Cubs send Dempster to Rangers at deadline

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Cubs send Dempster to Rangers at deadline

The long-running Ryan Dempster drama finally came to a close on Tuesday, with the Cubs trading their Opening Day starter to the Rangers just before the non-waiver deadline.

In exchange, the Cubs reportedly received two minor-leaguers, as executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer remake the team in their image.

In the final hours leading up to the deadline, Dempster indicated a willingness to go to the Dodgers, Yankees and Rangers and told the front office to make the best deal possible.

This followed last weeks breakdown with the Braves, as a potential deal fell apart after it was leaked to the Atlanta media and exploded on Twitter. Dempster, who had 10-and-5 no-trade rights, didnt feel like that was the right environment to make decision, and wanted to go to Los Angeles.

At the age of 35, and in the walk year of his contract, Dempster (2.25 ERA) will now get a chance to chase a ring and market himself for free agency. After winning two consecutive pennants, Texas isnt content to just get to the World Series. From legendary team president Nolan Ryan to brothers Greg and Mike Maddux, this organization has transformed its pitching DNA.

This continues the dismantling by Epstein and Hoyer, who traded left-hander Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to the Braves for two pitching prospects the night before.

On Tuesday morning, the Cubs officially announced the trade of catcher Geovany Soto and cash to the Rangers for Double-A pitcher Jake Brigham and a player to be named or cash.

At 3:15 p.m., Alfonso Soriano walked out to the hitting area beyond the left-field wall at Wrigley Field in Cubs gear. This was viewed as a softer deadline for Soriano, who has no-trade rights and is owed almost 43 million through the rest of this season and the next two years combined.

Sorianos name again popped up in rumors, but that price tag makes him a virtual lock to clear waivers in August.

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Antti Raanta stopped all 26 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and Nick Holden netted the winner as the New York Rangers beat the Blackhawks 1-0 in overtime on Friday night.

The Blackhawks, playing without Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford, are now 1-2-1 in their last four games. Nevertheless, they remain atop the Western Conference with 38 points.

Scott Darling stopped 36 of 37 shots in the loss.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Two seasons ago Darling and Raanta battled for the Blackhawks’ backup spot. Friday marked their first head-to-head matchup, and it was stellar.

The Blackhawks thought they broke the scoreless tie six minutes into the third period, when Marian Hossa got one past Raanta. But the Rangers challenged for offside and officials agreed, nullifying the goal.

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

The 2017 Winter Classic featuring the Blackhawks and Blues is right around the corner.

Players from both sides already squared off in a game of NHL 17 to generate some hype into the game, but nothing compares to behind-the-scenes footage of the two teams leading up to it.

Beginning Dec. 16 at 9 p.m., EPIX will air a one-hour episode each week that provides an all-access look inside the lives of the Blackhawks and Blues, on and off the ice.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The game will be on Jan. 2 at 12 p.m. on NBC, with the final episode airing Friday, Jan. 6.

Here's a two-minute preview involving the Blackhawks, who are labeled "A Good Bunch of Guys."