First call: Le’Veon Bell favored in boxing match against fellow NFL star; ESPN’s ‘off-season surprise’ for the Steelers; Todd Reirden stays

Tuesday’s “First Call” has an offseason star off the radar for the Pittsburgh Steelers. We have odds on the Le’Veon Bell-Adrian Peterson boxing match.

Penguins assistant loses head coaching job.

And we’re talking about a gigantic game win thanks to the Colorado Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup.


Put on your dukes

Former Steeler Le’Veon Bell has signed a contract to box against fellow former NFL running back Adrian Peterson.

According to ESPN Ringside’s Mike Coppinger, it will be a heavyweight boxing exhibition on July 30 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

Both men are free agents. Peterson is 37, 6-foot-1, and 220 pounds; Bell is 30.6-foot-1 and 225 pounds.

Neither player has boxed professionally, and this fight will not count as a professional debut.

Former NBA player Nick Young is also on the undercard. He will fight rapper Blueface.

BetOnline.ag already has odds on the match. Bell is the first seed at under-180 (5/9). Peterson is the underdog at +140 (7/5).

Let’s see if the fight actually happens or if Bell holds onto more money at the last minute.


Profit expensive

Speaking of cashing in at the game window, how about this nugget from Yahoo’s Sam Cooper?

He posted a story about a bettor who turned a promotional $500 free bet into $269,000.

According to Cooper, in December a player used a promotional deal from MGM on a three-team bet. He had the Colorado Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup, the Los Angeles Rams to win the Super Bowl, and the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA title.

At the time, the Rams paid +1000 to win the Super Bowl, Golden State was +600 to win the NBA title. And the Avalanche were at +600 to win the Cup. The odds of that parry were +53,800, leading to a $269,000 payout after Colorado won the Cup Final with a 2-1 victory in Game 6 on Sunday.

That’s not a bad return for a promotional free bet, is it?


Hey, hey, Heyward

ESPN.com compiled a list of “off-season surprises for all 32 NFL teams.”

ESPN Steelers reporter Brooke Pryor named rookie H-back/tight end Connor Heyward.

“It’s hard to really be under the radar as Cam Heyward’s younger brother,” Pryor wrote. “But rookie Heyward impressed in offseason practices and showed chemistry with first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett in a nice hiccup during a two-minute drill at minicamp. Heyward, selected in the sixth round, plays a hybrid role of tight end and full-back in an attack that values ​​the versatility of his talented players. Because he’s worked mostly tight ends and receivers, Heyward likely won’t be competing for the fullback spot with Derek Watt, which likely makes both find roles on the 2022 squad.”

I didn’t catch as many flashes of Heyward as Pryor did in spring training. Although, if I had to choose a guy, I would actually choose someone in the group of positions she chose. Zach Gentry looked really pumped up to me (in a good way, in case Najee Harris is reading) and looked set to be a better version of second tight end than he was for much of last year a times Eric Ebron was injured.


Stick around

Penguins assistant coach Todd Reirden isn’t leaving town yet.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Reirden was one of four candidates for the Chicago Blackhawks vacancy. But Reirden didn’t get the gig.

Luke Richardson did it for him. He was an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens for the past four seasons. Richardson replaces Derek King, who was hired as the Hawks’ interim head coach after Jeremy Colliton was fired in November.

King and Canucks associate coach Brad Shaw were the other two candidates for the job.

Richardson also served as an assistant coach for the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders before moving to Montreal. He served one game as head coach of the Canadiens in the 2020-21 Stanley Cup Finals when Dominique Ducharme was sidelined due to covid-19 protocols.


Pair of ex-Pirates

Former Pirates Tyler Anderson and Chad Kuhl locked horns on the mound Monday night in Denver.

Kuhl was the starting pitcher for the Colorado Rockies. Anderson entered the game 8-0 for the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. But it was Kuhl who shone on Monday.

He threw a complete three-hit shutout as the Rockies won 4-0.

Kuhl is now 5-5 with a 3.49 ERA. Anderson, who allowed four earned runs and 10 hits, drops to 8-1 with a 3.23 ERA.

Tim Benz is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.

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