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Flames’ Brad Treliving on return-to-play proposal: ‘I’m good with that’ – Sportsnet.ca

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Will it all be worth it?

If the NHL is somehow able to salvage the rest of the NHL season in some fashion, one wonders if there aren’t participants and fana who will ultimately wonder if perhaps it would be better to simply move on.

Or if there would be an asterisk beside this year’s Stanley Cup winner?

Take, for example, if the league and teams decide on the most recent proposal to re-start with a best-of-five “play-in” for 16 teams. It could potentially mean that after players re-assemble from all over the globe, go through potential quarantine orders and then a sizeable training camp, they could ultimately have all those efforts erased in a three-game sweep.

How would that sit?

“Good question,” said Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving during his weekly chat with local reporters.

“With the amount of time everybody has been off, and all the time and energy that would go into relaunching, you want to have enough games. You’d hate to have people go through everything and you come back for a game and now you’re out again. I don’t know what that sweet spot is. If it is the rumoured, best-of-five — that probably seems the fairest. I’m good with that.”

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At last word the NHLPA executive committee was mulling over okaying the aforementioned format, which would see the top four teams in each conference play one another for seeding, while teams ranked fifth-through-12th in each conference would have a best-of-five play in series to establish the top eight on each side.

Would a modified system like that tarnish the integrity of winning the Stanley Cup, which is generally considered the hardest trophy in sports to win by virtue of its extended war of attrition?

Fact is, such a format would actually be more onerous than that of the 1980s when 16 of the league’s 21 teams opened the playoffs with a best-of-five series before finishing with four rounds of best of sevens.

The proposed format would also see four rounds of best of sevens, which would get Treliving’s approval.

“You also know the backdrop is we don’t have an indefinite period of time to get it all in,” said Treliving.

“To win the Stanley Cup, it’s hard to do that. It’s got to be hard, and from what I’ve read, it’s going to be hard. The difficulty has still got to be there. People have asked at the end of that if there’s an asterisk beside whoever wins this. My comment would be, ‘this is where we are in life.’ I look at it like this is certainly going to be different, but somebody is going to win this, if we get to that point.”

And that, in Treliving’s eyes, would be a win for everyone.

“If we’re getting back to playing hockey that means, No. 1, we’re progressing as a society, which is good, and we’re getting on the other side of this. We’ve awarded the Stanley Cup under different circumstances under different times.

“Whoever wins this will be just as happy and just as proud for whatever format they’ll have to go through. Is it going to be unique? Sure. But everyone is going to have an opportunity to participate in the format and be successful in it.”

A look back at how the Cup was awarded since 1893 shows teams winning in formats ranging from single-game eliminations, two-game total scores to best of sevens.

“We’ve had winners after 48 games and they get rings like everybody else got,” he said, referring to the 1995 and 2013 champions, who won the Cup following lockout-shortened regular seasons.

“Whatever the format is we’ll be excited to be part of that, hopefully, and we’ll go after that. You can’t compare it to what happened last year. Again, we’re in a different time. Hey, getting a haircut these few months seems like you deserve a medal. Small victories.”

Refusing to get too excited or invested in the latest possible plan for obvious reasons, Treliving once again reiterated that no matter what plan the league and its players come up with, none of them can be executed unless the medical experts give their blessing on changing protocols that would include playing in empty hub arenas hosting a large number of teams.

“Again, knowing the athletes, this is a competitive group,” he said.

“If we get back it will be exciting and competitive and very, very compelling.”

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Jets’ Blake Wheeler on racism: ‘You can’t be silent anymore’ – Sportsnet.ca

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Blake Wheeler says he regrets not speaking up sooner.

After posting a letter to Twitter over the weekend on the death of George Floyd and the mass protests that followed across the United States, the captain of the Winnipeg Jets said on a Tuesday video conference call with reporters that “you can’t be silent anymore.”

Wheeler said the death of Floyd last week, as well as the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year, finally moved him to speak up on the issue of racism.

“I haven’t done a good enough job in the past,” Wheeler said. “I’ve felt this way for a long time.”

The Minnesota native’s weekend post included the phrase “America is not OK” in response to the killing Floyd. The 46-year-old black man died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

A number of other prominent NHL players, including San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane, who is black, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, who is Latino-American, Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin, and Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, have posted similar messages to social media in recent days.

The NHL, NHL Players’ Association, NHL Coaches’ Association, the vast majority of teams, Hockey Canada and USA Hockey have also posted to social media on the topic or shared players’ words from their official accounts.

Derek Chauvin, 44, and three other Minneapolis police officers were fired in the wake of Floyd’s death. Chauvin was subsequently charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Two white men were arrested last month for the February shooting death of Arbery, a black jogger, in Georgia, while the Louisville police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in her home in March also attracted national attention in May.

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Wheeler on racism: 'You can't be silent anymore' – TSN

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Blake Wheeler says he regrets not speaking up sooner.

After posting a letter to Twitter over the weekend on the death of George Floyd and the mass protests that followed across the United States, the captain of the Winnipeg Jets said on a Tuesday video conference call with reporters that “you can’t be silent anymore.”

Wheeler said the death of Floyd last week, as well as the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year, finally moved him to speak up on the issue of racism.

“I haven’t done a good enough job in the past,” Wheeler said. “I’ve felt this way for a long time.”

The Minnesota native’s weekend post included the phrase “America is not OK” in response to the killing Floyd. The 46-year-old black man died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

A number of other prominent NHL players, including San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane, who is black, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, who is Latino-American, Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin, and Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, have posted similar messages to social media in recent days.

The NHL, NHL Players’ Association, NHL Coaches’ Association, the vast majority of teams, Hockey Canada and USA Hockey have also posted to social media on the topic or shared players’ words from their official accounts.

Derek Chauvin, 44, and three other Minneapolis police officers were fired in the wake of Floyd’s death. Chauvin was subsequently charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Two white men were arrested last month for the February shooting death of Arbery, a black jogger, in Georgia, while the Louisville police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in her home in March also attracted national attention in May.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2020

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Hall of Famer Unseld dead at 74 – TSN

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Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Wes Unseld has died at the age of 74 after a bout of pneumonia, the Washington Wizards announced on Tuesday.

The Louisville native spent all 13 of his NBA seasons with the Baltimore/Washington Bullets franchise.

“He was the rock of our family – an extremely devoted patriarch who reveled in being with his wife, children, friends and teammates,” Unseld’s family said in a statement. “He was our hero and loved playing and working around the game of basketball for the cities of Baltimore and Washington D.C., cities he proudly wore on his chest for so many years.”

Unseld appeared in a Bullets/Wizards franchise record 984 games, averaging 10.8 points and 14.8 rebounds over his career.

Taken with the second pick of the 1968 NBA Draft out of Louisville, Unseld, a five-time All-Star, won both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in 1969.

“We all admired Wes as the pillar of this franchise for so long, but it was his work off the court that will truly leave an impactful legacy and live on through the many people he touched and influenced throughout his life of basketball and beyond,” Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement.

Upon his retirement, Unseld joined the organization’s front office, becoming the team’s vice-president in 1981. In 1988, Unseld became the Bullets head coach, resigning in 1994.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1988 and to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.

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