Word on the Street: Versteeg says no to D.C.

Word on the Street: Versteeg says no to D.C.

Thursday, March 10, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Versteeg won't visit White House

Openly celebrating your former team's victory over your current team probably isn't the best idea. At least, that's what former-Blackhawk Kris Versteeg appears to be thinking. According to the Toronto Sun, Versteeg has declined an invitation to reunite with his old Blackhawks teammates at the White House for a meet-and-greet with President Obama.

"It's pretty cool to get the chance to go the White House, but after thinking about it I just decided to take a pass and let those guys enjoy themselves," said Versteeg, who now plays for the Philadelphia Flyers. "I'm still buddies with (the Blackhawks), but I haven't been on that team for almost a year." (The Toronto Sun)

Celtics lead down to 1.5 games

Within the last week the Bulls have hop-scotched the Miami Heat for second place in the Eastern Conference and now have their sights set on the Boston Celtics, owners of the top spot in the East. After a Bulls victory over the Bobcats last night, the Celtics lost 108-103 to the Los Angeles Clippers. With the loss, their lead over the Bulls slipped to only a game and a half. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Airline, Prosecutor challenge NHL ruling on Pacioretty hit

The NHL is receiving criticism from all over the place in the wake of a nasty hit suffered by Montreal's Max Pacioretty in a game against the Boston Bruins. As a result of the violent hit by Boston's Zdeno Chara, Pacioretty was sent to the hospital with a fractured vertebra and severe concussion.

The NHL decided on Wednesday that they would not suspend Chara for the hit, prompting a Quebec prosecutor to ask police to investigate the hit.

Additionally, Air Canada has informed the NHL that it is considering withdrawing its sponsorship unless the league tightens it rules in an attempt to reduce serious injuries. (Press of Atlantic City)

Chicago State star earns recognition

Chicago State forward Carl Montgomery was named on Thursday to the first-team, all-Great West Conference team. Montgomery, a 6-foot-7 senior ranked third in the conference with 17 points per game and seven rebounds per game. His numbers in conference play were even better, averaging 20.5 points and 8.9 rebounds. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Palatine man trains for marathon by eating...

... ONLY McDonald's. That's right, Joe D'Amico of Palatine plans to run the Los Angeles Marathon on March 20 after training for 30 days on a diet of McDonald's fast food alone.

"My wife told me I was crazy," D'Amico, 36, said. "But I love McDonald's and I love running, and this was a great way to combine the two."

He usually starts the day with a plate of hot cakes, an Egg McMuffin and an orange juice. He eats a grilled chicken sandwich for lunch, washed down with a large Coke, then enjoys a hamburger and fries for dinner, with cookies for desert. His only deviation from the McDonald's menu is a daily multivitamin, tap water, and an energy gel he takes while on the road. (suntimes.com)

Badgers' Nigel Hayes returning to Wisconsin for senior year

nigel-hayes-0524.jpg

Badgers' Nigel Hayes returning to Wisconsin for senior year

Nigel Hayes will be back at Wisconsin for his senior year.

Madison.com's Jim Polzin reported Tuesday that Hayes — who earned All-Big Ten First Team honors last season — will withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and come back to the Badgers for the 2016-17 campaign.

Hayes is one of the latest Big Ten players to take advantage of new rules that allow underclassmen to test the NBA Draft process and work out with NBA teams without hiring an agent while still being able to return to school with their NCAA eligibility intact. The rules are undoubtedly beneficial for the players, who can learn more about their professional future and still take needed time to develop at the college level.

There had been talk that Hayes needed another collegiate season and that he wasn't quite ready for the NBA. Despite averaging 15.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season as one of the best players in the Big Ten, Hayes wasn't always consistent and saw his shooting numbers drop from his sophomore season. He shot 36.8 percent from the field and 29.3 percent from 3-point range last season after shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from 3-point range during the 2014-15 campaign, which culminated in Wisconsin's second straight trip to the Final Four.

That being said, Hayes' return is obviously a big deal for the Badgers, who will return their entire starting lineup and almost their entire roster in Greg Gard's first full season as head coach. Last season, with Gard taking over for a retiring Bo Ryan midway through the campaign, Wisconsin was still one of the Big Ten's best teams, turning things around and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. Hayes returns alongside Ethan Happ, Bronson Koenig, Vitto Brown and Zak Showalter in the starting five.

Hayes' return could make the Badgers the Big Ten favorite heading into 2016-17.

Illini starting pitcher Cody Sedlock named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year

stl_ill_forward_suspended_05-06_640x360_681072707552.jpg

Illini starting pitcher Cody Sedlock named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year

University of Illinois starting pitcher Cody Sedlock was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday.

The junior from Sherrard, Ill., led the conference in strikeouts (116) and innings pitched (101.1).

He is the fifth Illini pitcher to take home the award, following Tyler Jay who was given the honor last year — and later went on to be picked No. 6 overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 2015 MLB draft. It's the second time in program history that an Illini pitcher has won the award in back-to-back seasons.

The right-hander Sedlock is projected by many to be a first-round selection in the upcoming MLB draft on June 9.

Blackhawks announce three new signings

snc_panarin_punks_us_in_iihf_05-22_640x360_691806787670.jpg

Blackhawks announce three new signings

The Blackhawks agreed to terms with goaltender Lars Johansson, defenseman Michal Kempny and forward Martin Lundberg on one-year deals on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Kempny had 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 59 games with Avangard Omsk (KHL) last season. He had two assists in eight games with the Czech Republic in the IIHF World Championship.

Johansson, 28, spent the last three seasons with Frolunda HC (Swedish Hockey League). He was 56-27-0 over those three seasons. Last season, he had a league-leading 1.74 goals-against average and a 27-6-0 record.

The 25-year-old Lundberg had 13 goals and eight assists in 44 games with Skelleftea AIK (Swedish Hockey League). He also had two goals in eight games with Sweden in the World Championship.