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A suspicious delay, in the Edmonton Oilers bid to host the Stanley Cup Playoffs: 9 Things – Edmonton Journal

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I am made to understand that organizers in both Edmonton and Vancouver are nervous over this delay. From a pure health perspective, they should be the only 2 Canadian markets under consideration. As I recounted above, COVID containment in both Edmonton and Vancouver have been exemplary. In Toronto, it has been a gong show. The caseload, death toll and all-over-the-place testing strategy are life-and-death problems.

Then why is Toronto still in the picture? Could it possibly have anything to do with the fact that the big TV networks and rightsholders that would orchestrate and carry the games in Canada are headquartered there? From a logistical standpoint would it be easier for them to broadcast from there? Central Canadian sponsorship dollars?

So, we need to ask: Border considerations aside, is the 3-4 week delay an effort to buy the Toronto option some time to get it’s COVID ducks in a row, as opposed to properly reward now one of the 2 other markets that did so early and effectively?

If you ask me, Edmonton and Vancouver are right to be nervous. Lest you think that safety is the only factor in all of this.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

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NHL’s impending labour peace a huge win amid difficult times – Sportsnet.ca

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A strange sensation may have washed over you early Monday evening.

Call it the promise of labour peace in our time.

Unless you are middle-aged, or took a keen interest in labour negotiations before grade school, this isn’t something you’ve experienced courtesy of the NHL. Before this announcement of a memorandum of understanding to extend the collective bargaining agreement through the 2025-26 season, if ratified, you have known the 2012-13 lockout … and the 2004-05 lockout that wiped out the entire season … and the 1994-95 lockout … and the 1992 strike.

That dispute-filled past provides context every bit as important to this agreement as our uncertain present, which underpins the new deal. The transition rules and a four-year extension to the CBA are built around sharing the economic pain brought on by the coronavirus pandemic until more prosperous days return.

Let it be said that this is what leadership looks like in difficult times.

Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr found sensible solutions to shared problems without resorting to any of the hostility or grandstanding these negotiations are typically known for. They and their respective leadership teams started meeting out of the spotlight last summer before recalibrating on the fly and piecing together the framework for this agreement amid a health crisis that poses a significant threat to their industry and many others.

That required the CBA to be negotiated on a parallel track to agreements governing intensive return-to-play protocols and the location of hub cities. It was done while also finalizing the details of a 24-team tournament to complete the season and agreeing to a new critical dates calendar with the Stanley Cup set to be awarded in early October.

Looking back now, it all seems so orderly.

But that belies the fact it was a tangled unpredictable mess when the season was put on pause in March, like a big ball of yarn strewn across the floor.

The CBA must now be ratified as part of an all-encompassing return-to-play package because the entire thing is inextricably linked. The NHL Board of Governors will hold its vote in the coming days and needs three-quarters support. Once the NHL Players’ Association gets approval from its Executive Board and concludes a period where it educates players about the deal, a full membership vote will be taken that requires a majority for ratification.

If everything goes forward without any hiccups, they could be in position to officially announce the planned resumption of the season by Friday.

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people around the hockey world, and then they tell listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they think about it.

There will likely be some opposition votes cast on the players’ end — “It won’t be a landslide,” predicted one source, who has been part of NHLPA calls throughout the negotiations — but it’s important to note that the agreement permits any player to opt out of the summer restart without penalty if he does so within 72 hours of the ratification process being completed.

The NHL intends to hold its summer tournament in Edmonton and Toronto with games starting on Aug. 1, which if successful would mark the first time the Stanley Cup playoffs were held entirely in Canada since 1925, according to Sportsnet Stats.

Getting to the stage where a restart was possible required a complex rethinking of the NHL’s economic system. Even though the current CBA was due to run through September 2022, a negotiated extension was needed with the league set to lose more than a $1 billion for the 2019-20 season and even more than that in a 2020-21 campaign that will likely be played in buildings at less than full capacity because of COVID-related restrictions.

Under the new deal, players will defer 10 per cent of next season’s salary and see another 20 per cent contributed to capped escrow. The upper limit of the salary cap will be held flat at $81.5 million and remain there until hockey-related revenue (HRR) returns to $4.8 billion — at which point the cap will start being calculated using a new formula that relies on the actual HRR from two seasons back, plus the projected HRR from the season prior.

The bonus pool for the pandemic playoffs is doubling to $32 million and, as first reported by colleague Elliotte Friedman, Olympic participation will resume for Beijing 2022 and Milan 2026, pending a subsequent agreement with the IOC.

