News and Notes

Timmons, Harrison sit out morning practice: Linebackers Lawrence Timmons and James Harrison sat out today’s morning practice. There is no time table for Timmons return but Harrison’s rib injury is not serious. Willie Parker is expected to be back on the practice field following Sunday’s preseason game

Emphasis on Special Teams: This morning the Steelers focused on special teams. Willie Reid appears to be the teams top punt and kick returner. Santonio Holmes will also be a main stay on kick returns.

Jack Wilson rumors: Sources have told the Buzz on the Burgh, prospect Brent Clevlen is the main player coming to the Pirates in the prosposed deal that will send Jack Wilson to Detroit.

NHL could return to ESPN: John Ourand and Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal report the NHL and ESPN are talking about a deal that could see the U.S. cable sports powerhouse televising games as early as the 2008-09 season. The deal would see ESPN take over the weekly NBC package. Versus would have to surrender its exclusive cable rights in the U.S., but the network nobody can find would benefit from cross-promotions from ESPN. Source – Montreal Gazette.

I have been told ESPN 2 would televise more games than NBC has the past two seasons but they will not be the main carrier as it seems unlikely that Versus will surrender the majority of the games. The best case scenario for the NHL would be for ESPN 2 to become the main carrier with Versus televising the game of the week similar to what TNT does for the NBA. Once the playoffs are going on the two would alternate and during the Eastern and Western Conferences, ESPN would televise the East finals and Versus would televise the West Finals.

Dustin Penner a Oiler: (5 years, $21.25 million) The Anaheim Ducks did the smart thing and did not match.

Devils re-sign Zach Parise: The New Jersey Devils has re-signed forward Zach Parise to a 4 year deal worth 12.5 million. This deal could have implications for Jordan Staal when he is up for an extension.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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