Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Blackhawks’

The Divisional round of the NFL playoffs kicks off today with two games. The other two games are Sunday. Just like last week I’m going to put your Saturday picks in here to keep us honest. Mr. Fantasy and I will let you know who we’re all going with on Sunday’s podcast. The first game has the Seattle Seahawks at the Atlanta Falcons. We are split on this game as Mr. Fantasy and Schaumburg Stu are going with the Falcons and Dan the Man and I are taking the Seahawks. The second game today has the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots. This was the only game this weekend we all agreed on and no surprise we all picked the Patriots to win this one.

Because of the weather in the Kansas City area the NFL adjusted the Sunday schedule to try and make travel safer for everyone getting to and from the game. The Pittsburgh Steelers at the Kansas City Chiefs game was originally scheduled to kickoff at 12:05 p.m. but with the weather situation in the area the game has been moved to a 7:20 p.m. kickoff time. The other game on Sunday hasn’t been moved. It’s still a 3:40 p.m. kickoff time for the Green Bay Packers at the Dallas Cowboys.

Back in Week 6 the Seahawks beat the Falcons 26-24 in Seattle. Atlanta was driving at the end of the game and with the clock running down Matt Ryan tried to hit Julio Jones with a long pass down the middle of the field. It appeared as though Richard Sherman interfered with Jones on the play, but there was no penalty called. What I’m trying to figure out is why everyone thinks that if pass interference would’ve been called on that play that Atlanta would’ve won it. Even if the penalty had been called the football would’ve been at the Seattle 35 yard line. Now that means it would’ve been a 52 yard field goal that Matt Bryant would’ve needed to make for the Falcons to win the game. What I’m not understanding is why everyone thinks that a 52 yard field goal is a gimme and that Atlanta would win. Bryant is a very good kicker. He made 34 of 37 field goal attempts with a long of 59 yards, but two of his three misses on the season where from 50+ yards. Bryant also missed one extra point this season. Apparently the first game between these two teams featured the only missed call by a referee in the NFL this season and then a guarantee that a kicker would make a 52 yard field goal. I can’t be the only one who thinks this is ridiculous.

The Patriots/Texans game is also a rematch from the regular season. In Week 3 the Patriots beat the Texans 27-0 in New England. Since this game was back in Week 3 Tom Brady was suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo was injured; so that means Jacoby Brissett was the Patriots quarterback for the game. Now neither team is the same as they where back in Week 3, but New England is favorite by 15 1/2 to 17 points in the betting lines. That’s a very big point spread for a playoff game. Brock Osweiler started the game in Week 3 and he’ll be under center for Houston tonight. Osweiler went 24 of 41 for 196 yards with an interception in Week 3. Lamar Miller ran for 80 yards on 21 carries in that game and Ryan Griffin caught 8 passes for the Texans. Houston is also coming into this game with the #1 ranked defense in the NFL. Now back in Week 14 the Patriots faced the #1 defense of the Baltimore Ravens. Tom Brady threw for 406 yards against that defense as New England won 30-23. We’ll have to see if we get a good game or if we get the big win that the odds are predicting.

There was a marquee match up in the NHL last night as the Washington capitals hosted the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams had 59 points coming into the game, but you wouldn’t know that by the way the game went. Washington totally embarrassed Chicago skating to a very easy 6-0 win. The Capitals put the game away very early as they scored three goals in the 1st period. Jay Beagle started the scoring for Washington with his 7th goal of the year. :13 seconds later Nicholas Backstrom made it 2-0 with his 12th goal of the season. Brett Connolly picked up his 6th goal of the season to make to score 3-0 with just under three minutes left in the 1st period. The Blackhawks managed to hold the Capitals to just one goal in the 2nd period. Tom Wilson scored for Washington with three minutes left in the period. It was Wilson 3rd goal of the season putting Washington up 4-0 after two periods. T.J. Oshie scored his 12th goal of the game just about eight minutes in to the 3rd period to make the score 5-0. Beagle then picked up his 2nd goal of the night and his 8th on the season with about 1:30 left to play.

Braden Holtby made 24 saves to post his league leading 6th shutout. With the shoutout Holtby’s Goals Against Average dropped to 1.85 for the season. All-Star Corey Crawford was a joke in goal for the Blackhawks as he allowed 5 goals on 30 shots. Even the Blackhawks back up goaltender Scott Darling found a way to give up a goal as he was beaten 1 time out of the 4 shots he faced.

It would be great if Blackhawks fans could say that the team was just looking ahead to there game against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, but I don’t think that was the case. Now Minnesota is just two points behind the Blackhawks in the Central division standings of the Western Conference and if Minnesota wins there game tonight against the Dallas Stars the teams each have 59 points when they met on Sunday.

The NBA regular season is just about halfway over and Russell Westbrook just picked up his 19th triple-double of the season. Westbrook had 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, but also had 10 turnovers as the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-86 last night. Westbrook had a rough shooting night going 7 of 23 in the game and just 1 of 10 from behind the 3-point line.

According to records; Westbrook is the only player since 1973-74 to record multiple triple-doubles with at least 10 turnovers in a single season.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com but you can also listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

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Week 15 in the NFL just wrapped up and Dan the Man came out on top of our picks with a 13-3 record. The difference was Dan the Man was the only one who had the Carolina Panthers beating the Washington Redskins on Monday night. Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy where both 12-4 for the week while I was 11-5. Overall Schaumburg Stu looks to be on his way to winning this years contest as he is 148-76through 15 weeks. Dan the Man took 2nd place back by a game over Mr. Fantasy. Dan the Man is 141-83 and Mr. Fantasy is 140-84. That of course means I am in the cellar and it looks like I’ll be staying there. I’m 130-92 overall. There are two weeks left for our picks.

