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Friday, March 29, 2013

Romo Signs Mega Deal

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Romo Signs Mega Deal

If I were to write an untitled entry that just simply said "an NFL quarterback signed a 6 year contract extension today worth $108million, $55million of which is guaranteed, who would you logically think had signed it?  

Peyton Manning?

Drew Brees?

Tom Brady?

Tony Romo? Wait, what?

You guessed it, the same Tony Romo who is surrounded by the whispers year in and year out as to whether he is good enough to take the Cowboys on a deep playoff run just signed a deal that will more or less make him a Cowboy for life.

Ok, time to throw a little logic into the head scratching. The real reason, according to the so called "NFL experts" is for salary cap space. Romo would have been $16.8million cap hit in 2013. For a team that is tight up against the cap as it is, that number was mighty high. Thanks to the new deal, Romo's 2013 hit will be reduced to $11.8mil saving the team $5mil to use out on the open market.

Before all you Cowboy fans start gushing about what a good team player Romo is for helping his team out, lets take a look at the guaranteed money again -- $55million. That is $3million more than the Joe Flacco deal that I am sure you read a rant or two about on this site. That is nearly double the money of Tom Brady's recent deal.

If you want to argue that Romo might be more talented or valuable than Flacco, OK, I can see that argument. I'm sure some would counter with the Super Bowl ring and MVP, but I hear ya. Its fair. But better than Tom Brady? Seriously Jerry Jones?

Look I don't mind Romo as a quarterback and am actually among the few who think he takes a bit of an undeserved bad rap about his late season struggles. With that said, this contract is insane! You want to save cap space? OK, fine. I get it. But you want to commit that kind of money to a guy who even people in your own organization question on a yearly basis? Crazy. You want to pay him more money than guys who what proven they can get the job done? Even more crazy.

My ultimate point in all of this is that NFL contracts for these players, particularly quarterbacks is getting out of hand. If you want to pay the top handful of guys $10mil+ a year they had better be guys what you believe can get you to the Superbowl. I put it to you Cowboy fans -- do you think Romo is that guy?

Hoopshysteria - Bulls Show Horns

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Hoopshysteria Weekly Blog - Bulls Show Horns
By Wild on Sports NBA Columnist Talyon Perry

After 27 straight games the streak has come to an end. The Miami Heat fell to the Bulls who were without Joakim Noah and no return from Derrick Rose yet. As far as they got they still came up six games short of the NBA record held by the Lakers. On a positive side the Heat's starters will get a much needed rest that they might not have received.

Across the country the Lakers have fallen flatter than Jason Terry trying to stop a dunk, and only sit half a game above Utah in the standings. It doesn't help that they lost Metta World Peace for 6 weeks (and most likely the season). With things coming down to the wire we will see who plays better under pressure the Lakers or the Jazz.

For our weekend preview we start off with a Friday matchup between the Clippers and the Spurs. Two of the top 3 teams in the western conference. Look for Lob City to make a statement before playoff time.

Saturday will excite with a game between the Mavs and the Bulls. Remember that Dallas isn't completely out of the playoff picture either, but the Bulls coming off a great win over Miami will be almost impossible to beat (especially is either Noah or Rose return).

Sunday's matchup is between the Heat and the Spurs. Watch to see how the Heat respond to coming up short of the record. Will they get pay back by sitting their starters? (Like the spurs did against the heat early this season) If your team is sitting pretty or stuck at the bottom there is always the last bit of college basketball to entertain you. Could this be the year a team like Wichita wins it all?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

NFL Draft Capsules: Minnesota Vikings

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2013 NFL Draft Capsules:
Minnesota Vikings
 By Wild on Sports NFL Analyst Davis McGregor

On the Clock: Minnesota Vikings

Team Overview:
Right now, any team with Adrian Peterson is just about guaranteed to make the playoffs. But a little help from Christian Ponder would do the 2000- yard rusher some good. That’s a task that might be a little more difficult to accomplish this year without Percy Harvin in the lineup. Fortunately, the newly acquired Greg Jennings should be able to help the young quarterback continue to grow.

Team Needs:
1. Defensive Tackle
2. Wide Receiver
3. Defensive Back

Back in the day when people thought of Minnesota, they though of the Purple People Eaters. It’s time to bring that back.

