In time the Detroit Pistons look like they could be a problem

The Detroit Pistons are coming! GM, Troy Weaver has done some very good work in recent days to push the Pistons rebuild ahead. With the moves, the Pistons rebuild suddenly looks much better and the team should start to reflect that this season, though not necessarily in wins/losses and that is okay. What is okay is the Pistons future looks bright.

In the 2021 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons brought in Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State University. This season Troy  Weaver would begin to place more talent around Cunningham.

BROOKLYN, NY – JUNE 23: Jaden Ivey poses for a portrait after being drafted by the Detroit Pistons during the 2022 NBA Draft on June 23, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Pistons picked #5 overall and selected Jaden Ivey, from Purdue. The guard will team with Cunningham and the duo will be one of the top backcourts in the NBA as they develop together and gain chemistry. Ivey, who has a lot of speed which allows him to be a dangerous player in transition should complement Cunningham’s skill set which will be fun to watch.

The Detroit Pistons traded Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers for a 2025 First Round Draft Pick. At first Piston fans moaned about the trade while Weaver sat back and formulated a plan so good that it caught many by surprise.

BROOKLYN, NY – JUNE 23: Jalen Duren poses for a portrait after being drafted by the Detroit Pistons during the 2022 NBA Draft on June 23, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)

Troy Weaver traded the 2025 first round draft pick to the New York Knicks for the #13 overall pick which the Pistons promptly got the big man they have been missing. Jalen Duren from the Memphis Tigers.

Duren who Troy Weaver locked onto is a good fit for the Pistons. While he does have some limits to his game, he fits well with what Weaver’s vision is for the Pistons and was a very good draft pick.

In a draft that saw Troy Weaver be both aggressive and exercise patience the Pistons core players now look dangerous (yes development needs to still take place,) Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren and Saddiq Bey give the team a solid foundation. One that in time will develop into a very good, fun team.

Troy Weaver absolutely nailed the draft. In fact the Detroit Pistons were this years biggest winner and it was not close.


The Detroit Tigers called up Riley Greene who rewarded the callup

Riley Greene who is the #2 ranked prospect in baseball, was called up Friday night by the Detroit Tigers. Saturday afternoon in Comerica Park, Greene made his Major League debut. Greene also provided the Tigers with some much needed life. So how does this help the team moving forward? I can only speculate.

For the free falling Detroit Tigers, Riley Greene was a shot in the arm. The Tigers have had a disastrous season to this point. Players not hitting has lead to the worst offense in the major leagues, while the pitching staff has been decimated with injuries. Such is sports.

DETROIT, MI – JUNE 18: Detroit Tigers CF Riley Greene (31) gets a hit in his first major league at bat during the game between Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers on June 18, 2022 at Comerica Park in Detroit, MI (Photo by Allan Dranberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Saturday afternoon, Riley Greene stepped to the plate and connected for his first MLB hit. Greene would go on to collect another hit and walk two time. He became the first Detroit Tigers to reach base four times in a debut since Scott Livingston in 1991, and first rookie since 2018 to reach the feet.

It is no secret Greene’s best friend is Spencer Torkelson. Torkelson has struggled in a big way his rookie season. Yesterday, with his best friend in the lineup Torkelson collected two hits.

Can one player make that big a difference? I actually believe they can. Being a top rated player in a system carries a heavy burden yet the good ones rise above and find a way to inspire teammates. Saturday afternoon saw the Detroit Tigers come to life.

Riley Greene has a sweet swing. One that has been compared to that of baseball Hall of Fame member, Ken Griffey Jr. What makes Greene so effective at the plate is his discipline. Greene does not chase many pitches out of the strike zone and is willing to go the opposite way if it means getting on base.

The one question when he was drafted fifth overall in 2019, was did he have the speed in center field to cover the huge outfield in Comerica Park. While that remains to unfold, at the very least Greene can play a corner outfield and be very effective.

LAKELAND, FL – MARCH 02: Riley Greene #53 of the Detroit Tigers looks on from the dugout and blows a bubble prior to the Spring Training game against the Boston Red Sox at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 2, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. The game ended in a 11-11 tie. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

It will be fun to watch the Detroit Tigers the rest of the season now that Riley Greene is on the team. While not a great season it will benefit the team moving forward.

