Sergei Kostitsyn hopes NHL season is canceled; are you tired of European player threats?

22 Oct

If you think you're tired of the NHL lockout, then you haven't heard Sergei Kostitsyn lament the work stoppage.

The thirty-seventh day of the work stoppage has pushed our hockey hero to the brink, to where he's praying that the season is canceled so he can stop worrying about the lockout and love the KHL.

Via Reuters, here is Sergei Kostitsyn on the NHL lockout:

"Let's put it this way - it would be better (for the players) if the lockout continues," Kostitsyn was quoted as saying by Russian daily Sport-Express on Monday.

"Players want a definite answer. If the NHL season is lost - let it be that way. I would then play in Russia for the whole season."

It's that kind of sincere dedication to the National Hockey League that's made Sergei Kostitsyn a star. Or the younger, marginally more talented sibling of an inconsequential forward who may have had ties to organized crime. One of the two.

Not to get all Donald F. Cherry here, but is anyone else getting a little tired of this stuff from European players?

Ilya Bryzgalov of the Philadelphia Flyers, on Oct. 6:

"I think some of the players may not return to the NHL because you have everything here and major companies are going to pay the top players here big money. And, especially for Russians players who can play at home in front of their own fans and families and [earn] even bigger money than they have in the National Hockey League," said Bryzgalov.

"The KHL can't feed all the players, but for some big players - especially those with Russian passports - it might be a threat."

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, on Oct. 20:

Q. If the negotiations between you and the league will not lead to compromise, can you see yourself continuing your career in Russia? Is it possible/doable in a legal perspective?

"I think yes. If my contract will be cut down greatly, it would be possible to annul it through the court."

So what is this? Posturing? Copycat complaints among comrades? Actual, to-be-taken-seriously threats?

When you hear players in North America talk tough on the lockout, it's usually in the context of outrage against the owners (increasingly) or Gary Bettman (emphatically). It's rarely in an "[expletive] this League, I'm making my money elsewhere" way. Even a guy like Joe Thornton, playing in Switzerland, is more mournful about losing a season than anything else; it's not like he and Rick Nash are talking about annulling their contracts if the NHL takes a chunk.

I don't know … maybe this kind of thing is expected in a labor war, and maybe it's just hollow verbiage from frustrated players. But there's just something off-putting about these players being so willing to spurn the League, their teammates and their North American fans to prove a point.

This is especially true in Ovechkin's case, being that his global star status is directly attributable to the National Hockey League. Otherwise, he's Sergei Mozyakin. Who? The KHL's all-time leading goal scorer. Exactly: Who?

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Steinbrenner won’t address A-Rod return next year (Yahoo! Sports)

19 Oct

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez runs back to the dugout after grounding out in the ninth inning during Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. The Tigers won 8-1 and move on to the World Series. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hank Steinbrenner says too much blame is being directed at Alex Rodriguez for Detroit's sweep of the Yankees, and won't address whether the slumping star will be back in New York next season.

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A-Rod says he won’t waive no-trade clause

18 Oct

It might be great fun to spin the wheel of possible trade destinations for Alex Rodriguez, but the embattled New York Yankees star says our party is already over.

Speaking to reporters after the Yankees were swept out of the postseason on Thursday night, A-Rod says he will not waive the no-trade clause in his contract this offseason and wants to remain in pinstripes for the foreseeable future. The 37-year-old still has five years and $114 million left on the 10-year, $275 million deal he signed after opting out in 2007.

"I will be back. I have a lot to prove," Rodriguez told reporters (via's Bryan Hoch) after New York's 8-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. "I've never thought about going to another team. My focus is on staying here. Let's make that very, very clear."

Right now, the only thing that's clear is that A-Rod appears to either be a glutton for punishment or own an insatiable need for attention. Or maybe both. He was booed constantly at Yankee Stadium during a postseason that saw him go 3 for 25 at the plate while losing three starts to Eric Chavez, who didn't bother to collect a single hit. On top of it all, the New York tabs stuck him in the middle of a ridiculous and, frankly, unfair flirting controversy involving an Australian swimsuit model who was sitting near the Yankees dugout.

[Related: Tigers must wait for full applause after sweeping Yankees | Photos]

If there ever were a time for A-Rod to hit an escape hatch and watch his skills diminish in a less critical atmosphere, this hot stove season would seem to be it.  Speculation over possible landing spots, including Miami and Chicago's South Side, started (and denied!) even before the Yankees were eliminated in Game 4 and perhaps the raw emotions after such a collapse would have put the Steinbrenner Bros. in a money-eating mood this winter.

Perhaps A-Rod will change his mind in the weeks and months ahead or perhaps he won't. At the very least you have to give him credit for maintaining a level head through the extreme soap opera of the past week and not giving into the emotion of the moment.

But if he really wants to stay in New York, the place he professes to love so much, he'll have to find out what's wrong with that swing.

