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Smyth Surprised Yashin Was Bought Out

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

“I was shocked actually… I know Yashin and Mr. (owner Charles) Wang are pretty tight. Caught me off-guard,” said Smyth, who would be getting the C on his jersey if he wants to return to Long Island, so tickled were they by his leadership in the six weeks he was there last season. Smyth has always wanted to be an NHL captain, so it’s obviously an enticement, but it’s still a long shot that he’ll sign again there. He may be a Western boy at heart.
“Being a captain? Yeah, that would be nice. But I just want to win,” said Smyth, who says he doesn’t know where talks are with the Islanders, who are also trying to keep heart-and-soul centre Jason Blake before he hits the open market.

read on... more UFA talk…

Filed in: NHL Talk, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Goaltending Situation For Florida Settled Soon

from the Palm Beach Post,

“We’ll either go back with the same duo or explore some trades,” Martin said. “There are scenarios we’re studying.”
Ed Belfour, Alex Auld and Craig Anderson, all of whom could become free agents July 1, remain in the mix.
Bringing back Belfour and Auld seems extremely risky. Belfour was excellent last season, but he’s 42, has a history of back problems and has serious off-ice issues. Auld lost his confidence and didn’t win a game after Dec. 7.
Aside from Fernandez, other goalies available in trade include either Evgeni Nabokov or Vesa Toskala from San Jose, backup Ilya Bryzgalov from Anaheim and Jose Theodore from Colorado.


Filed in: Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Andrew Ference Gets Involved

from the Boston Herald,

More recently, Ference has also gotten involved in the Right To Play program, which brings sports to disadvantaged parts of the world such as Africa, Palestine and Asia. On June 28, Ference and fellow volunteer, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Georges Laraque, will head to Tanzania to establish athletic programs.
“Where I’ll be going to in Tanzania, we’ll be working with kids who’ve orphaned by AIDS, former child soldiers or refugees, kids who really haven’t had a childhood and have lived five lifetimes in the span of 10 years,” Ference said. “We’re setting up programs where they can have sports, whether it’s through school or community teams. Where I’m going, a lot of the teams the kids can play on will be in the schools so it’s kind of a double-edged sword where you get the kids playing and having fun and interacting with other children and also getting to school because that’s where the sports are. Immunization is also done through sports.


Filed in: Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

“No Way”

from the Press-Enterprise,

On Thursday night, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Chris Pronger and Brad May were returning from their appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with the Cup, when one of them had to find a restroom. The limo driver stopped at Denny’s, and two hockey fans happened to be going into the restaurant.
“Jigger and Pronger get out, and the fans say, ‘No way!’ ” Ducks publicist Alex Gilchrist recalled. “The one guy peeks in and says, ‘No. That’s not the Stanley Cup, is it?’
“And Jigger takes it out and says, ‘Here.’ “
Whoever they are, they’ll be dining out on that moment for years.
“That was pretty cool,” Giguere said.

read on

Filed in: Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s A Shame

from the Vancouver Province,

With poker getting high ratings and with the success of all the collegiate sports ESPN has dipped into since dropping hockey, the league would have to beg the network to take the game back. Even then there’s not much likelihood given NBC’s staggeringly poor ratings.
It’s a shame, because at times this spring, the entertainment level during playoffs was high, much better than during the regular season. The pace was sometimes electric and the hitting often spectacular, with the better officials working and some intensity blossoming.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Anniversary We’d Like To Forget

from the Detroit Free Press,

Now, on the grassy median that splits Woodward Avenue just south of Big Beaver Road in Birmingham, there is nothing. There is no reminder that this sliver of grass was the site of Detroit’s most notorious limousine accident.
This Wednesday, June 13, 10 years will have passed since that crash, 10 years since this region spilled into the streets celebrating a Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years, and 10 years since that celebration was stopped cold after a limousine carrying two Red Wings and the team’s masseur hopped a curb on southbound Woodward, veered into a pole in the median and smashed into that tree, leaving two of them in intensive care.

read on

Filed in: Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canucks Looking For Grit

from the Vancouver Province,

Watching the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup has reinforced Vigneault’s admiration of old-school, hard-knocks, bad-attitude hockey, something he thinks the Canucks need more of, which should excite any fan of in-your-face hockey.
“There’s a lot of good in the new NHL—less clutching and grabbing and a bigger reliance on speed,” Vigneault said. “But, for me, I’m always going to be a fan of hitting and checking and—I know a lot of people aren’t going to like to hear this—fighting.
“Anaheim had the most fighting majors in the NHL. I’d like us to be a little more grittier in that side of the game.”


Filed in: Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Take A Look Around

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

The commissioner has plenty of work ahead in legitimizing a league that for years was perceived as irrelevant. Hockey’s television ratings, laughable at their height, were down 20 percent in the United States and 18 percent in Canada from last year for the Stanley Cup between the Ducks and the Ottawa Senators.
Bettman spent years trying to sell people on the strength of the league when anybody paying attention knew otherwise. But the opposite is true in this case. The NHL isn’t nearly as weak as TV ratings would suggest. The salary cap is expected to increase again next season, a sign the league has a strong revenue stream.
Take a closer look, and you’ll see Bettman’s vision from the mid-1990s slowly taking form.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Celebration- Ducks Style

from the Anaheim Ducks,

More than 15,000 fans crowded into the Honda Center parking lot Saturday evening to celebrate the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions Ducks. Fans arrived as early as 8 a.m. to secure a spot for the celebration, which lasted from 6:30 p.m., rolled on as the sun went down and concluded just before 9 p.m.
After some pregame musical entertainment and video on the several giant screens located around the parking lot, the Ducks arrived via double-decker bus down Katella Avenue. They slowly made their way down the red carpet, stopping along the way to receive congratulations from fans who had staked out spots along the walkway.


pic via Reuters

Filed in: Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Interested In Drury

from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,

As an over-35-year-old signing a one-year contract, Brendan Shanahan would be eligible to receive signing, games-played and performance bonuses that would allow the Rangers to exceed the cap by 7.5 percent or alternately be applied against the 2008-09 cap if they didn’t have that space. Thus, Shanahan, who played for $4 million last season, could sign a deal for a cap-applied base of $2 million with readily attainable bonuses to allow him to earn another $2 million without jeopardizing the Blueshirts’ position.
Folks around the league who presume Chris Drury will leave Buffalo to play in either L.A. or Colorado are overlooking the Big Moment Kid’s lifelong desire to play the Big Stage on Broadway, and the reciprocal interest the Rangers’ organization has in him.

more from Brooks, including the cap will now be around $48.5M…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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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