Cubs

Hawks respond to Torres suspension

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Hawks respond to Torres suspension

GLENDALE Marian Hossas gear hung in a locker at Jobing.com Arena, a bit of symbolism and, perhaps, motivation.

And be it his absence, thanks to Raffi Torres 25-game-suspension-earning hit, or the fact that the Blackhawks playoff lives are at stake tonight, theyll need to find all the motivation they can.

The Blackhawks are fighting the uphill battle beginning tonight, as they try to stave off elimination to the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal matchup. And as news of Torres suspension came out, it was little consolation for some.

The reaction (to the suspension) is we lost Hoss, forward Andrew Brunette said. I dont think we get any satisfaction in X amount of games he was suspended. Were missing arguably our best player, and theres no satisfaction in that.

Jonathan Toews said the same.

We take a little satisfaction in seeing some justice there, but Marian Hossa is still at home, not feeling like himself, he said. It doesnt bring him back to our lineup and feel ready.

No, but there has to be motivation or make that desperation. For the second consecutive season theyre facing a steep climb, able to match Phoenix down the stretch in regulation but unable to stop them in three out of four overtimes. The energy level has to be immediate tonight.

Our mindset going into today is, after those two games (at home), we have to find some excitement in our team. We need more pace, more enthusiasm; we have to be all-out desperate tonight, coach Joel Quenneville said. If you look at the smaller picture, its comparable last year when we found a way to work ourselves back (against Vancouver). We have to get some positive encouragement; were at the point where talk isnt going to get it done.

But a pep talk still doesnt hurt. After Quenneville got done with his post-skate talk and the coaches left the ice, the Blackhawks remained and Toews did one of his own. Players werent willing to divulge what was said.

Thats between us as a team, Brendan Morrison said. But obviously hes saying the right things a leader does to get us ready.

Toews said theres some satisfaction in the Torres ruling. But if the Blackhawks dont use that, or their current situation in this series, as motivation, it all rings hollow.

The Blackhawks have all the motivation they need for tonight, be it in a fallen teammates symbolic locker or the brink of elimination. That drive has to come out tonight, or there is no more games for which to get motivated.

We need something to get excited about, Quenneville said. Coming off those two games, we need a win and thats where the excitements got to come from. Weve got to leave it out there.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Flashback to Jake Arrieta's second no-hitter

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Flashback to Jake Arrieta's second no-hitter

Luke Stuckmeyer takes a trip down memory lane on the 3rd anniversary of Jake Arrieta's no-hitter against the Reds in Cincinnati. You'll hear all the biggest calls of the game from Len & JD, plus Jake's immediate reaction after tossing his second no-no in a span of 11 regular season starts.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

Report: Bulls possibly interested in adding Jrue Holiday?

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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.