Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

No More Trap

from the Pioneer Press,

Lemaire has to reprogram his players and defense-first game plan to function in a new NHL hardwired for more offense. Scores of players have changed uniforms via trades or free agency since the lockout ended last month, recalibrating the power structure of both conferences. But the key to success this season could come down to how quickly teams adjust their style to another obstruction crackdown and rink alterations designed to create more room for playmakers. Trapping teams like the Wild, who rely lesson the defensive scheme than when they entered the NHL in 2000, could be caught chasing air if they simply extend their flypaper across the neutral zone and try to pounce on opponents' turnovers. Not with two-line passes providing an escape route for attacking teams and four less feet of center ice for defenders to trap.

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Ambassador Gretzky

from the Airizona Republic,

The co-owner, managing partner and coach of the Phoenix Coyotes also will briefly serve as a diplomat when the Canada Arizona Business Council gathers for a pre-season game at the Glendale Arena on Sept. 16. The Canadian icon, who was named coach earlier this month, will address the group of 50 or more business leaders whose goal is to improve trade between Arizona and Canada. The Gretzky effect already has led to the Coyotes selling 1,000 new season tickets in the past three weeks, Moss said. "I think there will be an increase in visibility," Moss said. "There will be more TV games here and more TV games in Canada."

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Wings Trade Rumor

This trade was posted on Sportsnet earlier this morning but now pulled ( I did not see it but the talk is it was up on the site but no longer there). To Detroit: N.Antropov, T.Kaberle, C.Colaiacovo To Toronto: H.Zetterberg, N.Kronwall update 2:25pm. Did a little research and this rumor is just that. Now the word is Sportsnet posted this rumor last night, but I was watching the Sportsnet site quite a bit last night and saw nothing. Time to move on and get both of Zetterberg and Datsyuk signed and in the red and white.

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Zetterberg and Datsyuk Meet Again

Datsyuk and Zetterberg played in a charity hockey game and were interviewed by Sport Bladet. Following is again, a very rough translation... Yesterday met Detroit's bigliest number states in a välgörenhetsmatch in Umeå. Two players as no actually believed on in draften, but as grown to two of hockey world even bigliest number states. And both wants to stay in Detroit. - yes, the is my first choice, says the Russian Pavel Datsyuk to Sportbladet. - I want to back to NHL. Although the goes to serve equally a lot of money in Russia, sows plays I rather in Nord- amerika. Datsyuk wants to have more Datsyuk served 1,5 millions dollars in Detroit the previous season. More than double so a lot of as Zäta. - and I want to of course to have more now, says Datsyuk. How is the situation in the negotiations? - I cannot claim that we are near in the negotiations, but not neither 10 km apart. So we may see. What believes you about Zetterberg? - he is a fantastic player and buddy. Detroit has without doubtly councils to retain us both. But Zäta has ended up in a tough negotiation situation with Detroit. In order to retain the rights to the Swede each the forced to give him a contract proposal before August 15. According to all reports each that a shame offer. - alone goes I not in on some figures, says Zäta. - of course each I not entirely pleased with that offer I might. Otherwise, I had of course already wrote on. Zetterberg wants to have more Zetterberg is an off the victims for the the new salary ceiling in NHL. Detroit have been forced to more or less halve your salary costs from last year. Lateliest NHL-säsongen 2003/the 04 caused Swede long, far over your salary on 675000 dollars, as placed him in NHL: s bottom swamps lönemässigt. - the is clear that I want to up in salary and I hopes still that the will loose himself. A lot of acts well also about how the long contract will last, says Zäta. A normal season, and in a team with more scope up to the salary ceiling's maximum 39 millions dollars, willed a player as Henrik Zetterberg end up around two millions dollars in yearly salary. - but I understood that the willed become difficult then I saw was the salary ceiling ended up. - now has Detroit done clearlily with Niklas Kronwall also, sows now is the only I and Pavel left, says Zäta.

