Items from Schilling company hit RI auction block

Items from Schilling company hit RI auction block

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) The implosion of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company left the state of Rhode Island with a $100 million mess - and Paul DeBlois with a clock.

With the wave of a yellow bidder's sheet, the tax preparer from Burrillville offered the winning price - $200 - on a company clock during a sell-off Tuesday of what is left of 38 Studios, which was lured to Rhode Island with a massive state loan guarantee.

The oversized piece was one of several at the company's former headquarters counting down, to the second, the anticipated launch of the video game Schilling dreamed would be a hit.

But DeBlois had a different use in mind: ``It's going to mark the end of tax season for me,'' he said.

The auction, put on by court-appointed receiver Richard Land, comes four months after the company's spectacular collapse into bankruptcy. Rhode Island, whose quasi-public Economic Development Corp. approved a $75 million loan guarantee in 2010, is by far 38 Studios' biggest creditor. In total, the state is likely on the hook for some $100 million related to the deal, once interest in factored in.

Hundreds of potential bidders showed up for the auction, which featured everything from high-end computers and graphic animation equipment to model airplanes Schilling is said to have made and kept in his fifth-floor office (empty save for an ergonomic chair, some cherry furniture and an elliptical, which was removed from the sale at the last minute).

There were no immediate estimates on how much the auction of 2,100 lots might raise, but it is not expected to come anywhere close to covering the company's debts.

``They promised me a statue downtown if I raised $75 million,'' auctioneer Sal Corio joked during the bidding.

A smaller auction last week at Big Huge Games, a gaming studio in Maryland bought by 38 Studios in 2009, grossed $180,000, according to Land. 38 Studios' intellectual property will be sold off in a separate auction in a few months.

The company estimated in bankruptcy filings it owes $150.7 million and has assets of $21.7 million.

Schilling - perhaps best known for pitching through an ankle injury that famously bloodied his sock on his team's way to the 2004 World Series - grew his startup quickly and couldn't raise the outside money needed to finish the game. While he has said he himself was part of the reason the company folded, he has accused Gov. Lincoln Chafee of having an agenda that hurt 38 Studios.

Chafee, a critic of the original loan guarantee, has insisted he did everything he could to help the company. The EDC board, which he chairs, is considering possible litigation connected with the deal, and state law enforcement authorities are investigating 38 Studios' finances. A federal investigation did not result in charges.

Bidders crowded the auction room Tuesday after browsing items throughout the building. Some came seeking good deals on computers. One man said he might bid on a refrigerator for his wife.

Some Schilling figurines - straight out of his office, Corio said - went for $175. A giant battle hammer replica from the game ``Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,'' which 38 Studios released earlier this year, sold for $375.

David Morsilli bought the first item: one of several swords used to make sound effects for the video game. The 44-year-old from Providence paid $175 and plans to hang it in his home office, where he's working on a novel. He conceded it was a cool piece of memorabilia but wanted it, he said, as a reminder to ``never get in over your head.''

A few former 38 Studios employees who showed up had an impromptu mini-reunion. Danny Laba of Worcester, Mass., caught Schilling's attention in 2011 by throwing him a baseball with his resume screen-printed on it at the New England Institute of Technology, where Schilling was delivering the commencement address. Laba said Schilling texted him immediately and, within about a month, he was hired as a system tester.

Laba described the company's collapse as ``heart-breaking'' but said he had only good things to say about his former boss.

``He went for a personal dream,'' Laba said. ``Isn't that what everyone wants to do?''

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

It doesn't take an expert to tell you players like Alex Ovechkin or Marc-Andre Fleury will play a big role in the Stanley Cup Final.

Both the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights will need their best players to be at their best to take home the Cup. But who will be the unexpected heroes? Who are the players no one is talking about who will have a big hand in their team's success or defeat in this series?

Here are five players you should be watching in the Stanley Cup:

1. Devante Smith-Pelly: Smith-Pelly had seven goals in 79 games in the regular season. Now he has four goals in just 19 playoff games.

