Enjoy a Wednesday notes column with newsmakers Maya Moore, Gabe Kalscheur, Kirk Cousins, Sid Hartman and others.
It might just be that the Minnesota Lynx are formulating a compensation offer to entice Maya Moore back to the roster. Moore, known as the greatest winner in the history of women’s basketball, took a sabbatical last season to focus on criminal justice reform and expectations are she will miss the upcoming 2020 season, too. But a new agreement between the WNBA and the players association may have the Lynx front office thinking about a new contract offer to their missing superstar.
In January an eight-year Collective Bargaining Agreement was announced that raises pay 53 percent. Average WNBA salaries will reach six figures for the first time, with salaries for top players tripling and stars able to potentially earn more than $500,000.
In Moore’s first WNBA years of 2011 and 2012 she reportedly earned about $45,000 with the Lynx. Spotrac.com lists her most recent salary with Minnesota at $117,000. With the new CBA agreement players can earn a maximum salary of $215,000 but with other approved WNBA benefits the total can potentially exceed $500,000.
Moore turns 31 in June and while no one doubts her dedication to helping others, she may view the increased compensation as tempting and consider a return to the court with her playing days beginning to dwindle. Another factor perhaps influencing Moore’s thinking about a return to Minnesota is that a judge overturned the conviction Monday of a Missouri man whose case she has been championing.
Moore, who helped the Lynx win four WNBA titles, has been a major contributor to championship NCAA and Olympic teams. The Lynx begin the regular season May 15 at Chicago.
Gulp! This marketplace feasts on Vikings news and the next 12 months will have fans “gorging.” NFL free agency starts next week and the salary cap challenged Vikings will make additions and subtractions to their roster (including prominent names). The NFL Draft in April will be must-see TV viewing for the Purple faithful with most fans hoping the team’s No. 25 selection in the first round will be for a cornerback or offensive lineman. Also in the months ahead will be the drama surrounding GM Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer, both operating on one-year contracts.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins’ contract ends after next season and media speculation this week has him potentially ending up with the 49ers in 2021. If so, might Teddy Bridgewater return to Purple land? Now with the Saints, Bridgewater becomes a free agent later this month and could sign a one-year deal with a new club.
University of Minnesota men’s basketball had a 16-game average of 10,232 announced attendance for home games this season. That is the lowest since the program had an average of 8,395 during the 1970-1971 season.
The Gophers, playing their seventh season under head coach Richard Pitino, had one sellout at Williams Arena, with an announced attendance of 14,625 against Iowa.
Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg talking about the deep Big Ten with many quality teams and the conference tournament that starts tonight with the Minnesota-Northwestern game: “Be as good a tournament as there is.”
Minnesota defeated the Wildcats twice during the regular season, 77-68 in Minneapolis and 83-57 in Evanston.
Gophers sophomore guard Gabe Kalscheur, known for his three-point shooting, has expanded his offensive style late in the season by driving more to the basket, and has scored 40 points in his last two games. “Nobody works harder than Gabe,” said Pitino.
Sid Hartman’s 100th birthday is Sunday, March 15 and his longtime radio home, WCCO, will be celebrating with programming from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day.
The Meet Mikko Koivu event scheduled for yesterday at Fan HQ’s Ridgedale Center store was postponed to a later date because of NHL policy regarding the Coronavirus. No date has been announced yet for an appearance by the Minnesota Wild veteran.
No. 2 nationally ranked Minnesota State and No. 12 Bemidji host WCHA playoff games starting Friday. Both Minnesota programs are 2020 Frozen Four contenders for the NCAA title. They host Michigan Tech and Bowling Green (Ohio) respectively this weekend.
Bowling Green is coached by Ty Eigner, brother of St. Thomas Academy boys’ hockey coach Trent Eigner. Before going to Bemidji the Falcons were scheduled yesterday to practice at the Academy and today at Braemar Arena.
There might not be a more frequent supporter of various Gopher sports than retired U athletic director Joel Maturi who attends as many events as possible.
Look for NCAA wrestling attendance records to be broken when the NCAA Championships are held at US Bank Stadium March 19-21.Comments Welcome