Sharks' Pavelski named finalist for NHL award


Sharks' Pavelski named finalist for NHL award


San Jose -The San Jose chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association announced today that San Jose Sharks centerJoe Pavelski has been selected as its 2011 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season under the trusteeship of the PHWA to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.After being selected in the seventh-round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by San Jose, Pavelski has blossomed into an extremely important part of the Sharks team. Without possessing great size or a special skill set, Pavelski has endeared himself to Sharks fans, bringing dedication, a work ethic and hockey smarts every night to the rink. His determination to be an elite NHL player caught the eyes of the U.S. selection committee who chose Pavelski to compete for his country in the 2010 Olympic Games where he helped team USA earn a silver medal.This season -- despite missing 10 games with a lower body injury and playing through pain in many others -- Pavelski has cemented his role as someone Sharks coach Todd McLellan trusts in any and all situations. He has set career highs in points (65) and assists (46) and has affectionately earned the nickname the Big Pavelski.Off the ice, he gives back to both the game he plays as well as his adopted community of San Jose.The 26-year-old, Plover, Wisconsin native has become an investor in the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League, part of the U.S. development programs feeder network. At the start of this season, he also donated significant dollars for the construction of a street hockey rink at the elementary school closest to the Sharks practice site in a lower-income San Jose neighborhood.The Masterton Trophy winner is selected from a poll of the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season and a 2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the winner.The PHWA first presented the Masterton Trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited to a high degree, the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Masterton died Jan. 15, 1968 following an injury suffered in a game.Former Shark Tony Granato received the award in 1997. Courtesy San Jose Sharks media services

Steve Kerr updates Jordan Bell's status

Steve Kerr updates Jordan Bell's status

Jordan Bell likely envisioned a longer debut at the United Center. 

The Chicago Bulls traded the pick used to select Bell to the Golden State Warriors for cash considerations, and Bell's taken plenty of chances to remind the Bulls to remind them of that fact. 

Instead of getting another chance to rub it in, Bell injured his left ankle 24 seconds in to Golden State's 119-112 win over Chicago on Wednesday. On Thursday, Bell and the Warriors learned the results of his MRI, and it's not as bad as the team first feared, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

"Well, it seemed a lot worse at the time when it happened. Everyone kind of thought he had a broken a bone just based on his reaction [and] what he was telling us," Steve Kerr told Damon Bruce on 95.7 The Game.  "But the MRI was pretty good this morning. Nothing glaring. 

"The X-ray was fine yesterday. So it doesn't appear to be more than a bone bruise but bone bruises can be tricky to heal, so we'll see what happens. But so far, the news has all been good."

Bell has emerged as a bench contributor in his first NBA season. In 38 games, he's averaging 5.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 14.4 minutes.

Two Warriors named All-Star Game starters


Two Warriors named All-Star Game starters

After sending four players to the NBA All-Star Game last season in New Orleans, the Warriors are halfway to repeating the feat this season.

Point guard Stephen Curry and small forward Kevin Durant were voted in as Western Conference starters for the game scheduled for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the NBA announced on Thursday.

Though Curry has missed 15 games -- nearly one-third of the season -- it has not hurt his popularity; His No. 30 is the NBA’s best-selling jersey for the third straight season. He is averaging team-leading 27.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds, and 1.65 steals per game.

Curry is the first member of the Warriors to be named a starter for five consecutive All-Star games. As the player with the most fan votes, Curry becomes a captain and is in position to select the members of his team.

Durant, who has missed eight games this season, was named as a starter for the sixth time, the first four coming when he was a member of the Thunder.

Durant is averaging 26.2 points (fifth in the league) 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.05 blocks (fourth in the league) per game.