• People on the inside speaking about Major League Soccer, and where a new stadium will wind up in Minnesota, say all the talk about putting the new franchise in St. Paul is just a way of applying leverage to the Minneapolis political bodies to come through for Dr. Bill McGuire’s group to get the minor tax breaks they need.
• Charlie Sanders, the former Gophers and Lions gridder who died last week, was, in my mind, the best tight end to ever to play for the Maroon and Gold and he proved how great a player he was by competing in seven Pro Bowls. The one tough part for Sanders’ career is he played in 19 matchups between the Vikings and Lions from 1968 to 1977, and the Lions’ overall record was 2-17.
• Flip Saunders, the Timberwolves president and coach, said Nemanja Bjelica, the European MVP who will join the Wolves, has the kind of presence that will make Andrew Wiggins better. “If I had one thing that we lack a little bit in our frontcourt it’s the ability for any of our players, outside of Wiggins, to put the ball on the floor and make a play. Those are things [Bjelica] can do. He’s a multidimensional player, he can play small forward, power forward, he really shoots the ball extremely well from the perimeter and he can handle the ball.”
• New Wild signee and former Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly on getting to play for his hometown team: “Growing up, going to games, kind of the back of your mind, you sit there and kind of dream about a little bit of potentially playing here,” he said. “But I definitely did not predict it to actually happen.”
• Hassan Mead, the former Gopher All-America, will run in the IIAF World Championships in August in Beijing after finishing third at the USATF Outdoor Championships last month.