Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Blues Make Qualifying Offer to Pronger

from TSN,

The St. Louis Blues extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent defenceman Chris Pronger. It is a somewhat surprising move, following the Blues' assertion that they would not be buying out forwards Doug Weight and Keith Tkachuk. With Tkachuk and Weight combining to take up $13.3-million of the new $39-million salary cap, it figures to be a challenge for the Blues to find room for Pronger's $7.22-million offer.

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Thinking Out Loud

NHL GMs are beginning to filter in to Ottawa to prepare for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. I do expect to see some big trades in the next few days. I am a little stumped on the direction Shanahan is taking. He has until late tomorrow afternoon to inform the Wings if he is coming back, but if he was "on board" you would think he would have made his decision by now. I know Shanahan has a home in the Boston area, his wife is from there and maybe he might be headed to play for the B's. Is it possible he developed a relationship with Jacobs while being involved in the CBA meetings? What direction will the NHL move in with a national cable deal. The decision will probably be made within the next two weeks, and I sense Comcast being involved. The NHL and ESPN have had talks, but I don't think they are on the same page.

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Thornton’s Agent Not Happy

from CP via TSN,

''Joe Thornton is one of the very best hockey players in the world,'' his agent J.P. Barry of IMG said Wednesday from Calgary. ''He is an elite franchise player and if he accepts his qualifying offer, he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer at only 26 years old. This is a very unique situation. The multi-year offer Boston has made is actually less than Joe's qualifying offer. It makes you wonder if they truly understand what kind of hockey player they have with Joe.

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Hasek and News of the Day

from CP via Slam, Senators GM John Muckler liked what he heard from Dominik Hasek when the two talked recently. "I could hear that passion in his voice . . . He's on a mission and he wants to prove that he cam become an elite player again," Muckler said in a conference call Wednesday. "That excites me." It excited Muckler enough to exercise the Sens' one-year, $1.52-million US option on the 40-year-old goaltender.

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Scheduling Quirks

Looking over the Wings schedule, I found a couple of unique quirks. The Wings play October 22nd and October 24th in Columbus. Then they go to Chicago for a game on Oct. 27th, back to Detroit for a game against the Black Hawks on October 29th and then play in Chicago again on November 1st. I can't recall playing the same team twice in 3 days on the road or playing a team 3 times in a row. Ah, the new NHL. Any other teams have a weird schedule too?

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Stars Waive Turgeon

via the Star-Telegram,

On Wednesday, general manager Doug Armstrong of the Dallas Stars said that the team has waived center Pierre Turgeon with the expectation they will buy out the final year of his contract. Unless he is claimed by another team, the Stars owe Turgeon $2.97 million.

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Flyers Agree to Terms with Richards and Carter

via Sportsnet,

The Philadelphia Flyers have their future stars under lock and key. Sportsnet has learned the Flyers have come to terms on entry level contracts with highly touted draft picks, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. Carter played the last four seasons with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, scoring 34 goals and 40 assists last season in 55 games played. Richards scored 22 goals and amassed 58 points while patrolling centre ice for the Kitchener Rangers last season. The two centres were 2003 draft picks. Carter was selected 11th overall while Richards was the 24th overall draft pick.

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Busiest Night Ever

from the AP via Fox Sports,

The NHL will return to the ice with the busiest night in the league's 88-year history. Not wanting fans to have to wait one extra day to see their teams, the NHL has scheduled 15 games - including all 30 clubs - on opening night Oct. 5. Before the lockout that wiped out all of last season, the record for games in a day was 14, done nine times but not since 2003.

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I will be unavaiable for about 3 hours. Should be back around 1:30pm. IF you want to check out the NHL schedule for the upcoming season, it will be released at noon today.

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Comcast Talk

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Comcast is studying repositioning its Outdoor Life Network to compete with ESPN. Attributing its information to unnamed people familiar with Comcast's plans, The Journal said the company is in negotiations with the linchpins of sports programming - the professional leagues. Comcast is talking with the National Football League, the National Hockey League and is looking at NASCAR auto racing, The Journal said. update 9:28am, Now this from CNN Money.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com



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