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Hockey Canada’s board chair Michael Brind’Amour steps down

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CALGARY — The chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors has resigned.

Michael Brind’Amour has stepped down effective immediately, Hockey Canada said Saturday in a statement.

The organization is under intense scrutiny for its handling of sexual assault allegations against members of previous men’s junior teams.

“I have listened carefully and intently to the comments of Canadians about the culture of our sport and our organization, and about our actions and leadership,” Brind’Amour said in the statement. “I understand that the actions we have taken in recent weeks are part of the solution.

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“My final term ends in November 2022, and I know that there is no need to wait for a new era. Immediate action is essential to address the important challenges facing our organization and our sport, which our Action Plan works to accomplish.

“I would not be able to see this renewal through.”

Brind’Amour was elected board chair in 2018.

The federal government froze Hockey Canada’s funding after it was revealed the organization had quietly settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by members of the 2018 men’s junior team at Hockey Canada gala in London, Ont., that year.

Since then, Hockey Canada has said members of the 2003 junior team are under investigation for alleged sexual assault in Nova Scotia.

Canada’s sports minister Pascale St-Onge is withholding funds until she’s satisfied Hockey Canada meets her conditions, which were a financial audit of the organization, producing the recommendations of a third-party law firm review and an action plan for change, as well as signing onto the office of the new sports integrity commissioner.

Sheldon Kennedy, a former NHL player and victim rights advocate, was among those calling for Hockey Canada leadership to step down.

Brind’Amour is the first to do so.

“We’re starting to see cracks in the fortress, and that’s how the light gets in,” St-Onge said Saturday in Niagara Falls, Ont., where she met with provincial and territorial sports leaders on the eve of the Canada Games.

“Canadians have sent a clear message to Hockey Canada that real leadership change is needed and this is at all levels within the organization.

“I agree also with Michael Brind’Amour’s statement today . . . that there is no need to wait for a new era and immediate action is essential.

“I still believe, as many do, that more diversity is needed to address the culture of silence and toxic masculinity within the organization and the sport.”

Brind’Amour’s resignation also follows Hockey Canada’s appointment Thursday of former Canadian Supreme Court judge Thomas Cromwell to review the governance of the country’s governing body of hockey.

The review is expected to provide interim recommendations before Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting in November.

Brind’Amour said he leaves confident that Cromwell taking on that work “will help us make the changes that are needed. I am confident the recommendations will guide the organization into a future of desired change.”

Also, Canada’s 13 provincial hockey federations requested earlier this week an “extraordinary meeting” with the embattled national body.

Led by Hockey Quebec, the 10 provincial and three territorial associations want more information on the handling of the sexual assault allegations.

Hockey Canada had maintained a fund drawing on minor hockey membership fees to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual abuse claims.

The organization has stated it will no longer use its “national equity fund” to settle sexual assault claims.

The provincial and territorial hockey associations have threatened to withhold payment without answers.

“It’s not my job to speak on behalf of the Ontario Hockey Federation,” Ontario minister of tourism, culture and sport Neil Lumsden said at Saturday’s news conference.

“But it is as (St-Onge) said, it is our jobs to eliminate unacceptable behaviour of any kind in sport. Our job, and as we’ve spent a lot of time talking about, is to find ways to do that and to do it in the right way.”

Hockey Canada’s board of directors will meet in the coming days to determine next steps following Brind’Amour’s resignation, and appoint an interim chair, the organization said in its statement.

The next board election is scheduled for November’s annual general meeting.

“The board needs to reassess whether the people that are on the directors board are the right people to implement that change,” St-Onge said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 6, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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Jays Lose to Cardinals

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Blue Jays 1 Cardinals 4

Yesterday the Jays had 19 hits. Today 3.

It was one of those games turned on a defensive play not made. Runners on first and second, two out, and a ground ball hit at Matt Chapman. Pretty hard hit, 97.7 mph according to GameDay, but what should have been a pretty easy play. But Matt bobbled it when he took it out of his glove, changed his target from the force at second base to first base, and threw wide of first. The runner on second scored, and the Cardinals had runners on second and third.

A softly hit ground ball down the third base line (65.6 mph) singled two more runs home. Suddenly it was 3-0.

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The Cardinals got their fourth run on a hard-hit ground ball to second that Biggio knocked down but then threw into the dirt at first. Not called an error but a play that should have been made.


Not that it should have mattered, but we should have scored many runs. Cardinals’ starter, Jack Flaherty, had a lot of trouble with the strike zone.

