Wednesday Water Cooler – June 23rd, 2010
Here we go with today’s sports water cooler talk. Here, you won’t just find the straight news; you’ll find the stuff everyone is talking about – the ice breakers, the Twitter Sports Picks and topics…well, basically all the stuff you discuss at the water cooler.
The NHL is back…in the headlines, that is. A wild day of hockey news takes up most of the space today. Plus Another soccer superpower is on the verge of crumbling as we check in with the daily sports news.
World Cup soccer news: John Terry feuding with Fabio Capello? Brothers play grudge match for opposite nations
First, Team France collapsed, with the team walking out on coach Raymond Domenech and their own captain, Patrice Evra, starting their third game against South Africa on the bench.
Now, another perennial contender, England, is on the verge of disaster. Not only must it beat Slovenia on Wednesday to stay alive, infighting is bubbling up in their locker room as well. John Terry, a man already shrouded in controversy due to a sex scandal before the tournament started, has spoken out about his head coach.
Terry said senior members of the squad were due to speak with Fabio Capello to “get things off their chest.” But no one is backing up his claim. First, Capello stated on Monday that no discussions have happened. He lamented that “I don’t understand why [Terry] didn’t speak with me. When you speak, you have to speak privately. This is a very big mistake.”
Then Frank Lampard said that, while he understands Terry’s position, there were no plans among the team to have a talk with Capello. Suddenly, Terry is on an island as England enters its crucial game.
Want more drama? How about an international blood feud between brothers? Jerome Boateng is a German midfielder and Kevin-Prince Boateng plays striker for Ghana. As if it wasn’t cool enough that they drew the same group in the World Cup and get to face off on Wednesday, some serious bad blood has bubbled up.
Ghana’s Kevin-Prince is the infamous man who injured Germany’s Michael Ballack during the Portsmouth/Chelsea FA Cup Final. His brother Jerome openly criticized the tackle, infuriating Kevin-Prince, and they haven’t spoken since. They claim they’ll bury the hatchet after the tournament but it will be interesting to see what happens if Jerome gets the opportunity to challenge Kevin-Prince on defense.
NHL news: Horton traded, Niedermayer retires, first women inducted into Hall of Fame
The Boston Bruins became the envy of many NHL teams yesterday when they acquired power forward Nathan Horton and grinder Gregory Campbell from the Florida Panthers for defenseman Dennis Wideman, the 15th overall pick in Friday’s draft and a 2011 third-rounder. Boston could afford to spare the pick since it also has the No. 2 overall pick in the draft – but its defensive cupboard is pretty bare with Wideman gone now.
Still, Horton is a huge acquisition for Beantown. At 25 years old, he already has five 20-goal seasons to his name. He scored 31 goals in 2006-07 and had 57 points in 65 games last year.
One of the game’s best defenseman and all-time greatest skaters is hanging up is skates. Scott Niedermayer announced his retirement yesterday and will leave behind one of the winningest careers we’ve ever seen for one player. He’s the only man to win a Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup, Olympic Gold Medal, World Championship, World Junior Championship and Norris Trophy.
The Hockey Hall of Fame made history yesterday by inducting women for the first time ever. Joining the Hall are Canadian forward Angela James and U.S. stalwart Cammi Granato, who guided the Americans to Olympic gold in 1998.
As if all that news wasn’t enough – Pat Quinn has also been removed as Edmonton Oilers head coach and the San Jose Sharks told Evgeni Nabokov they won’t be re-signing him. What a day!
NHL news: Arnott, Hamhuis moved as major trade winds blow
Some NHL insiders believe the 2010 offseason will be the NHL’s busiest since the lockout ended in 2005 and, if this week is any indication, that prediction will come true.
The big names like Spezza and Kaberle haven’t moved yet but we’ve already seen two intermediate deals happen. New Jersey reacquired Jason Arnott, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for them in 2000, for Mat Halischuk and a second-round draft pick. The Philadelphia Flyers also acquired sought-after defenseman Dan Hamhuis’ negotiating rights from Nashville in exchange for Ryan Parent.
NFL news: Steve Smith breaks his arm playing flag football
Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith is a dynamic player but also a small one; at 5’9” and 185 pounds, he gets hurt fairly often…even when he’s not playing a contact sport. On Sunday, Smith broke his left forearm while playing flag football.
It was originally reported he was playing with kids at a youth camp but that event ended Saturday. So….adults, then? Leprechauns? He didn’t suffer any nerve damage and is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.
NBA news: Cory Maggette traded to Bucks; Charlie Villanueva charged with assault
Looking to up their scoring, the Milwaukee Bucks acquired Cory Maggette from the Golden State Warriors yesterday in exchange for Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric and a second-round draft pick. Maggette’s 19.8 points per game last year was the NBA’s highest scoring average for anyone averaging fewer than 30 minutes per game.
Charlie Villanueva reportedly faces domestic assault charges in for a May 19 incident in Burlington, Ontario. The former Toronto Raptor will appear in court on July 9 but denies any wrongdoing.
NBA news: Teams after Chris Paul to use as bait for LeBron?
I still don’t understand how the “power broker” system works in the NBA but one of the most prominent ones is William Wesley, a.k.a. World Wide Wes, the man who reportedly influenced Michael Jordan’s career and is now affecting LeBron James’ future.
Now, Wesley has planted a seed among NBA general managers suggesting that acquiring star Hornets point guard Chris Paul would significantly increase their chances to sign LeBron James. I don’t understand how Paul and James could share the ball as teammates, but other teams may be listening to Wesley’s idea anyway.
Even though Hornets GM Jeff Bower hasn’t declared any intention to trade Paul, he’s reportedly getting offers from all over the league. Memphis offered O.J. Mayo and more; the Nets offered the No. 3 pick in this year’s drafted and anyone on their roster not named Brook Lopez; the Blazers are reportedly about to pitch as well.
UFC news: Matt Hamill was cleared to fight Keith Jardine with active staph infection?
Matt Hamill is one tough dude. He’s the only deaf fighter in the UFC and he added a broken hand and blurred vision to his list of obstacles when he fought Keith Jardine on Saturday night.
Oh, and he overcame one more thing: an active staph infection that was very visible on his back. Um, what? Nevada doctors let him fight with a friggin’ staph infection? They claim that the sore was hardened and healed sufficiently that Jardine or anyone else inside the Octagon wasn’t in danger but the decision has sparked plenty of controversy.
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