Kukla's Korner

The Maven In Late July

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-Don’t be surprised if the Sabres nix signing Daniel Briere. The $5 million arbitration “settlement” is absurdly too high. A free agent next season, DB could go in a trade this week. At least three clubs are said to be interested, including Atlanta. -Nobody is more enthused about his new surroundings than Alex Tanguay. “Who wouldn’t be happy about playing on a line with Jarome Iginla,” says Tanguay. “I’ll know exactly what to do with him.” Such as getting JI the puck! -Michael Peca was one of those NHLPA characters beefing about the CBA last year. At last look, the new Leaf will be adding to his millions – along with fellow-whiner Brian McCabe – this year.
more

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Cover Your Ears

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

It's arbitration time in the NHL. Now I'm not an agent. I'm not qualified to be an agent. I absolutely never want to be an agent. But if I were an agent, there is one rule I would never break -- I would never let my client in his arbitration hearing. What's the point? Why let the player hear his boss (usually the general manager of his team) explain why he isn't worth what he's asking, detail every failure and downplay his importance to the team?
continued

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What Will Regier Do

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via TSN,

Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier was unavailable Monday to comment on the team's financial plight. Over the next 11 days, Regier and the Sabres will go to arbitration with seven more players, including last season's leading scorer Maxim Afinogenov. Unless Regier can sign the Russian to a long-term deal, another hefty award could be in line. Afinogenov registered 73 points, far surpassing his previous career high of 40 points collected in 2001-02, while making just under $1.1 million.
more

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Hurry Up And Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Three years to craft a competitive team and take it to the Promised Land. Three years to develop a core, fill the holes and hope for the health -- and breaks -- needed to get the job done. It's not much time, to be sure, but that's about as wide a window as NHL teams have to win the Stanley Cup. Three years is all the opportunity a club has after the critical players it develops hit their stride but before they start to gain arbitration eligibility -- the point at which a team is forced to move them to avoid salary-cap self-destruction.
read on

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Gainey Sticking Around

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Canadiens,

Canadiens President Pierre Boivin announced Monday that Executive VP Hockey and General Manager Bob Gainey has accepted the terms of a contract extension until the end of the 2009-10 season.

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Major Rebranding For OLN (Versus)

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Advertising Age,

Outdoor Life Network -- oft called OLN and soon to be known as Versus -- has selected Taxi, New York, to handle creating and media planning on a major rebranding campaign this fall as the network adopts a new moniker. The name change is set to debut September 25, just before the National Hockey League season kicks off October 4. Last year was the first year OLN, which is owned by Comcast, broadcast the NHL games, which it secured in 2005 as part of a two-year, $135 million deal. OLN is expected to spend $7 million to $9 million in the fourth quarter on the rebranding campaign. Hockey will be the main focal point, but OLN also will promote its Professional Bull Riding competitions and hunting and fishing programming. Media buying remains with StarLink.
read on (reg. may be req.)

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Recchi Back To Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Mark Recchi is returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sources tell TSN that the free agent forward has signed a deal to return to the club that traded him to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes at the trade deadline in March.

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Bad Sweaters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Page 2 at ESPN is taking votes on bad sports jerseys. A few hockey sweaters made the writer's top 10.

Vancouver Canucks, 1978-85. OK, yes, we get it -- the huge, garish stripes were supposed to form a V, for Vancouver. So how come it always looked like the team was draped with reflective vests? Bonus points for the illegible sleeve patches and for replacing one of the NHL's most underrated designs, which never should have been retired in the first place.
read on...huge amount of links to "bad" designed sweaters....

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Eric Johnson Is The Total Package

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

"He's no surprise," said former Blues defenseman Al MacInnis, who directed the camp. "When he came in here, he's big, he's mature, pretty much the total package out there. He plays with a lot of confidence, and he kind of separates himself from the field." The bleachers at the Ice Zone were cluttered with not only Blues fans but many of the team's top officials: President John Davidson, general manager Larry Pleau, assistant GM Jarmo Kekalainen and coach Mike Kitchen. Whispers about Johnson from the Blues' brass grew into loud exclamations as the week unfolded.
more

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All Glenn Murray

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily News (Haliflax),

DN: How do you feel about the moves made by Boston in the offseason? GM: The first moves during the season in November, obviously weren't good. Obviously, when you trade your captain (Joe Thornton), your best player, it's always disappointing and surprising. So that kind of put us behind the eight-ball right away for making the playoffs. And we had a few injuries, and it just wasn't going so well all year. Now in the offseason, we pick up (Marc) Savard, (Zdeno) Chara and (Sean) Donovan. So I think we're making great strides. No question about it. We got the best free agent available this summer and that's always a positive.
read on

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