Kukla's Korner

Calgary About to Sell-Out for the Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun via Slam,

Ken King refuses to use the s-word or the c-word these days. But the reality is sellouts and capacity crowds will provide the backdrop for each and every Flames game this season. Long before the puck drops Oct. 5 to open a new era for the NHL, every seat in the Saddledome will be spoken for. If you don't have tickets by month's end, you won't get any. The Calgary Flames will be sold out this year. It's that simple.

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Carter Headed to Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN, The Vancouver Canucks are expected to sign winger Anson Carter to a $1-million, one-year deal, sources told The Canadian Press on Tuesday night.

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No Progress For Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit News,

Forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Niklas Kronwall are still unsigned, and the Wings had no progress to report on those fronts Tuesday. "There's lots of work to be done," Holland said. Asked Tuesday if the Wings could go to training camp next month without one or more of those restricted free agents, Holland said, "Yeah, it's possible."

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A Good Investment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tampa Tribune,

Tuesday's deal with Lecavalier ensures that the player who has been a cornerstone of the franchise since he was selected first overall in the 1998 draft will remain in a Lightning uniform for four more years. Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, Lecavalier could have signed a one-year contract and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. But there were a plethora of reasons to stay in what has become his second home, including trying to defend Tampa Bay's Stanley Cup championship. "The first four years I was there, we lost a lot and people weren't coming out to see us and people did not respect our team," Lecavalier said Tuesday from Vancouver, where he is attending a training camp for Team Canada. "Now we have turned it around. Now we are a competitive team and we are winning every year and we have a chance to keep it going. "My sister lives in Tampa, my niece and nephew are there. My parents come down a lot. Tampa is very special to me. I've been there so long."

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The Equalized NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Palm Beach Post,

"Everybody now feels they have a legitimate chance," said former Panthers General Manager Rick Dudley, now a scout with Chicago. "Owners who have a lot of money don't mind spending it as long as it's not a fruitless effort. But before, the top end of some teams' budgets was half of what other teams were spending. Now they're on equal footing." Said Panthers broadcaster Denis Potvin: "It's been strange. You've got teams like Edmonton, Calgary and Nashville, who no one expected to be particularly active, who have been. And other teams that have always been involved in everything — Colorado, Detroit, Toronto — have been out of it, just trying to sign their own players. "A lot of what has happened has really been unexpected." Longtime ESPN analyst Bill Clement said the "new NHL," with its salary-cap range, has simply returned to some basic principles of doing business. "There are two realities under this model," Clement said. "One, every team is now allowed a fair chance to succeed, and two, winning is going to be based on your organizational model instead of who's the most wealthy. "You have to earn excellence — you can't buy it. You have to draft well, nurture well, trade well and plan well financially.''

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Recchi Started The Movement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Long before this episode of Extreme Makeover, long before cost certainty and a certain ping-pong ball bounced his club's way, this free-agent signee stood by himself. A lone star. Alone. For 121/2 months. He was the biggest such signee by his club in almost a decade and a half, yet he also was the biggest target of hockey abuse hurled across his homeland. All because he joined a team that was last place in every NHL regard: standings, attendance, free spenders, free-agent destinations, arena age ... Kevin in Kamloops, you're on the air with Mark Recchi. Yeah, Mark, why on earth the Penguins?

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NHL Ready To Partner with OLN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from USA TODAY,

The NHL leaves ESPN for an up-and-coming network willing to pay more for the league's national TV rights — although the upstart reaches fewer homes. That happened when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. And the NHL, probably today, might pull off a similar slap shot. Sometimes, the NHL seems like one lucky league. In 1988, now-defunct SportsChannel America hoped NHL games would help it cobble together a network of fewer than 10 million households. It paid $17 million annually over three years — twice what ESPN had been paying — to show NHL games in about one-quarter of the households ESPN then reached. That ended up being too much: SCA managed to get a fourth NHL season for just $5 million. Likewise, the Outdoor Life Network seems ready to outspend ESPN in hopes of using NHL games to heighten its profile.

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Mogilny to the Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sportsnet has learned Alexander Mogilny has agreed to a two-year, $7-million deal with the New Jersey Devils. update 11:36pm, The Maven chimes in with the Mogilny signing.

If ever there was a right move at the right time for the Devils it happened late Tuesday evening when Lou Lamoriello announced the re-acquisition of Alexander Mogilny. “He’s going to make our team better,” says the Devils CEO-President-General manager. “We’re delighted to bring him back because he’s a player who can break a game open at any time.” The fleet, crafty forward has survived two operations on his left hip but asserts that he’s completely recovered. Lamoriello claims that the rapid Russian is “one-hundred-percent healthy.”
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Cujo Close to Decision

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN, Curtis Joseph is about to be taken off the list of available NHL free agents, as TSN has learned that the netminder is close to reaching terms on a one-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.

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Boat Load of Signings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I know most of you follow just about every NHL signing and I have tried to point out some of the significant ones, but don't forget to check out the Daily Tracker from both TSN and Sportsnet for all of the transactions.

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