Connect with us

Sports

Five intriguing Henrik Lundqvist destinations if he doesn’t retire – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


The Henrik Lundqvist era in The Big Apple officially ended Wednesday when the New York Rangers bought out the final year of the star goalie’s contract.

The 38-year-old Swedish star has been associated with the Rangers organization for the past 20 years after being selected by the team in the seventh round of the 2000 draft.

Lundqvist finished top-six in Vezina Trophy voting in each of his first 10 NHL seasons, however his goals-against average has increased in each of the past six seasons so his $8.5-million annual salary cap hit became a burden for a Rangers team about to begin a new chapter in its history.

The Rangers — the team that won the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery and now hold the No. 1 overall pick — will roll with their two young Russian puck-stoppers, Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev, starting in 2020-21. As for Lundqvist, it’s unclear what his future holds, at least in terms of his playing days.

Will Lundqvist consider retirement? If not, will he want to earn a starter’s role in a new city? Could he thrive as part of a tandem? Might he be an ideal backup on a team with a young starter he could mentor?

Or, could the veteran struggle to find the right fit altogether? This off-season, after all, boasts a fairly crowded goalie market and with the salary cap not increasing it puts some teams in a budget bind.

With all that in mind, here are five teams that could be interesting fits for the decorated netminder.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche were looking like a legitimate threat to emerge from the Western Conference before Philipp Grubauer went down with an injury. Backups Pavel Francouz and Michael Hutchinson struggled and Colorado was eliminated by Dallas. Adding some insurance in the form of a possible future Hall of Famer could contribute to Colorado reaching that next level.

GM Joe Sakic has plenty of cap space with which to work and Lundvist will prefer going to a team with realistic championship aspirations. Grubauer and Francouz are both under contract next season, with a combined cap hit of $5.33 million, which could complicate things slightly.

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks have something potentially special cooking in B.C. They were the only Canadian team to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs this summer. A huge reason for that was the play of Jacob Markstrom, who is expected to be the most sought-after goalie available in free agency – it’s either him or countryman Robin Lehner.

If Markstrom does leave, Vancouver will need to fill that void and who better to mentor Thatcher Demko than someone like Lundqvist? If he isn’t interested in playing second fiddle to a 24-year-old, though, then Vancouver might not be the right fit. Lundqvist could join former Team Sweden teammates Alex Edler and Loui Eriksson, plus star forward Elias Pettersson and Calder Trophy runner-up Quinn Hughes, on a growing team that would benefit from his experience and leadership.

Sign up for NHL newsletters

Get the best of our NHL coverage and exclusives delivered directly to your inbox!

NHL Newsletter

Washington Capitals

With Braden Holtby hitting the open market, Lundqvist would make sense as a replacement. The Capitals will be handing the keys to the crease to 22-year-old Ilya Samsonov. Lundqvist could provide the Russian some valuable support. Lundqvist might’ve struggled in 2019-20 but his .905 save percentage was better than Holtby’s .897.

Dallas Stars

Did Anton Khudobin price himself out of town after his playoff heroics that fell a couple wins shy of a Stanley Cup championship?

Khudobin is a pending UFA and if he leaves town the Stars will be left with Ben Bishop. The Stars should be contenders again next season. If they don’t think 2017 first-rounder Jake Oettinger is ready to be a full-time NHL backup next season and/or they don’t fully trust Bishop to stay healthy and perform at a high level consistently, then why not take a look at Lunqvist?

Henrik’s twin brother, Joel Lundvist, spent three seasons with the Stars from 2006-2009.

Chicago Blackhawks

This would be a wild jump from one Original Six franchise to another.

Chicago needs an upgrade in net with Corey Crawford a pending UFA and both Malcolm Subban and Collin Delia unproven as starters. Lundqvist wouldn’t be their first choice, but if they miss out on their top handful of targets then Lunqvist could be an excellent contingency plan.

Chicago has plenty of proven winners on their roster and they upset the Oilers in the qualifying round. As mentioned above, Lundqvist will want to go to a place where he can actually start some games. If he thinks the Blackhawks will be a playoff-calibre team next season, then who knows?

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Wilson runs wild before injury, 49ers crush Pats – TSN

Published

 on


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Jimmy Garoppolo was once considered to be the man in waiting to take over at quarterback in New England for Tom Brady.

Now he’s the guy who helped hand the Patriots their worst home loss under Bill Belichick.

Jeff Wilson Jr. rushed for a career-high three touchdowns and 112 yards before leaving with an ankle injury and the San Francisco 49ers crushed New England 33-6 on Sunday.

Garoppolo finished 20 of 25 for 277 yards with two interceptions in his first game against his former team. San Francisco (4-3) has followed back-to-back losses with consecutive wins and is 3-0 on the road.

“It was an exciting night. Lot of emotions. Couldn’t imagine it going any better than this,” Garoppolo said.

