Couch Potato Alert: 2/20

NFL draftniks rejoice, your Super Bowl weekend is upon you as the 2009 NFL Draft Combine will take place this weekend in Indianapolis. 300 of the best prospects from college football will gather together to be evaluated by all 32 teams in the NFL. They will be tested for speed, strength, agility, and mental capacity in order to determine their position for the upcoming draft in April. And the NFL Network will there to cover all the action beginning Saturday morning at 11 AM sharp.

All times ET…

College Basketball
Saturday, 2 PM: #11 Marquette @ Georgetown (ESPN)
Saturday, 3:30 PM: #3 North Carolina @ Maryland (ABC)
Saturday, 9 PM: #2 Oklahoma @ Texas (ESPN)
Sunday, 1 PM: #14 Villanova @ #25 Syracuse (CBS)
Sunday, 3 PM: Wisconsin @ #5 Michigan State (ESPN)
Sunday, 7:45 PM: #8 Wake Forest @ #9 Duke (Fox Regional Sports)

NBA
Friday, 8 PM: Dallas Mavericks @ Houston Rockets (ESPN)
Friday, 10:30 PM: New Orleans Hornets @ Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN)
Saturday, 9 PM: New Orleans Hornets @ Utah Jazz (NBA TV)
Sunday, 2:30 PM: Boston Celtics @ Phoenix Suns (ABC)
Sunday, 5:30 PM: Miami Heat @ Orlando Magic (ESPN)
Sunday, 8 PM: Detroit Pistons @ Cleveland Cavaliers (ESPN)

NHL
Friday, 7:30 PM: Anaheim Ducks @ Detroit Red Wings
Saturday, 1 PM: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers
Sunday, 3 PM: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals (NBC)

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Couch Potato Alert: 1/9

All times ET…

College Basketball
Sat, 12 PM: No. 21 Louisville vs. No. 17 Villanova, ESPN
Sat, 12 PM: No. 22 West Virginia vs. No. 15 Marquette
Sat, 1 PM: Kansas vs. No. 12 Michigan State, CBS
Sat, 2 PM: No. 2 Duke vs. Florida State, ESPN
Sun, 1:30 PM: Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Purdue, CBS
Sun, 8 PM: No. 3 North Carolina vs. No. 4 Wake Forest, Fox Sports Net

NBA
Fri, 8 PM: Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, ESPN
Fri, 10:30 PM: Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns, ESPN
Sat, 9 PM: Detroit Pistons vs. Utah Jazz
Sun, 8:30 PM: Orlando Magic vs. San Antonio Spurs, NBA TV

NFL
Sat, 4:30 PM: Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans, CBS
Sat, 8:15 PM: Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers, Fox
Sun, 1 PM: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants, Fox
Sun, 4:45 PM: San Diego Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, CBS

NHL
Fri, 9 PM: San Jose Sharks vs. Edmonton Oilers
Sat, 7 PM: New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators
Sun, 5 PM: New Jersey Devils vs. Anaheim Ducks

PGA
Fri, 6:30 PM: Mercedes-Benz Championship at the Kapalua Resort, The Golf Channel
Sat, 6 PM: Mercedes-Benz Championship at the Kapalua Resort, The Golf Channel
Sun, 6 PM: Mercedes-Benz championship at the Kapalua Resort, The Golf Channel

Couch Potato Alert: 1/2

All times ET…

College Football

Friday, 2 PM: No. 20 Mississippi vs. No. 8 Texas Tech – Cotton Bowl, Fox
Friday, 5 PM: Kentucky vs. East Carolina – Liberty Bowl, ESPN
Friday, 8 PM: No. 7 Utah vs. No. 4 Alabama – Sugar Bowl, Fox
Saturday, 12 PM: Buffalo vs. Connecticut – International Bowl, ESPN2

