Capitals

Manny Fernandez to enter Dolphins' Walk of Fame

Manny Fernandez to enter Dolphins' Walk of Fame

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) Standing side by side were two men who both played defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins, but in different eras, which is why Manny Fernandez found himself looking up to Tim Bowens.

The 6-foot Fernandez played at 250 pounds in the 1970s and now weighs a svelte 205. The 6-foot-4 Bowens played at 325 pounds a decade ago and looks it.

``What makes you think the game has changed?'' Fernandez said with a laugh.

Fernandez and Bowens are among six former players to be inducted into the Dolphins' Walk of Fame, the team announced Wednesday. Joining them in a ceremony before Sunday's game against Jacksonville will be quarterbacks Earl Morrall and Don Strock, receiver Nat Moore and former defensive end A.J. Duhe.

Fernandez played with the Dolphins from 1968-75 and was a member of their Super Bowl championship teams in 1972 and 1973. Morrall (1972-76) also won Super Bowl rings, and Strock (1974-87), Moore (1974-86) and Duhe (1977-84) played on Super Bowl teams.

Bowens (1994-2004) helped Miami reach the playoffs seven times, but that sort of success now seems long ago.

The Dolphins (5-8) are on the verge of their fourth consecutive losing season. But the team led by first-year coach Joe Philbin and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill does show signs of progress, the Walk of Fame newcomers agreed.

``This team isn't rebuilding. They're building,'' Duhe said. ``You can only rebuild something that has been built before. This team hasn't had a built structure or been a state of the art franchise in a long time. But I like the direction of the team.''

Strock, a mentor for Dan Marino, said Tannehill provides the Dolphins with a solid foundation.

``They have a bright future,'' he said. ``They have a young quarterback who I think is going to be a star in the league. They're missing a few components, but I don't think they're that far from getting there.''

The Walk of Fame was established in 2011, and the first honorees included retired coach Don Shula and the eight former Dolphins players who are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Get to know newest Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny

michal-kempny-blackhawks-usati.png
USA Today Sports Images

Get to know newest Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny

On Monday, with the NHL trade deadline approaching, the Washington Capitals addressed a need for blue line depth by acquiring Michal Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

But before you begin to analyze how the move impacts the Capitals' outlook heading forward, lets take some time to get to know the newest member of the Caps.

Who is Michal Kempny?

Michal Kempny is a 27-year-old defenseman from the Czech Republic. He was born on Sept. 8, 1990 in Hodonin, a small town in southwestern Czech Republic near the border of Austria and Slovakia. Kempny began his hockey career playing for SHK Hodonin. Kempny knew very little english upon arriving to the NHL, but credited his girlfriend Showtime shows to helping him become more comfortable speaking the language. 

RELATED: UPDATED NHL POWER RANKINGS

What International Experience Does Michal Kempny Have?

Michal Kempny played professionally for HC Kometa Brno of the Czech Extraliga and Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. Kempny was a standout player on the international stage, playing for the Czech Republic U18, U20 and Men's National teams.

MORE ON THE TRADE: WHERE DOES KEMPNY FIT IN THE CAPS ROSTER

When Did Michal Kempny Make His NHL Debut?

Michal Kempny was signed to a one-year contract as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks in May, 2016 and made his NHL debut in October, 2016. Kempny scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 30, 2016 against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. Kempny appeared in 50 games for the Blackhawks during the 2016-17 season, recording two goals and six assists. The Blackhawks re-signed Kempny to a one-year extension during the offseason. Kempny played in 31 games this season before being traded to the Capitals.

What Type of Hockey Player is Michal Kempny?

Kempny is a 6-0, 194-pound defenseman with a strong left-handed shot. Known for his play on the offensive end, Kempny was never able to gain the trust of Joel Quenneville on the defensive end. But Kempny has a good bit of offensive upside, thanks to his passing skills and strong shot, which is why the Blackhawks took a flier on him in the first place and why he was an ideal trade candidate for the Capitals. But again, Kempny's size is less than ideal for a top-tier blue-liner and while he doesn't shy away from contact, he is rarely much of a physical presence. 

What Does Michal Kempny's Contract Look Like?

Michael Kempny is set to become an unrestricted free agent the the end of the 2017-18 season and has a cap hit of just $900,000.

RELATED: TROTZ REACTS TO RACIAL COMMENTS MADE BY CHICAGO FANS

Quick Links

Its Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

Its Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE