Cubs

CSN to carry live coverage of the 2016 NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game on Saturday, Feb. 20

CSN to carry live coverage of the 2016 NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game on Saturday, Feb. 20

 Comcast SportsNet’s “2016 NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game” coverage – featuring Blackhawks legends Denis Savard, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios & many more – takes place Saturday, February 20 at 4:00 PM CT LIVE from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN;

Network to also carry a NEW, half-hour “SportsNet Central: Alumni #HawksTalk” roundtable special with host Pat Boyle and featured guests Denis Savard, Troy Murray, Tony Esposito & Pat Foley on Monday, February 15 at 11:00 PM CT;

Comcast SportsNet & CSNChicago.com to also provide extensive coverage of the Sunday, February 21 “2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series” Blackhawks vs. Wild battle via detailed reports and analysis from Pat Boyle and Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers

Chicago, IL (February 10, 2016) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the defending Stanley Cup champion and current Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks, has announced it will televise the outdoor 2016 NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota LIVE on Saturday, February 20 at 4:00 PM CT.  Legendary alumni from the Blackhawks (including a colorful roster featuring Denis Savard, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios, Steve Konroyd, Jamal Mayers, Troy Murray, Eric Daze, Murray Bannerman and “coaches” Tony Esposito & Pat Foley among others) will team up to battle their counterparts from the Minnesota Wild/Minnesota North Stars (including team legends Mike Modano, Neal Broten, Dino Ciccarelli & many more) in the opening game of the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ weekend.

The 2016 NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game is a co-production by Comcast SportsNet Chicago and FOX Sports North that will feature Wild play-by-play announcer Anthony LaPanta and Wild game analyst Mike Greenlay in the broadcast booth, with Comcast SportsNet’s Blackhawks Pre/Postgame Live host Pat Boyle providing in-game, rink side reports/player interviews from the Blackhawks bench and Kevin Gorg of FOX Sports North handling North Stars/Wild bench reporting/interview duties.

Fans can look forward to a unique viewing experience with numerous players mic’d up during the game (including Blackhawks legend Jeremy Roenick), as well as historical Blackhawks vs. North Stars/Wild “flashbacks” integrated throughout the telecast.  Intermission updates will be on site from TCF Bank Stadium.  NOTE: Comcast SportsNet will be re-airing the 2016 NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game later the same evening at 10:00 PM on CSN+(viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for complete CSN+ channel location details) and again at 12:30 AM on the main Comcast SportsNet channel location.

Throughout the “2016 Coors Lights NHL Stadium Series” weekend, Comcast SportsNet will be presenting extensive coverage of all games and surrounding festivities with up-to-the-minute reports from Pat Boyle (@CSNBoyle) airing on SportsNet Central and via CSNChicago.com’s Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN).  The “2016 Coors Lights NHL Stadium Series” game between the Blackhawks and Wild will be carried live on NBC Sports on Sunday, February 21 with live opening face-off coverage beginning at 2:30 PM.

In advance of the “2016 Coors Lights NHL Stadium Series” weekend, Comcast SportsNet will be providing fans with a brand new special entitled SportsNet Central: Alumni #HawksTalk, airing on Monday, February 15 at 11:00 PM.  This half-hour, roundtable discussion program is hosted by Pat Boyle and will feature special guests Denis Savard, Tony Esposito, Troy Murray, and Pat Foley.  Among the discussion topics will include a preview of the upcoming Alumni Game, along with personal recollections of the top moments from the always-heated Blackhawks/North Stars rivalry.  Comcast SportsNet will also re-air the SportsNet Central: Alumni #HawksTalk special on Thursday, February 18 at 10:30 PM.

Earlier in the day on Monday, February 15, Comcast SportsNet will air a special live United Center remote edition of SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado at 5:30 PM featuring host David Kaplan with a special appearance by Pat Foley and a panel of local hockey experts.  Following the 6:30 PM edition of SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business, fans can look forward to a special guest appearance from Denis Savard on Chevy Blackhawks Pregame Live at 7:00 PM.  Live coverage of the Blackhawks taking on the “Original Six” rival Toronto Maple Leafs gets underway at 7:30 PM.

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

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USA TODAY

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

MESA, Ariz. — “That’s last year, don’t want to talk about that.”

