No appetite for rule changes among NHL GMs

Clubs haven’t been thrilled with the concept, given its effects on scheduling, practice time and performance, among other things.Players got the bye week in return for agreeing to the three-on-three concept for the 2016 all-star game.Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray thought the obvious fix was aligning the bye week by division or conference so that no team had an advantage.“I don’t know if there’s any cure for it,” Murray said. “You grow up as a kid and you know the rule and it is what it is.”Some general managers, however, took issue with calls being ruled inconclusive, arguing that it was either a goal or offsides and not.The Edmonton Oilers challenged a Viktor Arvidsson goal in late February that saw Arvidsson leap with both legs as the puck crossed the line. Owners are increasingly against the idea, but no final decision has been reached. The league assumed that the addition of high-definition cameras at the blue-line last spring would make the offside aspect of the challenge essentially cut and dried, but it’s not been that way so far.“I don’t think we have to change anything,” said Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic. The group also heard reports on newly implemented concussion protocols for this season and the status of updated goaltending equipment.Further chatter about long-term changes for the game – many of which were tossed around on Monday – are expected before the meetings wrap on Wednesday. That’s how this whole thing got started, just get the call right. We’re trying to get the call right. “Like anything, it’s better to move slow,” Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka said.Among the issues of most intrigue was the offside element of the coach’s challenge, which was introduced itself at the start of the 2015-16 season.Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said it was almost certain to bubble into controversy during the post-season – Mike Murphy’s law in other words. Some calls involving the offside have been almost too close to call and there’s been murkiness on players raising one leg in the air to avoid drawing an offside charge.Ultimately, no change was deemed necessary for now.“It’s almost like a hair – is it up or is it not up?” Campbell said. “But that’s the best fix.”GMs were told that there was nothing to update as far as NHL players attending the 2018 Olympics. On closer review it looked like the Swede was offside, but the goal was confirmed after a lengthy look by officials and proved the eventual game-winner for Nashville.“But I think it’s working,” Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said. Just nine were overturned and ruled offside, another 20 deemed inconclusive. Can you get it righter than right?Campbell said there were 100 challenges on offsides so far this season, 29 of which related to a player lifting his skate in the air to avoid being offside. “We’re working out the kinks.”“It always comes back to the fact that there are over 5,000 offside (calls) and there were nine goals that were disallowed that would have been allowed if we change the rule,” added Chayka.Campbell couldn’t help but recall those rare instances when a wrong call led to an unfortunate, unforgettable result. He noted the Calgary Flames dropping Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup final after an apparent Martin Gelinas go-ahead goal was ruled to have not crossed the line.Calgary was leading the series 3-2 at that point, but lost in seven games to Tampa.Campbell also mentioned the Philadelphia Flyers losing the 1980 Stanley Cup final when Duane Sutter scored a goal in the deciding Game 6 that was clearly offside.“They don’t forget and we don’t either, so we want to try to be perfect on every call,” Campbell said.The goaltender interference aspect of the coach’s challenge was also reviewed in detail Tuesday with no changes recommended.The five-day “bye week,” instituted for the first time this season, is on the docket for discussion on Wednesday and it’s likely to draw some strong opinions. They call it “Mike Murphy’s law” around the NHL hockey operations department, and it means that something is bound to go wrong.But while league officials are fully expecting at least one rule to cause consternation in the playoffs, general managers opted against recommending changes to it or anything else on the second day of meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. “It’s all to get the call right.

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney unfazed by rare Giovinco penalty miss