Otherwise, it's going to be a long five seasons for everyone involved.

Make sure all your bases are covered this postseason ...
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Niedermayer inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall (Yahoo! Sports)

18 Oct
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Former NHL star Scott Niedermayer was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall Of Fame on Thursday.
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No surgery required for Love’s broken hand (Yahoo! Sports)

18 Oct

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2012, file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Minneapolis. Love will miss the next six to eight weeks after breaking his right hand in a workout on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/ Jim Mone, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves got a bit of good news Thursday when doctors told All-Star Kevin Love that he wouldn't need surgery on his broken right hand.

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Timberwolves star Love out 6-8 weeks, broken hand (Yahoo! Sports)

17 Oct

Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love, right, gove up for a shot as Maccabi Haifa's James Thomas defends in the first half of an NBA exhibition basketball game against the Israeli team, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 , in Minneapolis. Love led the Timberwolves with 24 points in their 114-81 win. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevin Love returned from the London Olympics determined to do what every veteran U.S. teammate of his had already done - lead his team to the playoffs.

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Cuban not too concerned about Nowitzki’s knee (Yahoo! Sports)

17 Oct
DALLAS (AP) -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Wednesday night that he isn't concerned about Dirk Nowitzki's right knee because of the 11-time All-Star's history of dealing with injuries.
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Jeter to have surgery, 4 to 5 months for recovery (Yahoo! Sports)

17 Oct

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter reacts after injuring himself in the 12th inning of Game 1 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers early Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya )

DETROIT (AP) -- Derek Jeter will have surgery on his broken left ankle, and the New York Yankees say the star shortstop could need four to five months to completely recover.

Tags: , , , , recovery, Shortstop, , star shortstop, , The New York Yankees, , , York
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Deron Williams zings A.J. Price after scuffle late in Nets’ preseason win over Wizards (VIDEO)

16 Oct

The Brooklyn Nets made their Barclays Center debut in a Monday night matchup with the Washington Wizards, and while the preseason affair didn't boast the star power of Jay-Z's recent run of blockbuster building-christening concerts, it did feature two things near and dear to hoops fans' hearts: a good ol' fashioned NBA fight (which is to say, an aimless bit of shoving in which no legitimate punches were thrown) and a night-ending, hierarchy-affirming zing.

In the game's closing minute, with the Nets up eight and the outcome well in hand, Wizards amnesty victim-turned-Nets big man Andray Blatche (who had 16 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two assists off the Brooklyn bench) bodied up Wizards point guard A.J. Price on a drive, stripping him of the ball and tossing an outlet to Brooklyn's star triggerman, Deron Williams. Price, thinking he'd been fouled on the play, raced back on defense and promptly took the body on D-Will, leading to some shoving, scuffling and the exchange of unkind words. Both players received technical fouls and Williams hit two free throws on the personal foul call, as the Nets finished off a 98-88 win.

[Fantasy Basketball '12: Play the official game of]

After the game, Price — who was born in the Amityville section of Long Island, N.Y., about an hour's drive away from Barclays Center — chalked the shoving match up to the heightened passions of a competitive contest.

"In the heat of the moment, guys say things all the time and one thing led to another, but all in all, it's part of the game," the UConn product said, according to Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.

Williams, unsurprisingly, had a slightly different — and absolutely withering — take. From Mike Mazzeo at ESPN New York:

Williams said Price [...] kept saying, 'I'm home. I'm home.'"

"I hate when people just start talking for no reason," Williams said. "That's pretty much what he did.

"Maybe he had some boys in the crowd he wanted to impress while he can with the little minutes he's going to get this year.

To be fair, Price might see more than "little minutes" for the Wizards, thanks to John Wall's unfortunate left knee injury. Still, in the interest of clarity: Price has played 2,315 combined regular- and postseason minutes during his three-year NBA career; Williams played 1,999 last year alone, and he missed 11 games. Price is on a one-year, veteran-minimum contract competing for minutes with Shelvin Mack and Jannero Pargo; Williams is on a five-year, $98.8 million maximum contract, the master of all he surveys in Barclays Center and likely competing for a playoff berth. With all due respect (no, seriously, we mean it) to the Nets' part-owner, that's the kind of comment that makes your soul burn slow.

So, now that we know how Williams responded after the game, what did he say to Price at the time? From Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski:

Williams rolled his eyes, laughed and blurted back to Price something that Nets general manager Billy King had worked so relentlessly to hear Williams declare within Barclays: "This is my home now."

And Nets fans wouldn't have it any other way. Say goodnight, A.J.

Video via nbainfos.

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Bills re-sign DE Merriman to bolster banged-up D (Yahoo! Sports)

15 Oct
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- Shawne Merriman is back in Buffalo after the Bills re-signed the free-agent pass-rushing star to bolster their banged-up defense.
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