NHL star inks a 7-year contract extension

NHL star inks a 7-year contract extension

From Comcast SportsNet
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers have locked up forward Taylor Hall with a seven-year contract extension. The Oilers say the contract is worth an average of 6 million per season. The club announced the deal Wednesday on its Twitter account. Hall was the first overall pick in the 2010 draft and has since become a key fixture on the team's youthful top line alongside fellow first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. Hall finished with 27 goals and 26 assists in 61 games before his season was cut short by a shoulder injury. Those numbers were slightly up from his rookie year when he had 22 goals and 20 assists in 65 games in another injury-shortened season.

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Demaryius Thomas to Josh Norman: Where's your Super Bowl ring?

Demaryius Thomas to Josh Norman: Where's your Super Bowl ring?

Josh Norman is bound to receive a lot of attention for the new story in ESPN The Magazine that centers around him. The Redskins star likely expects it, too, after calling himself "the best cornerback on earth" and Odell Beckham Jr. a "villain."

But Beckham isn't the only wideout whom the defensive back goes after in the feature. At one point, Norman says of Broncos pass catcher Demaryius Thomas, the target Norman held to just one catch in Carolina's Super Bowl loss to Denver: "I don't know what he was out there for. He was supposed to be an all-world guy, and I shut him down."

Well, that quote has clearly already reached Thomas, judging by this tweet he sent out on Tuesday:

Unfortunately, while Norman will have a chance this year to directly silence other players who've called him out this offseason — including the aforementioned Beckham, Cardinals corner Patrick Peterson and his former club who shockingly released him — the Broncos and Redskins aren't scheduled to face one another in 2016.

Unless, of course, both sides are able to make their way to Houston for Super Bowl 51. And if that matchup does somehow come to fruition, Norman will finally be in position to answer Thomas' Twitter taunt and secure a ring of his own. For now, however, Thomas has the upper hand... or finger, that is.

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Injury concern puts Chris Tillman's Thursday start in jeopardy, Showalter says

Injury concern puts Chris Tillman's Thursday start in jeopardy, Showalter says

BALTIMORE — Chris Tillman’s Thursday start against the Nationals is in jeopardy. 

Tillman, whose Saturday start was delayed by three days because of shoulder discomfort, tried to throw in the bullpen.

“Chris did not have a good work day today. It did not go well. We’ll see if we need to make an adjustment in his start,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

“They’re looking at him now. It didn’t go as well as he expected it to. We’ll see. That time of year,” Showalter said. 

Tillman, who is scheduled to be examined by orthopedist Dr. Leigh Ann Curl, is 15-5 with a 3.76 ERA. 

He allowed six runs in two-plus innings on Saturday night. 

Showalter said the Orioles will decide on Wednesday who will start in Washington. 

“We’ll have to make some plans if he didn’t pitch,” Showalter said. “I didn’t like some of the faces I saw.” 

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Josh Norman on increased attention: I'm no longer the underdog

Josh Norman on increased attention: I'm no longer the underdog

ASHBURN - Things turned upside down for Josh Norman this summer, and as the coverage surrounding his every word increases, the new Redskins cornerback knows what to expect. The latest batch of bulletin board material came from an ESPN the Magazine article in which Norman proclaimed, among other things, that he's the best corner in the league. Asked about those comments on Tuesday, Norman did not want to discuss it.

"I’m not about to answer any questions about it right now," Norman said in a media scrum. "I think at a later date those questions will be asked, but right now something that was done five months ago, I really don’t feel like talking about after our practice today."

Though Norman didn't comment on the specifics in the article, the conversation turned around to the new spotlight the Redskins $75 million player lives under.

"When you get a deal like that, everything comes with it," he said. "Everything’s magnified times 10."

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Norman explained that for his whole career - from a late-round draft pick to a backup to an All-Pro - he always felt like he had to earn his spot, though that role has changed.

"Once I was the underdog and I had to fight my way up to the top. I had to like drive, drive, drive, drive and continue to work hard and do everything that I’ve gotten to this point. But now, I’m no longer the underdog. Now I’m no longer that person. Now I am the guy that has to take on a new face, has to take on a new mask and be somebody that is always going to be the standard."

Changing roles will not be too much for Norman to handle.

"That’s something that I haven’t experienced yet and now taking that challenge and looking at it, I want to do it in a way I want to do it and not no way nobody else wants to make me do it. I think that, in an aspect, I just have to grow in that field, which I will. Those things come and I just got to understand that, but still have that dog when you’re on the football field."

Norman said that his faith helps him handle challenges, and pushes him to get through tough times.

"I can take it. I can go and use it and use it as another tool to try to find myself as a person and as an individual player to come in and bring something different. I think if I can have that unique set of tools and skills to be able to fend off everything that people say, I can take it. I can take it and continue to be successful."

For Redskins fans, as long as Norman is successful on the field, the headlines and increased exposure will be fun distractions. 

"I can take it. I’m a big boy. I got some big shoes. We’ll be having fun with it and enjoying our teammates that’s on the team now."