Thompson Sports News Archives for 2022-07

Former NHL defenceman Robidas joins Canadiens' coaching staff as assistant

 

The Montreal Canadiens have named former NHL defenceman Stephane Robidas as an assistant coach on Martin St. Louis' staff.

 

The 45-year old Robidas spent last season as head coach of the Magog Cantonniers in the Quebec U18 AAA Development Hockey League.

 

He led the team to a league title and was named a finalist for coach of the year.

 

Robidas had taken a job as an assistant coach with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Sherbrooke Phoenix last month, prior to accepting the offer from the Canadiens.

 

Robidas was selected by the Canadiens in the seventh round (164th overall) of the 1995 NHL draft.

 

He had 57 goals and 201 assists over 937 regular-season games with Montreal, Dallas, Chicago, Anaheim and Toronto.

 

Toronto Blue Jays announce Rogers Centre to get massive overhaul

 

The Toronto Blue Jays are determined to modernize Rogers Centre.

 

Team president Mark Shapiro announced on Thursday that the Blue Jays would be making major renovations to their downtown ballpark.

 

Shapiro says the first phase, which includes replacing all the seats in the 500 level, will be completed by next season.

 

Opened in 1989, Rogers Centre is the seventh oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball.

 

Rogers Centre is one of only three multi-purpose stadiums left in MLB along with Oakland's RingCentral Coliseum and Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field.

 

Shapiro says the renovations are designed to make Rogers Centre more baseball-specific.

 

Hockey Canada has paid $7.6M in sex abuse settlements since 1989

 

Hockey Canada says it has paid out $7.6 million in nine settlements related to sexual assault and sexual abuse claims since 1989, with $6.8 million of that related to serial abuser Graham James.

 

The hockey governing body has been under fire since it was revealed the money in its multimillion-dollar National Equity Fund - which had been reserved for uninsured payments including sexual assault and sexual abuse claims - comes from player fees.

 

The fund was also used to pay for the services of a law firm that has been investigating an alleged sexual assault in 2018 that has Hockey Canada officials before a committee of MPs this week.

 

Sheldon Kennedy, an advocate for sexual abuse survivors and one of James's victims, has called on Hockey Canada's leadership to resign as a result of their handling of the allegations.

 

MPs asked Hockey Canada president Scott Smith if he would step down.

 

Smith says he is prepared to take on the responsibility for change, but if Hockey Canada's governance decides he is not the right person for the job, he will accept that.

 

Oilers sign forward Jesse Puljujarvi to one-year, $3-million deal

 

The Edmonton Oilers re-signed forward Jesse Puljujarvi to a one-year, US$3 million deal on Tuesday.

 

Puljujarvi played 65 games this past season and set career highs in points (36) and assists (22).

 

He his 14 goals fell one goal short of his career high.

 

The five-year veteran added another three points in 16 playoff games during the team's run to the Western Conference finals.

 

A fourth-overall pick in 2016, Puljujarvi has recorded 46 goals and 52 assists in 259 career games with Edmonton.

 

Hockey Canada releases plan to combat 'toxic' culture ahead of parliamentary hearings

 

Hockey Canada has released a plan to combat the “toxic” culture in its sport a day before the start of a second round of parliamentary hearings into the organization's handling of sexual assault complaints.

 

The plan includes the implementation by the end of September of a centralized tracking and reporting system for abuse complaints.

 

Hockey Canada also says it will implement enhanced screening for high-performance players and will mandate that breaching the organizations code of conduct or refusing to participate in an investigation could result in a lifetime ban.

 

The measures are in addition to those announced in a July 14 open letter, including a revival of a dormant third-party investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving members of the country's 2018 world junior team.

 

Hockey Canada has had its federal funding frozen and multiple corporate partners pause sponsorships since news broke of the 2018 allegation and the ensuing settlement of a lawsuit filed by the complainant.

 

A second sexual assault allegation involving the 2003 Canadian junior team surfaced on Friday.

 

Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley named MLS player of the week

 

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley has been named the Major League Soccer's player of the week for his two-goal performance in a 4-0 win over Charlotte FC on Saturday.

 

Bradley scored the second brace of his career in the first half of the win, becoming the first Toronto midfielder to score twice in one game since Alejandro Pozuelo on April 19, 2019 against Minnesota United.

 

With Toronto up 1-0 in the 10th minute, Bradley scored his first goal of the match when Federico Bernardeschi curled in a cross from a corner kick, which Bradley flicked with a header and into the net.

 

After Bernardeschi added a goal on his MLS debut to make it 3-0, Bradley scored the club's fourth goal and his second of the match in first half stoppage time.

