Kukla's Korner

New Rules Are A Joke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Slam,

Ed Belfour calls it "a joke." And he's not laughing. The Toronto Maple Leafs veteran yesterday ripped into the National Hockey League's decision makers for limiting the areas in which goaltenders will be allowed to handle the puck this season. Under terms of the rule ratified by the league's board of governors on July 22, goaltenders may play the puck behind the goal-line only in a trapezoid-shaped area defined by lines that begin six feet from either goal post and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the end boards.

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Doc Emrick Will Be Busy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post (reg. req.),

In a move that will instantly give OLN NHL's coverage some credibility, the network is expected to make Mike (Doc) Emrick its lead play-by-player, sources said. Emrick will also be the lead voice on NBC's coverage of the NHL, though the network has not officially announced its announcer teams. Reached at home, Emrick declined comment. "We are talking to all the top hockey talent," an OLN spokesperson said. "We hope to make announcements soon." Emrick will still be the Devils' play-by-player. John Davidson, who will be Emrick's NBC partner, is also negotiating with OLN.

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Hossa Shocked

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

While there was speculation Hossa was going to be dealt because he had rebuffed a five-year, $25-million deal from the Senators on Sunday, he was excited about coming back to the only NHL team he had ever known. "I'm not mad ... I'm shocked and I'm disappointed because I've been with that team for six years and I really enjoyed playing in Ottawa. I loved the fans there and I loved playing in the Corel Centre," said Hossa. Sources say Hossa requested a no-trade clause in his contract just minutes before the deal was signed but the club refused. The hearing was scheduled for a 9 a.m. in front of arbitrator Michael Picher, but was cancelled because the two sides came to an agreement at 8:55 a.m. After the deal was signed, Hossa couldn't hide his excitement. He agreed to pose for photographs for local newspapers at a Toronto hotel before boarding a flight yesterday.

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Fighting For The Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

form the Union Leader,

Kent Carlson weighed nearly 300 pounds last year when he started skating in a Concord men's league. It was the first hockey he played since quitting the game in 1989. Saturday night he'll be back in uniform, one of 16 contestants in the "Battle of the Hockey Enforcers," a pay-per-view hockey fight tournament on ice at CN Centre in Prince George, B.C. Carlson is the oldest combatant, two years older Byers, 41, who is second on the card in seniority. Half of the contestants are in their 20s. All but two played or currently play professional hockey, four — Carlson, Byers (Bruins, Sharks), Jason Simon (North Stars, Sharks) and Link Gaetz (Islanders, Coyotes) — in the NHL. "These kids are animals," laughed Carlson, not a tinge of self-doubt in his voice. "Some are still hoping to get into 'The Show.'" The event has been the cause of some controversy, Prince George coming under fire for agreeing to host it after Lowell, Mass., Minneapolis and Winnipeg turned it down. Hockey purists say events such as this give the sport a black eye. Fanatics say the more black eyes, the better. Why participate? "I miss competition," Carlson said, before adding a more pragmatic reason: "I need the money."

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Heatley & Sens Needed A Change

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

In Heatley, the Sens have a talented young player who comes with baggage. ''I have no doubts in my mind that he's going to get back to where he was before,'' Muckler said of Heatley. ''It's going to be a great challenge for him to come to Ottawa and show that he can play at the elite level that he once did.'' Atlanta, it appears, holds too many memories for Heatley. While he rose to stardom there, it also marks the spot where friend and teammate Dan Snyder died after riding in Heatley's black Ferrari. ''Requesting a change of environment was an extremely difficult decision,'' the 24-year-old Heatley said in a statement. ''After a tremendous amount of reflection and numerous conversations with my family, it made the most sense to seek a change.'' Atlanta GM Don Waddell said Heatley first came to him to request a change of scenery on Aug. 9 and that the accident was the main reason.

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Luongo Dreaming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Luongo has been offered a reported $16 million contract for 4 years by the Panthers and he has not responded to that offer. He goes to arbitration on Wednesday and who knows what happens if it gets that far. Could we possibly see another sign and trade deal tomorrow. If so, count the Wings in on the deal. Now this is just my opinion, but the Wings could offer the Panthers either Datsyuk or Zetterberg along with Osgood or Legace. Would that be enough to entice Keenan to make the deal. Luongo would want a long term contract in the area of $6 million a year. Can the Wings afford it and would Florida do it? My guess is Holland would find a way to get Luongo into the Winged Wheel uniform, but I think it is the hands of Keenan.

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Rucchin Traded to Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim traded longtime Ducks centre Steve Rucchin to the New York Rangers for enforcer Trevor Gillies and a conditional pick in the 2007 draft. "The Mighty Ducks would like to thank Steve Rucchin for his efforts and dedication over the last 10 years in Anaheim," said Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Burke. "We wish him the very best of luck with the New York Rangers."

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Trade Works For Both Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector and Fox Sports,

After avoiding salary arbitration Wednesday morning by re-signing right winger Marian Hossa to a last-minute deal worth $18 million of the three years, the Sens then peddled him, along with veteran defenseman Greg de Vries, to the Thrashers for talented young forward Dany Heatley. It was widely assumed that Senators general manager John Muckler would be forced to chop payroll elsewhere in order to re-sign Hossa, but nobody saw this one coming. Well, one person got it half-right. Ottawa Sun reporter Bruce Garrioch reported over two weeks ago of talk that Heatley was seeking a trade from Atlanta in hopes of putting the painful memories of the car accident that killed his friend and teammate Dan Snyder two years ago behind him. At the time the report was dismissed by Thrashers management, yet his agent confirmed when the trade was announced that Heatley did indeed seek a trade around the time Garrioch first reported. So how will this trade work out for both clubs?

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Heatley Releases Statement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Requesting a change of environment was an extremely difficult decision. After a tremendous amount of reflection and numerous conversations with my family, it made the most sense to seek a change. I would sincerely like to thank the fans of Atlanta. I enjoyed an amazing few years in the area and was embraced by everyone in the community. I feel fortunate to have come into the NHL with Atlanta and will always be proud to say I was a Thrasher. The Thrashers have acquired a world-class player in Marian Hossa. All in all, this is a win-win situation for everyone and I wish the best of luck to the entire Thrashers organization and my teammates. I appreciate the support the organization has given me over the years and I'd like to thank them for honoring my request. My teammates, the fans and community will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Luongo in Limbo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo has failed to respond to a team-imposed deadline of 5 p.m. ET Tuesday on a four-year deal believed to worth as much as $16-million, Sportsnet has learned. The Panthers made the offer late last week and gave Luongo and his representation the weekend to consider the deal in an effort to avoid Wednesday morning's arbitration hearing. So, unless there is a sudden change of heart, the club-elected arbitration appears to be the next move. Sources tell Sportsnet Luongo will argue a case for just over $4 million for one year in an arbitration reward.

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