Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Battle for Dmen

from Sportsnet,

Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Gonchar remain the two key defencemen left on the free agent market. Sources tell Sportsnet both the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are among the teams expressing the most interest in Niedermayer. The Vancouver Canucks have also made gestures, although the Canucks are believed to be reluctant to commit to the millions Niedermayer is sure to demand.

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Allison Soon to be a Leaf

Leafs Lunch reporting Jason Allison to be a Leaf within a day or so.

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A Star is Born

Sidney Crosby is headed to Hollywood. The teenage hockey phenom is scheduled to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Thursday.

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Pens Show Interest

from the Tribune-Review,

Two players whom Penguins general manager Craig Patrick inquired about yesterday were defenseman Adrian Aucoin and forward Alexei Kovalev, who played for the team from 1998-2003. "We did have a conversation, and we agreed there's mutual interest," said Scott Greenspun, Kovalev's agent. "We agreed to stay in touch."

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Khabibulin Wants Max

from the East Valley Tribune,

If the Coyotes, or any other NHL team, are interested in signing the NHL's No. 1 free agent goaltender, they had better bring a healthy checkbook along. NHL sources confirmed reports that Stanley Cup-winning goalie and Valley resident Nikolai Khabibulin — now an unrestricted free agent — is seeking an “NHL maximum” contract of $7.8 million a year. About a third of the 30 NHL teams have varying levels of interest in Khabibulin, who began his career with Winnipeg/Phoenix before being traded to Tampa Bay in March 2001 following a contract holdout lasting nearly two full seasons.

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Modano To Phoenix?

This from a long time reader of Kukla's Korner, Dallas radio reporting Modano will go the Phoenix and the opportunity to play with Hull again. This is just a rumor but Modano is supposed to make a decision very soon.

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The Mighty Canucks of Anaheim

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times (reg. req.).

For Burke and Carlyle to succeed in Anaheim they'll have to break the Canuck mold and assemble a team that wins not just from October through mid-April, but in May and June. They'll have to create a strong identity that will elevate the Ducks above their current place as the junior entry in a wounded sport in a crowded market. The Burke-Carlyle Ducks can't be the Canucks with slightly different accents and better tans. Burke came to the Ducks a year after he was let go by the Vancouver Canucks, whom he built into an exciting regular-season team that never got past the second round of the playoffs during his six-season tenure. He has often said he wants the Ducks to play the same aggressive, up-tempo style as the Canucks did, even though it didn't get those teams far. His argument that his Canucks lost to rivals with higher payrolls doesn't entirely withstand scrutiny.

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Niedermayer “Hot”

from the Asbury Park Press,

The bidders are lining up for the right to line Scott Niedermayer's pockets. According to Niedermayer's agent Kevin Epp, 13 different teams reached out to inquire about the availability of the 2004 Norris Trophy winner Monday, the first day that unrestricted free agents hit the market. Of the 13 teams involved, Epp said eight or nine were serious players for the Devils defenseman. "Three or four of those teams are sticking around to see if they can afford him," Epp said. Epp did not expect Niedermayer to make a decision before Friday.

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Sens Business Strategy May Fail

from Ottawa Business Journal,

With the Ottawa Senators back in business, a multi-pronged marketing approach to win back disgruntled fans has been activated. Lower ticket prices, gameday events and various community outreach programs are in place to steer the team in the right direction. However, a local business professor has concerns about whether the strategy will be successful. "Just to assume the stadium will fill up again – maybe it will – but I would be concerned if I was running a multi-million business," says Carleton University business professor Bill Lawson.

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Wings Deny Thornton Rumor

from Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland was busy working the phones Monday, the first day of NHL free agency. There was little activity, as GMs and player agents try to gauge the marketplace under the league's new $39 million salary cap. In the meantime, the Red Wings refuted a rumor that they're on the verge of a blockbuster trade in which they would acquire center Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins for Pavel Datsyuk.

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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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