 

Newcomer Lorenzo Insigne, another high-profile Italian making his MLS debut, played a no-look flick into the path of Bradley. The TFC captain dribbled past one defender and chipped the ball over Charlotte's goalkeeper.

 

Bradley has started all 22 games for Toronto this season and played in 1,970 of the club's 1,980 minutes.

 

Winnipeg Jets, forward Jeff Malott agree to terms on two-year, two-way contract

 

Forward Jeff Malott agreed to terms on a two-year, two-way deal with the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

 

The contract carries an annual average salary of US$762,500.

 

Malott made his NHL debut with the team on March 20 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

 

He also played 62 games last season for the Manitoba Moose, the Jets' AHL affiliate team.

 

The 25-year-old Burlington, Ont., native led the Moose with 23 goals, and finished second on the team with 41 points.

 

Prior to the 2020-2021 season, Malott spent two years in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, playing for the Brooks Bandits, before competing at Cornell University.

 

 

Assistants Lauer, Johnston join new head coach Bowness on Winnipeg Jets' staff

 

The Winnipeg Jets have filled out the staff of new head coach Rick Bowness, naming Brad Lauer and Marty Johnston as assistants on Thursday.

 

The 55-year-old Lauer was head coach for the Western Hockey League's Edmonton Oil Kings for the past four seasons, leading the team to a league title in 2021-22.

 

The Humboldt, Sask. native previously served as an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning (2016-18), Anaheim Ducks (2012-15), and Ottawa Senators (2009-11).

 

Lauer also worked as an assistant coach in the American Hockey League with Syracuse and Milwaukee.

 

Johnston, 43, served as an assistant coach for the Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg's AHL affiliate, for the past five seasons.

 

The Gloucester, Ont. native previously served as the head coach of Carleton Ravens U Sports men's hockey program for seven seasons and coached them to a 129-49-12 record.

 

Bowness took over as Jets coach on July 3 after parting ways with the Dallas Stars.

 

Hockey Canada says it will no longer use reserve fund to settle sexual assault claims

 

Hockey Canada says it will no longer use a fund maintained by membership fees collected across the country to settle sexual assault claims.

 

The so-called “National Equity Fund” came to light this week as the federation continues to deal with the fallout from an alleged sexual assault at an event four years in London, Ont., involving eight unnamed players and the subsequent out-of-court settlement.

 

News of the secretive fund drew the ire of Canadians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

 

Hockey Canada says effective immediately the fund “will be exclusively dedicated towards safety, wellness and equity initiatives, as well as insurance across our organization.”

 

Details of the fund is included in a July 2021 affidavit sworn by Glen McCurdie, who was then Hockey Canada's vice-president of insurance and risk management, as part of a lawsuit launched by an injured player in Ontario.

 

McCurdie's affidavit said “Hockey Canada maintains a reserve in a segregated account to pay for any such uninsured liabilities as they arise.” It goes on to say that “uninsured liabilities include potential claims for historical sexual abuse.”

 

Toronto Raptors sign guard Jeff Dowtin Jr. to two-way contract

 

The Toronto Raptors have signed guard Jeff Dowtin Jr. to a two-way contract.

 

The six-foot-three, 185-pound Dowtin joined the Raptors for this year's NBA Summer League, where he averaged 16 points, 4.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 28.1 minutes in four games (all starts).

 

He shot 57 per cent from the field, including 36.4 per cent from three-point range.

 

A native of Upper Marlboro, Ma., Dowtin played in nine NBA games last season for Golden State, Milwaukee and Orlando, averaging 2.1 points, two rebounds and 1.1 assists.

 

He appeared in 37 regular season games over two years in the NBA G League for the Lakeland Magic and Wisconsin Herd, averaging 15.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 27.8 minutes played.

 

He helped the Magic win the 2021 NBA G League Championship.

 

Scott Dixon wins fourth Honda Indy Toronto, matches Mario Andretti for 52 career wins

 

Scott Dixon has won the Honda Indy Toronto for a fourth time.

 

Colton Herta was second fastest around the street track at Exhibition Place and Felix Rosenqvist was third.

 

Dixon is now tied with the legendary Mario Andretti for the second most wins in IndyCar history at 52. A.J. Foyt is the all-time leader with 67.

 

IndyCar rookie Devlin DeFrancesco of Toronto was 18th.

Dalton Kellett of nearby Stouffville, Ont., completed nine laps before mechanical failure ended his race.

 

Both Canadians drove in the Honda Indy for the first time as the event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Hockey Canada had abuse claim reserve fund: court documents

 

An affidavit filed in an Ontario court case suggests Hockey Canada has maintained a fund to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual abuse claims.

 

The detail is included in a July 2021 affidavit sworn by Glen McCurdie, who was then Hockey Canada's vice-president of insurance and risk management, as part of a lawsuit launched by an injured player in Ontario.

