1. Sidney Crosby out with concussion
Sid the (no longer a) Kid has been having a great postseason, but that may have come to end last night. In the first period of Game 3, Crosby found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and was cross-checked in the head by Matt Niskanen. Niskanen was given five and a game. Crosby headed down the tunnel and didn’t return. Today it was revealed he has a concussion and will miss Game 4.
Caps head coach Barry Trotz said exactly what you’d think he’d say: that it was just a hockey play and Niskanen didn’t intend to injure Crosby, something Niskanen echoed post game.
The Pens ended up losing the game in overtime, and now lead the series 2-1. If Crosby isn’t able to return, Pittsburgh is in trouble despite still holding the edge in the series. If you bet on the Pens to win the cup, look into cashing out now if you can do so at a profit.
2. NBA won’t release players for in-season World Cup qualifying
It appears a battle is brewing between FIBA and the NBA. FIBA recently released it’s schedule of qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup, with most taking place during the NBA season. According to ESPN, the league won’t release its players during that time, mirroring the NHL’s decision to not release its players for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
That has led the NBA to encourage FIBA to recruit players not playing in the league. But it’s not going over well with the athletes, themselves. Steph Curry has made it clear he wants to participate in the 2019 World Cup. The U.S. has been on a roll lately, winning gold at the last three Olympic games and past two World Cups.
Don’t let this fool you into thinking the US isn’t still a massive favorite. After all, we’re only talking about qualifying games right now. The US will qualify for the World Cup whether they send the Dream Team or a 48-year-old Lavar Ball. If NBAers aren’t on the court in the tournament itself, then we can start talking about teams like Spain, Serbia, and Lithuania as potential favorites.
3. Nick Saban signs extension
If you’re a ‘Bama fan, you’ll like this news: Alabama’s board of trustees has given Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban a swanky new three-year deal. Saban will earn a hefty $11.125 million this year ($6.725 million salary, plus a $4 million signing bonus, and another $400K if he completes the season).
Saban is the second-highest paid college football coach after Jim Harbaugh. The school and its fans think he’s worth it, and they’re right: in Saban’s ten years with Alabama, he’s won four national titles. Having him on board for the foreseeable future means the Bama national title futures will continue to be short, but not unreasonable value given his track record.
Photo credit: Michael Miller [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.