Connect with us

Sports

Chara chose better role with Capitals than what Bruins offered – NHL.com

Published

 on


So the 43-year-old defenseman decided to move on after 14 seasons with the Bruins, turning down their contract offer to play a reduced role this season and agreeing to a one-year, $795,000 contract with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

“I just felt that what was presented to me and the conditions that were attached to it, I just felt like I had more to offer,” Chara said Thursday. “And I respect their decisions and wish them the best, but I just felt like I could still play regularly and play the games. …

“I still have gas, lots of gas left, and I still want to go out there and do my thing. That’s my motivation to still prove that I can play.”

[RELATED: Chara agrees to join CapitalsChara ‘changed the culture, changed the standards’ for Bruins]

By joining the Capitals, who won the Stanley Cup in 2018 and have legitimate aspirations to do so again, Chara is embracing a new opportunity entering his 23rd NHL season and following a similar path to his friend Tom Brady. The 43-year-old quarterback left the New England Patriots after 20 NFL seasons and six Super Bowl championships to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.

“I definitely see a new opportunity, new challenges,” said Chara, who confirmed he spoke with Brady about his decision. “But also, very much I’m extremely motivated and I’m looking forward to go out there and play and compete. … I think we all have to compete and play our best, and the most important thing is to win the games as a team. So just that’s where I’m at right now.

“It’s something I had to try. I didn’t want to have any regrets not to try it and not go for it.”

Chara, who is in Washington and has begun quarantining and the testing that are part of the NHL COVID-19 protocols, said he is driven to win the Stanley Cup again after reaching the Cup Final three times, winning the championship in 2011. He said he’d love to mirror the success Brady is having with the Buccaneers, who have qualified for the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Chara is in a good position to do that with the Capitals, who are in win-now mode and hoping to raise the Stanley Cup at least one more time with their aging core, which includes forwards Alex Ovechkin, 35, T.J. Oshie, 34, Nicklas Backstrom, 33, and defenseman John Carlson, who turns 31 on Jan. 10. The memory of Washington winning its first championship is beginning to fade after being eliminated in the Eastern Conference First Round the past two seasons.

“I just want to have a fair chance and compete with the guys for the Stanley Cup,” Chara said. “That’s something that is the goal, but we want to get there through the right process and through the right way.”

Video: Memorable ‘Big Zee’ Moments with the Boston Bruins

It’s not that Chara wouldn’t have had a chance to win the Cup again with the Bruins, who won the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top team last regular season, and general manager Don Sweeney made it clear Boston wanted him back as its captain.

However, Sweeney couldn’t guarantee anything about Chara’s playing time or role because Boston wants to give young defensemen such as Jakub Zboril, 23, Jeremy Lauzon, 23, and Urho Vaakanainen, 21, the chance to play regularly and learn on the job.

“We described it as an integrated role and just didn’t make a categorical promise that he would have the exact same role that he had had in certainly his 14 [seasons], a historic career with the Boston Bruins,” Sweeney said.

Chara said that meant he probably wouldn’t play every game and wouldn’t have been a top-pair defenseman averaging at least 20 minutes of ice time.

“It was very clear to me that I would not be in the starting lineup for the season or starting some games or playing some back-to-back games and I would be more in a reserve type of player,” Chara said. “So again, I have no issue. … A lot of credit to Don Sweeney and how he handled the situation. But again, for me, I felt that it would be a better fit for me to find a better role with another team and kind of step aside and let the Boston Bruins go the direction they chose to do.”

The Capitals haven’t guaranteed Chara anything either. He’ll likely play on their third defense pair and with their first unit on the penalty kill as well as provide valuable veteran leadership.

But after Washington first expressed interest a few days ago, Chara said he liked what he heard in his conversation with coach Peter Laviolette and was ready to jump aboard.

“I just saw this opportunity that I didn’t want to pass on,” Chara said. “So I just decided it would be a good fit for me and my family and I went for it.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Laine winner caps sparkling performance as Jets extinguish Flames in overtime – CBC.ca

Published

 on


Patrik Laine let his play on the ice speak volumes Thursday night with a three-point performance that should squash questions about his committment to the Winnipeg Jets.

After registering a goal and an assist in regulation, the 22-year-old Finnish winger scored the overtime winner, leading the Jets to a season-opening 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames.

“Hopefully I can just build off that game,” Laine said after the victory. “There’s a lot of things I need to look at. The three points isn’t going to tell the whole truth of the game. But it’s a good start.”

His big night comes after Laine’s agent made comments during the off-season suggesting that both the powerful forward and the Jets could benefit from his being traded. Laine ducked questions on the subject as training camp opened.

WATCH | Laine’s 3-point night helps Jets beat Flames:

Patrik Laine records 2 goals and adds an assist in Winnipeg’s 4-3 overtime victory over Calgary. 1:15

His commitment to the team seemed clear Thursday as Laine not only lit up the scoreboard, but stood up for his teammate.

With less than a minute to go in the second period, Calgary’s Noah Hanifin cross-checked Laine’s linemate Kyle Connor into the boards.

Laine responded by going after Hanifin and a scuffle ensued, with Laine and Flames left-winger Matthew Tkachuk exchanging blows.