How did you feel about Riley Greene’s debut? Drop a comment and let me know.


So who is leading the Detroit sports team rebuilds

It is still on going. The Detroit Pistons, still rebuilding. The Detroit Tigers, still rebuilding. The Detroit Lions, still rebuilding. The Detroit Red Wings, still rebuilding. It seems like forever all four major sports team in the city of Detroit, Michigan have been rebuilding. While it is a process and rebuilds do take a while it looks like one of the teams is very close to being competitive again. So which team is it? Let’s dive in.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 19: A general detail view of a Detroit Tigers hat and glove during a game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 19, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The Detroit Tigers have had a disastrous season thus far. The Tigers were said to have been ready to end the long rebuild and start taking steps to being a playoff team once again. It looks like the team is still a ways away.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 30: The Detroit Pistons logo is pictured on the court before the game against the Orlando Magic at Little Caesars Arena on October 30, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons have begun to put a nice core of players in place. For the Pistons there is still work to be done. I suspect the Pistons will start to take steps towards the playoffs in another season.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 08: Detail view of the Detroit Lions logo seen at the Super Bowl Experience on February 08, 2022, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions have done a solid job of bringing in solid young players and the team should improve. Not playoff improve mind you, but in terms of taking another step forward and developing the young player.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – FEBRUARY 16: A view of the logo of the Detroit Red Wings on a player’s jersey during an NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 16, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

That brings us to the team that I feel is just about done with the long rebuild they have been in. The Detroit Red Wings, with no #1 overall draft picks in the three soon to be four years Steve Yzerman has been GM he has done a masterful job at finding outstanding young talent and developing it.

What Yzerman has done has almost flown under the radar. He has steadily improved the Red Wings pipeline and given some real hope. The Red Wings team he has been working on is going to be a nasty team. The defense is going to be one if not the best in the NHL. Forwards have improved and Yzerman has all sorts of salary cap space to work with this summer.

In about four years the Detroit Red Wings will be serious Stanley Cup Champion contenders. In about three years the Red Wings will be a playoff team that makes some noise.

So there you have it. Drop a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Examining if the Columbus Blue Jackets should draft a center in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft

For a while center was a position of both concern and need for the Columbus Blue Jackets. With the recent additions of Jack Roslovic (came to Columbus via trade) Kent Johnson and Cole Sillinger both first round draft picks last year the center’s are starting to look up. The Blue Jackets have a need at LW (left wing) but if one of the elite centers is there at #6 should GM Jarmo Kekalainen make the selection?

Last year I was beyond thrilled that Kent Johnson was there when the Blue Jackets made the teams first, first round draft pick at #5. Johnson projects as a top line center and when all is said an done will be right around an 80 point player.

COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 24: Cole Sillinger #34 of the Columbus Blue Jackets looks to pass the puck during the first period of a game against the Edmonton Oilers at Nationwide Arena on April 24, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The fact that Cole Sillinger was there at #12 in the first round was next to unbelievable. Sillinger developed into a solid player and earned more minutes as the season moved along. Blessed with a great shot and much improved defense, Sillinger will be a core player for years to come.

So the question is if a player like Matthew Savoie is still on the board at #6 should the Blue Jackets make the selection? That would mean that Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner would almost certainly move back to wing. It would also give the Blue Jackets four solid centers with a lot of upside.

By drafting a player like Matthew Savoie it would give the Blue Jackets a great 1-2 punch at the top six forward. Savoie is a player who is as skilled and polished as they come. Many are projecting him to be right around the 80 point player Kent Johnson projects to be.

KITCHENER, ONTARIO – MARCH 23: Matthew Savoie #93 of Team Red skates against Team White in the 2022 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on March 23, 2022 in Kitchener, Ontario. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)

As I said the Blue Jackets need a LW, but the best player available also should be and needs to be in play. In my opinion if a player like Savoie is there, the choice is rather simple, draft him. Give your team four very good centers.

