Montreal baseball investors have met MLB’s conditions: source

A group of Montreal investors has met the conditions laid out by Major League Baseball to get a team back in the city, a source has told The Canadian Press.“I can tell you we are no longer looking for investors and that we believe we have all the ingredients to be able to welcome a team, be it an expansion one or one that already exists,” the person said on condition of not being identified. The source said the investors have a solid financial set-up, support from two levels of government, various potential locations for a stadium as well as at least five different designs for the venue.“We are not going to say we favour one site or another,” the source said. “But it’s crucial for the [eventual] site to be well served by public transit.”As for what the stadium would look like, the person said there is a lot of flexibility.“We can choose the version we want,” the source added. “There are five. They are preliminary plans and we could easily rework them once the project has been launched.”The investors are just waiting for a call from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to get the ball rolling.“For me, the most important element in all this is the team,” the person said.“ All the other areas are sufficiently advanced.”The Toronto Blue Jays play two exhibition games at Olympic Stadium this Friday and Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.Montreal businessmen Stephen Bronfman and Mitch Garber publicly revealed their commitment last year to the project, while Bronfman and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre co-signed a 2015 letter that was sent to the 30 MLB teams as well as to Manfred.The letter spoke of Montreal’s interest in rejoining the major leagues for the first time since 2004, when the Expos left to become the Washington Nationals.Manfred said last year he would like two teams added to MLB in order to make scheduling easier.But he also said that scenario had to wait until another collective agreement was signed with the players’ union and the issue of stadiums in Oakland and Tampa was settled.While the new bargaining agreement was inked last December, the situation with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics is far from clear.Stuart Sternberg, the majority owner of the Rays, said last week he had to forgo his two preferred sites for a new stadium because they were not available.The search for a new location won’t be complete until the end of the year.In Oakland, the NFL’s Raiders have announced they will eventually say goodbye to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where the Athletics also play.The A’s have committed to staying in Oakland, providing they get a new stadium.

NHL will release teams’ protected, available Vegas expansion draft lists

EDT June 17. Vegas must submit its selections by 5 p.m. After further consideration, the NHL will release teams’ protected and available lists to the public before the Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion draft in June.The league announced the decision on Twitter on Wednesday despite NHL general managers expressing a desire to keep the lists private. All 30 existing teams must submit their list of protected players by 5 p.m. Each team can protect either seven forwards, three defencemen and one goaltender or eight skaters of any position and one goaltender.The Golden Knights begin play next season. June 20, with the announcement of those picks made June 21.The league said the timing of the lists being released was still to be determined. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said there was more internal discussion at the league office and that none of the GMs expressed strong views on the subject.

Venus Williams beats top-ranked Kerber in Miami Open quarterfinals

Kerber stayed rooted to the baseline and was on the defensive even when she served, facing 13 break points and losing serve five times.The German will remain No. 12 Caroline Wozniacki in the other semifinal.Williams took charge of her quarterfinal match when Kerber double-faulted on the final two points of the opening set, and broke serve twice more early in the second set. 2 Karolina Pliskova will play No. She reclaimed the top ranking this month after Indian Wells, replacing Serena Williams, who is sidelined by a knee injury.Venus Williams improved to 61-13 at Key Biscayne, where she is making her 18th appearance. 1 player, but her first since 2014. Fognini improved to 9-44 against top-10 players, and became the first Italian man to reach a semifinal at Key Biscayne. 3 Simona Halep 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2. 11, she’s into the tournament’s semifinals for the first time in seven years. She won the title in 1998, 1999 and 2001 and considers the tournament her hometown event – she lives 90 minutes north in Palm Beach Gardens.At 36, Williams was the oldest woman to enter the draw, but she hasn’t been taxed physically while winning every set in her four matches.On the men’s side, Fabio Fognini became the first unseeded player in 10 years to reach the men’s semifinals at Key Biscayne when he beat 2016 runner-up Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-2. She closed out the victory on her fifth match point with a backhand winner.It was a matchup of offence against defence, with Williams the more aggressive player, charging the net often. Fognini, 29, who matched his best showing in an ATP Masters 1000 event, will next play the winner of Wednesday night’s match between Rafael Nadal and Jack Sock.Nishikori was seeded No. No. 10-seeded Johanna Konta, who became the first British woman to reach a semifinal in the tournament by beating No. Seeded No. 1 next week despite her loss. Williams’ opponent Thursday night will be No. 2. Venus Williams moved a step closer to her first Key Biscayne title since 2001 when she beat top-ranked Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open.It was Williams’ 15th career win against a No.