“That’s just the type of guy he is. He’ll go to battle for his teammates,” Connor said. “He’s a pretty selfless guy and I think you can see that. I have his back out there and vice versa. He’s just an all-around great teammate, I’d say.”

Hanifin was called for cross-checking, and Laine and Tkachuk were each sent to the box for roughing.

It was somewhat of a disappointing result for Laine, who rarely drops the gloves and was hoping he’d register a Gordie Howe hat trick — a goal, an assist and a fight.

“The one time I drop my gloves, I get a two-minute penalty. So that’s kind of embarrassing,” he said.

WATCH | NHL season begins amid rising COVID-19 cases:

The NHL season returned to the ice on Wednesday with many questioning if it was the right decision amid rising COVID-19 cases. The league is hoping the season will go off without a hitch, as businesses that rely on the games are looking for ways to save their bottom line. 2:01

The tussle helped ignite a Winnipeg (1-0-0) side that was tepid at times on Thursday.

Calgary (0-0-1) dominated play through much of the first period, starting just 4:28 in when Tkachuk scored on the second shot of the game with a deflection in front of the Jets’ net.

Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm added goals before the end of the first frame, and the Flames held a 3-1 lead heading into the break.

During the intermission, Jets coach Paul Maurice went into the locker room and told his group to relax. His words changed the way the group played heading into the second period, said Paul Stastny.

“Sometimes when you’re kind of thinking too much, your feet are in quicksand, you’re looking around too much. Everyone was kind of hoping for things to happen,” he said. “The first game of the season it always kind of happens like that. I think it’s just nerves, in a sense.”

WATCH | CBC Sports’ Rob Pizzo breaks down 9 NHL talking points:

Rob Pizzo identifies the key things to watch as the season begins. 1:54

Thirty-four seconds into the second period, Nikolaj Ehlers took a shot from the slot and, while Jacob Markstrom made the stop, he couldn’t control the rebound. The puck squirted out to Mark Schiefele who popped it in from the side of the net to make it 3-2.

Connor’s power-play goal evened the score at 3-3, and Laine buried the winner 1:18 into overtime, streaking from deep in his own end all the way past the Calgary blue line. He fanned on his first shot but quickly recovered and beat Markstrom on his second attempt.

Laine has worked harder in training camp than any other time during his career in Winnipeg, and is bigger, stronger and more mature than ever before, Maurice said.

“He’s a very driven young man. He wants to be great. And sometimes you have to learn how that unfolds,” the coach said. “What he got tonight he earned. He didn’t get lucky, he didn’t have a bunch of bounces go for him. He just worked and worked.”

Markstrom was making his debut for Calgary after signing a six-year, $36-million US deal in free agency and stopped 30-of-34 shots Thursday.

Connor Hellebuyck, the NHL’s reigning Vezina winner, had 23 saves for Winnipeg.

The game was a rematch of last year’s playoff series where the Flames dispatched with the Jets in four games in the qualifying round.

It was also the first of nine meetings between the two clubs in the pandemic-condensed 56-game season.

The Flames will host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, and the Jets are set to visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

WATCH | CBC Sports’ Rob Pizzo ranks the all-Canadian division:

For the first time, all 7 Canadian teams will be in one division. Rob Pizzo predicts which four will make the playoffs. 5:47

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Connor McDavid goes super-nova in 5-2 Edmonton Oilers win over Vancouver – Edmonton Journal

Published

 on


Article content continued

ZACK KASSIAN. 6. That was more like it. Zack Kassian was skating better and was involved in the play more over-all, chipping in 3 hits and 3 shots. Unlucky to have not scored, as Thatcher Demko absolutely stoned him in close with a terrific glove save on an early chance. Set up McDavid for a chance a shift later. Part of a 3-way sequence that led to Nugent-Hopkins ringing one off the post. More, please.

DARNELL NURSE. 8. Darnell Nurse will be asked to carry a heavier load this year with Oscar Klefbom on the shelf for the season. If tonight is any indication, Nurse is up to it. 2 shots, 5 hits, 2 blocks in a team-leading 23:54 of TOI. A nifty take-away and shot in the 1st. 61% CF (30-19 at even strength). He was a tower of power. +3.

ETHAN BEAR. 7. Had a terrific game. Always on the right side of his man. Made a number of nice, crisp outlet passes. A key clear on a 1st Period PK, again on a 3rd period penalty kill. A shot, 2 blocks, and played in all 3 disciplines across 23:44. Nurse nudged him out in ice time by 10 seconds. +3.

LEON DRAISAITL. 9. Dominant on both sides of the puck. Put up 4 assists, the first a shot off the post that Nugent-Hopkins back-handed home. Won the faceoff with just 2.5 seconds in the opening frame which led to McDavid’s 1st. His drop pass was part of the high-light reel goal by McDavid described above. Then, Leon set up Connor’s hat trick goal with a sublime, no-look backhand pass that was just out of this world. Without the puck he also chipped in 3 hits, was 71% in the circle, and also had an impressive 1st Period back-check that broke up a dangerous Canucks sortie in the 1st. What a player.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Steve Nash has his hands full with the Brooklyn Nets – CBC.ca

Published

 on


This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what’s happening in sports by subscribing here.

