Kukla's Korner

Too Much Player Movement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

James Mirtle brings up an interesting topic...

At some point, all that player movement becomes too much player movement and you're left watching an incessant merry-go-round of players and jerseys, shaking your head. We're certainly headed in that direction. If you view the new CBA as a work in progress solution, as I do, then this increased movement is one of the major downfalls of the league's relatively positive new labour agreement.
One of the reasons I don't watch the NBA much is I don't like all of the player movement. Plus the fact teams pick-up contracts instead of the player themselves, because it fits into the cap system is not fan friendly. How many times have you read Team A from the NBA picked up a $6 million contract because it expires at the end of the year, and traded a star or very good player to Team B because he no longer could fit under the cap next year? This same sequence may become more and more prevalent in the NHL...

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Chouinard Signs With Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Vancouver Sun (paid reg.),

Centre Marc Chouinard signs two-year contract The Vancouver Canucks have dipped back into the free-agent market to try and solve the faceoff woes that plagued them much of last season.

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“Drop The Puck” - It’s 97 Degrees Outside

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sun-Sentinel, The hockey season may have just ended, but the Florida Panthers are ready to "Drop That Puck." The National Hockey League franchise this week will launch its new advertising campaign. The new effort seeks to build on the team's on-ice momentum and fan enthusiasm to boost season ticket sales and drive consumer awareness for the sport. "Drop That Puck" speaks to the anticipation of the season, Auerbach said. "It's a war cry that says, Let's go." read on

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Ducks Sign Chistov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

The Ducks have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with left wing Stanislav Chistov, an offensive presence who could help fill the void left by the trade of right wing Joffrey Lupul to the Edmonton Oilers in last week's deal for star defenseman Chris Pronger.

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Wings New Problem- They Have Cap Room

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Shanahan has just three goals and seven assists in his last 22 playoff games over the past three seasons. He doesn’t move his feet well or drive to the net when it matters the most. It was surprising the Wings were pursuing him as aggressively as they were. He turns 38 in January and isn’t going to score 40 goals again. Even if does, it wouldn’t mean anything without a big showing in the playoffs. “It leaves a bit of a hole, mostly in the regular season,” Wings senior vice president Jimmy Devellano said. “It leaves us a little bit weaker. We have to try to find a way to adjust to it. We got a lot of money under the cap. Now the problem is, where do we spend it?”
more

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Should Have Kept Big Georges

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

We would never compare Georges Laraque to Steve Yzerman in terms of their on-ice skills. But no one can deny that they are, in their own way, the kind of professional hockey player that is too rare these days. And while it was inevitable after the Oilers rebuffed his very public pleas to stay with the team for less pay, it was still disappointing last week to read that Laraque had signed a two-year, $2.4-million contract with the Phoenix Coyotes. Which is why it's unfortunate that the Oilers could not find a way to keep Big Georges playing in the City of Champions - or even not playing, but paying him to be the team's goodwill ambassador to the community, a role that comes naturally to the affable Laraque.
read on

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Blues Make Contract Offer To Zidane

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Zinedine Zidane, captain of the French World Cup team which lost a tense final round game to Italy, has been offered a spot on the roster of the American hockey team St. Louis Blues. This unexpected twist compounds a day of intrigue for Zidane, sparked when, after a heated exchange of comments with Italy's Marco Materazzi on the pitch in overtime, the Frenchman head-butted Materazzi, slamming square into the Italian defender's chest and knocking him to the grass. An unapologetic Zidane spat at the media afterwards, saying, "This wimp blocks and holds me, then verbally assaults me. I was merely giving him a taste of his own medicine." He continued, "If only this were the NHL - those guys get into all sorts of scrapes and fights, and they're just given a quick timeout. Hockey is tough, where slamming into each other is just part of the gameplay." St. Louis Blues head coach Mike Kitchen, after hearing of the incident and Zidane's comments, quickly researched the player and forwarded a formal offer to the former soccer player, as this game marked his last before retiring from the sport.
more...

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Rangers & Wild Make Right Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

The Rangers, whose salary-cap position is ameliorated by the Washington Capitals’ generosity in picking up a large part of Jagr’s salary, are not finished yet. Sources say they are considering repatriating Brian Leetch, who is 38 but still a highly skilled defenceman and a crowd favourite at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers will need a repeat performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist next season, and it wouldn’t hurt if Sandis Ozolinsh could conquer his personal devils. But there is every indication that the Rangers have turned the corner. The other long-downtrodden club showing signs of emerging from the ranks of the stiffs is the Minnesota Wild.
more

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Dvorak Wants To Stay In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Oilers,

Radek Dvorak never said he wanted to leave the Edmonton Oilers. In a wide-ranging interview with the official Czech hockey federation site, hokej.cz, Dvorak said: “I’m doing everything to make sure I have a good year, similar to my previous successful seasons. I talked to Edmonton’s management and they told me they were interested in me. I am thinking of other offers, too. I hear from (a journalist) that my agent Rich Winter told the Edmonton Journal that I do not want to play for Edmonton. I don’t know why he said it and he’ll have to explain it to me. “Obviously, it must be a part of his negotiating strategy. I’ve never said anything like this, I love Edmonton, and I would never say anything bad about a team where I’d worked...."
continued

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3-Way Deal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The San Jose Sharks have acquired Mark Bell from the Chicago Blackhawks in a three-way deal that is expected to see Martin Havlat go to the Blackhawks. The Sharks acquired Bell in exchange for Tom Priessing and Josh Hennessy, who are expected to be part of a package Chicago will use to acquire Havlat.
update 9:46pm, via TSN,
The Ottawa Senators have traded Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski to the Chicago Blackhawks in a three-way deal also involving the San Jose Sharks. Chicago sent Mark Bell to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Tom Priessing and Josh Hennessy, who the Blackhawks added to a package to land Havlat and Smolinski. Along with Preissing and Hennessy, the Blackhawks sent prospect Michal Barinka and a 2008 second-round draft pick to Ottawa in exchange for Havlat and Smolinski.

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