Between Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Brian Robison, they are three quarters of the way there. To reignite the Fearsome Foursome the Vikings should look for help from Kawann Short or Sylvester Williams.

A revitalized defense is just what this team needs to remain a contender in the offensively charged NFC North.

Likely Fits:
The Vikings D-Line has been one of the most productive in the league over the last few seasons. In 2012 this team racked up 44 sacks, the problem with this is that starting tackle Letroy Guion only got in on 2 of those QB takedowns. It’s not too hard to see realize that Guion is the liability here and as everyone know, a team can only be as strong as its weakest link.

After looking through the free agency the Vikings seemed to have decided that bringing in a rookie makes the most sense. The names that seem to fit best into the Purple Gang’s defensive scheme the best are Short and Williams.

Purdue’s Kawann Short looks to be a bit of a risk though. His off and on performance makes him look like a top 10 pick after some games and a 3rd rounder in others. Under the tutelage of veteran Kevin William however, may be able to develop some sort of consistency at his high level of play. The boilermaker has a lot of potential and can help the Vikings defense hang to make another playoff run. His quickness and ability to slide by defenders or through double teams is his main skill. Definitely a plus and should help his team create more pressure on the quarterback.

A lack of play-to-play discipline remains his largest problem. He has a tendency to get just watch a play happen when he gets tired. Short also becomes frustrated when going against better players which can result in him giving up on plays. With the strong leadership and skill on the Minnesota D-Line right now, they should be able to whip him into shape and turn him into the dominant player he truly can be.

UNC’s Sylvester Williams is also looking like a pretty good addition to the Purple People Eaters right now too. Built as a large, run stopping defensive tackle, Williams can be an anchor in the middle of the line

If Williams is able to take care of business on the interior of the line it will allow stud defensive end Jared Allen to wreak even more havoc upon passers. The Vikings need to bring some youth into their front four so dedicating one of their two first round picks to this position is a necessity. While you can’t go wrong with either of the above mentioned players, Sylvester Williams might make a bigger impact on this rising team.

With two draft picks in the first round, Leslie Frazier should have an easy time filling in the holes in his team. Granting one pick of the pair to a defensive tackle, the next needs to be aimed at improving the receiving corps. Unfortunately for Christian Ponder there are a few other teams ahead of them with similar needs. Names like Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson will most likely be called before the Vikings first pick at number 23. Should either of those two receivers fall that would be a great pick, otherwise going with Cal’s Keenan Allen is the best move.

The addition of Greg Jennings is a huge get for Minnesota but combined with the loss of the versatile wide out, Percy Harvin still leaves them in need.

With his impressive speed and size Allen has the ability to be a legitimate threat down the sideline. Alongside Jennings, Ponder should be able to create a solid passing attack to complement Adrian Peterson on the ground.

With a mediocre quarterback in college, Allen was unable to display his true skills. Now entering the NFL he should have the talent around him to let him shine, especially with the extra attention that defenses will pay to his teammate Greg Jennings.

Drafting a receiver pretty much covers the main needs of the offense, the defense on the other hand still needs a little more work. Adding a defensive back should definitely cover their other needs.

Coming from the Crimson Tide’s NFL caliber defense, Robert Lester would be a solid 2nd round draft pick for the Vikings front office. He’s a great player that will drop out of the 1st round due to the great depth in this years draft class. With impressive speed and instincts Lester could be a great addition as a safety to the Minnesota secondary. He also has the size to lay big hits on players, if he can establish his presence in the middle of the field receivers will be scared to run through his zone. This size also allows him to play up more on the line of scrimmage and against the run. Lester isn’t a flashy pick but he will be a solid player for defensive coordinator Alan Williams.

If any of the Viking’s front office reads this and follows this plan it should allow them remain a real competitor in the NFL, even if Adrian Peterson can not put up the same kind of numbers as in his-almost-record breaking season. And with the help of some fresh new defensive lineman, ring in the return of the fearsome foursome, The Purple People Eaters

 Check out our other 2013 NFL Draft Team Capsules

The Fallout - Round 1

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The Fallout - Round 1
By Brian Peirce

A couple of quick points I have to get off my chest. Ignila makes the Penguins better on paper, but who knows if adding these forwards will make the Penguins like the 2002 Red Wings or more like the current New York Rangers. What I didn’t like is how they played Boston and how Ignila pretty much strong-armed his former team into taking a worse deal. He should fit in well on a team of me first attitudes.