Here’s what you need to know right now from the world of sports:

Steve Nash is blessed — and also maybe cursed

There’s an element of Greek tragedy to it. The gods (or, in this case, Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks) grant our hero a gift that can make him more powerful than all his rivals. But it comes with a catch that threatens to destroy him.

That’s where Nash, the Canadian basketball legend and NBA coaching rookie, finds himself after the Nets’ blockbuster trade for James Harden. The kraken of a deal (technically two deals), officially completed today, involves four teams, seven players, six draft picks and four pick swaps. The gist is that Harden is moving from Houston to Brooklyn, Caris LeVert from Brooklyn to Indiana, and Victor Oladipo from Indiana to Houston. Brooklyn is giving Houston three first-round picks and the right to swap first-rounders in four other years, and the Rockets grabbed another first-round pick from Cleveland. Whew.

On one hand, Nash is blessed. It’s every coach’s dream to see his front-office go all-in like this on a championship run. In his first season as a head coach at any level, he now commands one of the best triumvirates ever assembled in pro basketball. Harden is one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the sport, the winner of the last three NBA scoring titles and a former MVP. Kevin Durant is a two-time Finals MVP who owns four scoring titles and a regular-season MVP. Kyrie Irving has hit a championship-winning shot and is one of the most dazzling ball-handlers and finishers anyone has ever seen.

But the Nets’ Achilles heel is painfully obvious. All three of their superstars are difficult personalities who have worn out their welcomes with other teams. Harden forced his way out of Houston by demanding a trade and then showing up for the season out of shape and sullen, alienating teammates and fans. Durant, despite great personal and team success in Golden State, never found the fulfilment he sought in joining the Warriors’ dynasty. He clashed with teammates and the media during his final, sour season there.

And then there’s Kyrie. After unhappy endings in Cleveland and Boston, he could be headed for another one in Brooklyn. Irving is currently on an unspecified, indefinite leave from the team — the reasons for which remain mysterious. No one knows when — or even if — he’ll return to the NBA. So, at this point, the Nets’ Big Three exists only in theory. And, oh yeah, there’s still only one ball for everyone to share.

Time isn’t on Brooklyn’s side either. Harden and Durant are both on the wrong side of 30. Kyrie turns 29 in March but seems like one of the NBA’s oldest souls. So there’s tremendous pressure on Nash to win right now.

The Nets recruited the universally beloved Canadian for this job over far more experienced coaches because of his “soft” skills. He has the ability to relate to, empathize with — and command the respect of — modern superstars. Those talents were put to the test with just Durant and Kyrie on the team. With Harden, the degree of difficulty — and the stakes — have been raised.

Depending partly on how Nash plays this, Brooklyn could win the championship this year. Or go down in flames. And no one would be surprised either way.

James Harden, a 3-time scoring champion, adds another prominent figure in the Nets’ locker room. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Quickly…

Another province cancelled its curling playdowns. Saskatchewan joins B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Northern Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia in deciding not to hold tournaments to determine its representatives for this year’s Brier and Scotties. Unlike most of the others, Saskatchewan isn’t simply sending last year’s provincial champions. Instead, it considered recent results and landed on the teams skipped by Sherry Anderson, whose last Scotties appearance was in 2018, and Matt Dunstone, who finished third at last year’s Brier. Both the Brier and the Scotties will be played in a bubble in Calgary this winter, and Curling Canada announced yesterday that it’s expanding the fields to 18 by adding two extra wild-card teams to each event. Read more about Saskatchewan’s decision in this story by CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux.

Another track star broke doping rules. Reigning Olympic 100-metre hurdles champion Brianna McNeal didn’t test positive for a banned substance, but the 29-year-old American has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit for “tampering within the results management process.” Read more about the ruling here.

A five-time Olympic swimming medallist was charged for taking part in the U.S. Capitol riot. The FBI caught Klete Keller after a video apparently showed him, wearing a U.S. Olympic team jacket, among those storming the building. He’s charged with knowingly entering a restricted building to impede an official government function, disorderly conduct and obstructing law officers. Keller, 38, competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics. He won two gold and a silver medal as part of relay teams, plus a pair of individual bronze. Keller was known to be an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump on social media. Read more about Keller and the charges against him here.

And finally…

A Mickey Mantle baseball card sold for $5.2 million US. That’s a new record for a sports card, shattering the $3.94 million paid for a one-of-a-kind Mike Trout rookie only five months ago (yes, cards are a thing again). Unlike most super-expensive cards, this Mantle is not a rookie. But the 1952 Topps is special for a few reasons. As ESPN notes, that was the first year Topps produced an annual set, and the company ended up dumping thousands of them into the Hudson River because of overproduction. Also, this particular Mantle card was graded PSA 9, and only six in that condition are believed to still exist. The record may not last, though. There are three known ’52 Topps Mantle cards graded PSA 10 — also known as “gem mint” condition. Those are valued at more than $10 million.

You’re up to speed. Get The Buzzer in your inbox every weekday by subscribing below.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending