Thompson Sports News Archives for 2020-06

CP Women's Open cancelled for 2020; Shaughnessy still host in 2021

The 2020 CP Women's Open has been cancelled.


The Canadian women's professional golf championship was scheduled for the first week of September at Vancouver's Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club.


Organizers had hoped that the tournament would be able to go ahead as planned, but travel and border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible.


Shaughnessy and the city of Vancouver will instead host the event in 2021.

Golf Canada had already cancelled all of its national championships.


The RBC Canadian Open, Canada's men's professional championship, was cancelled in mid-April.

Blue Jays name 58 players to club player pool for 2020 season

TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays have named 58 players to their club player pool for the 2020 season.


Toronto made the announcement on Sunday, three days before training camp is expected to begin.


The roster includes 33 pitchers, 12 infielders, eight outfielders and five catchers.


Sunday was the deadline for teams to submit player pools, although additions can be made later. Many teams announced pools well below the 60-player limit.


Prospect Austin Martin, who Toronto selected fifth overall at the 2020 draft, has yet to sign a contract and wasn't amongst the 58 players named.


Training camp are scheduled to start Wednesday and a 60-game Major League Baseball regular season is set to begin July 23 or 24.


The Blue Jays are currently awaiting word on whether they'll get the go-ahead from government officials to train and play at the Rogers Centre in Toronto or be forced to shift focus to a likely homebase at the team's Dunedin spring-training facility in the COVID-19-ravaged state of Florida.

Blue Jays closer to getting full approval for training in Toronto

TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays appear one step closer to being able to train at Rogers Centre for the upcoming season.


Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday that “municipal, provincial and federal health folks” have given the team the OK, but they are still awaiting federal approval on the issue of quarantining.


The Blue Jays, the lone MLB team north of the Canada-U.S. border, had to ask for special permission from the Canadian government last week to use their Toronto stadium. The border remains closed to non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


It's unclear if the Blue Jays would also be playing their home games in Toronto, or if permission is being granted for training only.


Players would arrive in Toronto on Wednesday with camp officially beginning Friday. An abbreviated 60-game regular season would begin either July 23 or 24 and last 66 days.


Having a home base in Toronto would mean the Blue Jays can avoid using their spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla. - at least for the time being.

NHL says 26 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since June 8

TORONTO - The NHL says 26 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since Phase 2 of its return-to-play protocol started June 8.


The numbers released Monday include 11 positive results previously announced June 19. The league added it's also aware of 11 other players testing positive outside of Phase 2 over the last three weeks.


The NHL said it's conducted in excess of 1,450 tests for COVID-19 during Phase 2, which has practice facilities open for voluntary on- and off-ice workouts in small groups under strict health and safety guidelines.


Four separate teams announced a total of 10 positive tests for the novel coronavirus in the spring - five from Ottawa, three from Colorado, and one each from Pittsburgh and Boston.


The league and the NHL Players' Association continue to negotiate plans for a resumption of the pandemic-delayed 2019-20 season, including health and safety measures, and the location of two hub cities that will combine to host 24 clubs.


The opening of training camps, which represent Phase 3 of the return-to-play protocol, is scheduled for July 10. If all goes well, it's hoped the season will then resume later that month or in early August.

Raptors scheduled to face Lakers Aug. 1 in return to action

TORONTO - The defending champion Toronto Raptors will resume the 2019-20 NBA season on Aug. 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers.


The Raptors, along with the NBA, announced their revised eight-game schedule on Friday.


Under the format for the restart, the 22 participating teams will have eight 'seeding games,' selected from their remaining regular-season matchups.


Toronto will also play Miami, Orlando, Boston, Memphis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Denver, with the 'seeding games' concluding by Aug. 14.


All games will be played at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida with no fans in attendance.


The Raptors held down the second seed in the Eastern Conference when play was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The NBA's re-opening night on July 31 will see New Orleans against Utah and the Clippers versus the Lakers.



Placeholder spot wins NHL draft lottery

TORONTO - One of eight placeholder spots beat the odds to secure the No. 1 pick in the NHL's draft lottery Friday, meaning a second draw is required later this summer following the qualifying round of the league's return-to-play plan.


The Los Angeles Kings earned the second selection, while the Ottawa Senators own the right to choose third.


The Detroit Red Wings had the best odds for the top pick at 18.5 per cent but fell to fourth.


The eliminated teams from eight separate best-of-five play-in series will have a 12.5 per cent chance of securing the top pick in the second phase of the lottery.


The league was originally scheduled to hold the first round of the 2020 draft Friday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a pause to the season back in March.

Canadian Hockey League forms panel to deal with abuse after lawsuit

TORONTO - The Canadian Hockey League says it is “deeply troubled” by abuse allegations in a class-action lawsuit filed by two of its former players and plans to form a panel to deal with any current issues.


The CHL released a statement Friday, just over a week after former NHL player Daniel Carcillo and Garrett Taylor, who played in the Western Hockey League from 2008-10, filed a statement of claim with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.


A statement from Koskie Minsky LLP, the law firm representing Carcillo and Taylor, said the action “is on behalf of children aged 15-17 who were sexually and physically assaulted, hazed and otherwise abused while away from home and playing for CHL teams.”


The CHL and its three member organizations - the WHL, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League - are listed as defendants, as are all 60 teams that play under the CHL umbrella.


None of the allegations have been proven in court.


On Thursday, the CHL board of directors agreed to the appointment of an Independent Review Panel to examine current policies and practices that relate to hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying and the allegation that players do not feel comfortable reporting behaviours that contravene the policies.

Vancouver is out of running as NHL hub city: Canucks

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks say the team is officially out of the running to act as a hub city as the NHL looks to hold its playoffs.


Canucks Sports and Entertainment thanked B.C. health officials for their support during the bid to host the NHL's summer Stanley Cup tournament.


The team says it will now look forward to welcoming its players back for training camp.


Premier John Horgan expressed his disappointment at the decision, but said the province will not bend public health guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Former Raptors star Vince Carter, 43, retires after record 22 NBA seasons

Vince Carter made his retirement official on Thursday, announcing on his podcast that his 22-year NBA career has come to an end.


The announcement was largely a formality because the 43-year-old Carter had said many times over the course of this season that this would be his last in the NBA. His 22 seasons are the most in league history, and he became the first NBA player to appear in four different decades.


Carter appeared in 1,541 NBA games, behind only Robert Parish (1,611) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) on the league's all-time list. He started his career with the Toronto Raptors, then played for New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and spent his final two seasons with Atlanta.


Carter was acquired by Toronto shortly after he was selected fifth overall by Golden State at the 1998 NBA draft. He played just over six seasons for the Raptors before they traded the eight-time all-star to New Jersey.


He was Public Enemy No. 1 in Toronto for a long time after he left, but fans have since warmed up to the man who is seen as a huge reason why Canada is now rich in young basketball talent.


Carter won the NBA rookie of the year award in 1999, and the dunk contest in 2000 while with Toronto.

Jarome Iginla headlines Hockey Hall of Fame's 2020 class

TORONTO - Jarome Iginla will headline the Hockey Hall of Fame's class of 2020.


The Calgary Flames icon and former captain was in his first year of eligibility following a standout career that spanned from 1996 through 2017.


Six-time Stanley Cup champion Kevin Lowe will join Iginla in the players' category along with forward Marian Hossa, defencemen and Doug Wilson and three-time Olympic gold medallist Kim St. Pierre, the first female goaltender elected to the hall.


Ken Holland will go in as a builder, rounding out the 2020 class unveiled this afternoon in Toronto following a vote by the hall's 18-member selection committee.


Iginla, who also helped Canada win gold at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics, will be the fourth Black person enshrined in the hall, but just the second recognized for on-ice accomplishments in the NHL.


He's set to join former Edmonton Oilers goalie Grant Fuhr, Angela James of the Canadian women's national team, and Willie O'Ree - the league's first Black player - who was inducted as a builder.

Several Blue Jays players test positive for COVID-19, source says

Several players and staff members on the Toronto Blue Jays have tested positive for COVID-19, a source has told The Canadian Press.


The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not officially announced the positive cases.


The developments come a week before the start of training camp ahead of a recently approved 60-game regular season.


The Blue Jays shut down their spring training complex last Friday in Dunedin, Fla., after a player presented symptoms consistent with the virus.


The team has said personnel at their camp underwent testing per protocols established by its medical team and Major League Baseball.


It remains unclear where the Blue Jays plan to hold their training camp and play home games this summer.

Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu pulls out of Charleston tournament

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu has withdrawn from the Credit One Bank Invitational tennis tournament.


The tournament posted an update on its website shortly before the tournament was set to begin that stated Andreescu will be replaced in the 16-player field by Caroline Dolehide.


The Octagon agency, which represents Andreescu, said Andreescu decided returning to action was “premature” and she wanted to focus on training.


The sixth-ranked Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, has not played since she suffered a knee injury in late October at the WTA Finals in China.


The 20-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., was hoping to defend her 2019 Indian Wells title in March at the BNP Paribas Open only to have to pull out due to the lingering injury.


The tournament ended up being halted by the COVID-19 pandemic only days after Andreescu pulled out, with the WTA Tour tennis season being put on a hiatus until July 13.


The Credit One Bank Invitational is not part of the WTA Tour.

Canadians Eugenie Bouchard and Leylah Annie Fernandez remain part of the field.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie says he's taken 20 per cent pay cut

TORONTO - CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie says he has taken a 20 per cent pay cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ambrosie came under heavy fire earlier this week for unilaterally imposing a 20 per cent reduction to the football operations cap of all nine CFL teams.


But in a statement Thursday, Ambrosie divulged that he and every member of the CFL's executive team took a 20 per cent pay cut in April.


Ambrosie has also been criticized by the CFL Players' Association for not keeping players involved in the process of determining the details of a potential abbreviated 2020 season.


Ambrosie has stated the '20 campaign won't start until September, at the earliest, but the possibility also exists for a cancelled season.


In the statement, Ambrosie said the CFL and CFLPA have written the Canadian government to change the criteria for its wage subsidy program so players are fully eligible.

Canadian star Andreescu tweets in support of summer U.S Open despite pandemic

TORONTO - Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu says she supports the United States Tennis Association's decision to hold this year's U.S. Open this summer despite concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.


The 20-year old, who captured her first ever Grand Slam title at last year's Open, says she has “no doubt” that the association came up with a plan to ensure players' safety at the tournament.


In a post on Twitter, she says she plans to make the most of her chance to return to the court and to reconnect with fellow players.


The association announced Tuesday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved its plan to host this year's U.S. Open, adding that they plan to host it in the safest manner possible.


Andreescu defeated American Serena Williams in straight sets during last year's U.S. Open final, becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title.


The 2020 U.S. Open is to be held Aug. 31-Sept. 13 in New York City.

Toronto loses Rogers Cup men's event for 2020 because of COVID-19

TORONTO - The Rogers Cup men's tennis tournament will not be played in 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis.


Tennis Canada said in a release issued today that the event's start date will be pushed back until Aug. 7, 2021.


The annual ATP Tour event, which rotates between Toronto and Montreal, was scheduled to be played Aug. 8-16 at the Aviva Centre at York University.


With the Rogers Cup 2020 women's tournament in Montreal shelved earlier this month and rescheduled for next year in the same city, the men's event also will remain in Toronto in 2021.


Spain's Rafael Nadal has won the past two Rogers Cup men's singles competitions.


Robert Bedard of Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., is the most recent Canadian winner, capturing the title in 1955, 1957 and 1958.

Canadian Championship to feature 11 soccer teams, down from 13 last year

TORONTO - The 2020 edition of the Canadian Championship will feature 11 clubs, down from 13 last year.


Clubs from League 1 Ontario (Toronto Master's FA) and Quebec's PLSQ (AS Blainville) will return to the Canadian tournament next year in the wake of COVID-19 delays to play.


The revised 2020 field will draw on the three Canadian teams from Major League Soccer and the eight Canadian Premier League sides. There is no word yet on when the tournament will begin, with Canada Soccer saying “health and safety is the top priority to everyone involved in the game.”


The Canadian Championship was originally slated to kick off June 16 and run through Sept. 23, but was delayed when soccer suspended play in the wake of the global pandemic.


The original field contained 12 teams: three from MLS, seven from CPL and one each from the Ontario and Quebec leagues. The new format includes expansion CPL side Atletico Ottawa, which had initially been excluded from the tournament.


The 2019 field included the USL's Ottawa Fury FC, which has since closed shop.

Ottawa named host city of the 2021 men's world curling championship

OTTAWA - The 2021 men's world curling championship will be held in Ottawa.


Curling Canada and the World Curling Federation jointly announced the country's capital city will host the championship at TD Place Arena.


Ottawa will host the event for the first time.


The 2020 men's championship in Glasgow, Scotland, was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic as was the women's tournament in Prince George, B.C.


The last men's championship in Canada was the 2019 tournament in Lethbridge, Alta.

Trudeau says government is 'open' to NHL hub cities operating in Canada

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is “open” to the NHL operating a hub city in Canada, so long as it is allowed by local health authorities.


Trudeau said Tuesday that the decision will need to be made by the NHL and the provincial and municipal governments where the league wishes to operate.


The NHL is looking at a return to action from that would feature 24 teams operating out of two hubs. The league has narrowed down its potential sites to 10 cities, including Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.


However, the league has said it will not operate out of a Canadian city if players are subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine currently in effect at the national border.


The NHL is currently in Phase 2 of its return to action plan, meaning players can use team facilities to train in small groups.


The league hopes to progress to Phase 3, the opening of training camps, on July 10, with a return to competition later in the summer.

Jets sign forward Kristian Reichel to two-year, entry-level contract

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets have signed forward Kristian Reichel to a two-year, entry-level contract with an average annual value of US$752,500.


The 22-year-old Reichel, an undrafted free agent, had just completed his second season with the Manitoba Moose.


The Litvinov, Czech Republic native's 12 goals were tied for fourth-most on the Moose and he added five assists for 17 points, despite playing in only 39 games.


Reichel originally signed for the Moose on July 3, 2018, after playing for the WHL's Red Deer Rebels in 2017-18 and recording 57 points (34 goals, 23 assists) in 63 games.

Canadian international Alphonso Davies voted Bayern player of the month for May

MUNICH - Canadian international Alphonso Davies has been voted Bayern Munich's player of the month for May.


The 19-year-old fullback got 37 per cent of the fan vote, ahead of Joshua Kimmich (30 per cent), Thomas Mueller (14 per cent), Benjamin Pavard (six per cent) and Leon Goretzka (five per cent).


The award comes three days after Davies won the Bundesliga Rookie Award for May, beating out Borussia Moenchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram and RB Leipzig midfielder Christopher Nkunku.


Bayern (23-4-4) defeated Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 on Saturday to move within one victory of a record-extending eighth consecutive title.


The Bavarian powerhouse only needs to win at relegation-threatened Werder Bremen on Tuesday to be crowned German champion once again

Youppi!, Canadiens', Expos' legendary mascot, enters Mascot Hall of Fame

Youppi!, the Montreal Canadiens' official mascot, has become the first character from a Canadian-based club to be inducted into The Mascot Hall of Fame.


In a virtual ceremony on Sunday, the furry orange character synonymous with the NHL club and the defunct Montreal Expos baseball franchise was formally inducted into the Hall.


Youppi! is the first two-sport mascot to join the Hall. The mascot joined the Habs in 2005, one year after the Expos left town.


With the Expos from 1979 until they were sold in 2004, Youppi! notably holds the distinction of being the first mascot to be tossed from a Major League Baseball game on Aug. 23, 1989.


In addition to Youppi!, the Baltimore Orioles' The Oriole Bird, Boomer of the Indiana Pacers and the Indianapolis Colts' Blue were announced last December, when the Hall unveiled its 2020 inductees.


The four won admission after a lengthy voting process last October that included two rounds of voting with the public, Hall members and its executive committee taking part.

Calgary Flames prospect Dustin Wolf named CHL goaltender of the year

Calgary Flames prospect Dustin Wolf has been named the Canadian Hockey League's goaltender of the year.


The goalie for the Western Hockey League's Everett Silvertips led all CHL netminders in 2019-20 with 1.88 goals-against-average, a .935 save percentage and nine shutouts while compiling a 34-10-2 record.


The 19-year-old from Tustin, Calif., allowed one goal or fewer in 21 of his 46 games this season and compiled a shutout streak of 147 minutes 47 seconds between January 17-22.


The seventh round pick by the Flames in the 2019 NHL draft signed his entry-level contract last month.


Nico Daws of the Ontario Hockey League's Guelph Storm and Ottawa Senators prospect Kevin Mandolese of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Cape Breton Eagles were the other finalists.


It's the third time in five years a Silvertips goalie has won the award. Carter Hart won it in 2016 and 2018.