The Flames now have to figure out how much more they want to rip the team apart. Rumors say that six teams are after Bouwmesster, which doesn’t make much sense to me with his cap number. I read a rumor that the Wings were looking at two players from the Flames, but needed to move some roster players to make it happen. I don’t know what they could move, but I would think Cammalleri would be what the Wings would be after. Many teams would be as well. They should be full out sellers right now; also they might win the lotto for Mackinnon. Boston could go after St Louis, but I don’t think Tampa is going to trade in their new division, which would also leave out the Wings who are rumored to go after them.
These things move fast so we shall see.

A quick list to make it easy on teams I haven’t covered yet.
Buyers- Hawks, Wild, Flyers, Blues, Sharks, Canucks, Leafs (Flyers should be sellers but they don’t live in the real world.)
Sellers- Tampa, Flames, Florida, Sabers

Atlanta Signs Umenyiora

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Atlanta Signs Umenyiora

After releasing the team's all-time leading sack leader, the Atlanta Falcons were in need of a strong pass rushing presence. They found that guy on Thursday in the form of ex-Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora.

Umenyiora is a two time Super Bowl Champion from his time in New York and while has been hampered with injuries the past few seasons is one of the games truely elite sack specialist when 100%. Over his career Osi has 75 sacks, 31 forced fumbles and 13 fumble recoveries.

Despite being around for what seems like a much longer time period, Umenyiora is just 31 years old, several years younger than John Abraham, the man he is replacing.

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Umenyiora's deal is for $8.5 million, with a max value of $12 million, including $5 million guaranteed.

It will be interesting to see which version of Umenyiora shows up in Atlanta. If it is the same man that set an NFL record with 10 forced fumbles in 2010, the Falcons will have gotten themselves a steal. If it is the 2012 version that saw him start just four games in an injury plagued season, they might be in a bit of trouble.

Puckmainia: Mid-Week Pain from Boston

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Puckmania Weekly Blog:
By Wild on Sports NHL Analyst Josh Tarr
March 28, 2013
 
Mid-week Pain from a Boston Fan

 For those of you who are not from New England, let me tell you what Bruins fans endured in the last 12 hours:

Last night, the Bruins blew a two goal lead in the 3rd period, twice, before losing to Montreal in the shootout. At this point, most of the hockey world was waiting for an official statement regarding Jarome Iginla being traded to Boston for minor league prospects and a 1st round pick. HOWEVER, around 1am Eastern Standard Time (while I was fast asleep) the deal was finalized with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It is not a good day to be a Bruins fan in New England. However, I don’t believe Penguins fans should be all smiles about this trade either.

As of right now, the Pittsburgh Penguins have one of the most stacked lineups the league has seen in decades, but they also have a pretty lengthy list of free agents next season. UFA’S include all three rentals they’ve acquired (Iginla, Morrow, Murray) Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis, Craig Adams and Mark Eaton are also part of that list. RFA’S include Tyler Kennedy, Dustin Jeffery and Robert Bortuzzo. They will have a smidge over $10 million to resign those 10 guys. Lets see how Ray Shero finds his way out of that.

More to come in my real Puckmania entry this weekend...

Streak Snapped at 27

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Streak Snapped at 27

Its over!

I didn't post the usual Wednesday NBA Power Rankings yesterday for a simple reason: it was the Miami Heat, then a major gap, then everybody else. Hardly even worth recording. Well, they showed me. Tip of the cap Chicago.

The Miami Heat's attempt at NBA history come to a screeching halt Wednesday night losing to the Chicago Bulls and snapping their 27-game winning streak 101-97.

There was no great shot at the end to save the streak. There was no 20-point comeback. Despite scoring 32 points, Chicago, the NBA best defense, made Lebron James look human down the stretch, snuffing out any late comeback run.