The Blue Jackets also pick again in the first round at #12 in the first round so there would still be time to draft a LW, like Ivan Miroshnichenko.

I am not a GM, and can only offer hypothetical scenarios. I prefer scenarios that are plausible. So what I offer and what the Blue Jackets do are two different things. In other words we shall see.

What do you think? Should the Blue Jackets draft a center when the #6 pick rolls around? Leave a comment and let me know.

3 players who can breakout for the Columbus Blue Jackets next season

As Columbus Blue Jackets general manager, Jarmo Kekalainen continues to mold and shape the teams roster it became clear last season that this make over while not fun, could yield a very fun, dangerous hockey team. Going over last seasons roster, and projecting what is to come, I have found 3 players who I believe are likely to breakout next season.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – MARCH 05: Yegor Chinakhov #59 of the Columbus Blue Jackets gets set during a face off against the Boston Bruins at Nationwide Arena on March 05, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images)

Yegor Chinakhov, RW, while nothing really jumped off the boards during his rookie season, Chinakhov’s all around play improved as the season moved along. 7 goals and 14 points with 7 assists  is not earthshaking. Looking ahead to projections, the fleet footed young winger has some very good upside. Chinakhov is a natural goal scorer and I believe much like Oliver Bjorkstand will find his scoring touch in time. I look for Chinakhov to take the next step in his development this coming season.

MONTREAL, QC – FEBRUARY 12: Adam Boqvist (27) of the Columbus Blue Jackets waits for play to begin during the third period of the NHL game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Montreal Canadiens on February 12, 2022, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC(Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Defensemen, Adam Boqvist is the next on my list of breakout player watch. Playing 52 games because of injuries, Boqvist flashed what is to come. 11 goals, 11 assists with 22 points, suggests that the young blueliner has some serious offensive upside. In what was his first full season in the NHL, Boqvist showed while young and still learning, his defensive game will be solid when it all comes together. Putting on more weight and getting stronger will help fend off the pesky injuries he sustained this past season. It will be fun to watch his development this coming season for the Blue Jackets.

COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 22: Columbus Blue Jackets center Cole Sillinger #34 skates with the puck during the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Ottawa Senators at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on April 22, 2022.(Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The next player may make some or all of you say, really? Or no kidding? But for me a player who should take a big step forward is Cole Sillinger. Sillinger, who at just 18 years old mind you had a very good rookie season. 16 goals, 15 assists with 31 points, including a hat trick. There was and is a lot and I mean a lot to like from the young center. When drafted the only knock on Sillinger was his “suspect defense.” Yet Sillinger played well at both ends of the ice. Can he improve? Yes! In my opinion, Sillinger has not even scratched the surface of what he is capable of doing, which should delight the Blue Jacket fan base.

So those are my 3 players who I believe will or very well could breakout for the Columbus Blue Jackets, next season. Drop a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Coffee with Satan

Followers of Jesus have some things right and some things wrong. Put all of your faith in Him, trust when you can’t see how something is possible and the list goes on. Yet, there seems to be something lacking in the Christian realm how to deal with Satan. The Book of Ephesians offers us the Armor of God, which certainly has it’s place in aiding against the devil. By and large the followers of Christ only want to talk with and to Him. I think that’s wrong.

Copyright has expired on this artwork. From my own archives, digitally restored.
Matthew 4:8
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.

I like coffee. In fact I have 2 cups to start my days. I have made coffee and talked with Satan. That’s right you read this correctly. I talk at times with Satan. You know who else did? God (spoke directly to him in heaven no less in the Book of Job) and Jesus who just so happened to be tested by Satan in the Book of Matthew chapter 4.

If we are called to be more like Jesus and less like, well ourselves shouldn’t we actually apply the things both God and Jesus have modeled? This is not “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” meeting. This is a one on one let’s chat meeting.

Depending on what is happening in your life, grab a cup of coffee and let Satan know what you think. I believe it is best to use the calmness and direct conversation that Jesus had with him route.

Jesus, used, wait for it……… the word of God to defuse what Satan was offering Him. Jesus never raised his voice or said something he did not mean. The bottom line and I believe the way to unarm the devil is the last things Jesus said to him in the Matthew 4: 1-11 passage.

