Let Free Agency Begin

With the NHL and NBA playoffs complete, it means that both sports are in the midst of their respective off season. Free Agency officially began in the NHL yesterday at noon and begins in the NBA on July 10th. NBA players are currently able to enter into verbal agreements with teams, but may not sign a contract until the 10th. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the big players in the NHL and NBA and where they are likely to wind up.

NBA

1. Gilbert Arenas
The former Washington Wizards guard is the premier player on the market this year and is going to bring in some big bucks. The Wizards are certainly looking to keep their All Star point guard as they have reportedly offered him a deal of 6 years for approximately $126 million. Also in the running are the Golden State Warriors, who now have some extra cash lying around after Baron Davis’s sudden departure. The Warriors are offering Arenas a 5 year deal worth 100 million dollars. Arenas seems to be content with the Wizards and the extra year that only the Wizards are able to offer (NBA rules) so I expect him to stay in Washington.

2. Baron Davis
Well I’m going to predict that Davis goes to the Los Angeles Clippers for 5 years and $65 million. So as everyone has heard, Davis verbally agreed to a 5 year, $65 million withtheClippers. Davis surprisingly opted out of his contract with the Golden State Warriors a couple of days ago after they refused to offer him a long-term deal. Averaging 22 points a game last season, Davis is a huge pick up for the other Los Angeles team who now can set their sights on resigning big man Elton Brand, who is up next on this NBA Free Agent list. Continue reading “Let Free Agency Begin”

2008 NHL Draft and Off Season

A slower day in sports today so I want to look back at the NHL Draft and look ahead to the off season. I consider myself an NHL fan (a Boston Bruin fan to be precise), but I cannot say that I followed the draft very closely. I can tell you that the Tampa Bay Lightning chose center Steven Stamkos number one and that the Bruins drafted center Joe Colborne number 16. I can tell you that after Stamkos, the next four players chosen were all defense man and that 12 defense man were chosen in the first round. I can tell you that the tallest player taken in the first round was Tyler Myers by the Buffalo Sabres (12th pick).

If you want me to start analyzing individual picks, don’t get your hopes up. Most players in this draft will not be in the NHL for years to come, whether they are going to college or playing overseas. However, the top picks in the draft will look to make a difference next year. Stamkos will make the Lightning better immediately and the four defense man chosen after that should all have impacts on their respective teams next year.  Almost none of the playerstaken after the top five will see NHL ice time next year. With that in mind, it is extremely difficult to grade teams in the draft. Not just are most players not ready for the NHL and will spend a couple years getting better, but it is tough for NHL general managers to predict their respective team’s needs years in advance. So I am sticking away from grading each teams. I can barely grade my beloved Bruins. I have mixed feelings over picking Colborne. He is a talented player with great upside, but from what I’ve read, he may be too soft for the NHL. I guess Bruins management (and their fans) are hoping his time at Denver University will toughen him up. Continue reading “2008 NHL Draft and Off Season”

Daily Sports Roundup 1/1/08

It has been a pretty big day in sports so let’s get to the stories:

Penguins Win Winter Classic: The Pittsburgh Penguins won the first ever NHL Winter Classic 2-1 in shootout over the Buffalo Sabres. The game was held outdoors in the Buffalo Bills football stadium. This was the first ever pro hockey game held outdoors in the United States and the weather did not agree. A mix of snow, sleet, and rain covered the ice for almost the entire game and forced Zambonis to redo the ice during the middle of each period. The puck moved slower and players had to battle the wind, yet the event was a huge success. Sidney Crosby scored in the shootout to give the Penguins’ the win and jumped towards his bench in celebration when the puck hit the back of the net. 71,217 people braved the elements to see the NHL’s first ever Ice Bowl. Fans loved the game and created an energetic atmosphere that players loved. Watching it on TV, the ice looked small in the huge stadium, but it was a great game and I could feel the energy in the air.

Non-BCS Bowl Games: New Years has brought plenty of great bowl games today including the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. First, though, was the Capital One Bowl where Michigan defeated Florida 42-35. It is a sweet ending for Michigan who lost to Appalachian State earlier this year, erasing any hopes for a National Championship. The Wolverines came out on top in Lloyd Carr’s final game and will hopefully move back into the Top 25 after beating number 12 Florida. In the Cotton Bowl, number 6 Missouri destroyed Arkansas in what could have been Darren McFadden’s final collegiate game. McFadden ran for 105 yards and a touchdown, but was not happy with the result. “We had a bad game. You don’t want to lose a bowl game. You only have fun when you win a bowl game” McFadden said. He has not stated whether he is going pro or not, but most scouts expect McFadden to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL Draft. Also today, number 16 Tennessee faced off against number 18 Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. Tennessee finished the year at 10-4, the Vollunteer’s first 10 win season since 2004. Led by Quarterback Erik Ainge, Tennessee had 365 yards passing with Josh Briscoe receiving 7 of those passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 1/1/08”