The players will also see increasingly favourable escrow caps applied throughout the deal while the length of the agreement will be extended by a year if the debt owed back to owners exceeds $125 million at its conclusion. More CBA details can be found here.

Senior Writer Ryan Dixon and NHL Editor Rory Boylen always give it 110%, but never rely on clichés when it comes to podcasting. Instead, they use a mix of facts, fun and a varied group of hockey voices to cover Canada’s most beloved game.

Lawyers for the NHL and NHLPA had some late nights in the last week while grinding over the final details of the tentative deal, but it looked nothing like the manner in which the current agreement got across the finish line.

That happened at 4:45 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2013 at the end of a marathon 16-hour bargaining session inside the Sofitel Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Bettman and Fehr looked exhausted while sharing the news with reporters who camped out in the lobby through the night, ending a lockout that spanned 113 days with Fehr saying: “Hopefully, within a very few days the fans can get back to watching people who are skating — not the two of us.”

This time around they were barely seen at all.

Difficult days demanded a different approach.

And it’s greatly increased the odds we’ll soon emerge from a paused season with the chance to see players compete for the Stanley Cup as a result.

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Trump criticizes Redskins, Indians sports teams for considering name changes – Global News

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President Donald Trump on Monday criticizing a pair of sports teams that are considering name changes in the wake of a national reckoning over racial injustice and inequality.

Trump tweeted, “They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct.”

Trump, in his tweet, also mentioned Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, saying, “Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now!” Trump has repeatedly mocked Warren, who ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, for claiming Native American heritage, derisively calling her “Pocahontas.”

Read more:
Trump ‘will not even consider’ removing names of Confederate leaders from U.S. bases

The NFL’s Redskins announced Friday that they had begun a “thorough review” of their name, which has been deemed offensive by Native American groups for decades. The Redskins’ decision came after FedEx, which paid $205 million for naming rights to the team’s stadium, and other corporate partners called for the team to change its nickname.

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Hours later, the Indians Major League Baseball team announced that they, too, will review their long-debated name.

“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality,” the team said in a statement.






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Edmonton Eskimos to keep team name


Edmonton Eskimos to keep team name

Trump has spent the last few days stoking divisions and exploiting racial tensions, accusing protesters who have pushed for racial justice of engaging in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history.”

Earlier Monday, he lashed out at NASCAR and wrongly accused the sport’s only full-time Black driver of perpetrating “a hoax” when a crew member found a noose in the team garage stall.

Trump had tweeted in 2013 that then-President Barack Obama “should not be telling the Washington Redskins to change their name” because “our country has far bigger problems! FOCUS on them, not nonsense.”

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© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Dallas will not compete in MLS tournament after 10 positive COVID-19 tests – TSN

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FC Dallas has withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament after 10 players and one member of the club’s technical staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Major League Soccer said each of the positive tests occurred upon the club’s arrival in Florida or within a few days after.

“Given the impact of the number of positive tests on the club’s ability to train and play competitive matches, we have made the decision to withdraw FC Dallas from the MLS is Back Tournament,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

“The health of everyone involved in our return to play has always been our top priority, and we will continue to make decisions consistent with that priority.”

The tournament, now down to 25 teams, starts Wednesday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in the Orlando area.

The league said of the 557 players currently in Orlando, 13 have been confirmed positive for COVID-19. Aside from the 10 from Dallas, two from Nashville and one from Columbus also tested positive.

Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps left Monday for the World Cup-style tournament. The Montreal Impact arrived last Thursday.

The Whitecaps were originally slated to open against Dallas on Thursday. But the game was pushed back after six members of the Dallas contingent tested positive in Florida and Vancouver had to delay its scheduled departure last Wednesday due to a pair of inconclusive test results. That prompted more testing in Vancouver, which subsequently came back negative.

The Whitecaps will now open July 15 against San Jose.

Toronto was scheduled to take off last Friday but pushed its departure to Saturday, citing the need for more time to complete pre-travel coronavirus testing. The club had to postpone again after a member of its travelling party reported “experiencing symptoms,” requiring another round of testing.

The Colorado Rapids, originally due to leave Sunday, delayed their departure to Tuesday after a pair of “presumptive positive” COVID-19 results in its travelling party.

The tournament wraps up Aug. 11.

The Impact play the New England Revolution on Thursday. Toronto is slated to open Friday against D.C. United.

MLS has been on hiatus since March 12 when the global pandemic halted play two weeks into the season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2020.

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