College Basketball

Friday, 8:30 PM: No. 11 Syracuse vs. South Florida, ESPN
Saturday, 12 PM: No. 3 Pittsburgh vs. No. 8 Georgetown, ESPN
Saturday, 12 PM: No. 23 Ohio State vs. No. 21 Minnesota
Sunday, TBA: Kentucky vs. No. 18 Louisville, CBS

NBA

Friday, 7:30 PM: Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks, NBA TV
Saturday, 8:30 PM: Philadelphia 76ers vs. San Antonio Spurs, NBA TV
Sunday, 6 PM: Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, NBA TV

NFL

Saturday, 4:30 PM: Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals, NBC
Saturday, 8 PM: Indianapolis Colts vs. San Diego Chargers, NBC
Sunday, 1 PM: Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins, CBS
Sunday, 4:30 PM: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings, Fox

NHL

Friday, 7 PM: Montreal Canadiens vs. New Jersey Devils
Friday: 10 PM: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Anaheim Ducks
Saturday, 5 PM: Ottawa Senators vs. New Jersey Devils

Brian Burke: Goodbye Anaheim, Hello Toronto?

The arrival of Anaheim Ducks general manger Brian Burke in Toronto this week fueled speculation that he in line to become the next general manger of the Toronto Maple Leafs. His situation is unique; Burke is completing the final year of a four-year contract and can become a free agent at the end of the season.

Duck ownership has offered a contract extension and Burke hopes to have a decision for them by Christmas. The hold-up is all on Burke’s end, as he has some family concerns that need to be addressed before accepting any job offer in the NHL.

The media has speculated that Burke is pondering a move back to the East Coast to be closer to his four children from a previous marriage. Burke’s other concern is his current wife’s broadcast career. They live in Southern California with their children and are trying to find balance between their respective careers.

Toronto’s reaction is “no comment” to all of the rumors. They will interview everyone that is available next spring and hope to hire the best candidate to lead them back to the playoffs. Veteran NHL executive Cliff Fletcher is the current interim head of hockey operations for the Maple Leafs until a permanent replacement can be found.

When asked if his situation is a distraction to the Ducks, Burke responded that his situation is no different than a player playing out their contract to become an unrestricted free agent and it shouldn’t be a distraction because he has communicated the team on all issues pertaining to his contract.

Four early season storylines in the NHL

The opening of the NHL season will take place overseas this weekend, and there are a few key storylines to keep an eye on during the first week of the season:

NHL invasion of Europe
A year ago, the Anaheim Ducks opened the season against the Los Angeles Kings in London, England. This season, four teams are kicking off the 2008-09 season in Europe: the Ottawa Senators will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in Stockholm, and the Tampa Bay Lightning open their season against the New York Rangers in Praque. The National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) President Paul Kelly announced that the number of teams opening the season in Europe could double next year, as multiple European cities have expressed interest in hosting NHL games next season.

Selanne resigns with the Ducks
Forward Teemu Selanne signed a two-year contract worth $5.25 million with the Ducks after the club traded defenseman Mathieu Schneider to the Atlanta Thrashers to free up the necessary cap space. Selanne didn’t want to miss time in training camp like last season when he was contemplating retirement from the sport. With a two-year commitment to the team, Selanne is committed to getting the Ducks back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Possible trades due to salary cap restrictions
Rumors have been circulating that a number of teams are looking to deal players due to salary cap restrictions. The Chicago Blackhawks have solved their salary cap problem by putting goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin on waivers this week. The writing was on the wall that his days were numbered in Chicago when the team signed free agent goalie Cristobal Huet to a four-year deal worth $22.5 million in July. The San Jose Sharks are looking to trade defenseman Kyle McLaren and his 2.5 million dollar contract to avoid starting the season $225,000 over the salary cap. McLaren became expendable after the team added Dan Boyle and Rob Blake to the backline in the offseason.

Inventive marketing plan on the West Coast
In an unusual joint venture, the Ducks and Kings announced a ticket-sales package for games that will be played Oct. 14 in Anaheim and Nov. 16 in Los Angeles. The package will be called the “Freeway Face-Off” and $60 will get fans tickets to both games.

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