Monday’s TIOPS Inside Buzz Report

 

TIOPS Inside Buzz *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. More Leadership needed from Wideouts? Antonio Brown’s work ethic outside of game days to fine his craft is rarely matched by others. It’s what has made him into one of the NFL’s best receivers and saw him become the fastest receiver in NFL history to 600 receptions, doing it Sunday in his 96th career game. But is Brown doing a good enough job in leading by example for an inexperienced wide receiver group? Emerging is more and more talk in Steelers circles that Brown has been a bad apple at times and a bad influence on Sammie Coates, Eli Rodgers in critical areas such as attention to details and these inexperienced receivers learning to play the position the right away. While Brown looks to the media and fan base as someone whose top priority is his stats, that’s how he’s also looked atRead More »

Latest Chatter: Pirates eyeing prospect-type return for McCutchen?

 

McCutchen on the move, It Appears Sources close to the situation say the mood throughout the Pirates organization from coaches to front office members on Andrew McCutchen is this: He’s going to be traded. Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned, Pirates GM Neal Huntington is motivated to move McCutchen this winter and has made it clear to interested clubs,

Latest Pens Buzz: The Condon End Game, Back Room deal in place for eventual Fleury trade?

 

Latest Penguins Buzz The Penguins were telling interested teams last week they had no plans to put Mike Condon on waivers once Matt Murray returned. A team or two might have been calling the Penguins bluff but that stance has now been backed up with Matt Murray healthy. Despite the Penguins coaching staff having no interest in starting Mike Condon when the opportunity was there last week, this management team see’s Condon as a potential trade chip or even an asset to the club beyond next season. “The Pittsburgh Penguins are not averse to trading Condon, but they’re not going to put him on waivers,” Bob McKenzie reported Wednesday night on NBCSN. “They’re going to try to hold onto him as long as they can” The Penguins asking price for Condon according to a league source is a

TIOPS Daily Five: Chances slim the Pirates view Andrew McCutchen as a $14 million a year player for 17

 

TIOPS Daily Five *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. The Gretzky bias. Sidney Crosby on Thursday night became the third player in hockey history to have a Hart Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy and World Cup/Canada Cup MVP on his resume. The other two are Wayne Gretzky (1987) and Bobby Orr (1976). The other two should be Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr. Lemieux’s dominance during the 1987 Canada Cup in what was really the passing of the torch in Lemieux emerging as the worlds greatest player, saw him dominate the tournament with 11 goals, 18 points in nine games. Yet it was Gretzky and his 3 goals, 21 points who took home the MVP honors. 2. Andrew McCutchen in 2016: 24 home runs, 77 RBI, .769 OPS, -0.5 WAR Pedro Alvarez in 2015: 27 home runs, 77 RBI, .789 OPS, 0.1 WAR Andrew McCutchen has been Pedro Alvarez at the plate and McCutchenRead More »

Steelers Prioritizing new deal for David DeCastro & more buzz

 

Latest Steelers Buzz The Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp a week from today and will guard David DeCastro have a new deal in place before camp opens? Things are moving into that direction where a deal is said to be likely struck in the next couple weeks. The Steelers have prioritized a new deal for DeCastro over anyone else, and, though a gap remains, headway between the two sides has been made in the last week, a league source says.

TIOPS Rumor Mill: McCutchen’s Future; Rangers interested in Liriano?

 

TIOPS Rumor Mill Andrew McCutchen’s steep decline in 2016 has been the talk of baseball. Five Thirty Eight did a stunning piece a few weeks ago on just how bad of a season he is having for a superstar player in his prime and how the numbers say a major turnaround is not likely in the years ahead. The pressing issue for the Pirates’ brass internally is coaches want to get McCutchen the hell out of centerfield (despite what Clint Hurdle might be saying through the media). It’s always been a touchy subject. As long as McCutchen continued to be a great hitter, the Pirates intended to live with him not being the best centerfielder on the roster. At least management intended to live with it. Pirate insiders, though, say a breaking point is bound to happen this winter. Chatter around the league is many baseball insiders feel the relationshipRead More »

Penguins Rumors: Matt Cullen waiting on Wild before making final decision

 

TIOPS Rumor Mill The Matt Cullen situation is not expected to drag on much longer (decision could come Tuesday) and the holdup on where to sign hasn’t been about Cullen waiting for the Penguins to clear cap space, (something they’ve decided against) Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned. The Penguins on Friday believed Cullen was headed

A 2017 Expansion draft would accelerate Penguins long-term goaltending decision

 

NHL expansion in Las Vegas is certainly going to happen with the NHL’s target date being the 2017-2018 season. Quebec City also under consideration is considered a longshot. From Pierre LeBrun of ESPN on two critical elements of the potential expansion draft rules. [I: “Teams will have the option of either protecting seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie in total; or go with the option of protecting eight skaters (whether they’re defensemen or forwards) and one goalie.”] [II: “First- and second-year pros — those are players playing pro hockey at any level — will be exempt from the expansion draft; the bottom line is that if they are signed and playing pro hockey, they’re exempt in their first two years. But if they’re entering their third year of pro hockey, they’re no longer exempt for the expansion draft. Teams would have to either protect them or expose them.”] TheRead More »

Dwayne Allen, Ladarius Green to emerge on Steelers radar?

 

With Heath Miller’s surprise retirement, the Steelers gain an additional $4 million in cap space and also save $4.5 in cash (Miller’s 2016 base salary). Even if Miller had returned, drafting a tight end in round 1 was going to be a possibility, but with Miller now retiring, dipping into the free agent market becomes much more of a priority than the Steelers would have envisioned with 32 year old Matt Spaeth, who has all of six receptions the last three seasons, and second year player Jesse James as the only immediate replacements for Miller. Here’s a look at the group of tight ends who could hit the open market on March 9. Coby Fleener (6-6, 250), Indianapolis Colts 27 years old, high pedigree in being a second round pick in 2012. 54 receptions, 491 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2015. With Andrew Luck healthy and under center for theRead More »

Latest Chatter: Penguins had discussions about Scott Hartnell around the All-Star break

 

The NHL’s trade landscape right now with 11 days to go before deadline is a situation of sellers waiting for one buyer to set the market. Last February the Nashville Predators set the market early with the Cody Franson trade. This season it’s been more of a cat and mouse game between the buyers and sellers. It’s also been a trade landscape that features potential rentals like Andrew Ladd who are expected to be available but have yet to be officially put on the market. Therefore it’s been slow moving. Buyers don’t yet know what the prices are going to be. For the Penguins they have not closed the door on making a high level or low level move before the Feb 29 deadline and their trade list has as many as 10 payers on it, a source says, ranging from top-6 winger types, a veteran defenseman, to a versatileRead More »