Athletics

Sharks' Pavelski named NHL's First Star

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Sharks' Pavelski named NHL's First Star

March 21, 2011SHARKS PAGESHARKS VIDEO

NEW YORK San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski, Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ray Emery and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Mar. 20.FIRST STAR JOE PAVELSKI, C, SAN JOSE SHARKS Pavelski led the League in scoring with 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in four games as the Sharks (42-23-8) won three of four starts to retain first place in the Pacific Division. Pavelski recorded four multiple-point games, beginning with a one-goal, one-assist effort in a 6-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Mar. 14. He notched four assists in a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars Mar. 15, recorded a pair of assists and a game-high seven shots in a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild Mar. 17 and closed the week with two goals, one assist and a game-high eight shots in a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues Mar. 19. Pavelski increased his season points total to 57 (16 goals, 41 assists), two shy of his career high of 59 set in 2008-09. He already has set a career mark in assists, eclipsing the previous high of 34 in 2008-09.SECOND STAR RAY EMERY, G, ANAHEIM DUCKS No. 1 - Joe Pavelski (Getty Images)Emery continued his successful comeback from hip surgery by posting a 2-0-0 record, 0.99 goals-against average and .968 save percentage last week, helping the Ducks (40-27-5) jump to eighth place in the Western Conference playoff race. Emery stopped 61 of 63 shots, beginning with a 30-save performance in a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues Mar. 16 -- his first NHL start in over a year. He also recorded 31 saves in backstopping Anaheim to a 2-1 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings Mar. 19. Emery's start vs. St. Louis was his first in the NHL since Feb. 1, 2010 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. He underwent season-ending hip surgery a month later and became a free agent at the end of the season. Emery signed with Anaheim on Feb. 7, was recalled from AHL Syracuse Mar. 7 and made his 2010-11 NHL debut in a relief appearance on Mar. 13 vs. Phoenix.THIRD STAR P.K. SUBBAN, D, MONTREAL CANADIENSSubban topped NHL defensemen in scoring with six points (four goals, two assists), highlighted by a milestone performance at Minnesota, as the Canadiens (40-26-7) won twice in four starts and moved within one point of the first-place Boston Bruins in the Northeast Division. Subban recorded one assist in a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals Mar. 15, recorded one goal in a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers Mar. 18 and finished the week with his first NHL hat trick plus an assist and a 3 rating in an 8-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild Mar. 20. Subban, 21, became the first rookie defenseman in Canadiens history to tally three goals in a game. He also is the first Montreal defenseman overall to tally a hat trick since Sheldon Souray in December 2003 and the first Montreal rookie overall since Oleg Petrov in December 1993.

The young A's player that could be biggest beneficiary of Rajai Davis trade

The young A's player that could be biggest beneficiary of Rajai Davis trade

The A's traded veteran center fielder Rajai Davis to the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon, clearing yet another veteran from their roster.

In return they receive 18-year-old outfielder Rafael Rincones, a Venezuela native currently playing in the Dominican Summer League.

The move doesn't come as a shock in the grand scheme of things. Davis, 36, is signed only through this season and didn't fit in the plans of Oakland's current youth movement. He did, however, have to clear waivers before this move could happen. And he joins Yonder Alonso as the second veteran the A's have shipped off after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The move opens up the possibility of Chad Pinder getting some playing time in center field against left-handers, as manager Bob Melvin has said he'd like to get Pinder some starts out there.

With recently promoted Boog Powell playing well in center, there's the chance he could draw some starts against lefties too, so it may not be a straight platoon. Pinder also sees playing time in right field, shortstop and second base.

Teams will continue to call about Klay Thompson and Warriors will keep laughing

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AP

Teams will continue to call about Klay Thompson and Warriors will keep laughing

There is a single reason teams keep sniffing out the availability of Klay Thompson, and it’s far more easily understood than the myriad reasons the Warriors keep telling them no.

No fewer than four teams have either reached out or considered reaching out, the latest being revealed as the detested Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Warriors, of course, declined them, perhaps after general manager Bob Myers put Cavs GM Koby Altman on speakerphone so everybody at Warriors HQ could double over with team-building laughter.

The Cavs got the same answer as was previously heard by the Pacers and the Timberwolves, and maybe even the Celtics, whose interest was rumored though never actually substantiated.

All four teams, though, along with maybe few others, all reached the same conclusion. They looked at the Warriors, studied their prime core, and concluded that Thompson was the most available member.

Clearly more available than Stephen Curry, who is the face of the franchise.

Likely more available than Draymond Green, whose two-way versatility and temperament are vital to the grand ambitions of the Warriors.

And infinitely more available than Kevin Durant, who arrived two years after Minnesota shot its shot -- by dangling Kevin Love -- and evolved into their most impressive overall player.

So it’s Thompson who gets his tires kicked. He’s 27 years old, has two years remaining on his contract and, most germane, seems to be the least emotionally invested star in the organization. That is may not be true, but it’s an easy conclusion based on appearances and the misguided thought that the Warriors don’t value him as much as they do the others.

Wrong.

“It's really cool,” Thompson said Wednesday, referring to being pursued and prized. “It shows the Warriors believe in me and these other teams want me to be a part of their success. So I appreciate it. I've been in trade rumors forever. Everyone has. Except for maybe LeBron James, Steph — well, even Steph early in his career.”

Any team that asks about Thompson is aware that the Thompson-Love deal gained considerable traction in 2014 before it was vetoed by then-adviser Jerry West and newly hired head coach Steve Kerr.

If the Warriors were thinking about it then, why not later?

They have their reasons, beginning with the fact they’ve experienced more success over the past three seasons than at any time in franchise history, winning two championships in three seasons and becoming a regular in the NBA Finals. Why even consider breaking the squad that so clearly is the cream of the NBA?

Another reason is that the Warriors have come to fully understand Thompson’s role in their competitive prosperity. He’s a gunslinger that manages to be highly productive without spending much time with the ball, and his fabulous defense makes that end of the court so much easier for Curry. The Thompson-Curry backcourt is the best in the league and already in the discussion for the best ever.

There is another component that is rather understated. Thompson is the ultimate zero-maintenance All-Star. In a locker room of varied personalities, some loud, nearly all opinionated, he’s like a breeze that is cool enough be felt yet never so much it feels imposing.

The Warriors have come to appreciate Thompson being the closest thing to a wind-up All-Star in a league where that is exceedingly rare. Give him a jersey, a ball and some shoes and let him go.

So, no, he’s not leaving anytime soon. The only way he goes before he becomes a free agent in 2019 -- at which time he’s likely to take a peep around the NBA -- is if the Warriors somehow take a tumble in the standings or try to low-ball him.

Until then, teams may continue to ask. They have to as a strategy to improve themselves while diminishing the league’s powerhouse. Understanding this, the Warriors will take the calls and appreciate the humor of it all.