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The Flawed Genius

from the Belfast Telegraph,

When the lights crank up and flood the ice at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast with the hope of a new hockey season, taking centre stage will be a North American National Hockey League (NHL) superstar. Belfast, of course, might not be the most obvious next step for a man who has won virtually every honour in his sport. But given the journey that has taken Theo Fleury (37) from a small town and an unkind childhood to the heights of NHL fame, it may well be exactly the gentle landing the boy from Russell, Manitoba - and the Belfast Giants - need. The 10-team Elite League, of which the Giants is a part, has had its ups and downs over the past few years. Indeed, the Giants have had their own problems. Team members have had to take pay cuts and ticket sales are down. In the Elite League chat rooms, fans are talking about Fleury with excitement. "Theo Fleury is God!" emotes one fan. Others are more cautious: "He'll be a great signing ? if he's given up his drug problems."

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Hockey In Iraq

from the Duluth News-Tribune,

One night recently, just after dusk, a convoy of Humvees came to an abrupt halt as it was leaving the Camp Warhorse military base in Iraq. A soldier in the passenger seat of the lead vehicle climbed out, camera in hand, and stared, agape, at the silhouettes of seven figures gliding in skates atop a large concrete slab. "Hey guys, can you believe this?" he yelled to his fellow soldiers inside the Humvee, just before snapping a few photos and driving off. "Hockey in Iraq. Now I've seen everything."

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Tarnstrom Decision Due Today

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Dick Tarnstrom will find out today how much money he stands to earn during the season. And it might not be long after that when he learns whether he'll be cashing his paychecks in Pittsburgh. Tarnstrom had a salary-arbitration hearing in Toronto yesterday and, if the Penguins are unhappy with the contract he is awarded, they almost certainly will try to trade him. They might even exercise their right to "walk away" from the award within 48 hours of when it's handed down, making Tarnstrom an unrestricted free agent.

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Is The Heavyweight Done

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Playing under a salary cap for the first time and with the promise of an obstruction crackdown and a more wide-open style of play, many managers have abandoned the old template for team-building. Gone is the so-called "ghost roster" that included at least one forward line devoted to pluggers, muckers and pure fighters and at least two hulking defensemen. Instead, many GMs are focusing on skill, speed and hockey smarts throughout their lineups. "You're still going to need toughness. But if you can find players with toughness who can play, that's a very, very valuable commodity," said Detroit GM Ken Holland, whose Red Wings have been the model for combining grit and skill with the likes of Darren McCarty, Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan.

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Same Old Bruins

from Fox Sports,

Suddenly, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is a big spender. After years of playing it close to the vest and keeping salaries reined in, Jacobs has allowed his general manager, Mike O'Connell, to tread very close to the $39 million salary cap dictated by the recently ratified CBA. For a man that has spent the better part of a decade being vilified by fans for his penurious ways and absentee landlordship of one of the sport's marquee franchises, Jacobs believes this mere fact entitles him to a huge round of applause from the club's supporters. He wants the fans to forget that he is merely playing by the rules he himself brought into being. Because, let's not forget, Jacobs was one of the biggest hawks among the owners, insisting that salaries be brought under control across the National Hockey League — no matter the cost. After more than 300 days of NHL darkness, the owners achieved their goal of having a revenue-based salary cap in place to limit the cost of obtaining and holding onto players.

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Malkin Staying In Russia

from TSN,

According to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, highly-touted Russian centre Evgeni Malkin is not expected to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins before 2006. Malkin, the 19 year-old selected by the Penguins second overall in the 2004 NHL Draft, is under contract to his hometown team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, in the Russian Super League until 2008 and he's made it known that he intends to play there this winter. "My feeling is that Evgeni will want to graduate to the NHL next year," Malkin's agent Pat Brisson told the paper. "It makes a lot of sense for him to next year graduate to the NHL." While he admitted that the chance to win with a powerful Magnitogorsk team and play for the Russian national team weighed heavily in his decision, Malkin also indicated another influence in his own interview posted on RusHockey.com, telling the site, "Actually, I was ready to compete with Alexander (Ovehckin) and Sidney (Crosby) for the Calder Trophy. But my agents told me that it'd be easier to win the trophy in a year."

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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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