2011-06-30 / Sports

A cold wind blows


Jeff Day — Sports Columnist Jeff Day — Sports Columnist It's the middle of winter...oops, the calendar says it's summer time. It sure doesn't feel like summer time, does it? It’s been a horrible summer so far. This winter type weather brings up winter sports talk. The Pistons and the Red Wings both had their drafts last week. The NHL hockey awards ceremony brought a Red Wing home with a trophy. Let's talk a little hoop and pucks.

The ice takes center stage first. Nicky Lidstrom took home his seventh Norris Trophy last week in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a close race separated by only nine points of voting. What a great accomplishment for the 41-year-old defenseman. He is top five all time as far as defensemen go in the NHL. I am so glad Lidstrom inked a one-year deal to come back for his 20th season in a Red Wings uniform. I think it will be his last, but only he knows if that is true or not. All of us Red Wings fans need to appreciate the career of Nick Lidstrom, a Detroit Red Wing. The Wings drafted Tomas Jurco with their number one pick. I don't really know much about him, to tell you the truth. I do trust the Wings’ management, though, as they are great evaluators of hockey talent. The rest of the picks were mostly big defensemen, which is no huge surprise.

The NHL talk of realignment has Red Wings’ management jumping up and down with joy. It looks like it will happen in the 2012-13 season. Say hello to the Eastern Conference and no more long late playoff hockey games on the "Left Coast." Hooooraaay on that!

The "Wing Ding" schedule has been released for next season. They open with the Ottawa Senators at the "Joe" on Friday October 7. The Senators’ new coach is ex-assistant coach Paul MacLean. How much fun will that be for Babcock and MacLean? I say, lots! There will be six Thursday bobblehead giveaways, so don't miss out on those, hockey fans. I can't wait for the puck to drop in October!

Hard-court press

The Detroit Pistons selected three players last week in the NBA draft. The Pistons used the eighth pick on point guard Brandon Knight from the University of Kentucky.

Knight is a college one-anddone player. The Pistons needed a point guard in the worst way. I figured they would take a point guard, and it was just a matter of who was left on the draft board. Knight should see plenty of time on the floor in year one. The other two picks were Kyle Singler from Duke at number 33 and Vernon Macklin at number 52. Who knows if either one of those two even make the Pistons’ roster in 2011-12. Who will be the coach is another good question. Numerous names have been thrown out into the mix including ex-Piston Bill Laimbeer.

Honoring a great

The Tigers honored the great Tiger manager, number 11, Sparky Anderson, on Sunday. I was told it was an awesome tribute. I did not get to watch it and wish I could have seen it. It was long overdue and the fact Gibson and Trammell were in town made it even sweeter. That was excellent thinking by Tiger management. I still feel it was horrible thinking by not doing this while Sparky was alive to enjoy it. He would have loved it. Sparky and the 1984 Tiger team will always be remembered by all of baseball, especially here in Detroit. What a summer and what a great baseball team.

Speaking of great...How about Justin Verlander on Saturday night? He struck out 14, which is a career high and he overwhelmed the Arizona Diamondbacks’ lineup. Mr. Verlander just might get the nod to start the All-Star game in Arizona. I hope he does, too! He deserves it. Alex Avila should go as the starting catcher, but he won't. He will be picked as a reserve.

thefatguy@mihomepaper.com

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