White Sox

Mayers glad to be back with the Blackhawks


Mayers glad to be back with the Blackhawks

Jamal Mayers was understandably upset when he was scratched during the final three games of the postseason. The Blackhawks veteran forward is a competitor who isnt used to missing many games. But now re-signed for another year with the team, Mayers is forgetting about those healthy scratches and focusing on another season.

Mayers, whose one-year, 600,000-deal was made official by the Blackhawks on Tuesday, is happy to have his immediate NHL future decided for another season. And it also saves another family move for Mayers, who has played for four different teams since the 2009-10 season.

For me, personally, I have a young family and you have to sort out a lot of the logistical things that come up, he said. Im excited to be in the city of Chicago and be here another year. For us, its been a great fit and Im excited to get it done early and get focused on training.

Mayers was a good physical element for the Blackhawks last season, and even more so after Daniel Carcillo was lost to a knee injury in January. It was Mayers who came to Jonathan Toews defense against the San Jose Sharks in February. Ryan Clowe was one of the Sharks tussling with Toews, and Mayers fought Clowe soon after in that game.

So it was a surprise when the fourth-line center was scratched against a physical Coyotes team, beginning with Game 4 of their series. There was some speculation that Mayers was scratched because he didnt challenge Raffe Torres after the Phoenix forwards hit on Marian Hossa, but coach Joel Quenneville denied that. Still, the scratches were tough on Mayers.

It was a tough pill to swallow, Mayers said. The reality is, you anticipate a long playoff run, a lot of guys did, and its tough as a competitor (to be scratched). But once you take a step back, it was a good fit (to re-sign), both for me and the Hawks. You look at the whole season; you try not to look at the way things ended. I still come away with the fact that I still have a lot to give.

White Sox' Luis Robert not feeling pressure of Rookie of the Year hype

White Sox' Luis Robert not feeling pressure of Rookie of the Year hype

Of all the White Sox players this season, the spotlight has shined brightest on Luis Robert, but he says that’s not the reason for his recent five-game slump. In fact, Robert doesn’t even see himself as a new face of the franchise, despite all the hype surrounding his MLB debut and hot start to the season.

“I honestly don’t feel that way,” Robert said via team interpreter Billy Russo. “I just think that I’m the new guy.”

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It’s clear the pressure didn’t affect Robert earlier in the year as he notched at least one hit in his first six games, and racked up 14 hits through 10 games. As the impressive performances at the plate mounted, so did the buzz around the young centerfielder. But Robert insists he doesn’t think about it, even though he’s slashing a lowly .158/.200/.211 over his last five games, and out of the lineup for the first time in his career on Monday.

“I know everyone’s trying to talk about me, about my option for Rookie of the Year and that kind of stuff,” Robert said via Russo. “But for me I just feel like another guy for this team. I don’t feel that pressure, that attention. I know that it’s there, but I don’t think about that.”

So is this mini-slump due to an adjustment in the way pitchers are approaching Robert at the plate? Again, Robert says no.

“Pitchers have been attacking me the same way since the season started. I didn’t have good results the last few days, but I just have to keep working. There’s nothing different that they have done against me. It’s just a matter of results.”

Robert has shown a remarkable ability to adjust to a pitcher’s approach mid-game. Now it’s time to see how he adjusts to a little major league adversity.

RELATED: White Sox at quarter pole: Injuries, starting-pitching woes cloud rest of 2020


2020 NHL Draft: Winner of No. 1 pick revealed at Phase 2 of NHL Draft Lottery

2020 NHL Draft: Winner of No. 1 pick revealed at Phase 2 of NHL Draft Lottery

After the No. 1 pick went to a placeholder team — that would be eliminated in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers in the NHL's 24-team postseason under the Return to Play program — in Phase 1 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery in June, the top pick for the 2020 NHL Draft was awarded to an actual team in Phase 2 of the lottery on Monday. 

The New York Rangers won the No. 1 overall pick for the 2020 NHL Draft on Monday during Phase 2 of the lottery.

The Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets were also in the running and all had a 12.5% chance of winning the No. 1 overall pick along with the Rangers in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.

The No. 1 pick of this year's draft is expected to be forward Alexis Lafrenière, who registered 35 goals and 77 assists for a league-leading 112 points in 52 games this season with the Rimouski Océanic of the QMJHL, where he also served as the team captain. 

No team has held the No. 1 pick finishing better than 26th in the standings since the 1995 NHL Draft, and no team made the top pick after playing in a postseason series since the Minnesota North Stars in the 1983 NHL Draft.

The 2020 NHL Draft is scheduled for Oct. 9 and 10. It was originally scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which paused the NHL on March 12.

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