With the NHL coming up on there Christmas break it’s a bit of a surprise that the Chicago Blackhawks have the most points with 48. With the hard salary cap the NHL has the Blackhawks have had to allow top players leave through free agency and others have had to be traded away to keep the team under the salary cap. The Blackhawks are carrying six players 25 or under on their roster. The Blackhawks have six rookies that are contributing to the teams success. Ryan Hartman has 6 goals and 6 assists in 30 games. Vinnie Hinostroza has 3 goals and 5 assists in 26 games. Tyler Motte has 4 goals and 3 assists in 28 games. Gustav Forsling has 1 goal and 3 assists in 29 games and Michal Kempny has 2 assists in 23 games. The Blackhawks had to pick up a lot of these points while there captain Jonathan Toews and #1 goaltender Corey Crawford have been out injured.

While the Blackhawks are at the top right now there are some teams right behind them. The Pittsburgh Penquins and the New York Rangers have 47 points on the season. The Columbus Blue Jackets who are on a 10 game winning streak right now and the Montreal Canadiens have 46 points on the season. The Philadelphia Flyers and the Minnesota Wild each have 42 points and the Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues all have 4 points this season. Either way it should be an interesting race for the President’s Cup.

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is the NHL points leader with 40. McDavid also leads all other players in assists with 28 while Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penquins leads the league in goal scoring with 22. Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild is the plus-minus leader at +22. In goal Devin Dubnyk leads all goalies in three of the four major categories. Dubnyk leads in Goals Against Average with a 1.55, Save Percentage at .948 and shutouts with 5. Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the wins leader with 19.

As for the rookies. Patrick Laine of the Winnipeg Jets leads in points with 29 and goals with 18. Mitchell Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs leads in assists with 15. Xavier Ouellet of the Detroit Red Wings is the plus-minus leader at +9. In the goal it’s all Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penquins as far as rookies go. Murray leads in Goals Against Average at 1.85, Save Percentage at .938, Shutouts with 2 and Wins with 13.

The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 in overtime Tuesday night. LeBron James scored 34 points and in the process passed Moses Malone for 8th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James now has 27,442 career points. Shaquille O’Neal is 7th on the list at 28,596. James has a good chance to get past O’Neal before the season ends.

While James moving up the scoring list on the Cavaliers win was a positive the chance that they may loss J.R. Smith with a broken thumb is the negative. Smith exited the game in the 1syt half when it appeared he injured his thumb trying to strip Giannis Antetokounmpo of the basketball as he drove to the basket. The X-rays taken at the arena were inconclusive, according to the Cavaliers. Smith will travel back to Cleveland with the team and be re-evaluated Wednesday. Smith, who signed a four-year, $57 million extension with Cleveland in the offseason after the Cavaliers championship win entered Tuesday’s game averaging 8.8 points on 33.7 percent shooting (35.8 percent from 3). Smith  previously missed six games because of knee and ankle injuries this season. The Cavaliers take on the Bucks again Wednesday night this time in Cleveland as the teams are playing a back to back; home and home series. The Cavaliers are on top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 20-6 while Milwaukee is currently .500 at 13-13.

We’re coming up on Christmas day where the NBA will run out five games for fans to watch. The first game is at 11:00 a.m. and features the Boston Celtics at the New York Knicks and is on ESPN. The second game with a scheduled 1:30 p.m. start time has the Golden State Warriors at the Cleveland Cavaliers in an NBA finals rematch is on ABC. Game three has a 4:00 p.m. scheduled start time has the Chicago Bulls at the San Antonio Spurs on ABC. The fourth game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. and has the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Oklahoma City Thunder on ESPN. The fifth and final game of the night is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. and has the Los Angeles Clippers at the Los Angeles Lakers on ESPN. I know the Clippers and the Lakers play in the same building, but for scheduling purposes the Lakers are the home team. All the game times I listed are for the Central time zone.

The top series in NASCAR is getting a new name. Sprint will no longer be the top sponsor for NASCAR. Starting with the 2017 season will have the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Monster Energy will be the 5th different name for the top series. It was known as the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Division from 1971 to 1985, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series from 1986 to 2003, the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series from 2004 to 2007 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 2008 to 2016. Even with the new sponsor and the modernized NASCAR logo that moves the colors solely to the left of the wording instead of having colors behind it, includes the sanctioning body’s name after the series sponsor for the first time. NASCAR kept one thing the same; the word Cup is still in the title.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio live on BlogTalkRadio.com You can also find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Thursday night the Chicago Blackhawks took their 12 game winning streak into Amalie Arena to face the Tampa Bay Lighting in a rematch of last seasons Stanley Cup finals. The Lighting where coming in on a 6 game winning streak of their own. It was a close game 2-1, but it was the Blackhawks that saw there team record winning streak end. It looked good for the Blackhawks early as Artem Anisimov put them up 1-0 on his 17 goal of the season early in the 1st period. Patrick Kane picked up an assists on the goal. Just about 7 minutes later Anton Stralman tied it up with his 6th goal of the season to make it a 1-1 game. Victor Hedman and Valteri Flippula assisted on Hedman’s goal. The teams entered the 2nd period tied 1-1. Late in the 2nd period on the power play Nikita Kucherov scored his 20th goal of the season; which turned out to be the game winner. Hedman and Alex Killorn assisted on the goal. Each team had scoring chances in the 3rd period, but both Corey Crawford (Blackhawks) and Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay) kept the puck out of the net. Crawford stopped all 10 shots he saw in the 3rd period. For the game Crawford stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced. Bishop stopped 9 shots in the 3rd period, but overall had a lighter night in goal than Crawford as the Blackhawks only registered 18 total shots on goal. Bishop stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced. Tampa bay will take it’s 7-game winning streak on the road tonight (Saturday) as they face the Florida Panthers. With their record breaking streak snapped you had to wonder how the Blackhawks would bounce back and they didn’t have to wait long to take the ice again as they where scheduled for back to back games as they took the ice last night to play the Panthers. The Panthers had there own 12 game winning streak just a couple of weeks ago, but came into last nights game on a 4 game losing streak. Crawford got the night off in goal for the Blackhawks as Scott Darling got the start. The Panthers didn’t waste any time getting to Darling as Reilly Smith (14), former Blackhawk Brian Campbell (3) and Quinton Howden (5) all tallied 1st period goals to give the Panthers a 3-0 after one. Aaron Eckblad picked up his 10th goal of the season in the 2nd period and as it turned out the Panthers didn’t need anymore than 1 goal as Roberto Luongo turned away all 27 of the Blackhawks shots he faced for his 4th shutout of the season in Florida’s 4-0 victory. So it’s went from winning 12 in a row to losing 2 in a row for the Blackhawks and it doesn’t get any easier as they face the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, but it is a home game for the Blackhawks. St. Louis is in 3rd place in the Central division of the Western Conference behind the Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars. The Blues will also be coming into Sunday’s game off a loss as they suffered a 2-1 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche Friday night.

