Kukla's Korner

Good News For Pittsburgh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

According to people familiar with the sale process, the Penguins were ready to sell to the high bidder, a Canadian entity or group that offered $175 million or more, but that bidder backed out over the weekend based on what it learned about the NHL's stance and the state's "Plan B" for arena funding. That leaves four bidders standing. Any buyer will be obligated to join the Penguins' agreement with the Isle of Capri, which will donate $290 million toward a new arena if it is awarded the city's slots license sometime around December.
more

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Caps A Few Players Away From Contention

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

The Washington Capitals surprised some observers last week with their reacquisition of forward Richard Zednik from Montreal and signing enforcer Donald Brashear. The Caps were expected to focus on rebuilding from within but GM George McPhee recently told the Washington Post he believed his club was only a couple of moves away from becoming a playoff team. The Post also reported McPhee would like to add a rugged blueliner and a second line center. There isn't many talented, affordable center left in the UFA market if McPhee were to go that route but defenseman Danny Markov could perhaps fill the role of physical blueliner.
read more player movement talk...

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It Just Keeps On Repeating

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press via the Mercury News,

The agent for goaltender Ed Belfour remains optimistic a deal can be worked out with the Red Wings, but the team is keeping its options open. Ron Salcer said Monday that he was having trouble reaching general manager Ken Holland and that "a couple of issues" remained to be discussed. The Wings are interested in signing Belfour, 41 and coming off back surgery, to a one-year deal worth around $500,000, plus incentives. The snag is that if Belfour earns the bonuses, they will count against the
continued added 6:04am Tuesday, Detroit Free Press link now available...

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Peca Getting Close To Agreement With Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The Toronto Maple Leafs were closing in on a deal with centre Michael Peca after meeting with the unrestricted free agent and his camp Monday, a source told The Canadian Press. The Leafs and Peca have been courting each other for well over a week with both camps agreeing Toronto is a good fit for the 11-year NHL centre.
continued added 6:20am Tuesday, from the Globe and Mail,
As for Peca, he will make an excellent fit with the Leafs. While he did not have a great regular campaign with the Oilers last season, with 23 points in 71 games, Peca was a force in their run to the Stanley Cup final, centring what was often their best line with wingers Fernando Pisani and Raffi Torres. There were a couple of other good reasons for Ferguson to sign Peca. The first is leadership. As one of the most respected players in the league, Peca will help a Leafs dressing room that felt the loss of leaders Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk after the lockout. Another plus is that Peca wants to be here. He is from the area and his wife is from Buffalo, where they spend the off-season. That is why he wanted out of Edmonton and why he was apparently willing to take a substantial trim on last season's salary of $3.99-million.
more

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Good Fit For Lindros In Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Dallas Morning News,

Lindros signed a one-year contract with the Stars Monday. Lindros said the base of the contract is $1.55 million and bonuses could add an extra $1 million. Lindros, who has been injury-prone throughout his career, will receive bonuses when his games played hits 50, 60 and 70. He also can receive a bonus if the team finishes in the top six in the Western Conference and also if the team makes the second round of the playoffs. Lindros said he turned down better monetary offers from other teams to play in Dallas and said money wasn’t the issue. ’’I wanted the chance to win and I wanted a good fit,’’ he said.
read on

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Decisions Need To Be Right

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In the wake of a free-agent spending spree that saw salaries approximate pre-lockout levels, there has been a seismic shift in the landscape. Five years ago, it was entirely possible the top 20 free agents would have been more or less equally divided between five or six clubs. Now, they are scattered across the NHL community, where the haves and the have-nots are indistinguishable and where those roles can be reversed almost overnight.
read on

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Russians Stalling

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Maybe star centre Evgeni Malkin won't play in the NHL next season after all, because Russia has yet to officially join the NHL-IIHF transfer agreement. What looked like a done deal weeks ago is now stalling and it's not clear whether Russia will officially sign the document. "Right now, it's issues that exist between the IIHF and the Russian Federation," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Monday from New York. "My understanding is that they are trying to schedule an in-person meeting in the near future. Our position is that while we think the transfer agreement is important and beneficial to the sport, if it doesn't get done the players are going to come here anyway."
continued

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Carter Wants $9 Million For 3 Years

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Canada.com,

The Vancouver general manager acknowledged Sunday that the contract gap between the NHL club and Carter was simply too great to close. Carter is seeking $9 million US over three years while the Canucks are believed to have offered the Toronto native $4 million over two years. "With the [$44 million] salary cap, I'm not trying to save money on anybody," said Nonis. "It's factual. I want to come in at $42 million and he [Carter] wants more money and a longer term and I can't do that."
more

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LA Times Cutting Hockey Coverage?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

According to a mole at Ben Mailer, the LA Times will stop covering most Kings & Ducks away games with a a beat writer and the NHL Column Helene Elliott writes has been put to an end. I have noticed a big drop-off in the hockey coverage at the paper in recent months- not a good sign fro hockey fans. Thanks to a KK reader for the pointer.

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Stock Check

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from HockeyFights.com,

If you've seen a highlight reel containing hockey fights over the past five years, you've seen PJ Stock. He's the smaller guy throwing without fear of being hit, then smiling afterwards, and skating off waving to the crowd as they're all on their feet. Do you think next year, we'll see a decrease in the number of penalties called? Did the players need a full year to adjust to the new rule implementations? PJ Stock: Yes. Chris Chelios is a perfect example. He's in his 40s. He has been playing the same game for 35 years and then, a couple of weeks before the season, they decide to change it all up and he's can't use his stick and he can't hook, and he can't clear the front of the net by crosschecking. It's almost turned into basketball a little bit in front of the net because everything's body positioning and it's great, but guys can take quite some time to learn this. The refs also have to give a little more leeway which I think they did towards the end of the year.
more

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