Dougie Hamilton will be ready to play for the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Qualifying Round whenever it begins, general manager Don Waddell said Wednesday.
Hamilton, a defenseman, fractured his left fibula against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 16 and was expected to miss the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they had started on time in April. After the NHL paused the season March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, Hamilton was permitted to continue his rehab in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is now healthy.
The NHL announced its Return To Play Plan on Tuesday.
“Hamilton’s been here, and he’s been skating,” Waddell said. “He’s allowed to skate because he’s a rehab player, so we feel like we’ll be in good shape that way.”
Hamilton, who turns 27 on June 17, would provide a boost for the Hurricanes in their best-of-5 Qualifying Round series against the New York Rangers. He was fourth among NHL defensemen with 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in 47 regular-season games and was among the leading contenders for the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the NHL before he was injured.
“Dougie was playing the best I’ve seen him since he’s been in Carolina before he went down,” Hurricanes center Jordan Staal said. “It was unfortunate. I know he wanted it the other way. But it’s going be a big, towering defenseman who knows how to score goals and can run our power play. I just actually had him over the other night, so he’s excited to get going and be a part of the group again.”
Waddell said goalie James Reimer and defenseman Sami Vatanen are also healthy. Vatanen, who had a lower-body injury when the Hurricanes acquired him from the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 24, has yet to play for Carolina. Reimer sustained a lower-body injury against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 22.
Defenseman Brett Pesce, who is recovering from surgery on his right shoulder, is the lone injured Hurricanes player who might not be healed by the time the NHL returns. But Waddell said Pesce could be ready to play by mid-August.
“He’s going to see a surgeon in 10 days,” Waddell said. “He had the surgery on March 5, and they said it was 5-6 months, so if you take the calendar, it will be some time probably in the middle of August. So I’m not sure he’s going to be ready when the season begins or not and the timing of when the season begins, but he’ll be really close.”
Source: – NHL.com
Edited By Harry Miller
Washington Redskins undergoing 'thorough review' of team name – CBC.ca
The Washington Redskins are undergoing a “thorough review” of their name.
The National Football League team said Friday it has been talking to the league for weeks about the subject. In a statement, the team said recent events around the U.S. and feedback from the community prompted the formal review.
“This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” owner Dan Snyder said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “In the last few weeks, we have had ongoing discussions with Dan, and we are supportive of this important step.”
The recent national debate over racism renewed calls for the franchise to change the name, and sponsors this week started mounting their own pressure. Investors this week wrote to FedEx, PepsiCo and other sponsors asking them to request a change.
FedEx, the title sponsor of the team’s stadium in Landover, Md., said Thursday, “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.”
On Thursday night, Nike appeared to remove all of the team’s gear from its online store. Nike did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment.
Coach Ron Rivera, who said in a recent radio interview that now is not the time to discuss the name, called it “an issue of personal importance.” Rivera said he’d work closely with Snyder during the process.
Washington mayor Muriel Bowser said recently the name was an “obstacle” to the team building a stadium in the District.
The current lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, and the old RFK Stadium site in Washington is one of several options for the team’s new headquarters, along with locations in Maryland and Virginia.
Experts and advocates have called the name a “dictionary-defined racial slur.”
Until this point, Snyder has shown no willingness to consider a change.
In late June, the team removed racist founder George Preston Marshall from its Ring of Fame. A monument to him was also removed from the RFK Stadium site.
Hamilton fastest, Stroll 7th in Friday practice – TSN
SPIELBERG, Austria — Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time in the first two practice sessions for the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on Friday.
Lance Stroll was the top Canadian, driving his Racing Point to seventh in Free Practice 2, less than a second behind Hamilton. Nicholas Latifi, racing his first Grand Prix in F1 this weekend, finished the second practice session 20th, 2.8 seconds behind the leader.
The British driver twice finished ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on the 4.3-kilometre (2.7-mile) Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg nestled at the foot of the Styrian mountains in southern Austria.
Bottas was .356 seconds behind Hamilton in the damp and overcast morning run and improved to .197 back as the track dried and became warmer in the afternoon. Late in that session, however, he had to return to the pits because of a braking issue.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who has won the past two races here, was third quickest in the first practice but slipped to eighth in the second session and encountered oversteering problems.
Ferrari struggled for speed in the morning with Charles Leclerc 10th quickest and Sebastian Vettel only 12th, but improved in the afternoon with Vettel pushing up to fourth behind Sergio Perez in third. Perez’s Racing Point team uses Mercedes engines.
Although Vettel showed good cornering speed, he was still a somewhat distant .657 seconds adrift of Hamilton’s time in the second session.
Ferrari is racing with the same car it used in preseason testing in February and has not made any upgrades, while Mercedes and other teams have.
After making a late strategy decision in terms of aerodynamic development this week, Ferrari is not upgrading its cars until the third race in Hungary, where practice starts on July 17.
Austria is hosting back-to-back races as part of an eight-race European swing, after the season was postponed for four months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
There are no fans allowed at races until further notice.
More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari never offered a contract! – F1i.com
Sebastian Vettel revealed that his eviction from Ferrari came as a total surprise, insisting an offer was never tabled by the team.
The unexpected announcement back in May of Vettel’s departure from Maranello alluded to a separation by mutual consent and came after Scuderia boss Mattia Binotto had publicly stated earlier in the year that the four-time world champion remained the team’s first choice as teammate to Charles Leclerc.
But speaking in Austria ahead of this weekend’s opening round of the 2020 season, Vettel set the record straight on his exit from the Italian outfit.
“It was obviously a surprise to me when I got the call from Mattia, when he told me that there was no further intention for the team to continue [with me],” explained Vettel.
“We never got into any discussions, there was never an offer on the table and therefore there was no sticking point.”
Speculation is rife about Vettel’s next move with most insiders projecting a retirement or a year on the sidelines for the 32-year-old. But Vettel insists he’s motivated to remain on the grid in 2021, under certain conditions.
“Obviously I want to make sure I make the right decision for myself and my future,” he said.
“I think I have a very competitive nature, I have achieved a lot in the sport, I’m motivated and willing to achieve more.
“To do so I need the right package and the right people around me so that’s what I’m looking out for at the moment, if the right opportunity should arise then it is quite clear.
“If that’s not the case then I’ll probably have to look out for something else.
“I am of the conviction that if you are prepared to let’s say, shut the door, then you should be prepared to shut that door and not shut it and expect it to open again.
“You have to be aware of the decision you are making at the time and that’s also why I’m not rushing into anything, the next weeks and months will be probably bringing some more clarity.”
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