Kukla's Korner

IIHF President Hopes To Boost Asian Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from China View,

The 2005-2006 ice hockey Asian League, which includes a Scandinavian team, will boost the development of this sport in Aisa, International Ice Hockey President said here on Friday. Rene Fasel told a press conference here that AHL is accepting the Nordic Vikings from Sweden as a special participant in order to improve the level and popularity of the league. The Vikings was started in Beijing by a Swedish financial and event company Nordic Vikings Group. The cooperative program is supported by IIHF and Fasel extendedhis congratulations and hopes for the sport's progress in Asia. "The Vikings' coming would make the league more interesting andadd to its competitiveness. Also, it would facilitate this sport in Asia," said Fasel. "IIHF will support any project that would make our sport more popular."

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Atlanta Inks Dunham

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

The Atlanta Thrashers have signed unrestricted free agent goaltender Mike Dunham, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell. "In signing Mike, we have added a solid, veteran goalie with more than 300 games of NHL experience to our club," said Waddell. "This addition is a great complement to our goaltending corps, and gives us the talent and experience in net that is necessary to be successful in this league."
According to the NHLPA, Dunham signed for $750,000.

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New Era For Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The NHL's free-agent frenzy has crawled to a stop as teams get set to open training camp in two weeks and then drop the puck for real in 33 days. Only four transactions were reported Thursday, down from more than two dozen on the busiest August days. "It was active," Blues general manager Larry Pleau said. "There were lots of spots to fill, so you knew it would be active. Most teams are going to have a lot of different faces. For the fans, it will be real exciting." Blues fans may be among those excited about the return of hockey, but the enthusiasm has been curtailed by their team being one of the least active in the free-agent market since it opened Aug. 1.

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Fans, Players Looking Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Telegram via Yahoo ,

Having just completed a 12-hour drive with five children from southern Mississippi to North Texas, Kristin Williams found a tiny bit of relief at the Dallas Stars' first event in more than a year. "I don't know if I have a house," said Williams, 31, who lives in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Biloxi, Miss. She fled to Arlington to be with her sister-in-law. "We enjoy hockey. And it's good to be able to find anything for five kids to do right now." On Thursday at the American Airlines Center, more than 10,000 hockey fans returned to partake in what amounted to a meet-and-greet with the Stars. And for about four hours, the Stars did entertain a fan base that appears eager to move on, and forget the lockout-laden past.

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Rags May Make Offer To Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from 640 Toronto,

Interesting story coming out of New York, may see the Rangers be the first team to offer a contract to an RFA. Ilya Kovalchuk who is without a contract in Atlanta and is threatening to play in Russia this year, may get an offer from the blue shirts next week. The Rangers concern is that there isn't a lot of UFA's coming up in the next two years so why not take a shot at Kovalchuk now?

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Checking In

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun via Slam,

Will Bryan McCabe continue to be cheeky? Or, will ge be forced to butt out? When the NHL outlawed his trademark can-opener move in the fall of 2002, McCabe reverted to a backup signature check, one teammates dubbed "the double cheek" and "the flying ass." McCabe deployed the manoeuvre often, squashing oncoming forwards into the boards with his butt. And it was all legal. But now that the league again is vowing to crack down completely on obstruction, the Maple Leafs defenceman wonders which tactics will sneak under the radar screens of NHL referees.