Hornets surge back, snap Raptors six-game winning streak

1 seed in the East held home-court advantage. On the road it is a cringe-worthy 6-26.Last season, heading into the postseason as the No. Heading into their game against the Hornets, the Raptors needed a win, along with a loss by Atlanta in its game against Philadelphia, to secure at least a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage for the opening round of the playoffs.But the Raptors failed to come through, and allowed the Hornets to surge back with some hot shooting in the fourth quarter to record a 110-106 victory, snuffing a six-game Toronto winning streak.“They were as hot as fire in the fourth quarter,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey “We go from one of our best defensive quarters, 16 in the third, to 44 in the fourth. But at home in the playoffs, Toronto’s success rate has been much better, 18-12. Toronto’s overall record in the postseason, in which they’ve only won three series, is 24-38. Tucker, a trade-deadline addition to the lineup last month, just qualifying for the playoffs is a personal perk.According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tucker is sixth on the list among active players of most regular-season games played (412) without an appearance in the postseason.It will be good “to get that monkey off my back,” Tucker said before the game. Toronto lost all three games on enemy turf and was gone in six.For a player such as Toronto forward P.J. “Right now it’s not even about the playoffs. 2 seed in the East, Toronto enjoyed home court advantage through the first two rounds, which was huge.Toronto outlasted the Indiana Pacers and then the Miami Heat in two seven-game series, in which Toronto prevailed each time in the final game, played on their home court packed with frenzied fans.The Raptors’ run ended after that in the conference final against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who as the No. And that was the difference in the game.“I thought we did a good job of containing their three-point shooters and [Marco] Belinelli saw one go in and then it was contagious.”After Toronto had secured a 74-66 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Hornets rallied and a reverse layup by Jeremy Lamb knotted the score at 82-82 with less than eight minutes left.It remained close the rest of the way.It was 101-101 heading into the final frantic moments where Kemba Walker drained a long three for the Hornets with 37.5 seconds left, and the Raptors were in a pickle.Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan made two free throws, which cut the lead to one, but the dagger was then inserted by Marvin Williams, who canned a long three with 8.7 seconds left to sink the Raptors’ chances.Belinelli led the Hornets with 21 points. It will mark Toronto’s fourth successive playoff visit, a franchise record.All that is left to resolve, with seven games remaining for the Raptors following their game on Wednesday night against the Charlotte Hornets at Air Canada Centre, is the final seeding to determine their opening-round opponent. DeRozan, who struggled to hit on 11 of his 24 shots, responded with 28.Teams usually perform better at home in the playoffs, but for the Raptors’ home-court advantage has been a big boost. It’s about us finishing off the season the right way and winning as many games as possible before we get there.”The Raptors, in the midst of a four-game home stand, next play Friday night against the Indiana Pacers.As has been the Raptors’ annoying habit this year, they fell behind early, trailing 34-24 early in the second quarter after a driving layup by Frank Kaminsky and a made free throw on the ensuing foul.Toronto entered the game leading the NBA with 19 comeback victories this season when trailing by 10 points or more.The Raptors struggled early on with their shots, at one point in the second quarter having made just 34.6 per cent (nine of 26) of their attempts.Toronto clawed its way to within two points of the lead, but needed a 19-foot jumper by DeRozan at the buzzer to trim the Charlotte advantage to 50-47 by the half.The Raptors began to find some offensive footing in the third when DeMarre Carroll, making his first start after sitting out the past two games nursing a sore lower back, drilled a three that lifted Toronto in front 54-53.Then it was DeRozan’s turn to amp it up, speeding down the court with the ball toward Marvin Williams, the overmatched Charlotte defender. DeRozan blew past Williams and laid the ball in to make the score 56-53.As he headed back down court, DeRozan cast a long, hard stare at the Charlotte bench for good measure.Toronto led by as many as nine in the quarter before settling for a 74-66 margin heading into the fourth. In the Toronto Raptors’ rather thin playoff history, playing at home has been good, on the road bad.The Raptors have already punched their ticket for their ninth NBA postseason adventure, which begins in mid-April.

Hockey comes to Beijing, with Bettman, a billionaire and Beckham

The Chinese tech giant has said that for some games “10 million people watch,” said Luc Robitaille, president of business operations for the Kings.“When you’re in China they don’t think it’s big. Dreyer said. Kings is my favourite hockey team,” a videotaped Mr. “And that’s exciting as well. “Enjoy the game.”Read more: The man behind the push to bring the NHL to ChinaIn September, the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings will meet for a pair of preseason matches in Beijing and Shanghai, marking what commissioner Gary Bettman called “the formal launch of what we hope will be a long and successful collaboration between our league, our teams and our partners in accelerating the development of hockey in China.”But as the appearances by Mr. Bryant made clear, hockey needs all the help it can get here.In China, “even Wayne Gretzky, no one knows who he is,” said Brandon Chemers, a Beijing-based sportswriter. They have so much potential, so much opportunity.”The league may not possess a Yao Ming-like star to drive millions of Chinese people into its arms. It inter-spliced footage of the Great Wall and the Boston Bruins, set to the pumping tune of Hall of Fame: “You could be the greatest / You can be the best / You can be the King Kong banging on your chest.”It is surely not the last time the NHL will find itself in a strange position in China where, after years of watching other leagues chase viewers and dollars, it is now pledging to stay for the long term.“It’s very definitely at the first stages,” Canucks president Trevor Linden said. Robitaille said.The opening honours this September will go to the Kings and Canucks for reasons of ownership and fan base: LA Kings is owned by AEG, which also runs an arena in Shanghai where one game will take place, while the Vancouver area is full of people with connections to China.No one doubts the size of the prize if they can succeed.“It’s China, that’s why everyone comes,” Mr. But the NHL has the most powerful man in China, President Xi Jinping, who is overseeing a nationwide pursuit of winter sports participation ahead of the Beijing Olympics in 2022 – and who, it is widely believed, has a personal fondness for hockey.“He’s behind this, and when he gets behind things the country moves in that direction pretty quickly,” said Mark Dreyer, a Beijing-based sports analyst who runs the Sports Insider website.“There’s actually a lot of indications that the government is moving away from soccer at the moment, and making winter sports its No. We think it’s astronomical.”Precise numbers in China are rarely trustworthy, but even an audience a quarter that big would suggest the NHL has reason for optimism.“The most important thing that we should focus on now is helping them grow the game,” Mr. Beckham and Mr. But it’s just weird.”Moments after the former Lakers’ star’s appearance Thursday, the NHL rolled a promotional video for ORG Packaging, the league’s strategic partner in China that is run by billionaire Zhou Yunjie, who began goaltending as a teen. For the past few years, state-run broadcaster CCTV has televised five regular season games a week. This is what it takes to assemble a historic day for the National Hockey League in China: the league commissioner admirably twisting his tongue around a Mandarin greeting, a Chinese billionaire who regularly suits up in goalie gear, government officials in drab suits, a group of under-12 local hockey players with parents willing to sneak them out of school for a day to skate with hockey royalty – and guest appearances by David Beckham and Kobe Bryant. You just need that 1 per cent.” We should have some of our players come in the summer.”If that includes a team effort to promote the sport, the Kings are also aware that no one can yet claim to be China’s team, a position that could prove lucrative. “Whoever is willing to work the hardest, their brand is going to be out there,” Mr. Bryant added. Robitaille said. The local population is so vast that, even with only a small percentage tuning in, the Chinese audience regularly beats North American viewership for those games.The league has also signed a five-year online streaming deal with Tencent. “The L.A. 1 priority within the sports industry.”The NHL’s “timing clearly works,” he said.The league has already had a taste of what’s possible. Beckham said Thursday, his words dubbed into Mandarin and projected from a centre-ice screen at a Beijing arena where the NHL came to kickstart an effort to find new audiences and players in the world’s second-largest economy. “So having a guy like Kobe say, ‘Hey, it’s okay, check it out’ — it sort of has more value than if it was a star hockey player. “I hope you will welcome their arrival as warmly as you welcomed me a couple of years ago,” Mr. “It’s a numbers play. “All of us should have alumni come in.