Smith-Pelly has been one of those unlikely playoff heroes for the Caps this postseason with very timely performances such as scoring the series-clinching goal in Game 6 against the Columbus Blue and scoring the goal that put the game away in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The physical play has really stood out as well for him, which fits well on the fourth line role he has settled back into now that the team is healthy again. Barry Trotz tried moving him to the top line in the absence of Tom Wilson and the results weren't great. He is best suited for the role he currently has and that will allow him to thrive.

2. James Neal: Neal came up just short of the Stanley Cup last season as a member of the Nashville Predators. He totaled nine points in 22 games during that run, a number he has already matched in just 15 games this postseason.

There are very few players on either team that boast the kind of postseason experience Neal has. He will be leaned upon this series for his leadership.

Vegas is a young team and their unprecedented success in the playoffs may make this feel like the first run of many for the Golden Knights, but not for Neal who is on the last year of his contract and came tantalizingly close to the Cup last season. He will play like there is no tomorrow because, for him, there may not be in Vegas.

3. Andre Burakovsky: Burakovsky was one of the heroes of Game 7 with two goals to put away the Tampa Bay Lightning. That marked just the latest peak in a career full of peaks and valleys for the young winger. Just two games before, Burakovsky was a healthy scratch and spoke to the media about his plans to speak with a sports psychologist in the offseason.

The talent is there and it certainly appears that the injury that kept him out earlier in the playoffs is largely behind him. Burakovsky’s issues have always been mainly between the ears. In a series against a fast team with strong depth, he can be an absolutely critical piece for the Caps. Hopefully, his Game 7 performance gave him the confidence he needs to continue to be effective.

4. Ryan Reaves: Vegas acquired both Reaves and Tomas Tatar around the trade deadline. If I were to tell you that through three rounds of the playoffs, both players were healthy, had played the same number of games (6) and had the same number of points (1), you’d think I was crazy. Yet, here we are.

Reaves was largely an afterthought in a complicated trade between Vegas, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, but he has carved a nice role for himself on the Golden Knights’ fourth line and even scored the goal that sent Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final against the Winnipeg Jets.

Reaves is also an agitator on the ice, but what do the Caps do against a player like that when their normal fighter plays on the top line? We may see Reaves and Wilson come to blows this series, but it won't be very often because that is a bad tradeoff for the Caps.

5. Brooks Orpik: The elder statesman of the blue line, Orpik is the only player on the Caps with a Stanley Cup to his name and is the only one who has any idea what this experience is going to be like for the team.

Orpik is very diligent about keeping in shape which has allowed him to play in 81 games this season and all 19 playoff games despite being 37 years old, but you do have to wonder how much is left in the tank. Despite being the favorite whipping boy for the proponents of analytics, his physical play has been effective this postseason. The focus he placed on the skating in the offseason has paid dividends so far in matchups against the speedy Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Golden Knights will be the fastest team they have played yet. There is no denying Orpik is much more suited towards a physical style of game. Wil he continue to be effective or will Vegas exploit the Caps' third defensive pairing?


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Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 1 Stanley Cup Final: Date, Time, TV Channel, Livestrem

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Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 1 Stanley Cup Final: Date, Time, TV Channel, Livestrem

The wait is finally over. 

After two decades, the Capitals are back in the Stanley Cup Final. 

After a convincing 4-0 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Capitals are in Vegas to take on the Golden Knights. They'll be facing off against a handful of familiar names, with former Caps GM George McPhee, fan favorite Nate Schmidt, and ex-Penguins goalie Marc Andre-Fluery are just a few of the names that'll be suiting up for Vegas. 

What will the X-factors in the series be? Who will be the unexpected heroes of Game 1? The action is almost underway, and here are all the details you need to know.

Game 1 Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Monday, May 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV.
TV Channel: NBCSN 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 FM)


Game 1 of the Capitals-Golden Knights 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.


The TV broadcast of Game 1 between the Capitals and Golden Knights is on NBC. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

5:00 p.m. — Caps Cup Preview
6:00 p.m. — Caps GameDay Live
6:30 p.m. — Caps Face Off
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. — Game 1 Capitals vs. Golden Knights
10:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime


Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights is available for online stream on the NBC Sports App. Click here for the NBC Sports live stream page.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals digital producer JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.