Bulls

Burish's idea develops into Champs for Charity game

917637.png

Burish's idea develops into Champs for Charity game

Adam Burish had an idea.

The former Blackhawks winger was missing hockey a lot, missing his 2010 Stanley Cup champion teammates more. For Burish, it was simple: nothing going on right now, so why not get a bunch of players together, including 2010 Cup teammates, play a game and do it for charity?

On Oct. 26, that idea is slated to come to fruition.

Most of the 2010 Blackhawks and other players around the league, including Bobby Ryan, Ryan Suter and Jack Johnson, will play in the Champs for Charity exhibition game on Oct. 26 at AllState Arena. Proceeds from the game will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana.

It was an idea that Blackhawks players past and present embraced immediately.

You want to be a part of it, said former Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell, who still lives in Chicago in the offseason. For us, its great to be able to be involved with it. Its great of Adam to start it up and lift it off. When Adam has an idea, its always first class. It wont be a legit game with hitting and everything, but its nice to get out there for the cause.

So far, currentpast Blackhawks slated to play are Burish, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager, Brian Campbell, Dave Bolland, Jake Dowell, James Wisniewski, John Madden, Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg.

Patrick Kane was originally not on the roster, as he was set to sign with a European team. But between the charity game and the hope that NHLNHLPA negotiations will yield a new deal, Kane decided to stay and play in the Oct. 26 exhibition.

When Burish first had the idea, he sent out a mass email to about 25 fellow players. He said he got responses from 10-12 of them in the first hour, so he got on the phone with agent Bill Zito and set the game wheels in motion.

I told Zito, All these guys are in. Lets work on this. They all wanted to help out, have a good game, and it all came together pretty quick, Burish said. We get the best of both worlds: we give back to a good cause and get a game with your best buddies together. Its a no-brainer.

Players were ready to play and give to the great cause.

As busy as we are during the regular season, traveling all over the place, we dont get to do as much hands-on charity work as wed like in Chicago. So playing this game would be a good opportunity to do that, Toews said. Well go out there, have some fun and give the fans what they want.

Ducks winger Ryan was added to the roster late Wednesday. Others slated to play are Al Montoya, Mike Brown, Alex Goligoski, Tom Gilbert, Ville Leino and Jared Boll.

Tickets range from 10, 15, 30 and 60 levels. There are also 100 500 VIP tickets, which include a glass seat, an event jersey, and a pregame meet-and-greet with the players from 6 to 6:45 p.m. All tickets can be purchased now through www.ticketmaster.com.

It was an idea that took shape quickly. And its developing into a game that will bring back 2010 Cup memories, help those who need it and provide that hockey fix.

We want to give fans who are starving for hockey something fun to watch, Burish said. People are going to be excited watching this game. The Ronald McDonald House (charities) are doing this first class. Its going to be as close to a hockey game as is going on anywhere close by. So people can be excited bout that.

Report: Bulls possibly interested in adding Jrue Holiday?

jrue.jpg
USA TODAY

Report: Bulls possibly interested in adding Jrue Holiday?

According to a story by Sporting News NBA writer Sean Deveney, the Bulls may be looking for help in the form of one of the NBA’s better two-way players.

In the post, Deveney goes over the most salient points made by brand new New Orleans Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin. This included the fact that Griffin stated that Pels head coach Alvin Gentry will be back and that Jrue Holiday is considered “a franchise building block”.

This could be a bit of gamesmanship from Griffin, hoping to drive up the asking price for an All-Star caliber player such as Holiday.

But Deveney suggests that New Orleans may indeed be serious about their efforts to keep building with Holiday on the roster. Deveney stated, “if the Pelicans don't trade Holiday, it will set up the team for an attempt at a fast turnaround rather than a long, slogging rebuild......It will also frustrate teams looking for a versatile point guard in his prime, hoping that Holiday would be on the block.”

