Every NHL Draft brings out the next wave of NHL stars as they learn where their career will begin. It also brings out the top executives from each of the league's 30 teams.
In addition to Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks brass in Pittsburgh for the 2012 draft, there was a significant Chicago flavor in the arena that Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune couldn't ignore.
Former Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon just completed his first year as GM of the Florida Panthers. Meanwhile, ex-assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is now the GM of the Winnipeg Jets and former assistant GM Marc Bergevin is getting ready to begin his first season as GM of the Montreal Canadiens.
"It's the American (Hockey) League of GMs," Bergevin told Kuc. "They start in Chicago, and then they move up."
"It's a top-notch organization," Cheveldayoff told Kuc. "(With President John McDonough and Chairman Rocky Wirtz,) I can't say enough about what a class organization that is."
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Don't be fooled by Tarik Cohen's height. He has towering confidence and he's setting up to have a big role in coach Matt Nagy's offense in 2018.
“On a scale of 1-10, the dangerous level is probably 12,” Cohen said Thursday at Halas Hall about the impact he can have in the Bears' new system. “Because in backyard football, it’s really anything goes, and it’s really whoever gets tired first, that’s who’s going to lose. I’m running around pretty good out here, so I feel like I’m doing a good job.”
Cohen proved last season he can thrive in space. He made an impact as a runner, receiver and return man and will have a chance at an even bigger workload this fall, assuming he can handle it.
With Jordan Howard established as the starting running back, Cohen knows his touches will come in a variety of ways.
“It might not necessarily be rushes,” he said. “But it’s going to be all over the field, and that’s what I like to do. Any way I can get the ball or make a play for my team, that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”
Cohen averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry as a rookie and led all NFL running backs in the percentage of carries that went for at least 15 yards. He's a big play waiting to happen.
Howard can't get too comfortable in his first-team role. He's a few bad series from Cohen unseating him as the starter and becoming the most valuable weapon in Nagy's offense. The first-year coach is already having trouble hiding his excitement over Cohen, an emotion that will only grow once training camp gets underway.
It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.
Sosa is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.
Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th.
Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.
The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.
Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.