Word on the Street: Bears eyeing Boise State WR

Word on the Street: Bears eyeing Boise State WR

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
CSNChicago.com
Bears eyeing Boise State WR

The Bears will apparently be attempting to sure up their receiving corps in next month's NFL draft. According to an "NFL source," the Bears put Boise State wide receiver Austin Pettis through a private workout on Tuesday. Pettis is 6'2" and weighs in at 209 lbs, making him bigger than any of the Bears' current wide receivers with the exception of Andy Fantuz.

Last season with the Broncos, Pettis caught 71 passes for 951 yards and 10 touchdowns. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Yang found guilty

A jury has found Marni Yang guilty of the 2007 murder of the pregnant girlfriend of ex-Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle. After an 11-day trial, jurors deliberated for only four hours before returning the guilty verdict.

Of course I have regrets, the fact that Rhoni is not here and we do not have a 3-year-old daughter, Gayle said. At least I feel Rhoni and the baby are at peace. (Chicago Tribune)

Obama fills out bracket

It's that time of year again; March Madness. And at the White house, that means it's time for President Obama to fill out his brackets. This year, Obama picked all four one-seeds to advance to the final four. The rest of his bracket will be revealed wednesday.

In the women's tournament, Obama predicted Baylor, UConn, Stanford, and Tennessee to advance to the final four. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Soccer player beaten into breaking contract?

Nikola Nikezic, a Russian soccer player, claims that he was beaten into breaking his contract with his former team in the Russian Premier League. Nikezic, who played for Kuban Krasnodar, sent a letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter detailing the alleged event. He says he was beaten by two armed men over a period of about 20 minutes in an attempt to make him terminate his contract with the club. A team spokesman called the claim "pure idiocy." (USA Today)

Gavin Floyd pitches simulated game

The Chicago White Sox enjoyed an off day on Tuesday; except for Gavin Floyd. Floyd threw an 83-pitch simulated game in front of Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who said that Floyd had an "outstanding day." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

NHL cracking down on charging, boarding

The NHL, like other professional sports organizations, are looking to crack down on excessive contact in an attempt to prevent concussions. In the second day of meetings between league general managers, the league stated that it would be seeking stricter penalties for charging and boarding calls. However, they stopped short of completely banning all head shots. (NHL.com)

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will Gar Forman's plan work?

campayne.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will Gar Forman's plan work?

On the latest edition of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, David Kaplan is joined by Rick Telander (Chicago Sun-Times) and Mark Carman (WGN Radio) to talk Bulls. 

The panel breaks down the trade with Oklahoma City and question whether the team is better or worse now. 

Later, the guys talk about the Blackhawks' trade for Tomas Jurco and also break down the upcoming Daytona 500. Finally, Telander discusses his five-part series chronicling the Orr High School basketball team as they excel on the court and try to survive off it. 

Listen to the SportsTalk Live Podcast below. 

Blackhawks acquire Tomas Jurco from Red Wings

Blackhawks acquire Tomas Jurco from Red Wings

General manager Stan Bowman saw the potential in Tomas Jurco several years ago.

For the 24-year-old forward, it wasn’t working out with the Detroit Red Wings. Perhaps a change of scenery, an opportunity on a team that could vie for another Stanley Cup, makes a difference. The Blackhawks are about to find out.

The Blackhawks acquired Jurco for a third-round pick in this year’s draft on Friday afternoon. The 24-year-old Jurco has played in 16 games with the Red Wings this season but has yet to collect a point. In four seasons with the Wings, Jurco had 15 goals and 24 assists in 159 games. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press that, “things haven’t worked out” for Jurco there and that he wanted to go elsewhere.

Jurco was on a bye as a member of the Red Wings but, now that he’s with the Blackhawks, the bye ends. Bowman was hopeful Jurco would join the Blackhawks at practice on Saturday. Also, to clear a roster spot for Jurco, the Blackhawks reassigned Vinnie Hinostroza to the Rockford IceHogs.

[RELATED: Nick Schmaltz gaining confidence, effectiveness with Blackhawks]

Bowman said he’s been watching Jurco for a few seasons now.

“We’ll be patient with him but we really think there’s a good fit there, looking at his skills and the style of hockey we play,” Bowman said. “He’s been an accomplished player at a lot of different levels. He’s shown flashes in the NHL, not as consistently as he or the Wings would like, but you can see the talent and potential. You have to have some patience with these guys. It doesn’t always come together right away. I’m not expecting him to carry our team but I think he can contribute.”

It was an under-the-radar trade for Bowman but that’s not surprising. In late January, Bowman said he probably wouldn’t do much at the trade deadline; he liked how the Blackhawks’ young players were progressing and figured, if that continued, the team would be in good shape. Since then the Blackhawks have won eight of their last nine and are just three points behind the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Wild. As the Blackhawks kept winning it looked like, if they did anything, it would be a depth move.

So will there be any more moves? At this point it doesn’t seem likely, be it on forward or defense – Bowman didn’t have an update on Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) but said he’s happy with the depth in Chicago and Rockford on defense. Bowman said he’ll keep talking but, “but it’s a little bit different than in previous years when I thought we definitely needed something and were lacking in an area.”

“I’ve had a feeling about our team, not just recently but even a month ago. I liked the way this group was starting to come together,” Bowman said. “We’ve seen that enhanced over the last couple of week here. We’ve seen players step up, [Nick] Schmaltz in particular. [Ryan] Hartman’s been good all year. We’ve seen Jonathan [Toews] become a dominant player again. It gives your team a confidence that you have balance, scoring in different lines. We just added a young player to help us now as well as in the future. There’s a lot to be excited about. I’m not expecting more trades. I can’t predict more will happen but I have a good feeling about this group right now.”