same contract he agreed to Tuesday, then rejected earlier Wednesday, leaving the Stars, their fans and the NHL hanging. A news conference is tentatively scheduled Thursday at American Airlines Center. By signing the contract, Modano virtually assures that he will end his career with the only organization he has ever known. "It's been hectic and nerve-wracking, but, in my heart of hearts, I wanted to stay here," Modano said. "In the end, I knew we would get a deal done. This was my decision." The deal pays Modano $4.25 million the first three seasons, and $2.25 million in the final two. The final two seasons include a $750,000 signing bonus for each that guarantees Modano will receive $1.5 million even if he decides to retire. Under the NHL's new salary-cap rules, the contract averages $3.45 million against the cap for the five years.

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Nashville Still Shopping

from the Nashville City Paper,

All was quiet on the Nashville Predators front as the third day of the NHL’s free agency circus came to a close. The Predators, unlike many teams in the league, have only a few slots to fill. They aren’t going to break the bank to sign a player, but they aren’t shopping for a discounted item either. And they won’t sign anyone who does not fill a need. “We’re looking at a few areas,” said Predators coach Barry Trotz. “We want to get bigger. We want to increase our scoring. Some pieces may fall into our lap just because we have a lot of cap room. We have a couple of holes to fill, and if we fill them we will be in great shape. We feel good about our team right now.”

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Kings Thinking About Roenick

from the LA Times (reg. req.),

Jeremy Roenick, the veteran NHL center who is rarely at a loss for words, may be heading west, as the Kings are in discussions to acquire him from the Philadelphia Flyers. The Kings declined to comment, but a source familiar with the situation said that talks were underway and Roenick could be traded as soon as today. The Kings are unlikely to offer a top prospect in return. The Kings are trying to beef up their offense, having signed forward Pavol Demitra on Tuesday. They are also talking with free agents Ziggy Palffy and Paul Kariya.

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Bolts Wait

from the Tampa Tribune,

While other teams continue to make cannonball-like splashes in the NHL free-agency pool, the Lightning have yet to create even a ripple since the market opened for business earlier this week. Presumably, that's because Tampa Bay general manager Jay Feaster continues to wait for goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin to make the first move before shifting full attention to other top players Martin St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier and Dan Boyle. All are restricted free agents whom Feaster would like to sign to multi-year deals.

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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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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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