Around The Bases – Your trip around the world in sports for September 14, 2018

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The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.

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First Base - Edmonton Oilers look to avoid repeat of last year

The Edmonton Oilers began training camp yesterday, and there is a lot of focus on whether this team will get back to being the club that reached the Western Conference Finals in the 2016-17 season, or if they will resemble last season's disappointing team that missed the playoffs by a wide margin. Head coach Todd McLellan was starting camp by asking the players who they are, forcing them to answer if they really believe they're a playoff team and if so, how they can get back there. For what it's worth, I don't think they're a playoff team. I may be biased, because I've actively cheered against the Oilers for most of my life, but that's cooled off in recent years. Now I just call it as it is, this team was bad last year despite having the best player in the world, Connor McDavid, already in the prime of his career. This year, the Oilers didn't make one meaningful free agent signing or trade, and defenceman Andrej Sekera is out with an injury, and Darnell Nurse still doesn't have a contract. The Oilers' defence is already their weak point, and losing two of their three OK ones isn't going to help. 

Second Base - GGG and Canelo Alvarez 2 goes tomorrow

Finally, the rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, commonly referred to as GGG, is happening tomorrow night. The first match occurred a year ago, on Sept. 16, and ended in a controversial draw. A rematch was set to occur in May, but Alvarez tested positive for a banned substance, postponing the match. As well, it seems the aftermath of the positive test is getting under the normally cool GGG's skin, and could result in a more lively match. Boxing matches of this magnitude happen only once or twice a year, and I really hope it lives up to the hype, and that GGG wins. GGG has a record of 38-0-1, while Alvarez's record is 49-1-2.

Third Base - Henrik Zetterberg retires

The Detroit Red Wings great, Henrik Zetterberg, has called it quits. General manager Ken Holland confirmed it this morning. Zetterberg is a beloved player, with one Stanley Cup championship under his belt. He's 37, and has missed a lot of time the last few seasons due to a back injury. It has hindered his points total, as he didn't make it to the 1,000 point range, totalling 960 points in 15 seasons. Zetterberg will be missed, especially by Red Wings fans who have little to cheer for these days.

Home Base - Ottawa Senators trade Erik Karlsson to San Jose Sharks

Finally, Erik Karlsson has been traded. The Senators parted ways with posibly the best defenceman in the NHL, trading him to the San Jose Sharks for Chris Tierny, Dylan DeMelo, prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, two conditional draft picks, and potentially two more conditional picks. This comes on the eve of NHL training camps starting, and concludes a period of almost two years in which fans were wondering if the Senators would really trade their best player. The Senators got a lot of assets back, but none of them jump off the board. Still, it was hard to imagine them getting back anything more at this point. The Sharks now welcome Karlsson to a blue line that already has Brent Burns and MArd-Edouard Vlasic, giving the team three of the best defenceman in the NHL and two of the three best offensive blue-liners. I like this trade, and hope the Sharks can dial it back this year and make a strong Stanley Cup run in Joe Thornton's final year. 

Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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