Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Fillers

  • Today is MLB non-waiver trade deadline day. The deadline hits at 3pm Twin Cities time, and my story today recaps who's gone and who's available. Be sure to check my Examiner page for updates should the Twins make a move. A better option may be to follow me on Twitter, as I will likely post there more frequently.
  • I guess the Mets decided to listen to me and get rid of Tony Bernazard. However, in true Mets' dysfunction, the firing was announced via press conference, and GM Omar Minaya ended up sparring with the Mets' New York Daily News beat writer, Adam Rubin. Minaya accused Rubin of angling for a personnel job with the Mets, and Minaya ended up apologizing for the act. Minaya could have just squashed this thing via press conference, firing Bernazard for his poor record of player development, and it would have been over and done with.
  • In Gopher puck news this week, Roman Augustoviz points out that three who have committed to the Gophers are on the under-18 select team which is competing in a tournament in Slovakia. The players, D Ben Marshall (Mahtomedhi HS), F Nick Bjugstad (Blaine HS), and F Christian Isakson (St. Thomas Academy), will take the ice in mid-August in an 8-team international tournament which will get the future Gophers some international exposure to further their development.
  • More from Roman......Minnetonka HS defenseman Nick Holl has committed to play hockey for the Gophers. When Holl joins the program is yet to be determined, but the 6-2, 170 lb. defenseman will be a senior at Tonka this fall. He chipped-in 6-7-13 in 28 games last season as a junior and is described as a smooth-skating defensive defenseman. Colorado College, Denver, Wisconsin, and some Ivy League schools also recruited him. Here is my favorite passage in the article, "The Omaha Lancers of the USHL want Holl to play for them before and after the high school season, (Tonka Coach Brian) Urick said, but he resisted the temptations to skip his senior year at Tonka. 'He wanted to play with his buddies,' Urick said."
  • As a reminder, check my WCHA Examiner page for prospect profiles this summer. I am doing two profiles a week for the time being, and am aiming for one from each of the 10 teams. I currently have 6 down and 4 to go! Starting the first week of September, we'll do two team previews each week leading into the season launch in early October. It's hard to believe WCHA action is only two months away!
  • The implication of incoming freshman Trevor Mbakwe in an assault case is certainly not good news for the Gopher basketball program. Mbakwe is one of Tubby Smith's gems in what should be a fine recruiting class for this season. Although, as the Strib's Myron Medcalf states via Twitter, Mbakwe is innocent until proven guilty, the last thing the U needs is more off-the-field/court troubles. Stay tuned to this one.
  • Kurt Rambis is apparently the favorite in the Timberwolves' coaching search. The Lakers' assistant has had interviews with David Kahn, and Jerry Zgoda mentions any hang-ups are over money and length of contract. I cannot get excited over Rambis, but he'd be better than Mark Jackson.
  • In the same post above, the Wolves open the season October 28 in New Jersey. Hopefully, they'll have a coach by then. Also, an interesting note is that an estimated 20 fewer games will be televised this season, meaning 55 or so will be on TV. Many of the 20 are expected to be home games in an effort to get fans to buy tickets. Ask the Chicago Blackhawks how keeping home games off TV helped their ticket base.
  • To Vikings' fans (and perhaps my only purple-related post ever): Sorry about Brett Favre.
  • To Kenechi Udeze who retired after his battle with leukemia, all the best beyond football.
  • The story of why I am a New York Islanders' fan is long and rather boring, so I won't subject readers to the sordid tale. Over the past year, I have followed the team largely through the Islanders Point Blank website. The team recruited longtime Isles' PR VP Chris Botta to provide daily and independent coverage of the team, and Botta poured his heart and soul into the job. He was no hack for the team, and criticized many from owner Charles Wang to head coach Scott Gordon. The news that PB has lost its "team-sponsored" tag and may soon shut down is definitely not good. In a crowded media market, the Islanders are often crowded out. Despite fine coverage from Greg Logan of Newsday, the Islanders now have one less quality voice telling their story.

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