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Best Hockey Logo- The Winged Wheel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The New England Patriots may have been the best team in pro football last season, but the team's logo apparently isn't very impressive - at least in the eyes of sports fans. According to a year-long Internet survey of sports fans, the classic interlocking NY symbol of the New York Yankees is the best professional sports logo of the 20th century. More than 7,200 people completed the online survey, which debuted at the Section 219 website (www.Section219.com) in August 2004. Four of the top five logos on the list belong to Major League Baseball franchises, including the Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. The only non-MLB logo to crack to the top five was the NBA's Boston Celtics. Section 219 sponsored a panel of graphic designers, branding experts and marketing professionals to analyze thousands of primary and secondary professional team logos created between 1901 and 2000, including those from the American Basketball Association (ABA), American Football League (AFL), Continental Football League (CFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), North American Soccer League (NASL), World Football League (WFL) and World Hockey Association (WHA). Of those, the panel selected a list of 250 logos judged to be the most "powerful, memorable and distinctive." Fans were then invited to vote on their 10 favorite logos. "We were overwhelmed by the interest," said Chris Anderson, a self-proclaimed "logo-ologist" who initiated the project. "The list is really intended to serve as a discussion point for fans and historians. It's highly subjective, but the logos that made the top 100 really capture the color and personality of American sport." The "flying wheel" logo of the Detroit Red Wings is the top-ranked hockey logo on the list, coming in at No. 6. The highest-rated football logo is the eye-patched Raiders logo, which ranks seventh on this list. The 20 Best North American Professional Sports Logos of the 20th Century: 1. New York Yankees - interlocking "NY" (MLB) 2. Chicago Cubs (MLB) 3. Boston Red Sox (MLB) 4. Boston Celtics (NBA) 5. St. Louis Cardinals - birds on a bat (MLB) 6. Detroit Red Wings (NHL) 7. Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (AFL/NFL) 8. Cincinnati Reds - "C" logo with "baseball head" inside (MLB) 9. Montreal Canadiens (NHL) 10. New York Jets - "NY Jets" set inside an oval (AFL/NFL) 11. Chicago Blackhawks - classic Native American profile (NHL) 12. Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts -- (NFL) 13. Dallas Cowboys - simple blue star (NFL) 14. Boston Bruins - block "B" (NHL) 15. Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers -- interlocking "LA" (MLB) 16. Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) 17. Miami Dolphins (NFL) 18. New York Rangers - Rangers shield (NHL) 19. Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) 20. Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland A's

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What’s Fair- Datsyuk, Holland Disagree

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Detroit News,

Labor Day is also D-Day, according to Pavel Datsyuk, the Wings' restricted free agent center. Datsyuk and his agent, Gary Greenstin, reiterated their intention to sign a contract with Datsyuk's Russian pro team, Moscow Dynamo, if they can't reach an agreement on a new deal with the Wings by Monday. "If the Red Wings are unable to sign a contract with Datsyuk by then, than we would have to postpone the negotiations with Detroit until next spring," Greenstin told Soviet Sport newspaper on Wednesday. But Red Wings general manager Ken Holland on Thursday said he won't be backed into a corner. As far as he's concerned, the only deadline that matters is Dec. 1, the date restricted free agents must sign with NHL teams in order to be eligible to play this season. "They've got some dates that they feel are pressure points," Holland said. "But those dates don't mean anything to me. I don't think that's a very good negotiation, when I'm operating under a deadline and nobody else is. "Obviously, if Pavel chooses to sign a contract in Russia, that's up to him. But he could sign a contract in Russia with an out-clause negotiated in it." Despite some progress this week, negotiations have stalled, with the Wings rejecting Greenstin's latest counteroffer. Both sides essentially have settled on a three-year term for a new deal - Datsyuk, 27, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2007 - but that's where the agreement ends. "We obviously disagree on what's a fair marketplace," said Holland, who, under the NHL's new salary cap, has about $7 million left to fill three or four roster spots this season. "Right now, we've both moved. But I think I've moved a lot more. And we're still so far apart."

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NHLPA Facing A Mutiny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

The National Hockey League Players' Association is facing a mutiny amid allegations that new executive director Ted Saskin was improperly hired on a long-term contract worth $2 million (U.S.) a year. Several NHL players, including Vancouver Canucks veteran Trent Klatt, alleged in a private conference call on Wednesday night that Saskin and union president Trevor Linden (also a Canuck) sidestepped the union's bylaws when Saskin was promoted in July to replace Bob Goodenow. The imbroglio has the potential to become the most contentious conflict at the union since founder Allan Eagleson was accused in the '80s of misappropriating players' money. "It just seems like we're learning about things after they've already happened," one agent said yesterday. "This is going to end ugly." The chief complaint about Saskin's deal is that his nomination as the new executive director did not come from the full 35-member NHLPA executive board, as required under the association's constitution. Some veteran NHL players were also upset that Saskin's deal was ultimately ratified during the conference call without a secret ballot, as required.

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Making A Comeback

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

Fresh off a six-month stint in a California rehab centre, Sheldon Kennedy is ready to make a comeback. Not as a hockey player. As a person. Still haunted by demons born out of a sexually abusive relationship with former junior coach Graham James, the ex-Flames winger had disappeared from public view the last five years battling drug and alcohol problems that spiraled out of control and cost him his marriage. "I went down and dealt with issues," said Kennedy, 36, in his first interview in well over a year. "It was the first time that I actually made the choice to go down to go there on my own and actually want to do it. All the other times, everybody else told me I had to.

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