Thompson Sports News Archives for 2022-04

Jays select contract of infielder Capra, option reliever Francis to triple-A Bisons


The Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of infielder Vinny Capra from triple-A Buffalo on Friday afternoon and optioned right-hander Bowden Francis to the Bisons.


Capra has hit .304 with 10 RBIs over 18 games with Buffalo this season.


The five-foot-eight 175-pound native of Melbourne, Fla., will be active for Toronto's game against the Houston Astros on Friday night, the Blue Jays said in a release.


Capra, 25, was selected by the Blue Jays in the 20th round of the 2018 first-year player draft.


Francis, 26, made his big-league debut in the ninth inning of Toronto's 7-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night. He had a strikeout and gave up a double over two-thirds of an inning.


Francis and right-hander Trevor Richards were acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers last July in exchange for first baseman Rowdy Tellez.


Eric Comrie, Winnipeg Jets shutout Philadelphia Flyers 4-0



Eric Comrie made 34 saves to record his first career shutout in the Winnipeg Jets' 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.


The 26-year-old native of Edmonton was playing in his 27th NHL game, and making his 15th start for Winnipeg this season.


Kyle Connor scored into an empty net and added a pair of assists to set a new team record for points in a season.


He has 92 points, one more than captain Blake Wheeler's point total since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets in 2011.


Wheeler had 91 points in two seasons (2017-18, 2018-19).


Nikolaj Ehlers and Wheeler each had a goal and an assist.


Pierre-Luc Dubois also scored his career-high 28th goal of the season for the Jets (37-32-11).


It was the sixth time the Flyers (25-45-11) have been shut out this season.


Playing in only his fifth NHL game, and second straight, Philadelphia rookie netminder Felix Sandstrom stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced.



Matthews and McDavid reach NHL milestones


A pair of N-H-L superstars reached personal milestones last night. In Toronto, Auston Matthews scored twice in a 3-0 win over Detroit to become the first Leaf to reach the 60-goal plateau.


Meanwhile, Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists in Edmonton's 5-1 win in Pittsburgh to become the first Oiler since Mark Messier to register more than 120 points.


McDavid leads the league with 122 points.


There are five games in the N-H-L tonight featuring two Canadian teams already eliminated from the post-season picture.


The Montreal Canadiens pay a visit to the New York Rangers in a classic Original Six matchup.


At the same time, the Winnipeg Jets host Philadelphia.

Russian, Belarusian players barred from selection in 2022 CHL import draft


The Canadian Hockey League has announced that Russian and Belarusian players will be ineligible for selection at its upcoming import draft.


The umbrella organization for the country's three major junior hockey leagues - the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League - made the announcement Wednesday.


The move was considered likely after the CHL condemned in a March 2 statement Russia's invasion of Ukraine with the support of Belarus.


The ban does not include players currently on a CHL protected list.


A total of 85 players were selected at the most recent import draft last June, including a high of 16 from Russia and 11 from Belarus.

The 2022 import draft will be held July 1.


Tenn. center that hosted 1996 Olympics events burns down


A fire early Tuesday destroyed Tennessee's Ocoee Whitewater Center, which served as the host site for paddling events during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.


Polk County Emergency Management Agency Director Steve Lofty told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the blaze had engulfed about 90% of the structure by the time a full fire response got to the scene on the Ocoee River.


Located in the remote hills of the Cherokee National Forest, the Ocoee Whitewater Center was built to host events such as kayaking and canoeing in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Polk County County Executive Robby M. Hatcher says it's a big loss for the community.


Toronto Raptors' all-star guard VanVleet ruled out of Game 5 in Philadelphia


The Toronto Raptors will not have all-star guard Fred VanVleet in the lineup for Monday's playoff game with the Philadelphia 76ers.


VanVleet has been ruled out of Game 5 with a strained left hip flexor.


The Raptors trail the Sixers 3-1 in the best-of-seven opening-round playoff series and need a win to stave off elimination.


VanVleet played less than 15 minutes of Toronto's 110-102 win over Philly on Saturday, limping off the court and ripping his jersey in frustration.


He averaged 20.3 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game this season and was named an All-Star for the first time.


Leafs forwards Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford fined for actions against Lightning



Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford have been fined for their actions during the third period of Thursday's 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Simmonds was punished for charging Mikhail Sergachev, while Clifford was dinged for high-sticking Corey Perry.


The fines totaling a combined US$4,750 - the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement - go to the players' emergency assistance fund.


The Leafs, who are all but assured of finishing second in the Atlantic Division with four games left on the schedule, were 11-1-1 prior to Thursday's demolition at the hands of the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.


Toronto visits the league-leading Florida Panthers on Saturday night.


Tom Renney retires as Hockey Canada CEO, replaced by Scott Smith


Tom Renney has retired as Hockey Canada's chief executive officer after eight years and will be replaced by Scott Smith.


Renney was appointed president and CEO in 2014. He replaced Bob Nicholson, who held those positions for 16 years.


Renney stepped out of the role of president in 2017 when Smith, Hockey Canada's chief operating officer stepped into it. Renney continued as CEO.


Smith has held various jobs in Hockey Canada since 1995. The 55-year-old from Bathurst, N.B., became chief operating officer in 2007.



Sixers beat undermanned Raptors 112-97 to take 2-0 playoff series lead


Joel Embiid had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the undermanned Toronto Raptors 112-97 on Monday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.


OG Anunoby had 26 points for the Raptors, who were playing without prized rookie Scottie Barnes, who suffered a left ankle sprain in Game 1and sat courtside in a walking boot. An ailing Gary Trent Jr., started the game but played only nine minutes.


The best-of-seven series now heads to Toronto for Game 3 on Wednesday, the first time Scotiabank Arena has hosted playoff basketball since Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 2019.


Toronto got off to a strong start and led by a point at the end of the first quarter, but then went ice cold, missing 14 consecutive field goals in a dry spell that straddled the second and third quarters.

Alabama receiver John Metchie III moves atop Scouting Bureau rankings


The CFL Scouting Bureau provided another solid reason Tuesday why Tyrell Richards remains the favourite to be the first player taken in next month's draft.


The six-foot-three 232-pound Richards performed well at last month's CFL combine with both defensive linemen and his position group. He considered testing with the defensive backs, but declined amid injury concerns.


The nine CFL teams also got to meet with Richards and get a feel for him as a person as part of their overall evaluation. The franchise selecting Richards will not only get a player who'll report immediately, but one that's versatile and could contribute right away on special teams.


The Edmonton Elks currently hold the No. 1 selection.


Vancouver joins Toronto, Edmonton as 'candidate host city' for 2026 World Cup games


Vancouver is back in the running to host games when the FIFA World Cup comes to Canada in 2026.


FIFA announced Thursday that the city has joined Edmonton and Toronto as candidate host cities after officials made a visit to BC Place.


Canada is co-hosting the tournament with the United States and Mexico, and nearly two dozen cities across North America are in the running to host games.


B.C. pulled out of contention in 2018 with Premier John Horgan citing the unknown costs of hosting the event, but he recently said the province was open to entertaining a bid.


A statement from Melanie Mark, the minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport, says hosting the event would be a once-in-a-generation opportunity for soccer fans and the province's tourism sector.


Mark says Horgan has given her a mandate to support the tourism and sport sectors as they recover from the impacts of the pandemic and hosting World Cup games in 2026 would “serve as a beacon for B.C.'s tourism industry” after two challenging years.


NBA releases Raptors-76ers opening round playoff schedule



Playoff basketball returns to Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on April 20.


The full schedule for the first round of the NBA playoffs was released Wednesday.


The Toronto Raptors, who open their seven-game series with their Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia 76ers Saturday on the road, will play Game 2 on Monday in Philadelphia and then bring the series back to Toronto for Game 3 on Wednesday, April 20 and Game 4 on Saturday, April 23, which will be a 2 p.m start.


Game 5, if necessary, is scheduled to be played Monday, April 25 in Philadelphia, followed by Game 6 in Toronto on Thursday, April 28, and Game 7 on Saturday, April 30 in Philadelphia.


Game times have not been announced for the final three games.


The last time Scotiabank Arena hosted playoff basketball was Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. The Raptors won the championship over the Golden State Warriors in six games.


The Raptors won their season series against Philly 3-1, including a short-handed 119-114 victory against the visiting Sixers last Thursday.


Winnipeg's winter wallop forces NHL to push back Jets-Kraken game


The NHL has pushed back a scheduled matchup between the Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets as a winter storm sweeps through southern Manitoba.


Environment Canada is warning people in Winnipeg to prepare for hazardous winter conditions beginning overnight Tuesday, including up to 50 cm of snow and winds gusting up to 70 km per hour, creating zero visibility at times.


The NHL says the game, originally scheduled for Wednesday, will instead be played at 1 p.m. CT on May 1.


The league says the storm would not only force the cancellation of the game but prevent “timely and necessary post-game travel.”

The Jets are set to face the Panthers in Florida on Friday.


Winnipeg (35-28-11) kept its faint playoff hopes alive Monday with a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The Kraken (23-43-6) have been eliminated from post-season contention in their inaugural season.


Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews named NHL's first star of the week


Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews has been named the NHL's first star of the week after scoring seven goals and four assists in four games.


The 24-year-old sniper enjoyed a record-breaking week as he helped the Leafs (47-19-6) clinch a sixth consecutive playoff berth via a 3-0-1 week.


Matthews started things off with a hat trick in Toronto's 6-2 win over Tampa Bay on April 4 and then added three assists the next night in a 7-6 overtime loss to Florida.


Playing in his 400th NHL game, Matthews scored twice - including his ninth career overtime winner - in a 4-3 triumph over the Dallas Stars on April 7 to break Rick Vaive's franchise record for goals in a season (54) as well as surpass Jimmy Carson and Kevin Stevens for the most goals by a U.S.-born player in a single campaign (55).


He finished off the week with a two-goal performance in a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.


Matthews has scored a league-leading 58 goals in 67 games.

Leafs sign 2020 draft pick Axel Rindell; Finn will spend rest of this season in AHL


The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenceman Axel Rindell to a future two-year contract, the club announced Friday.


The 21-year-old will first join the American Hockey League's Marlies for the remainder of the 2021-22 regular-season and playoffs.


When his contract kicks in, Rindell's deal with the Leafs will carry an average annual value of just under US$840,000.


Selected by Toronto in the sixth round of the 2020 NHL draft, Rindell had a goal and 11 assists in 26 games with Karpat of the Finnish Elite League this season.


He also had five assists in 16 games with Jokerit before being loaned out.


The Helsinki product has 14 goals and 65 points in 136 career regular-season games with the clubs.


Rindell has also played internationally for Finland, most recently winning a silver medal at the 2021 world championship.


2 more Black coaches sue NFL alleging racial discrimination


Two Black coaches have joined Brian Flores in his lawsuit alleging racist hiring practices by the NFL toward coaches and general managers.


The updated lawsuit filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court adds coaches Steve Wilks and Ray Horton.


Wilks alleges he was discriminated against by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018 and Horton claims he was subjected to discriminatory treatment when he interviewed for the Tennessee Titans head coach position in January 2016.


The rewritten lawsuit from Flores also criticized the NFL for its response to the lawsuit he brought against it and its teams several weeks ago.



Canada's Gushue falls to Sweden's Edin at world men's curling championship


Canada's Brad Gushue suffered his first defeat in round-robin play at the world men's curling championship Wednesday, a 7-5 loss to Sweden's Niklas Edin.


Gushue's record dropped to 6-1 but still led the table after the day's opening draw. Edin improved to 6-2.


After days of games with wild linescores, Wednesday's matchup between two of the world's top teams unfolded more like a chess match.


The first pair of the game didn't come until the seventh end. A Swedish come-around attempt was a tad heavy, allowing Gushue to score the deuce.


Edin answered with a pair of his own in the eighth end to move back into the lead.


Gushue had a chance for two in the ninth, but missed on his last shot, giving Edin the hammer with the score tied 5-5 entering the final end.


Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser out with upper-body injury


Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser is out with an upper-body injury.


The team announced the news Tuesday after the right-winger appeared to suffer an injury in Vancouver's 3-2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday.


Boeser got caught up in teammate Elias Pettersson's hit on Ben Hutton late in the second period and fell to the ice in pain. He skated off holding his arm and went directly to the locker room, but returned to play in the third period.


Boeser has 38 points (19 goals, 19 assists) in 64 games this season.


Set to become a restricted free agent this summer, the 25-year-old native of Burnsville, Minn., had a career-high 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists) in his sophomore campaign in 2018-19.


The Canucks (32-28-10) are set to face the Golden Knights in Vegas on Wednesday.


Oilers centre Connor McDavid named NHL first star of week after hitting century mark


Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid has been selected the National Hockey League's first star of the week after collecting five goals and three assists in four games.


The offensive outburst pushed McDavid, 25, past the 100-point milestone for the fifth time in seven seasons.


The Oilers' superstar leads the NHL in scoring with 40 goals and 65 assists for 105 points in 69 games.


Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov, who also collected five goals and three assists last week, was named the week's second star, while New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov earned third-star honours after posting three wins with a 1.67 goals-against average, .952 save percentage and one shutout.


Toronto Blue Jays extend manager Charlie Montoyo's contract through 2023 season


The Toronto Blue Jays are extending manager Charlie Montoyo's contract through the 2023 season.


The 57-year-old skipper is entering his fourth season in the position.


Montoyo guided the Blue Jays to a 91-win campaign last year.


He finished third in American League manager of the year voting in 2020 and was fourth in last year's vote.


The Blue Jays did not release financial details of the deal.


The announcement comes one week before the team's regular-season opener against the Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre.


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