The Legends Camp will offer something refreshing for the community

Citizens have been opposed to law enforcing officers for a few years now. I am not going to rehash what some view as police brutality. It has become clear that a reset is needed. For communities and police officers and police departments to take a collective breath and figure out how to mend whatever division there may be. Next week at the Legends Football Camp, camp founder Jeff Chadwick and his staff have come up with a way that could bridge some peace.

Former Police Chief, Brian Gregory will be honored at the lunch break Wednesday, July 13th. Gregory who served the Clare, Michigan community for 30 years is certainly worthy to be honored given time spent.

As officers gather from Clare and outlying areas to honor a fellow officer it has the ability to calm the storm of uneasiness that has swept our nation. Those seem like heavy words and perhaps they are. But, one random act of kindness can go a long way. It can also help to heal.

Policeman

In 30 years of service it is safe to say that former Chief Brian Gregory has seen a lot, the good and the bad. Such is the life of a first responder. It is not only the fact that Gregory is a community public figure, but that through this current environment Gregory has stuck to his oath as an officer to protect the people of Clare.

For former Detroit Lions and NFL veteran Jeff Chadwick to choose to shine the spotlight on such a public figure is a random act of kindness that could start other cities and towns to do the same.

As a nation we need to set aside our differences and really look at all the facts and not just hop on the this person is bad bandwagon because “everyone is doing it.”

One aspect that I am grateful for, is that not only will the Legends Camp be honoring Officer Brian Gregory, not only will spectators look on, but that the children both athletes at the camp and those in the stands will also be looking on.

The next generation will see an officer being honored. Let’s all hope they carry that with them the rest of their lives.

 

With The Legends camp quickly approaching excitement is building

Remember when you were a child (you may very well be a child now) and something you were looking forward to seemed far off? As the months turned to weeks and then to days, the excitement built up until it reached a fever pitch. That is what current children who signed up for this years  Legends Camp are feeling. The camp is just around the corner.

Photo taken in Chicago, United States

Soon children, adults, brother, sisters and all athletes will begin to file into the Brookwood Athletic complex in Clare, Michigan. Popcorn, candy, other food will begin to fill the complex’s air. And then the moment that has been building for quite some time will unfold.

As athletes take their place to get the days instructions, former NFL players will start to filter into the complex. Adults will reminisce about the players and the time they played in the NFL. Children will feel a steady blend of anxiousness and awe as they look into faces that have played football at the sports most elite level.

The athletes will be broken down into position groupings. Wide receivers will go with other receivers, linebackers with linebackers, and so on. Friendships will be made and memories will become cherished as the years move on.

Former Detroit Lions and NFL wide receiver Jeff Chadwick  and his team of volunteers do an outstanding job in preparing for the camp. Every detail is covered the goal is to get children out of the house. It is also a great tool in helping athletes stay in shape and focused on the game. That way when time comes for football practice for the school they attend they have an upper hand of sorts, being that they took part in a camp taught by former NFL players.

LOS ANGELES – OCTOBER 1986: Jeff Chadwick #89 of the Detroit Lions runs upfield against the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California on October 1986. (Photo by Bernstein Associates/Getty Images)

While many spots have been filled, there is still a little room for a few more athletes. Make sure you check out Jeff Chadwick’s website in the link provided. There you will find a phone number to call for any and all questions.

As a writer, I am looking forward to the Legends Camp. To see athletes running around being put through a series reps under the watchful eyes of former players.

Are you or someone you know heading to the Legends Camp? Leave a comment and let people know why your excited for the even that happens July 13th and 14th

The Detroit Red Wings hire Derek Lalonde as head coach

It took a while, but Detroit Red Wings general manager, Steve Yzerman said it would. The Red Wings named Derek Lalonde head coach in a move that seems to be a perfect fit. Every team talks about “the process,” in what can only be described as refreshing yesterday at the introduction press conference Lalonde gave detail into his process to mold the Red Wings into a more consistent hockey team.

Hockey: Tampa Bay Lighting coach Derek Lalonde with Jon Cooper in his office after practice before game vs Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena. Behind the Scenes.
Tampa, FL 1/17/2019
CREDIT: David E. Klutho (Photo by David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: X162440 TK1 )

Derek Lalonde is a winner. He has won and won big at every coaching stop he has made. Including with the Tampa Bay Lightning as that organization won back-to-back Stanley Cups and played for another this past season.

Steve Yzerman described Lalonde as checking all of his boxes as to what he was looking for in a head coach. Lalonde himself said he is a players coach but with a slight twist, he holds players accountable. Which any head coach should.

Onto what Derek Lalonde said was his own personal “process” in transforming the Detroit Red Wings, Lalonde said he wants to and needs to improve the teams defense. No truer words have been spoken. The Red Wings 3.78 goals against were second from the bottom in the NHL.

Next Lalonde moved onto the power play and penalty kill. The Red Wings were dead last in both of those areas. Next was to make the team harder to play against. The Red Wings have lacked fortitude and resilience and that needs to change.

Derek Lalonde mentioned a couple of other areas. But, the focus was centered around getting the Red Wings to play a more consistent brand of hockey. Which Lalonde has a history of doing.

This is the first NHL head coaching job for Derek Lalonde. Steve Yzerman is banking on a coach who has a history of connecting with players to help the Red Wings young core as they prepare to add more players in the coming days (2022 NHL Draft and free agency.)

DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 27: Former Captain Steve Yzerman addresses the media in advance of the Detroit Red Wings 1997 Stanley Cup celebration night before an NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena on December 27, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jennifer Hefner/NHLI via Getty Images)

Keep this in mind, Steve Yzerman built a heck of a hockey team in Tampa Florida and hired Jon Cooper, who was also a first time head coach at the tie he was brought in. Steve Yzerman does not miss the mark. If he feels Derek Lalonde is the right guy, he is.

So how do you feel about the new Detroit Red Wings head coach? Drop a comment and let me know.

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.