Kostka to miss 4-6 weeks

Posted by TimS on Wed, 10/23/2013 - 13:58

The Blackhawks announced Wednesday that defenseman Mike Kostka would miss 4-6 weeks with a lower body injury suffered in Tuesday's morning skate.

Kostka appeared in two games and had his first NHL goal in Saturday's 3-1 win over Toronto, his former team.

The Hawks still have seven defensemen on the roster. At this time they will finish the road trip through Florida with 21 skaters.

Session in Springfield this week

Posted by Mike Riopell on Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:33

There's lots of talk about action in Springfield this week, but new House Republican Leader Jim Durkin summed up his expectations directly.

"I think that we can pretty much write off the week," Durkin said.

Competing same-sex marriage rallies will take over the Capitol today and Wednesday, and Durkin thinks talks on other big issues like changes to the state's public pension system could happen behind the scenes next week.

Senger wins more backers

Posted by Mike Riopell on Mon, 10/21/2013 - 13:13

While the National Republican Campaign Committee doesn't pick sides in primaries, state Rep. Darlene Senger is trying to amass a big number of local Republican officials in her congressional primar bid against Chris Balkema of Channahon and Ian Bayne of Aurora.

Today she announced support from: "Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage Regional Superintendent of Schools, Naperville Township Republican Chairman Rachel Ossyra, and Lisle Township Republican Chairman and State Senator Michael Connelly."

Odd that Ruscitti isn't identified as the chairwoman of the DuPage County Republican Party?

Noah stars in NBA on ESPN RV ad

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 10/21/2013 - 12:50

Joakim Noah takes a ride on the NBA on ESPN recreational vehicle.

Noah will rest for a week

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 10/18/2013 - 11:19

At Friday's shootaround, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau announced plans to shut down Joakim Noah for a week. Noah is still having issues with a groin strain and the team wants to make sure he's healthy for the start of the regular season.

Noah suffered the injury early in training camp and sat out the first three preseason games. He returned to the court on Wednesday against Detroit, producing 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 2 points in 20 minutes of action.

Thibodeau said Jimmy Butler is a game-time decision with a bruised knee. He sat out Wednesday's game.

The Bulls play Indiana tonight at the United Center, then have three preseason games remaining before opening the regular season on Oct. 29 at Miami.

Will Carmelo star in Decision '14?

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 10/18/2013 - 00:02

LeBron James has shut down talk about his potential free agency in 2014, but New York's Carmelo Anthony is talking it up.

Like James, Anthony could opt out of his contract next summer and hit the open market.

"I want to be a free agent," Anthony told the New York Observer. "I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It's like you have an evaluation period. It's like if I'm in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience."

Sharp ranks high on Hitchcock's list

Posted by TimS on Thu, 10/17/2013 - 12:16

As an assistant with Canada's Olympic team, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is only one voice in the selection process.

The biggest voices belong to executive director Steve Yzerman and head coach Mike Babcock.

But if it means anything, Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp has Hitchcock firmly in his corner when it comes to making the squad for the Games in Sochi, Russia next February.

"I think he's a guy who is obviously on the watch list close," Hitchcock said Thursday at the United Center. "He's a guy that you trust on the ice. So there's a trust factor, especially from me.

“I don't know how many voices I have in that program, but I love him as a person and like him as a player. He's a guy for me that based on his play in the last couple years is really up on the radar."

Abraham Lincoln, AARP member?

Posted by Mike Riopell on Fri, 10/11/2013 - 17:12

From the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum: "This might have come a touch late."

Have a good weekend.

The Hastert Rule

Posted by Mike Riopell on Thu, 10/10/2013 - 16:46

Last week, the Friday politics column focused on a chat with U.S. Speaker Dennis Hastert and included a mention of the so-called "Hastert Rule" that some people cite as a key reason for Washington's gridlock over the shutdown.

This Washington Post video is a nifty explainer of the rule and Hastert's history with it.

Khabibulin to start against Islanders

Posted by TimS on Thu, 10/10/2013 - 13:37

Nikolai Khabibulin will make his Blackhawks re-debut Friday night when he gets the start in goal against the Islanders at the United Center.

It will be Khabibulin’s first game back with the Hawks since Game 3 of the 2009 Western Conference finals against Detroit. He re-signed with them as a free agent last summer for one year at $2 million after spending four years with Edmonton.

Because of the Hawks’ light early-season schedule, Khabibulin hasn’t played in a game this year since Sept. 28 against Washington in the exhibition finale.