Cavalry FC, defending CPL champion Forge FC get green light to train

Cavalry FC and defending CPL champion Forge FC have got the green light to resume training.


Both teams were set to begin voluntary training sessions Monday after receiving approval from local health authorities and the Canadian Premier League.


Cavalry FC will hold its workouts at Calgary's Spruce Meadows while Forge FC will train at Hamilton's Tim Hortons Field.


HFX Wanderers FC, Pacific FC, York 9 FC, Valour FC and expansion Atletico Ottawa resumed training last week. FC Edmonton is the lone franchise waiting on approval.


The eight-team CPL is taking a phased approach in its return to training, starting with non-contact individual and then small group workouts with players and staff observing safety protocols and physical distancing measures.


The CPL was scheduled to start its second season on April 11 but postponed the kickoff on March 20, due to the global pandemic.

Hockey players of colour form Hockey Diversity Alliance to combat racism

A group of hockey players of colour have formed the Hockey Diversity Alliance in an effort to combat racism in the game.


The group announced its formation in a statement released Monday.


San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane and former NHL player Akim Aliu were named co-heads of the group, while Buffalo Sabres forward Wayne Simmonds, Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba, Detroit Red Wings defenceman Trevor Daley, Philadelphia Flyers forward Chris Stewart and recently retired forward Joel Ward make up the executive committee.


The group said in its release that its mission is “to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey.” It will be independent from the NHL but hopes to work with the league.


Racism in hockey was brought to the forefront last year with allegations made by Aliu against then-Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters. Aliu said Peters directed racial slurs at him when both were with the same minor-league team a decade ago. Peters resigned as Flames head coach shortly after the allegations were made public.


Aliu followed that up by penning a Players' Tribune article last month where he said change in hockey is needed at a grassroots level.

Hockey Canada lifts ban on sanctioned activities, lets members decide on return

Hockey Canada has lifted its ban on sanctioned activities and is allowing the country's 13 member organizations to individually determine when it's safe to return to action.


The move is a first step toward resuming play after Hockey Canada cancelled all activities under its banner March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Hockey Canada said in a statement the best approach for a resumption plan was for each member to work with regional public health authorities to determine the appropriate steps to return in areas that fall under their jurisdiction.


The sport's national body said it expects the timing for a return to the ice will differ among its members. Certain regions of the country are further along with plans to reopen and roll back restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Hockey Canada's 13 members are: BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Saskatchewan Hockey Association, Hockey Manitoba, Hockey Northwestern Ontario, Ontario Hockey Federation, Hockey Eastern Ontario, Hockey Quebec, Hockey New Brunswick, Hockey PEI, Hockey Nova Scotia, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, and Hockey North.

NHL unveils further details on its return-to-play plan

The NHL has unveiled further details regarding its return-to-play plan.


If the league is allowed to resume the pandemic-hit 2019-20 season this summer, the playoff portion of the schedule will feature the usual four rounds of best-of-seven series.


The NHL announced the 24-team format last week, but had yet to iron out certain details, including whether or not the first two rounds of the playoffs would be best-of-five or best-best of seven.


Along with the decision on series length, the NHL said today that teams will be re-seeded after each playoff round instead of being placed in a bracket.


The return-to-play blueprint - which will eventually require the approval of health and government officials to get off the ground in two so-called “hub” cities - would begin with separate round-robin tournaments for the top-4 clubs in both the Eastern and Western Conference.


The other 16 franchises would take part in eight best-of-five qualifying round series, leaving the NHL with its traditional 16 teams for the playoffs.

Pittsburgh Penguins player tests positive for COVID-19

A member of the Pittsburgh Penguins has tested positive for COVID-19.

The team announced Thursday that an unidentified player has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.


The Penguins say the player was not in Pittsburgh at the time of test and has been at his home since first experiencing symptoms. The club said the player is “recovering and feeling well,” adding that those who have been in close contact with him have been notified.


The NHL season has been paused since March 12 because of the widening pandemic, but the Penguins will participate in the league's 24-team return-to-play plan if the campaign is able to resume this summer.


The Penguins player is the ninth NHLer to have a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, and the first since the Colorado Avalanche announced April 7 that a third member of the team had tested positive.


The other five players who tested positive are members of the Ottawa Senators.


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