Thompson Sports News Archives for 2022-05

Sanctioned Abramovich files lawsuit at EU general court


Roman Abramovich has filed a lawsuit at the EU's general court against the European Union Council, which imposed sanctions on the former Chelsea owner as part of measures targeting Russia and President Vladimir Putin's close allies.


The EU included the Russian oligarch in March in its list of individuals targeted with frozen assets and travel bans over their role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Abramovich was forced to sell the Premier League club after being sanctioned by the British government for what it called his enabling of Putin's “brutal and barbaric invasion” of Ukraine.

France blames ticket fraud for Champions League final chaos


French authorities have defended police for indiscriminately firing tear gas and pepper spray at Liverpool supporters at the Champions League final while blaming industrial levels of fraud that saw 30,000 to 40,000 people try to enter the Stade de France with fake tickets or none at all.


After a meeting into Saturday's chaos, the ministers of the sport and the interior shifted responsibility onto the Liverpool fans while not providing details on how they were sure so many fake tickets were in circulation.


UEFA launched an independent investigation into what caused the chaotic scenes and said the “comprehensive review will examine decision making, responsibility and behaviors of all entities involved in the final.”


Female referees to officiate men's World Cup for 1st time


 Female referees will make World Cup history this year by working games at a major men's tournament for the first time in Qatar.


FIFA has picked three female referees and three female assistant referees among 129 officials for World Cup duty.


French referee Stephanie Frappart has already worked men's games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League.


FIFA's list also includes a man who caused controversy when refereeing a chaotic African Cup of Nations game in January.


Janny Sikazwe of Zambia later explained he was suffering with heatstroke.

Shapovalov eliminated at Geneva Open after second-round loss to Ivashka


Canada's Denis Shapovalov was eliminated from the Geneva Open on Wednesday with a 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-3 loss to Ilya Ivashka of Belarus in the second round.


Ivashka had eight break point chances against Shapovalov, and converted two of them. The Belarusian saved the only break-point chance he faced.


Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., was seeded third at the tournament and had a bye in the first round.


The Canadian had nine aces in the match but didn't get opportunities to shift momentum in a largely even match.


Both players cashed in on 69 per cent of service points and 31 per cent of return points.


Ivashka, who will next face Portugal's Joao Sousa, picked up his first win in four matches against Shapovalov.


Maple Leafs staying the course after another playoff disappointment


The Maple Leafs don't appear eager to make changes in the wake of another playoff setback.


Toronto finished the regular schedule with franchise records for points and wins, but failed to advance in the post-season for a sixth straight year after losing in seven games to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.


The team met with the media Tuesday, and Leafs president Brendan Shanahan gave general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe votes of confidence despite the disappointing result.


It also sounds like Toronto's core of talented, high-priced forwards led by Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander will be back in 2022-23 after the group took a step this season, but still couldn't get over the playoff hump.


The Leafs had the Lightning on the ropes in Games 6 and 7, and are now 0-9 over the last five post-seasons with a chance to eliminate an opponent.


Toronto hasn't won a playoff series since 2004.


Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price named finalist for Masterton Trophy


Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is one of three finalists for the 2022 Masterton Trophy, awarded to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game.”


After helping the Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup final in 2021, the 34-year-old Price suffered numerous setbacks in returning to the game.


The franchise's all-time leader for games and wins by a goaltender underwent knee surgery last summer.


The Vezina and Hart Trophy winner in 2015 also sought help from the NHLPA/NHL player assistance program in October for substance abuse.


Price, of Anahim Lake, B.C., returned to Montreal's net on April 15. It was his first start since July, 2021.


New York Islanders defenceman Zdeno Chara and Philadelphia Flyers centre Kevin Hayes are the other finalists.


NHL stars Matthews, McDavid and Josi named Ted Lindsay Award finalists


Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid are two of the finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, the NHL's most outstanding player award as voted on by fellow players.


Nashville Predators defenceman Roman Josi is the third finalist.

Matthews, who earned this season's Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal-scorer, registered career highs with 60 goals and 46 assists.


His 60 goals were a team record as well as a single-season record for most goals scored by a U.S.-born player.


McDavid, who claimed his fourth Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer this season, established career highs with 44 goals and 79 assists.


Josi led all NHL defenceman with 96 points, which was franchise record and a single-season record for points recorded by a European defenceman.


Leafs' Matthews, Oilers' McDavid among Hart Trophy finalists


Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid are two of the finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, the NHL's most valuable player award.


New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin is also in contention for the prize awarded “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”


Matthews, who earned this season's Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal-scorer, posted career highs with 60 goals and 46 assists.


He became the 21st different player in NHL history - and first in a decade - to register 60 goals in a season.


McDavid, who claimed the Art Ross Trophy as the League's top scorer this season, also established career highs with 44 goals and 79 assists.


The reigning Hart Trophy winner, McDavid never went more than three games without a point.


Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike not running in Preakness


Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not run in the Preakness.


Owner Rich Dawson made the stunning announcement 10 days before the race in Maryland.


It means there will not be a Triple Crown winner for a fourth consecutive year.


Dawson said he and trainer Eric Reed agreed to stick with the initial plan for Rich Strike and rest him for five weeks.


The plan now is to have Rich Strike ready to run in the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 11.

Gymnastics Canada and provincial bodies face class-action lawsuit over alleged abuse


More than a dozen former Canadian gymnasts have launched a class-action lawsuit claiming lasting physical and psychological damages suffered over many years.


Amelia Cline is the named plaintiff and there are as many as 20 class members so far.


The athletes are suing Gymnastics Canada and provincial governing bodies in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan.


