PASS THE MIKE: American athletes take game overseas

I guess there will not be a "Battle for Chicago" in the World Series. There certainly won’t be another subway series between New York’s boroughs, and it looks like an all-Texas final will never happen.

Whose bright idea was it to christen the Angels as a two-city team? The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim makes no sense. Are they from Anaheim or Los Angeles? It can’t be both. It’s a bad marketing ploy and an insult to those in Anaheim.

NHL goes across the pond

The National Hockey League’s Premiere weekend in Europe was a big success, with four teams making the trip overseas. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated Finnish team Jokerit in the preseason while the Ottawa Senators topped the Swedish Frolunda.

The New York Rangers’ preseason in North America was abysmal at best, posting a 1-5 record. In Europe, the Rangers defeated Swiss club Bern, 8-1, before defeating Russian squad Magnitogorsk in a thrilling 4-3 victory in the Victoria Cup.

The Victoria Cup game was a huge victory for European hockey; even though the NHL was victorious in the game, it proved a close second to the NHL in talent. Magnitogorsk was up 3-0 before the Rangers forward Chris Drury scored two clutch goals to bring the Rangers and the NHL back into the game. Right winger Ryan Callahan ended the game with a breakaway with 20 seconds to go in the third period.

The regular season kicked off this weekend with Pittsburgh and Ottawa splitting their Premiere series in Stockholm, Sweden. Penguins star Sidney Crosby was the crowd favorite, but the loudest ovation went to center Mats Sundin, who dropped the ceremonial puck in Saturday’s game. Sundin, still a free agent, would make any NHL team automatically better.

Over in Prague, Czech Republic, the Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning with back-to-back scores of 2-1. The Lightning was heavily out-shot and out-played in both games, showing that the busiest team during the summer free agency may not be ready for primetime quite yet.

The NHL should return to Europe next season. How about the Detroit Red Wings taking on the Washington Capitals in Russia? Capitals’ star Alexander Ovechkin would receive a hero’s welcome, as would Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk. In addition to that suggested game, how about the Calgary Flames versus the Phoenix Coyotes in Finland?

Split second

Anyone else see mixed-martial arts company EliteXC’s main event on Saturday? If you blinked, you would have missed it. Virtual unknown Seth Petruzelli, a last minute replacement for Ken Shamrock, stepped up and knocked out Kimbo Slice in 14 seconds.

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