I know there are a lot of people out there, my self included, that just really do not care for Lebron and his majesty's antics. Believe me, I would love to sit here and bash him and the Heat for the "Not 1, Not 2, Not 3..." and all the other chaos. But in looking at this streak today the sports fan in me is impressed; truly impressed with the Heat's ability to rattle off 27 games in a row.

Lets think about it for a moment. They went over a month without losing against the best players in a the world. That says something. I hear those of you who say the NBA is diluted and isn't the game it use to be, yada, yada, yada. That is a different argument for a different day. Today, all teams in the NBA are faced with playing a lot of games in a short period of time. To go over a month without having an "off day" or being "banged up" coming off a back to back is kind of shocking. We see some of the better teams in the league lose to inferior opponents with relative regularity.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau put it best, "When you look at what they've done, to be the defending world champions and to have a winning streak like that knowing that everyone's chasing you, credit them," said Thibodeau. "I think you can learn from them."

What we have learned is streak or no streak, the Miami Heat are the real deal. Yikes, that was painful to type but very true. Even though they came up 5 games short of the streak, their ultimate goal of winning another championship is still very much in play.

At this point, Miami is still on the throne and the team to beat in the NBA.

Iginla Headed to Pittsburgh

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Iginla Headed to Pittsburgh

WOW.

What else is there to say about the week the Pittsburgh Penguins are having? After added Brendan Morrow and Doug Murray over the weekend and extending their win streak to 13 games on Tuesday night, GM Ray Shero was back at it into the wee hours this morning finalizing a deal with the Calgary Flames for future Hall-of-Famer Jarome Iginla.

Not a bad five day stretch huh?

After all the speculation, bold predictions and a post game press conference from Boston coach Claude Jullian, that following a loss to the Canadiens, more than hinted that something big may be coming down the line. It was Pittsburgh, not Boston that had won the trade deadline's most coveted prize.

In the end it was actually Iginla who had final say. After telling the team over the weekend that he would accept a trade to one of four teams (Boston, Pittsburgh, LA, Chicago) he ultimately wanted to play with Sidney Crosby. It is being reported in Boston this morning that the offer made by the Bruins was actually more to the Flames' liking than the Pittsburgh offer. Whether that is just sour grapes or hear say, we will never know. Ultimately, you can't blame a guy for wanting to play with the best player in the world...I guess.

The Penguins will send college prospects Ben Hanowski, Kenny Agostino and a 2013 first-round pick to Calgary in exchange for Mr. Iginla's services. A steep price to play when you consider that Iginla has just this season remaining on his contract and will be free to go where ever he wants in three months -- including back to Calgary. Of course, winning a Stanley Cup can go a long way in persuading someone to stay.

And stay he just might. There are other rumors out there this morning that teams where requesting to speak with Iginla regarding a contract extension before pulling the triggor on a deal. Whether those are just talks or actually took place, I just don't know but I for one would be a little shy about giving up such major pieces for a rental player unless I knew there was a strong possibility of retaining him.

Rental player or not, you have got to give Pittsburgh GM credit for going all in this season. The acquisitions of Morrow, Murray and now Iginla are a message to the league that a Stanley Cup run is likely going through the Penguins.

And hey, now that he has traded most of his picks for 2013 perhaps he will be able to sit back, relax and take a day off next June. If Iginla means a Cup, all the power to him.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trade Deadline Preview: Ottawa Senators

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Trade Deadline Preview: Ottawa Senators
By Brian Peirce

This is a really interesting situation brewing in Ottawa. This is a team that should have walked into the playoffs if it wasn’t for two key injuries. The first was taking a Norris Trophy guy out of the line up in a totally despicable move that by the worst player in the league. I am still angry about the lack of response by the NHL in Karlsson getting his heel stomped on. The highest scoring defenseman was a big loss, which got worse when they lost the best goaltender in the league at the time in terms of saves in Craig Anderson to a lingering ankle injury.

Both turned out to be galvanizing to the team. Players stepped up everywhere, and all of a sudden they have three good goaltenders and at least one more offensive defenseman step up, and an overall team effort to team defense. They are sitting in a good spot to make the playoffs, but they also have some tough calls to make. They have UFA guys to be in Gonchar, Latendresse, and their franchise player Alfredsson. When you also figure that they have three guys that are proven to be NHL caliber goaltenders, you have to figure they have assets to trade. But are they buyers or sellers?

