Source: Cal sports' future could be learned Friday


Source: Cal sports' future could be learned Friday

Feb. 2, 2011


A decision on the fate of five sports designated to be cut at Cal could come as early as Friday, according to a source close to the situation.

The self-imposed deadline of Monday was pushed back on Tuesday when athletic director Sandy Barbour announced in an e-mail that the university expected "to have a final decision within the next 10 days."

A copy of an e-mail sent Wednesday night to supporters of Save Cal Sports, a group of alumni and supporters of Bears athletics, was obtained

It stated that they were within "striking distance"regarding the funding needed to reinstate the five sports.

Baseball, rugby, men's and women's gymnastics and lacrosse will be forced to shut down at the end of this school year if a 25 million fundraising target is not met.

Save Cal Sports has reportedly raised more than 16 million.

The following is the e-mail sent to supporters of Save Cal Sports:

Thank you to all of you for your inspired and ongoing support for the reinstatement of all five recently cut Cal sports. We are within striking distance and I am confident that we will soon celebrate reinstatement together as a Cal community!We still need every single bit of financial support possible to make reinstatement a near-term reality. Please keep spreading the word and leave no stone unturned. Let it be known that this effort does not end with reinstatement as we have a larger need for lifetime endowment of all athletic programs at Cal.However, this is also about something much bigger than any individual sports program. This is about the overall health of the University of California as a whole. Those of us fortunate enough to have attended Cal know the importance and lifelong value of our academic and athletic experiences; we need to be proactive in our defense of what weve enjoyed and work fervently to preserve these opportunities for future generations of Bears.We need to be a shining example to the state of California- we can indeed come to the aid of our ailing University and ensure a strong and certain future for our preeminent institution of higher learning. During these difficult economic times, we can and will prove that Cal produces leaders; we will not ask may we but we will instead say WE WILL FIND THE WAY.California is the 8th largest economy in the world; we have a grave responsibility to the United States, but also to the world. ANY CUTS at Cal diminish our ability to accept this responsibility and be the leaders capable of effecting the change we wish to see in the world.Please continue to move forward deliberately and be a part of the solution. Help honor Cals past, present and future. We will earn reinstatement! GO BEARS!

Sharks shuffle up their lines ahead of homestand


Sharks shuffle up their lines ahead of homestand

SAN JOSE – When the Sharks signed free agent forward Mikkel Boedker in the summer, head coach Pete DeBoer immediately pictured him on a line with Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi, saying a couple weeks ago that it looked good when he wrote it down “on a napkin.”

DeBoer apparently went through a few more napkins on the flight home from Detroit on Sunday, a 3-0 shutout loss to the Red Wings on Saturday surely on his mind.

The Sharks resumed practice on Monday with four entirely new lines, including Boedker up with the Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Couture centered Donskoi and Joel Ward, while Tomas Hertl was in the middle of the third line with Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto. Chris Tierney skated as fourth line center with the remaining wingers.

“It’s not a panic situation or anything, I think you’re always looking for ways to get the most out of your group,” DeBoer said. “Our four-line game hasn’t been where I want it to be.”

Getting more out of Boedker is apparently part of the motivation for shuffling things up, as the newcomer has just four shots on goal through six games, with one point (a goal against Columbus on Oct. 15).

Playing with Thornton and Pavelski could help in that regard, just as it helped players such as Hertl last season.

“He’s got to shoot the puck more…and he knows that,” DeBoer said of Boedker. “I’m not concerned about him, but the nice thing about playing with those two guys is they push you to go to the areas where you have to score. Hopefully that gets him going.”

Boedker said: “It’s two of the best [players] in the league, so it’s going to be a lot of fun. Just got to listen and do the things they expect me to do, and make sure that I do them to the highest level.”

The line changes spreads out the Sharks’ speed a little more evenly among their scoring lines. They looked slow in losses to Detroit and the Rangers, especially.

“[Boedker] can bring some things to that line that Tomas maybe doesn’t,” DeBoer said. “Tomas has a great skill set, but this guy can back people off with his speed.”

Hertl will skate at center for the first time since early last January, although he saw plenty of time there in training camp when Thornton and Couture were competing in the World Cup. Last season, he had 15 points (4g, 11a) in 37 games before moving to the Thornton line full time on Jan. 9, where he took off.

The 22-year-old has three points (2g, 1a) in six games this season as a left wing.

“I think Hertl can play anywhere,” DeBoer said. “His game is at that point in his career and he’s a good enough player now that not only can he play anywhere, but I think he can make other people better around him.”

While the line changes will give the Sharks a new look on paper, Couture believes the bigger issue with the team – going back to the third period of Thursday’s 3-2 loss in Pittsburgh – is its compete level. 

“It’s compete and battle and playing the right way that we need to worry about,” he said. “We didn’t play well in Detroit, there’s no way around that. … We just didn’t compete, [and] that’s a frustrating thing, but it’s an easy thing to fix.”

The head coach echoed Couture’s estimation.

DeBoer said: “We have to realize how desperate a team we were last year every night, and the teams that we’re playing are out to hunt us based on our success last year. If we don’t have that desperation level, it’s going to be tough to win.”

The Sharks open a three-game homestand on Tuesday against Anaheim, and host the Blue Jackets and Predators later this week.

Leafs place ex-Sharks LW on waivers, claim ex-Sharks RW

Leafs place ex-Sharks LW on waivers, claim ex-Sharks RW

The Maple Leafs continued their early roster tweaking on Monday, with a pair of moves — veteran winger Milan Michalek was placed on waivers, and the club claimed forward Ben Smith from Colorado.

First up, Michalek.

The 31-year-old — acquired, along with other spare parts, in the Dion Phaneuf-to-Ottawa trade — had appeared in all five games for the Leafs this season, scoring two points while averaging 14:16 TOI per night.

So needless to say, he was a fairly regular contributor.

Today’s transaction is clearly a move to give younger players a bigger opportunity on the team. Michalek was a veteran presence on a club filled with kids, but that apparently wasn’t enough to justify his roster spot any longer.