  • In the first, with two out, he walked 3 straight batters, but Brandon Belt struck out to end the inning.
  • The second inning started with a walk to Danny Jansen, and Cavan Biggio was hit by pitch. But a fly-out and a double play ended the fun.
  • The third inning started with walks two Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero (he had three walks on the day), but fly out, ground out, strikeout and we stranded more batters.

We’d get another walk in the fourth but, again, didn’t score.

Flaherty went 5 innings (he should have been out of the game sooner) with no hits, 7 walks and a hit batter. But no runs.

We did score in the eighth. Vlad and Daulton Varsho started the inning off with walks. A force at second and a wild pitch scored Vlad. Belt walked to put the, then, tying run on base. But the Cardinals took Jordan Hicks out of the game, and groundouts from Jansen and Biggio ended the inning.

There was another chance in the ninth. Singles from Kevin Kiermaier and Bichette, on either side of a George Springer strikeout, brought the tying run to the plate. But Vlad struck out, chasing, and Varsho popped out.

When you get 10 walks and a hit batter, you should score more than one run.


Kevin Gausman deserved better. He went 6 innings, giving up 8 hits (all singles), 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. But the 3 unearned runs were enough to get him the L. It could have been worse. In the sixth inning, with runners on the corners with no outs, Jordan Walker hit a ground ball to third. Chapman threw to Biggio, and we figured he’d go to first for the double play, but he saw that Nolan Gorman got a slow start going home from third. Biggio double (triple) clutched and threw home. Called safe on the field, but it was changed to an out on the replay challenge. Nice play by Biggio (though if he threw home quicker, we wouldn’t have needed the replay).

Adam Cimber pitched a scoreless seventh. Erik Swanson gave up a run on 3 hits in the eighth (helped along by Biggio’s misplay).


Not JoDs today. Vlad had the high mark (.074 WPA) but that strikeout in the eighth hurt.

The Other Awards go to: Chapman (-.091, plus the costly error), Springer (-.191 WPA, 0 for 5, 2 k. This after 5 hits yesterday) and Belt (-.082). Gausman had the number (-.133) but most of that was from Chapman’s error.

Tomorrow there is another afternoon game. It almost has to be better than today’s.

In the GameThread, we learned that the Jays had been no-hit six times (we didn’t have our first hit until the 7th today):

  1. Len Barker, Cleveland. May 1981.
  2. Dave Stewart, A’s. June 1990.
  3. Nolan Ryan, Rangers. May 1991.
  4. Justin Verlander, Tigers. May 2011.
  5. James Paxton, Mariners. May 2018.
  6. Verlander (again), Astros. September 2019.

 

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Summer McIntosh sets another world record at Canadian swimming trials, this time in 400m individual medley

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Summer McIntosh has broken another world record at the national swimming trials.

It’s her second world record this week at the place they call the fastest pool in Canada.

She is the first Canadian woman since Elaine Tanner in 1967 to hold two long course world records.

With her family in the crowd and many more fans cheering wildly inside the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, McIntosh powered her way to a time of 4:25.87 in the 400-metre individual medley to break Katinka Hosszú’s seven-year record.

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Hosszú’s time of 4:26:36 was set in August 2016.

 

Summer McIntosh breaks 2nd world record at Canadian swimming trials

 

16-year-old Summer McIntosh of Toronto sets a new world record in the women’s 400-metre individual medley with a time of 4:25.87 at the national swimming trials. On Tuesday, the Canadian swimming sensation broke the world record in the 400m freestyle.

“It’s obviously really amazing and I’m happy to get another world record. Right now I’m just thinking about my legs. The 400m IM is one of the toughest events out there so going into tonight, whatever the time was, the time would be,” McIntosh told CBC Sports.

“Just tried to do my best and whatever that is I would be happy with it.”

McIntosh is the first swimmer in history to hold both the 400m freestyle and 400m individual medley long course world records at the same time.

Before Saturday night’s world record swim, her previous best time and national record was 4:28.61. That was set in December of last year.

What the 16-year-old swimming phenom is doing this week at trials is shocking the swimming world.

Throughout the majority of the race on Saturday night McIntosh was under world record pace but fell behind it after the breaststroke.

After 350m she was half a second behind the record and finished half a second ahead of the world record. Her closing freestyle split was 29.69.

“Breaststroke is definitely my weakest stroke and I knew that. I know in training I need to improve on that. In the freestyle I always like to look at the clock and I think I saw 26.1 or something and I thought, just go, go crazy,” she said.

“I just gave it everything I got and I knew it would be close.”

Greg, Jill and Summer’s sister Brooke were jumping up and down and hugging each other as she touched the wall.

“For them to all be in the stands, I think this is the first time my sister has watched me compete in so long and I’m so grateful for her to witness this moment with me and enjoy it together. I can’t wait to see her later,” McIntosh said.

 

A man sits in between two women with his arms around their shoulders.
Brooke, Greg and Jill McIntosh wait in the stands before witnessing Summer set another world record at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre on Saturday. (John Grant/CBC Sports)

 

It was the largest crowd so far on day five of the trials. McIntosh says it helped her get this world record time.

“I could definitely hear the crowd on the breaststroke. I just needed to go, go, go. I didn’t think about anything else, just get my hand on the wall as fast as I could,” she said.

‘I left it all in the pool’

As she soaked up the moment on the pool deck, McIntosh was wincing in pain after the race.

“I’m so numb. The pain is so bad I can’t even process it yet. I just wanted to get through that race. I left it all in the pool,” McIntosh said.

 

Experience Summer McIntosh’s 2nd world record poolside, with her family in the stands

 

Canadian Summer McIntosh broke the world record in the 400m IM at the swim trials in Toronto, her second world record of the week.

A night earlier, McIntosh set a world junior and Canadian record in the 200m butterfly.

Her time of 2:04.70 took down her previous record time (2:05.05) set earlier this month. McIntosh’s smooth, powerful strokes helped her surge to the wall in a blistering time, once again electrifying the crowd.

She has been called a once in a generation talent and is certainly living up to that billing right now.

 

Another Canadian record for Summer McIntosh, this time in 200 metre butterfly

 

Toronto’s Summer McIntosh broke the Canadian record in the 200 metre butterfly Friday setting the new time of 2:04.70 at the Canadian Swimming Trials.

On Tuesday, opening night of trials, the swimming sensation broke the world record in the 400m freestyle. McIntosh stopped the clock in a time of 3:56.08, breaking the world record held by Ariarne Titmus of Australia.

On Thursday night, McIntosh broke her own world junior record in the 200m individual medley. Her time of 2:06.89 yesterday would have won gold at worlds last summer.

And her time also would have won gold at the Tokyo Olympics by more than a second.

She’ll finish the trials competition by swimming the 200m freestyle on Sunday night.

Live the moment poolside, when Summer McIntosh broke the 400m freestyle world record

 

Feel as though you are right next to Summer McIntosh as she breaks her first world record at 16 years old, at the Canadian national swimming trials.

 

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After wild opener, Cardinals, Blue Jays out to restore order

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The St. Louis Cardinals are banking on starting pitcher Jack Flaherty to make a strong rebound from two injury-marred seasons.

They hope that process starts Saturday when Flaherty draws the start at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.

“At the end of the day, we are counting on him to be a dude,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “And he has prepared in a way to do exactly that.”

Flaherty was 2-1 with 4.25 ERA last season in nine appearances (eight starts), after recovering from a shoulder injury. He was 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 2021, but he was limited to 17 appearances (15 starts) by an oblique strain that season.

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Back in 2019, Flaherty was 11-8 with 2.75 ERA and could become a difference-maker for the Cardinals if he can regain his previous top-of-the-rotation form.

Flaherty has never pitched against the Blue Jays. He will need to deal with the high-octane Toronto offence that opened the season with a 10-9 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday.

The Blue Jays’ offensive attack sported plenty of standouts from George Springer (5-for-6, four runs) to Bo Bichette (4-for-6, two runs scored), Matt Chapman (3-for-5) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2-for-4, three RBIs).

Toronto erased 6-5, 7-6 and 9-8 deficits to outlast the Cardinals.

“Normally, when you go through that situation and you respond every time the other team scores, it shows courage and what we can do as a team overall,” said Blue Jays outfielder Daulton Varsho, who drove in the team’s first run of the season on a first-inning double in his first at-bat with the franchise. “It’s just a lot of fun playing that type of baseball, because we can do a lot of things other teams can’t.”

The Blue Jays manufactured the game-winning run when Kevin Kiermaier went from first to third on Springer’s game-tying single in the ninth inning and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Guerrero.

Kevin Gausman, who was 12-10 with a 3.35 ERA last season, will draw the start for Toronto. He went 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals last season and is 1-4 with a 4.05 ERA in nine career games against St. Louis, including five starts.

 

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