With a little over half of the season gone it looks as though the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL. Washington is 35-8-3 for 73 points on the season. The Blackhawks at 68 points and the Stars at 65 points are the two closet teams to the Capitals. While I’m sure you’re not surprised that Alexander Ovechkin leads the Capitals on goals with 28. It might be a bit of a surprise to you that he;s just 3rd on the team in overall scoring. With 15 goals and 33 assists  Evgeny Kuznetsov leads Washington with 48 points. Nicklas Backstrom has 15 goals and 29 assists and is 2nd on the team in scoring with 44 points. Ovechkin is actually 3rd on the team in scoring with 42 points. While Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Backstrom have led the Capitals offense t the best record in hockey it’s Braden Holtby who holds things down in goal. Holtby has started 38 out of Washington’s 46 games this season. Holtby is 30-5-2 and his 30 wins leads the league. He has the 3rd best Goals Against Average at 2.01 and his Save Percentage of .930 ranks 5th among regular starting goalies. Holtby doesn’t garner much attention, but he’s a big reason the Capitals are playing like the best team in the NHL.

The NFL will decide this Sunday who gets to play in the Super Bowl as the Conference championships take place. It starts with the New England Patriots at the Denver Broncos which is scheduled to kickoff at 2:05. The night game features the Arizona Cardinals at the Carolina Panthers. These 4 teams where the top seeds in their conferences; so I guess you could say they’re suppose to be here. I have to tell you I’ve been very disappointed in the playoff games so far. I think there’s only been 1 or maybe 2 games that have been good or even interesting to watch. I’m hoping that these 2 games will come through and give me something to look forward to as we head into the week off before the Super Bowl. Like we always do on the Sunday edition of Sports Time Radio Mr. Fantasy and I will do our best to break these games down and let you know who we think will win and why. Of course will let you in on who Dan the Man and Schaumburg are picking to win the games as well. In our playoff picks Dan the Man and I are tied at 6-2 while Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy are just a game behind at 5-3. Not to give too much away, but I did have Arizona winning the Super Bowl when we made our pre-season predictions; so you might be able to guess who I’ll be raking to win the Arizona/Carolina game. For the rest of the picks you’ll have to tune in between 10:00 a.m. and Noon on BlogTalkRadio.com to hear who everyone is going with to win.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the Cleveland Cavaliers made a change at head coach yesterday. Even with a career record of 83-40 in a season and a half and a trip to the NBA Finals David Blatt was fired by the Cavaliers. It may seem like an odd firing, but remember that he wasn’t LeBron James’ guy and it’s no real surprise that after they where embarrassed by the Golden State Warriors on Monday that they used this to fire Blatt. Tyronn Lue was immediately hired as head coach and given a 3 year deal. Lue gets to coach his first game as head coach tonight as the Cavaliers face the Chicago Bulls. Now I heard it reported over and over yesterday that James wasn’t consulted in the decision to fire Blatt. There is no possible way that you’ll every get me to believe that. There is no way the team didn’t go to James before they made this decision and asked his opinion. If Blatt was a guy James liked playing for there’s no chance that this move would’ve been made. In general teams don’t like to anger their best player. Of course this is the Cavaliers we’re talking about; so you never know. Lue inherits the best team in the Eastern Conference and should have no trouble at all taking the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals where he’ll probably suffer the same fate as Blatt. A loss to a better Western Conference team.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Week 15 ended up being a good week for us as we all got into double digit wins. I won the week with a 13-3 record. Mr. Fantasy finished 2nd going 12-4. It was Dan the Man in 3rd place for the week with a record of 11-5; so that means Schaumburg Stu ended up at the bottom on the week at 10-6. With just a couple of weeks left in the season I find myself in the overall lead with a record of 138-85. Dan the Man is 7 games behind me with an overall record of 131-92. Mr. Fantasy has found his way out of the cellar and is in 3rd with an overall record of 125-98. That means that Schaumburg Stu is back in the cellar, but only by a game as his overall record is 124-99. Week 16 starts tomorrow (Thursday) with an AFC West match up as it’s the San Diego Chargers vs. the Oakland Raiders. Let’s see how the picks go for us.

I’m sure by now you’ve seen or heard about what took place on the field between Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman during the New York Giants/Carolina Panthers game. Beckham Jr. ended up being suspended for 1 game and if it was me I would’ve sent him packing for the rest of the season which would’ve been 2 games. I’ve heard the excuses the Giant tried to make for Beckham Jr, and I don;t believe any of them. I’m not here to go into any of that garbage. What I’m interested in is how this affect the Panthers. Remember at one point in time the Panthers where up 35-7 on the Giants and ended up winning 38-35. So now the Panthers take their 14-0 record to the Georgia Dome to face the Atlanta Falcons. Two weeks ago the Panthers easily defeated the Falcons 38-0, but I’m not sure that this game will go the same way.  First off the Falcons are at home; so that should help a little. What I think may have an even bigger effect on this game might be the fact that the Panthers could have an emotional let down. With all the Beckham Jr./Norman garbage and now the fallout from that it may also start to prove as a distraction to the Panthers. Are the Panthers a better team than the Falcons; yes of course they are, but you know from watching the NFL that the best team doesn’t always win the game. It may also be possible that Atlanta found something last week in their 23-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaquars. The win snapped a 6 game losing streak for the Falcons. Remember Atlanta reeled off 5 wins to start the season. Call it a hunch or maybe I’m just stupid, but I think that Atlanta has a better than average chance to win this game. I don;t have to make a pick on this game right now, but Sunday on the Sports Time Radio podcast you’ll get to hear who I decided to go with in this game.

