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NHL Fantasy League

from USA TODAY,

Welcome to the NHL fantasy league. That's what this dumping and signing frenzy resembles. Teams with loads of cap room are totally remaking their rosters with other teams' overly expensive castoffs. It's exciting and fun. Who said the new WHA is dead? And who's ready for a Columbus-Pittsburgh Stanley Cup final? Anyway, without further ado, some thoughts on the recent goings-on in the NHL:

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Colorado Signs Brunette

The Colorado Avalanche has signed forward Andrew Brunette to a two-year contract.

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Whitney to Carolina

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the Hurricanes have agreed to terms with left wing Ray Whitney on a two-year contract. As per club policy, further terms of the deal were not released.

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Carnival of the NHL

Check out the 4th edition of the "Carnival of the NHL" at On the Wings. I do appreciate the mention there and hope to one day host a "Carnival" at Kukla's Korner.

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Nash Signs a New Deal

per TSN but no link yet on ESPN, ESPN reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets have signed restricted free agent forward Rick Nash to a five-year contract worth $27 million US. update 6:31pm, The Blue Jackets are expected to hold a news conference on Monday to announce the signing.

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Palffy a Pen

via TSN, Zigmund Palffy is the latest free agent forward to land with a new NHL team, signing on with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It is a three-year contract worth $13.5 million US

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Important Dates Coming Up

August 10 Player-Elected Salary Arbitration Notification August 11 Club-Elected Salary Arbitration Notification August 12 NHL/NHLPA to Schedule Arbitration Cases August 15 Qualifying Offers Expire Automatically August 22 First Day of Salary Arbitration Hearings September 1 Last Day for Salary Arbitration Hearings September 2 Last Day for Issuance of Salary Arbitration Awards September 4 Last Day for Second Buy-Out Period [Only for Clubs with Salary Arbitration Cases] (Latest Day for Clubs Receiving Salary Arbitration Awards on September 2 to Exercise Second Buy-Out Option) December 1 Signing Deadline for Group 2 Free Agents SALARY ARBITRATION Who will be eligible for Salary Arbitration? As a general matter, players will be eligible for salary arbitration after four years in the League instead of three. For the first time, Clubs also will have the right to elect salary arbitration with respect to two categories of players. For players who are earning more than $1.5 million in their prior year, Clubs will have the right to elect salary arbitration in lieu of making a Qualifying Offer. Clubs also will have the right to elect salary arbitration with respect to other Group 2 players who chose not to take the Club to arbitration.

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Hejduk Back with the Avs

from the CP via TSN,

The Colorado Avalanche signed all-star winger Milan Hejduk to a five-year deal Saturday. The five-foot-11, 185-pound Hejduk played for Pardubice HC in the Czech Elite League this past season, recording 25 goals and 26 assists in 48 games. Hejduk has eclipsed the 30-goal barrier four times in his six-year NHL career, including 50 in 2002-03 to collect the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy as the league's top goal-scorer. "I wanted to keep playing in Denver for a long time," Hejduk said in a statement. "There's no better place to play hockey than in Colorado, where our fans have been so supportive.

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Loving The New NHL

from Slam,

Isn't this just absolutely wonderful? Over the last five days, the NHL has been a lot like Christmas: Fans wake up in the morning and find that shiny new player under the tree. You know, the one their team had absolutely no chance of signing in the old days. Chris Pronger in Edmonton? Wow! Scott Niedermayer in Anaheim? Amazing! Paul Kariya in Nashville? Unbelievable! The list goes on and on. The result, we all hope and envision, is a competitive NHL like we've never seen before. All this exciting free-agent action might even make fans forgive the league for its lockout -- maybe.

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Bruins Want to Keep Thornton, Samsonov

from the Boston Herald,

Mike O'Connell couldn't predict how long Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov would be Bruins, but the team's general manager came close to guaranteeing that the pair would remain with the club throughout the 2005-06 season, regardless of what the future holds. O'Connell said yesterday he will attempt to hammer out long-term deals with Thornton and Samsonov - set to be unrestricted free agents next summer - after the weekend. But if things can't be worked out, O'Connell said he was willing to let the players simply sign their one-year qualifying offers and let the chips fall where they may.

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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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