Talking Wings, drafts and passing of a legend

Fat Guy Corner


Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

I t’s that time of the year in the sports world where things are a tad bit slow. We have a little golf, tennis, soccer, car racing and the baseball season. The NBA and NHL both had their drafts last week so let’s look at what happened for your Pistons and Red Wings.

The Detroit Red Wings went after defense in this draft. The Wings selected four defensemen with their first five selections. I will be the first to admit I know nothing of these players and you might not see them on the ice for years in a Winged Wheel uniform. Heck, we might not ever see them in the NHL, to be honest. The Red Wings did select Dennis Cholowski with the No. 25 pick. The 53rd pick was defenseman Filip Hrowek. Red Wings fans, store those two names in your memory bank. Let’s see if they ever play a minute in the NHL for Detroit.

Here are a couple of other Red Wings tidbits. The Red Wings traded Pavel Datsyuk to the Arizona Coyotes for salary cap reasons. The move basically let the Red Wings unload the contract of Pavel clearing around $7.5 million of cap space. The Arizona hockey club then moved up to the Red Wings spot in the draft at No. 16 to select a player they coveted. A pretty slick move by general manager Kenny Holland, I thought.

This puts the chances of Steven Stamkos, the free agent from Tampa Bay, coming to Detroit a little bit brighter. I know the Wings will take a run at him but so will some other teams, too. The Red Wings also locked up Drew Miller to a one-year contract before he hit the free agency market. It looks like Darren Helm will test the market as a free agent this summer. The offseasons in sports are always fun to watch, are they not? I say, yes they are.

NBA draft takes place

The NBA draft had players from Michigan, Michigan State and an Oakland Grizzlie go in the first two rounds. The Spartans’ Denzel Valentine went to the Chicago Bulls. I think he will do quite well in a Bulls uniform, actually. I love Denzel’s skill set on the hoop floor. The other Spartan, Deyonta Davis, waited longer than he thought he would but went to the Boston Celtics in the second round. I have to be honest, I am not sure if he is NBA material or not. He will have to prove it to me as he did not impress me last year as a Spartan. Caris Lavert from Michigan went to the Indiana Pacers but was then traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Caris is a good basketball player. The main question is, will his feet handle the long grind of the NBA seasons? It seems like guys with foot injuries don’t last long in the NBA. How about Kay Felder from Oakland going to the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers? It sure is awesome for Oakland University to put a player into the NBA. This has to be a feather in the cap to the program. I say good luck to all four of these players in the NBA.

While on the theme of basketball, it is sad to announce the passing of legendary Pat Summit at the age of 64. Pat coached at the University of Tennessee for 38 seasons. She coached them to 1,098 victories and eight national titles. Pat was a pioneer in women’s college team sports. If you knew nothing about women sports in college, the one thing you did know was the name Pat Summit. Pat had been suffering from dementia since 2011. RIP, Coach Summit.

Something stinks

The Detroit Tigers cannot beat the Cleveland Indians here in 2016. They are a smelly 0-9 in three series against the Tribe. Detroit had just swept the Seattle ball club in four straight and one would think that all the momentum was on the Tigers’ side with Cleveland coming to town. The old saying in baseball stands: momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher. Well, that’s true, I say.

The Cleveland Indians’ starting pitching was rock solid and they broomed the Tigers right out of Comerica Park. The sweep put Detroit 7.5 games out of first place. I can confidently say this Cleveland Indian ball club is for real and just might win this division this summer.

While talking division races, there are not many close ones, which is very unusual for only being about half way through the season.

It’s hard to believe football camps will open up in about one month! I cannot wait! thefatguy@mihomepaper.com


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