Last night in the NHL the marquee match up was the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks vs. the team with the most points (54) in the NHL the Dallas Stars. Even with the season not quite to the halfway point this was still a bit of a statement game. Both teams where coming into this game with a win. On Sunday the Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in overtime while on Monday the Stars topped the Minnesota Wild 6-3. It appeared as though the Blackhawks had a couple of things working in their favor going into the game. Dallas had to fly into Chicago for the game and it was the 2nd game of a back to back for the Stars. As it turned out none of that mattered as it was the Stars that made the statement in the game. There was no scoring in the 1st period, but the Blackhawks did have 2 power plays. Oddly the Blackhawks didn’t get a shot off on either of those 2 power plays and had just 3 shots on goal in the 1st period. Dallas out shot the Blackhawks 7 to 3 in the 1st period, but no scoring. The Blackhawks got quite a few more shots on goal 914) in the 2nd period, but Dallas goaltender and former Blackhawk Antti Niemi stopped them all. Dallas had 8 shots on goal in the 2nd period and Jason Spezza was able to put 1 of those shots past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford for a 1-0 Dallas lead. Patrick Sharp and John Klingberg got the assists on Spezza’s goal. That was the only goal of the period and the teams went to the ;locker room with the Stars ahead 1-0. The Stars got on the scoreboard very quickly in the 3rd period as the former Blackhawk Sharp scored his 12th goal of the season with assists from Jamie Benn and Jason Demers to give the Stars a 2-0 lead. Colton Sceviour was the next Dallas player to light the lamp with his 2nd goal of the season giving the Stars a 3-0 lead. Jordie Benn and Antoine Roussel assisted on Sceviour goal. Mattias Janmark ended the scoring for the Stars and for the game with his 8th goal of the season to put the Stars up 4-0. Demers picked up his 2nd assist of the night on Janmark’s goal. Former Blackhawk Johnny Oduya also picked up an assist on the Janmark goal.

Antti Neimi was the #1 star of the game with the shutout. Neimi stopped all 20 of the Blackhawks shots. With 1 goal and 1 assist Patrick Sharp was the #2 star of the game. With the first goal of the game Jason Spezza was the 3rd star of the game.

The NHL takes a few days off for the Christmas holiday. The schedule picks up on Saturday when the Stars will face the St. Louis Blues; in St. Louis. The Blackhawks get an extra day off as they take the ice Sunday as they play host to the Carolina Hurricanes.

I mentioned that Dallas has the most points in the NHL with 54, but their lead isn’t that big. Dan the Man;s pick to win the Stanley Cup the Washington Capitals have 52 points on the season and the Stars have played 2 more games the Capitals have. The Stars and the Capitals are the only two teams over 50 points, but there are some teams closing in on 50 points. The St. Louis Blues have 46 points. While the Blackhawks and the New York Rangers are at 44 points with the Montreal Canadiens sitting at 43 points.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

NBA free agency has started and before it got going all I heard was that everyone was signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now the Lakers are a storied franchise, but with the shape the team is in right now why would a high profile free agent want to sign with the Lakers instead of a team that is contending for the title. The 3 big names that I heard come up on signing with the Lakers were Chicago Bulls guard, Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade and Portland Trailblazers center LaMarcus AldridgeButler is a restricted free agent; so the Bulls can and plan to match any offer he receives. Butler has already pushed back some meetings with teams as he negotiates with Chicago. I’m not sure what the reasoning was the Butler was going to the Lakers, but maybe his agent leaked that story to try to get some leverage with the Bulls. The theory behind Wade signing with the Lakers was that his wife (Gabrielle Union) is an actress and she’d like to live in California. This rumor has never been addressed

. Wade is looking to get back some of the money he gave up when the Heat brought in Chris Bosh and LeBron James. If Wade did sign with the Lakers would he and Kobe Bryant ever play a game together with their injury history. Aldridge may be the guy who ends up in a Lakers uniform. Aldridge is one of if not the top big man on the free agent market; so there will be many teams interested including the San Antonio Spurs. While I’m sure Los Angeles is a fantastic city to live in; is that reason enough to sign with the Lakers or do you go to San Antonio and contend for an NBA title?

There were 6 signings as free agency got underway.  Al Jefferson signed with the Charlotte Hornets for 1 year at $13.5 million. Roy Hibbert signed with the Indiana Pacers for 1 year at $15.5 million. Brook Lopez signed with the Brooklyn Nets for 3 years at $60 million. Al-Farouq Aminu signed with the Portland Trailblazers for 4 years at $30 million. Thaddeus Young also signed with Brooklyn for 4 years at $50 million and  Kawhi Leonard signed a 5 year $90 million dollar deal to stay with the San Antonio Spurs. Luol Deng also used his player option to stay with the Miami Heat for next season at $10.1 million. 

Besides Butler, Wade and Aldridge there are a couple of other big men who are free agents that should draw some attention. Kevin Love has said that he’d like to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but will LeBron James want him back. Yes I know James is a free agent as well, but he’s looking for the kind of money in a contract that only the Cavaliers can give him. James will pretty much be able to act as the Cavaliers general manager and get them to sign the players he wants until he resigns with them. Then there’s DeAndre Jordan the Los Angeles Clippers have said they’d like him back and have enlisted the help of actor Jamie Foxx to get Jordan to resign there. While the Clippers can give Jordan that extra year and more money than anyone else it still looks like he’ll leave as he wants to be a bigger part of a teams offense. Early in the free agenxy period it looks like the Dallas Mavericks are the front runner to sign Jordan. I don’t know why his name doesn’t come up as much as some of the other free agents is Marc Gasol. Gasol is a true NBA center who can score which is becoming rare in the newer NBA style. You have to think that the Memphis Grizzlies will do everything they can to resign him. You’ll have to keep an eye on the wire as some more free agents will probably come off the board today and we’ll have to see if and when the bigger names sign.

