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NHL to make Return to Play announcement - TSN
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will make an announcement Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. ET regarding the NHL's Return to Play format, the league said Tuesday afternoon in a news release. TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie adds it is expected the details of the NHL Draft an…
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will make an announcement later on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. ET regarding the NHL's Return to Play format, the league said Tuesday afternoon in a news release. Media availability will be held at 6 p.m. ET. TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reports that NHL general managers will get the details of the league's Return to Play format on a conference call Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET before the league's announcement. McKenzie adds it is expected the details of the NHL Draft and draft lottery timing and format will be part of Tuesday's announcement. It is expected the details of the NHL draft and draft lottery timing/format will be part of todays big reveal by the NHL on RTP format(s). Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 26, 2020 TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun tweets that a Return to Play announcement is only the first step in a series of things that need to go right for the NHL to resume its 2019-20 season. "So many hurdles to overcome, more negotiations needed between NHL/NHLPA over hub cities, testing, protocols... the format is just step one," he tweeted. Again, let me repeat myself, the format is just the first step. So many more hurdles to overcome, more negotiations needed between NHL/NHLPA over hub cities, testing, protocols... the format is just Step 1. No guarantee yet the 2019-20 season is completed despite best intentions Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 26, 2020 The National Hockey League Players' Association Executive Board gave the green light on a 24-team Return to Play proposal last week. An official announcement was originally expected to be made in the coming days. The league released a memo Monday announcing it is targeting early June as the start date of Phase 2 of its Return to Play plan, including the opening of practice rinks for small, voluntary group workouts on and off the ice. If the Phase 2 plan gets the green light, on-ice sessions will be non-contact and involve up to six players, who will be expected to maintain physical distancing at all times. Coaches will allowed to watch but not participate in skates or workouts. The NHL paused its regular season on March 12, one day after the NBA halted their season once Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was revealed to have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Cejudo retires, vacates UFC bantamweight title - TSN
The UFC confirmed to ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Monday that Henry Cejudo is considered to be retired and has vacated the UFC bantamweight title. His name was removed from the title page and official rankings on the UFC website Sunday.
The UFC confirmed to ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Monday that Henry Cejudo is considered to be retired and has vacated the UFC bantamweight title. His name was removed from the title page and official rankings on the UFC website Sunday. Henry Cejudo is no longer the UFC bantamweight champion, per the promotion. They have confirmed this news to ESPN. Cejudo is officially retired and the title is now vacant. No word yet on when the vacant title fight will take place. Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 25, 2020 Cejudo successfully defended the bantamweight belt against Dominik Cruz at UFC 249 earlier this month and announced after the bout he was retiring. I really do want to walk away, but money talks, Cejudo said at the time. It gets stagnant. I want to leave on top. It is unknown if Cejudo has removed himself from the USADA drug-testing pool. If he removes himself, Cejudo would not be able to return to the UFC until he puts himself back in the pool for a period of six months. With a 16-2 record, Cejudo had not lost since 2016 and is only the fourth person in UFC history to hold titles in two different weight classes at the same time (bantamweight and flyweight). He is currently on a six-fight winning streak, which includes victories over Cruz, Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw. The UFC has yet to announce its plan regarding a future bantamweight title fight.
Martinook: 'Canes voted against 24-team plan - TSN
Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook confirmed Monday that he voted against the NHL's 24-team Return to Play format last week.
Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook confirmed Monday that he voted against the NHL's 24-team Return to Play format last week. Martinook told members of the media on a zoom call that, as the team's player representative on the NHL Players' Associations executive board, he voted against the proposal. Martinook said Canes did not favor having to play an extra playoff round but are "fine" with the approved format and are eager to play more hockey. "We're fully prepared with what we've got on the board." Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) May 25, 2020 The executive board voted Friday authorize further negotiations with the NHL on the proposed 24-team format to award the Stanley Cup in 2020. Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the parties reaching agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play, according to a statement released by the NHLPA. At least 18 affirmative votes were required from representatives of the 31 teams. The details of the 24-team proposal were circulated on Thursday, including a round-robin format for the top four teams in each conference to go along with eight play-in series to determine the 16 playoff participants. Martinook voiced his concerns on the format last Wednesday. I feel like if youre doing the 24-team thing, it basically gives a team a chance that had no chance of making it, which if you play 82 theres maybe 6, 8% chance that the team in 12th place (in the conference) makes it, Martinook told the Associated Press. Nobodys ever seen this before, but at the end of the day, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are 16 teams, seven games a series. The Hurricanes, who were in the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference when the season was paused on March 12, would face the New York Rangers in a best-of-five series for a playoff spot under the proposal.
Keselowski holds off Johnson to capture Coca-Cola 600 - TSN
Brad Keselowski extended Jimmie Johnson's losing streak to 102 races, holding off the seven-time NASCAR champion in overtime early Monday in the Coca-Cola 600. Keselowski started in the back of the field, worked his way to the front at Charlotte Motor Speedwa…
CONCORD, N.C. Brad Keselowski extended Jimmie Johnson's losing streak to 102 races, holding off the seven-time NASCAR champion in overtime early Monday in the Coca-Cola 600. Keselowski started in the back of the field, worked his way to the front at Charlotte Motor Speedway and gambled in not pitting when caution stopped Chase Elliott from winning with two laps remaining. Elliott pitted and Keselowski led a train of eight cars that stayed on the track. He lined up in front of Alex Bowman on the inside line with Johnson retiring from Cup racing at the end of the season on the bottom ahead of Keselowski teammate Ryan Blaney. Keselowski got the push to get into clean air and denied Johnson a victory. Keselowski celebrated as he usually does by waving a giant American flag out his window during his victory burnouts. I feel like I have thrown this race away a handful of times and I thought we were going to lose it today, Keselowski said. I have lost it the way Chase lost it and it really stinks. And today we finally won it that way. It is the first win for Keselowski this season, his first Coca-Cola 600 victory and the first win at this event for Ford since 2002. Johnson had to settle for second in a Chevrolet, while Elliott, who had the victory snatched away just two laps from the finish, rallied to third for Hendrick to take two podium positions. Elliott had a comfortable lead and was coasting to the win when Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron spun with a tire problem. Thats got to be a joke, Elliott said over his radio. Elliott was wrecked by Kyle Busch last week trying to race for the win at Darlington Raceway on Wednesday night. The Sunday before Memorial Day is a supposed to be a smorgasbord of motorsports that begins with Formula One at the Monaco Grand Prix, then IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500, followed by NASCAR and its longest race on the calendar. The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out the first part of F1's schedule and, like IndyCar, it is still waiting to start its season. Roger Penske, the new owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has moved the Indy 500. It marks the first time since 1946 the 500 is not being run on Memorial Day weekend. NASCAR was able to go forward for its third Cup event in seven days under a health plan approved by state officials that allowed the sport to resume after a 10-week hiatus. NASCAR ran three events in South Carolina, and the Coca-Cola 600 kicks off four consecutive days of racing at Charlotte. A rain delay of nearly 90 minutes during the first stage of the race pushed the finish into Monday, but it still ended up just fine for Penske, the owner of Keselowski's car.
Honda Indy cancelled due to COVID-19 - TSN
The Honda Indy Toronto has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement comes a week after race promoters said the event would not be run on its original scheduled dates of July 10-12.
TORONTO The Honda Indy Toronto has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement comes nearly a week after race promoters said last Friday that the event would not be run on its original scheduled dates of July 10-12. That decision came after the city announced it was cancelling permits for major events and festivals for July and August because of the pandemic. Promoters said at the time they were looking to find a new date for the race, but announced Thursday that IndyCar has removed the race altogether from its 2020 schedule. "We are extremely disappointed, and will miss the incredible fans who have supported us, but the safety of fans, participants, volunteers, staff, partners, and media will always remain our top priority," race organizer Green Savoree saidn in a statement. The lone race in Canada on the IndyCar circuit, the Honda Indy Toronto has been an annual event running through the Exhibition grounds since 1986. The event has not been on the annual schedule only once since starting in 2008 following the reunification of Champ Car and the Indy Racing League. Racing legend Bobby Rahal won the inaugural race in 1986, then called the Molson Indy. It was called the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto when the Molson sponsorship ended in 2007 and then was renamed the Honda Indy upon its return in 2009. Toronto's Paul Tracy is the lone Canadian to have won the race, taking the checkered flag in 1993 and 2003. The Honda Indy Toronto wasn't the only auto race in Canada to be affected by COVID-19. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park announced the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, scheduled for July 2-5 in Bowmanville, Ont., has been cancelled. The Canadian Grand Prix Formula One race in Montreal already had announced it would not run on its scheduled June dates. The IndyCar schedule, following changes because of COVID-19, is now slated to start June 6 with the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway and conclude Oct. 25 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2020.