But he scored frequently in open play during the day’s training session.Usually he buries penalty attempts in the corner, taking the ‘keeper out of the equation even if he guesses right. “I’ve seen him hit all different sides of the goal (in practice), so I know he’s capable of doing it.“Maybe he’s a little superstitious, I’m not sure exactly, but he’s a good finisher. I know he can mix it up and he can do different things. “In fairness to Nick and credit to Nick, he’s saved a lot of PKs over the years. Obviously that was this weekend.”Giovinco did not speak to the media Tuesday. In his book, there’s no need to tell Jamie Oliver how to cook an egg.Giovinco, the league’s MVP and top goal-scorer in 2015, has 43 goals (and 35 assists) in 69 regular-season and playoff games with Toronto.Variety is the spice of life, however. But Saturday’s attempt was too close to Rimando, who is exceptional at stopping spot kicks.Vanney also said Giovinco has started using a stutter step, which can throw the ‘keeper’s timing off. And I think it’s probably about that time he starts showing some different looks to create a little more uncertainty for the goalkeepers.“I thought if he kept going to that side someone was going to catch him at some point or another. But on Saturday, he didn’t bother and Rimando guessed right.“On that one, it was a good read and Nick is very good at that,” said Vanney, who took more than a few penalties during his own playing career. Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney is unfazed by a rare penalty miss by Sebastian Giovinco. It’s a knack – just as taking a PK is a knack, I think saving them is a knack and definitely Nick has it.”Saturday marked Rimando’s 29th penalty stop in 18 MLS seasons and 20th since joining Real Salt Lake in 2007.Giovinco hit the post last July in a 4-4 tie with New York City FC that saw the Italian score a first-half hat trick – including a successful penalty – within a nine-minute span.“He’s fully capable of mixing it up. For Vanney, the Atomic Ant has the arsenal and the will to succeed at the penalty spot.Real Salt Lake ‘keeper Nick Rimando saved Giovinco’s penalty Saturday in a 0-0 season-opening draw, marking just the Italian’s second miss in 10 tries in Major League Soccer. And Vanney conceded that the penalty save might get his star striker dipping a little deeper into his sizable bag of tricks.“I think, all things considered, it will get Seba thinking a little bit about his approach and the different things he can do,” he said after a wet, windy training session Tuesday. Asked if he would bet on Giovinco successfully converting his next penalty, Vanney wasted little time answering in the positive.Giovinco’s go-to penalty is to the goalkeeper’s right, which led to armchair quarterbacking in some quarters on the weekend. But not Vanney’s. I think it’s just him deciding that he wants to do it and going with it,” said Vanney.

Nike unveils pull-on hijab for female Muslim athletes

Nike has unveiled a hijab for Muslim female athletes.The Nike Pro Hijab has been in development for a year, the company said. Athletes contributed input into the product, and figure skater Zahra Lari was among those who tested it.The pull-on hijab is made of light, stretchy fabric that includes tiny holes for breathability and an elongated back so it will not come untucked. Lari is from Abu Dhabi and represents the United Arab Emirates.“Can’t believe this is finally here!!” she wrote.Last summer, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad of New York became the first Muslim American woman to compete for the United States wearing a hijab at the Olympics. She earned a bronze medal at the Rio Games.The U-17 Women’s World Cup last October in Jordan marked the first time Muslim players wore headscarves during a FIFA event. It will come in three colours: black, vast grey and obsidian. Soccer’s international governing body formally lifted a ban on head coverings in 2014, recognizing Muslim and Sikh players.Meanwhile, the governing body for basketball, FIBA, has come under fire for banning headscarves during international competition. Beaverton-based Nike says the hijab will be available for sale next year. Lari, a hopeful for the Winter Olympics next year in Pyeongchang, South Korea, posted photos of herself wearing the hijab on her Instagram page.

Oilers captain-turned coach Doug Weight leads Islanders revival

He took over from Jack Capuano behind the Islanders bench on Jan. – Edmonton.Off the ice, Weight was a consummate communicator and it is this skill – transparent, detailed and open straight talk, mixed in with a little good humour – that helped the Islanders emerge from their first-half funk and start winning more consistently.“I learned a lot from our previous coach,” Weight said. Pucks are going to go in and they’re not. It was a slap in the face that it had to come to the firing of a coach.“I think those things wake teams up. I want to inspire them and I want them to inspire me … and keep everybody upbeat and believing.”Weight is relatively new to this NHL head-coaching gig. I was an assistant coach and an assistant GM, so I had two great bosses who trusted me and empowered me with decisions. I played it for 20 years. But ultimately, in this league, if you don’t do it on the ice and dig in and work for each other, the results aren’t going to change for a consistent period of time.” And I kept logs that way. When you lose, you’re just as mad as when you were playing. So you think about what you’re going to do. Preparation is a key for me and I learned that from him. It was disheartening. I’ve tried to study that because I still love the game. “Jack’s a great friend. 17, with the team sitting in the NHL’s Eastern Conference basement, eight points out of playoff contention. “To be 11 or 12 points out five or six weeks ago, it was disparaging. Doug Weight, the New York Islanders’ interim coach, always was a thinker and a talker, even way back when he was a kid playing hockey and his father gave him some sage advice that still resonates with him today.“My dad said things are going to go good and they’re going to go bad. So I’ve learned both sides.“I’ve concentrated on, if I was ever a coach, how would I do things? Statistically, his career topped out with an impressive 104-point season in 1995-96, a decade before he won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2005-06 over – who else? He played in Edmonton for eight-and-a-half seasons and eventually became the 10th captain in team history, no small achievement in an organization where the fourth, fifth and sixth captains were named Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Kevin Lowe, respectively.On the ice, Weight was known as a consummate play maker – 755 of his career 1,033 points were assists. Open a restaurant? “Full disclosure, what drew me in was a phone call that asked me if I would do it. I thought to myself, ‘I love this game so much,’ and I still have the passion – to win or to lose. He started with the Islanders once his 19-year NHL career ended in 2011, so he’s been there through some lean years and then some better ones of late (New York has been in the playoffs three of the past four years).For some retired players, the last thing they want to do is coach, because coaching obliges you to be all-in – a 24-hour, seven-day commitment that can put stress and strain on body, soul, mind.“I was lucky,” Weight said. In 19 games since then, the Islanders are 13-6-3 and were holding on to the final playoff spot, just ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, heading into Tuesday’s date with the Edmonton Oilers.Weight, an American from Warren, Mich., cut his playing teeth with the Oilers. I think that’s important.“It’s a great challenge, but as long as you have the passion and the belief in what you’re doing, it’s a great thing to come to work.”But the role of assistant coach is far different than being the man in charge, something Weight understood intuitively.“I believe that in the dressing room, we’re a confident team with great leadership and we believe we’re a playoff team,” he said. There is a certain way I handle each guy and the way I handle the bench that I believe can be beneficial to us over the course of a season. It’s key to have 24 guys who think they have a relevant role and that they’re important – and it’s also key that it’s not a mirage.“It’s not that I’m any bit of a guru, but I feel like being on the bench and knowing what I felt as a player has helped me tremendously as far as dealing with these guys.”Weight was previously an assistant under Capuano and also has a front-office role in the organization as an assistant to general manager Garth Snow. Go back to business school? Just make sure, when the coach looks down and sees your number, he thinks, ‘I trust him and I want to put him back out there.’

“To be honest, I feel that way about most every guy in our room.

Remembering Barbara Howard, a black athlete who ran her way into history

She would be disappointed by her performance at the Games, finishing sixth in the marquee 100-yard dash, though she returned home with two medals from relay races. “She apparently was quite a novelty … appearing on the front page of every newspaper. She was predeceased by a brother, Charles, and sisters Melba, Goldvine and Priscilla.Miss Howard was a warm, funny person with the gentle demeanour one would expect from someone who spent much of her working life with children. She despaired at looking on the great crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground and not seeing any familiar faces.She finished sixth in the race, behind Decima Norman of Australia, who set a new Empire Games mark with a run of 11.1 seconds. Howard was beyond her prime.Born in Vancouver on May 8, 1920, Barbara Catherine Howard was the youngest of five children born to Catherine (née Scurry), a dressmaker known as Cassie, and Samuel Howard, an Alabama-born caretaker. She is also a member of the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame in the Vancouver suburb in which she long made her home.That she spent so many decades in obscurity owed in part to her own feelings of failure at the Games.“I thought I’d disappointed Canada,” she told the Globe in 2010. Three years later, she was named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Miss Howard, a long-time activist in the church, never married. Barbara Howard’s first trip away from her birthplace of Vancouver was a month-long voyage by ocean liner to Australia, where she competed for Canada at the 1938 British Empire Games.The unheralded schoolgirl was just 17, a sprinter who surprised the sports world by running a world-class time in qualifications. Howard competed in a time trial, completing 100 yards in 11.2 seconds, besting the Empire Games record by one-tenth of a second. She recalled being able to hear the school bell being rung in the yard and being able to race the block-and-a-half from her home to be at her desk before the start of class. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church in Vancouver. Howard later said she received nothing but hospitality from Australians, the attention proved a distraction and she found herself feeling adrift by the time of the final for the 100 yards. She did not have her medals on display at her home, though she did keep on a couch in her bedroom a tattered doll with a faded black nose, the stuffed koala a souvenir almost as valuable as a gold medal.To submit an I Remember, email obit@globeandmail.com. Howard gained a silver medal in the 440-yard relay with teammates Aileen Meagher of Halifax and Ms. Her first tracksuit was a pair of hand-me-down men’s cotton long johns dyed blue by her mother. Her roommate in a small cabin aboard ship was Ann Clark, manager and chaperone for the Canadian women’s team.In Australia, the schoolgirl was an object of fascination. The trio also claimed a bronze in the four-person, 660-yard relay, joined by Violet Montgomery of Winnipeg.Ms. They seldom see coloured athletes down there … the photographers and autograph seekers kept on her trail.”The young woman’s kind demeanour earned her many friendships on the sojourn and her popularity was recorded by the Sydney Morning Herald, which noted her collection of mascots and souvenirs, as well as a prized club blazer from the South Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club. The student brought with her school books for study, practising for her events as much as possible on deck. The 1937 race earned her a spot on the Canadian team for the upcoming Games.The voyage to Australia aboard the ocean liner Aorangi lasted a numbing 28 days, including a call at Fiji. She earned an education degree from the University of British Columbia in 1959. She never complained about her fate and was delighted at receiving honours late in life. “They did me fine.”She first won notice for being fast by winning the school championship at Laura Secord Elementary in east-side Vancouver. “They were warm,” she once recalled. In recent years, she received belated recognition for her sporting feats and her pioneering role. As a Grade 11 student at Britannia High, Ms. By the time international sporting contests resumed, Ms. Howard was feted briefly on her return to Canada, where she continued her studies, living at home with her widowed mother. “Barbara Howard, dusky sprinter from B.C., caused quite a stir among Sydney’s populace during her appearance at the Empire Games,” reported Globe sports columnist Fanny (Bobbie) Rosenfeld, herself an Olympic gold medal-winning relay sprinter. Dolson. Howard’s family was supported by her mother’s brother. She taught for 43 years, including a 14-year stint as a physical-education teacher.In 2010, by then long retired, she received a Remarkable Woman Award from the Vancouver Park Board for “her passionate dedication to inspire others to make a positive difference in their community.” The recognition, 72 years after she had competed, revived interest in her athletic career.Miss Howard died on Jan. Miss Howard, who has died at 96, spent most of her life in anonymity, her early athletic achievements forgotten as she pursued a successful but quiet career as an educator. The family had a long history in the city, as her maternal grandfather had arrived by train soon after incorporation and family lore described him surviving the Great Vancouver Fire of 1886 by placing his shop’s expensive barber chair on his back before racing into the harbour waters of Burrard Inlet.After her father died in 1929, Ms. A celebration of life is scheduled for April 1 at St. The same newspaper described her as “dark-eyed and vivacious,” adding a demeaning racial comment typical of the era: “Like most members of her race, she is a very able sprinter.”While Ms. She also carried with her a stuffed doll resembling a koala, one of many gifts she received from sports-mad Australian fans. “I was ashamed when I came home that I didn’t have a gold medal.”It became her ambition to find redemption at the Olympics, though the outbreak of the Second World War led to the cancellation of the 1940 and 1944 Games. During the war, Miss Howard was hired as a teacher in Vancouver, becoming the first member of a visible minority to be hired by the school board. 26. Her death was announced a month later by her niece. Jeanette Dolson of Toronto came in third.Ms. She is believed to have been the first black woman to represent Canada in a major international competition.In 2012, she was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Former closer Eric Gagne hopes World Baseball Classic spurs MLB comeback

We have one purpose, that’s to come together as a group and compete, and try to represent our country the best we can.” “It’s a great test right now to go against some major league guys and see where you’re at. “Throwing strikes.”Gagne is among a group of pitchers with major league credentials taking the mound in the WBC, a list that includes Ryan Dempster, Bruce Chen, Jason Marquis, Chien-Ming Wang and Jair Jurrens.Some, like Gagne, are hoping a strong WBC gets them another shot at the bigs.Gagne won the 2003 NL Cy Young with the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Nervous, didn’t know what to expect, and it went well,” he said. He and Gagne are providing guidance to the young pitchers on Canada’s staff.“Our younger players are really feeding into it,” Whitt said. “They’re gaining information from them, and hopefully the younger players can take what they’ve learned from our veteran guys.”Dempster, who last pitched in the majors four years ago, is the scheduled to start Canada’s WBC opener Thursday against defending champion Dominican Republic. After retiring his first 12 batters, Gagne would up allowing one earned run, two hits and striking out six in five innings against Quebec.“I know I’m ready physically and mentally, but going out there is a different story,” Gagne said. For me it was a really, really successful day.”Gagne relieved in the third inning against Toronto and retired Darwin Barney and Ezequiel Carrera on flyballs. After Jake Elmore walked on a 3-2 changeup and Kevin Pillar flared a single, Gagne ended the inning by getting a grounder from Melvin Upton Jr. “I just didn’t want to embarrass myself.”Now 41, Gagne turned a one-shot deal into this opportunity.Out of the majors since playing for Milwaukee in 2008, Gagne started for Ottawa of the independent Can-Am League last year as part of a promotion in the team’s regular-season finale. Nearly a decade since he last pitched in the big leagues, Eric Gagne is gearing up for the World Baseball Classic – and maybe a major comeback.The former Cy Young Award closer threw a scoreless inning Tuesday for Team Canada in a 7-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, consistently hitting 93 mph with his fastball. “They’re a great group of the guys. He turns 40 in May.UP NEXTCanada plays its second and final exhibition game Wednesday against the New York Yankees in Tampa, Florida.“It’s going to be a quick study,” Whitt said. “For me anything above 90, if I keep the ball down with good angle, I think I’m fine.”Said Canada manager Ernie Whitt: “I was very impressed with the way the ball was coming out of his hand.”Dempster is taking a break from his job as a Chicago Cubs special assistant to play again. on his 18th pitch.“Looked like the old Gagne,” Canada first baseman Freddie Freeman said. He went 33-26 with 187 saves in a 10-year career, including 55 saves in his prize-winning season.The right-hander was pleased with his performance and velocity in a tuneup for the WBC.“Maybe I’ll get up a little bit,” Gagne said.

Dominant early, Maple Leafs stumble, but hang on to beat Red Wings

Marner picked off a desperate clearing attempt up the middle and fed Bozak, who fired a shot at goaltender Petr Mrazek. Maybe the Toronto Maple Leafs are forging a new identity, one much different than talented, flashy young team on the rise.Maybe they will eventually be known as a team that never makes it easy on themselves. “Is that the first shift? But that lesson wasn’t enough because the Leafs did it again 36 seconds into the third period. “I’m happy with the chances I was getting.”But then they turned back into the team that could only manage one point out of a possible six last week in three games in California because they couldn’t hold a lead and couldn’t play in their own zone. Play one, come back, take a deep breath and a little drink of water and get ready for the next one.”A little more than one minute into the game it seemed the Leafs took their coach to heart. I was watching TV last night and a couple teams were down 2-0 right away.“So you spent your whole day, you had a nice meal, had a nice nap, did everything [to prepare] – how did you get down 2-0 five minutes into the game and you chased the game all night? You don’t know which shift it’s going to be. The Bozak line had a monster shift, running all over the Detroit zone. The Red Wings are a once-proud franchise that is about to break a streak of 25 consecutive years in the playoffs. Playing too loose in their own zone? This time they watched Nyquist cruise into the slot alone and put a shot past goaltender Frederik Andersen.And just like that, a 3-0 lead was down to 3-2 and all the old questions were back.Way back in the first period, the Leafs broke out of the gate as though they still had head coach Mike Babcock’s words from the morning skate ringing in their ears. Thanks to allowing the Wings two goals, the Leafs can now say they are 11-7-14 in one-goal games.Over the first 40 minutes, it looked as if the Leafs solved all of their problems at once. Getting that third-place spot means the Leafs’ playoff prospects will be better than simply first-round fodder for the Washington Capitals as a wild-card team.“There’s going to be a lot of one-goal games down the stretch so it’s nice to win that one,” said Leaf centre Tyler Bozak, who had his best game in quite a while with two assists and a 75-per-cent success rate in the faceoff circle.The trouble is, the game never should have been that close, not one against the last-place team in the Atlantic Division. You don’t know which shift is going to turn the game, so be ready for your shift. It’s certainly appearing that way, as the Leafs began their most important segment of the season, the drive to climb back into a playoff spot over the last 18 games of the NHL’s regular season, by almost fumbling away a two-goal lead Tuesday night. They didn’t allow the Red Wings a shot in the second period until almost 16 minutes had passed.Not enough pop from veterans such as James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak? But after some hair-raising moments late in the third period, the Leafs managed to hang on to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Air Canada Centre. That line produced the game’s first two goals with Bozak and Marner assisting on both of them.“We played well, I thought, for most of the game,” van Riemsdyk said. Since being claimed by the Leafs and then working his way into the lineup for the past six games thanks to an injury to Connor Carrick, Marchenko appears to have nailed down a full-time spot in the lineup.A little more than five minutes later, van Riemsdyk fought off a Red Wings defenceman in front of the net to score a power-play goal. That broke a five-game winless slide, kept the Leafs bobbing around the second and last Eastern Conference wild-card spot and, more importantly, pulled them within two points of the third-place Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division. With 28 seconds left in the second period, no one thought to cover Detroit winger Gustav Nyquist in front of the net and he scored on the Red Wings’ fifth shot of the period. The rebound bounced out to defenceman Alexey Marchenko, who scored his first goal of the season.But the goal was more significant than that, as it was also Marchenko’s first game against his former team, the one that put him on waivers almost a month ago. Actually, Babcock was talking to the usual crowd of reporters, but seven minutes into the game it was clear he must have said much the same thing to the players, probably repeatedly after their awful road trip last week.“I think when you start the game you don’t know what shift is going to turn the game,” Babcock said. Then, in the space of less than a minute at the worst possible times, the last minute of one period and the first minute of the next one, the Leafs let the Red Wings back into the game.It was a reminder to anyone who gets too excited about this flashy young team – it still has a lot to learn.“We had a little trouble at the end but guys made big plays, blocked shots,” van Riemsdyk said, perhaps just a bit defensively. Then, with the Leafs clamping down on the Red Wings, who appear certain to miss the playoffs after a remarkable 25 consecutive years in the postseason, Nazem Kadri scored his 27th goal of the season at 5:49 of the second period.As the middle period wound down, it looked as if the Leafs were learning the lessons preached by Babcock, about keeping the gas pedal down, as the coach liked to say. Rookie sensation Mitch Marner, the right winger on their line, letting his game slide? Once the Leafs had a 3-0 lead on them in the second period they should have shut down the Wings the rest of the way.Then again, the Leafs’ late follies did help improve their sorry record in one-goal games. Van Riemsdyk broke a 14-game scoring drought with his 20th goal of the season.

Lee scores twice, Ho-Sang gets first NHL goal as Islanders topple Oilers

The Islanders kicked off the scoring with 2:37 left in the first period as Ho-Sang scored on a power-play blast from the point that beat Oilers goalie Cam Talbot up high.Edmonton tied it up three minutes into the second period as Kassian tipped a Matt Benning point shot past Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss, his second goal in as many games.New York regained the lead midway through the second period as Lee picked up a loose rebound in the crease and slid home his 24th goal of the season.The Islanders made it 3-1 seven minutes into the third frame as Brock Nelson put in some great work to send a backhand pass in front to Ladd for an easy tap-in. It was Ladd’s sixth goal in the last 10 games.Lee scored an empty-netter to put the game away.Greiss stopped 27 shots while Talbot made 23 saves.The Islanders return to action on Thursday in Vancouver, while Edmonton plays the third game of an eight-game homestand on Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.Notes: It was the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. Current Islanders GM Garth Snow was the winning goalie for New York in that game New York defenceman and Edmonton native Johnny Boychuk missed his second straight game with a foot injury With 55 points, Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl is just four points back of tying Marco Sturm for the most points by a German-born player in one season. Edmonton won the first contest 4-3 in a shootout in Brooklyn in November The Islanders came into the game with six straight losses in Edmonton dating back to March 13, 2003. Anders Lee scored a pair of goals as the New York Islanders gained some valuable points with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.Joshua Ho-Sang, with his first career NHL goal, and Andrew Ladd also scored for the Islanders (31-23-11), who snapped a two-game losing skid.Zack Kassian replied for the Oilers (35-23-8), who had a two-game winning streak snapped.

