Hawks still in the dark on Shaw's fate

731470.png

Hawks still in the dark on Shaw's fate

As the lengthy wait to find out Andrew Shaws status for tonights game continues, Phoenix goaltender Mike Smiths status is suddenly up in the air.

Smith is a game-time decision, according to Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, as the Blackhawks wait and see if they will or will not have Shaw in the lineup when they host Phoenix in Game 3 tonight.

Shaw had his hearing with the NHL on Monday afternoon, but the league still hasnt released anything official regarding a ruling. Both Shaw and Smith skated with their respective teams this morning, and in Smiths case, it appeared that meant he was good to go for tonight. But Tippett said he and Martin Hanzal are game-time decisions.

Most of the questions for Tippett revolved around Smith, who was not available for comment this morning due to extreme circumstances, according to Phoenix media relations. Smith also didnt practice on Monday in Scottsdale, but Tippett wouldnt say why he didnt.

Its just our prerogative, Tippett said. Whether its an injury or a rest day, we dont have to tell everyone why a player practices or doesnt.

As for his thoughts on the hit, Tippetts havent changed from what he said after the game.

Its a blatant hit to the head, there was no intent to miss the goalie, he said. Ive gone through a lot of these meeting with the NHL, and its the exact same hit theyre trying to take out of the game.

Still, he wasnt concerned about the ruling on Shaw.

The leagues dealing with that, he said. We know theres probably some long, hard thought to it. Were worried about getting our players up and going.

The Coyotes soon said they would take no more questions regarding Smith and Shaw, and the press conference ended shortly after.

Quenneville said the Blackhawks will make the necessary changes if Shaw is ruled out. He didnt know why the decision was still pending.

Theyre evaluating all the factors being considered right now and Im not part of all those factors, he said. Im not sure of all the scenarios. Every case is different.

Shaw said hes just waiting for the news. So are the rest of the Blackhawks, and some wonder why its taken this long.

There should be some kind of protocol, a deadline, said Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers. A guys got to prepare for a game and shouldnt have to worry about that. The decision should have been made last night. Let him have the time to get ready for the game.

If Shaw is out, the Blackhawks will miss what hes provided.

You lose a lot of energy (without him), Mayers said. Im sure the other team has to be aware where he is; hes not afraid to go to those tough areas. Hes been chipping in, in a lot of areas for us.

No Bears move yet on CB Deiondre' Hall except maybe to safety

No Bears move yet on CB Deiondre' Hall except maybe to safety

PHOENIX – If the Bears intend to cut ties with Deiondre' Hall after the first-year cornerback become involved in an ugly police incident last weekend, they have not indicated their decision yet. They have, however, begun looking at a possible position change for Hall as they gather information on events of last Saturday night.

Hall was tasered by police in Cedar Falls, Ia., after he and a former Northern Iowa University teammate were allegedly involved in a fight at a bar. Hall was arrested and cited for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and interference. Hall allegedly spit in the officers' faces, according to an affidavit, police saying that an officer used a Taser on Hall's legs in order to get him into a squad car.

GM Ryan Pace confirmed that the team is still gathering information and said, "it's just [that] the circumstances are a little disappointing, to be honest with you. We're aware of it, it's just kind of gathering more facts as we go forward."

Pace has spoken to Hall and said that the team wanted to investigate thoroughly, "but the circumstances surrounding it are obviously disappointing."

In the meantime, the 2016 fourth-round draft choice is slated to be tried at safety when the team convenes for the start of offseason work. Hall played the position in college, and has traits that the Bears value at the safety position.

"One of Deiondre's best traits is his ball skills, his ball clock, the ability to time the pass breakup," Pace said. "He's very natural at playing safety and that's one of the reasons we drafted him, because he has the versatility to do both. That's something we're going to talk about this offseason and he could start taking some reps there in the offseason program."

Cornerback Kyle Fuller, who missed all of last season following arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-August, will stay at cornerback.

Is Addison Russell still on track for Opening Night?

Is Addison Russell still on track for Opening Night?

MESA, Ariz. – Addison Russell believes he will be ready for Opening Night. Right now, Cubs manager Joe Maddon says his All-Star shortstop starting the season on the disabled list is an option that "I'm not considering."

But Russell hasn't played in a Cactus League game since March 22 and the Cubs have only three exhibitions left before facing the St. Louis Cardinals on national TV. The new 10-day disabled list would also allow the Cubs to backdate Russell's injury (stiff back) to March 30 and create a degree of roster flexibility. 

"We're trying to start the season out on a good note and definitely in St. Louis," Russell said Tuesday. "That's kind of the goal, but if the back doesn't feel well until then, maybe that's something that we'll have to do. With the way that I'm feeling, I don't think that's necessary."

The Cubs did get Ben Zobrist (stiff neck) back into the lineup that afternoon against the San Francisco Giants at Sloan Park. Russell estimated he's around "95 percent" and hoped to play Wednesday before the Cubs leave Arizona and fly out for two exhibition games against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.      

"We're not trying to take it too quick," Russell said. "Missing a few games here in the spring is a lot better than a few games in the season. I've talked to Joe and there's no hurry back."

Five days out from what should be an electric atmosphere at Busch Stadium, Maddon said athletic trainer PJ Mainville didn't sound concerned about Russell's back issue.

"PJ felt very strongly that he's going to be fine over the next couple days," Maddon said. "From Addison's perspective, knowing baseball players who've been doing so well, you take a couple days off, you're concerned that you're going to lose it. 

"I'm certain he's going to be fine. Actually, I'm OK with him getting some rest right now. The biggest thing is: Medically, is he going to be fine? Everybody thinks that he is, so I'm not concerned."