Tag Archives: San Francisco Chronicle

Only three kickers had been taken in the first round before Janikowski, and none has gone that high since.

When Nazem Kadri ripped out a chunk of Joe Thornton’s beard last month, we’ll be honest: We thought it was pretty gross. The multicolored bushel has been Thornton’s signature since 2015. Seeing a patch of it yanked from its owner’s face, fall to the ice like tumbleweed, then get bagged up by the San Jose Sharks’ training staff wasn’t something you see every day.

For NHL players, well, it wasn’t as novel. Hockey is inherently physical and fast-paced. Combine that with sharp metal blades and the occasional shove and you have a recipe for some nastiness. We asked several players to share the grossest thing they’ve ever seen on the ice. Warning: This article may not be safe for work, and you definitely don’t want to read it on an empty stomach.

“The guys learned how to play without me,” Ball recently said. “… They know what works: pace and defense.”

But just as the Lakers were discovering their groove, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. were traded to Cleveland in a cap-clearing move that brought in Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a protected first-round pick. While the trade was a major win for Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka — who positioned the team to have up to $70 million to spend on two elite free agents either this summer or next — the Lakers’ surging chemistry and play took a hit.

Many of the young Lakers had never experienced a trade deadline deal that cost them not only two of the key components to the marginal success they have had this season, but also two well-liked personalities in the locker room.

It’s exactly as risky as it sounds now, and as it sounded then. The party-animal factor didn’t exactly even up the odds.

As the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2002, with Janikowski’s status for a playoff game in doubt because of the foot condition: “When you’re drafting a kicker that high — when you’ve made that position that big a priority, when you’ve chosen to buck conventional wisdom that blatantly — you’re drafting dependability, consistency, long-term stability and peace of mind. Or so it would seem; there’s no real track record for what the Raiders did that pivotal April day in 2000. But if that’s what the Raiders were drafting for, it’s not what they got.’’

Here’s looking at some team needs the 49ers should consider addressing on the free-agent market, plus some specific veterans to target at each position.

Carlos Hyde is unlikely to be re-signed after a hot-and-cold first season with coach Kyle Shanahan. Undrafted rookie Matt Breida had a few flashes and is a good bet to remain in the mix. Fourth-rounder Joe Williams had his entire rookie season wiped out by an ankle injury.49ers_112