Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Crosby Show

Fans in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver will have to hit the road if they want to see Sidney Crosby in person this season. While the 2005-06 NHL schedule is not out until next week, the NHL did release schedule guidelines Friday. And interconference play will be limited. Pittsburgh, which has the first pick in the July 30 draft, isn't scheduled to play teams in the Western Conference's Pacific Division this season. And while the Penguins will play teams in the West's Northwest Division, home to the Flames, Oilers and Canucks, they will do so in Pittsburgh. The only Western Conference teams the Pens will visit will be in the Central Division: Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Nashville and St. Louis. The Penguins will play eight times against each of their Atlantic Division rivals: New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers. Pittsburgh will also play four games against each of the 10 non-division clubs in the Eastern Conference. That includes Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

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Back in Business

from Sports Illustrated,

Some said it would be this way all along. Others still wonder why the NHL had to forsake an entire season to arrive at this point. Neither matters. What matters is that on R-Day (ratification day), the NHL is back in business. There is now a sense of getting busy -- frenetically rebuilding at first, but hopefully over time, for the long haul. And history is on the NHL's side. After all, the game has been around in one form or another for a long time. The biggest difference now is that for the first time, owners and players have forged an economic partnership. This is the way it should be. The owners need the players, and the players need the owners. Now they have one another, bound by a Collective Bargaining Agreement better measured in pounds than by the page. The protagonists now are partners. From inert to energized; from stasis to skating. What seemed nonsensical now has structure and balance. But what holds the answers to so many questions, the NHL relaunch also is fraught with the unknown.

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Now What?

from Spector and Fox Sports,

The 10-month long nightmare for NHL hockey fans concluded today with the official ratification by the league board of governors of the new collective bargaining agreement. The deal was ratified a day earlier by a majority of the NHLPA membership. So where do we go from here? In the short term, the teams and players have less than three months to prepare for the start of the 2005-06 season, and there's plenty to be done over that time. Teams now have from July 23 until 5 p.m. ET on July 29 to buy out those players whose salaries could create problems under the new salary cap system. Those players cannot renegotiate their contracts, nor can they be re-signed this season by their former teams. Speculation has been brewing for weeks as to which players could be bought out. The most likely candidates include John Leclair and Tony Amonte of the Philadelphia Flyers, Derian Hatcher and Ray Whitney of the Detroit Red Wings, Pierre Turgeon of the Dallas Stars, Bryan Smolinski and Greg de Vries of the Ottawa Senators and Owen Nolan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Other possibilities include Joe Sakic or Rob Blake in Colorado, Keith Tkachuk or Doug Weight in St. Louis, Patrice Brisebois in Montreal and Darius Kasparaitis of the New York Rangers.

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New NHL Logo Pays Homage to the Cup

The switch from orange to silver pays homage to the game's most cherished trophy, the sterling silver Stanley Cup. NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League introduced an updated shield logo today in conjunction with the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement. The invigorated mark uses upward-reading letters to project a vibrant, optimistic image, yet defers to tradition by maintaining the time-honored shape of the original shield. The new logo's dominant color is silver, in homage to the most cherished trophy in sports, the sterling silver Stanley Cup. The new NHL Shield, which was created by NHL Design Director Paul Conway, is part of a comprehensive brand identity initiative launched in 2004 by the NHL with SME, a leader in branding and design

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Now the Fun Begins

Tomorrow begins the "buyout" period for the NHL teams. I will be updating as NHL news breaks so please visit Kukla's Korner for all of the latest NHL news.

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#1 Pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft Goes To…

...the Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby stats. The full 2005 Draft order.

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Collective Bargaining Agreement FAQs

CBA FAQS

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Schedule Format

NHL SCHEDULE FEATURES RIVALRY-BASED FORMAT NEW YORK (July 22, 2005) - The National Hockey League is returning with an exciting new regular-season schedule format that emphasizes division rivalries. Format * Each club will play eight games against each of its four division rivals (32 total). * Each club will play four games against each of the 10 non-division clubs in its conference (40 total). * Each club will play 10 inter-conference games, hosting one game each against all five clubs from a designated division and traveling for one game each against all five clubs from a different division. For the 2005-06 season, Northeast Division clubs will host the Pacific Division and visit the Northwest; Atlantic Division clubs will host the Northwest and visit the Central; and Southeast Division clubs will host the Central and visit the Pacific. Division vs. division assignments will rotate annually. Features * The new schedule strengthens division rivalries; division rivals played each other six times under the previous schedule. * The new schedule maintains integrity of the conference-based playoff format; each club continues to play 40 games against non-division, intra-conference opponents. * The new schedule allows for continued exposure of teams and star players from the other conference. * The new schedule allows for more compelling television matchups, thanks to the combination of stronger division rivalries with continued intra- and inter-conference play.

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Remarks from Bettman

EXCERPTS FROM COMMISSIONER BETTMAN REMARKS NEW YORK (July 22, 2005) - Following are excerpts of remarks by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman following today's Board of Governors meeting: "Today, our Board of Governors gave its unanimous approval to a Collective Bargaining Agreement that signals a new era for our League -- an era of economic stability for our franchises, an era of heightened competitive balance for our players, an era of unparalleled excitement and entertainment for our fans." * * * * "Our foundation for the future now is in place. It is the mandate of this new partnership, achieved at enormous cost, to reconnect with our fans and refocus the spotlight where it belongs: on the ice, on the beauty and the skill of our remarkable game and on the world's best professional athletes." * * * * "We will return with a modified shield, with a new 'look' on the ice and a new outlook off it, and we will return this game to our fans with a promise: We will do everything in our power to be the best we can be and to earn your continued devotion. This was a terrible time for everyone associated with the game. We will do everything we can to make it up to you." * * * * "The greatness of hockey, and the NHL, is best measured by the character and commitment of our players. The greatness of our game is best reflected by the character and commitment of our fans. We appreciate the patience and the support they have shown through this difficult time. It's time our fans had some fun again, and our objective is to give them all they can handle."

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Official Rule Changes

The National Hockey League's Board of Governors today approved a series of rule changes that will emphasize entertainment, skill and competition on the ice. Commissioner Gary Bettman, who presented the package to the Board, also formally announced the creation of a new Competition Committee which was responsible for formulating and recommending the proposed slate of rules changes for approval by the NHL Board of Governors.

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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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