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Canucks hire Bruce Boudreau as head coach to replace Travis Green –



The Vancouver Canucks have fired head coach Travis Green and hired Bruce Boudreau to replace him, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

The move came Sunday, after the Canucks lost for the 10th time in 13 games, falling 4-1 to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre says the deal for Boudreau is for this season and next which is what was left on Green’s contract.

MacIntyre also reports that more changes could be coming soon for Vancouver.

It was a particularly ugly night with fans chanting “Fire Benning” – making their feelings known about general manager Jim Benning in the third period. Later, one fan tossed a jersey on the ice as a modest two-game win streak – against two of the weaker teams in the league in Montreal and Ottawa – came to an end.

The Canucks are 8-15-2 on the season, last in the Pacific Division.

Boudreau, 66, has coached the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and, most recently, the Minnesota Wild. In 984 games coached, he has 567 wins, 302 losses and 115 overtime losses. In 2007–08, while with the Capitals, Boudreau won the Jack Adams Award as top coach, but his inability to take an Alex Ovechkin-led team deep into the playoffs, combined with an early-season slump, led to his dismissal on Nov. 28, 2011.

He wasn’t out of work for long: Two days later, the Ducks hired him to take over from another former Maple Leaf, Randy Carlyle (Green is also a former Maple Leaf), setting an NHL record for quickest to be rehired after being fired. Boudreau coached the Ducks to four consecutive division titles but not much success in the playoffs, resulting in his firing on April 29, 2016.

It took a bit longer for Boudreau to get his next job. Less than two weeks later, on May 7, 2016, he was hired by the Wild, but had middling success over four seasons. After being fired by the Wild on Feb. 14, 2020, he spent part of this season as an analyst with the NHL Network – which is appropriate for a guy whose nickname is “Gabby.”

Over 14 total seasons behind the bench, Boudreau has never had a losing season. He has, however, never coached a team to the Stanley Cup Final, getting to the conference finals once.

Boudreau was born in Toronto and played for both his hometown Marlies as well as the Maple Leafs. His playing career was spent primarily in the minors, however, over 779 games between 1972 and 1992 in the AHL, CHL and IHL. In 141 NHL games, all but seven with the Leafs (he also played for the Blackhawks), he had 28 goals and 42 assists for 70 points.

The 50-year-old Green, a native of Castlegar, B.C., became the second head coach fired in the NHL this season after Chicago’s Jeremy Colliton (Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned in amid the Blackhawks’ sexual abuse scandal).

Hired to replace Willie Desjardins after the 2017 season, Green missed the playoffs in three of four full seasons with the Canucks.

The lone playoff appearance came in 2019-20 when the Canucks made the deepest run of Canadian team, falling in Game 7 of the second round against Vegas.

But the Canucks followed that up by finishing last in the all-Canadian division last year following a COVID-19 outbreak that created a hectic late schedule.

Green signed a two-year extension with the Canucks in May.

Green was hired by the Canucks after he coached the team’s AHL affiliate in Utica for four years, highlighted by a run to the Calder Cup final in 2015.

Previously, Green guided the Portland Winterhawks to the Memorial Cup final in 2013.

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Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu suffers concussion on opening drive vs. Bills –



KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu has been ruled out for the remainder of Sunday’s divisional-round game against the Buffalo Bills after suffering a concussion while trying to make a tackle on the opening drive.

The Chiefs had held the Bills to fourth-and-2 at midfield when Allen took off on a designed run. Mathieu went low trying to tackle the 240-pound quarterback and his helmet collided with the knee of teammate Jarran Reed.

Mathieu was checked briefly in the blue sideline tent before he was taken to the locker room.

Allen converted that fourth-down run, then the Bills converted again on fourth-and-goal at the Kansas City 1 to take a 7-0 lead in a rematch of last year’s AFC title game won by the Chiefs.

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Beijing introduces more COVID measures as cases mount before Olympics



Beijing‘s city government on Sunday introduced new measures to contain a recent outbreak of COVID-19, as China’s capital continued to report new local cases of the virus less than two weeks before it hosts the Winter Olympic Games.

Nine locally transmitted cases were found in Beijing on Jan. 22, the National Health Commission said on Sunday, of which six were in the city’s Fengtai district.