10 Then Jesus said to him, [b]“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ 

It goes on to tell us that, brace for it……… Satan left Jesus and some angels came and helped Jesus. Jesus did not hide from Satan, nor did He run, nor was he confrontational. No, Jesus was just calculated.

Trust the Holy Spirit of God to lead you through conversations with Satan, but do not avoid them any longer.

Examining if Jonatan Berggren can be top six for the Detroit Red Wings

Ranked the #2 prospect in the Detroit Red Wings system, Jonatan Berggren is a player Red Wings fans are excited about. For good reason Berggren finished his season in Grand Rapids among the best rookies in Griffins history. Berggren finished with 21 goals, 43 assists and 64 points. So does that add up to a top six spot with the Red Wings in the future?

*For those who may not know or need a refresher, top six is a player on the top two lines.*

DALLAS, TX – JUNE 23: Jonatan Berggren poses after being selected 33rd overall by the Detroit Red Wings during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Jonatan Berggren, was drafted in 2018 in the second round. The Swedish forward (he plays left and right wing) was viewed as a playmaker. Berggren’s excellent vision lends itself to him being an outstanding passer, he is solid on the forecheck and boasts elite speed.

The Detroit Red Wings needed more from the young forward. This year Jonatan Berggren added scoring to his game. He is deserving of the #2 ranking in the Detroit pipeline.

Berggren did not get a call-up to Detroit, which at first glance looked odd. Yet, in my opinion I believe was the correct call. Even though Berggren’s play and numbers suggested a call-up was warranted, development trumped the call-up.

CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 06: Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Jonatan Berggren (48) plays the puck during the first period of the American Hockey League game between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Cleveland Monsters on December 6, 2021, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With his elite speed, vision, defense and now scoring touch Jonatan Berggren has played his way into the top six conversation. Which is good news because the Red Wings are short on forward prospects in the the system.

I believe  a couple of things are in store for the next NHL/ AHL season,

  1. I believe Berggren will get a good long look in training camp, and will be given an opportunity to compete for a job as he should because he earned that last season.
  2. I believe Berggren will start the season in Grand Rapids with the Griffins. Why? While the Red Wings need more scoring, development is vital to a long NHL career. So by starting Berggren in Grand Rapids it will allow him to pick up where he left off. If he is consistent at the start of the season and it matches last season, he will get a call-up and just might not be sent back down.

Jonatan Berggren, gives the Detroit Red Wings a player with a lot of hope given his upside.


The Detroit Lions have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL

You’re only as good as the guys up front. That is an age old saying when it comes to offensive lines and not just in the NFL, at any level of football. For the rebuilding Detroit Lions they can check the offensive line unit off of the to-do list. The Lions have a top 10 offensive line and that group when healthy is special. The Detroit offense can really take a step forward this season.

While the Detroit Lions were hit hard by the injury bug last season, when the teams first unit offensive line was on the field the Lions moved the ball well. Injuries came and the struggles settled in.

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker (68) defends against Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86) during the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Sunday, November 17, 2019 (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Center, Frank Ragnow missed most of the season, left tackle Taylor Decker missed a lot of games (8) and the list goes on. The fact is that Ragnow, Decker and last years first round draft pick Penei Sewell, give the Lions three very good linemen.

Decker and Sewell give the Lions one of, if not the best tackle duo in the entire NFL. Throw in Frank Ragnow who is in the 90% range for run block and for all centers and you can see why offensive line is not as big a hole to fix as other positions during this rebuilding process.

The Detroit Lions offensive line actually gives the team a shot to make a playoff run, even during a rebuild. Will it happen? I do not see that as being very likely, but the Cincinnati Bengals went to the Super Bowl a year after winning jus 2 games the year before, so I suppose it is possible.

While the focus this past NFL Draft was defensive heavy (for good reason that unit was not good and has a ways to go,) the question is with a healthy offensive line how does that improve the team in wins/losses?

General manager Brad Holmes, brought in more speed for the offense so that will help with tempo which the Lions were so slow last season paint almost dried faster that the Lions offense moved.

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell (58) defends against Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (65) during the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Sunday, October 17, 2021. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

This will be a unit to watch this coming season. It sure seems like Penei Sewell is a sure bet to take the biggest step forward. At the end of the day the Lions will be a better team heading into toe 2022-23 season. If the offensive line can stay healthy I believe 3-4 more wins is possible.

What will the Detroit Red Wings do with Tyler Bertuzzi

Tyler Bertuzzi is fresh off his best NHL season. Bertuzzi scored 30 goals, with 32 assists and 62 points, all career highs. He is set to be a restricted free agent. There is one small thing though, Tyler Bertuzzi is worth a lot, not just to the Red Wings but other teams would like his services as well. For the rebuilding Red Wings and general manager Steve Yzerman this is where things could get interesting.

Tyler Bertuzzi is a gritty player who’s teammates love. He plays with an edge to his game. At 27 years old how and does he project in the Red Wings future? Bertuzzi has said he wants to stay in Detroit. Steve Yzerman said he wants to sign him, but…..

If you remember, Anthony Mantha said the same thing about wanting to stay in Detroit and Yzerman said he wanted him. Mantha signed an extension and was traded. In a rebuild the only sure thing is gaining assets.

The toothless Toronto Maple Leafs made yet another first round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Needing toughness and having already talked to Detroit about Bertuzzi, this summer perhaps talks will heat up again. Or another team will come calling.

ST. LOUIS, MO – JANUARY 15: Toronto defenseman Timothy Lijegren (37) passes the puck during a NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues on January 15, 2022, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images),

Toronto is in serious salary cap trouble. Perhaps, they make an offer and Yzerman counters the offer by offering to take one of the Maple Leafs big contracts and say young defensive player Timothy Lijegren. This would be a fair deal. Toronto would shed some money for the cap and get a player that would bring toughness to the lineup. While Detroit would get a young defensive player to help the blue line.

Personally I feel that given his age and the fact he could help the Red Wings rebuild by being traded, it makes more sense to deal Bertuzzi and push the rebuild along a bit quicker.

This is going to be year four, for Yzerman as Red Wings GM. The Red Wings need to start to show improvement in the win column. Yzerman’s job is not in jeopardy nor should it be. The rebuild should have started years ago. Yzerman had to come in and clean up the mess which has taken time.

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 12: Tyler Bertuzzi (59) of the Detroit Red Wings turns to follows the play against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on April 12, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Ottawa defeated Detroit 4-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tyler Bertuzzi and his fate will be one thing to watch in the coming days leading up to the 2022 NHL Draft.

The NFL should use the USFL as minor leagues

For better or mostly worse the USFL reemerged after a long hiatus. The ratings are well about as one would expect, not good. What could help the league while also helping the NFL? A partnership of sorts, my thought is why doesn’t the NFL use the USFL as a minor league? MLB has a minor league system, the NHL does as well and the NBA, the NFL does not.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 02: A detail view of a NFL Crest logo is seen during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 2, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

16 players are allowed to be on an NFL practice squad. The Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions last season blew through all of their practice squad players as injuries hit both franchises.

Not ever player drafted by NFL teams are ready to play. Why not be able to send a player to the minor leagues for development and playing time? Playing in games is much different than practicing throughout the week. Reps are important for young players to have from a developmental stand point.

This would also be a way to grow the USFL as there are only 8 teams, meanwhile there are 32 NFL teams. By adding 24 teams and being affiliated with the NFL both leagues would grow as fans would be able to follow NFL teams and their young prospects.

The NFL plays games in the fall, while the USFL plays games in the spring. That could continue as well as both leagues games being televised. I believe ratings would improve for the USFL and the NFL would expand which would lead to more revenue. Imagine watching the NFL draft and seeing a few players being sent to the minor leagues. Fans and organizations can keep tabs on said player or players and watch them take steps to being a full-time NFL player.

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – MAY 01: A detail image of a Michigan Panthers helmet before the game against the Pittsburgh Maulers at Protective Stadium on April 30, 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Douglas DeFelice/USFL/Getty Images)

In my opinion this is something that at the very least should be explored. Round the year football would make many fans happy and would grow the sport.