As soon as the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup the talk started on who would be back with the team next season. It started with the minor move of trading back up goaltender Antti Raanta to the New York Rangers for  Ryan Haggerty. The Blackhawks then signed defenseman David Runblad to a 2 year contract. Yesterday the Blackhawks finally made a bigger trade, but the main player dealt might not of been the player people thought it would be. Brandon Saad was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets along with Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta. In return the Blackhawks received  Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp plus a 2016 fourth-round draft pick. This may be the first of a few moves the Blackhawks may make to work with the NHL’s salary cap. There has been a lot of talk that Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell may be dealt this off season as the Stanley Cup champions get set to defend their title.

The Philadelphia Phillies have hired Andy MacPhail as team President. MacPhail will take over the job next season when current team President Pat Gillick retires. Until that happens MacPhail will serve as a special assistant to Gillick. Obviously with Gillick retiring, the Phillies had to hire someone to take his place, but shouldn’t MacPhail’s first move be to relieve general manager Ruben Amaro of his duties. Ryne Sandberg resigned and  Pete Mackanin will manage the team the rest of the season. Who in their right mind would want this job. You have to think that the Phillies will end up with a first time manager in 2016. There have been a few names mentioned and they would all be first time managers; no surprise there. I wonder how the Philadelphia fans would react to Raul Ibanez, Jim Thome or Pat Burrell being named Phillies manager. Ibanez was a finalist to manage the Tampa Bay Rays last year. Thome joined the Chicago White Sox organization in 2013 as a special assistant to the manager and expressed interest in one day becoming a manager. Burrell hasn’t expressed any interest in managing or this job, but he’s a former Phillies player; so you never know. Maybe the best choice would be David Bell. Bell is currently the bench coach for the St. Louis Cardinals and was formerly the manager for the Triple-A Louisville Bats and the former Double-A Carolina Mudcats in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Philadelphia is currently 27-52 and 17 games behind N.L. East leading Washington Nationals. 

@Burketime

On Monday the night the NHL season came to an end as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lighting 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals to win the series 4 games to 2. Then last night the NBA season came to an end as the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 to win that series 4 games to 2.

Golden State pulled out to a 13 point lead after the 1st quarter 28-15. The Cavaliers cut into the Golden State lead in the 2nd quarter going into halftime down just 2 points; 45-43. Golden State stretched their lead to 12 points by the end of the 3rd quarter; 73-61. The Cavaliers did outscore Golden State in the final quarter 36-32, but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors held on for an 8 point victory and their first NBA title since 1975. Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry led Golden State in scoring with 25 points apiece. The move of Iguodala into the starting line up by Golden State coach Steve Kerr not only help the Warriors win the NBA title, but Iguodala was named finals MVP Iguodala added 5 rebound, 5 assists and 2 steals in Game 6. Draymond Green scored in double figures with 16 points and had a triple double adding 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 6. Festus Ezeli and Shaun Livingston came off of the Golden State bench to score 10 points apiece. LeBron James was led the Cavaliers in scoring with 32 points, rebounds with 18 and assists with 9 missing another triple double by just that 1 assists. J.R. Smith added 19 points. Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson had double, doubles for the Cavaliers. Mozgov had 17 points and 12 rebounds while Thompson cored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. In Game 6 Golden State was the better shooting team from the field making 43.5% of their total shots and hit 38.2% from behind the 3-point line. Cleveland made 39.0% of their total shots and 23.1% from behind the 3-point line. Cleveland was the better free throw shooting team making 27 of 39 (69.2%) of their foul shots while Golden State hit 18 of 29 (62.1%) from the foul line. It was quite surprising that the finals M.V.P. went to Iguodala as James was the best player on the floor even in a losing effort. You have to wonder if James coming out yesterday (Tuesday) saying he didn’t want to be named M.V.P. if the Cavaliers lost the series had an affect on the M.V.P. finals voting. James logged a ton of minute in this finals series and he did everything he could to help the Cavaliers win, but with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving missing significant time with injuries it proven that one great player couldn’t carry a team to a title.

On Monday night Duncan Keith scored in the 2nd period to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead and it turned out to be the only goal they would need, but Patrick Kane did add another Chicago goal in the 3rd period to give the Blackhawks a 2 goal lead and get to the score the game ended at 2-0. It was the Blackhawks 3rd Stanley Cup victory in 6 season and Keith won the Conn Smythe trophy given to the outstanding player in the playoffs. Keith became the first defenseman since Bobby Orr in 1972 to score the Stanley Cup winning goal and win the Conn Smythe trophy. Orr actually pulled this feat off twice; he did it in 1970 as well. Corey Crawford came up big for the Blackhawks when they needed him as Tampa Bay had some quality scoring chances and Crawford even stopped Steven Stamkos on a breakaway. The victory tied Crawford with Tony Esposito for career playoff wins by a Blackhawks goalie with 45. It seemed to have been a series where experience triumphed over youth. Throughout the series it seemed as Tampa Bay was the better team and was outplaying the Blackhawks. Chicago never seemed to panic and never found themselves down by more than 1 goal at any time in the series. Actually the 2-0 win by the Blackhawks in Game 4 was the only game decided by more than 1 goal. It was a good time for Kane to come through with his 1st goal of the series.

After their Stanley Cup victory there were a few experts debating on if the Blackhawks were a dynasty. Some have pointed out that they’ve never won the Stanley Cup in back to back seasons, but the counter is that even in the seasons were they didn’t win it all they went to the conference finals. The Blackhawks are also the first team to win 3 Stanley Cups in the salary cap era. Remember the salary cap is designed to make the teams even.  The Blackhawks have sustained their success the same way the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings did: with a stable and special group of players and some of the best coaching in NHL history. If the Blackhawks find a way to win another Stanley Cup or two in the next few seasons; would that make them a dynasty? While there will be some changes in the off season for the Blackhawks their core group of player is intact and young. The Blackhawks have been involved in the Stanley Cup Playoffs every season since 2009.  The Blackhawks have reached the Western Conference Final five times and the Stanley Cup Final three times in those seven seasons. They were within an overtime goal of being a favorite to win the Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers last season; so is another Stanley Cup or two out of their reach. Being a dynasty is subjective to each person, but dynasty or not the Blackhawks are a Cup contender and should be for the foreseeable future.

