Kukla's Korner

Chris Simon Signs With NYI

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Islanders,

The Islanders have signed veteran left wing Chris Simon to a one-year contract, reuniting him with Ted Nolan, his head coach during his final year of junior hockey. Last season with the Calgary Flames, the 6-3, 220-pound Simon was 8-14-22 with 94 penalty minutes in 72 games. The previous NHL season, Simon helped lead the Flames to the Stanley Cup Final after he was dealt by the Rangers to Calgary at the trade deadline, scoring five goals in 16 playoff games.

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Pens Sale Getting Close

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

By the end of this week or early next week, the number of bidders in the running to buy the Penguins could be reduced to three -- or one. Four known bidders and a possible fifth have submitted offers. Allen and Company, the New York firm brokering the sale of the hockey team, is analyzing and verifying those bids and is expected to pare the number soon. When one offer is chosen, that bidder will sign a letter of intent for the right to negotiate exclusively for a period of time. Although details of the bids remain mostly unclear, the sale price is expected to top $150 million.
continued

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Captain AO?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Washington Times,

Alex Ovechkin, the face of Washington Capitals hockey almost from the moment he arrived from Moscow nearly a year ago, soon may add another laurel to his growing collection. Ovechkin yesterday appeared to have the solid backing of coach Glen Hanlon to be Washington's next captain. The title has been vacant only since Wednesday, when captain Jeff Halpern accepted a free agent offer from Dallas.
continued

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Another Level For Bell

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

It's hard to imagine the Sharks needing help on a line that featured both the league's MVP and its top goal-scorer, but that's why the Sharks got Mark Bell. "He's a big, tough, physical kid that can play in all situations,'' General Manager Doug Wilson said of the four-year veteran. ``He's already proved he can score in this league, and putting him in this environment will be really good for him, and for us.'' Wilson wouldn't commit Bell to the top line, calling him a "top-six forward'' and praising his versatility. "It's kind of mind-boggling to think I can even be on that line,'' Bell said. "I have a chance to take my game to the next level. And I think I can do that in San Jose with these guys up front.''
read on

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Primeau Frustrated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

Primeau, who will turn 35 in November, has scheduled a meeting with team doctor Gary Dorshimer in hopes of discovering why his concussion symptoms disappeared for two weeks following nasal surgery, only to return. "It's like peeling away layers of onion," said Primeau, who missed all but nine games last season with concussion symptoms. "You get through one obstacle and the next obstacle pops up. I'm trying to get to the bottom of it and it's frustrating." Primeau thought he experienced a major breakthrough in his two-year battle with concussion symptoms in mid-May when he felt instant relief following nasal surgery. He was so encouraged he began a full-scale training regimen that included weightlifting and biking. Ten days ago that regimen was interrupted when Primeau began feeling pressure on the crown of his head.
more...plus an update on Forsberg in case you missed it about a week ago...

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Flames Have Little Time To Win The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

...with Darryl Sutter contemplating his future as coach, the reality is obvious: The Flames have less than two years left to win the Stanley Cup. After that, the club will lose Jarome Iginla and/or Miikka Kiprusoff, kicking off what will become an annual dismantling around the NHL. With average players such as Colin White signing six-year deals worth $18 million, it's clear the new CBA has done little to eliminate the mind-boggling contract insanity casual fans figured would disappear. Instead, expensive player rentals appear to be the way of the future, as teams on the brink of breaking through look to plug holes with proven stars.
read on

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Stan Wonders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-Although Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell may not want to hear it, many NHL hockey people are fed up withthe outlandish number of 5-on-3's. Darren Pang is not afraid to speakout on the issue. “We could improve the game by not having as much specialty teams play,” says the ex-goalie and Coyotes’ TV analyst. “The amount of 5-on-3's got old.” -What makes rookie Colorado GM Francois Giguere believe that Tyler Arnason will help his Avs? The spoiled forward couldn’t play for either Brian Sutter or Trent Yawney in Chicago and flubbed his chance with Bryan Murray in Ottawa. Bottom Line: Giguere blew it! -Where is it written that the NHL Awards Ceremony must be held in Canada? And must be emceed by Ron MacLean, who must be backed by a lousy comic?
read on

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Canada Planning For 2010

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Craig MacTavish and Darryl Sutter are at the top of Wayne Gretzky's list to coach the Canadian men's hockey team for the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010. Gretzky, who served as the executive director of the men's team that competed in the Olympics in 2002 and 2006, also said that Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock and Jacques Martin deserve consideration. However, Gretzky suggested, because Sutter led the Calgary Flames to the 2004 Stanley Cup final and MacTavish followed the same path this past spring, they are the front-runners, with the Vancouver Games 43 months away.
continued

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Sens Need Work Up Front

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

After GM John Muckler has concentrated on remaking the Senators' back end -- they are the Jennifer Lopez of the NHL right now -- here's hoping he's ready to get a little enhancement for the front. Thing is, a Jessica Simpson is now out of the question given the amount of money left in the kitty, most of which will be spent just bringing back into the fold the likes of Peter Schaefer, Antoine Vermette, Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Christoph Schubert and rookie centre Alexei Kaigorodov (if they can ever get the NHL-Russia transfer agreement finalized.) Near as I can figure, they have committed $34.7 million (all terms US) in salary cap dollars (the average of players' deals rather than what they make next year) to 14 players. That leaves about $5.5 million to bring in the remaining five free agents and prospect mentioned above and another player...
more image

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A Whole New World

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press (Tuesday edition) via the Mercury News,

Brace yourself, Red Wings fans. You are about to read a sentence nobody in the Wings organization has uttered in at least 13 years. "Hopefully," general manager Ken Holland said, "we can be a playoff team." Hopefully? Who are these guys? The Atlanta Thrashers?
continued added 6:43am Tuesday, link to Detroit Free Press now available...

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