Friday, August 11, 2017


Braqd Richardson Ready for the 2017-2018 Season

Belleville's Brad Richardson eager to howl with the Coyotes again

(Getty Images)
Arizona Coyotes centre Brad Richardson of Belleville doesn't like to remember what happened to him last November when he suffered a serious leg injury in a game against the Vancouver Canucks.
That being said, he sometimes can't help recall the look of horror on a fan's face as he lay on the ice, writhing in pain with a fractured fibula and tibia.
"When I think about that night it's hard," Richardson said Thursday after an informal skating session with a handful of other players at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, AZ. "I kind of get hot and sweaty when I do because the pain was so unbelievable. When it happened I knew it was really bad right away. I could feel my leg snap.
"But I can still see that fan in the crowd and see his face vividly. His expression was like 'Oh my God!' and I remember thinking 'Oh boy, I'm in trouble.' Even though I knew it was pretty bad, that fan's face summed up just how bad it really was."
Richardson underwent surgery in Vancouver the day after his injury. Fast forward nine months and Richardson can't wait to get back on the ice in an NHL game.
He tried to return to the Coyotes lineup late last season, but his body simply wouldn't allow it. He opted to have a second surgery in late March to "clean up some things" inside his leg.
"I wanted to play at the end of last year and I tried to come back, but there was just too much pain," Richardson said. "I tried to push through and some days I thought 'OK, maybe I'll play by this weekend or next week,' and then the next day I'd come in and I was so sore I could barely walk. It just wasn't worth the risk of further injury.
"It was tough to swallow because that was my goal, to get back and play at least a game or two. I did everything I could. It just didn't happen.
"When you have an injury like I did, your leg is sore after working out, but then that heals and other parts of your body get thrown off — your back gets sore or your hips are out of alignment. So, it's just a lot of work trying to get everything to work together again.
"It's a constant battle to make your body feel good again and get back up to speed."
Richardson has been in Arizona for most of the off-season and feels he's extremely close to being 100 per cent healthy, after basically having to learn how to walk again.
"If training camp started tomorrow I'd be out there," he said. "I feel night-and-day different than I did four months ago. I probably need a little more time on the ice and some reps, but I'm feeling really good and I'm ready to go.
"The hardest thing was trying to get my leg strong and to fire again and be normal. I put a lot of hours in doing that. Realistically it might take me a little bit of time just to get back in and feel confident, but I think it's going to happen.
"I want to get better and I'm planning on it. I've put the work in to get better."
Richardson has another month to get even more prepared for his 13th NHL season.
The Coyotes will be counting on him to help lead a young team. At 32 he's now the oldest player on the roster.
"I did notice that recently and I'm not too excited about that," said a smiling Richardson. "I don't feel old in any sense of the word. I believe I have a lot of years left in my career, but yes, right now I'm the oldest guy on the team. It is what it is. We have a very young team so we're going to need a bunch of the older guys to lead by example.
"I'll just fit in and do what I can in that aspect."
Richardson has spoken to new head coach Rick Tocchet and is embracing the numerous changes the Coyotes have made in the off-season — including the addition of fellow Belleville native, forward Nick Cousins, in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers.
"It's going to be different, that's for sure, but I'm excited," Richardson said. "I think we're at that point where you have to try something different if you're not making the playoffs every year. I don't know Rick very well, but everyone I've talked to about him has had good things to say.
"He wants to play a fast-paced style, which I'm good with, and I think we have a lot of guys who will like playing that style. It's going to be interesting. I'm anxious for September to get here and to see what's going to happen."
Until then, Richardson will continue to skate regularly in the Valley and to work to make his leg stronger. He's found a new appreciation for playing in the NHL and he can't wait to do it again.
"I've been taking a one-hurdle-at-a-time approach," said Richardson. "I've passed every stage so far so I'm looking forward to progressing. The No. 1 person who has to push you is yourself. I have motivation. I want to keep playing and playing at a really high level and keep getting better every year.
"I've enjoyed every day of my career, but I think I'll enjoy it even more now."

The above story was written by Dave Vest, the Arizona Coyotes senior director of news content, and appears on the NHL team's official website.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Dem Bums-2017

The Brooklyn Dodgers were affectionately known as “Dem Bums”. They moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1957, after winning their first and only World Series in 1955. They won the World Series 5 times after the relocation: 1959, 1963, 1965, 1982, and 1988. It has been almost 30 years since they won the crown.