I’m getting a kick out of the American League All-Star balloting. As of yesterday the Kansas City Royals had 8 players that would start the All-Star if voting ended right now. I’be heard a lot of the experts complaining about this and I actually heard one suggest that if Omar Infante wins the vote at 2nd base he should decline the honor. Infante isn’t having the best season; he’s hitting .221, but it’s fans vote and if that’s who wins the vote he should play in the game. Royals manager Ned Yost was asked about this situation and was told about some of the complaining and he had a great response. Yost told everyone who didn’t like the way the voting was going to “go out and vote”.

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Will we see our first Triple Crown winner since 1978 (Affirmed) today at the Belmont Stakes when American Pharoah takes the race track?  At this point American Pharoah needs little introduction. He won the Kentucky Derby by a length and the Preakness Stakes by seven. His top competition in those races, Dortmund and Firing Line, are both skipping the Belmont, making American Pharoah an overwhelming favorite (3/5 betting odds) at the Belmont. He lost the first race he entered, but has won all six since. His name, by the way, is misspelled because it was entered incorrectly into an Internet registry, so he was stuck with it. Dan the Man and Schuamburg Stu believe American Pharoah will win the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown so he is their pick to win the race. Frosted is the other favorite at 5/1 and he’s Mr. Fantasy’s choice to win. Frosted Wood Memorial in April, but has had several good showings, including a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Joel Rosario is riding Frosted and he did win last years Belmont Stakes on Tonalist. As you can tell my co-hosts didn’t reach while looking for a Belmont winner as they took the favorite and the the horse with the 2nd best odds. I on the other hand have decided to go with Keen Ice who is a 20/1 shot going into the race. Keen Ice finished 7th in the Kentucky Derby, but has a strong bloodline f or the Belmont. Curlin, his sire, finished second in the Belmont. There are a total of 8 horses running in the Belmont Stakes. Besides are picks here are the other horses in today’s race. Materiality (6/1), Mubtaahij (10/1), Madefromlucky (12/1), Tale of Verve (15/1) and Frammento (30/1). Who’s your pick?

Thursday morning I got home and was really looking forward to seeing the highlights of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. As I flipped from morning sports show to morning sports show I was surprised to find that no one was really giving much coverage to Game 1 if at any at all. Of course since ESPN and Fox Sports don’t televise NHL hockey they could care less that the Stanley Cup finals are being played. They’ll bury the story in the middle of their highlight shows were no one may even notice they’re talking about it. Oddly though both network will complain that hockey doesn’t get the coverage it deserves, but yet they don’t cover it. I was able to watch the first 2 periods of Game 1 on television and heard the 3rd period on the radio; so I was able to hear the entire game, but I was hoping to see the 3rd period highlights. Later in the day I was finally able to find some highlights on Comcast Sportsnet which focus on the Chicago teams.

If you saw Game 1 you had to come away thinking that the Tampa Bay Lighting were the better team and even though they were for the most part of Game 1 they ended up losing the game 2-1. Tampa bay went into the 3rd period with a 1-0 lead and had controlled quite a bit of the game, but in the 3rd period they appeared to be playing not to lose instead of playing to win. You have to wonder if nerves or inexperience or possibly both got to the Lighting in that 3rd period. Alex Killorn gave Tampa Bay the lead in the 1st period with a great redirection of the puck by Corey Crawford. Anton Stralman and   Valtteri Filppula assisted on Killron’s goal. That was the only goal of the 1st period; so Tampa Bay took a 1-0 into the dressing room. Neither team was able to put the puck in the back of the net in the 2nd period; so Tampa Bay continued to lead the game 1-0. Teuvo Teravainen was finally able to get the Blackhawks on the scoreboard getting the puck pass Tampa bay goalie Ben Bishop and evening the game at 1-1. Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw assisted on Teravainen’s goal. It looked as though we were going to get an overtime, but Antoine Vermette scored the game winning goal about 15 minutes into the 3rd period on an assist from Teravainen to put the Blackhawks ahead 2-1 which is how the game ended.

Both goaltenders played well as Crawford stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced while Bishop stopped 19 of 21 shots in goal for the Lighting. Keith as always was the Blackhawks leader in minutes played with 29:15 and Stralman was the Lighting’s minutes leader with 25:29. You’ll hear the announcers say that the Blackhawks are a finesse team, but Brent Seabrook was credited with 7 hits to lead the game in that category.Ondrej Palat was Tampa bay’s leader in hits with 5. Niklas Hjalmarsson of Chicago and Jason Garrison of Tampa Bay each blocked 4 shots to lead their teams in that category. Game 2 is tonight (Saturday) in Tampa Bay.

Now yesterday (Friday) I didn’t have any issues at all finding highlights from Game 1 of the NBA finals game that Golden State won 108-100 in overtime over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers jumped ahead by 10 points at the end of the 1st quarter and looked like they might run away with Game 1. Golden State got themselves back into the game cutting the Cavaliers lead to 3 points going into halftime at 51-48. The game was even by the end of the 3rd quarter at 73 all. Of course the game was tied at 98 apiece at the end of regulation. LeBron James had a chance to win the game for Cleveland at the end of regulation, but missed a tough shot as time ran out. Overtime seemed almost like a different game as Golden State out scored Cleveland 10-2 in the overtime quarter and won 108-100.

Cleveland’s point guard Kyrie Irving limped to the locker room after aggravating his troublesome left knee in overtime. It was later found out that Irving broke his left knee cap. He’ll have surgery and is out for the rest of the finals series. Irving will now join Kevin Love and Andersen Varejao on the sidelines for Cleveland. Is Irving’s injury going to turn out to be too much for Cleveland to overcome. The NBA finals gets the extra day off between game 1 & 2; so they’ll take the court tomorrow (Sunday) for Game 2. Irving’s injury will add even more to LeBron’s work load and going against the team that had the best record in the NBA this season will it be too much for the best player in the NBA to handle. Since the NBA is an offensive league people forget just how good of a defensive team Golden State is. James did score 44 points in Game 1, but without Irving in the line up Golden State will be able to adjust a little more to LeBron and that may make his life a little tougher. It appeared that Golden State was the better team going into this series and with Cleveland losing it’s 2nd best player for the series the question may become; will they be to win a game?