They could go at the Cup but when you are down your best young player, do you think you can win it all? Do you want to tell your team that, as the GM, you don’t think they can win it all? These are tough decisions. If I was in charge I would let Alfredsson determine his own future, and be a seller with Gonchar at least. I also would look to move Bishop to anyone who is interested enough to make a good deal.

They have 26 million to spend on 7 players next season. You might as well move guys that you might not have next season and use the money on new players and see if the youngsters who carried this team can carry the load in the playoffs. Next year you will get back a Norris Trophy defenseman, could add the best free agent defenseman or forward in free agency while getting prospects? I mean, I would rather add Danny over Iginla just because I think he is more of a leader. It sounds as if they are looking to stand pat or add some small pieces, but this is a team that could have won the cup if they didn’t get some jack-ass assaulting their best player. I suggest they sell high on some of their spare pieces and rebuild. Alfredsson could even come back next season to a team that has a stronger identity.

Trade Deadline Preview: Boston Bruins

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Trade Deadline Preview: Boston Bruins
By Brian Peirce

The Bruins have rumors swirling around them for two players right now Ryan Whitney the common scratch in Edmonton and Jarome Ignila. Both of these guys make some sense for the right price and in the right role. Whitney is a gamble to see if the change of scenery will wake him up, and Ignila is a big gamble because he will be expensive and maybe just a rental. I covered many of the benefits and negatives with my Flames and Kings entries, but the fact that Boston is on the rumored short list of four teams Ignila will accept makes this a true possibility for the Bruins. Chicago, LA, Boston, and Pittsburgh would each have to give up a top goaltender prospect, another prospect and a top pick. For the Bruins the 19 year old goaltender Subban is the make or break part of the deal.

This is why I think the Bruins are in the top two teams to get Ignila because they have what they need. No team is as short in goaltending as the Flames and while I think they want Bernier more to rebuild fast with a more known commodity. Subban would be the long term rebuilding choice that would allow their top picks to go towards something besides the next goaltender. The Flames are going to look long and hard at this and what other moves are available so I think this might be the last big trade of the deadline. The Bruins also look to be the only market to trade him where they won’t have to worry about him as much so I think they are the favourites to get him.

Ryan Whitney is the more likely trade to happen quickly. He is UFA and has a cap hit of 4 million. Getting both of these players is doable because of the averaging of the remaining cap hits, but I am not a math expert so I don’t know when that day comes, but every day leading up to the deadline every single team has more cap space. They will only get Whitney if it is cheap, and Vishnovsky from last year set a price for this sort of player. A second rounder might get it done by itself, though it might get more expensive as others get involved.

Nathan Horton has a NTC but is UFA. They might consider trying to move him if they get Ignila. It is doubtful but possible. Really the Bruins are concerned with beating Montreal and the secondary scoring is not there. Some think they would go after Martin St. Louis, but they will be in the same division next year, so I don’t think that is going to happen. I love the Original Six teams, and cannot wait to see what happens. They are strong in the short and long term, so I wouldn’t do much if I were Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.


**Editor's Note*** -- With Iginla traded to Pittsburgh as of Thursday morning, expect a strong push from the Bruins for Martin St. Louis. The Lightning may be reluctant to send him to a team that will be an inner division opponent next year but the Bruins are now motivated buyers and have plenty of cap space to take on St. Louis and maybe a bad contract to sweeten the pot for Tampa Bay.

NHL Power Rankings - March 27

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NHL Power Rankings
March 27, 2013

The Pittsburgh Penguins are winners of 13 straight games and are nipping at the heals of the Chicago Blackhawks for the top ranking. Vancouver and the surging Columbus Blue Jackets are the big risers this week each moving up four spots. Carolina and Phoenix, both teams who have lost six straight both took hits in the rankings this week dropping by nine and five places. Where does your team stack up this week?

RANK TEAM Last Week
1            (1)
2            (3)
3             (2)
4   (4)
5   (5)
6 (10)
7 (6)
8 (12)
9 (8)
10 (14)
11 (7)
12 (15)
13 (13)
14 (20)
15 (9)
16 (17)
17 (18)
18 (22)
19 (28)
20 (11)
21 (25)
22 (16)
23 (21)
24 (19)
25 (29)
26 (23)
27 (26)
28 (24)
29 (27)
30 (30)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#1 Again, Is Tiger Back?

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#1 Again, Is Tiger Back?

For the first time since October 2010, some 2 1/2 years ago, Tiger Woods is the #1 golfer in the world.

Monday marked his second win in consecutive weeks as he claimed the Arnold Palmer (Bay Hill) Invitational, a tournament he has now won a record tying eight times. The win gives Tiger his 3rd on the season as he heads to the Masters in his most "Tiger-like" form since career threatening injuries and derailing personal issues.

Is the real Tiger back?

He has been no stranger to winning tournaments in his career. Even during his times of struggle he still managed a couple of wins.

"If I get healthy, I knew I can play this game at a high level," said Woods Monday after his 2-under 70. "I know I can be where I'm contending in every event, contending in major championships and being consistent day in and day out -- if I got healthy. That was the first step in the process. Once I got there, then my game turned."

OK, so the health is back, what about the superhuman who's confidence and swagger alone would make those playing with him drop off the leaderboard faster than a speeding bullet? 

Well, we may have seen a bit of that on Monday as well. On the 12th hole Monday after playing partner and then 2nd place Ricky Fowler sunk a 40-foot birdie putt to get within two of the lead, Woods dropped a 25-foot birdie of his own creating the first real Tiger roar from the crowd of the day and sending Fowler to the next tee with a dumfounded smirk and tail between his legs. From there Woods cruised to victory.

The real test will come in a few weeks in April when he goes for his first green jacket since 2005. He has said all along that the only record he cares about is Jack Nicklaus' major championship record of 18 wins. Tiger sits at 14, but has not won one since the 2008 US Open.

So, for a third time -- is the real Tiger Woods back? Signs are pointing in the right direction. A green jacket in two weeks would scream a resounding YES!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Puckmania Weekly Blog: March of the Penguins

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Puckmania Weekly Blog
By Wild on Sports NHL Analyst Josh Tarr
March 25, 2013
 
March of the Penguins

My pick for game of the week was an easy one. Look no further than last nights contest between the Penguins and Flyers.

Games between these two teams are always very entertaining and unpredictable, and this one was no different. Despite Pittsburgh riding an 11 game winning streak into this game, Philadelphia played some excellent defense the entire game holding the Penguins to no goals for most of the game.

The Flyers scored first in the second period off a long wrist shot by Claude Giroux on the power play. Giroux showed much craftsmanship on the play by taking the puck into the offensive zone, passing it off a Pittsburgh defender and shooting the puck on the rebound.

Ilya Bryzgalov had one of his best performances of the year, stopping 33 shots on goal in a rare night where he was the Flyers best player. Those saves would not be enough as Sidney Crosby slapped in a one-time pass through Bryzgalov’s five-hole late in the third period. Tyler Kennedy buried the game winner halfway through overtime right over the glove of Bryz.

It’s the March of the Penguins in the NHL...Literally.
They are by far the leagues most dominant team and in the month of March, they are 12-0-0. They have also acquired Dallas Stars captain Brandon Morrow and San Jose Sharks tough guy Doug Murray. The Penguins are still believed to be top contenders to acquire Jarome Iginla from Calgary. Just imagine how good this team will be once Malkin and Letang return.

My Three stars of the week:

3: Nazem Kadri: (LW Toronto)
This guy is quietly leading the Leafs in goals scored and plus minus this year, partially to do with his offensive stats this week. In four games this week, Kadri is a +4 with 3 goals and 4 assists.

2: Cory Schneider: (G Vancouver)
Just when everybody thought the Canucks were free falling, Cory Schneider steps up his game with four wins in four straight starts allowing only five goals. He also shut out the Kings Saturday afternoon 1-0.

