By Mark Coogan
This was supposed to be a short preview of all the free agent and trade craziness that will be going on around the NBA over the weekend. But after two drafts needed to be restarted because of the announced signing of Tyson Chandler by the New York Knicks and the trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers, I will just advise basketball fans to check their favorite sports news website about once an hour for the next week or so. (As of press time, the Chris Paul trade has been put on hiatus. I give up.) This sentence will probably be incorrect soon, but there are big name free agents like Jamal Crawford, Aaron Afflalo, Nene, Nick Young and others still on the table. Dwight Howard trade rumors are also still being widely circulated, so basketball fans should pay attention to Twitter and sports news websites.
The Hot Stove is as hot as ever in Major League Baseball. The new Miami Marlins made a huge splash in the free agency market earlier this week, signing Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle to long term deals (players that will be traded minutes after the Marlins win their next championship). The Marlins were in the running for Albert Pujols, but the LA Angels had their own splash, scooping up Pujols and Pitcher CJ Wilson. (Quick side note: Albert Pujols is the best hitter in the game today and in the conversation for the best hitter of all time. But he is already 32 years old and has showed some signs over the last few years that his body is failing him. A 10-year, $254 million investment is far too much. The Angels will be paying 42-year-old Albert $25 million to be their designated hitter.) The Marlins will likely stay in the running for slugger Prince Fielder, who will likely sign soon now that Pujols has signed. The baseball landscape isn’t likely to change as fast as the NBA’s over the next week but still is worth paying attention to.
The hockey season is in full swing and boy is it a good one. Sidney Crosby made his long-awaited return to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 21 and has been everything Pens fans could ask for. With 12 points in eight games so far, Crosby is on pace for an outstanding season, even by his standards. The NHL also made huge news this week with its announcement of conference realignment. Gone are the often confusing “Eastern” and “Western” conferences, (anyone with a map could tell you that Columbus never belonged in the western conference). The NHL owners agreed to switch to four new conferences, split geographically for the most part, that preserve many of the classic rivalries that have existed in hockey for nearly a century. These rivalries are only going to intensify since the same three or four teams from each conference will be playing each other in the playoffs EVERY year; as if the Blackhawks and Redwings didn’t hate each other enough.