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So how was your week?

Chris Olmstead from Beyond the Flag was on the podcast Sunday morning and one of his picks to go to victory lane was Jimmie Johnson. Earlier in the week I had heard one of the Waltrip brothers mention that he thought there might be some troubles on the #48 team. He specifically mentioned what he thought was an issue between Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus. I guess whatever issues there n=might or might not have been it all worked out Sunday. Johnson didn’t have a great car early in the race, but it came around when it matter and he led the last 23 laps on his way to his 4th victory of the season. Kevin Harvick finished 2nd, Kyle Larson was 3rd, Kasey Kahne finished 4th and rounding out the Top 5 was  Aric Almirola. We’re halfway through the NASCAR regular season and the circuit still has to go to Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway twice. There are still 2 road course races at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International. There’s also a stop at the newest track on the schedule Kentucky Speedway just to go over a few of the races left on the schedule.

Is there anyone out there really surprised that Adrian Peterson showed up at Minnesota Vikings O.T.A.’s this week. I like the statement Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer made when he more or less said that Peterson could play for the Vikings or not play at all. Peterson and his representatives have done a lot of crying this off season as they tried to force the Vikings to trade him. Minnesota held it’s ground and it looks like Peterson will be in a Vikings uniform for the 2015/16 season. Once Week 1 rolls around Peterson’s salary of $12.75 million dollars will be guaranteed. Peterson is trying to get the last 2 years of his deal guaranteed, but that’s brought even more criticism from fans who believed he should be grateful for the organization’s continued support after his legal troubles. This story is just getting started; so I’m sure will hear a lot more complaining if not from Peterson himself, but from the people who represent him.

Are you ready for the Stanley Cup Finals to get started? They’ll drop the puck tonight in Tampa Bay for Game 1 at 7:00 p.m. Central time. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville did quite a bit of line juggling in the Western conference finals against the Anaheim Ducks and you have to wonder if he’ll match up his 4th line of Marcus Kruger, Andrew Desjardins and Andrew Shaw against the Tampa Bay Lighting’s triplet line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov. I would think that the 1st lines will match up against each other. We should see Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad match up with Steven Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula and Alex Killorn. Patrick Kane did skate with Toews during Game 7 of the conference finals; so we’ll have to see if the Blackhawks will continue to keep them together. Tampa Bay will have to decide if they’ll try to match their top defensive pairing of Anton Stralman and Victor Hedman against the line with Kane on it or the Blackhawks top line with Toews on it. The defensive pairings are easier for the Blackhawks just for the fact that Duncan Keith is always on the ice. Keith is normally paired with the underrated Niklas Hjalmarsson, but did skate with Brent Seabrook in the conference finals. The Blackhawks other 3 defenseman Kimmo TimonenKyle Cumiskey and Johnny Oduya really need to step up and help the Blackhawks defense. Hedman and Stralman have been getting quite a bit of ice time for Tampa Bay and the Lighting will need their other 4 defenseman Jason GarrisonBraydon CoburnMatt Carle and Andrej Sustr to factor in this series. Defense and goaltending should become more important as a lot of experts are predicting and offensive series with lots of goal scoring.

How do you feel about Tampa Bay trying to prevent Blackhawks fans from getting tickets to the games in Tampa Bay. They’ve even went so far as to say that you won’t be able to wear Blackhawks gear in the bars and restaurant at Amalie Arena. This has always seemed kind of stupid to me and Dan the Man is convinced that teams do it just for the publicity. The Nashville Predators have been trying to do this with Blackhawks fans for a few seasons now and there still seem to be a good amount of Blackhawks fans at those games. I’m pretty sure when the puck drop for Game 1 and Game 2 in Tampa bay there will be plenty of Blackhawks fans in attendance.

Thursday night the NBA Finals tip off at Oracle Arena as the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State received the best news it probably could’ve gotten as Klay Thompson was medically to play in Game 1. Thompson took a knee to the head in the clinching game against the Houston Rockets and was diagnosed with a concussion. Thompson was diagnosed with the concussion last Friday and missed two days of practice. He returned to the court on Monday and has been symptom free. Thompson completed the NBA’s concussion protocol and will be ready to play on Thursday night. With Thompson being cleared to play both teams should be at full strength. The Cavaliers will of course be missing Kevin Love, but Kyrie Irving should be close to if not 100% for Thursday nights game. 

To no surprise at all the Chicago Bulls hired Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg to replace Tom Thibodeau as their head coach. Hoiberg received a 5 years $25 million dollar contract from the Bulls. Hoiberg went 115-56 at Iowa State and led the Cyclones to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back Big 12 tournament titles. Hoiberg had a 10 year NBA career including 4 seasons with the Bulls. Hoiberg had career averages of 5.4 points per game, 1.6 assists per game and 2.7 rebounds per game. It also looks like the Bulls will get their wish and Thibodeau won’t be getting an NBA head coaching job next season. The Bulls plan all along was to try and shut Thibodeau out of any open head coaching positions and right now only the Denver Nuggets are in the market for a head coach and I don;t believe Thibodeau’s name has been mentioned. It’s was petty of the Bulls to do that to Thibodeau even of they didn’t like him or couldn’t get along with him, but sadly they weren’t above being childish. Thibodeau is due to receive $9 million over the next couple of seasons from the Bulls which was another reason I thought the Bulls would like to see him get another head coaching job. Unless something else opens up or the Nuggets come calling Thibodeau will either have to take an assistant coaching job or sit out and wait for an NBA head coaching opening.

