What did it take to get the Sixers to make Camden their practice home? $82 million in grants

What did it take to get the Sixers to make Camden their practice home? $82 million in grants

Last week we wrote about the Sixers prepping to build their new "Taj Mahal" of practice facilities over on the Camden waterfront right near the baseball field and the aquarium. Today, that appears to be a whole lot closer to reality.

The Inquirer's Julia Terruso reports that things went the way the Sixers were hoping at the proceedings:

The state's Economic Development Authority voted unanimously Tuesday to award an $82 million grant to the Philadelphia 76ers to build a practice facility and offices on Camden's waterfront.

Many wondered why the team would shun Philly, the Navy Yard area specifically when it seemed to make so much sense, but the answer is typically money. The team will receive $8.2 million in grants per year for 10 years.

That's what it takes to get a nice practice facility in Camden. Some reports have placed the groundbreaking as early as this October.

>>NJ approves $82 million for Sixers practice facility in Camden [Inqy]

Best of NHL: Capitals blow lead, rebound for OT win over Bruins

Best of NHL: Capitals blow lead, rebound for OT win over Bruins

WASHINGTON -- Nicklas Backstrom scored 1:36 into overtime, helping the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 after blowing a three-goal lead Wednesday night.

Justin Williams scored twice and Daniel Winnik also had a goal to put Washington ahead 3-0 about six minutes into the second period.

After Winnik's tally, Washington went over 26 minutes without a shot on goal. Boston dominated the final five minutes of the second period, when Dominic Moore and David Pastrnak beat goaltender Braden Holtby. Colin Miller's power-play score 8:19 into third tied it at 3.

Boston arrived in Washington 4-0-1 over its last five games with three wins in a row, including a 4-3 overtime triumph against Florida on Monday night.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists for the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin got his first point since Nov. 26.

Boston outshot Washington 34-20. The Capitals have won two straight following a three-game losing skid (see full recap).

Staal scores on Leafs again in Wild win
TORONTO -- Eric Staal scored yet another goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs, lifting the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night.

Staal has 47 points in 43 career games against Toronto, and three of his six goals this season have come against the Leafs.

Jason Zucker and Chris Stewart also scored for the Wild, who wrapped a five-game trip 2-1-2.

Ben Smith and Tyler Bozak had goals for the Maple Leafs, who dropped to 8-4-0 at Air Canada Centre.

Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves for Minnesota and Frederik Andersen stopped 17 shots for Toronto (see full recap).

Eric Semborski gets his own Topps hockey trading card as Blackhawks' emergency goalie

Eric Semborski gets his own Topps hockey trading card as Blackhawks' emergency goalie

Eric Semborski will never forget his day as an NHL goalie.

His own hockey trading card should only help.

Semborski's story got that much cooler Wednesday night when Topps NHL Skate announced it produced a card for the 23-year-old from his game as the Chicago Blackhawks' emergency backup goaltender against the Flyers last weekend.

For those of you that don't know the wild story of the Blackhawks' finding Semborski — a Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, native no longer playing competitively since his Temple club days — you can read about it here ...

“I was at work, at the rink in Voorhees just coaching,” Semborski said. “My boss called me and I missed it. I walked off the ice and started talking with someone from the Flyers, he started asking me, ‘Where’d you play hockey, what’s your playing history?’” 

Semborski was confounded.

“I didn’t even know what he was getting at,” he said. “I asked, ‘Why are you asking me this?’ And he said, ‘Oh, Chicago needs a goalie.’ I just lost it. He said, ‘Go home, get your stuff and if they’re going to use you, they’ll call you.’ I left right away.

“I was like, OK, this probably isn’t going to happen, there’s no way.”

Ten minutes later …

“I’m in the truck and I got a call from Chicago,” Semborski said.

Semborski already has some memorabilia.

“I got a couple of pucks, got a hat, they’re going to send me a jersey,” he said after Chicago's 3-1 loss to the Flyers on Saturday.

"I should be paying them for this. That was awesome.”

He can add his own card to the collection.