1: Alexander Ovechkin: (LW Washington)
Hey, where did the critics go? 
Five goals, three assists and a +3 in four games this last week as the caps have won three in a row. I seriously hope this is just the beginning of Ovechkin, he has way too much talent to not be an elite force in the league.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Battered Yankees Add Wells

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Battered Yankees Add Wells

No team has been bitten harder by the injury bug this spring than the New York Yankees. Out are all-stars Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeria and even captain Derek Jeter will start the year on the DL. If there is any consolation, reinforcements are on the way in the form of outfielder Vernon Well who has reportedly been traded to New York pending him waiving his no trade clause.

Wells has two seasons remaining on what has gone down as one of the worst contracts in MLB history at 7 years, $126 million for a player who has batter .222 over the past two seasons. With a very crowded outfield in LA Wells had been projected as the odd-man out going into the season. He will now join a Yankees outfield where he will likely team up with Bret Gardiner and Ichiro Suzuki to start the season.

Wells will likely also see some time at DH if and when Granderson is healthy enough to return.

The Angles are expected to pick up all but $13million of the $42million owed to Wells over the next two seasons. The prospects headed to LA have yet to be announced.

Ravens Land Dumervil

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Ravens Land Dumervil

After taking serious criticism league wide for the dismantling of the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Baltimore Ravens answered their critics on Sunday agreeing to terms with all-pro defensive end Elvis Dumervil. The contract is reportedly for 5 years and the money is believed to be similar to that of Paul Kruger who left the Ravens for the Cleveland Browns on a 5 year, $41million deal earlier int he off-season.

The addition of Dumervil is a huge one for the Ravens who have seen player after player walk out the door this spring. The defensive side of the football had been particularly hard hit with the loss of Ray Lewis (retirement), Ed Reed (Texans), Kruger (Browns) and Dannell Ellerbe (Dolphins).

Dumervil's situation has been a curious one as the Broncos believed they had an agreement in place on a contract extension/restructuring only to find out that Dumervil's agent failed to file the necessary paper work with the league in time to avoid a $12million hit for 2013. Instead, the Broncos were forced to cut him, at which time he was free to speak with other teams.

"As we have from the start of this process, we worked diligently over the last week to find a way for Elvis Dumervil to remain a Denver Bronco. Although we made multiple contract offers to Elvis after being forced to release him, we were unable to reach an agreement and are now moving forward without him," said Denver executive V.P. John Elway. "Elvis was a team captain and a talented player who made a great impact during his seven seasons in Denver. I appreciate all of his effort on the field and the work he did in the community. I wish Elvis all the best as he continues his NFL career.”

Whether this is the move that gets the Ravens back in the AFC conversation or not remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, it is a major step in the right direction.

NHL Trade Deadline: Pittsburgh Penguins

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Trade Deadline Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins
By Wild on Sports Analyst Brian Peirce

The Penguins are a well run team that does things consistently and they are at it again. I was going to write an article about how they might be in the market for a top six, a depth guy, and stronger defense and how they had a few good options. Yet it seems the article I was going to write on rumor has been written for me with the same rumors. Brendan Morrow is rumored to be traded, pending him waiving his no trade clause, to the Penguins from Dallas. The Penguins were long interested in him to put on a line with Evgeni Malkin.

Morrow would be a good fit, and if he plays like he used to a few years back they will have gotten extra goal scoring and leadership for a team that is a contender. I would assume this takes them out of the running for Jarome Iginla, even though TSN is reporting that the penguins are on a four team list of acceptable destinations to waive his NTC. The others are LA, Boston, and Chicago. They already have a solid and full top six, unless they moved out someone for the Morrow trade, or they plan on moving someone for Ignila.

They might be considering moving one of my favorite players in Pascal Dupuis who is UFA. They might move the other upcoming free agents including the notorious Matt Cooke. Cooke makes the most sense to move due to a likely huge cap crunch down the road. They will need to decide what they want to build the team around in the future. The Penguins could go hard at this Cup feeling confident that their major rivals are weak and ripe for the taking. They could try to even get back defensemen Rob Scudari, whom they have been missing.

They appear to be one of the major favorites in the East right now. Adding a player or two may make all the difference and send the Penguins back to the Stanley Cup Finals.

***Editor's Note*** It appears Morrow has accepted the trade and will be headed to Pittsburgh for defensive prospect Joe Morrow and a 5th round pick in 2013. The Pittsburgh will also receive a 2013 3rd round pick from Dallas in the deal.

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