Brad Gushue to lead Canada at world men’s curling championship

“(We’re) right up there with Niklas and obviously Peter and David Murdoch are some of the other teams that people will highlight there. Sallows replaced Walker at the Elite 10 event after the Brier but the regular lineup is expected to be ready for Saturday’s opener against Switzerland.“I think a lot of teams around Canada and around the world thought we were going to be in a lot of trouble with Brad out,” Nichols said after the Brier win. They also played hurt as Gushue has been dealing with a hip/groin issue and Walker’s sweeping abilities were hampered by a right shoulder injury.“To win this one, it doesn’t seem to make much sense,” Gushue said. Second Brett Gallant skipped Canada to world junior silver in 2009 and lead Geoff Walker played third on the national team skipped by Charley Thomas that won world junior gold in 2006. 2-10 Olympic Trials in Ottawa. We’re just so happy where we are.”Round-robin play continues through April 6 and the medal games are set for April 9.The venue can seat about 12,000 for curling. It was Canada’s first world men’s title since 2012.Gushue missed the first few months of the season due to injury but his team maintained its top ranking with Nichols at skip. De Cruz won a world junior title in 2010 while Murdoch took Olympic silver in 2014 and is a two-time world men’s champion (’06, ‘09).The 12-team field also includes American John Shuster, China’s Rui Liu, Germany’s Alexander Baumann, Italy’s Joel Retornaz, Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi, Jaap Van Dorp of the Netherlands, Norway’s Steffan Walstad and Russia’s Alexey Stukalskiy.“I feel like our team is definitely one of the favourites going in,” Gushue said in a recent interview. “The fact that it’s in Canada, a lot of things are going to be very similar about it.”Sallows also served as a fifth on the Pat Simmons team that won world bronze two years ago in Halifax. Brad Gushue and his teammates have plenty of experience wearing the Maple Leaf even though they’re set to make their first appearance at the world men’s curling championship.Gushue and third Mark Nichols won Olympic gold at the Turin Games in 2006, five years after winning a world junior title together. The Brier champions are joined by coach Jules Owchar, team leader Rick Lang and alternate Tom Sallows.“Lots of experience within the room,” Gushue said. He became the first Newfoundland skip to hoist the Brier Tankard since Jack MacDuff in 1976.Gushue’s team came through despite the pressure and distractions that came with playing in their hometown. It’s a good field.”Koe beat Gushue in the 2016 Brier final and then defeated Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne 5-3 to win world gold in Basel, Switzerland. When Brad came back everything fell back into place. “I think it really showed that our team has a lot of grit and determination.”The top-ranked team will look to build on that success in Edmonton.Sweden’s Niklas Edin, Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz and Scotland’s David Murdoch are also expected to contend for podium spots.Edin, who won Olympic bronze at the 2014 Sochi Games, won world titles in 2013 and 2015. John’s.“We’re going to treat it very similar to a Brier,” Gushue said. “We managed to do pretty well. Gushue and Walker also have world junior experience as alternates.If Gushue reaches the podium, he will secure a direct entry into the Dec. The foursome from St. That’s about twice the capacity of Mile One Centre in St. “I don’t think there’s going to be anything that’s really going to surprise us.”Earlier this month, Gushue edged Kevin Koe 7-6 to win the national men’s title for the first time in 14 tries. John’s will be podium favourites when the 2017 world men’s playdowns begin Saturday at the Northlands Coliseum.

FIFA bans Lionel Messi for four World Cup qualifying games

It was judged a red-card offence for Messi.“This decision is in line with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s previous rulings in similar cases,” said the world soccer body, which also fined Messi 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,160).Messi and the Argentine soccer federation can challenge the ban at FIFA’s appeals committee. FIFA’s legal statutes do not grant jurisdiction to the Swiss-based CAS in “appeals arising from … Without him, though, Argentina has earned only seven points out of a possible 21.The 1978 and 1986 world champion is now only two points ahead of sixth place, currently held by Chile.After facing last-place Bolivia, Argentina will travel to play Uruguay on Aug. 5.It was close to a must-win match last Thursday when Argentina hosted Chile, the team it lost to in the Copa America finals of 2015 and 2016Argentina won 1-0 after Messi scored with a first-half penalty at the vibrant Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires, but he lost his cool in the closing minutes.Messi reacted angrily when a decision went against him and aimed a volley of profane abuse at the assistant. suspensions of up to four matches.”The Messi ban adds further turmoil to the embattled Argentina soccer federation, which is currently being run by an emergency committee appointed by FIFA last June.A previous generation of Argentine soccer leaders were implicated in corruption and indicted by the U.S. 31. The fifth-place team will enters a playoff in November, likely against New Zealand.Messi has scored in four qualifiers so far, with Argentina going on to win every game. They should have reasoned or contemplated this is in another way.“Four games is too much.”Messi’s behaviour and ban could affect his chances of winning FIFA’s best player award for 2017, even if his club Barcelona wins the Champions League.FIFA guidance to voters is that on- and off-field conduct should be taken into account.Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are in a career-long duel for the game’s most prestigious prize, and the Portugal and Real Madrid forward won his fourth FIFA award in January to draw within one of his great rival.In a stark contrast for soccer’s global stars, Messi has been shamed this week while Ronaldo was rewarded with the airport in his home island of Madeira being named in his honour. “But we’re left angry and sad because (Messi) will not be with the team.”Argentina has relied on its captain Messi to move up to third place in a group where the top four qualify for the tournament in Russia. He refused to shake hands with the official after the match.FIFA could intervene as the incident was not initially reported by the Brazilian referee. “I think it’s too sensitive for something like this. Then it has two home games against struggling sides: Venezuela on Sept. New elections are scheduled this week.The interim federation leader questioned FIFA’s judgment Tuesday.“I think it’s unusual because it will set a precedent that will decide the future of many things,” Armando Perez told Argentina’s TyC Sports channel. 5 and Peru on Oct. Lionel Messi is banned from Argentina’s next four World Cup qualifying games, dealing a blow to a campaign by the 2014 runner-up that has stuttered without him.Messi’s suspension for “having directed insulting words at an assistant referee” during a home qualifier against Chile last week, started Tuesday in Bolivia, where his teammates were due to kick off hours after FIFA announced its verdict. It rarely overturns disciplinary rulings, though it could reduce the number of games he must miss.A subsequent appeal does not currently seem possible to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Department of Justice in 2015, and subsequent federation elections were disputed. 10.“We have to appeal this decision, we’ll see how it goes,” said Jorge Miadosqui, Argentina’s national teams director. The five-time FIFA player of the year can appeal to FIFA, but is on track to return for Argentina’s final match in the 10-team South American qualifying group, hosting Ecuador on Oct.