It appears as if they are making a serious move in that direction this year Their record, for the past 50 games is astounding. They have won 43, and lost just 7 of those games. No team has done that in more than a hundred years, not since the Giants did it in 1912. They lead the National League West Division by 14 ½ games. They recently acquired Yu Darvish, one of the top pitchers in baseball. They have several outstanding young players.

In a recent interview, manager Dave Roberts outlined a few other reasons why the Dodgers are in contention. “This team has won the Division Championship four times, without going on to win the World Series. They are hungry, and they have a chip on their shoulders. It is a very unselfish group of guys who want to win. We play the right way, and we are finding ways to win games.” Roberts won a Series as a player.

They have the best pitching staff in baseball. They have a collective Earned Run Average of 3.07, and have 34 Saves. The pitchers have struck out 1049 batters while only giving up 291 walks. They have the very best pitcher in baseball, Clay Kershaw. He has won 15 games, losing only 2. Unfortunately, Kershaw is now on the disabled list, but is expected back before the playoffs.

The Dodgers are so far ahead of everyone else that they are gearing up for a long post-season run. Much of their success comes from the tyeam's ability to hit the “long ball”. Last weekend, they swept the New York Mets. They hammered 5 home runs, en route to a 7-4 comeback victory. It was their 32nd come-from-behind win this year.

They had the good fortune to call up a rookie in late April who became an instant star. Cody Bellinger, a son of former major league player Clay, stands third in the list of home run hitters in the major leagues with 32 dingers, trailing only Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins and the Yankee rookie sensation, Aaron Judge.
Justin Turner leads the team with a .349 batting average.

Yasiel Puig is now ready to become serious baseball player. When he first joined the Dodgers, after leaving Cuba, he was overwhelmed with the prospect of becoming a major league player. Puig was suspended a few times by the Dodgers for his poor play. He stands 6' 7”, and weighs about 260 pounds. He has all the tools to be an outstanding player.

Do not be surprised if you happen to see the Dodgers hoist the World Series trophy in October. They seem to have all of the pieces in place.

James Hurst
August 7, 2017.

Thursday, August 03, 2017


Baseball Hall of Fame Inductions-2017

They opened the doors of the Hall, just slightly last weekend, to permit three players and two executives to pass into the Hall. Each is honoured with a plaque, a permanent reminder that each contribute significantly to the game of baseball. The Hall is located in Cooperstown, New York, an easy day's drive from this part of Ontario. It is a wonderful place, and a delightful town, well worth the effort.

Former Commissioner Bud Selig and John Schuerholz were inducted. But this is really about the players. The Baseball Hall of |Fame is the toughest of all four major sports' halls to enter. They don't just induct you. You become “enshrined”, almost like having your baby boots bronzed.

Tim Raines entered the Hall as a Montreal Expo. He played for the Expos from 1979 to 1990, with a brief stint in 2001. He also played for the White Sox, the Yankees, the A's, the Orioles, and the Marlins.

During one ten year stretch in his career, he was an elite player. From 1991 onward, he had more hits, more runs scored, and more times reaching base than any other player. Tim Raines could run. He stole more than 70 stolen bases in 6 straight years. He finished his career with 808 stolen bases. He was an all star outfielder his first seven seasons in the major leagues. He won the batting title in 1986. And he won two World Series rings with the Yankees, but not with the Expos. That is indeed a sore spot.

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez spent most of his career with the Texas Rangers. He was there from 1991 to 2002, also briefly in 2009. he also had stops in Florida, Detroit, with the Yankees, the Astros, the Nationals, and again with the Marlins. He won a World Series with the Marlins in 2003. He won 13 Gold Gloves as the best catcher in the league, and attended 14 All Star games.

Pudge hit .296 over the 21 seasons he spent in the major leagues. He finished his career with more hits, doubles, and total bases than any other catcher in the history of the game. He also caught 2 427 games to establish a mark for other catchers.

Jeffrey Robert Bagwell played his entire career with the Houston Astros from 1991 to 2005. He had a career batting average of .297. Other impressive numbers? He scored 1 517 runs, he drove in 1 529 runs over his 15 year career, and he hit 30 home runs in nine different seasons. He even chalked up 202 stolen bases. He was a durable player, with 160 or more games played in six seasons.

Bagwell was the “Rookie of the Year” when he broke in in 1991, and was the league MVP in 1994. He was an all star 4 times.

Expo fans anxiously await the results of next year's ballot. There is a good chance that Vladimir Guerrero will make the grade. Other potential inductees include Trevor Hoffman and Jim Thome. Always a fine occasion. See you there next July.

James Hurst
August 1, 2017.

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