Phoenix was mentioned as the “top contender” for Holiday’s services should he be made available, as the Suns are one of the few teams with an obvious hole at PG. Along with the Suns, Chicago and Orlando were the other teams listed as having interest in Holiday. The Magic completed a low-risk trade during the 2018-19 season that landed them 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, so they may not be inclined to give up solid assets in a deal.

As far as the Bulls are concerned, any serious inquires on Holiday are likely to come after the May 14 NBA Draft lottery.

Depending on where the Bulls lottery pick ends up, the Pelicans could be much more inclined to make a deal with the Chicago front office. The Pelicans ended the season tied with Memphis and Dallas for the 7th spot in the draft lottery odds, and their specific organizational goals could make moving up in the draft order worth losing a valuable player like Jrue Holiday. And for the Bulls, nabbing a player like Holiday helps build onto the positive team culture that Jim Boylen wants to establish and gives the Bulls a perfect guard to pair in the backcourt with Zach LaVine.

Yu Darvish still searching for results, but maintains he's on the cusp of putting it all together

Yu Darvish still searching for results, but maintains he's on the cusp of putting it all together

Yu Darvish accomplished something Saturday he has never done in a Cubs uniform — he pitched at least 5 innings in three straight starts for the first time since signing that $126 million deal more  than 14 months ago.

That's not exactly an indicator that Darvish will be contending for the National League Cy Young this season, but it's certainly a step in the right direction from his previous 10 starts in Chicago.

Darvish lasted just 5 innings in Saturday's 6-0 loss to the Diamondbacks, needing 88 pitches to get through those frames before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning. 

He retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced, including a pair of strikeouts to end his last inning. 

Does he feel like he's still moving forward?

"I think so, especially that last inning," Darvish said. "The fifth inning — mentally — was very good. It's good for next start."

The end line Saturday wasn't great — 5 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts, 2 homers — but he kept his team in the ballgame after giving up back-to-back homers to the second and third hitters of the afternoon.

He was still hitting 96 mph in the fifth inning and acknowledged he could've easily gone another inning if the Cubs weren't trailing 3-0 when his spot in the batting order came up.

"The fastball velocity came up as the game was going on, the breaking ball got sharper," Joe Maddon said. "...They got him quickly and then [Zack] Greinke pitched so well. I thought keeping it at 3, which Yu did do, and that's really not a bad thing after the beginning of that game. We just could not get to Greinke. 

"Had we been able to get back into the game, I think Yu's performance would've been looked on more favorably, because he actually did settle down and do a pretty good job."

Still, the Cubs need more than moral victories every time Darvish takes the ball.

Theo Epstein said earlier this month he doesn't think it's fair to issue a "start-to-start referendum" on Darvish, but this is 5 starts into the season now for the 32-year-old right-hander, who's walked 18 batters and served up 6 homers in 22.2 innings so far. 

Forget the salary or the big free agent deal. This is a four-time All-Star who has twice finished in the Top 10 in Cy Young voting, yet fell to 2-6 with a 5.31 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 13 starts in a Cubs uniform. 

In those 13 starts, Darvish has walked multiple batters in 11 of them and allowed at least 3 earned runs in 8 outings. He's also averaged less than 5 innings a start overall, and that number is down to just 4.5 innings per outing in 2019. 

Darvish said he wants to pitch into the seventh inning (something he's never done as a Cub) and believes that would be great for his confidence that's been building — slowly but surely — since the start of the season. But he still has to get over that hump.

"His stuff's nasty — plain and simple," Jason Heyward said. "Any time I pitch with Yu in a video game, guarantee at least a 1-hitter. I feel like his confidence is just another thing he'll have to keep building on for himself. 

"Every game is different. Today was — I guess you could say — a step back or whatever. Last start was pretty good and next start, I know he's gonna come out and be hungry again. ... Today was one day. We got a long season. Hopefully next time we can scratch a few runs across."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Cubs easily on your device.