Bulls

Bears, Cubs making the world a better place

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Bears, Cubs making the world a better place

A late Bears practice Friday means a chance to get in some more cycling training miles for the special 100-mile Wrigley Field Road Tour coming up Aug. 19, the day after the Bears host the Washington Redskins in preseason.

(Cmon, whaddya mean, No way! Youve still go three weeks to train.)

The whole thing, which starts at Wrigley Field at 8 a.m. benefits two excellent endeavors. One is Chicago Cubs Charities, which helps Chicago youth with funding of youth sports programs, parks, schools and open spaces. In the past, buddies like Mike Adamle from Channel 5 and other notables have rolled, and it's a blast.

Cubs Charities supports a number of other charities, said Todd Ricketts, brother of Cubs chief Tom and owner of the Higher Gear bike shops. Its really all about the kids so there are things like the new Childrens Hospital and a baseball field with Kerry Wood.

And the other, World Bicycle Relief, provides bikes to Africa. But not just any bikes. These are specially built heavies that are designed for transport of people, cargo, livestock, whatever.

The reason for these is that getting from point to point in Africa is a huge challenge, a reason why kids cant always get to school, people cant get to medical services, all of that.

The issue was is there a way we can provide bikes that alleviate the burden, help a couple of hundred people and not break down, said Ricketts, who will be riding as well.

Some buddies will ride these bikes in the event in a special statement. The ride flips up north of Waukegan and heads back to Wrigley.

Check out the registration arrangements and also what this is really all about -- on WorldBicycleRelief.org. Registration is 100 plus raising another 400 for the kids. You get a T-shirt, lunch catered by Harry Carays Restaurant, and the post-ride party at Wrigley thatll have live music, food and drink.

Now, if youll excuse me, I have to got get some more miles in.

Bulls Outsiders Podcast: Reaction to season opening loss to Hornets

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Bulls Outsiders Podcast: Reaction to season opening loss to Hornets

On this edition of Bulls Outsiders, Matt Peck, Dave Watson, and John Sabine react to the Bulls 126-125 loss to the Hornets on opening night.

0:45 - Welcome to season 2 of Outsiders

2:20 - On Bulls blowing a 10 point lead w just over 6 minutes left

5:10 - On Boylen’s rotations in the 4th quarter

7:50 - On Lauri Markkanen’s performance, lack of touches down the stretch

9:40 - Viewer comment on the loss

11:05 - Viewer comment on Coby and Dunn in 2nd unit

13:00 - Viewer comment on negative reaction to LaVine- Matt gets fired up

16:10 - On Coby White and his rookie debut

18:45 - Viewer comment on White not playing down the stretch

20:40 - Viewer comment on Markkanen and all-star chances

23:20 - Our bold predictions for the upcoming season

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Are the Blackhawks preparing to keep Kirby Dach on NHL roster?

Are the Blackhawks preparing to keep Kirby Dach on NHL roster?

The Blackhawks will eventually have a decision to make on No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach, whose clock is officially ticking after he made his NHL debut over the weekend and scored his first goal in his second game two nights later.

The Blackhawks, as we know, can give Dach up to nine NHL games before having to decide whether they want to burn the first year of his entry-level contract. Whether he makes it past nine games or not, if the Blackhawks don't feel like he's pro ready for the full season, the only other option for the team is to send Dach back to the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL because he's not eligible to play in the AHL full-time this season due to CHL rules.

That being said, it appears the Blackhawks are at least preparing for the possibility that Dach could be kept on the NHL roster beyond the nine-game tryout this season.

TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Wednesday on NBCSN that: "You don't have to make a decision on this right now, so Stan Bowman and the Chicago Blackhawks won't, but if you twisted their arm and said you do have to make a decision, I think they're definitely leaning towards this guy being an NHL player this season."

The roster move the Blackhawks made earlier in the day indicates the organization is making sure it can afford Dach's services in case he does stay the whole season.

Connor Murphy was placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) Wednesday with a groin injury, which means he'll be sidelined for a minimum of 10 games and 24 days. By putting him on LTIR instead of regular injured reserve, the Blackhawks get some cap relief and that’s noteworthy when you factor in Dach's potential performance bonuses that could reach up to $2.5 million.

When Dach was activated and recalled, the Blackhawks exceeded the 7.5 percent cushion in total amount of potential performance bonuses by $595,000, according to Cap Friendly. That number was then applied to the cap, which put the Blackhawks near the upper limit. So every dollar counts, considering the bonus money rolls over to next season's salary cap if there isn’t enough financial space at the end of the season to absorb the hits.

The other noteworthy item from McKenzie's report: The Blackhawks aren't too worried about burning the first year of Dach's entry-level contract. They're more-so looking ahead to the 40-game mark, which would put him one year closer to becoming an unrestricted free agent — a player must be 27 or older as of June 30 or accrue seven seasons to become a UFA, and hitting 40 games counts as a full season if they're on the NHL roster, injured or not.

The Blackhawks have said all along that there's no set plan on Dach's future and his performance will dictate what's going to happen. But the team is prepared for every scenario, and that includes keeping him past the nine-game tryout and 40-game benchmark.

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