Sports Briefs Nov. 4, 2009

Kessel set for Toronto debut

Former Bruin winger Phil Kessel is set to make his debut in Maple Leaf blue and white this week after missing the first month of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. Kessel, who was traded to Toronto after the Bruins both didn’t have room for him under the salary cap and didn’t see him as a necessary part of the team, will be expected to provide an offensive boost to a Maple Leafs team that, entering play Monday night, was the worst team in the league. Kessel had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and labrum, and, according to TSN, is waiting for medical clearance to return to play. He practiced with the team earlier this week, and is said to be close to returning to action. Kessel was the Bruins’ leading goal-scorer last year, potting 36 in the regular season.

Browns are finally “sick” of losing

After spending the better part of the last decade watching his team become the laughingstock of the NFL, the owner of the Cleveland Browns has had enough. According to, team owner Randy Lerner made the “sick” comment following the Browns’ 30-6 thrashing at the hands of the Chicago Bears this past weekend. Lerner also said he wouldn’t fire head coach Eric Mangini this week, despite various media reports throughout the season indicating that Mangini was tremendously unpopular with his own players. Even if it wasn’t Mangini, someone’s head had to roll, and reported that GM George Kokinis was the fall guy, with Chris Mortensen reporting that Kokinis was fired on Monday. Since returning to the NFL as a franchise in 1999, the Browns have finished with a sub-.500 record eight times, including six seasons of five or less wins.

Revs take first leg of playoff series

The New England Revolution started the MLS Playoffs on the right foot on Sunday, beating the Chicago Fire by a score of 2-1 in the first match of their home-and-home series. The Revs fell behind early, but got goals from Emmanuel Osei in the 40th minute and Shalrie Joseph in the 75th minute to seal the come-from-behind victory. The second game of the series will be next Saturday in Chicago. The win was the Revs’ first over Chicago since November of 2007.

West indicted on weapons charges

Former Celtic guard Delonte West was indicted on additional weapons charges in relation to his September arrest in Maryland, reported. The current Cleveland Cavalier was pulled over after cutting off a police officer on his motorcycle in Maryland on Sept. 17. The officer then discovered that West was carrying two loaded handguns, an eight-inch Bowie knife and a shotgun in a guitar case. Due to it being illegal in Maryland to carry concealed weapons or transport loaded firearms, West was indicted on two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon, two counts of carrying a handgun, two counts of transporting a handgun, one count of reckless driving and one count of negligent driving. Each weapons count comes with up to three years in prison. The case isn’t expected to go to trial until early next year.

Pre-season basketball polls out

The NCAA basketball season is mere weeks from being in full swing, and that can mean only one thing: pre-season polls! The ESPN/USA Today Coach’s poll was released this past week, ranking the nation’s top 25 teams despite the fact that a game has yet to be played this season. Kansas comes in at number one, followed by Michigan State, Texas, defending-champion North Carolina and Kentucky. Finishing out the top ten are Villanova, Purdue, Duke, West Virginia and Butler. Kentucky is considered a strange choice by some, as the team didn’t finish last season in the top 25. However, new head coach John Calipari, who left a successful Memphis program to lead the Wildcats, appears to be bringing heightened expectations along with his recent successes to Kentucky.