Kukla's Korner

Bruins O’Connell- “Favorites for the Stanley Cup”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Herald,

"I think this team, with the way it's set up with the rule changes, we have to be considered favorites for the Stanley Cup, and I think the players should feel the same way," general manager Mike O'Connell said. While some of the heavy lifting might be completed for O'Connell, he still has pretty important work to do.

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Chris Gratton to Florida

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

The Florida Panthers continue to play an active role in the free agent free-for-all, this time the Florida club signed veteran forward Chris Gratton. Gratton, who was picked third overall by Tampa Bay back in 1993, split time with Phoenix and Colorado in 2003/04, scoring 13 goals and adding 19 assists. Sportsnet has also learned Gratton's contract is for one-year, and valued at $900,000.

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Going After RFA Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector and Fox Sports,

Under the new CBA it may become easier for a team to pluck away another club's top RFA players. With all teams now under a salary cap, there are some presently attempting to re-sign their respective RFA players but have limited cap space available with which to do so. One example of this is the Detroit Red Wings, who are at present in negotiations with young RFA forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Under the old CBA, they wouldn't have to worry about rival clubs attempting to poach these two away with offers sheets because they weren't limited by a salary cap and could easily match any offer. But under this new CBA, Wings GM Ken Holland has little wiggle room available to re-sign Datsyuk and Zetterberg, which is causing negotiations between those players and Holland to drag. Don't expect there to be a "gentleman's agreement" between the team owners not to raid each other's rosters with offer sheets. At some point there is bound to be a team willing to take the chance to not only test the new CBA's limits but also the payroll limits of a rival club.

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Hamrlik Signing Reported

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Fan 960 in Calgary is reporting Roman Hamrlik has signed with the Flames. update 7:35pm, via Sportsnet,

It seems as though the Calgary Flames are not done adding personnel to their already re-vamped lineup. According to reports, the Calgary Flames are on the verge of signing free-agent defenceman Roman Hamrlik. Sources close to the Flames indicate the announcement will be made Monday. Hamrlik would bolster an already solid defensive group in Calgary. It is believed the contract will be two-years at $3.5 million per season.

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Is a New Sports Network Possible

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CNN Money,

Could the home of Lance Armstrong and professional bull riding be the next home for the Tom Brady and the Detroit Red Wings? Stranger things may happen by 2006. By then, it's possible that the Outdoor Life Network could carrying both NHL and NFL games. Or maybe those games will be found on a new all-sports network from Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Or maybe prime time NFL games will find their way to the league's own NFL Network. Or maybe some cable network will join the fray. It's tough to look at the ESPN empire and think what this nation needs is another all-sports network. But that's pretty much what the nation's sports leagues believe is needed.

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Ottawa Sign Spezza and Four Others

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN, The Ottawa Senators have re-signed five players, with centres Jason Spezza and Antoine Vermette, right-winger Chris Neil, and defenceman Christoph Schubert signing one-year deals. Defenceman Anton Volchenkov signed a two-year contract.

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Pittsburgh Revived, Arena Isn’t

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Canada.com,

Mario Lemieux looks 29, not 39, Craig Patrick has money to spend, Ed Olczyk has players to coach and the Igloo may be sold out for nearly every game this season. These are heady times for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The arrival of first overall draft pick Sidney Crosby in combination with a new collective bargaining agreement that has levelled the playing field for all 30 NHL clubs has the city of Pittsburgh buzzing about hockey again. "I was anticipating a year of recovery," Penguins president and governor Ken Sawyer said in an interview in his office. "Even with all the good news, I thought people would wait and see. But we just eliminated that year." Forget the recovery period, the good times are here.

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Leftovers- What are they Worth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Certainly for the esteemed members of the Leftover squad, the new NHL means having an open mind, in terms of both geography and finance. "To get the price they want, they may have to go somewhere they don't want to go," player agent Sosa said. In presalary-cap days, squeezing an extra $100,000 or $200,000 out of a team wasn't a problem. "But to bend and stretch over a $100,000 or $200,000 now is problematic," said veteran agent Ritch Winter, who this week helped Jan Hrdina land in Columbus, but still has Team Leftover stars Hamrlik, Bondra and Eriksson, along with Michal Rozsival, to deal with. "You have to be aware of the market, and you have to be concerned about it. The only ones who are not concerned about it have to be in a coma."

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Cole Re-signs with Carolina & Caps Acquire Muir

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the Hurricanes have agreed to terms with left wing Erik Cole on a one-year contract worth $1.14 million. The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Bryan Muir from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for future considerations, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

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Trottier Keeping an Eye on the Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Barrie Advance,

Like many of the former men who made their living in the National Hockey League, seven-time Stanley Cup winner and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Bryan Trottier, has been wide-eyed, as he watches current events unfold in the league he used to dominate. "Like the rest of the world, I'm standing back and seeing where the chips fall. For those involved in hockey, it's a fascinating time," said the former Art Ross Trophy winner, during a conversation with The Advance. Even with the vast hockey knowledge he collected as both a player and a coach in the NHL, Trottier admits the new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by the players and the owners is major document for hockey people to digest. "Everyone is on a long learning curve for this one," he said.

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