June 2011

Baseball

No-hitter sparks transformation in Francisco Liriano

Less than two months ago, Minnesota Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano pitched himself into baseball’s history books with the 265th no-hitter of all-time. Clinging to just one run of support that he received in the fourth inning, Liriano collaborated with the defense behind him to hold the Chicago White Sox hitless for the 1-0 win. “To be honest, I didn’t think about it much at all when I was out there pitching,” Liriano said of the…

Hockey

The NHL’s top RFA/UFAs heading into free agency

The regular season is over, but hockey still persists. The NHL Entry Draft is right around the corner and the start of free agency is beginning to make headlines. With that being said, let’s take a look at this summer’s top free agents, both unrestricted and restricted, as well as their cap hit from last season (courtesy of CapGeek) and where they may be playing in 2011-12. UFAs Brad Richards – $7.8 million Richards is…

Football

The NFL Draft’s seventh round exposed

The NFL’s famed for its spectacles, and the NFL Draft is one of its most renowned. In the weeks and months leading up to the day of the draft, there are countless pre-draft shows, mock drafts and insider reports about who may go first, second or third overall, as well as speculation about who may be available in the second or third rounds and what teams might trade up or down to get the players…

Baseball

Frequent flyer Mike McCoy helping Blue Jays in 2011

Mike McCoy has become an expert traveler. Traveling, of course, is customary for professional athletes, but there is extra significance for the Toronto Blue Jays infielder; airports have become another home. In fact, if you don’t see McCoy in the Blue Jays’ dugout, he’s probably inside an airport terminal. Since the start of this current Major League Baseball season, the 30-year-old has been optioned to and recalled from Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s,…

Basketball

TheGP’s 2011 NBA Mock Draft

With the NBA Draft set for this Thursday, the combine long gone and player workouts practically over, it becomes increasingly obvious that impressions have begun to take form. It’s an NBA mock draft fan’s dream. At this stage we know who the top prospects are, so all that is left to be determined is how the chips will fall and where they will land on June 23. Each selection influences the next, and a chain…

Hockey

NHL Draft prospect Jamie Oleksiak mirroring Chara

With the NHL Entry Draft looming and the Boston Bruins on top of the hockey world, there has never been a better time to compare a highly touted prospect to the Stanley Cup champ’s captain. At 6’7″ and 244 pounds, 18-year-old Jamie Oleksiak of Northeastern University is said to be the league’s next Zdeno Chara. “He’s definitely a guy whose play I try to emulate,” the college rearguard said. Ranked No. 18 in The Good…

Football

The steroid presence in the NFL

One of the most remarkable stories of the last decade has been the increased awareness of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, which went from subjects primarily discussed in weightlifting circles to national media debates, criminal trials and FBI investigations. The effects of PEDs are still hotly debated, but substances that could potentially increase strength, muscle or recovery times would seem like a natural fit for a physical game like football with its laundry list of…

Basketball

The Jason Williams Effect

Say what you want about adolescence, at least it’s memorable. At least the idols and icons you admired back then, during the unnerving transition years of youth, still hold a significant place in your heart today. I’m not necessarily saying that our heroes of yesterday remain the people we look up to in adulthood – in fact, it’s likely just the opposite – but rather that the impact they had during those malleable teenage years…

Hockey

Boone Jenner and the fast-approaching NHL Draft

Growing up on a cattle farm in Dorchester, Ontario as the youngest of three hockey playing brothers, Boone Jenner honed his work ethic and toughness – two traits that separate the Oshawa Generals centre from many of the top prospects for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Jenner, the 18th-rated skater on Central Scouting’s final rankings, attributes much of his development to the battles he went through with older brothers Cole and Leo, the latter a…

Hockey

TheGP’s 2011 NHL Mock Draft

Last Updated: June 22, 2011 With the Stanley Cup Final in the rearview mirror, all eyes in the hockey community are now on the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. In order to ease the transition from postseason to offseason, TheGP Hockey has put together a comprehensive, colorful account of what fans, scouts and pundits can expect to see come June 24 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Over the course of the past six months, TheGP Hockey staff…