USA Hockey, women’s national players reach agreement to avoid boycott

in that the women on the national team receive carding money of $1,500 per month from Sport Canada year-round.When the players centralized in Calgary to begin training full time for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Hockey Canada topped that up by about $2,500 per month to cover moving and living expenses.Own The Podium directs just over a million dollars of taxpayer money annually into the Hockey Canada’s female program that includes the developmental and under-18 teams.Players are set to travel to Plymouth on Wednesday and open the defence of their gold medal Friday against Canada. “I think there are a lot of things in this agreement other than financial that were important to the women in terms of kind of laying the foundation or building the framework for the women’s program for the years ahead and particularly the next four years of this agreement.” NHL agent Allan Walsh tweeted that men’s players were considering boycotting their world championship in solidarity if a deal didn’t get done.It took until almost the last minute, but a deal did get done that includes the formation of a women’s high performance advisory group with current and former players — like Hockey Canada has had for some time. I’m not worried about that one bit.”The U.S. Women’s National Team and USA Hockey on reaching an agreement that will allow the world championship tournament to be a best-on-best showcase,” said Davidson. The group’s goal is to advance girl’s and women’s hockey programing, marketing, promotion and fundraising to augment existing grassroots programs.Melody Davidson, Hockey Canada’s general manager of its national women’s team program, was pleased that Canada will be able to face their arch-rivals at the world championships.“We congratulate the U.S. “It’s going to be a turning point for women’s hockey in the U.S. has won six of the past eight world championships, but this deal was not just about one tournament. USA Hockey and the women’s national team reached an agreement to end a wage dispute and avoid a boycott of the world championships on home ice that would’ve been a black eye for the sport.Players and USA Hockey finalized the deal Tuesday night and announced it in a joint statement just three days before the tournament begins in Plymouth, Michigan. It’s a four-year agreement that pays players beyond just the six-month Olympic period. The goal is stabilizing the relationship between USA Hockey and the women’s national team moving forward.“That’s the crux of the whole deal,” Ogrean said. “Clearly, we wanted to get this behind us, and we’re very excited about having the team in Michigan to put on the jerseys that are their jerseys and to defend their world championship starting Friday night.”Star forward Hilary Knight called it an “arrangement that will have a positive and lasting impact.” Duggan said the deal was “the best there is” for the present and future.After more than a year of negotiations over wages and equitable support, players announced March 15 that they’d boycott the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship if significant progress wasn’t made toward an agreement. Olympic committee, each player could surpass $70,000 in annual earnings.“I’m very relieved and I’m very positive about the outcome, and I think the women are, too,” USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean said by phone. The team’s first practice is Wednesday.“Even though this has been going on for two weeks, we’ve all still been preparing — working out, training, skating and doing what we need to do to be ready to go,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “Our preparation has remained consistent and we are looking forward to a great tournament and our opening game against the United States on Friday night in Plymouth.”Canada’s system is different from the U.S. “We put that on the line and we made a promise to ourselves that until we reached an agreement that we thought was acceptable and we had made progress, that was a realization that maybe we wouldn’t be there.”Over the course of the public dispute, unions from the NHL, NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball and 16 U.S. Combined with money received from the U.S. “We’ll be all ready to go. The sides met for 10-plus hours in person last week and continued conversations before striking a deal Tuesday.Duggan said she was concerned about not being on the ice to begin the tournament.“That was a reality from Day One,” Duggan said by phone. (and) I feel like a turning point for women’s hockey in the world,” star forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said by phone. “There was compromises on both sides, but the contract in its entirety, it’s going to change the lives of the current players that are on the team right now but (also) for the next generation.”Captain Meghan Duggan called it a “historic moment in women’s sports.” USA Hockey president Jim Smith said people will look back on this day “as one of the most positive in the history” of the organization.Before this agreement, players said they were paid $1,000 a month around the Olympics, and the new contract is believed to be worth around $3,000 to $4,000 per player per month. senators voiced support for the players.

Joakim Noah says over-the-counter supplement caused drug violation

We’re just glad to see him back on the court today, doing some things,” coach Jeff Hornacek said. Joakim Noah was seeking help to overcome injuries that wrecked his first season in New York and turned to an over-the-counter supplement.That decision “backfired,” Noah said Tuesday.It led to a 20-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy , preventing Noah from ending a disappointing year on a positive note. “This was a tough moment, but I’m going to learn from it,” Noah said. 27 surgery to remove a loose body from his left knee. “I know that right now it’s a tough situation to be in not being there with my teammates out there on the court. “We’ll miss him the rest of the year and the beginning of next year. Anti-Doping Agency has said that the substance, known as SARMs, has “similar properties to anabolic agents, but … But he’ll be ready to go next year.”Noah was limited to 5.0 points a game and wasn’t able to be the defensive anchor the team hoped. The U.S. He was limited to 29 games in his final season in Chicago because of a left shoulder injury that required surgery.“So I know it didn’t come from a bad place,” Noah said, adding that he thought 20 games was severe but “it is what it is and I’ve got to bounce back.”He apologized to teammates and the organization, saying he let a lot of people down.“You can’t do anything about it now. the lack of steroid-related side effects.”Noah was aware of the warnings players get when it comes to outside supplements, but may have desperate for some relief in the midst of a second straight injury-plagued season. He may not even regain his starting spot next season, with rookie Willy Hernangomez playing well recently.Noah and the Knicks hope he can begin serving the suspension as early as their game Wednesday against Miami so he can chop off the first eight games this season.“It’s a tough lesson to learn, but everything in life has its purpose,” Noah said. But I’m going to take this suspension like a man and move on.” “I tried to take the right measures when I was taking the supplements and it wasn’t enough.”The league cited Noah for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator LGD-4033. I’ve gone through a lot of injuries, and I tried to take something to help me and it backfired.”Noah returned to practice Tuesday following Feb. The knee injury came after a hamstring injury he was trying to recover from around the All-Star break.All told, he managed just 46 games in the first season of a four-year, $72 million contract he signed last summer.“I wanted to do something to help myself, help my body and like I said it backfired on me,” Noah said. “I tried to take a supplement to help me with everything I’ve gone through.

‘Tough as nails’: Mark McMorris’s brother shares photo from hospital

“I was happy with my riding. “Now I can just take that out of my head and concentrate on my training this summer.”For now, he’s thinking about his friend and teammate.“I know he’s in good hands at the hospital in Vancouver,” Parrot said Tuesday. “It’s another great chance for us to inspire more people to get into snowboarding.”McMorris won three X Games medals this season along with two World Cup Crystal Globes, one for big air and another as the overall champion.His banner campaign came on the heels of another serious injury suffered in February 2016 when he caught an edge on a landing at an event in Los Angeles.McMorris — who has 14 combined X Games medals in his career, including five in big air — fractured his right femur and had a metal rod surgically implanted in his thigh.Parrot won 10 medals in 15 events this season, and has six X Games podium finishes, with three golds and two silvers in big air.His early nomination to the Canadian team for 2018 lifts a weight off his shoulders after he qualified just two weeks before the Games in Sochi, Russia, three years ago.“It’s a little stress relief, for sure,” he said. So much love.”Cindy McMorris is at her son’s side in photo, which quickly attracted thousands of likes and several hunderd comments.The 23-year-old McMorris suffered breaks to his jaw and left arm, a ruptured spleen, a stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung when he crashed into trees while going off a jump on Saturday. “All good news from here on out. He underwent two separate surgeries over the weekend to control bleeding and repair the injuries to his jaw and arm.His brother, also an accomplished snowboarder, was with him when the accident happened.Canadian teammate Max Parrot said snowboarders are well aware of the risks they’re taking.“We’re practising an extreme sport,” he said. “Kids tough as nails,” his older brother Craig wrote in his feed on the photo-sharing app. “I hope he’ll be back really soon.” Certainly a little too early to speculate whether that will be probable or whether it’s still just in the realm of possible.”While they have been provisionally nominated for the 2018 Games through their standout performances this season, Parrot and McMorris — if he’s healthy — will still have to meet a minimum performance standard at an eligible event during the 2017-18 World Cup season to secure their spots. 9, 2018.“What it means for Mark is that based on his recovery and his rehabilitation … is his own desire and motivation to make the team next year,” Jarvis said in a phone interview on Monday. Parrot, meanwhile, wound up fifth.“It was a little bummer not to hop on a podium,” Parrot said last week. “But there’s not much you can do against a tree.”Despite McMorris’s severe injuries, Canada Snowboard announced Tuesday that he and Parrot had been provisionally nominated to Canada’s Olympic team.While there is no timetable for McMorris’s recovery, Canada Snowboard executive director Patrick Jarvis said the Olympic bronze medallist will have to show he’s healthy before fully securing his spot for the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, that begin Feb. “He would have to prove a return-to-competition readiness to ensure that he’s comfortable riding again, that he’s back to the level of prowess that he’s used to.“All fingers crossed and we would certainly hope that Mark is able to do that. If at the end of the day you tell yourself you did your best, that’s all that matters.”McMorris, should he recover in time, and Parrot are considered strong medal contenders heading into 2018, especially with the big air event now included alongside slopestyle.In big air, snowboarders launch themselves off massive jumps in order to complete their tricks, while slopestyle involves competitors going down a course that includes a number of obstacles.“It’s really cool we have big air this time,” said Parrot. Their nominations are also subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee and the final allocation of Olympic quota spots.McMorris won bronze in slopestyle snowboarding’s Olympic debut in 2014 despite competing with broken ribs. There were tubes in Mark McMorris’s nose and bruises around his left eye and cheek, but the Canadian snowboarding star was giving the thumbs-up and flashing a small smile in an Instagram photo posted Tuesday by his brother.The Olympic bronze medallist from Regina is confined to a Vancouver hospital bed after suffering serious injuries in a crash in the B.C. backcountry over the weekend.

