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September 19, 2006 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-19

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Tuesday
September 19, 2006
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

SP E RicTigSn tilg

4

10

Johnson returns
for second year

Monkeys will
have to find
some new backs

By Mark Giannotto
Daily Sports Writer
As the saying goes, if at
first you don't succeed, try,
try again.
And that's exactly what the
Carolina Hurricanes did with
their contract proposal to
2005 first-round draft choice,
Michigan sophomore Jack
Johnson.
But Johnson has again
rejected a contract proposal
from Carolina, opting instead
to play out his sophomore sea-
son with Michigan, The Mich-
igan Daily has confirmed.
"We want to have him on the
Hurricanes;" Carolina general
manager Jim Rutherford said. "We
think that Jack is going to learn
more at the pro level than he would
with another year at Michigan. The
sooner he starts, the sooner he is
going to become acclimated to the
NHL"
Over the past week, John-
son talked with Rutherford and
Carolina head coach Peter Lavi-
olette about joining the Hurri-
canes when they begin training
camp for the 2006-07 season.
"I just felt more comfortable
coming back to school," John-
son said. "I talked to coach
Laviolette, and he asked me
to come join (Carolina). But
I'm not ready to leave (Michi-
gan) at the 11th hour, a cou-
ple weeks before the season
starts. I just don't think that's
the right thing to do. It's not
fair to the program."
This is the third time in
less than a year that Caro-
lina has tried to get Johnson
to sign a contract. After the
World Junior Championships
last January, the Hurricanes
offered the defenseman a deal

that reportedly would have
added him to Carolina's roster
for the remainder of the sea-
son with the assurance that he
would receive playing time.
Following Michigan's first-
round exit from the NCAA
tournament last April, Johnson
rejected a deal that would have
added him to the Hurricanes'
playoff roster (Carolina went on
to win the Stanley Cup).
"Our reports on Jack's prog-
ress indicate that he would be
one of our top six defenseman,
and he would be given an
opportunity to be on the power
play," Rutherford said.
Because of Johnson's repeat-
ed rejections, rumors swirled
around June's 2006 NHL
Draft that Carolina would
trade the rights to Johnson to
the Pittsburgh Penguins for
the second overall pick in the
draft. It would have reunited
Johnson with longtime friend
Sidney Crosby, and likely net-
ted Carolina the rights to Jor-
dan Staal, younger brother of
Hurricanes center Eric Staal.
Although nothing happened on
draft day, the Hurricanes have not
ruled out trading Johnson.
"A trade is always an
option," Rutherford said. "I
wouldn't move Jack for noth-
ing, but if something came up
where we would receive some-
thing comparable, I wouldn't
be afraid to pull the trigger."
Johnson's decision to stay
in Ann Arbor could not have
come at a worse time for the
defending Stanley Cup cham-
pion Hurricanes. They recent-
ly lost defenseman Frantisek
Kaberle to a shoulder injury
that will force him to miss
most of the season. A blue-
chip prospect like Johnson

STEVEN TAI/Daily
Defenseman Jack Johnson rejected the Carolina Hurricanes' contract
proposal once again and will return to Michigan for his sophomore year.

would probably net Carolina a
quality defenseman if a trade
were to happen.
Because of his decision to
stay at Michigan, Johnson has
suffered some backlash from
the hockey world. Many have
criticized him for not joining
the Hurricanes for the Stan-
ley Cup playoffs. But none
of this seems to have had an

effect on the defenseman, who
is looking to help the Wol-
verines rebound from one of
their worst seasons in recent
memory.
"I'm more than happy to
talk to (the Hurricanes) at the
end of the year and explore my
options," Johnson said. "But
it's just not the right thing
right now."

