Sports Tonight: Vincent Trocheck offering sweet nothings to hockey fans

The Flyers' Nick Cousins (25) hooks Panthers' Vincent Trocheck and trips up teammate Ivan Provorov during the second period of a December 2016 game.

At some point in their careers, many athletes hope to end up on a box of Wheaties, or at least Frosted Flakes or Rice Krispies. An appearance on a cereal box generally acknowledges a great accomplishment in sports.

Having just turned 24 and coming off a 23-goal season, Florida Panthers All-Star center Vincent Trocheck has a lot of time to accomplish something that might warrant a cereal box appearance. In the meantime, however, maybe Trocheck will bring a box of his newly released candy to the Wells Fargo Center when the Panthers play the Flyers at 7 (TV: NBCSP; radio: 97.5 the Fanatic).

IT’SUGAR, which bills itself as the largest specialty candy and gift retailer in the world, is selling Sweeties “Trochex Mix.”

Claiming to be “better for your teeth than a hockey puck,” Trochex Mix includes blue raspberry gummy rings, Sour Power Quattro Doubles, wild cherry gummy bears, and blue razz gummy bears. Ask Flyers center Sean Couturier, who lost his front teeth during his junior hockey days.

Trochex Mix is available at www.itsugar.com, and 20 percent of the sales will benefit Trocheck’s favorite charity.

This could end up being bigger than the “Reggie” Jackson candy bar.

 

Camera icon Nhat V. Meyer / Bay Area News Group
The Warriors’ Stephen Curry, left, celebrates with teammate Kevin Durant after they defeated the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 12.

NBA openers could be previews of conference finals

The NBA will kick off the 2017-18 season tonight, and with the teams favored in each conference squaring off against each other, the league didn’t hold anything back for the openers.

In the first game of a doubleheader at 8 on TNT, the three-time reigning Eastern Conference-champion Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Boston Celtics, the team it beat in last season’s conference finals. This game also features the story line of the season, as former Cavs All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who forced a trade, returns to Cleveland as the new leader of the Celtics.

At 10:30, the reigning-champion Golden State Warriors will play the Houston Rockets. The Warriors are searching for their third title in four seasons. The Rockets dismantled their roster to bring in All-Star point guard Chris Paul and team him with MVP runner-up James Harden in a last-ditch effort to finally run down Golden State in the Western Conference.

Nine All-Stars from 2017 will be highlighted in the two opening-night games.

 

Camera icon CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
From left, Sixers Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Markelle Fultz at media day on Sept. 25.

What I’m reading

We’ve seen Joel Embiid in this picture each year since the Sixers drafted him in 2014. It’s the guys flanking him who changed. Staff writer Keith Pompey examines the Sixers’ latest version of the “Big Three.”

Staff writer Sam Donnellon says the Florida Panthers are hoping that the debut of 18-year-old Owen Tippett will shake things up for the team.

LeBron James isn’t one of those celebrities who speak just to hear themselves talk. In one of his most revealing interviews, James gives his thoughts ranging from chasing Michael Jordan to his issues with President Trump.

The Sixers have officially put center Joel Embiid on an unofficial minutes restriction. Staff writer Sarah Todd says the big man is not exactly happy about it.

Sonny Gray would not be the first All-Star player to crumble after being asked to perform to the standards demanded in New York. Peter Botte of the New York Daily News writes that the pitcher who has struggled since being acquired from Oakland can make it all up with a strong start tonight in Game 4 of the ALCS.

ESPN.com insider John Gasaway says that college basketball has plenty of issues off the court, but thate once the games start, the play is high-quality.

 

Camera icon RON SCHWANE / AP
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) points to fans during play against the Golden State Warriors in the first half of Game 4 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland on June 9.

 The riff

NBA commissioner Adam Silver will hold his breath during the national anthem when the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics open the season tonight.

One man, LeBron James, stands or potentially kneels in the way of the NBA’s falling into the same circus the NFL is in.

If James, the most influential basketball player in the world, ignores the NBA rule against protesting during the anthem, Silver will be jammed.

If James uses this platform to protest social injustice, most other players could follow, daring Silver to act.

Stephen Curry of the NBA-champion Golden State Warriors said he would not visit President Trump at the White House if invited.

On Monday in response to Trump’s falsely saying that former presidents did not call the families of soldiers killed in action, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and served five years of active duty, said Trump was a “soulless coward” who is “unfit intellectually, emotionally and psychologically” to be president.

James has already called Trump a “bum.’

Silver is terrified of what James might do tonight and what it could lead to.

Tonight’s schedule

TV/Radio

Baseball Playoffs
Astros at Yankees, 5 p.m. (FS1)
Dodgers at Cubs, 9 p.m. (TBS)

NHL
Panthers at Flyers, 7 p.m. (NBCSP; WPEN-FM 97.5)
Lightning at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Canadiens at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

NBA
Celtics at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. (TNT)
Rockets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)

Local Events

NHL
Flyers vs. Panthers, 7 p.m., Wells Fargo Center

Changes in listings: Comcast SportsNet has changed its name to NBC Sports Philadelphia (NBCSP). The Comcast Network is now NBC Sports Philadelphia+ (NBCSP+).