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July 20th 2010: Daily Sports News – Gossip – Headlines

Water Cooler – July 20th, 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.


After going quiet for a few weeks, hockey returns to the daily news in a big way today. Free agency’s biggest fish finally has a new pond. Or should I say swamp?

NHL news: Kovalchuk signs 17-year deal with Devils; Flyers trade Simon Gagne to Tampa Bay

That big domino is finally down and most NHL general managers expect free agency to open right up again as a result.

Kovalchuk Inks Deal With New Jersey

Prolific scorer Ilya Kovalchuk, who has more goals than any other player since 2001, has decided to stay with the New Jersey Devils after all. Yesterday, he signed a league-record 17-year deal worth $102 million.

The ridiculous contract is just one more example of how messed up the current salary cap and collective bargaining agreement are. Because a player’s cap hit is the total money divided by the numbers of contract years, more and more teams are signing guys to super-long deals.

They can front-load the contracts to give the players higher salaries – Kovalchuk will probably make $10 million for his first several seasons – but the cap hit is much lower.

In Kovie’s case, it’ll be $6 million.

Predictably, Kovalchuk’s signing opens things up for other teams to start exploring secondary offensive options. Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman acquired Simon Gagne, his former Olympic teammate, from the Philadelphia Flyers for defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth-round draft pick in 2011.

Gagne is a four-time 30-goal scorer and will make $5 million this season.

Is it just me or are the media already looking to punish the Miami Heat trio in any way possible for signing together?

First, there was His Royal Airness. Michael Jordan spoke out about the trio’s decision Sunday, referring specifically to LeBron James. Jordan said:

“There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry [Bird, called up Magic [Johnson] and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team.’”

He added that he can’t say the move is a bad thing but that the game is different today. And, comparing Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to Larry and Magic again, he added, “In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”

The fun didn’t end there for the Miami Heat early this week. Dwyane Wade got himself into hot water during an interview at a charity basketball game on Sunday. When asking how fans will react if the teams struggled, Wade said some people will overreact and make it seem like “the World Trade Center just went down again.”

AOL Fanhouse incorrectly reported that Wade said “If we lose, it will be like the World Trade Center went down.” So people ended up thinking Wade said the opposite of what he actually said. Wade ended up having to apologize for some reason.

Ironically, everyone did react as if the World Tra – uh, forget it.

NFL news: Chris Johnson agrees to revised deal with Titans

The Chris Johnson drama is over.for now. The explosive little running back settled for a one-year raise after he and the Tennessee Titans couldn’t negotiate a long-term deal. Johnson will make $2.5 million this season instead of $550,000. Gotta admit, he deserves at least that.

He rushed for 2,006 yards last year and has the third most total yards (3,234) ever for a back through two seasons.

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Articles on CappersPicks.com are written by Q (the Head Honcho) at Cappers Picks or by our resident "in house" handicapper Razor Ray Monohan! Enjoy the free picks folks! "Pad that bankroll one day at a time!"