Site: Crisler Arena Press
Room.
Event:The Michigan
football Monday afternoon
press conference.
Sports information director
David Ablauf: Speaking first
this afternoon will be Monkey
No. 1 and Monkey No. 2. They
will start with an opening
statement and then take some
questions. 1
Monkey No. 1: The two of us
are here to announce that, as of
this morning, we're
leaving the hacks of
coach Lloyd Carr
and quarterHack
Chad Henne.
(Cameras snap-
After the Wolver-
ines punished Notre
Dame on Saturday,
we both felt it was
time to go our sepa- H
rate ways and leave
the two of thema B.
alone. The
It'sahero an honor Wa
for hoth of us, and I
know we've made the monkey
community proud. To have the
opportunity to follow an elite
line of monkeys who've graced
the hacks of Michigan quarter-
hacks like Tom Hrady and John
Navarre, and coaches like Ho
Schembechler, was the oppor-
tunity of a lifetime, and we'll
never forget it.
(A chorus of reporters' qes-
tions)
Reporter No. 1: Mr. Monkey,
what exactly prompted you to
get off Carr's back?
Monkey No. 1:It's tough to
explain. Following last season's
7-5 finish and the embarrass-
ing Alamo Bowl loss, I thought
I was going to he around for a
long time. Hull started having
doubts when he began shaking
up the coaching staff. I mean,
the first day I saw Ron English,
I almost crapped myself and
threw it at someone. At that
point I knew Carr meant busi-
ness, and I figured my days
would be numbered. Going
into South Bend and handing it
to Notre Dame coach Charlie
Weis was just the straw that
broke the camel's back. The
ice-cold water dumped on him
wasn't too pleasant, either.
(More questions)
Reporter No. 2: Monkey No.
2, do you really believe that
after just one game you can
jump off Chad's back?
Monkey No. 2: Of course.
Did you see those passes he
threw Saturday? Granted,

J
s
B
it

Mario Mannigham was wide
open on the first one, but the
other two were surgical. Not
too many quarterbacks can
place it in the corner of the
end zone like that. I thought
he displayed a lot of maturity,
and after the first interception,
he didn't make any really bad
decisions.
Reporter No. 2: What did
you think after that intercep-
tion?
Monkey No. 2:I definitely
believed I was in
for the long haul.
The offense relied
on the run so much
during the first two
weeks, and I had no
reason to believe it
even knew how to
air it out. But Henne
and the rest of the
offense adjusted
well. When I looked
lOSE into the huddle, I
SCH saw confidence in
osch everyone's eyes.
tch Even a monkey
knows how important
a confident quarterback is, and
the team needed a confident
Chad Henne. It certainly got
him on Saturday. There's no
reason for me to hang around
after his performance.
Reporter No. 3: What do you
guys do now?
Monkey No. 1: I'm keeping
my options open. The entire
Lions organization is pretty big
and they need multiple mon-
keys, so I may look into that.
Reporter No. 4: Do the two
of you foresee coming back
anytime soon?
Monkey No. 2: It's too early
too tell right now, but you can
never rule it out, especially
with the Big Ten season getting
ready to start.
We certainly aren't in the
business of prognosticating
like Roy Williams or the Daily
football writers, but expect us
to be roaming the sidelines in
Columbus for the Ohio State
game at the very least.
Monkey No. 1: Exactly. This
is Michigan football, after all.
There will always be a need
for monkeys, and as long as the
Wolverines remain one of the
top teams in the nation, we'll
be ready.
Reporter No. 5: How do you
think the Wolverines will fin-
ish this season?
Monkey No. 1: How should
we know, we're just monkeys.
- Bosch can be reached
at hectobos@umich.edu.

4

Warren duo receives Big Ten
Player of the Week accolades

By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Editor
Four touchdowns, two turnovers forced
and one upset victory apparently weren't NOTEBOOK
enough for Michigan's Prescott Burgess and
Mario Manningham
On Monday, each added another accolade after Saturday's
47-21 victory against Notre Dame - they were named Big Ten

Players of the Week.
Manningham won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week
honors after torching the Fighting Irish defense for three
touchdowns in the first half. For the contest, he tallied four
catches for 137 yards.
The sophomore receiver was also named the Walter Camp
Offensive Player of the Week, awarded to the national offen-
sive player of the week.
Burgess received the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week
award following a two-interception performance against
Notre Dame's explosive offense. The senior linebacker
returned the first interception for a touchdown and came up
just four yards short of doing the same with his second. He
totaled 66 interception return yards.
This marks the first time that each has won his respective
award.
The occasion is unique not only because the duo are from
the same college but because both Burgess and Manningham
both attended the same high school - Warren G. Harding
High in Warren, Ohio.
"If they've got any more like those two, I'll take them,"
said Michigan coach Lloyd Carr of having multiple players
from the same school on his team. "Sometimes you get guys
from the same school ... but in my memory, I don't remember
two guys from the same team playing like they did in a game
like that."
The occasion marks the first time two Wolverines have
received Big Ten Player of the Week honors in the same week
since 2002. Running back Chris Perry grabbed offensive

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