According to an AP article today, the Wings are no closer to signing either of their high-profile RFAs. In an interview with Russianprospects.com, Datsyuk's agent talks about the different lengths of contract that Detroit has proposed. It looks like they may have agreed on the term, just not the finances.
As far as I'm concerned, they can let Datsyuk play in Russia for the year, use the extra money to go sign Bondra to a one-year deal (I think he's still out there) and get Zetterberg in the fold since he seems a little bit more reasonable. It's absurd that he thinks he deserves "Joe Thornton money". Score a goal in the playoffs first.
So that's the end of the Datsyuk/Zetterberg talk, until either the season starts or they get signed.
Myron Rolle passed on coming to U of M, to pretty much no one's surprise. What was surprising though, was that he picked Florida State, citing their academic prowess. Yeah. Good call there. Hi, I'm a 4.0 student, I was to double major in stuff that The Blog That Yost Built can't pronounce, then go to med school. Florida State here I come. At least he didn't try to pass off tOSU as a real school.
Speaking of Ohio...."Weeeee don't give a damn for using contraception, using contraception, using contraception, we don't give a damn for using contraception, weeeee're from Oh-Hi-O". Strong work.
The Packers won a game that doesn't count last night, despite apparently looking awful in the process. If they don't come out of their first two games (at Detroit, Cleveland at home) at least 1-1 it's going to be a long season. On the plus side, the heir apparent looked great last night from what I've read, and Tennessee muffed 3 punts. Yay for left-footed punters!! It's sad that Green Bay's punter is the bright spot of the preseason. Grady Jackson and Cheech Hunt put down the munchies to actually play. That's cool.
Soccer isn't going to get much coverage in this blog, as I really don't like the sport...but as the official timer for U of M men's and women's soccer, and field hockey, I'll be at most of the home games. Last night, Trai Blanks played the best game I have ever seen out of him. He had a goal, should've had 2 more, made a gorgeous cross that would've been an assist but the shot hit the post, and in general was all over the field. It appears to me from watching the exhibition game and the opener last night that Steve Burns is doing something very smart: He's got two guys in Blanks and Tolo Olowolafe who depend heavily on their speed. So, instead of starting Blanks and playing him 60-70 minutes a game like last year, he's bringing them off the bench late in the first half. The two (but especially Blanks) comes in and attacks the defense when they're tired, and so instead of playing 60-70 blah minutes, he can play 30-40 where he's using his speed and attacking. It definitely worked last night as Blanks was the best player on the field. We'll see if that strategy continues. UM won 2-0 but it could've easily been 7 or 8 to zip. UDM didn't register a single shot on goal.
Great news from ESPN: As pointed out by Blue Lite on TheWolverine, ESPN has announced they are trying to get back to old-school Sportscenter, when they'd deliver the highlights and not try to be MTV. Great, great news there as I rarely watched the show anymore because, quite frankly, it annoyed me.
Gajic and Werner have signed with AHL teams. I now pass along the catch-phrase "Dammit Gajic" to the fine people of Providence, and "Werner to Faulk" (In Pat Summerall voice, imitating the way he said Kurt Warner's name) to the people of Manchester.
Bob Miller from The Wolverine posted his impressions of the freshmen from a very loose practice (basically a pickup game). What was exciting to me was his later post where he mentioned that it looks like Zach MacVoy has really improved his skating. That is the reason I believe he wasn't drafted, and I've said before that if he could overcome his skating issues he could be a very nice player for us. Nice to hear he's been working on it. And no report about the freshmen would be complete without a mention of The Sickness:
Jack Johnson controls the puck whenever and wherever he wants.And anyone who saw the move he put on Nick Lidstrom in the USA vs. NHL All-Stars game won't doubt that for a second. 1 more month.
NHL 2k6 comes out on Tuesday. Can't wait!