Kukla's Korner

“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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Why Shanny Left

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press (Monday edition) via the Mercury News,

There's a time when you cast a shadow and a time when the shadow casts you. This, more than anything, is why Brendan Shanahan left the Red Wings on Sunday and signed with the New York Rangers. "It was just a growing instinct," he said via phone from his summer home in Massachusetts. "As great as the future is in Detroit, I think I belonged a little more to its great past." This is not your typical departing-athlete statement, which more often goes: "I had to do what was best for my family."
continued added 7:30am Monday, link to Detroif Free Press now available... FYI, Mitch not only has covered Brendan while in Detroit, but they also consider themselves friends... added 9:12pm, from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press (Monday edition) via the Mercury News,
Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock boiled the question down to this: How does a team replace a 40-goal scorer? The answer, from general manager Ken Holland, is that maybe it doesn't. The Red Wings learned during the weekend that prolific scorer Brendan Shanahan has decided to play next season for the New York Rangers, creating a hole in the Wings' lineup. "We've got a competitive team," Holland said Sunday. "We'll try to find another player if we can. If not, we'll start the season with what we've got. Maybe we'll use the Edmonton model and save for the trade deadline."
more added 7:30am Monday, link to Detroit Free Press now available...

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Report- Belfour A Wing On Monday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

WDIV in Detroit is reporting the Wings will announce the signing of goalie Ed Belfour on Monday. added 7:37am Monday, from Mlive,

Ed Belfour could officially become the Detroit Red Wings new starting goaltender today. Wings general manger Ken Holland said Sunday that he would reveal today whether the club will sign the 41-year-old Belfour to a one-year contract. WDIV-TV in Detroit reported Sunday night that Belfour will sign with the Wings today.

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