Kukla's Korner

“Stanley” In Fargo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Grand Forks Herald,

Matt Cullen was totally exhausted, but not Cup crazy. His day with Lord Stanley's Cup which wound up being closer to 32 hours went better than he and his expecting wife could have expected. The Moorhead High School graduate and NHL champion was able to accommodate every picture and autograph request at a pair of events that were scheduled to last two hours and, by some minor miracle, did.
continued...Warning, if you are a Buffalo Bills fan, a little bit of bad memories included...

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The Pattern Continues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang stirred up loud criticism of his hard-headed management style when he was building Computer Associates Inc. into a software powerhouse, and he continues to do so after leaving CA behind for the world of professional sports.... Other hockey executives -- speaking on background -- were quick to denounce the move, saying it was a huge mistake to put the inexperienced Mr. Snow into such a demanding position. Hockey writers belaboured the obvious pun to suggest Mr. Wang was foisting a "snow job" on Islanders fans. But the team owner is accustomed to bruising controversy from his days as a technology entrepreneur. Then, as now, he exhibited a hands-on management style, angered key constituents and installed inexperienced favourites in key management positions.
read on

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Signings For Friday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TSN will give you the recap. Stoll just signed to avoid arbitration. WGR out of Buffalo reporting Tallinder has signed with Sabres.

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Going Young

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

Trends say you don't need a veteran who already has a Cup to backstop your team to a championship. There aren't that many of those guys to go around, anyway, and those who are available are available for a reason. Perhaps their Cup days are in the past in more ways than one. The Canes didn't have a Cup winner in net. Neither did the Oilers, Flames, Lightning or Ducks. The pattern is clear, and it doesn't bode well guys like Belfour and Hasek.
more

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Party On, Wang

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

...Heck, why find somebody with experience and wisdom who could take the franchise forward when Wang could simply hire his backup goalie? Apparently, the stick boy was busy, so Wang hired Garth Snow. Wang is the owner, so he can do whatever he pleases. We'll sit back and enjoy Wang and Garth while imagining the interview process. Wang: Garth, what are your plans? Snow: Well, I've been thinking about warming the bench. Or maybe I'll just become the general manager. Wang: Party on, Garth. Snow: Party on, Wang.
more

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Clarke Plans To Sign Gagne

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Even though on paper the Flyers payroll is currently at $39.2 million for 22 signed players, Clarke said there is plenty of room under the cap to accommodate Gagne without moving another player off the roster. "We've got plenty of money to sign him," said Clarke, who on Wednesday signed free-agent left winger Geoff Sanderson to a two-year deal worth $1.5 million a year. "Really, we're not even close to the cap." That would be good news for Gagne, whose agent, Bob Sauve, said yesterday the two sides are "a ways apart." "We spoke last week and we changed some stuff, but that's about it," Sauve said.
more

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Be Like Drapes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit News,

Last year Warrior acquired Innovative Hockey, a small California company that made high-end hockey sticks in Tijuana, Mexico. After rebranding and re-engineering the sticks, Warrior scored big in the National Hockey League in its first selling season. More than 100 NHL players switched to Warrior sticks, including Kris Draper and several other Detroit Red Wings players. Morrow said Warrior Sports has the quality control to meet the exacting standards of professional hockey players and can respond faster than competitors that have transferred manufacturing operations to China. "We can get a guy a new stick or a new design in three or four days," he said. "It might take three or four weeks from Asia."
more Check out Warrior sticks...and hopefully they can put a little extra scoring in Draper's stick this year. image

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Long Or Short Term Deals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA Today,

With the cap increasing by $5 million for next season, teams have aggressively tied up players to longer-term contracts. "Longer-term contracts have been a recent tendency produced by the system," said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. "Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on the player circumstances and the club circumstances." What the new cap has done is spread around the talent, and big-market teams seem to be having as much trouble keeping top players as smaller-market teams because they have cap issues. Daly says it's too early to make any lasting analysis about the system because general managers are still trying to figure out what works best.
read on

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Lindros Fits In With Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated via Yahoo,

All right, so Eric Lindros is not the wrecking ball he was when he crashed his way to the Hart Trophy in 1995. He's not even the guy who scored 93 points in just 71 games with the Flyers back in 1998-99. Sure, Lindros is about as sturdy as a porcelain doll, but consider the big picture. The team gave up no assets to acquire him. His cap hit, a reported $1.5 million plus performance bonuses that can be shifted to the cap in 2007-08, is very manageable. And his surgically repaired wrist -- his primary health concern at the moment -- is expected to be fully functional for the start of the new season.
more

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Pens Get Ekman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired left wing Nils Ekman and goaltender prospect Patrick Ehelechner from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2007 second round draft choice, it was announced today by General Manager Ray Shero. The second round draft choice was previously acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on March 9, 2006 in exchange for Mark Recchi.

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