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Del Negro: Report on his fate untrue

Posted by GameSetMatch on 29th December 2009

Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said an ESPN.com report that a decision to fire him already has been made is “totally not accurate.”

Citing sources with knowledge of the Bulls’ thinking, Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine reported on Sunday night that a decision has been made and the Bulls are just waiting to find Del Negro’s replacement.

The coach said he and Bulls management are on the same page, and Del Negro told reporters to ask vice president of basketball operations John Paxson or general manager Gar Forman about the situation. Forman declined to speak to reporters after practice Monday.

Phone messages left for Paxson and Forman were not returned on Sunday, but in text messages to ESPN The Magazine on Sunday night, Paxson neither confirmed nor denied the report.

“It’s just funny to me,” Del Negro said. “There’s really nothing to say. You have all these people that have rumors, and everyone has their sources. It’s just not accurate.


Click here to read the full article – By Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com



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Trio Of Young Blackhawks Locked Up In Long-Term Deals

Posted by TheHockeyGuy on 3rd December 2009

The final details of their contract extensions have been ironed out, and that means Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith are officially Blackhawks for a long time.

The Hawks will have a news conference on Thursday to announce the signings of the trio of young stars, who were set to become unrestricted free agents after the season.

The Tribune first reported on Nov. 17 that Kane, Toews and Keith all would sign extensions at the same time, establishing a core group of players to solidify the franchise’s future. After two weeks of tweaking and salary-cap manipulations, Hawks general manager Stan Bowman completed identical five-year deals for forwards Kane and Toews worth a reported $31.5 million each, while defenseman Keith inked a 13-year, $72 million contract.

It was reported widely the announcement of the deals had been delayed because the Hawks didn’t have tagging room, meaning the new salaries would put the team over next season’s salary cap, a violation of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement. Whether that was the case or if Bowman created room to maneuver under the cap could be cleared up Thursday.

Click here to read the full article – By Chicago Tribune




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Blackhawks Move Kane Back To Right Wing

Posted by TheHockeyGuy on 1st December 2009

The Blackhawks are back home after their annual circus trip, and Patrick Kane is making a return home of his own: to his familiar spot at right wing.

Kane, who was shifted to the left side to make room for Marian Hossa on a line with center Jonathan Toews three games ago, was back on the right side during practice Monday. Kane was moved to a line with winger Dustin Byfuglien and center Kris Versteeg. Meanwhile, Patrick Sharp joined Toews and Hossa, and the Hawks will start that way when they take on the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night at the United Center.

“It was fun while it lasted,” Kane said of the switch. “I don’t know if it’s balancing out the lines or getting me back to my old position … but I’m happy with wherever they put me.”

Kane had two assists in the three games paired with Hossa and Toews, but the Hawks’ offense sputtered, scoring just one goal in the final two games of the trip, both losses.

“You can kind of sense it coming,” said Kane, who leads the Hawks in scoring with nine goals and 16 assists. “Something was going to change. It’s a pretty dynamic line now with Sharp, Toews and Hossa.”

Click here to read the full article – By Chicago Tribune



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