Your Desolate Sports Morning Links: Haynesworth & Donny Mac, Deion & Dez, Plax, Sixers Sale, and Vokoun

Your Desolate Sports Morning Links: Haynesworth & Donny Mac, Deion & Dez, Plax, Sixers Sale, and Vokoun

So, it's midsummer, and the Midsummer Classic is behind us, which can only mean one thing. There's no sports today. Nada. I'm on vacation as I often am when the All-Star Game rolls around, so it's decent timing for me, except that I usually like to spend these few days reading up on the next NFL season in preparation for dominating my fantasy football league. With the lockout still in place and free agency yet to have its way with the current league reality, it hardly seems worth the effort yet.

But two full days without any live local sporting action are underway, so we'll get our Wednesday programming started with some stories of interest from around the Webs this morning. On the docket for today: The Sixers sale could happen very soon, reports on the future of McNabb and Haynesworth in DC, Plax's game of Mad Libs, Deion's Dez diss, Conlin declares WAR, and the "market" for Tomas Vokoun.

Let's start with the Skins. Jason La Canfora of NFL.com is reporting that Washington will try to land some big targets in free agency. Someone needs to overpay a few guys they should probably stay away from, right? Of course, that will likely mean a few possible bidding wars with the Eagles, who were long ago predicted to be a big spender once the market opens. Also of interest in Jason's story is that the Skins will attempt to trade Albert Haynesworth and probably release Donovan McNabb, two of the bigger off-season acquisition busts in a franchise with a solid recent history of them. They'll want to try to get something for Haynesworth and keep him from heading up 95, but finding a team without Jim Washburn on its welcoming committee to trade for his contract will have its challenges. When FA does open though, remember the names of Haynesworth and McNabb when looking around the league at sure-fire team-improvers. [NFL.com, via Rotoworld]

Elsewhere in the NFC East, it seems Deion Sanders has given up on Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, although not given up talking about him. Note to NFL players who are still, ya know, playing: Give up on Deion before he tries to keep his name in the headlines by attaching it to yours. Unless you play for Dallas, in which case, feel free to keep this little carousel moving right along. [ESPN]

You remember all those nice things Plaxico Burress said about joining the Eagles? Remember Mad Libs? NFL.com has a good version where "Chicago Bears" been substituted for "Philadelphia Eagles" in the "NFL team" field. [NFL.com]

The sale of the Sixers to a few business school All-Stars is close to being finalized, says Bob Cooney of the Daily News. [philly.com]

Bill Conlin throws a grenade at Ryan Howard haters and the SABR community at large. Then he throws five more for good measure. [philly.com]

One of the more interesting stories of the NHL free agency signing frenzy was that it didn't include goalie Tomas Vokoun, who ultimately received no initial offers and finally settled on a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Washington Capitals. While the match could make a true Cup contender out of an already very good team, Vokoun seems to have been hoping for a better financial reward for his many years of notable netminding. That he turned down a three-year deal prior to July 1 is telling of the disparity between market expectations and reality. [Puck Daddy]

Draymond Green says what we all really think about Joel Embiid

Draymond Green says what we all really think about Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid has caught the eye of a Golden State Warrior.

At Golden State's shootaround Sunday night at the Sixers' practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, Warriors power forward Draymond Green said what we all think about Joel Embiid.

"He has a chance to be really f------ good," Green said.

Green and the Warriors will miss Embiid Monday when they tip off against the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center. Embiid will miss two more games to minimize the risk of aggravating his left knee injury. The Sixers are targeting Friday against the Knicks for his return (see story).

Embiid hasn't played since the Jan. 27 game against Houston and has missed 16 of their last 17 games. Still, the 22-year-old has shown, when healthy, he's a special player that Sixers can build around.

In 31 games -- with minute restrictions and missing 27 games, too -- Embiid is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists. He's shooting 46.6 from the field, and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. Despite running a tremendous Twitter campaign for the NBA All-Star Game, he missed out being an All-Star in his first year. He won the NBA's Rookie of the Month for October, November, December and January. Yeah, we all agree with Green.

But how much of Embiid has Green seen?

"I haven't had a chance to watch him," Green said. "I think he has a chance to be damn good. He's figuring it out. He's versatile. He can do a lot of things."

For more from the Warriors on the Sixers' potential, watch the video above.

Best of NHL: Sergei Bobrovsky ties career high with 32nd win as Blue Jackets top Rangers

Best of NHL: Sergei Bobrovsky ties career high with 32nd win as Blue Jackets top Rangers

NEW YORK -- Cam Atkinson and Alexander Wennberg each scored twice to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots to tie his career high with his 32nd win. Josh Anderson also scored and Oliver Bjorkstrand had two assists to help the Blue Jackets win for the fourth time in five games.

Columbus won for the second time in two days after its bye week and moved past the Rangers into third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Blue Jackets won three of five in the season series -- including both games at Madison Square Garden -- after losing seven straight meetings coming in.

Rick Nash scored a tying goal for the Rangers early in the first period. Jesper Fast scored in the final second, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 26 saves (see full recap).

Surging Blackhawks beat Blues on late Anisimov goal
CHICAGO -- Artem Anisimov scored with 5:20 left in the third period to lift the Chicago Blackhawks over the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night for their fourth straight win and ninth in their last 10.

Anisimov beat Jake Allen on the glove side from the right edge of the crease for his 22nd goal after taking a pinpoint cross-ice pass from linemate Artemi Panarin. Tanner Kero added an empty-netter with 2.6 seconds left.

Patrick Kane assisted on Anisimov's winner and scored a power-play goal. Jonathan Toews also had a goal and an assist for surging Chicago, which pulled one point behind first-place Minnesota in the Central Division and Western Conference.

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith had an assist for his 500th NHL point.

Magnus Paajarvi and Alex Pietrangelo scored for the Blues, who played their first game following their bye week and lost their third straight (see full recap).

Gaudreau's 2 goals helps Flames down Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Johnny Gaudreau had two goals and an assist to help the Calgary Flames beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Sunday.

Micheal Ferland also scored for the Flames. They have earned at least one point in six straight games, going 5-0-1 in that stretch to move into playoff position in the Western Conference.

Victor Rask scored on the power play for Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost six of seven to fall into last place in the Metropolitan Division.

Brian Elliott made 34 saves for the Flames, with his best coming with roughly 15 minutes to play when he stopped Jeff Skinner from point-blank range.

Eddie Lack finished with 21 saves. He made his second straight start for Carolina (see full recap).

Turris, Anderson lead Senators past Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kyle Turris scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period and Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots to lift the Ottawa Senators over the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Sunday night.

Zack Smith had an early short-handed goal for the Senators, who have won four of six.

Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida, and James Reimer made 31 saves. The Panthers have lost three straight after sweeping a five-game road trip, and dropped their last four home games overall.

Turris put Ottawa ahead when his wrist shot went over Reimer's glove at 9:58 of the second for his 21st goal of the season.

The Senators took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Smith. Reimer blocked a shot from Erik Karlsson, but Smith grabbed the rebound and poked in the puck at 6:28 of the first. Smith has 12 career short-handed goals (see full recap).