Kane won't be alone as he heads to Switzerland

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Kane won't be alone as he heads to Switzerland

In the fall of 2009, Patrick Kane and the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks started their Stanley Cup-winning season in Switzerland. Kane enjoyed the time over there, as well as the early boost he got for his game.

Now hell try to do the same thing over there during the NHL lockout.

Kane will head to Switzerland on Sunday, as he signed with the EHC Biel squad on Tuesday. Kane is the fifth Blackhawks player to sign with an overseas team although just the second North American one, with Bryan Bickell heading to Austria earlier this month. Kane chose Biel over offers from Russian and Swedish teams.

Its a chance to go back to where the Cup season began, and to be hockey ready for whenever this lockout ends.

Starting there a few years ago, it jump-started me to the season I had, Kane said after Wednesdays practice. I think its a good league for me, a fast league on big ice. From what Ive seen, a lot of NHL players have gone over there. So itll be nice to play some games, try to work on my skills a little bit.

Jonathan Toews wishes Kane well but isnt ready to make his move overseas yet.

Im not going to be quick to pull a Kane, he said with a smile. Im sure hes excited to get some games in, not that were not taking advantage of working hard here (at practice). When the time comes to make a decision like that, well see.

Boston Bruins left wing Tyler Seguin is already playing for EHC Bien; Kane said hes been told that he and Seguin could play on the same line.

Kanes contract is the standard for most lockout players as soon as the lockout ends, hell head back here. He contract isnt for a crazy amount of money, basically just enough to cover his insurance for playing there.

Kane wont be going to Switzerland alone, as his mom will join him on the trip. Kanes parents, especially his dad, spend a good amount of time in Chicago during the hockey seasons.

I was going to bring dad but I got a text from (my mother) this morning, Its just me and you. He cant do the nine-hour ride, Kane said. Im sure hell try to watch every game he can. I dont know if shell be there the whole time, but shell go over and help me get settled in.

As for ifwhen any other teammates join him in Europe, Kane said hes not sure.

Theyre interested to see why Im going now. But I think some of them are looking at their options, too, Kane said. Its different for everyone. Some guys have families and others have certain injuries to take care of. Who knows when the right time will be for them.

In first game of post-deadline era, Bulls come up with comeback overtime win over Suns

In first game of post-deadline era, Bulls come up with comeback overtime win over Suns

The post-deadline era has begun for the Bulls, with the directives clear on developing their young players and seeing what can be done in the last third of the season.

And while their youth sparked them early, it was the headliners who stepped up late in their 128-121 overtime win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night at the United Center, as the team was clearly adjusting to life without Taj Gibson, who was traded Thursday.

Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade each had sluggish starts, to say the least. Each looked like he was going through an island-like malaise through the better part of three quarters before waking up.

Butler finally ignored the snooze button at the most opportune time, nearly winning the game in regulation with a tying triple, then a fadeaway 15-footer over Eric Bledsoe to cap off a late comeback that saw the Bulls rebound from an eight-point deficit with a few minutes left in the fourth.

Then Wade, in one of his few post-halftime mistakes, controversially fouled Suns sharpshooter Devin Booker on a triple with 1.5 seconds left, but Booker missed the last of the three free throws to send the game into overtime.

Wade and Butler continued the assault into the extra session, with Wade rising for a late flush over Suns center Alex Len and raising his arms in celebration — having put together a 23-point performance after a scoreless first half.

Butler wasn't as futile but wasn't much better, scoring just eight before the fourth but being more aggressive and assertive with his moments and jump shots, scoring 22 with nine assists and four steals.

The Suns led most of the way, mostly due to their team-wide speed and athleticism, getting out on the break the way they did in the first meeting two weeks ago. They dominated the fast-break department at a 23-10 clip, and the Bulls actually countered with 3-point shooting.

Nikola Mirotic went 4-for-7 on the way to a 20-point night, while Denzel Valentine put together his best showing as a pro with 15 points, all those coming on five made 3s.

Three straight triples for Valentine pulled the Bulls to within one late in the third quarter. The shots were decisive and confident — perhaps as he knew he wouldn't be removed for anyone at the first mistake.

There were plenty of mishaps and things to complain about as the Bulls hit a new wave, but at least it started with some positive vibes after a day of uncertainty and confusion.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Patrick Mooney goes one-on-one with Jed Hoyer

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Patrick Mooney goes one-on-one with Jed Hoyer

On the latest edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull and Luke Stuckmeyer talk about the first week of spring training. 

The two discuss ace contracts, leadoff intimidation and give their thoughts on the Sammy Sosa saga. 

Plus CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney goes one-on-one with general manager Jed Hoyer. 

Listen to the Cubs Talk Podcast below.