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FTB: The Maple Leafs are in Minnesota after a scuffle at practice – Pension Plan Puppets

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Ah, the tradition of the annual Toronto Maple Leafs practice scuffle. It appears as reliably at this time of year as that stop-motion Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie and the black and white version of A Christmas Carol appear on TV.

Yes, each season this happens, once or twice, and every time it does everyone is shocked, totally SHOCKED by it, and then it spawns all sorts of rumours. “There’s locker room drama!” “Muzzin uses RBC Insurance instead of Intact!” “Mitch used the last razor in the shower!”

And while we don’t know for certain what happened, that last one is obviously false, as clearly one doesn’t need razors and the other doesn’t use them, but it’s still a fun news story that breaks up the doldrums that set in at this point in the NHL season, especially when there’s video of it, though this time it’s less of a scuffle and more just shouting.

Mark Masters has the full story about what really happened, with Rasmus Sandin trying to defuse it by noting that Marner is very intense.

Marner leaves practice as precaution after ‘scary’ collision with Jake Muzzin – TSN
Marner is known for his fun-loving personality but, like many elite athletes, he also has a fiery side. “Practice or a game, he can give you a couple lines there on what you should’ve done on the play or stuff like that,” said Rasmus Sandin.

And former Maple Leaf Peter Holland is in on this joke.

A reminder that today’s Toronto Marlies game is postponed indefinitely. The Marlies will still play the Laval Rocket at the Coliseum tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., and you will probably see Petr Mrázek in this game.

Other News

The New York Rangers may be looking for a goalie.

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It’s been a fast recovery for Jack Eichel, exactly as he explained to the Sabres medical staff it would be when they refused to allow him to have Artificial Disc Replacement, and then stripped him of the captaincy and traded him away for refusing their preferred surgery.

Meanwhile, it appears other players are following in his lead.

Montreal Canadiens Dominique Ducharme head coach – TSN
Jeff Gorton confirmed that Dominique Ducharme will continue as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

Canada’s Olympic women’s hockey team releases 3 players – CBC
Defender Jamie Bourbonnais and forwards Jessie Eldridge and Julia Gosling have been released from the Canadian Olympic women’s hockey team. [SPECIES: Expert commentary from Nafio on the cuts: “Eldridge was a late add I think mostly because of the injury to Turnbull at the end of Worlds, so she’s not a surprise. Bourbonais was on the Worlds roster but she hasn’t been very noticeable and I don’t think she was getting a ton of ice time, so I also wasn’t surprised there. I thought Gosling was doing well, so I was surprised about her.”]

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

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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

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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

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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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