"It changes your life in a second."
That was one of the many messages Broncos receiver Eric Decker had recently for students at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., trying to make sense of the fatal shooting at their school in December.
Decker, a former Gopher, has been in their shoes with the 2003 shooting at Rocori High School in Cold Spring, Minn., and told them that in a Denver Post story as well as a video shown at a school assembly.
"We didn't know what to think," said Decker, who hid for 45 minutes after the 2003 shooting of two students at his Minnesota high school. "Every girl was crying, every guy was trying to stay calm, and when they came and got us, we had to go across the street to the elementary school with our hands up. You see snipers on the top of the buildings, it's just surreal. That moment, you'll never forget."
After early season struggles, the Brooklyn Nets have found somewhat of a groove as of late. So has Kevin Garnett. With that and a return to Boston on the horizon Sunday, Garnett talked with reporters Thursday and opened up some about an earlier return of his -- to Minnesota in 2008.
"I didn't know the kind of response [I would receive,]" said Garnett, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo. "I was filled with a lot of anger. I didn't like the way I left Minnesota." Garnett was battling an abdominal strain at the time and didn't play. His anger with the Wolves is something he has hinted at before.
"It was up until I had a personal conversation with Kevin McHale that I started to release some of that -- those flaws and some of those bad times. I started to focus on the positives. I'm a normal positive person. I don't like to dwell on negativity. It was [after that] that I started to let some of that go. The people in 'Sota have always been great to me. I've always had a special place in my heart [for them], Boston as well. The fans and people there have always been good to me, my family and my friends. It's a special place in my heart that I'll always hold for life."
Garnett has showed his appreciation for McHale before. And the star has showed some of those flashes of unhappiness with Minnesota, such as earlier in the season when he was at Target Center with the Nets and declined to answer questions about whether he could return to Minnesota.
That said, Garnett does have plenty to be happy about, like this trip to the Chelesa Football Club locker room in London last week, earning him a Garnett No. 2 kit and a round of applause:
While the Minnesota State Mankato women were in the Twin Cities last weekend, their male colleagues were hosting a bitter weekend series at home with Ferris State. The Mavericks' 4-3 win Saturday turned into what SB Nation College Hockey called "Fight Night in Mankato." The tale of the tape from that one incident: 27 penalities, 160 penalty minutes, three disqualifications. And here is how that looks like on a score sheet. If you don't see YouTube video of the fight above, here's a link and move ahead to the 8:15 mark.
The Mavericks will face UMD on Friday at Xcel Energy Center without forwards Zach Stepan and Teddy Blueger, who got one-game suspensions. Stepan, a freshman from Hastings, has five goals and three assists so far on the season. Blueger, a sophomore Shattuck-St. Mary's product originally from Lativa, has nine assists.
The fight was also noteworthy, noted the Mankato Free Press' Puckato blog, for the buffalo wing sauce tossed on the ice by Mavericks fans. "It took a linesman with a towel and, later, some arena workers to wash and scrape the mess, which hit the ice during the brewhaha," wrote
Brett Hull's return to the St. Louis Blues as an executive vice president gives the Riverfront Times an opening to look at the former UMD Bulldog's career in the pros and his "off-the-ice personality that made him a celebrity." (That's Hull, at left, in 2012 in Dallas with Joe Nieuwendyk, center, to honor Ed Belfour, at right.)
It opens with an epic night out, one that began with a game and ended with practice the next morning and was connected by Hull's "borrowing" of then-Blues coach Bob Berry's Jaguar. Along the way, the article, focuses on how he made friends, with the nightclub security staff in the opening or with fans out at the St. Louis bars. And it's that skill set -- making friends -- that has Hull back in St. Louis. Blues ownership calls it schmoozing, in a job described as pitching to sponsors, going to public events and holding court in the corporate suites.
The story also gives a picture of a transformed NHL, in a world with cellphones and Twitter, the Blues of a few years ago were out in L.A. and holed up in their hotel ... for a video game tournament. And how a similar job for Hull with the Dallas Stars blew up, amid co-GMs, the unpredictable Sean Avery and the bankruptcy of Tom Hicks.
Of course, Hull is still "the Golden Brett. He drops an extraordinary statement for working in the Anheuser-Busch company town:
"I don't drink beer anymore because I don't get to sweat it out the next day in practice," Hull explains. "I drink martinis."
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