St. Paul Pioneer Press
PHILADELPHIA—Speaking for the first time since it was reported that he will take over the New York Giants, Pat Shurmur said Thursday "is not the time or place to talk about that," adding that his focus is solely on the Vikings' NFC Championship game Sunday in Philadelphia. On Monday, reports surfaced that the Giants will name Shurmur their head coach as soon as the Vikings' season is over. "There's a time and place for everything," Shurmur said. "Our focus right now is to put together a really good plan, get on a plane, go to Philadelphia, and get it on."
MINNEAPOLIS — Adam Thielen's fifth catch Sunday, Dec. 31, was money. By hauling in six more passes in the Vikings' 23-10 victory over the Chicago Bears — the fifth one being the difference-maker — Thielen reached an incentive bonus in his contract that will boost his salary by $1 million for each of the next three seasons. His contract called for salary escalators of $500,000 after he reached 70 catches, another $250,000 for 80 total receptions, and another $250,000 for 90 grabs.
ST. PAUL -- Salvation Army was 10 percent behind last year’s fundraising numbers with only eight days of bell-ringing to go. On Saturday, a donor dropped a $200,000 check into a kettle, helping bring that deficit to just 7 percent behind last year’s numbers. The check, dropped in a kettle at a Cub Foods in the south metro, is the second-largest donation ever dropped into a red kettle in the Twin Cities.
CHICAGO — As far as Wild coach Bruce Boudreau is concerned, the Chicago Blackhawks are as dangerous as ever. To him it doesn't matter that there have been some conspicuous cracks in the foundation as of late with the cornerstone pieces of the roster getting up there in age. To him the the three Stanley Cups speak for themselves.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Fifty-two days before Super Bowl 52, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee on Thursday unveiled its plans for a zip line to run across the Mississippi River during the 10-day Super Bowl festival.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans will learn Wednesday who their next senator will be. At a 10 a.m. news conference at the Capitol, Gov. Mark Dayton will announce his choice to replace U.S. Sen. Al Franken. Franken announced last week that he intends to resign amid allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior from several women.
ST. PAUL -- A North Dakota man who scammed Minnesota welfare programs out of hundreds of thousands of dollars will spend his next several years in prison. Elfonzo Dyrell Shelby was sentenced Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court to just over nine years in prison for committing identity theft and other related crimes , according to court records.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Rick Stelmaszek, the baseball lifer who spent 32 years as a Twins coach, died Monday afternoon from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 69. Stelmaszek worked under five Twins managers as bullpen coach and won World Series rings as part of Tom Kelly’s staff in 1987 and 1991. He worked under Ron Gardenhire from 2002-14, during which time he also scheduled and ran spring training workouts.