The Patriots’ 27-point loss was their largest at home under Belichick. They had gone 286 games without a three-game losing streak, the longest span between three-game slides in NFL history. New England fell to 2-4 for the first since Belichick’s first season in 2000, when the Patriots went 5-11.

New England was outgained 467-241 in total yards.

“We were clearly out-coached, outplayed. Just out-everything,” Belichick said. “We’re still a long way from where we need to be. That’s obvious.”

San Francisco’s Brandon Aiyuk had six catches for 115 yards and Deebo Samuel had five catches for 65 yards before leaving the game with a hamstring injury.

“When we got them down, we got to keep them down, don’t want to give them any chance to breathe. I thought we did that tonight,” Garoppolo said. “Started from the first snap and carried its way throughout the whole game.”

Cam Newton struggled for the Patriots, completing 9 of 15 passes for 98 yards and three interceptions before being replaced by Jarrett Stidham in the fourth quarter. Stidham was 6 of 10 for 64 yards and an interception.

Belichick said his plan is to keep Newton as the starter.

“Yeah, absolutely,” he said.

Newton was out of sync from the outset, making poor reads and poorer throws. Garoppolo, meanwhile, was successful in spreading out New England’s defence with a steady diet of passes behind the line of scrimmage and jet sweeps to get the ball into the hands of Wilson, Samuel and tight end George Kittle.

San Francisco dominated the first half, taking a 23-3 lead, holding the ball for 22:30 and racking up a 301-59 advantage in total yards. The Patriots managed four first downs to the 49ers’ 18.

The Niners took just over five minutes and nine plays to march 75 yards and take a 7-0 lead on 3-yard run by Wilson. It was the first time the Patriots have allowed a touchdown on an opponent’s opening drive at home since Week 4 of 2016 against Buffalo.

Following a Patriots punt, San Francisco was pinned inside its 15. Long completions by Garoppolo helped erase some early penalty losses before he missed high on a pass for Kittle and was intercepted by Devin McCourty.

San Francisco’s defence limited the damage, yielding a 40-yard field goal by Nick Folk.

That wasn’t the case for the Patriots later in the second quarter.

Trailing 10-3, Newton made a bad play worse when he tried to dump off the ball on the run to receiver Jakobi Meyers. It was picked off by linebacker Fred Warner. Five plays later, the 49ers capitalized on a 4-yard touchdown run by Kyle Juszczyk.

The lead grew to 23-3 with just under a minute to go before halftime on a 16-yard run by Wilson.

“D just played impressive the whole day. I thought special teams and offence did, too. It was an extremely physical game,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was fun to watch.”

INJURIES

49ers: WR Richie James left with an ankle injury. … Wilson had just crossed into the end zone following his third TD when his leg twisted as he was tackled. He stayed down on the field before walking off under his own power. Shanahan said the tentative diagnosis is a high ankle sprain. “Not sounding great right now,” he said.

Patriots: WR N’Keal Harry left with a head injury and did not return. … LG Joe Thuney departed with an ankle injury. … RT Justin Herron also left with an ankle injury.

NEWTON’S MILESTONE

With an 11-yard pass to Jakobi Meyers in the third quarter, Newton became the 48th NFL quarterback to reach the 30,000-yard plateau.

He also became the first NFL player to pass for 30,000 yards and rush for 5,000 yards in his career.

UP NEXT

The 49ers head to Seattle next Sunday. The Patriots visit Buffalo.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

AP source: NFL fines Titans $350,000 for COVID-19 outbreak – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


NASHVILLE — The NFL has fined the Tennessee Titans $350,000 for violating protocols leading to the league’s first COVID-19 outbreak during the season, a person familiar with the discipline told The Associated Press.

The Titans had 24 people, including 13 players, test positive for COVID-19 between Sept. 24 and Oct. 11. The outbreak led the NFL to postpone two Tennessee games and the rescheduling of a game against Pittsburgh from Oct. 4 to Sunday and the second against Buffalo from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13.

The NFL and its players association sent officials, including infectious disease experts, to Nashville where they reviewed video and interviewed players, coaches and other personnel.

But the NFL found the Titans failed to wear masks at all times and were “insufficiently clear” to players about not meeting or working out once the facility closed. That kept the loss of draft picks or a forfeit out of the possible punishments.

That led to the fine, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL nor the Titans have commented on league discipline connected with the outbreak.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Dodgers one win from World Series title after beating Rays in Game 5 – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


ARLINGTON, Texas — Clayton Kershaw’s glittering career lacked two of the most satisfying accomplishments: a win deep in the World Series and a championship ring.

He took the mound Sunday night with the Los Angeles Dodgers shaken, and Kershaw steadied his team with a gritty performance, plus one particular delivery home that will long be remembered.

Now with one more victory, the Dodgers would claim their first title since 1988.

Kershaw beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the second time in six days, escaping a fourth-inning jam with a quick reaction throw to cut down a runner trying for a rare steal of home, and the Dodgers held on for a 4-2 win and a 3-2 Series lead.