Defending world pairs skating champion Eric Radford battling injury

It’ll just be that jump.”The injury comes at the tail end of a roller-coaster campaign for Duhamel and Radford, who were so dominant through the previous two seasons, winning all but one competition.They finished third at this season’s Grand Prix Final and second at Four Continents last month, and then headed back to the drawing board the past few weeks to reassess “what’s gone on this season, why are we underperforming, why are we not succeeding in competitions the way that we’re training,” Duhamel said.“We had been training so amazingly, and then we had disappointing performances. The element in the short program comes with a base score of 6.0 plus a potential 3.0 added points for grade of execution (GOE). “You would think with all the experience we have, that we could just press a button and produce a perfect performance like that each time. “It’s extremely frustrating,” Radford said.Radford originally felt the injury to the hip of his landing leg last week, describing it as a spasmed muscle deep in his abdominals.“It was bugging me but still I had good control. And even when I do cross-cuts, I feel like I don’t have a lot of control over my hips.”It mostly affects their side-by-side triple Lutz jumps because he pivots powerfully off his right hip. Everything else has been really good. “After Sochi when Eric and I weren’t sure how long we would continue competing for and it was announced that the world championships were going to be in Finland in 2017, I immediately thought: I have to keep going until then, I have to continue until worlds in Helsinki.”Duhamel will have numerous family members in attendance at Hartwell Arena, including her grandmother who grew up in the tiny farm town of Kauhava before moving to Canada and hasn’t been back to Finland for nearly 20 years.Whether the worlds go their way, Radford said this season has been a learning experience.“I think a big part of what we learned is that even when you think you’ve learned everything, you really haven’t,” Radford said. I don’t know what muscle it is specifically… A fall would come with a negative GOE score, plus a 1.0 deduction for the fall.Radford has had a hip impingement, a syndrome that affects range of motion, since 2012, but has managed it through treatment.He received treatment after practice and said it felt slightly better, and will undergo treatment Wednesday morning before he and Duhamel skate the short program later in the day.“I’m just hoping I wake up and it’s back to normal because right now it still feels weak,” Radford said, adding he’s not considering withdrawing. But I guess sport in general is just not like that.“I think that it’s keeping perspective and still enjoying all the hard work even when things don’t work out. We left nationals feeling very positive and I think we both experienced I guess a state of shock at Four Continents, we weren’t expecting to have mediocre performances like that.”They made numerous changes to their program in the weeks leading up to Helsinki, and Duhamel said they’d been confident that two solid programs would be enough for a third straight world title.Duhamel, in particular, had been looking forward to these world championships because of her Finnish heritage.“It’s extremely special,” she said. He fell on three of them during Tuesday afternoon’s practice and touched a hand down on a fourth.“What it feels like is the muscle’s not responding, it feels like when you have jelly legs,” he said.A fall on the triple Lutz in competition would be costly. It can be very disheartening sometimes when you’re expecting greatness and it doesn’t happen, and I think that Meagan and I are always there for one another and we just keep persevering and doing our best.” “And then this morning I woke up and it was so stiff that I could hardly move, and then when I got on the ice, I can’t squeeze my legs together. when I’m in the air, I can’t pull in properly, my legs feel like they’re going to fly apart. “I’m still going to just do it, maybe the Lutz won’t work. On the eve of the world figure skating championships, Canada’s two-time pairs champion Eric Radford woke up and could “hardly move.”The 32-year-old from Balmertown, Ont., is battling an injury to his right hip that struck last week and plagued him during Tuesday’s two practice sessions, the worst possible timing for Radford and pairs partner Meagan Duhamel. It was just sort of sore,” he said.

Las Vegas welcomes Raiders with open arms, big hopes

Thousands turn out for NASCAR races. The National Finals Rodeo rides into town every year. A city famous for its over-the-top reputation is eagerly welcoming an NFL franchise that boasts an equally outsized character and the promise of big-league legitimacy for the desert gambling oasis, which up to now has seen major sporting events just passing through.Las Vegas is no stranger to big time events catering to all tastes. “They are projecting roughly 10 times the number of tourists in attendance per game than any other team in the league.”Noll offered the Los Angeles Angels as a cautionary tale of the pitfalls of relying on tourists to help fill stadium seats. With the addition of an NHL expansion franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, and as of this week the Raiders, Las Vegas believes it has arrived as something substantially more than a one-off venue.Jubilant state and local officials were quick to welcome the team after the league’s relocation approval Monday. Sports fans who had been confined to minor league baseball and an assortment of lower-division hockey teams gathered downtown to celebrate Monday night.On Tuesday, the state’s largest newspaper proclaimed “Touchdown, Vegas!” on its front page.“We’ve needed a sports team in this city for a very, very long time,” Las Vegas resident Sean Manchanda said. For the project to meet revenue projections, officials say the facility will need to see an attendance of nearly 2 million people every year.At least one economist says the math doesn’t hold and history proves tourists aren’t reliable supporters of sports teams.“It is completely over the top,” said Roger Noll, economics professor emeritus at Stanford University and an expert on the economics of sports. Locals are very much in support.”But with a population base of 2.2 million and nothing but desert on the outskirts, local interests and the Raiders are banking that the city’s lifeblood tourism industry will help fill the 65,000 seats of the domed $1.9 billion stadium.Nevada officials expect 450,000 people a year to travel to Las Vegas with the main purpose of attending an event at the stadium, whether it’s a Raiders or UNLV football game, a concert or motorsports event. Officials are eying a site near the Las Vegas Strip.Wherever the stadium ends up, a city that was once was treated with disdain by the NFL because of gambling could one day wind up with the jackpot of hosting the Super Bowl, with one local official wistfully hoping the city could host the 2021 Super Bowl since the Roman numerals would match the city’s initials — LV.No matter that Super Bowl sites are already determined for the next four games, for some sports fans it’s the chance to call a team their own.“It could have been the Browns for all I care. “If football works well in Green Bay and other tier II cities like Jacksonville, even Phoenix, it will work in Vegas. in 1996 and sold in the early 2000s. Champion boxers lace up their gloves at glitzy hotel-casinos on the Strip. I think it’s a slam dunk.”So do the Raiders, who on Tuesday began allowing fans to place a refundable $100 deposit to secure a personal seat license even though a site has not been picked for a stadium that won’t be ready until the 2020 season. The Angels were acquired by The Walt Disney Co. “I don’t think it’s any stretch of the imagination to get that kind of traffic into that stadium. “I’ve never had a team; I was born and raised here.” I’m just glad we are getting a team,” said Michael Chalmers, a 35-year-old Las Vegas native. Noll said Disney believed tourists visiting its theme parks would also attend a game at the Angels’ nearby stadium, but that idea proved to be “a complete failure.”“The counterpart in Vegas would be you stay three nights and we’ll get you tickets for the game,” Noll said.Irwin Kishner, an attorney who has played a role in financing stadium projects, had a more optimistic view, describing the agreement as an “excellent event for the city of Las Vegas.”“Las Vegas is one of the most well-travelled tourist destinations in the U.S.,” said Kishner, a partner at New York-based Herrick Feinstein LLP.

Matthews breaks Clark’s franchise rookie record in Leafs win over Florida

By the second period of his first NHL game, Matthews had four goals, starting a season-long race with Patrick Laine of the Winnipeg Jets for the rookie scoring lead. Wendel Clark had a quick response when he was asked when he first thought his Toronto Maple Leafs record for most goals as a rookie would be eclipsed.“The second period of the first game,” Clark said Tuesday night, shortly after Auston Matthews scored his 35th goal of the season to set a new franchise record for most goals by a rookie in one NHL season. It’s fun to watch as an ex-player, to watch all the guys playing together.”Two rookies fittingly drew the assists on Matthews’ goal at 11:54 of the first period: Zach Hyman and William Nylander. “If we’re going to be any good, we need these young guys breaking [records].“He’s got a great class of kids to be playing with. Matthews has the lead for now at 35, as Laine (34) did not score in the Jets’ 4-3 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils.Clark was, like Matthews, a first over all draft pick. Boyle accidentally hit Reimer on the head with his hip and the goaltender lay on the ice for several minutes. Pollack waved off his penalty call, something that has happened just a handful of times.“After the play I went after the referee and said, ‘Thanks, you didn’t have to do that,’ ” Polak said. He can either be shooting like this goal [Tuesday night] where it’s open in front of the net and he slides it in or he can be sliding something out of the corner. It was the first goal in what turned out to be a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers that kept the Leafs one point ahead of the Boston Bruins, who beat the Nashville Predators 4-1, in the fight for third place in the Atlantic Division. If we make a mistake why not get it better. The only shot to elude him was a redirection by Reilly Smith late in the period. Reimer was able to skate to the dressing room under his own power but did not return to the game.There was one unusual play near the end of the second period – referee Kevin Pollack reversed a penalty call on the Leafs. He has a goal scorer’s touch. Hyman’s shorthanded goal was his fourth of the season, also a franchise record.Reimer, a former Leaf, may have sustained a concussion when he was hit by Leafs centre Brian Boyle. Then, after the Leafs took a 3-1 lead on a shorthanded goal by Hyman early in the third period, McElhinney remained steady for the rest of the game, although Jaromir Jagr tightened things up with a power-play goal in the last minute.Matthews’ goal wasn’t the only Leafs rookie record established in the game. See, goal scorers score from everywhere on anything and they’re usually not in places you think.”What Matthews and his youthful teammates need to work on, judging by Tuesday’s game against the Panthers, is consistency. Clark was quite happy to see his record broken because it means his beloved Leafs are on the rise.“Hey, that’s good,” he said during the first intermission. ’ It was a classy move.”Leafs head coach Mike Babcock was a little less effusive.“Well that’s happened a few times since I’ve been in the league. “He’s like, ‘Everybody’s making a mistake. He can be coming across the blueline, he’s dangerous by himself. All season, they’ve been special. He scored 34 goals in 1985-86, also as a 19-year-old, and now works as a community representative for the team. Plus, he plays with guys and he can make passes and plays, he sees the ice well. “He’s got a great set of hands for a big guy.“[Matthews] sometimes does a lot of things like Mats does. Hyman dug the puck out from behind the net and fed Matthews in the slot for the goal.“Just to be in the same sentence as a guy like Wendel Clark is a big honour,” Matthews said. “A lot of credit goes to my linemates. He called defenceman Roman Polak for high-sticking but when the play was shown on the big scoreboard video screen, it showed the Panther player was hit on the head by the puck, not Polak’s stick. Matthews, 19, served notice in that first game of the 2016-17 season that, true to his billing as the first overall pick of the 2016 NHL entry draft, he was no ordinary rookie. McElhinney calmed the fears of a fan base worried about seeing a playoff spot slip away by coming up big in the second period when the Leafs let the Panthers take charge of the game.McElhinney made 11 saves in the second as the Leafs were outshot 12-6. Not a bad comparison, considering Mats Sundin is in the Hockey Hall of Fame.“He’s got the hands of a little guy, like the old days,” Clark said. Hyman’s been there all season, he brings the same mentality to each game. He was trying to cover the puck at the side of his net just as Boyle cut in. They dominated the Panthers in the first period, outshot them 13-3 and took a 2-0 lead on goals from Matthews and Leo Komarov. But then they almost handed the game back to the Panthers, a non-playoff team that played the previous night and then lost starting goaltender James Reimer to a head injury midway through the second period.Fortunately for the Leafs, backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney proved to be an adequate replacement for Frederik Andersen, who is day-to-day with a head injury. He never takes a game off.”The 6-foot-3, 216-pound Matthews reminds Clark of the last great centre the Leafs had, one he was traded for in the summer of 1994 and then played with from 1996 to 1998 when Clark was brought back to the Leafs. They got it right,” he said.

Flames put ‘The Moose’ to good use as playoffs near

Just in the past few games, Calgary Flames’ goaltender Brian Elliott has been hearing a chant that’s familiar to him from the Olympic Saddledome faithful. Coming off a 24-save performance in Monday’s win over the Colorado Avalanche, Elliott is now 14-1-1 in his past 16 decisions, and earlier in March tied Mike Vernon’s club record for consecutive victories by a goaltender (11). “He’s really feeling it. The only ones that have seemed to have gone in are screen shots and tips. 1 reason we’ve been on this run is goaltending. Last Saturday, in the clash between Elliott’s former team and his current team, spectators in attendance at the Scottrade Center waved stuffed moose, some dressed in Calgary regalia, others in Blues’ colours.Elliott’s teammates have taken notice, with team captain Mark Giordano noting Tuesday: “I feel like all the great goalies have had that happen at one point in their careers in their home building. How they fare there will ultimately determine who they meet in the opening round.According to Elliott, former Blues’ coach Ken Hitchcock had a term that he invented – “stick-with-it-ness” – that ultimately separated the good teams from the great teams.In a topsy-turvy season such as this one, in which Calgary won just five of its first 16 games, it has been the Flames’ ability to play with consistency, night in and night out, over the past two months that has made the team so dangerous an opponent.“It’s the time of year where we’ve won a number of games and haven’t really moved up that much in the standings,” Elliott said. Elliott has had a cartoon moose stencilled on the back of his helmet since his college days, honouring a close friend who’d passed away and was adept at moose calling.In his time with the St. Calgary finishes with six games – three home, three away – against the NHL’s California teams. “It’s hard to catch teams – and you have to keep up or you’re left behind. It wasn’t so long ago – the morning of March 15 to be exact – when the Sharks held a nine-point lead over Calgary and Anaheim in the divisional standings.But then the Sharks imploded – weirdly, unexpectedly – and now Anaheim’s on top and Edmonton has caught them as well. The guys have been playing so well that if you stop the ones you should and maybe a couple that you shouldn’t, you come away with wins.”As for the welcoming sound of those moose calls, Elliott noted: “It started last year or the year before in St. Gaudreau has points in five consecutive games and nine in all during that stretch.And Elliott’s play, according to Giordano, has been the catalyst.“You just want to get out of the way and let him see as many shots as possible,” Giordano said. Not only are they huge to keep you in games and keep the score what it is, but you gain momentum off them.“The No. Roberto Luongo sticks out – people chanting their nicknames when they make those big saves, which is pretty cool.”When the Flames’ brain trust put the master plan together for the NHL’s 2016-17 season, they imagined Elliott would carry the load in goal; Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau would do the heavy lifting offensively; and the trio of Giordano, TJ Brodie and Dougie Hamilton would stabilize the defensive end.The beauty of master plans in a long, grinding 82-game schedule is they don’t necessarily have to succeed instantly.In a year which started with most of their good players not playing all that well, the Flames are – now, finally, with six games to go in the regular season – starting to click most everywhere.Monahan, for example, is on fire – four more points in the win against Colorado. “Mooooo-se” they now cheer, whenever Elliott makes a pivotal save, which has happened a lot of late.Elliott’s play in goal is one of the main reasons the Flames are within one victory of clinching an NHL playoff spot for the second time in three years, heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Louis Blues, fans would serenade Elliott’s best moments with their own version of the moose call. For sure, it goes a long way for the confidence of the group when you get those big timely saves. I can’t say enough good things about the way he’s been playing.”The Flames’ recent surge has turned the Pacific Division playoff race into an ultratight fight to the finish. Louis and it’s kind of cool they’ve taken it over a little.“Put it this way: I’m glad it’s ‘Moose’ – and not boos.” Three points separated the top four teams heading into Tuesday night’s action.

Federer and Nadal advance, Wawrinka ousted at Miami Open

Berdych advanced with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Adrian Mannarino.“You’ll always take those days off,” Federer said. I do feel that I have improved. “They are worth gold.”Nishikori will next face unseeded Fabio Fognini of Italy, who beat Donald Young 6-0, 6-4. It’s the first time Pliskova has made the semifinals at Key Biscayne.Pliskova improved to 23-3 this year, the best record on the women’s tour.“I’m really enjoying my tennis this year … “I turned it around a little bit. The game has evolved, I had to adjust, but overall I do believe I’m probably a better player than I was 10 years ago.”Zverev, who turns 20 next month, downed Wawrinka 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, and showed no ill effects by playing just 24 hours after winning a three-setter over John Isner that went entirely to tiebreakers.“I played well in the second and third,” Zverev said. Federer gets Wednesday off, and will meet 10th-seeded Tomas Berdych on Thursday in the quarters. winning almost every match so far,” said Pliskova, who took advantage of 10 double faults by Lucic-Baroni and avenged a loss to her in the Australian Open quarterfinals. Wawrinka wasn’t as fortunate, the No. … “Obviously, it’s a little bit better for him, but at the same time I’m happy with the way that I am playing, happy with the way that I started the year after a tough second part of the year last year with injuries.“So I think it’s a positive for both of us that we can still (be) around here and be very competitive almost every week that we are playing.”Federer had a battle with Bautista Agut, and seemed to enjoy himself. For Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, it was a happy anniversary.For Stan Wawrinka, it was not a happy birthday.Federer and Nadal — playing back-to-back on stadium court on the 13th anniversary of their very first match — both advanced Tuesday to the quarterfinals of the Miami Open, surviving strong tests in both cases. I had to be aggressive.”Zverev won 26 of the 36 points played in the final set.“I had no more gas in the second and third sets,” said Wawrinka, who smiled when a surprise birthday cake — replete with ’Stan The Man’ lettering — was brought into his post-match news conference. Maybe on the offensive side, overall, I think I’m doing definitely a few things better than I ever have. He was an up-and-coming 17-year-old when he faced Federer at what was then called the NASDAQ-100 Open in 2004, and surprised many with a straight-set win that day.More than a decade later, they’re still rolling.“It’s a good start of the year, I think, for both of us,” Nadal said. He needed — and got — a break with Bautista Agut serving for the first set, and with Federer serving at 4-5 in the second they played about a half-dozen back-and-forth shots at the net in a tete-a-tete that ended with Federer winning the point.He cracked a slight smile as the crowd roared. 14 Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), the fifth-seeded Nadal got past Nicolas Marut 6-4, 7-6 (4), and Nishikori — a finalist at Key Biscayne a year ago — rallied from a break down in the final set to beat Federico Delbonis 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.Federer is 16-1 this year, matching his career-best record at this point in a season.“Is it the best I’ve ever played?” Federer said. “But at the end of the day, you have to try with what you have that day, and today was not enough.”Nadal won the only break point played in his match against Marut, and it was enough. 1 seed getting bounced on his 32nd birthday by teenager Alexander Zverev.“Every match is going to be tough from now on,” said second-seeded Kei Nishikori, who also survived a three-setter to reach the quarters.That seems to already be holding true.The fourth-seeded Federer outlasted No. Young’s loss meant only one American man would reach the quarters — that being No. “For me, it’s hard to say yes to that question. 13 Jack Sock, who beat Jared Donaldson 6-2, 6-1.Karolina Pliskova, who has never found Miami exactly to her liking, got into the women’s semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 26th-seeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.