Morning Skate 124: Ovi abandons the All-Stars


Morning Skate 124: Ovi abandons the All-Stars

Vancouver has put a ban on body checks in recreational hockey for kids up until the age of 19 years old. I kid you not.

The Pro Hockey Talk Boys discuss Alex Ovechkin potentially skipping the All-Star game a stance that he has apparently confirmed while sitting out with a three-game suspension.

An interesting TSN interview with Michael Farber and Ken Hitchcock about his upbringing and his coaching style.

The USA Today drops some of the latest numbers, statistics and anecdotes when it comes to concussions in the NHL.

Mike Felger calls Tim Thomas a small-minded chump for skipping out on the White House visit, and its really not a stretch to suppose he could get traded if the booing is bad enough at TD Garden.

Stu Hackel of Sports Illustrated has a nice round-up of several columns discussing the Tim Thomas decision to skip the White House. No, I didnt just include this because he links to my column.

Tom Renneys future may be in doubt as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, but its not something hes going to obsess about. I was very impressed with him in my short dealings with the affable hockey coach.

For something completely different: George Lucas says hell only be making independent films moving forward. Why couldnt he have decided this before he created Jar-Jar Binks?

New photos show Sandoval has lost weight


New photos show Sandoval has lost weight

The last time a bunch of pictures of Pablo Sandoval made headlines, it was not a good sign for the Red Sox. The latest batch isn’t so bad. 

Sandoval became the story of spring training this season when photos -- specifically a Boston Globe one of him throwing -- revealed he’d gained significant weight. The veteran third baseman was surpassed by Travis Shaw for the starting job and began the season as a bench player. 

After three regular-season games, Sandoval was put on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. He was then shut down for the season in May due to shoulder surgery. 

In a tweet and story posted by FC Barcelona, a smiling -- and noticeably thinner -- Sandoval could be seen attending the club’s final training session. 

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.

Obama’s Super Bowl pick: Patriots over Seahawks, again


Obama’s Super Bowl pick: Patriots over Seahawks, again

Tom Brady didn’t go to the White House after the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks, but the President thinks the Pats will be visiting 1600 Pensylvania Ave. again to be welcomed by President Trump (does that mean Brady goes?) or Clinton in the spring of 2017.

In an interview on Sirus/XM Radio with Sway Calloway, Obama sees a Pats-Seahawks rematch in Super Bowl 51. And if he were a betting man, he’d be going with New England, again. 

“I’ve got to say at this point, you have to put your money on Brady again,” Obama said. “I don’t see any strong teams. Seattle and Patriots have a rematch. That’s my call.”

Obama and the nation will get a preview of his pick on Week 10 at Gillette Stadium when the Pats host the Seahawks.

Oh, and the President likes the Golden State Warriors, particularly with the addition of Kevin Durant, to reclaim the NBA title.