CCM sees ‘great opportunity’ in Adidas bid to sell iconic hockey brand

“We are an attractive company, an attractive brand for a number of people.”He said the search will take at least a few months.CCM Hockey was No. Dubé declined to name any prospective buyers this early in the process, but is optimistic of a sale. The equipment market was “difficult” last year, Mr. Mr. The Montreal-based president of CCM Hockey says the announcement that owner Adidas AG plans to sell the brand is a “great opportunity” for the long-time Canadian brand to increase its hockey-equipment market share.“We’re already very happy that we’re going to report to a new owner that will be more invested in this equipment category, and will help us to continue to drive the brand, and to invest in R&D and operating efficiencies,” said Philippe Dubé, who has served as president of the subsidiary since 2010, in a phone interview. Dubé said the brand intends to remain headquartered in the Montreal area, and that a new owner would help renew its focus on developing and growing market share for its skates and hockey equipment.“We are made of hockey, and we are Canadian,” he said.Earlier this year the owner of CCM rival Bauer, Performance Sports Group Ltd., was sold for $575-million (U.S.) to Sagard Holdings Inc. Adidas took over Reebok the following year. 2 in the Canadian equipment market by dollar share as of about a year ago, with 17 per cent, said Julian Savory, chief executive of the Canadian Sporting Goods Association. After many potential buyers steered clear of the distressed company, no other bidders came forward.Mr. Dubé said, as major customer, retail chain Total Hockey, filed for bankruptcy, and CCM transitioned its licenses from Reebok to Adidas. “In the past few months, if not years, I’ve received so many phone calls about, ‘When are you guys going to be on the market?’” he said. Mr. It has been a stalwart of both hockey and Canadian identity ever since; the first C stands for Canada. Combined with Reebok-branded gear, also owned by Adidas, it commands close to 27 per cent of the market – behind Bauer, which holds 34 per cent.Mr. Dubé said the company has had a great deal of autonomy under Adidas – handling research and development, marketing, sales and more on its own – and hopes that continues under a new owner.“We have very limited links with the Adidas group right now,” he said. But he said the brand had “tripled” its market share in the past three years, and was poised for double-digit growth in 2017.The company has been redeveloping its high-performance skate products, revealing new Super Tacks skates in 2016 and revising its Jetspeed skates this year.The brand was acquired by Reebok in 2004 when it was owned by The Hockey Company. and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. The broader $400-million ice-hockey market in Canada, he said, has itself declined 8 per cent year-over-year.“As a potential investor in a product category that requires so much capital for expenses – in terms of product development, prototyping, marketing costs and licensing fees – is it a good business investment to be in?” Mr. Adidas revealed in its 2016 annual report Wednesday that the company would be actively seeking a buyer for the skate, stick, helmet and other hockey-gear business as part of a multiyear plan to renew its focus on athletic footwear and apparel, and shed unrelated business lines. “That’s why, for us, there is no disruption risk, because we’re already operating as a standalone entity.” CCM is the latest after announcements to divest brands such as Mitchell & Ness, TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth.The brand – worn by the likes of NHL stars Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Carey Price – first launched as an Ontario bicycle company in 1899, but soon pivoted to hockey skates. after filing for bankruptcy protection. Savory said.Still, because CCM has shown growth against its competitor, he said this might be a wise time for Adidas to divest.Net sales for CCM Hockey fell about 14 per cent in 2016 over the previous year, according to Adidas’s annual report. Savory said CCM is catching up to Bauer “very, very quickly,” but that the lacklustre response to Performance Sports Group’s sale could make it hard for Adidas to find a buyer for the brand.

