Your Desolate Sports Morning Links: Haynesworth & Donny Mac, Deion & Dez, Plax, Sixers Sale, and Vokoun

Your Desolate Sports Morning Links: Haynesworth & Donny Mac, Deion & Dez, Plax, Sixers Sale, and Vokoun

So, it's midsummer, and the Midsummer Classic is behind us, which can only mean one thing. There's no sports today. Nada. I'm on vacation as I often am when the All-Star Game rolls around, so it's decent timing for me, except that I usually like to spend these few days reading up on the next NFL season in preparation for dominating my fantasy football league. With the lockout still in place and free agency yet to have its way with the current league reality, it hardly seems worth the effort yet.

But two full days without any live local sporting action are underway, so we'll get our Wednesday programming started with some stories of interest from around the Webs this morning. On the docket for today: The Sixers sale could happen very soon, reports on the future of McNabb and Haynesworth in DC, Plax's game of Mad Libs, Deion's Dez diss, Conlin declares WAR, and the "market" for Tomas Vokoun.

Let's start with the Skins. Jason La Canfora of NFL.com is reporting that Washington will try to land some big targets in free agency. Someone needs to overpay a few guys they should probably stay away from, right? Of course, that will likely mean a few possible bidding wars with the Eagles, who were long ago predicted to be a big spender once the market opens. Also of interest in Jason's story is that the Skins will attempt to trade Albert Haynesworth and probably release Donovan McNabb, two of the bigger off-season acquisition busts in a franchise with a solid recent history of them. They'll want to try to get something for Haynesworth and keep him from heading up 95, but finding a team without Jim Washburn on its welcoming committee to trade for his contract will have its challenges. When FA does open though, remember the names of Haynesworth and McNabb when looking around the league at sure-fire team-improvers. [NFL.com, via Rotoworld]

Elsewhere in the NFC East, it seems Deion Sanders has given up on Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, although not given up talking about him. Note to NFL players who are still, ya know, playing: Give up on Deion before he tries to keep his name in the headlines by attaching it to yours. Unless you play for Dallas, in which case, feel free to keep this little carousel moving right along. [ESPN]

You remember all those nice things Plaxico Burress said about joining the Eagles? Remember Mad Libs? NFL.com has a good version where "Chicago Bears" been substituted for "Philadelphia Eagles" in the "NFL team" field. [NFL.com]

The sale of the Sixers to a few business school All-Stars is close to being finalized, says Bob Cooney of the Daily News. [philly.com]

Bill Conlin throws a grenade at Ryan Howard haters and the SABR community at large. Then he throws five more for good measure. [philly.com]

One of the more interesting stories of the NHL free agency signing frenzy was that it didn't include goalie Tomas Vokoun, who ultimately received no initial offers and finally settled on a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Washington Capitals. While the match could make a true Cup contender out of an already very good team, Vokoun seems to have been hoping for a better financial reward for his many years of notable netminding. That he turned down a three-year deal prior to July 1 is telling of the disparity between market expectations and reality. [Puck Daddy]

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Just shoot! Jakub Voracek quiets many with his heroics

Just shoot! Jakub Voracek quiets many with his heroics

BOX SCORE

Jakub Voracek had dead aim, at least that’s what the score sheet confirmed Tuesday following the Flyers' 3-2 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens (see observations).

Two shots on net. Two shots that found a way past Carey Price.

Even though the NHL’s assist leader has more shots on net than Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, Voracek hears the voices that say he passes up on quality scoring opportunities. 

One prime example came with 30 seconds remaining in the second period. Claude Giroux forced a takeaway and fed Voracek on a 2-on-0 prime scoring chance, but it resulted in Voracek sending a pass back to Giroux when perhaps he should have shot.

“It’s always easier to say we’re over-passing things,” Voracek said. “If you’re on the ice, the actual situation looks completely different. I hear ‘shoot the puck’ every single time I touch it. If I listened to all the people who say shoot the puck, I’d have 500 shots at the end of the season.”

However, Voracek shot the puck when it mattered most. With the Flyers trailing, 2-1, Dave Hakstol pulled goaltender Alex Lyon for the extra attacker Voracek, who took a shot from the top of the right circle that deflected off the stick of Max Pacioretty and past Price for the game-tying goal, and then buried the game-winner 1:26 into overtime (see highlights).

When asked if he caught Price by surprise on the equalizer, Voracek responded: “Me shooting? 100 percent. I just tried to hide behind the D and I got lucky and it went in.”

“It’s one of those nights when you had a lot of really good scoring opportunities and we weren’t able to cash in on them,” Hakstol said. “It’s nice to get a bounce like that with a minute and a half to go to tie it up.”

For the game, the Flyers had 79 shot attempts to Montreal’s 55. Thankfully for the Flyers, No. 79 was Voracek’s game-winner, which came at the end of his 56-second shift. Had he missed the net and been forced to play defense at the other end of the ice, there may not have been much left in the tank.     

“I was pretty tired,” Voracek said. “I’d rather have it like that. If I had missed the net, I’d have to stay on the ice and try to backcheck after, so I got lucky.”

Voracek became the second player in franchise history to score a game-tying goal in the final two minutes of regulation, and then follow it up with an overtime game-winner. Moving forward, the Flyers may need Voracek to shoot and score more with the recent injury to Wayne Simmonds, who will miss the next two to three weeks with an upper-body injury (see story).

To make matters worse, Flyers top-line winger Travis Konecny may have suffered a foot injury after taking a shot off his skate in the opening period (see video). Konecny never left the game but labored playing short, limited shifts, and wasn’t on the ice with Sean Couturier and Ivan Provorov to begin the overtime session.

“He obviously got hit with the puck there, but he finished the game and that’s part of the game,” Hakstol said. “He was obviously sore through the rest of the game, but I give him credit, he continued to battle through to do everything that he could.”

Less than 24 hours after the Flyers acquired Petr Mrazek from the Detroit Red Wings to solidify the goaltending position, Alex Lyon turned in another solid effort with 25 saves on 27 shots, beating perennial All-Stars Henrik Lundqvist and Carey Price in back-to-back victories.

“Yeah, it’s cool obviously to play against those guys,” Lyon said. “You watch them and you try to model your game after them. Obviously, they’re fantastic. In the same breath, you've got to go out there and say, ‘I’m coming out here to be better than you today.’”  

“It’s always nice to have some clarity,” Hakstol said. “I think Alex said it best after the game in New York the other day — it’s an ever-changing business. You just have to be ready and prepared for what the next day brings. He pretty much lived by his words.”

Notables
• Simmonds' streak of 223 consecutive games played ended Tuesday night. It marked the first game Simmonds has missed dating back to April 11, 2015.

• For the third straight game, the Flyers weren’t forced to utilize their penalty kill at any point, becoming the second team in NHL history to go three games without allowing a power-play opportunity.

• Forward Oskar Lindblom made his NHL debut Tuesday night, replacing the injured Simmonds in the Flyers' lineup. Lindblom finished the game with 15:11 of ice time and one shot on net.