Preps Talk

Bollig more than just a fighter

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Bollig more than just a fighter

Brandon Bollig usually saves his big smiles for his fights.

But when the Blackhawks bruising forward scored the first goal of his NHL career, and in a playoff game, he was downright beaming.

Bollig obviously isnt here to score goals. But the rookie has been said to have a heck of a wrist shot, and he showed it for his first career tally in Game 2 on Saturday night. It was a great moment for Bollig, who played just over eight minutes and finished a plus-1.

It didnt happen in the regular season and the fact it came in the playoffs and at that time was an amazing feeling, said Bollig of that goal. Ive been hearing from everyone. Im so fresh in the NHL, so its great to see all the activity going on with my phone, people who are happy for me. Its been great.

Bolligs a fighter by nature. Its what brought him up here, not long after the Blackhawks traded big man John Scott to the New York Rangers. And when Bolligs fought, hes been a formidable opponent. Still, the fight options usually diminish during the postseason unless youre playing in the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia series. So his work in Game 2 was proof that Bollig doesnt have to be a one-dimensional player.

I hope so. Thats what Im trying to do, Bollig said about showing more of his game. Obviously what got me here was that enforcer-type role. But what will make me stick is bringing more than that.

Bryan Bickell, whos also known for his wrist shot, was happy for his road roommate.

That was a huge goal for us, and its nice to see that at this time of year, Bickell said. It shows he can play. He had a few (shifts) with us (on the checking line) and had more chances. Hes not just a tough guy. He has a scoring touch.

Bollig does have a shot, but hes still more known for his physical presence. And Bollig will still bring that big presence and be ready if called upon. The way this series is going, as the snark and intensity builds, Bollig could be smiling again for other reasons.

The longer it goes the more heated it gets and the more fun it gets, Bollig said about the series. For me, at least.

92 Days to Kickoff: St. Edward

92 Days to Kickoff: St. Edward

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: St. Edward

Head coach: Mike Rolando

Assistant coaches: Steve McShane, Scot Brockner, Eloy Diaz, Mike Childers, Mike Holte, Tim Wood, Zack McQueen and Andrew Yarwood

How they fared in 2017: 5-4 (2-3 Metro Suburban Blue Conference). St. Edward failed to make the 2017 IHSA state playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Tinley Park

Aug. 31 @ Wheaton Academy

Sept. 7 @ Hope Academy

Sept. 14 vs Elmwood Park

Sept. 21 @ Guerin Prep

Sept. 28 @ Chicago Christian

Oct. 5 vs IC Catholic Prep

Oct. 12 vs Fenton

Oct. 19 vs Ridgewood

[MORE: 93 Days to Kickoff: Westr Aurora

Biggest storyline: Can the Green Wave reload and replace several multi-year starters lost to graduation this spring?

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Nick Wright and WR/DB Sidney Muhammed

Biggest holes to fill: Replacing standout quarterback Dylan Mlinarich will likely be one of the bigger projects for the 'Wave.

EDGY's Early Take: The Green Wave just missed out on the 2017 playoff because of low playoff points and will need to reload come August. Only two starters are back on both sides of the football. Look for St. Edward to get the football into the hands of RB Nick Wright quite a bit. WR Sidney Muhammed will also be another experienced play maker this fall. 

Theo Epstein on Manny Machado rumors: 'It's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at'

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USA TODAY

Theo Epstein on Manny Machado rumors: 'It's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at'

Despite the MLB trade deadline being two months away, rumors of the Cubs potentially acquiring Orioles' shortstop Manny Machado have intensifed recently. Regardless, Cubs president Theo Epstein made his point on the rumor frenzy quite clear Thursday.

"I can say with regards to this particular spasm of media frenzy, it is outrageously outsized when you compare it to the reality of the situation," Epstein said Thursday on 670 The Score.

Machado is having an unbelievable season with the Orioles, hitting .328 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs entering Thursday. If traded, he would undoubtedly provide a boost to any ballclub, but that is a big "if."

Of course, the MLB season is not even two months old yet, which Epstein pointed out as being a big factor in the situation.

"It's May," he said. "We're still figuring out who we are as a team this year. We're still figuring out our place in the division.

"There's an atypical amount of trade discussion in May this year, which is essentially nil."

Rumors of the Cubs being a potential player in acquiring Machado make sense. At 15-34, the Orioles have the worst winning percentage (.306) in the MLB. With their current positioning, trading Machado could start a rebuild that the Orioles might just need. The Cubs have a 24-year-old shortstop in Addison Russell that the Orioles could acquire to a) replace Machado and b) use as the face of their rebuild.

Be that as it may, Epstein said the rumors are something that the Cubs are "just rolling our eyes at."

"I understand it's natural for people to connect the dots and there to be this kind of frenzy from time to time, but it's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at," he said. "It's not like July, where every now and then there's lots of coverage on deals that are actually being discussed or actually might happen.

"This one is just out there in fantasy land at this point."