Kukla's Korner

ESPN Needs the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Times (reg. req.),

At least hockey fans are familiar with the strategy ESPN is using in its off-again, on-again interest in NHL television rights. It is called dump and chase. Dump the contract in April, let Comcast do the dirty work and make the NHL a tangible offer, then chase the contract again. Comcast dropped the puck this week with its two-year, $100-million offer to televise the NHL on its Outdoor Life Network, which is the kind of found humor Gary Bettman's league seems to pride itself in. Ice hockey, the quintessential indoor sport, on the Outdoor Life Network? That makes as much sense as having more NHL franchises south of Kentucky than in Canada, but that's the NHL.

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Florida Taking Luongo to Arbitration

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Lakeland Ledger,

Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers may be headed to salary arbitration, a move that ensures the record-setting goaltender will be under contract when the team opens camp next month. The team filed Thursday to take Luongo to arbitration; a hearing could occur as early as Aug. 22. Panthers general manager Mike Keenan said it's "certainly within the realm of possibility" that the sides could resume working on a deal before lawyers decide what Luongo, a restricted free agent, will earn this season. "We tried a lot of different scenarios," Keenan said. "We just couldn't find the middle ground in this particular case, so this is a good way of facilitating a contract for Roberto and we're excited about the fact he will be under contract and will be playing for us in the fall."

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Lindros Signs with Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Fan 590 reporting information from Sportsnet that Lindros has signed a 1 year, $1.55 million contract with Toronto.

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Thornton Signs with Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet, Thornton agreed to a 3 year, $20 million contract. update 4:18pm, TSN link.

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NHL Owners Making Fans Pay

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Grand Rapids Press via Mlive,

It's a league that has been rocked by negativity and needs to win loyal fans back with something more than slogans. But the NHL is moving at Zamboni-like speed when it comes to public relations. Now, the NHL should show it really is a new world for the sport with a sincere thank you to fans. Ticket prices for all 30 teams should be cut across the board. No excuses, no whining about hidden costs. It shouldn't be left to individual teams like the Red Wings to make that decision. As a group, owners should establish a cut -- a minimum 10 percent for all teams -- and promise not to raise prices for at least two years. They worked as one to get an agreement. They should work as one now. Let's not lose sight of the fact that owners created hockey's financial house of cards in the first place. For a decade, they offered ridiculous multi-million dollar contracts to players who were bargains at half the price.

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Hockey Logos

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If you are a fan of hockey, and especially interested in the history of the sweater crest, you may want to search this site. A lot of history here and I must say, some of the older logos should be brought back. update 2:18pm, Another logo site passed on by a reader.

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Bolts Opening Night Tickets in Demand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tampa Bay Business Journal,

Demand for tickets for the Tampa Bay Lightning's season-opening game is close to rivaling that for its Stanley Cup series more than a year ago, so the team plans to deal those ducats the fairest way it knows. A lottery will determine which fans will be able to buy at least 1,000 remaining seats for the Bolts' first game since the end of the National Hockey League owners' lockout that ended in July and canceled the 2004-05 season.

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Systems Go for NHL Participation in Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

The NHL's participation in next February's Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and the 2010 Games in Vancouver was cemented Thursday following a meeting with the International Ice Hockey Federation and NHL Players' Association. "The meeting was very productive and there are no major obstacles between the IIHF and the NHL and the NHLPA with regards to NHL players' participation in the Olympics," IIHF president Rene Fasel said in a statement. "We have however a very important meeting tomorrow (Friday) with representatives of the seven major European associations and leagues.

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Valeri Bure News

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A reader of Kukla's Korner just advised me Valeri Bure has signed with the LA Kings. I will follow up with more details when available. update 1:50pm, I have put out a few calls on this. It is still early on the West Coast and will keep you posted as soon I receive an update. update 7:10pm, As mentioned earlier, the person advising me about this signing has been a source for me and has not been wrong. I recently commumicated with this person and was assured Bure has signed with the Kings but it just hasn't been released yet. If I receive any more information, I will of course post it. Signed

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Will Ottawa Trade Hossa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

If the Senators want to keep Marian Hossa, they're going to have to open the vault. And if they don't want to open the vault, they may have to trade him. Hossa filed for arbitration before yesterday's 5 p.m. deadline, turning down a three-year, $11.9 -million (all figures US) deal. He would like a contract close to the three-year, $21-million deal that Jarome Iginla got from the Calgary Flames. Sources say the club offered him $3.6 million in each of the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons and a raise to $4.7 million in 2007-08. "What the Senators have to decide is whether they think Marian Hossa is a franchise player," Hossa's agent, Jiri Crha, told the Sun yesterday. "Everybody knows that he's going to be (an unrestricted free agent), along with (Wade) Redden and (Zdeno) Chara.

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