Fraser reflects on winning with Blackhawks, trade to Kings


Fraser reflects on winning with Blackhawks, trade to Kings

Former Blackhawks center Colin Fraser underwent a trade he never saw coming when he was dealt to the Kings. He's since blogged about the experience, what it's like playing in Los Angeles, and the excitement of being only one game away from winning the Stanley Cup--again.

Fraser was traded to Edmonton by the Blackhawks after the 2010 season. He played 67 games with his new team, recording three goals and two assists.

At the end of the 2011 season, the Oilers were prepared to complete a trade between Ryan Smyth and Gilbert Brule, but the deal never worked out. So instead, Fraser was thrown into the mix.

"The day I was traded I called my dad and I said, 'I was traded to the Kings.' He asked me how I felt and I said, 'Good, because we have a chance to win.'They had just traded for Mike Richards. They had a good roster. Playing against them in previous years, I knew they were a good team."

But a foot injury ailed him from the start. Fraser was deemed 'unable to play' by Los Angeles' medical staff and he was recommended surgery. After undergoing an operation and getting back on the ice Day 1 of training camp, Fraser made a full recovery and earned a spot on the Kings' roster.

Now the Kings are one game away from winning the Cup for the first time in their 45-year history. Fraser remembers going through these same feelings in Chicago.

"I was with the Chicago Blackhawks when we won the Stanley Cup in 2010, but I wasn't playing during the Cup Final. I was watching Game 6 with Adam Burish, Bryan Bickell, and a few of the other extra guys," Fraser said. "When we were leading in the third period, we went down to the dressing room to put our gear on and Philly ended up tying the game late in the third.

"Then we were watching the overtime in the dressing room, and when we won we just ran straight out onto the ice to celebrate. We all had our moment and got to hoist the Cup and skate around with it. It was crazy. It was one of those moments that you grow up dreaming about."

Los Angeles is still dreaming about that moment. Fraser and the rest of his teammates will be battling for that experience on Saturday night in Game 5.

Matt Nagy says Allen Robinson is mentally and physically ready for training camp

USA Today

Matt Nagy says Allen Robinson is mentally and physically ready for training camp

The toughest part of any comeback from injury in sports is the mental aspect. Players have to build trust in their body again in order to eliminate thought from their movements.

In the case of Chicago Bears receiver Allen Robinson, he has to regain confidence in his left knee after tearing his ACL in last year's season opener.

According to coach Matt Nagy, Robinson is ready.

Nagy, who met with the media at Bears training camp Thursday in Bourbonnais, told reporters that Robinson is mentally and physically ready to go. The biggest issue for Robins, Nagy said, is building chemistry with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

Robinson is more than 10 months removed from his ACL tear, an injury that generally takes less time than that to recover. He participated in some on-field work during minicamp sessions this offseason in an effort to build that confidence.

Robinson will look to regain the 1,400-yard, 14-touchdown form he displayed in 2015, a year in which he was arguably the top young receiver in the NFL. 

"For us, he can play multiple positions," Nagy said. "We want him and Mitch to work on timing."

They'll start working on that timing Friday when the Bears kick off their first training camp practice.

Ryan Pace on Kevin White: 'There is a lot of momentum with his play'

USA Today

Ryan Pace on Kevin White: 'There is a lot of momentum with his play'

No player will get Bears fans riled up as much as former first-round pick Kevin White, who since being selected with the seventh pick overall in the 2015 NFL draft has been ravaged by injury and has yet to score a touchdown as a pro.

After an offseason focused on upgrading the Bears' wide receivers, White is facing a make-or-break year for his career.

White has enjoyed a productive offseason, arguably the best -- and healthiest -- of his brief career so far. General manager Ryan Pace has noticed, too.

"I just feel like there is a lot of momentum with his play," Pace said Thursday in Bourbonnais at the start of the team's training camp. 

"He's had a good offseason. He's playing with a lot of confidence."

Pace said the goal for White is to be the best player he can be, which the team once envisioned being a dominant force as an alpha receiver. While it's unfair to have that kind of expectation for White in 2018, it's also not impossible for him to rise to the challenge and become the team's next-best option after Allen Robinson. If he does that, he could set himself up for a lucrative contract extension or, in the alternative, a rich deal elsewhere.