Word on the Street: Pujols headed to Windy City?

Word on the Street: Pujols headed to Windy City?

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Could Pujols be headed to the Windy City?

Sports Illustrated is reportingthat superstar Albert Pujols and the Cardinals are on completelydifferent pages in terms of years and money, that people familiar withthe talks say there is virtually no chance for a deal before Pujolsreports to spring camp Feb. 16.

The three-time NL MVP will be afree-agent at season's end, and has set his reporting date as thedeadline for a contract to be done with the Cardinals.

Onecompeting executive said he wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs made abig play for Pujols. Chicago have Carlos Pena on a one-year deal andwould have a spot for Pujols next offseason. (Sports Illustrated)

Melo re-signing in Denver?

Carmelo Anthony would consider signing a three-year, 65 million contract extension with the Nuggets. That is, if he isn't traded before the Feb. 24 deadline.

This marks the first time Anthony has said he might sign the contract extension that has been on the table since June. when asked what he thought of a possible trade to the Lakers, Anthony played coy saying, "Everyday is something different. I guess now is the Lakers." (Denver Post)

Kenny on Ozzie, budget, 2011

Check out Crains Chicago Business terrific four-part Business of Sports video interview with White Sox SVPGM Kenny Williams. Among the topics Williams candidly discusses with Crains Ed Sherman include his current relationship status with manager Ozzie Guillen, how he handles his teams budget, going for it all in 2011 and much more. (Crains' Chicago Business)

Montana heading to Montana?

University of Montana football coach Robin Pflugrad confirmed today that he met with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana yesterday afternoon. Joe's son Nate is currently a backup QB at Notre Dame. Pflugrad would neither confirm nor deny that the meeting surrounded Nate Montana's pollible transfer to UM.

Pflugrad added that he was aware of Nate's situation at Notre Dame, but said Montana "has four kids and we talked about them all." (The Montana Kaimin)

Cutler pops the question?

Are wedding bells in the near future for Jay Cutler? According to TerezOwens.com, Jay is planning on popping the question to Cavallari. The Bears QB has been seen ring shopping in Beverly Hills. (TerezOwens.com)

Cooke served 4-game suspension

The NHL announced that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke will get hit with a four game suspension. This announcement comes a day after Cooke hit Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin from behind in a 4-1 loss. Tyutin was sent face first into the boards, fortunately getting back on his feet soon after.

Cooke will forfeit 87,804.88 in salary. He was last suspended for two games on Nov. 28, 2009. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Marcus Kruger 'pretty close' to returning for Blackhawks

Marcus Kruger 'pretty close' to returning for Blackhawks

Marcus Kruger has been sidelined a little longer than the originally expected three weeks with his right hand injury. Not that any missed time is enjoyable.

"I wanted to get back there probably a few weeks ago but unfortunately I couldn't," said Kruger, who suffered his injury on Dec. 30 against the Carolina Hurricanes. "I tried to listen to the doctors and do everything I can instead to be ready when I get cleared. That's my mindset."

Kruger is close, but not quite there, as the Blackhawks prepared for Sunday night's game against the Vancouver Canucks. Kruger skated with his teammates for the first time since being injured but wasn't among the line rushes. The center took faceoffs on his own at the end of practice. Kruger pronounced himself, "pretty close," to returning. Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks will see how Kruger is over the next few days. The Blackhawks play again Tuesday and Thursday before heading into the All-Star break this weekend.

The Blackhawks have missed Kruger's versatility and especially his play on the penalty kill. The Blackhawks' kill has been fine through Kruger's absence but he nevertheless is a big part of it when he's healthy.

"We have a lot of options and when he's out everyone gets a more important role, whether starting or faceoffs. And we have a rotation of five guys who are in there most of the time. But he definitely absorbs the most responsibility when he's playing in that area," Quenneville said of Kruger. "So it's nice you get to try some other guys and you get deeper as you go along."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

One of the players who's emerged in Kruger's absence is Tanner Kero, who filled his third-line center void. Kero and linemates Vinnie Hinostroza and Marian Hossa clicked on the dads trip, coming up with big plays and points in the Blackhawks' victories over Colorado and Boston. As of now, Kero appears to have the hold on third-line center.

"I don't see too many things that would change his positioning because he really helped himself," Quenneville said.

Kruger said he's fine if that means returning to fourth-line center duties. Regardless, he'll help bolster the Blackhawks' forward lines. The last step is likely contact, which Kruger got a little of – outside of faceoffs – in Sunday's skate. Kruger's had to wait a little longer than expected on his injury but he's getting there.

Cubs, White Sox react to tragic deaths of Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

1-22_yordano_ventura_andy_marte.jpg
AP

Cubs, White Sox react to tragic deaths of Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

The sports world woke up to some tragic news on Sunday morning.

Former major leaguer Andy Marte and Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura were both killed in separate car accidents in the Dominican Republic within an hour of each other, according to multiple reports. A Royals representative confirmed the death of 25-year-old Ventura.

The Cubs and White Sox took to Twitter to give their condolences:

Ventura was a member of the Royals from 2013-16 and won a World Series title in 2015 with Ben Zobrist and Wade Davis, who the Cubs acquired this offseason for Jorge Soler. Ventura also played with White Sox pitcher James Shields in 2013-14.

Marte, 33, played a majority of his seven-year career with the Cleveland Indians. He was teammates with Todd Hollandsworth (Atlanta 2005), Kerry Wood (Cleveland 2009-10), and Miguel Montero (Arizona 2014).