A closer look at the NHL’s 24-team playoff proposal - TSN
The league and the NHLPA have hashed out an initial framework for how the Stanley Cup may be awarded in 2020, pending approval from both sides, Frank Seravalli writes.
Hockey is inching closer to a return to the ice. Exactly 10 weeks after the National Hockey League pressed pause on the season, the league and the NHL Players Association have hashed out an initial framework of how the Stanley Cup may be awarded in 2020 with a 24-team playoff format, pending approval from both sides. Details remain fluid and are still subject to change. The NHL has not yet briefed its teams or GMs on the latest proposal. Even if the who is decided with the teams involved, the when, where and how are key pieces in the return-to-play puzzle that still need to be sorted out. It is impossible to piece together a timeline for return without those answers, plus the NHL hasnt selected hub cities. But for the first time in months, hockey fans could soon be able to sink their teeth into the bracketology that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman loves. In this 24-team proposal, the top 12 teams from each conference, based on points percentage, will play on, with the top four in the East and West (regardless of division) each receiving a bye to the actual playoff portion. Those top four teams would play each other in a three-game round robin. It remains unclear how exactly the round-robin formula will work, but the belief is that those games will not simply be warmup exhibitions they could provide opportunity for those four teams to change their seeding. While that round-robin is occurring, the remaining eight teams would square off in best-of-five, play-in series. The winners of those play-in series would determine the 16 playoff teams, then be bracketed to start the chase for Lord Stanley. Here is what the bracket could look like without any changes to the seedings of the four top teams in each conference: NHL GMs have privately expressed their frustration with bracketing the playoffs, with some arguing the rounds should reseed. Their argument is that the regular-season points accrued by the top teams should warrant them the best matchup possible. For instance, if No. 12 Montreal beats No. 5 Pittsburgh, some GMs feel No. 1 Boston should get to face No. 12 Montreal instead of the winner of the matchup between No. 8 Toronto and No. 9 Columbus. Bettmans answer to that could be a simple reminder that the eighth-seeded Columbus Blue Jackets swept one of the best regular-season teams in the salary cap era last spring in the Tampa Bay Lightning. Top-tier teams have also grumbled that clubs like Montreal and Chicago, two franchises with no realistic shot at the playoffs had the regular season finished as scheduled, would now be given a crack in a five-game series to play on. No format, as Bettman has conceded, will leave every team or player happy. We dont live in a world of perfect anymore, Bettman said in April. Were going to have to make adjustments. Many hurdles remain, including development of a comprehensive COVID-19 testing plan, acquiring those needed tests, then putting the logistics into action to bring two or four arena complexes to life as host sites with hundreds of players, personnel, and support staff in the bubble. The NHL has focused recently on staging the 24-team resumption in two hub cities. Las Vegas is believed to be a front-runner a city eager to host with ample hotel space to include players families. Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver have all jockeyed to host the NHL, but federal and provincial quarantine restrictions may limit their bids viability. That would mark the first time the Stanley Cup playoffs have not been contested in Canada since 2015-16, when all seven Canadian clubs failed to qualify. But with the bracket as constituted, Calgary and Winnipeg would square off in Canadas first one-anthem playoff series since 2014-15. With no fans in arenas to start, the site itself is somewhat irrelevant. The NHL is not close to naming hub cities yet, other than whittling the group down to eight or nine potential hosts. The league wants to remain nimble, waiting until the last possible moment to see how the pandemic shifts with regard to hot spots. There is no rush. The NHL and NHLPA remain hopeful that movement to the next step, Phase 2 in the protocol, can begin with players returning to the bulk of team facilities to train in small groups after June 1. From there, it is difficult to piece together a best-case scenario for the Stanley Cup to be presented. Phase 2 is voluntary, but players would then soon be called back to their clubs home city so that training camp and Phase 3 can begin. Players have requested a three-week training camp. Even though the NHL is not concerned that border closures will impact their plans, those closures have limited commercial flights, which will make player travel another hurdle in the process. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said this week that 17 per cent of the leagues players are currently riding out the pandemic in Europe. Not all of those players would need to return. A 24-team format means the season would be over for Detroit, Ottawa, San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, New Jersey and Buffalo. That would officially mark the Sabres ninth straight season outside of the playoffs and the first time since 1995-96 that all three California clubs missed. Those seven clubs face the prospect of not hitting the ice for up to nine months, depending on when the 2020-21 season starts. That would also mark the official conclusion of the regular season. Wed all miss out on the resolution to one of the best Rocket Richard races in recent memory, with a three-headed monster of Alex Ovechkin, Auston Matthews and David Pastrnak going down to the wire for goal-scoring supremacy. But the end of the regular season would mean hockey is back. Wed all sign up for that right now. Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli
Report: Teams asking about Dolphins' Rosen - TSN
Teams have been acquiring about the availability of Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen, according to NFL Network's Michael Giardi, who added the Dolphins have been in no rush to move on from him.
Teams have been acquiring about the availability of Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen, according to NFL Network's Michael Giardi, who added the Dolphins have been in no rush to move on from him. Rosen is one of three QBs on the Dolphins roster and appears to be below veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and early first round draft pick Tua Tagovailoa on the team's depth chart at the position. The Dolphins acquired Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals last season, after the Cardinals moved on from the 2018 first round pick after just one season. Rosen, 23, failed to beat out Fitzpatrick for the starting job last year and finished the year appearing in six games with just three starts. In limited action, Rosen threw for 567 yards, one touchdowns, and four interceptions. In 20 games with 16 starts in his young career, Rosen has thrown for 2,845 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions with a completion percentage of 54.8.
NHL awaiting NHLPA word on 24-team tweaks - TSN
According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, the NHL is inching closer to deciding on a return to play format, but nothing is final yet.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, the National Hockey League is inching closer to deciding on a return to play format, but nothing is final yet. LeBrun reported on Thursday morning that the league is currently waiting to hear back from the NHLPA on the latest tweaks to a 24-team format, with more talks expected on Thursday and Friday. Things continue to inch closer on a Return to Play format. Still not done, however. My sense is the league now waiting to hear back from the NHLPA on latest 24-team format tweaks. Expectation is both sides will chat again on this today or tomorrow... Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 21, 2020 LeBrun reported Monday that both sides made some progress over the weekend that involved a 24-team playoff format should play resume this summer. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger added that a two-hub city concept featuring 12 teams in each city has been discussed and remains one of the possibilities if the NHL season is able to resume. The NHL season has been paused since March 12.
Report: Patriots, S Chung agree to extension - TSN
The New England Patriots and safety Patrick Chung have agree to a two-year contraction extension that will keep him with the team through the 2023 season, according to a report from ESPN's Field Yates.
The New England Patriots and safety Patrick Chung have agree to a two-year contraction extension that will keep him with the team through the 2023 season, according to a report from ESPN's Field Yates. The Patriots and S Patrick Chung have agreed to a two-year extension through 2023, per sources. Chung gets $3M to sign and is now due up to $12.8M over the next four years. One of the most reliable players on their standout defense. Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 20, 2020 Chung will get $3 million to sign and is due up to $12.8 million over the next four years, according to Yates' report. The 32-year-old Chung has played 10 of his 11 seasons in the NFL with the Patriots after the club selected him in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. In 13 games with 12 starts last year in New England, Chung had 51 tackles and three pass defences.
