Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011
By Tracey MyersCSNChicago.com
Corey Crawford will get the start in net tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Dallas Stars. The Blackhawks, now healthy again, will try and stall a Stars team that is leading the Pacific Division and has won five straight on the road.
Their top two lines are as good as any top two lines, coach Joel Quenneville said of the Stars. Theyve got balance, their defense is steady. That type of team, they can beat anyone on any given night. They play a real patient, smart game. Its an important game for a lot of reasons for both teams.
Meanwhile, Jake Dowell, whos been a steady factor most of this season, will be scratched for the second consecutive game.
Obviously Im a pretty motivated person in the first place, so I dont think I need a whole lot of kick in the butt, he said. But they shook things up and the team won, so its good to change the lineup after a win.
Quenneville said I think hes pretty consistent in his game; hes victimized more by numbers. Sometimes you have to stick with (a lineup) and we dont want to change too many things for tonights game. Hes one of those players we expect back in there soon.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.
It's Day 2 of the Winter Meetings. USA Today's Bob Nightengale joins Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber.
Nightengale shares his thoughts on what starting pitcher is the right fit (2:00), the message the Grandal signing sends to the rest of the league (6:00), predictions for who the White Sox will sign this week (12:00) and when the Sox window is open (13:30).
Plus, he shares some memories of past Winter Meetings including his favorite cocktail napkin trade and the best late-night stories from past years (16:00).
Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:
White Sox Talk Podcast
As the budget-conscious Cubs figure out their 2020 payroll, an NL West team has emerged in the race to sign free agent Nicholas Castellanos.
According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal (subcription required), a team interested in Castellanos views the Giants as the top-bidder for the outfielder's services.
The Giants recently named Cubs front office assistant Scott Harris as their general manager, so San Francisco has some ties to Castellanos. The Giants 2020 luxury tax payroll is currently projected to be $186 million (per Roster Resource) so they could sign Castellanos without going over MLB's $208 million threshold.
Castellanos was a stellar addition last season after the Cubs acquired him at the trade deadline. He posted a .321/.356/.646 line with 16 home runs and 21 doubles in 51 games. That performance upped the 27-year-old's value entering free agency.
The Cubs are looking to get under the luxury tax threshold to avoid being penalized a second straight season. Signing Castellanos would complicate this, but the Cubs are still pursuing him, as they could potentially sign him and clear payroll in a corresponding move.
But if it turns into a bidding war, the Cubs may find themselves unable to bring Castellanos back.