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We’re down to the conference finals in the NHL and the NBA playoffs. Last night, the Los Angeles Kings where the last team to make the conference finals with a 6 – 2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Kings advance to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western conference finals. It’s a match up that features the last two Stanley Cup winners. The Eastern conference finals starts this afternoon with the New York Rangers vs. the Montreal Canadians. Chicago and Montreal have home ice advantage for the conference finals series. As you know from listening to the show we live in the Chicago suburbs; so I’d like to see the Blackhawks come out of the West. How about a Chicago/New York Stanley Cup final? I’m sure the NHL would love to see a match up like that with two big market teams in the Stanley Cup finals. In the NBA conference finals I think everyone got the match ups they expected. In the Eastern conference it’s the Miami Heat vs. the Indiana Pacers. Even after all there ups and downs the Pacers got by the Washington Wizards to make the conference finals. Miami has looked like the best team by far in the Eastern conference, but don’t forget the Indiana has the #1 seed and has home court advantage in this series. A lot of experts think home court won’t matter, but you never know and Indiana has it. The Western conference final feature the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder had struggled finding its way to the finals while the Spurs have been by far the best team in the Western conference playoffs. With the way the playoffs have played out so far it looks like more and more we’re going to get a rematch from last season and will see the Heat vs. the Spurs in the NBA finals. I’d like to see the Spurs win one more title before Tim Duncan’s career ends, but Miami is going to be tough to beat for any team. While I don’t like the way that Miami has went about winning their titles you can’t argue with their results. LeBron James seems to be understanding that he needs to take over with Dwayne Wade no longer being the player he once was. Chris Bosh used to be a top NBA player, but since going to Miami he has had big outputs every once in a while he’s not the top player he once was. The Spurs have their fair share of top NBA talent in Duncan and point guard Tony Parker. I’m not sure if Manu Ginobili is still a top NBA player, but he hits big shots and knows how to fill his role in the Spurs offense. Of course there is no guarantee at all that the NBA finals will have the Spurs or the Heat in them, but they look like the best two teams playing right now.

I was happy to see Michael Sam get drafted. He was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round of the NFL draft. It was a good landing spot for Sam as he played his college football at the University of Missouri and he’ll try to make the jump to the pro’s in the same state. Some people had issues with the fact that Sam and his boyfriend kissed a few times on television after he was drafted. It caught me off guard at first, but then I realized that it’s no different from any other draft pick kissing his girlfriend after he’s selected. The one negative that I had heard was the planned reality show that the Oprah Winfrey Network was going to do. I heard a report late last night that the show has been postponed and I think that’s in Sam’s best interest. The last thing a rookie 7th round pick needs is a camera following him around while he’s trying to make a team. Sam has an uphill battle to just make the team and the last thing he need was a show bases around that.

A lot of baseball talk on yesterday’s show, It Snowed Here Today, with Mr. Fantasy. A player that came up and is off to a hot start is Troy Tulowitzki. With about 25% of the baseball season in the books Tulowitzki leads the national League in batting average at .389, is tied for the league lead in home runs with 11 and is 2nd in RBI’s with 33. Now I’m not saying that Tulowitzki is going to win a triple crown, but I wondering if this is the season he stays healthy and we see the kind of numbers he can put up. I think a lot of baseball people have wondered the same thing. What do you think; is this the year Tulowitzki stays healthy?

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So how was your week?

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It’s playoff time in major league baseball and not only did we get the wild card playoff but before that we got the Texas Rangers hosting the Tampa Bay Rays in a game 163 just to get into the wild card game. Tampa Bay and the Pittsburgh Pirates won their wild card game and advanced into the best of 5 division series. It looks like the loss to the Pirates in the wild card game cost Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker his job. The Reds fired Baker on Friday with one year remaining on his contract. Some of the stories out there have said that Baker’s choice to start Johnny Cueto in the wild card game and Cueto’s poor performance was the reason Baker was let go. There was also some talk that the way Baker handle the bullpen during the wild card game had something to do with his release. A lot of the experts didn’t understand why Baker didn’t go to another starting pitcher when Cueto was removed from the wild card game. Baker had guided the Reds to the playoffs two of the last three seasons but it looks like the failure to win a World Series title in Cincinnati cost Baker his job. The division series match ups started with a few blow out games but Game 2 of the Atlanta Braves/Los Angles Dodgers series and the opening game of the Oakland A’s/Detroit Tigers series where closer games. With the division series being five game match ups no one has taken control of a series just yet. With the Dusty Baker firing there are four major league baseball teams looking for new managers. Washington, Cincinnati, Seattle and the Chicago Cubs all have openings for a manager right now. A couple of names have surfaced on some of these cities. Cincinnati has been rumored to be interested in Tony LaRussa. LaRussa has said he has no interested in the Reds job but that’s what you’d expect him to say. Reds general manager and President of baseball operations Walt Jocketty has a working relationship with LaRussa from the time they spent together in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. In Chicago the Cubs are interested in hiring Joe Girardi and there’s a report out today that said the Cubs are willing to make Girardi one of the highest paid managers in baseball. The New York Yankees would like to keep Girardi’s managerial services and they haven’t given the Cubs permission to speak to Girardi. Girardi’s contract runs until the end of the month and the Yankees would like to have a new deal done with him before his contract ends. The interesting name that has come up in Washington Nationals manager search is Cal Ripken Jr. While Ripken has no managerial experience he was a student of the game while he played; everyday by the way. I haven’t heard any names mentioned for the Seattle Mariners job as of yet. I’m sure there will be a few more opens for managers before we get to next season, so will see how this plays out.

Over shadowed by the baseball playoffs the National Hockey League season kicked off. I actually get a NHL free preview this week, so I’ve been able to check out some games from different markets. Chicago Blackhawks got a win opening night as they celebrated winning the Stanley Cup last season. It’s a full season for the NHL this season after a strike shortened season last year. I’m wondering how many of you are watching hockey with the baseball playoffs going on?

The National Basketball Association exhibition season starts today as well and there has been a lot of talk about what kind of season Derrick Rose will have. Rose didn’t play at all last season and this was a big topic in and around the NBA. You’d think Rose will be 100% to start this season and one of the rumors is that he’s improved his jump shot. Dwight Howard has been a topic of off-season conversation as well this week. I guess Howard can make free throws with his eyes closed and has had a little war of words with Kareem Abdul – Jabbar.

How was your Week? You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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