 

Hockey Canada did not immediately respond to an email from The Canadian Press requesting comment on McCurdie's affidavit.

 

The sport's national body has been under intense scrutiny since news of an alleged sexual assault following a 2018 gala in London, Ont., involving eight unidentified players - including members of that year's world junior team - and subsequent settlement broke in May. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

 

Whitecaps acquire star wingback Julian Gressel from D.C. United

 

The Vancouver Whitecaps have acquired star German wingback Julian Gressel from D.C. United in exchange for up to US$900,000 in general allocation money.

 

The 28-year-old has established himself as one of the top playmakers in Major League Soccer since winning the league's rookie of the year award in 2017.

 

His 58 assists over that period are second most in MLS, trailing only New York City FC attacking midfielder Maximiliano Moralez (66).

 

Gressel, who has also played in midfield in MLS, has added 19 goals in 171 regular season appearances.

 

Gressel joined D.C. in 2020 after three seasons with Atlanta United, which he helped win the 2018 MLS Cup and 2019 U.S. Open Cup.

 

Driver Alex Palou offers no insight into contract dispute with Ganassi or McLaren

 

Alex Palou's future remains unclear.

 

The IndyCar driver offered no comment on Friday morning when asked if he would stay with Chip Ganassi Racing or jump to Arrow McLaren SP in 2023.

 

Ganassi announced on Tuesday that it had exercised its team option for Palou to stay for another season.

 

Palou then tweeted that was not true and he would be leaving Ganassi after this season was complete.

 

Then McLaren announced the Spaniard would be joining one of its teams in 2023.

 

Palou was cagey about the dispute Friday, instead saying he was focused on winning this weekend's Honda Indy Toronto and having a strong finish to the IndyCar season.

 

Jets sign forward forward Limoges to a one-year, entry-level contract

 

The Winnipeg Jets have signed forward Alex Limoges to a one-year, entry-level contract worth US$780,000.

 

The 24-year-old had 40 points (23 goals, 17 assists) in 62 games with the American Hockey League's San Diego Gulls in 2021-22. He added a goal and an assist in two playoff games.

 

Limoges, from Winchester, Va., made his professional debut with San Diego in 2020-21 and posted 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 23 games.

 

He played four varsity seasons for the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Big-10 Conference and recorded 125 points (51 goals, 74 assists) in 128 career games.

 

 

Winnipeg Jets sign goaltender David Rittich to one-year, US$900,000 deal

 

The Winnipeg Jets have signed David Rittich to a one-year, US$900,000 contract to back up star goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

 

Rittich appeared in 17 games with the Nashville Predators in 2021-22, posting a record of 6-3-4 with a 3.57 goals-against average and a .886 save percentage.

 

The 29-year-old from Jihlava, Czech Republic, has a career record of 70-44-20 with a 2.93 GAA and a .904 save percentage over five seasons with Calgary, Toronto and Nashville.

 

His best season came with the Flames in 2018-19 when he had a 27-9-5 mark with a 2.61 GAA and a .911 save percentage.

 

Rittich goes from backing up one workhorse goaltender to another. Nashville's Juuse Saros made 67 appearances last season, while Hellebuyck saw action in 66.

 

Winnipeg was in need of a backup after Eric Comrie signed a two-year deal with Buffalo.

 

'Extremely motivated' Matt Murray excited for opportunity with Maple Leafs

 

Matt Murray is excited about the opportunity.

 

He also knows there are more than a few doubters among his new team's fan base.

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired the goaltender from the Ottawa Senators on Monday along with a third-round pick in the 2023 draft and a seventh-rounder in 2024 for future considerations.

 

The move by Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas for the two-time Stanley Cup winner is a bold one as Toronto looks to finally get over its first-round playoff hump - and hopefully beyond.

 

Despite solid career numbers, Murray's statistical profile has fallen off the last three seasons, including two in the nation's capital, due to both poor play and injury.

 

Jack Campbell, Toronto's No. 1 goalie in 2021-22, appears poised to leave in free agency, while the Leafs dealt underperforming netminder Petr Mrazek to the Chicago Blackhawks to clear salary cap space and pave the way for the Murray move.

 

Toronto's Manoah, Springer added to MLB All-Star game

 

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah and centre-fielder George Springer were added Sunday to the American League lineup for the July 19 All-Star Game.

 

Manoah, 24, leads Blue Jays starters with nine wins and a 2.34 earned run average, both stats rank third among American League pitchers.

 

The second-year pitcher also ranks third in the AL with 107.2 innings pitched.

 

It will be his first trip to the All-Star game.

 

The 32-year-old Springer will be making his fourth all-star appearance. His 16 home runs are second most on Toronto, trailing fellow all-star Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s 19 homers.

 

Guerrero and catcher Alejandro Kirk were named All-Star starters on Friday after being selected to the American League team after finishing atop their positions in the second round of fan voting.

 

Former Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith retiring

 

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Duncan Keith is allegedly retiring.

 

Keith played 16 seasons for the Blackhawks before Chicago dealt him to Edmonton for blue liner Caleb Jones and a draft pick last summer.

 

The 38-year-old put up 21 points (one goal, 20 assists) and 22 penalty minutes in 64 regular-season appearances for the Oilers, then added a goal, four assists and five penalty minutes in 16 playoff games.

 

Keith, who hails from Winnipeg, won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the post-season MVP in 2014.

 

He also won the Norris Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL's top defenceman, in 2010 and 2014.

 

Keith signed a mammoth 13-year contract with the Blackhawks in 2009. The deal carried an annual average value of US$5.5 million.

 

Oilers announce assistants Manson, Gulutzan will return to Woodcroft's coaching staff

 

The Edmonton Oilers say assistant coaches Dave Manson and Glen Gulutzan will return next season as the NHL team shored up its hockey operations staff on Thursday.

 

The Oilers also announced that goalie coach Dustin Schwartz and video coach Jeremy Coupal will return, while Brad Holland has been promoted to assistant general manager, professional scouting.

 

Manson joined the Oilers from the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors alongside head coach Jay Woodcroft in February.

 

The 55-year-old is responsible for the Oilers' defensive corps.

 

Gulutzan, 51, will enter his fifth season with the Oilers. The former Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames head coach will continue as the team's primary power-play architect.

 

Woodcroft, who was named the Oilers' interim coach midway through the 2021-22 season after the firing of Dave Tippett, signed a contract

 

Toronto Raptors sign Otto Porter Jr. multi-year contract

 

The Toronto Raptors have officially signed forward Otto Porter Jr. to a multi-year contract.

 

The deal was first reported last week.

 

The six-foot-eight Porter was a key piece of the Golden State Warriors' championship squad this past season, averaging 5.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 19.5 minutes in 19 playoff games.

 

A native of St. Louis, Porter has played nine seasons in the NBA after being selected third overall by Washington in the 2013 draft.

 

He has averaged 10.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in his career.

 

Hampered Nadal gets past Fritz at Wimbledon; Kyrgios next

 

Rafael Nadal extended his Grand Slam winning streak to 19 matches with a 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4) victory over 11th-seeded Taylor Fritz in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

 

Nadal is seeking a third Wimbledon championship and 23rd major title overall.

 

He is perfect at the four most important tournaments in 2022.

 

He won the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June.

 

He will face Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals at the All England Club on Friday.

 

Kyrgios reached the final four at a major for the first time by beating Cristian Garin in straight sets.

 

Simona Halep and Elena Rybakina advanced to the women's semifinals.

Hatcher continues Lions' dominance of CFL top player awards with Week 4 nod

 

B.C. wide receiver Keon Hatcher has been named the top performer of Week 4 of the CFL season, making it three times in four weeks the Lions have claimed the honour.

 

Hatcher caught seven passes for 177 yards in a touchdown in the Lions' 34-31 win over Ottawa on Thursday.

 

It was Hatcher's first career game of 100 or more yards, highlighted by a 71-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Rourke in the third quarter.

 

Rourke was named the CFL's top performer in Week 1 and Week 3. The Lions had a bye in Week 2.

 

Saskatchewan defensive linemen Anthony Lanier II and Pete Robertson were also honoured as players of the week on Tuesday.

 

Lanier had a career-high three sacks and Robertson had two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the Roughriders 41-20 victory over Montreal on Saturday.

 

 

Canadian women lose 3-2 to South Korea on late goal at field hockey World Cup

 

The Canadian women's field hockey team lost its second straight at the World Cup on Sunday, dropping a 3-2 decision to South Korea.

 

Cho Hye-jin's 56th-minute goal decided the game for the 10th-ranked Koreans.

 

The teams traded goals in the opening two minutes with Maddie Secco pulling Canada even at 1-1. After Korea went ahead in the 48th minute, Brienne Stairs scored in the 55th off a penalty corner to tie the game at 2-2.

 

No. 14-ranked Canada, making its first appearance at the sport's showcase since 1994, lost 4-1 to No. 7 Spain in the tournament's opening match Friday.

 

The Canadian women missed out on the last six World Cups since finishing 10th in 1994, which marked the last of six straight appearances at the tournament. Canada's best showing was a silver medal in 1983, with a bronze in 1986.

 

The 16-team World Cup is in Terrassa, Spain and Amsterdam.

 

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