Kukla's Korner

Many Enforcers Using “Special Chemicals”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Former hockey enforcer Andrei Nazarov has told the Russian sports newspaper Sport-Express that steroid use is universal among the National Hockey League's tough guys and that a majority of players are using some kind of drugs to help them hang on to lucrative jobs. To NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Nazarov sounds like a loose cannon. But anti-doping czar Richard Pound hopes that loose cannon is the start of a fusillade.
continued

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Waiting On Gomez

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Ledger,

According to Lamoriello, arbitrator Richard Bloch had other cases to hear and the busy schedule delayed his decision on Gomez. Bloch's decision will have a major impact on what the Devils look like this season. The team's payroll is just over $40 million with negotiations still ongoing with restricted free agents Brian Gionta, David Hale and Paul Martin. None had returned signed qualifying offers. "They haven't signed yet, but we'll find a way," Lamoriello said. Insiders say some roster juggling and anticipated trades will give the Devils a little more than $4 million this season for Gomez. Anything above $5 million would present a problem that might require Lamoriello to trade the skilled playmaker.
read on...plus Mogilny expected in camp...

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Vokoun Gets Green Light

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

Predators goalie Tomas Vokoun got the best possible news from doctors today and has been cleared to return to action. Vokoun didn’t play after April 1 due to blood clots resulting from pelvic thrombophlebitis, missing the end of the regular season and the team’s opening-round playoff series with San Jose. “As the father of two, he can lead a normal life; as the goaltender of the Nashville Predators, he’s got the green light to play,” Poile said.
read on Thanks to a KK member for posting this in the KKF...

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The Maven In Late July

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-Don’t be surprised if the Sabres nix signing Daniel Briere. The $5 million arbitration “settlement” is absurdly too high. A free agent next season, DB could go in a trade this week. At least three clubs are said to be interested, including Atlanta. -Nobody is more enthused about his new surroundings than Alex Tanguay. “Who wouldn’t be happy about playing on a line with Jarome Iginla,” says Tanguay. “I’ll know exactly what to do with him.” Such as getting JI the puck! -Michael Peca was one of those NHLPA characters beefing about the CBA last year. At last look, the new Leaf will be adding to his millions – along with fellow-whiner Brian McCabe – this year.
more

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Cover Your Ears

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

It's arbitration time in the NHL. Now I'm not an agent. I'm not qualified to be an agent. I absolutely never want to be an agent. But if I were an agent, there is one rule I would never break -- I would never let my client in his arbitration hearing. What's the point? Why let the player hear his boss (usually the general manager of his team) explain why he isn't worth what he's asking, detail every failure and downplay his importance to the team?
continued

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What Will Regier Do

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via TSN,

Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier was unavailable Monday to comment on the team's financial plight. Over the next 11 days, Regier and the Sabres will go to arbitration with seven more players, including last season's leading scorer Maxim Afinogenov. Unless Regier can sign the Russian to a long-term deal, another hefty award could be in line. Afinogenov registered 73 points, far surpassing his previous career high of 40 points collected in 2001-02, while making just under $1.1 million.
more

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Hurry Up And Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Three years to craft a competitive team and take it to the Promised Land. Three years to develop a core, fill the holes and hope for the health -- and breaks -- needed to get the job done. It's not much time, to be sure, but that's about as wide a window as NHL teams have to win the Stanley Cup. Three years is all the opportunity a club has after the critical players it develops hit their stride but before they start to gain arbitration eligibility -- the point at which a team is forced to move them to avoid salary-cap self-destruction.
read on

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Gainey Sticking Around

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Canadiens,

Canadiens President Pierre Boivin announced Monday that Executive VP Hockey and General Manager Bob Gainey has accepted the terms of a contract extension until the end of the 2009-10 season.

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Major Rebranding For OLN (Versus)

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Advertising Age,

Outdoor Life Network -- oft called OLN and soon to be known as Versus -- has selected Taxi, New York, to handle creating and media planning on a major rebranding campaign this fall as the network adopts a new moniker. The name change is set to debut September 25, just before the National Hockey League season kicks off October 4. Last year was the first year OLN, which is owned by Comcast, broadcast the NHL games, which it secured in 2005 as part of a two-year, $135 million deal. OLN is expected to spend $7 million to $9 million in the fourth quarter on the rebranding campaign. Hockey will be the main focal point, but OLN also will promote its Professional Bull Riding competitions and hunting and fishing programming. Media buying remains with StarLink.
read on (reg. may be req.)

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Recchi Back To Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Mark Recchi is returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sources tell TSN that the free agent forward has signed a deal to return to the club that traded him to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes at the trade deadline in March.

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