Welcome to the Wednesday edition of The Cooler, where we are ignoring rumors ahead of the nonwaiver blog trading deadline. Let’s get started:
*The Stanley Cup spent the day in Warroad, T.J. Oshie’s small Minnesota hometown more affectionately known as Hockeytown USA.
From the looks of it, the Cup got quite a tour, with several excellent photos circulating around social media. My two personal favorites:
The Washington Capitals official twitter feed shows Oshie eating Cap’n Crunch out of the Cup.
And Grand Forks Herald hockey writer Brad Schlossman has a great side-by-side photo tweet of Oshie and fellow Warroad hero and Olympic gold medalist Gigi Marvin circa yesterday and 2005.
Oshie spent most of the day in Warroad and then flew to Minneapolis, where his day with the Cup concluded with a private party. There, along with fellow Capitals Shane Gersich and Travis Boyd, some shenanigans ensued. Here’s Gersich doing a Cup stand.
Add those to the millions of stories the Cup can tell.
*As trade rumors continue to swirl around the Twins with the nonwaiver deadline less than a week away, they just won’t quite go away in the AL Central race. They’ve picked up two games in the last two days on Cleveland, getting within 7.5 of the lead again. Cleveland has one more today against red-hot Pittsburgh before three with Detroit. After that, they come to Target Field for a three-game series that falls right in the midst of the deadline. It’s a shame that series wasn’t a week earlier because Twins management will likely have had to make its buy/sell decision by then.
*DeMar DeRozan opened up to ESPN about the trade that sent him from Toronto to San Antonio, and there is some pretty revealing stuff in there.
*It was an up-and-down first 25 games for the Lynx, but they arrived at their All-Star break — with the game Saturday at Target Center — in pretty good shape all things considered. By defeating the Liberty on Tuesday for their third consecutive win, the Lynx improved to 15-10 — tied for third-best in the WNBA and just a game behind Atlanta for the second-best record.
Those distinctions are important in the WNBA, where under the current playoff format teams are seeded 1-8 for the playoffs, with the top two seeds getting double byes and the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds getting single byes.
The post-break schedule is intense. There are just nine games remaining, including three in a span of four days right out of the break against three of the league’s best teams. How the Lynx fare against Los Angeles, Seattle and Atlanta in that demanding stretch could determine their ultimate position.