Byron scores winner in OT as Canadiens topple Canucks 2-1

It’s a tough feeling.”Nikolay Goldobin, making his Vancouver home debut after being traded a week ago from San Jose, had two quality chances against a sprawling Price, but couldn’t tie it in the first period.The Canucks sustained pressure on Price in the second, but the Montreal netminder again made the necessary saves, including a partial breakaway shot from Brendan Gaunce mid-period.“I could have helped the team win today,” said Gaunce. it feels like you can’t do anything about it. He’s a good presence in our locker-room, and he’s a great teammate. “Now we have to think about Thursday’s game and get back to it.”For Price and the red-hot Canadiens it’s a polar opposite scenario. They are now seven points back of St. “I love it here.”The Canucks only goal came at 7:11 of the third when Edler’s wrist shot from near the blue line was redirected by Chaput over Price’s blocker. It’s just something I want to be able to do.”Price made a spectacular glove save on a streaking Markus Granlund eight minutes into the third, prompting chants of “Carey, Carey” to erupt in the upper deck.“It’s always cool to come home to B.C.,” said Price, who was born in Vancouver before moving to Anahim Lake, B.C. I’m happy for him.”Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller had a busy night with 36 saves and couldn’t do much against Byron’s OT winner. It’s just one of those ones … Vancouver (28-31-7) desperately needed the points to keep its fading playoff hopes alive. “It’s disappointing and frustrating. It would have been huge for us in the standings,” said Michael Chaput, who scored Vancouver’s lone goal in the game. The Atlantic Division-leading Habs (38-21-8) have won six straight and are thriving under new head coach Claude Julien with a 7-2 record.As for Price, he’s been on fire recently, with a shutout and only five goals allowed in his last five games — all wins.“It’s not just me, it’s our defensive play in general,” said Price, deflecting the credit. Louis for the second wild card spot after the Blues beat the Wild 2-1 on Tuesday. After Alex Galchenyuk shot the puck, it took a strange bounce that even caught Byron off guard.“It hit me on the inside of the pants, kind of right off the cup there, so it caught me by surprise,” said Byron.“It’s almost kind of comical,” added Miller. It’s right there, but you can’t get it. “He brings speed and tenacity to our game. The noticeably vocal contingent of Habs fans present roared in approval.“Mitchy is a character guy,” said Price. “I could have scored on that 2-on-1 and that would have changed the game. It came in the first period on a redirect off Andrei Markov’s wrist shot from the blue-line. “Ever since the bye we have been playing very well.”Torrey Mitchell scored his first goal for the Canadiens in 39 games. Carey Price and the Canadiens cooled down what little momentum Vancouver built up recently with back-to-back wins.Price made 27 saves and Paul Byron scored in overtime as Montreal defeated the Canucks 2-1 on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena.The loss snapped a modest two-game win streak for the Canucks after picking up road wins in southern California. For me, I’m probably my hardest critic. “It was a really tough bounce.

Sports groups applying for funding must give equal access to women: Wynne

The Ontario government says sports organizations hoping for provincial funding will have to place greater emphasis on including women and girls.Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement Wednesday to coincide with International Women’s Day.Wynne says organizations hoping to tap into Ontario’s Amateur Sport Fund must now offer equal access to training and coaching for women and update their policies to support the inclusion of women and girls. Wynne also says the province wants to see more women involved as coaches and mentors as well as athletes.The province will provide funding for the Coaches Association of Ontario to recruit and train 250 female coaches and 90 female mentors by the end of the year.Wynne says engaging girls in sport has lifetime benefits and helps level the playing field between genders.

Mikaël Kingsbury and Justine Dufour-Lapointe win bronze at worlds

Canadian freestyle skiing stars Mikael Kingsbury and Justine Dufour-Lapointe have won bronze medals at the world moguls championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.Kingsbury was the favourite heading into the event after collecting five World Cup moguls crowns this season en route to the overall title.Japans’s Ikuma Horishima was first with 88.54 points while Benjamin Cavet of France was second in 87.11. Kingsbury had 82.85 points.Britteny Cox of Australia won gold on the women’s side with 83.63 points while Perrine Laffont of France was second at 82.51.Dufour-Lapointe, the defending champion, was third with 80.74.