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Latest Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With the National Hockey League back in business, the rumor mill is churning furiously as the Aug. 1 deadline for unrestricted free agency approaches. Checl out what Spector of Fox Sports has to say.

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LA Kings Cut Season Tickets by 5%

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ticket prices for Los Angeles Kings season tickets holders have been reduced by five percent for the upcoming 2005-06 season and individual game ticket pricing will remain unchanged from the 2003-04 season, it was announced today by Kings President Tim Leiweke. update 6:35pm, Avs cut prices too.

In apologizing for its labor sins, the NHL has promised to be prettier and more fun, but today the Colorado Avalanche sent its fans a make-up bouquet scented with a 20 percent slash in ticket prices this season. The rollback - which also includes a 10 percent reduction in the cost of single-game tickets - marks one of the most lavish price cuts in the NHL where this week a bevy of clubs are dangling fresh ticket deals to soothe and sway angry fans.

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Goodbye to Mac

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Probably directed more to the Wings fans, but a nice article on Darren McCarty. from the AP via Mlive,

Darren McCarty, whose hard-working, physical style of play made him a favorite in Hockeytown, on Monday took one step closer to leaving Detroit. The 33-year-old forward was waived by the Red Wings along with Derian Hatcher and Ray Whitney. If the trio go unclaimed as expected, the Red Wings have the option of buying out their contracts and making them unrestricted free agents. In other words, the 11-season relationship between McCarty and the Wings has effectively ended. "It's obviously disappointing because this is the only place I ever played," McCarty said during an interview on WDFN-AM in Detroit. "I'll always be a Red Wing at heart, and it'll always be home. What can you say? I'll try to take a positive out of it."

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Yashin Staying with Isles

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via TSN,

Islanders general manager Mike Milbury knows the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement will only help his team so much. The rest is up to him and the players he puts on the ice. "We always felt we could compete, but there was a feeling of frustration," Milbury said Monday. "We'll have a better chance, but we still have to make the right decisions." Payrolls no longer are an issue when it comes to hockey. Gone are the days where big-market clubs could load up their rosters with all-stars no matter the cost. The limit is $39 million US per team, whether you play in a sparkling new arena or the seen-its-better-days Nassau Coliseum. "Let's face facts. We need our top guys to perform," Milbury said. That starts with Alexei Yashin, who was slated to earn $10 million this season before a 24 per cent rollback cut his salary to $7.6 million - tied for second highest in the NHL.

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A “Great’Comparison

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

Perhaps like no other segment of society, sports lends itself to comparisons. Is this team as good as that? What about this player as opposed to that? Is he a better coach than that guy? So it's almost logical -- although highly unfair -- that Sidney Crosby has drawn the almost inevitable comparisons to the NHL's greatest scorers, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. But after putting up the numbers Crosby did with Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, well there was really no chance that wasn't going to happen. "He is a wonderful player," retired coach Scotty Bowman told reporters after watching Crosby practice during the Memorial Cup tournament. "I think he deserves everything people say about him." In the hockey world, when Bowman talks, people listen, so Bowman's next comments added a layer of cement to Crosby's formidable reputation.

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NHL Reaching out to the Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC,

All across the United States, less so in Canada, NHL teams are using various incentives to re-connect with the public. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks have rolled back season-ticket prices an average of 5.28 per cent, while other teams such as Columbus, Carolina, Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles have followed suit with sizable discounts. The Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Dallas Stars will have $10 US tickets. In Canada, many teams expect hockey fans to return, so there will be few breaks. Single-game ticket prices in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa are expected to remain at the same levels established before the lockout cancelled the season. Team officials for the Montreal Canadiens have said they will not lower any tickets for the premium seats at Bell Centre, but will offer a 10 per cent discount on 4,500 tickets per game. Five hundred tickets in the family zone will be sold for less than $10 and 500 will be handed out free on 17 Tuesday night games. "Our average ticket price was 16th in the league, but we've gone a step farther," he said. "We want to make sure we're affordable as possible." In Boston, the Bruins are taking every precaution to make sure it makes all the right steps in repairing their relationship with hockey fans, hiring a public relations firm to help with its marketing plan. Details haven't been made official yet, but team executives plan on making a major ticket-price cut across the board, including offering close to 1,000 seats at $10 each. "Virtually every seat will have a price rollback of some sort," said Charlie Jacobs, whose family owns the team.

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Avs Picture, Sakic & Blake Staying

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via NHL.com,

The Colorado Avalanche said Monday they plan to honor the contracts of Joe Sakic and Rob Blake, two of the core players for the perennial Stanley Cup contenders whose futures were in limbo. The fate of other key Avalanche players - most notably Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote - is still being considered as general manager Pierre Lacroix scrambles to make decisions before Aug. 1, when those players will go on the open market if not signed.

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CBA- Nothing but Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Buffalo Business First,

"It created a financial system that at least allows each team a chance to being (fiscally) viable," said B. Thomas Golisano, the Sabres' owner. "This new deal is nothing but good for the fans, the players and ownership." The Sabres, on Monday, began rolling out a new season-ticket sales marketing campaign that will see prices rolled back on average between 12 percent and 28 percent, with some seats as inexpensive as $10 per game. As for the team, Darcy Regier, the Sabres' general manager, said he expects it to operate with a player payroll in the $27 million to $29 million range, well below the league maximum cap of $39 million and about $4 million less than the $33 million player payroll it carried in the 2003-2004 season.

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Habs Announce Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

per TSN,

Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today that the Club will not exercise the 2005-06 team option on the contracts of defenceman Patrice Brisebois and forward Gavin Morgan.

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No buyouts for Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The theory that the new collective bargaining agreement will force NHL teams to undergo facelifts won't apply to the Ottawa Senators this year, according to general manager John Muckler. When the Senators open the season Oct. 5 against Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, their fans can expect to see a team pretty similar to the one that last skated off that same ice surface in April 2004 after being beaten out of the playoffs by the Leafs. Unlike teams such as the Philadelphia Flyers, which was the first club to purge itself of contracts over the weekend, Muckler confirmed Monday at the Senators' official 2005-06 season launch that Ottawa won't follow suit, despite having just 10 players under contract for a total of $23.6 million US for next season. That means they'll retain the services of forward Bryan Smolinski (scheduled to earn $2.24 million in 2005-06) and defenceman Greg de Vries ($2.28 million) - both rumoured to be headed out of Ottawa. Under terms of the new CBA, teams are right now allowed the chance to buy out existing contracts at two-thirds of their value. "We're not going to do that," Muckler said. "We like our players. Our first priority is to keep them. "I'm happy we're in that position rather than in the position of a buyer."

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