In other words, Addison Russell is so over 2017.

The Cubs shortstop went through a lot last year. He dealt with injuries that affected his foot and shoulder. He had a well-documented off-the-field issue involving an accusation of domestic abuse, which sparked an investigation by Major League Baseball. And then came the trade speculation.

The hot stove season rarely leaves any player completely out of online trade discussion. But after Theo Epstein admitted there was a possibility the Cubs could trade away one or more young position players to bolster the starting rotation, well, Russell’s name came up.

And he saw it.

“There was a lot of trade talk,” Russell said Saturday. “My initial thoughts were, I hope it doesn’t happen, but wherever I go, I’m going to try to bring what I bring to the table here. It’s a good thing that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m happy being in a Cubs uniform, I want to be in a Cubs uniform, for sure. But there was some talk out there. If I got traded, then I got traded, but that’s not the case.”

No, it’s not, as the Cubs solved those pitching questions with free-agent spending, bringing in Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood to replace the departed Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. It means Russell, along with oft-discussed names like Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ and Javy Baez, are all still Cubs.

While the outside world might have expected one of those guys to be moved in some sort of blockbuster trade for Chris Archer or some other All-Star arm, the Cubs’ young core remains intact, another reason why they’re as much a favorite to win the World Series as any team out there.

“I’m really not surprised. The core is still here. Who would want to break that up? It’s a beautiful thing,” Russell said. “Javy and I in the middle. Schwarber, sometimes playing catcher but mainly outfield. And then (Kris Bryant) over there in the hot corner, and of course (Anthony) Rizzo at first. You’ve got a Gold Glover in right field (Jason Heyward). It’s really hard to break that up.

“When you do break that down on paper, we’ve got a lineup that could stack up with the best.”

This winter has been about moving on for Russell, who said he’s spent months working to strengthen his foot and shoulder after they limited him to 110 games last season, the fewest he played in his first three big league campaigns.

And so for Russell, the formula for returning to his 2016 levels of offensive aptitude isn’t a difficult one: stay on the field.

“Especially with the injuries, I definitely wanted to showcase some more of my talent last year than I displayed,” Russell said. “So going into this year, it’s mainly just keeping a good mental — just staying level headed. And also staying healthy and producing and being out there on the field.

“Next step for me, really just staying out there on the field. I really want to see what I can do as far as helping the team if I can stay healthy for a full season. I think if I just stay out there on the field, I’m going to produce.”

While the decrease in being on the field meant lower numbers from a “counting” standpoint — the drop from 21 homers in 2016 to 12 last year, the drop from 95 RBIs to 43 can in part be attributed to the lower number of games — certain rate stats looked different, too. His on-base percentage dropped from .321 in 2016 to .304 last year.

Russell also struggled during the postseason, picking up just six hits in 36 plate appearances in series against the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. He struck out 13 times in 10 postseason games.

Of course, he wasn’t alone. That World Series hangover was team-wide throughout the first half of the season. And even though the Cubs scored 824 runs during the regular season, the second most in the National League and the fourth most in baseball, plenty of guys had their offensive struggles: Schwarber, Heyward and Ben Zobrist, to name a few.

“You can’t take anything for granted. So whenever you win a World Series or you do something good, you just have to live in the moment,” Russell said. “It was a tough season last year because we were coming off winning the World Series and the World Series hangover and all that. This year, we had a couple months off, a couple extra weeks off, and I think a lot of guys took advantage of that. I know I did. And now that we’re here in spring training, we’re going to get back at it.”

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

High School Lites had five matchups between top-25 teams on Friday night as the Public League Playoff semifinals and big matchups in the CSL South, Catholic League Blue and SouthWest Suburban Blue took shape.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Palatine's Eduardo Orozco

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Maine West girls basketball

Highlights

No. 1 Simeon holds off No. 4 Whitney Young

No. 2 Orr gets revenge on No. 3 Curie

No. 9 New Trier takes down No. 6 Evanston

No. 8 Fenwick handles No. 10 Loyola Academy

No. 23 Homewood-Flossmoor rallies past No. 18 Bolingbrook

Oswego East upsets No. 20 Joliet Central

Andrew shuts down Thornridge

Sandburg tops Lockport in OT

Richards runs by Shepard

Maine West captures second straight girls basketball regional title