Friday Sports Briefs

Congratulations to the Boston Bruins

As you all know by now, the Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks to bring the Stanley Cup back to Boston for the first time in 39 years.  Boston goalie Tim Thomas was awarded Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.  ESPNBoston.com’s Joe McDonald has written a nice piece on Thomas, who didn’t become a full-time NHL goalie until the age of 32:

Thomas, a native of Flint, Mich., went from the University of Vermont to the ECHL to the IHL to Finland to Sweden to the AHL and finally to the NHL. He was questioned the entire time. That’s what drove him. That’s why he’s a Stanley Cup champion.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.  Congratulations to the Boston Bruins and Tim Thomas.

Jeff Jacobs on NHL, Winnipeg and Return of Hartford Whalers

Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant has written an excellent article on the return of the NHL to Winnipeg and what it all could mean for Hartford and the State of Connecticut.  The role that UConn would play in a refurbished XL Center is also an interesting discussion point.

The XL Center is 37 years old. It would be a sad mistake to ignore the aging process until it’s too late. We don’t need Hartford to do what New Haven did and simply blow up the joint. At some point —all the leases run out in 2013 — a state needs to decide if it wants a modern sports and entertainment facility for its capital. Or do we just shrug, curse our geography and compulsions, and go to Boston, New York and the casinos?

At some point, I’d love to hear the powers at UConn speak to this. Not as threats, but as a course of planning. With many more seats, much more gold than Gampel Pavilion, the XL Center has had a significant impact on UConn athletics. It seems entirely narrow-sighted to leave the arena argument up to hockey. Look at Louisville. Yes, this is as much about the KFC Yum! Center as it is about Winnipeg.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Former UConn Lorenzen Experiences Effects of NFL Lockout

Former Huskies quarterback Tyler Lorenzen is trying to make in the NFL as a tight end with the New Orleans Saints.  Brett Martel, AP sports writer has the story on the plight of Lorenzen and other players on the fringes of NFL rosters:

There are a lot of players like Lorenzen who are nowhere near being millionaires. They get invited to training camps and sign “futures” contracts for the league minimum, which are honored only if they make the regular season active roster. Otherwise, they snap up whatever offer they get for a practice squad gig paying about $5,000 a week for however long a team keeps them around.

Click here to read the story in its entirety.

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