Thompson Sports News

Canadiens name player agent Kent Hughes as NHL team's new general manager


The Montreal Canadiens have named player agent Kent Hughes as the NHL club's 18th general manager.


The 51-year-old Montreal native has been an agent and partner of Quebec-based firm Quartexx Management since 2016.


Before joining the Canadiens, he represented more than 20 players under NHL contracts, including Patrice Bergeron, Kristopher Letang, Anthony Beauvillier and Darnell Nurse.


Hughes replaces former general manager Marc Bergevin, who was fired Nov. 28 following Montreal's disastrous start to the 2021-22 season.


Hughes joins executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton, who was hired shortly after Bergevin's dismissal, in Montreal's front office.


Canadiens owner Geoff Molson previously said he envisions Gorton and Montreal's new GM running hockey operations in complementary roles.


Northstars road trip results in losses to Winnipeg and Interlake

The Norman Northstars had a rough time on the road this week, even after forward Brady Krentz was named CCM Player of the Week.


The Northstars continued to struggle against the 2nd place Winnipeg Wild as they posted a 4-1 loss on Friday.


Saturday was more of an equal match up as the 10th place Northstars were edged out by the 11th place Interlake Lightning 7-6.


The Manitoba U-18 AAA Hockey League announed Krentz as the Chicken Chef Player of the Week last week. It states the 17-year-old is tied for fifth in the league for scoring.

Maple Leafs add Kase, Ritchie and Holl to NHL's COVID-19 protocol


The Toronto Maple Leafs have added three more players to the NHL's COVID-19 protocol as an outbreak on the team that started in December continues to drag on.


The Leafs announced Friday that forwards Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie and defenceman Justin Holl have been added to the list.


The announcement comes two days after the Maple Leafs dropped a 2-1 road decision to the Arizona Coyotes, who are in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak.


A total of 20 Maple Leaf players have entered the protocol since the team struggled through its outbreak last month.


Most of the players have since returned to action.


Wingers Mitch Marner and Pierre Engvall, who entered protocol seven days ago, were the only other Maple Leafs out due to coronavirus concerns Friday morning.


The Maple Leafs practiced in Arizona on Friday before their upcoming game in St. Louis on Saturday.


Northstars kick of three day road trip tonight against Winnipeg Wild

The Norman Northstars are on the road this weekend, facing off against the Winnipeg Wild tonight.


Tomorrow, the Northstars are taking on Central Plains and then on Sunday they will be in Interlake to battle the Lightning.


Kenora has cancelled the remainder of their season, which means the Northstars won't be hosting the Thistles next weekend. Instead they'll be preparing for their next road trip against Central Plains, Yellowhead, and Parkland to wrap up the month.

Winnipeg Jets centre Paul Stastny added to NHL's COVID-19 protocol


Winnipeg Jets centre Paul Stastny has been placed in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.


The 36-year-old joins eight teammates and one coach in isolation ahead of Thursday's game in Detroit against the Red Wings.


The Jets recalled rookie forward Cole Perfetti from their taxi squad on an emergency basis in a corresponding move.


Winnipeg didn't add anyone to protocol Wednesday after four players - defencemen Nathan Beaulieu, Ville Heinola and Logan Stanley, along with forward Kristian Reichel - were put on the list Tuesday.


Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers was added Monday, joining blueliner Dylan Demelo, forward Jansen Karkins, goaltender Arvid Holm and video coach Matt Prefontaine.


In other transactions announced Thursday, Winnipeg recalled netminder Mikhail Berdin and forwards Jeff Malott and Austin Poganski from the American Hockey League to its taxi squad.


Man charged with giving Olympic athletes performance drugs


Federal prosecutors have charged a Texas man with providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes competing in last summer's Olympics in Tokyo, including the star Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare.


Prosecutors said Wednesday that Eric Lira of El Paso is the first person to be charged under a new federal anti-doping law governing international sports competitions.


Authorities say Lira distributed the drugs “for the purpose of corrupting” the 2020 Games.


Lira also is accused of conspiring to violate drug misbranding and adulteration laws.


The criminal complaint includes details that identify Okagbare as one of the athletes involved.


A text message was sent to her seeking comment.



Veteran forwards Poulin, Johnston lead Canada's bid to reclaim Olympic hockey gold


Marie-Philip Poulin and Rebecca Johnston headline Canada's Olympic women's hockey team roster unveiled Tuesday.


The two women will represent Canada for the fourth time in their careers after winning Olympic gold in both 2010 and 2014, and silver in 2018.


The 23-player roster of three goaltenders, seven defenders and 13 forwards was announced virtually by Hockey Canada.


Thirteen women return from the team that lost 3-2 in a shootout to the United States in the 2018 gold-medal game in Pyeongchang, South Korea.


Canada opens its bid to reclaim gold Feb. 3, which is the day before the opening ceremonies, in a preliminary-round game against Switzerland in Beijing's National Indoor Stadium.


The gold-medal game is Feb. 16.


Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers enters NHL's COVID-19 protocol


Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers has been placed in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol, the team announced Monday.


The 25-year-old ranks third on the Jets in scoring this season with 13 goals and 25 points in 33 games.


Ehlers joins forward Jansen Harkins, defenceman Dylan DeMelo, goalie Arvid Holm and video coach Matt Prefontaine in protocol after they were added last week.


The Jets are scheduled to visit the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

Winnipeg sits fifth in the Central Division with a record of 16-12-5.


The Norman Northstars had a rough start after their holiday break


The Norman Northstars faced the Pembina Valley Hawks over the weekend.


They were unable to capitalize on important key moments during Saturday's game and lost 5 - 4 in overtime.


On Sunday, they didn't fare any better as the Hawks came out on top 4 - 3.


The Northstars next game is down south against the Winnipeg Wild on Friday,  January 14th and Interlake on Saturday,  January 15th.


The pair of home games against Kenora the following weekend are currently cancelled.




Blue Bombers sign all-star defensive ends Jefferson, Jeffcoat to extensions


The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have signed all-star American defensive ends Willie Jefferson and Jackson Jeffcoat to contract extensions.


The defensive anchors were a big part of Winnipeg's back-to-back Grey Cup championships in 2019 and 2021.


The 2020 CFL season was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jefferson also won a Grey Cup title in 2015 with Edmonton.


In two seasons with the Bombers, Jefferson has 19 sacks, three interceptions and nine forced fumbles in 32 games.


He was named the CFL's outstanding player in 2019 when he set a league record for defensive linemen with 16 pass knockdowns.


Jefferson was named a CFL all-star for the fourth time in 2021 after recording seven sacks, 18 tackles, two interceptions - including one for a touchdown - and three forced fumbles.


He began his CFL career with Edmonton in 2014. He signed with Saskatchewan in 2016, and spent three seasons in Regina before joining the Blue Bombers.


Maple Leafs forwards Marner, Engvall placed in NHL's COVID-19 protocol


The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed forwards Mitch Marner and Pierre Engvall into the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.


The forwards are the 16th and 17th Toronto players to enter the league's protocol since a COVID-19 outbreak on the team started last month, but are the only two team members currently sidelined by the virus.


Seven staff members have also gone through the league's protocol.


The positive tests come after defenceman Timothy Liljegren, the last player in isolation from the height of the initial outbreak, returned to practice Monday.


Star forward Auston Matthews tested positive for COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test Monday, but returned a negative PCR test the next day that was later confirmed and played in the Maple Leafs' 4-2 win over visiting Edmonton on Wednesday.


The Maple Leafs have assigned Joey Anderson and Brett Seney to their taxi squad from the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies.


Flin Flon Bombers announce pair of trades ahead of SJHL trade deadline

The Flin Flon Bombers have announced a pair of trades ahead of the SJHL's Jan. 10 trade deadline.


The Bombers have struck a deal with the Weyburn Red Wings to acquire forward Drew Kuzma and a 4th round draft pick in the 2022 draft.


This is in exchange for a 2nd round draft pick, a player development fee, and future considerations.

Northstars kick off 2022 with a pair of games against Pembina Valley

The 10th place Norman Northstars are set to kick off their 2022 against the 9th place Pembina Valley Hawks Jan. 8 at the C.A Nesbit Arena here in Thompson.


The puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.


The last time the Northstars played the Hawks back at the end of October, they split the pair of games.


Jan. 9's game starts at 1:30 p.m.

Montreal Canadiens extend COVID-19 pause through Saturday


The Montreal Canadiens are extending their pause on team activities as the club continues to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak.


The Canadiens announced Thursday that both the NHL team and its American Hockey League affiliate, the Laval Rocket, will not return to the ice until practice resumes on Sunday.


Twenty-two Habs players and two coaches are in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.


Montreal suspended team activities following Saturday's 5-2 loss to Florida.


The NHL previously postponed five Canadiens' home games indefinitely due to COVID-19 capacity restrictions and the team is set to play its next game Jan. 12 in Boston.


Two Rocket games set for Friday and Saturday have also been postponed.


Canada Soccer cancels January camp, training match over COVID-19 concerns


Citing the pandemic and impact of the Omicron variant, Canada Soccer has cancelled its planned January men's camp and a training match in Florida.


The 40th-ranked Canadian men had been scheduled to play No. 122 Guatemala on Jan. 22 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, ahead of three FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in the January-February FIFA international window.


Canada visits No. 76 Honduras on Jan. 27, hosts the 11th-ranked Americans in Hamilton on Jan. 30 and plays at No. 70 El Salvador on Feb. 2.


A men's under-20 camp that was planned alongside the senior side's Florida session has also been cancelled.


The senior camp, which was scheduled outside of the FIFA international window, would largely have featured players from Major League Soccer and others out of season.


The camp cancellation is another moving part for Canada coach John Herdman, who has already lost St. Johnstone midfielder David Wotherspoon to a long-term knee injury.


Novak Djokovic held at Australian border over visa


Novak Djokovic had to spend the night at the Melbourne airport as officials refused to let him enter the country for the Australian Open after an apparent visa mix-up.


It led Serbia's president to blast the “harassment” of the top-ranked tennis player.


Djokovic flew in after receiving a medical exemption to play at the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the season.


But Australian media reported that Djokovic's team had applied for the wrong type of visa for someone with a medical exemption.


The issue had yet to be resolved more than eight hours after he landed Wednesday before midnight local time at Tullamarine Airport.



Oilers captain McDavid tests positive for COVID-19, team awaiting more results


Edmonton captain Connor McDavid was held out of practice Tuesday after testing positive for COVID-19, leaving his availability for the Oilers' game Wednesday night in Toronto in dobut.


The team said McDavid will undergo further testing before his status for Wednesday's game is known.


Edmonton forward Derek Ryan also tested positive on Tuesday.


Oilers coach Dave Tippett said both forwards tested negative on Monday.


McDavid also missed practice on Monday before playing in Edmonton's 4-1 road loss to the New York Rangers.


The Oilers said he was held out of Monday's practice for rest.


Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews might also be out for Wednesday's game after testing positive Monday on a rapid antigen test.


He has since returned a negative result on a PCR test and will be tested further before his status is known.


NHL postpones eight more games in Canada due to attendance restrictions


The NHL has postponed eight more games in Canada due to attendance restrictions implemented in response to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases.


The league postponed Ottawa's home game Monday against Minnesota, Vancouver's home game Wednesday against the New York Islanders, Edmonton's home games Saturday against the Islanders, Jan. 12 against Minnesota and Jan. 14 against Vegas, Calgary's home game Jan. 11 against the Islanders and Jan. 15 against Vegas and Winnipeg's Jan. 16 home game against Edmonton.


The NHL said the games will be rescheduled for later in the season when restrictions may be eased or lifted.


The Islanders' other game on its Western road trip on Tuesday at Seattle was also postponed.


The NHL did not announce any further postponed dates for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are scheduled to host Ottawa on Saturday and Edmonton on Wednesday.


The Ontario government limited capacity at large indoor venues to 1,000 people on Thursday.


Major League Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Maple Leafs and the NBA's Toronto Raptors, has said its games will be held without fans while that restriction is in place.



Another Canadian bobsledder tests positive for COVID-19, 14 team members now affected


SIGULDA, Latvia - Another member of Canada's bobsled team has tested positive for COVID-19.


That brings the total up to 11 athletes and three staff members affected by the outbreak.


A spokesman for Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton confirmed the new positive case on Thursday.


All 14 of the affected bobsled team members are in quarantine in Latvia.


No members of Canada's skeleton team have tested positive for the virus.


Canada's bobsled team had spent the holiday break in Latvia to minimize travel ahead of the upcoming World Cup event in Sigulda.


John Madden, Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster, dies at 85


The NFL says Hall of Fame coach turned broadcaster John Madden has died at age 85.


Madden's exuberant calls combined with simple explanations provided a weekly soundtrack to NFL games for three decades.


The league says he died unexpectedly on Tuesday morning and did not provide a cause.


Coaching the renegade Oakland Raiders, Madden compiled a stellar 103-32-7 regular-season record and led his team to victory in the Super Bowl after the 1976 season.


He became an even more impactful figure after he stopped coaching at age 42, entertaining millions who tuned in to NFL football.


He also was the name behind the hugely popular sports video game, “Madden NFL Football.”


Roughriders re-sign national offensive linemen Evan Johnson and Logan Ferland


Offensive linemen Evan Johnson and Logan Ferland have signed contract extensions with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.


The club announced the signings on Monday.


Johnson re-signs with Saskatchewan after initially signing with the Roughriders in 2021's free-agency period.


He played all 14 regular-season games and two playoff games at right guard.


A first-round pick of the Ottawa Redblacks in 2017, the Regina-born Johnson played three seasons in the nation's capital.


Ferland played all 14 regular-season games in his rookie season with the Roughriders, starting 13 at left guard, before moving to centre.


The native of Melfort, Sask., also started at left guard for the West semifinal and West final.


Ferland played the most snaps of any Roughrider player in 2021.



Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly enters NHL's COVID-19 protocol


The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Thursday that defenceman Morgan Rielly and a staff member have entered the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.


The Maple Leafs now have a total of 12 players - including captain John Tavares and goaltender Jack Campbell - in isolation along with head coach Sheldon Keefe, two assistants, and four other members of the organization.


The NHL shut down for its annual Christmas break after Tuesday night's lone remaining game.


Four contests originally scheduled for Wednesday and 14 for Thursday are among the 45 that have been postponed since Dec. 13 due to pandemic-related concerns.


The league is scheduled to resume play with 14 games on Monday, including Toronto at Columbus, although more postponements are possible with a number of clubs dealing with multiple COVID-19 cases.



Canadian forward Jonathan David's late goal rescues Lille in Bordeaux

BORDEAUX, France - Canadian striker Jonathan David scored the winning goal Wednesday as defending champion Lille rallied twice at Bordeaux to win 3-2 in French Ligue 1 play.

Tiago Djalo started the play, forcing a Bordeaux turnover in the 84th minute. The ball found its way to David in the penalty box and the 21-year-old from Ottawa slotted a left-footed shot into the corner of the goal for the winner.

David ran to the sidelines where he was handed a pink flower, which he held up in the air - an apparent tribute to his mother Rose who died two years ago this month.

It was David's 12th goal of the season which leads the French league in scoring. Clubs from England's Arsenal to Real Madrid have been linked to the young forward, who also has 18 goals in 24 appearances for Canada

Honduras striker Alberth Elis, a former Houston Dynamo forward, scored for Bordeaux in the 17th and 45th minute. Benjamin Andre, in the 33rd minute, and Burak Yilmaz, on a 77th-minute penalty, also scored for Lille.

The win moved Lille into eighth place in the Ligue 1 standings. Bordeaux stands 17th.

NHL players officially not going to Beijing Olympics due to COVID-19 concerns

The NHL has officially announced that its players won't be going to the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

The move, confirmed to The Canadian Press on Tuesday by a person with direct knowledge of the decision, comes amid COVID-19 concerns that have seen an explosion of cases and 45 games postponed since Dec. 13.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement that “profound disruption” to the league's schedule caused by COVID-19-related events made Olympic participation “no longer feasible.”

The NHL and NHLPA officially committed to sending players to China for the 2022 Games back in September, but that agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation allowed either party to withdraw if COVID-19 conditions rendered participation “impractical or unsafe.”

The league currently has more than 15 per cent of its players in virus protocol, forcing a string of postponements.

NHL Players' Association executive director Don Fehr said in a statement that while players are disappointed in not being able to participate in the Beijing Games, completing an 82-game season in a campaign mired with interruptions caused by COVID-19 took precedence.

'A little overkill': Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck not keen on NHL's schedule pause


Connor Hellebuyck isn't a fan of the NHL's latest move to combat the spread of COVID-19.


The league pushed up the start of its traditional holiday schedule pause by 48 hours because of coronavirus concerns and full-on outbreaks fuelled by the Omicron variant that have led to 45 games being postponed since Dec. 13.


The Winnipeg Jets goalie, however, doesn't agree with a decision that will see players off starting Wednesday before returning to work Sunday.


“I can't speak for everyone, but the feeling for myself it's a little overkill,” Hellebuyck told reporters in Winnipeg on Tuesday.


“You see leagues like the NFL, who are adapting and, I think, doing things right.”


The NFL recently reduced COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players that are asymptomatic.


The NHL had been testing players every third day, but returned to a daily regimen through at least Jan. 7 amid a surge in cases.


More than a third of NHL teams had either been shut down or voluntarily closed facilities through the holidays before the league announced Wednesday's schedule would be added to the list of contests needing new dates.


As it stands, roughly 15 per cent of players - all but one NHLer is considered fully vaccinated - are in the league's COVID-19 protocol.


“It sucks, but it's Christmas time, so we're enjoying the break,” said Hellebuyck, who contracted the virus last summer before receiving his jab. “Use this time as a little mental reset."


“See family, enjoy the holidays, and enjoy what we have.”


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