Grant: 'Damn snitch' MJ lied in The Last Dance - TSN
Former Chicago Bulls forward Horace Grant hit back at Michael Jordan in an interview on ESPN Radio 1000's Kap and Co. show on Tuesday, calling his former teammate a "snitch" and vehemently denying Jordan's allegation in the 10-part documentary The Last Dance …
Former Chicago Bulls forward Horace Grant hit back at Michael Jordan in an interview on ESPN Radio 1000's Kap and Co. show on Tuesday, calling his former teammate a "snitch" and vehemently denying Jordan's allegation in the 10-part documentary The Last Dance that he was the source for reporter Sam Smith's The Jordan Rules book. "If MJ had a grudge with me, let's settle this like men," Grant told the show. "Let's talk about it. Or we can settle it another way. But yet and still, he goes out and puts this lie out that I was the source behind [the book]. Sam and I have always been great friends. We're still great friends. But the sanctity of that locker room, I would never put anything personal out there. The mere fact that Sam Smith was an investigative reporter. That he had to have two sources, two, to write a book, I guess. Why would MJ just point me out? "It's only a grudge, man. I'm telling you, it was only a grudge. And I think he proved that during this so-called 'documentary.' When if you say something about him, he's going to cut you off, he's going to try to destroy your character." Grant spent six seasons alongside Jordan from 1987 to 1993, winning three NBA titles. He left the Bulls after the 1993-94 season, signing as a free agent with the Orlando Magic. During the show, Grant made mention of how some of Jordan's close friendships have ended in estrangement over the years. "Charles Barkley, they've been friends for over 20, 30 years," Grant said. "And he said something about Michael's management with the Charlotte Bobcats or the Charlotte Hornets, and then they haven't spoken since then. And my point is, he said that I was the snitch, but yet and still after 35 years, he brings up his rookie year going into one of his teammate's rooms and seeing coke, and weed and women. My point is: Why the hell did he want to bring that up? What's that got to do with anything? I mean, if you want to call somebody a snitch, that's a damn snitch right there." While Grant said he found The Last Dance entertaining, he questioned the veracity of how he and some of his teammates were portrayed. "I would say [it was] entertaining, but we know, who was there as teammates, that about 90 percent of it - I don't know if I can say it on air, but B.S. in terms of the realness of it," Grant said. "It wasn't real -- because a lot of things [Jordan] said to some of his teammates, that his teammates went back at him. But all of that was kind of edited out of the documentary, if you want to call it a documentary." Grant said The Last Dance brought back unpleasant memories of Jordan's bullying. "He felt that he could dominate me, but that was sadly mistaken," Grant said. "Because whenever he went at me, I went at him right back. But in terms of Will Perdue, Steve Kerr and the young man, Scott Burrell, that was heartbreaking [to watch]. To see a guy, a leader, to go at those guys like that. I understand in terms of practicing, you have a push and shove here and there, but outright punching and things of that nature." Grant, who spent 17 seasons in the NBA with the Bulls, Magic, Seattle SuperSonics and Los Angeles Lakers, took particular umbrage with the portrayal of Scottie Pippen, especially when it came to him sitting out for the final 1.8 seconds of Game 3 of the Bulls' 1994 playoff series against the New York Knicks. "MJ wasn't even on the team. Why was that in there?" Grant said. "We handled that that year really well as a team. Pip knows that he was wrong for doing it, but yet and still we went after the game. Bill Cartwright stood up and said what he had to say, and then we handled it, it was over. It was over. We go on to take the Knicks to seven games. It was over. Why bring that up? That's my question to everybody out there who's listening." Grant told the show that he last spoke to Jordan about three years ago and thought the two were on good terms and hopes they still are. "The crazy thing, for one of my charities, he sent me an autographed pair of shoes," Grant said. "I don't understand it, if he had some difference with me, he could have texted me, he could have called me, the whole nine yards. But if I see him today, we would hopefully pay our respects to each other because we went through three championships together. But if not, believe me, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it." Asked why he kept referring to The Last Dance as a "so-called documentary," Grant says he couldn't trust the final edit that belonged to Jordan. "When that so-called documentary is about one person, basically, and he has the last word on what's going to be put out there...it's not a documentary," Grant said. "It's his narrative of what happens in the last, quote-unquote, dance. That's not a documentary, because a whole bunch of things was cut out, edited out. So that's why I call it a so-called documentary."