Kukla's Korner Hockey
The IIHF, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association met in Zurich on Thursday to discuss issues relating to player transfers and the international hockey agenda, including the Olympic Winter Games, the IIHF World Championships, the Victoria Cup and the World Cup of Hockey.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
“It was a new frontier that I had a new chance to explore,” (Barry) Smith said Wednesday. “I wasn’t going to be a mercenary and go there for the money. I wouldn’t have done that. It is a new frontier in hockey. You’re seeing what happens with the new league and the new process of North Americans.”
The league had its hiccups, but it’s growing. On his first road trip, his team was forced to walk a mile from its plane to catch a bus after a bomb scare at the airport. On his second road trip, the team hotel caught fire and, with no fire department nearby, was extinguished by employees.
“It was like walking into 1950,” he said with a laugh.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Before Emery was bought out of the final two years of his $6.75-million contract by the Senators, some league executives were predicting that teams “would be lined up” to sign the netminder, but it never happened.
It’s believed Emery was offered nothing more than a tryout by a couple of teams, with no promise of a contract.
This is the goaltender that led the Senators to the Stanley Cup final two years ago and now he can’t even get a sniff in the NHL. Why is that?
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,
According to an article in Tuesday’s Sovietskiy Sport, KHL president and Gazprom export CEO Alexander Medvedev wants the Columbus Blue Jackets to compensate CSKA Moscow for the Jacks’ signing of 18-year-old first-round draft choice Nikita Filatov. When asked how much the compensation should come to, he answered, “At least half a million dollars.”
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
Ray Emery’s NHL career is taking a detour—through Russia, where he’ll collect his paycheque in rubles.
The goaltender—whose contract was bought out by the Senators last month—has agreed to a one-year deal which could pay him in excess of $2 million plus bonuses next season with Atlant Mytishchi of the newly-formed Continental Hockey League in Russia, Sun Media has learned.
Update 11:15am ET: From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
“The reality is that since Ray’s buyout there hasn’t been a lot of interest, it doesn’t seem like someone (in the NHL) wants to give him a second chance right now,” Emery’s agent J.P. Barry told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. “It’s a terrific offer from Russia and we’ve been speaking to them for several weeks since the buyout.
“I’ve been talking to Ray a lot over the last couple of months and I know he’s taken a lot of steps to make changes. This is his best opportunity to play next year.”
from the CP,
An emotionally-drained Jaromir Jagr believes his decision to leave the NHL was the most difficult in his career. Yet the right one.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” the star winger told The Canadian Press in a phone interview Friday. “It was the toughest decision in my life, hockey-wise. ...
“It was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be,” he added. “No question about it. I hate making changes.”
Numerous reports stating Jagr has signed with Avangard Omsk. His picture is on the front page of their site.
A quick translation from the website…
On July, 4th general manager ХК “Avant-guard” Anatoly Bardin has concluded the contract on the scheme «2+1» with one of the most productive [forward in the] NHL Jaromir Jagr.
President [of the Continental Hockey League] Alexander Medvedev has highly appreciated [the] contract signing [by] management of Omsk “Avant-guard” with a star of world hockey In the near future there will be a press release of a management of league.
added 8:25am, via Bloomberg,
Jaromir Jagr, the former winner of the National Hockey League’s Hart Trophy as its most valuable player, has signed a deal to play with Avangard Omsk of the top Russian hockey league.
Club boss Anatoly Bardin signed a two-year contract that will bring Jagr, the five-time winner of the NHL’s scoring title, to the Siberian club after the 36 year-old’s contract ran out with the New York Rangers at the end of last season, a statement on the Russian club’s Web site said.
added 12:43pm, from TSN,
The Russian hockey team Avangard Omsk announced it has signed the former New York Rangers star and Jagr’s agent, Pat Brisson, confirmed the move Friday afternoon.
“Jaromir signed a letter of intent with the Avangard Omsk Hockey team of the Russian CHL on or about 3am EST this morning. I won’t comment on the terms of the agreement at this time.It was a very difficult but personal decision to make in light of the many NHL teams interested in his services. He is grateful to the NHL and especially the Rangers in recent years.”
via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
The Hockey News has learned Martin Straka will play overseas in 2008-09.
Reports surfaced last week that Straka would return to play in his native Czech Republic, but those reports were later denied.
A source close to the situation has now confirmed Straka will indeed leave the NHL.
from On the Islanders Beat,
When one door closes, another one opens. The only problem for former Islanders goaltender Wade Dubielewicz is that the door to his future is located halfway around the world. On the other hand, Door No. 2 will pay him much more than what he would have received to remain in the Islanders’ organization.
Agent Kurt Overhardt, who represents Dubielewicz, confirmed reports his client has signed to play with AK Kazan in the new Russian Continental League that is starting up this season. Overhardt declined to discuss specific terms of the deal, but it’s likely his client will make several times what he did after taxes on the $500,000 contract he received from the Islanders last season.
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Viktor Kuzkin, a three-time Olympic champion, has died after a diving accident earlier this week. He was 67.
Kuzkin won gold medals with the Soviet Union teams at three Winter Olympics from 1964 to ‘72, and eight world championships.
The Moscow-born defenceman played 169 times for the USSR, scoring 18 goals, and was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Hall of Fame in 2005.
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