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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Farewell, 86

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Brief and to the Point …

>> Hines Ward’s amazing career with the Steelers is complete. Today is columnist Joe Starkey’s turn to columnize, so I’ll stay out of the way on this one for a bit.

The one thing I will toss in, maybe the only thing that bugged me out of everything that was learned yesterday, is that the Steelers never came to Ward with a reduced-salary offer. That doesn’t bug me because I think they should have. It bugs me because it spells out in stark terms that they never had the slightest interest in bringing him back.

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, Ward deserved to know this much sooner than yesterday.

>> This won’t be popular with Penguins fans, but that hit on Kris Letang last night was legal. Eric Nystrom took the body and, from what I could discern from replays, got the chest and whipped the head back. Initial point of contact was the chest.

Do I think it should be illegal?

Yes, absolutely. But it’s not under the current rules.

One common argument I was hearing last night was that Nystrom should have played the puck rather than the body. Now, I get that this is a football town, but that’s a football rule, not a hockey rule. Nowhere does it state you have to play the puck. The puck was right there, and Nystrom delivered the hit.

It stinks that it happened. It stinks that it will keep happening until the NHL bans all head shots, even those that are not at the initial point of contact.

But it wasn’t illegal.

>> The home portion of Pitt’s basketball schedule had a surprisingly uplifting conclusion last night . I had intended to go to that but got hit with this really nasty illness.

>> For all the hype, this Sports Illustrated expose on Ben Howland sure landed with a thud.

Or maybe it’s just us. Maybe we’ll never look at any scandal again the same way after Penn State.

>> Keeping it tight today, as always on chat day. We’ll begin this week’s session at noon.

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