Kukla's Korner

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Kovalchuk & Datsyuk

from the Globe and Mail,

Atlanta Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk has threatened to follow fellow countryman Pavel Datsyuk and play in Russia this season, only it appears that Datsyuk has left the door open for the Detroit Red Wings to sign him before training camp opens next week. According to a National Hockey League source, Datsyuk has yet to file his contract with the Russian Professional Hockey League and has given the Wings a Sunday deadline to work out a contract. Meanwhile, 22-year-old Kovalchuk and the Thrashers remain far apart in their contract discussions. Kovalchuk wants a long-term deal worth between $6.66-million and $7-million a season, too steep a price for Thrashers general manager Don Waddell. With no reason for immediate optimism a deal can be worked out between the squabbling sides, Kovalchuk is scheduled to play for Khimik of the Russian league next week.

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Saskin Defends Salary

from the National Post,

How does a man at the helm of an association that recently suffered what has been characterized as a major defeat command an annual salary (US$2.1-million) double that of Donald Fehr, the long-time chief of the baseball players' union? "If people are going to talk about comparables," Saskin said in a one-on-one interview at his Toronto office yesterday, "it would be fair to note that the comparables for my position consists of an executive director at football who is paid significantly more than me, and an executive director in basketball that is paid significantly more than me. And in terms of the reference to Don Fehr, there are other elements of his compensation that are not being accurately reported.

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Respect for Stevens

from Chico Resch of MSG Network,

Scott Stevens' retirement marks the end of an era for the attitude he brought to the game. Scott exemplified an era where everything was about the game, about the team, and about bringing your best stuff every night and leaving everything you have on the ice. Martin Brodeur, with Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedermayer, and now Stevens gone, is now the last remaining member of the Devils' "Core of Four" that were the staples, the one ingredient that you knew would make the Devils a contender
.

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Datsyuk, Again

I thought we could make it through the day without andy Datsyuk news, but no, Peter did some digging. Basically reports are now Datsyuk is back with Omsk, Dynamo filed papers too late to sign him. It also states Datsyuk may come back to Detroit but the Russians would lose a talented player but it would not be their fault.

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Hatcher Suffers Knee Injury

per Sportsnet,

Derian Hatcher's debut with the Philadelphia Flyers may be delayed. The monstrous defenceman injured his knee during action at Team USA's Olympic orientation camp in Colorado Springs and has returned to Philadelphia for further evaluation. Sources tell Sportsnet the Flyers expect to know the extent of the injury and Hatcher's prognosis either late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

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Trap is Evil

from the CP via TSN,

Kris Draper hopes new rules and a crackdown on obstruction will erase the neutral zone trap from the NHL lexicon. "Let's hope we don't hear that word 'trap' anymore," the Detroit Red Wings veteran said Thursday on a conference call. "I think everyone realizes what a negative impact it had on the game. "It really slowed things down. Teams were successful playing that way, but it didn't lead to exciting hockey." The NHL has promised higher-scoring, more free-flowing hockey when play resumes Oct. 5 after the 2004-05 season was wiped out by the lockout. One of the aims is to rid the league of the stifling defensive systems like the dreaded trap that saw top offensive stars more often fighting through traffic at centre ice than making crowd-pleasing dashes to the net.

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Avs Giveaway

The Colorado Avalanche will celebrate its 10th season with a look back at the team’s 10 greatest moments and the biggest fan appreciation contest in Denver sports history. The 10 prizes being given to fans, and the prize sponsor, are: • Single-family home – Amber Homes • Custom Colorado Avalanche motorcycle – Rocky Mountain Harley-Davidson • Ten roundtrip flights – Frontier Airlines • Trip for two on Colorado Avalanche team charter – Colorado Avalanche • One week ski vacation – Vail Cascade Resort and Spa • Avs game in Pepsi Center luxury suite/dinner for 10 at Elway’s – Denver Post • Colorado Avalanche “Assistant Coach for a Day” – KeyBank • Three-night Las Vegas vacation – Mirage Hotel & Casino • Pool table and six-person hot tub – Pool Table Warehouse and Cal Spas • Mitsubishi 65-inch HDTV monitor – The Big Picture

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Team USA Progressing

from USA Hockey,

A simple glance at the 39-man roster reveals an historic variance. The 2005 Men’s Olympic Orientation Camp, which concluded Sept. 8, in Colorado Springs, Colo., played host for three days to what is likely the widest range of ages that has ever been legitimately considered for a U.S. Men’s Olympic Team. The next step in the selection process, and Laviolette was quick to point out that the previous three days were not a team tryout, will be to assess the players during their respective regular seasons. The youngest players may have much to prove in the coming weeks and months, but each is better for the experience. As talented as they were upon arrival, they’ve been further exposed to a priceless resource of those who have come before them.

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MacInnis To Retire

via TSN,

TSN has learned that Al MacInnis will retire from the National Hockey League on Friday. MacInnis, 42, tallied 1274 points in 1416 games with the Flames and St. Louis Blues during his illustrious career, striking fear into goaltenders throughout the league with a legendary slapshot.

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Jokinen Still Unsigned

from the CP via Slam,

The Florida Panthers have yet to re-sign centre Olli Jokinen, their top scorer from the last two seasons, as training camp approaches. "Absolutely nothing is happening," Todd Diamond, who represents Jokinen along with Mark Gandler, said Thursday. "We're waiting to hear from them. I don't know what they're doing. We've heard nothing from them for probably close to a week now."

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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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