Konroyd: NHL making an example of Shaw?

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Konroyd: NHL making an example of Shaw?

Let me first start out by stating that I appreciate and commend everything Brendan Shanahan has done in being a big part of the NHL.

Whether it was as a talented player or rule modifier hosting the "Shanahan Summit" during the lockout, or even as Vice President of Hockey and Business Development. He has done more in these capacities to help and promote the great game of hockey than any other player, past or present, that I can think of. I think Brendan has found himself in a tough place recently, though. About a week ago, he had an opportunity to send a tough message about needless violence to Shea Weber who, at the end of game one against the Detroit Red Wings, tried to punch and then slam the head of Henrik Zetterberg. Shanahan decided to just fine Weber 2500.

The uproar from fans and the media was instantaneous. It became a NHL public relations nightmare. Later it was learned that had Zetterberg been injured on the play, there would have been a suspension.

Zetterberg, a teammate of Shanahan for a few seasons, said that, and I'm paraphrasing here, "they had an opportunity to set the bar, and they did" meaning they set the bar pretty low and as a result there has been an escalation of incidents on the ice. I think those words from a former teammate hurt Shanny.

Which brings us to Andrew Shaw. Shanahan now has another chance to send a message, and it's a severe one to Mr. Shaw. I'm not going to discuss the intricacies of the collision behind the net. Bottom line is that Shaw can't even go near the goaltender in a situation like that. Nothing good can ever come out of it. But he was given a five-minute major for charging at the time. That is a potential game-changer in any game. Phoenix did score one goal on this power play and they could have had more. And he was kicked out of the contest. That was for more than half of the game.

I could certainly see Shaw getting a one-game suspension, which in the playoffs sends a pretty clear message. But to suspend a player for what could be the rest of the series, after having witnessed what has gone on in a lot of these playoff games, is certainly disappointing, and it feels as if Shaw is being made an example by the NHL. But he'll take his medicine, be a better player for it, and hopefully the Blackhawks can win without his energy and enthusiasm.

White Sox will give Tim Anderson freedom to make mistakes

White Sox will give Tim Anderson freedom to make mistakes

MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox have no plans for Tim Anderson to take the same path as the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber.

An hour before the Cubs announced their shocking news Thursday that the World Series hero is headed to Triple-A, White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he thought Anderson’s struggles could be addressed in the majors.

Playing in his first full season, Anderson has had an up and down campaign. He leads the majors with 16 errors committed and has struggled at the plate, hitting .256/.284/.374 with six home runs and 19 RBIs in 265 plate appearances. The roller coaster ride has led to some aggravation for Anderson, who slammed his batting helmet in frustration during Wednesday’s loss. Anderson said the helmet slam was the topic of a postgame conversation he had with Renteria on Wednesday.

“I feel like this year has been the toughest year I’ve dealt with since I’ve started playing baseball,” Anderson said. “I have to keep playing, lock in and control it.

“(Slamming the helmet) doesn’t make you feel better. It’s just a little frustration. You get mad at times, but you just try to control it and keep playing.”

Anderson, who turns 24 on Friday, has had a lot to manage in 2017.

It’s his first full season in the majors. He signed a contract extension in March. Since May he’s been dealing with the loss of his close friend, who was shot to death. Throw in the on-field struggles and Renteria realizes there’s a lot with which Anderson had to deal.

“You just make the sure the perspective they’re having at any particular moment is the correct perspective,” Renteria said. “You try to make sure that the underlying frustrations he might be having, that he’s able to separate it.

“You have ups and down, they’re not always going to be in the best place mentally at times. But for the most part you address it, you talk about it because you understand it, you’ve lived all those things and you just try to give him a little insight and keep it going in the right direction.”

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Anderson made a pair of miscues in a costly third-inning Twins rally on Wednesday night.

But Renteria expressed his confidence in the second-year player, calling him one of the premier shortstops in the league.

The White Sox manager has seen Anderson make the necessary corrections after infield work with bench coach Joe McEwing. The effort and preparation have been there. Renteria just wants to make sure his player can compartmentalize and stay focused. He realizes there’s going to be mistakes from time to time and wants to make sure Anderson is handling them well.

“To say he’s not going to continue to make mistakes every now and then, yeah that’s going to happen,” Renteria said. “It’s there for everybody to see. That’s why everybody takes notice and that’s natural. I think the one thing we have to do as a staff and players also is step back and stay away from the fray of that attention and stay focused on what you have to do. Minimize how all the noise affects you and continue to play the game.”

Renteria remembers his own struggles as a young player and knows how much more scrutiny Anderson faces. Every game is televised and highlights are streamed on the internet. Any little gaffe can be magnified. Anderson admits that at times he’s dealt with frustration he’s never before experienced and it’s caught up to him. Now he just needs to learn how to cope with the stress a little better.

“Nobody wants to go through tough times and struggle,” Anderson said. “Slamming helmets is not the right way to go about it because you could get injured, so try to handle it in a better way.

“It’s been tough times and a lot of frustration, but I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes it does. I try to balance it out and keep going.

“I’m just trying to manage it, balance it out and separate it from each other.”

Bears announce training camp schedule

Bears announce training camp schedule

The Bears released their official training camp schedule Thursday morning. After reporting to Olivet Nazarene on Wednesday, July 26, the first of ten practices open to the public will take place the following day. The Bears will be based out of Bourbonnais for the 16th straight season. Training camp will go through Sunday, Aug. 13 before the Bears break camp and finish the preseason in Lake Forest. 

All practices are tentatively scheduled to start at various times during the 11 a.m. hour with the exception of Saturday, Aug. 13, which starts at 12:05 p.m. Those times are subject to change based on weather, and a varying set of schedules that John Fox and his coaching staff have set up, as they adjust to player and training staff preferences in hopes of reducing injuries. 

Also, new this season, fans wanting to attend practices must order free tickets in advance through the Bears website. Fans will not be allowed in without a ticket, and the first 1,000 fans each day will be given various souvenirs. The practice campus will be open to the public with tickets from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Here is the full training camp schedule: