Casual Friday | The Wanderer Sports

Olympics

For all the folks wondering if London’s time is ahead or behind ours here in rainy Edmonton (or wherever you, the reader, is reading this), we got you covered. The London 2012 Opening Ceremonies will take place today, Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 12:00 pm MST. That’s also 2:00pm EST. And 10:00 pm in Moscow.

Please note that some Olympics events are already underway prior to the Opening Ceremonies. This includes Japan’s upset of Spain one-to-nil in men’s soccer on July 26th.

NHL

Columbus Blue Jackets right winger Rick Nash is finally heading to Broadway, in a five-man, two-pick deal that probably – for the Rangers’ sake – should have taken place at last year’s trade deadline. In exchange for the Jackets forward Nash, defenseman Steven Delisle (a fourth round pick from the 2008 draft) and a conditional 2013 third round pick*, Columbus received young forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, fringe NHL defenseman Tim Erixon, and the Rangers’ 2013 first-round pick. Nash should provide the Rangers with goal scoring they desperately needed during last year’s playoff run, and will need this fall with Marian Gaborik out for the first few months after undergoing shoulder surgery. Dubinsky and Anisimov, who underperformed offensively last season, could easily become long-term top-6 forwards for Columbus during their latest rebuild, if the Jackets are lucky.

*The Rangers will receive the pick should they fail to reach the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.

While Nash will be going to Broadway, star defenseman Shea Weber will not be reaching Broad Street, Philadelphia in the near future. The Nashville Predators matched the Philadelphia Flyer’s 14-year, 110 million dollar offer sheet for Weber. The Flyers needed Weber with defenseman Chris Pronger still recovering from a concussion, and Kimmo Timonen slowly recovering from a season full of lingering injuries. The Predators, however, barred their teeth – as on their ugly uniforms – after losing Ryan Suter and will retain the services of arguably the NHL’s best d-man… for the next 14 years.

The Carolina Hurricanes also signed skilled forward Alex Semin to a 1-year, 7 million dollar deal. With Jordan Staal also added during the off-season and playing alongside brother and captain of the Hurricanes, Eric Staal, they should be more competitive than they were last year, where the ‘Canes missed the playoffs by ten points.

MLB

Ichiro Suzuki, the Japanese superstar that has dominated the NPB and MLB since 1992, was traded to New York for minor leaguers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. The ten-time MLB All-Star will be batting eighth – eighth! – for the Yankees, as part of perhaps the most daunting line-up of batters ever assembled on one MLB team. Well, except for Russell Martin. Here’s hoping Ichiro doesn’t turn into an Ichi-bum like every other aging player that arrives in New York. He’s a classy guy and it’ll be good to see him chase a World-Series ring.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez suffered a broken left hand after being hit with a pitch by Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. A-Rod, who fell to the ground with a few steroidal tears glistening his apple cheeks following the incident, will be out anywhere from five weeks to mid-September. Six-time gold glove winner Eric Chavez will replace him until then.

Cole Hamels, really the only pitcher on the Phillies who hasn’t fallen off the mound this year, signed a six-year, 144 million dollar extension with his club this week. This extension puts an end to a hefty amount of trade deadline rumours surrounding Hamels.

3B/SS Hanley Ramirez was traded alongside Randy Choate from the Miami Marlins to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough. Hanley Ramirez has not been in top form since 2010, and the Dodgers are gambling that a change of venue could spark him back into All-Star shape.

NCAA

Penn State University avoided the NCAA football “death penalty,” or four years of absolutely no football, by accepting the NCAA’s sanctions proceeding the Sandusky-Paterno scandal. Penn State received a four-year bowl ban, had 112 wins rescinded, had numerous reductions in scholarship capabilities and were slapped with a 60-million dollar fine.

Louisiana State University (LSU) is also taking some flak for pursuing an upcoming eighth-grader, but who can blame them when said eighth-grader posts a 4.46 second 40-yard dash, a 34″ vertical leap and a 9 foot 3 inch broad jump. The fourteen year-old Dylan Moses would not be able to commit to LSU with a letter of intent until 2017. He can expect a lot of free cars and football tickets until then.

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