Fengtai will organise nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 for all of its residents on Sunday, district health authorities said.

Authorities have asked residents of “risky areas,” including a neighbourhood of Fengtai, to not leave the city, a local government spokesman said at a Sunday news conference, adding that Fengtai residents have been asked to avoid mass gatherings.

Beijing city has also asked residents to proactively conduct nucleic acid tests if they find themselves with COVID-19-like symptoms within 14 days of receiving any deliveries from overseas, local authorities said in a statement dated Saturday.

Authorities have suggested Beijing’s first case of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus could have arrived via a package from Canada.

In Fengtai, some kindergartens have told parents that children who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be able to attend, two parents told Reuters.

Reuters could not determine whether the requirement is a government regulation or the kindergartens’ own rules.

A mother surnamed Wang, whose child attends at a private kindergarten in Fengtai, said a teacher told her on Friday that unvaccinated children will not be allowed to return from Monday citing new government regulations, without providing Wang any official documents.

“This is not on a voluntary basis. This is coercion,” Wang told Reuters. She said she has filed a complaint with authorities in the hope of having the requirement removed.

Reuters could not reach local authorities for comment on a non-business day.

Mainland China reported 56 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 22, down from 63 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said.

Of the new cases, 19 were locally transmitted, versus 23 a day earlier, it said.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 34 from 43.

There were no new fatalities, leaving the death toll at 4,636.

As of Jan. 22, mainland China had confirmed 105,603 cases.

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang, Roxanne Liu, Jing Xu and Ryan Woo in Beijing; Editing by William Mallard and Christopher Cushing)

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ECHL's Jacksonville Icemen release Jacob Panetta after Jordan Subban calls out racist gesture – The Athletic



The ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen released defenseman Jacob Panetta on Sunday after South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban said he was subjected to a racist gesture during Saturday’s game. The league suspended Panetta indefinitely, pending a hearing under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Later Sunday, Panetta released a response on Twitter, tagging Subban and captioning the video, “racism has no place in this world and no place in the game we love.” He said the gesture he made toward Subban was a “tough-guy, bodybuilder-like” one during a confrontation on the ice. He also said he’s made the same gesture to “non-racialized players a number of times” in his career.

Subban said Panetta made monkey gestures in his direction. His brother, New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban, later tweeted a video of the incident, which occurred 23 seconds into overtime.

“More like (Panetta) was too much of a coward to fight me and as soon as I began to turn my back he started making monkey gestures at me so I punched him in the face multiple times and he turtled like the coward he is,” Jordan Subban tweeted after the game.

In his video, Panetta said “no racist slurs, noises, or anything of the like, were said by me during the incident.” While he said there were no racial intentions behind the gesture, Panetta apologized for the “pain and suffering and anger my actions have caused him, his family, and everyone that was hurt by this.”

“I acknowledge the impact of my gesture and will commit to better understand the impact going forward,” Panetta said. “Those who know me understand (it) was not intended to be racial, it is not who I am, it is not how I have been raised.

“But at the same time, I need to and I will learn from this. Racism and other forms of discrimination have no place in society, including hockey. I believed that before, and I still believe that now.”

Panetta’s release is “effective immediately” and the investigation is still ongoing at the league level, Jacksonville said in a statement.

South Carolina president Rob Concannon said the club is “disgusted and appalled” by Saturday’s incident.

“Our organization stands in support of our friend and teammate, Jordan, as well as the other players who continue to deal with racism and discrimination. This behavior has to stop and is unacceptable.”

The NHL also issued a statement Sunday, saying it “will continue to make its resources available to the hockey ecosystem to educate and inform, with the goal of making the game welcoming and safe for all players and fans.”

“Incidents of racism, whether they occur in hockey or anywhere else, are abhorrent,” the league said.

Later Sunday, the Devils released a statement backing the Subbans. “We stand in support of Jordan, P.K., the Subban family and anyone who has experienced discrimination within our sport,” team said. “This week’s racist acts within the hockey community are unacceptable and have no place in the game or anywhere.”

On Friday, the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL suspended forward Krystof Hrabik 30 games for using a racial gesture during a game earlier this month.

(Photo: Brett Carlsen / Getty Images)

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