NHL 13 tournament narrows down finalists

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NHL 13 tournament narrows down finalists

The EA Sports NHL 13 cover photo tournament continues to narrow down top contenders and has become more personal as many of the finalists battle through the postseason.

After two rounds of eliminations, the initial 60 players in the running have now been dwindled down to 16 after a combined total of 26 million votes.

Wednesday marks the final day for the 'Bracket A' round of eight finalists to be slimmed down to four. Here's how the competition is broken up:

Claude Giroux (Flyers) vs P.K. Subban (Canadiens)
Scott Hartnell (Flyers) vs Tyler Seguin (Bruins)
Evgeni Malkin (Penguins) vs Steven Stamkos (Lightening)
Anze Kopitar (Kings) vs David Perron (Blues)

Now, here's where this gets fun.

Kopitar and Perron are not only fighting to win the cover, but also to advance to the Western Conference finals. Hartnell and Seguin could potential play one another in the Eastern Conference finals should both teams advance past the semis. This has given fans an additional incentive to vote for their team favorites, as well as add more excitement to the playoffs.

On Thursday, voting will begin to reduce the top eight in 'Bracket B' to just four finalists as well. The head-to-head battle will look like this:

Pavel Datsyuk (Red Wings) vs TJ Oshie (Blues)
Henrik Lundqvist (Rangers) vs Erik Karlsson (Senators)
Pekka Rinne (Predators) vs Patrick Sharp (Blackhawks)
Jordan Eberle (Oilers) vs John Tavares (Islanders)

Click here to vote for your favorite players.

Quarterfinalists will be annouced May 11, semifinalists on May 24, and May 29 will mark the final round of voting.

Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

That the White Sox lost their fourth consecutive game doesn’t change the big picture plans of the franchise, which probably — but not definitely — will involve making at least one trade before the end of July.

Before the White Sox lost, 6-5, to the New York Yankees Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field, general manager Rick Hahn met with the media and delivered the same message he’s had since trading away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in December. The White Sox are open for business, and would like to make a number of moves to further bolster their farm system, but won’t make a trade if they don’t receive what they view to be a fair return.

“Would I be surprised (if we didn’t make a trade)? No, because I try not to be surprised by the dynamics of this market,” Hahn said. “Would I be mildly disappointed? Sure. We are here to try to improve this club.

“We feel we have certain first and desirable players that would help other clubs and may fit better on their competitive windows then they do on ours right now. And we intend to be active each day in trying to further accomplish what we set out to do a year ago at this time.

“But do we have to do it? No. That would be using an artificial spot on the calendar to force decision-making. That would be the last thing we need to do. We need to take a long term view of what we are trying to accomplish.”

Hahn didn’t name names, but Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, David Robertson could be short-term fixes for contending clubs. Jose Quintana, who will start Tuesday against the Yankees, remains the team’s most valuable trade chip despite a 4.69 ERA that sits over run higher than his career average.

Frazier homered Monday and entered the game hitting .262/.351/.524 since Memorial Day. Cabrera similarly has found success after a slow start, slashing a healthy .324/.375/.482 in his previous 34 games before picking up two hits in four at-bats Monday. And Robertson, who’s been linked to the relief-starved Washington Nationals for months, has 41 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings with 11 saves.

“We want to be able to do as much as we can in our power to get this team to where it needs to be,” Hahn said. “Yes, there’s an element of competitiveness involved in that. There’s an element of patience involved in that. But at the end of the day, we have to — we get paid to be prudent in our decision making. We have to make the right decision.”

In the meantime, the White Sox looked the part of a rebuilding team with the worst record in the American League on Monday. Starter David Holmberg struggled, allowing six runs on five hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings — but only two of those runs were earned thanks to errors by Holmberg, Frazier and Matt Davidson.

As the Yankees took advantage of those miscues with three runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, Jordan Montgomery retired nine consecutive White Sox batters and went on to cruise with eight strikeouts over seven innings. The White Sox – as they’ve done quite a bit this year – still showed fight late, battling back in the ninth inning.

Tim Anderson ripped a three-run home run in the ninth inning off Yankees left-hander Chasen Shreve to bring the White Sox within two. Joe Girardi quickly turned to Aroldis Chapman, who allowed a run when Jose Abreu doubled home Melky Cabrera. But the tying run was stranded on second when Avisail Garcia grounded out and Frazier flew out to end the game.

Who voted Gar Forman? Executive of the Year conspiracy theories

Who voted Gar Forman? Executive of the Year conspiracy theories

Who voted Gar Forman for the NBA's Executive of the Year award? That's the question on Bulls fans' minds late Monday.

As the Athletic's Sean Highkin tweeted, the Bulls general manager received one vote for the award, sparking speculation from Evanston to Evergreen Park. 

670 The Score's Julie Dicaro had one theory: 

While Locked on Fantasy podcast host believed it was Sam Presti, referencing the midseason Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott trade Gar/Pax made with the Oklahoma City Thunder:

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg went a third route: 

Twitter stays savaging.