Cline was coached by Vladimir and Svetlana Lashin at Omega Gymnastics Sports Centre in Coquitlam, B.C.


Legal documents allege that Cline, as a result of the abuse she was subjected to during training, continues to suffer from numerous physical and psychological harm and injuries.


According to the lawsuit, they include a training-induced seizure, ongoing back and neck injuries and chronic pain, a hamstring avulsion fracture, fractures in a hand, wrist, fingers and toes, chronic knee pain, disordered eating, stunted growth, anxiety, insomnia and nightmares.


Leafs going with same lineup for Game 5; under-fire Holl praised by coach, teammates


Sheldon Keefe is going back to the well.


The Maple Leafs head coach will dress the same lineup for tonight's Game 5 against the Lightning, some 48 hours after that group came out embarrassingly flat with a chance to grab a 3-1 stranglehold in their best-of-seven playoff series.


Toronto defenceman Justin Holl turned the puck over less than a minute into Sunday's debacle, leading to Tampa Bay's first goal and opening the floodgates at Amalie Arena against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.


Keefe said he gave “lots of thought” to making changes, but decided after reviewing the video of the 7-3 loss that tied the matchup 2-2 he would ice the same roster, including keeping Holl with veteran blue-liner Mark Giordano on the third pair.


Ottawa Senators part ways with vice president of player development Pierre McGuire


The Ottawa Senators have relieved Pierre McGuire of his duties as the team's senior vice president of player development after less than a year on the job.


McGuire was hired by the Senators last July following a 13-year run as an analyst on NBC hockey broadcasts.


The Senators confirmed McGuire's departure on Monday with a brief statement.


“We thank Pierre for his contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavours,” the team said.


McGuire, who also had broadcast stints with TSN and CJAD radio in Montreal, had previously served a Senators pro scout between 1994-96 before going into radio and TV.


He won the Stanley Cup twice as a Pittsburgh scout and assistant in the early 1990s and went on to be assistant general manager and coach of the Hartford Whalers.


Winnipeg Jets sign goaltender Oskari Salminen to a two-year, entry-level contract


The Winnipeg Jets have signed goaltender Oskari Salminen to a two-year, entry-level contract with an average annual value of US$925,000 at the NHL level.


Salminen, 22, spent the 2021-22 season with Mikkelin Jukurit of the Finnish Liiga, where he was coached by Jets alumni Olli Jokinen.


The native of Kotka, Finland, had a 29-14-11 record with nine shutouts, a 2.07 goals-against average, and a .920 save percentage in 55 games with Jukurit.


He led the Liiga in wins (29), saves (1,260) and minutes played (3,194), and was tied for first in shutouts (nine).


Has a 39-23-19 record with 11 shutouts in 85 career Liiga games with Jukurit and Kouvola-based KooKoo.


Toronto's Pan Am Sports Centre to host FINA Swimming World Cup in October


Toronto will host the FINA Swimming World Cup for the first time in more than 20 years.


The Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre will welcome the world's top swimmers for the second of a three-stop short-course swimming series Oct. 28-30.


The Pan Am Sports Centre was the swimming venue for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, plus two Olympic swimming trials.


The World Cup circuit kicks off in Berlin Oct. 21-23 and wraps up in Indianapolis Nov. 3-5.


More than 750 athletes from 40 countries are expected to compete for an overall series prize pool of US$144,000.



Blue Jays call up right-hander Casey Lawrence from triple-A Buffalo


The Toronto Blue Jays selected right-hander Casey Lawrence to the big-league roster before Wednesday night's home game against the New York Yankees.


The 34-year-old hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2018 with Seattle.


Originally selected by the Blue Jays as an amateur free agent in 2010, he spent seven years in the minors before making his MLB debut in 2017.


Lawrence has a 3-3 career record and 6.64 earned-run average over 38 appearances with the Blue Jays and Mariners.


He spent time in Japan before returning to the Blue Jays' organization a year ago.


Lawrence was 7-2 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 appearances - including 10 starts - with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons last season.


He was 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA over four starts in Buffalo this year.


Also Wednesday, the Blue Jays optioned left-hander Andrew Vasquez to Buffalo and designated infielder Gosuke Katoh for assignment.

National funeral today in Montreal for Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur


Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur was remembered today as a father, a teammate and a person of exceptional generosity.


At a national funeral in downtown Montreal, Lafleur was described as someone who inspired generations of Quebecers both on and off the ice.


His son, Martin Lafleur, said his father always made time for his family and wanted to take care of everyone -- “even people he didn't know.”


He told the crowd at Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral that his father wasn't perfect, but did everything he could to make his family happy.


Hockey hall of famers Yvon Cournoyer, Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau and Patrick Roy were among the first to pay tribute to the Habs legend, who died last month at age 70 after battling lung cancer.


Those in attendance included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Francois Legault.


Quebec singer Ginette Reno sang L'Essentiel during the funeral service.


Jets sign GM Cheveldayoff to three-year extension as team heads into busy off-season



Kevin Cheveldayoff has been given three more years to get the Winnipeg Jets back on a successful flight path.


The general manager confirmed his extension in a Monday press conference between exit meetings with players after the Jets missed the playoffs with a 39-32-11 record.


Cheveldayoff, 52, has been the team's only GM since the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg in 2011.


The GM has a lot on his to-do list, starting with a coaching decision.


Dave Lowry was named interim head coach after Paul Maurice resigned on Dec. 17, 2021.


Cheveldayoff said Lowry will be welcome to interview for the full-time position as the Jets conduct a search for Maurice's permanent replacement.



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