Mookie Betts and Corey Seager sparked a two-run first inning, and Joc Pederson and Max Muncy homered off long-ball prone Tyler Glasnow, whose 100 mph heat got burned.

His scraggly dark brown hair dangling with sweat, Kershaw was cruising when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts removed the 32-year-old left-hander in favour of Dustin May after getting two outs on two pitches in the sixth inning.

The mostly pro-Dodgers fans in the pandemic-reduced crowd of 11,437 booed when Roberts walked to the mound, well aware of what happened with the bullpen the previous night, when closer Kenley Jansen wasted a ninth-inning lead in a stunning 8-7 loss.

Those boos quickly turned to cheers as the LA rooters saluted Kershaw, a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner, as he walked to the dugout. Kershaw improved to 13-12 in post-season play, including 4-1 this year.

May, Victor Gonzalez and Blake Treinen combined for two-hit scoreless relief. May got five outs, Gonzlaez stranded a pair of runners in the eighth by retiring Randy Arozarena and Brandon Lowe on flyouts, and Treinen got three outs to become the fourth Dodgers pitcher with a post-season save.

Manuel Margot singled leading off the ninth, but Austin Meadows struck out, Joey Wendle flied out and Willy Adames struck out.

Thirty of the previous 46 teams to win Game 5 for a 3-2 lead have won the title, but just six of the last 14. Teams that wasted 3-2 leads include last year’s Houston Astros.

Los Angeles did not have an obvious candidate to start Game 6 on Tuesday, when Game 2 winner Blake Snell starts for Tampa Bay,

Walker Buehler, the 26-year-old right-hander who has supplanted Kershaw at the Dodgers’ ace, is waiting in the wings for a a Game 7 like a Hollywood understudy ready for a leading role.

With a 175-76 regular-season record, five ERA titles and an MVP, Kershaw ranks alongside Dodgers greats Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser. He won World Series openers in 2017 and again this year, but he faltered in Game 5 in both 2017 and 2018 and has never won a title.

He shut down the Rays on two runs and five hits with six strikeouts and two walks. He’s 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 15 2/3 innings over two starts in this Series with 14 strikeouts and three walks. Kershaw also set a career post-season record with 207 strikeouts, two more than Justin Verlander’s previous mark.

Provided a 3-0 lead, Kershaw allowed Tampa Bay to pull within a run in the third when Kevin Kiermaier singled, Yandy Diaz tripled on a ball down the right-field line that skipped past Betts and Arozarena’s single. The 25-year-old Cuban rookie asked for the ball after his record 27th post-season hit, one more than San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval in 2014.

Kershaw escaped a first-and-third, no-outs jam in the fourth after Margot walked leading off, stole second and continued to third when the ball got away from second baseman Chris Taylor for his second big error in two games. Hunter Renfroe also walked, but Wendle popped out and Adames struck out.

With Kiermaier at the plate, Margot bolted for home as Kershaw raised both hands over his head in his instantly recognizable stretch position. While many pitchers might have panicked and perhaps balked, Kershaw coolly and quickly stepped off the rubber and calmly threw to catcher Austin Barnes.

Barnes grabbed the ball and got his mitt down on the Margot’s outstretched hand while the runner’s helmet tumbled off and cut his own lip.

Margot went on his own, manager Kevin Cash said, and became the first runner caught stealing home in the Series since Minnesota’s Shane Mack in Game 4 in 2001.

Globe Life Field’s roof was closed on the cool, rainy night, as it was for Game 3, and the visiting Dodgers broke on top within 10 pitches against Glasnow, a lanky 6-foot-8 right-hander who appeared to be overthrowing.

Glasnow allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, leaving him 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA in the Series. The two home runs raised his total to a record nine in a single post-season.

Betts doubled on a 99 mph fastball leading off and scored two pitches later when Seager pulled a curveball into right field for a single and his 19th post-season RBI. This Series joined 1932 as the only years with runs in four straight top of the first innings.

Seager advanced on a wild pitch, Muncy drew his 20th walk of the post-season and after a two-out wild pitch, Cody Bellinger hit a grounder that was stopped with no play by Lowe, the second baseman positioned on the right field grass. Seager scored the Dodgers’ 58th run with two outs this post-season and became the first player to cross the plate in each of the first five Series games since the Yankees’ Derek Jeter in 2000.

Glasnow needed 34 pitches to get three outs, his most in the first inning since Sept. 5, 2018. He tied a Series record with two wild pitches in the inning and set the mark with three in the game.

Pederson hit a 428-foot opposite-field drive to left on a fastball at the letters for a 3-0 lead in the second.

Glasnow retired eight straight before Muncy homered in the fifth to make it 4-2. He became the record ninth Dodgers player to homer in the post-season, one more than the 1989 Oakland Athletics of Bash Brothers fame.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: Bellinger was back in centre field, a day after switching to designated hitter because of lower back stiffness.

UP NEXT

Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner, allowing two runs and two hits in 4 2/3 innings in Game 2 with nine strikeouts and four walks.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending