MONTREAL — Hockey Quebec says it has lost confidence in Hockey Canada and will not transfer funds to the national organization, while a well-known Canadian brand extended its sponsorship boycott.
Hockey Quebec confirmed to The Canadian Press that its board of directors adopted a motion Tuesday night stating it does not believe Hockey Canada’s current structure can change hockey culture. The resolution was first reported by La Presse.
The provincial hockey body also decided to keep the portion of registration fees normally handed over to the national organization, which amounts to $3 per sign-up.
Also, Tim Hortons announced Wednesday it won’t sponsor any Hockey Canada men’s programming this season, including the world junior men’s championship in Halifax and Moncton.
The company, which first suspended its sponsorship in June, says it will continue to fund national women’s and para hockey programs, as well as youth hockey.
Media reports said Scotiabank followed suit Wednesday night, announcing in a statement that it will extend its pause of sponsoring the organization through the 2022-2023 season, including the world junior tournament.
“In our open letter in June, we publicly called on Hockey Canada to hold the game to a higher standard and we are disappointed with the lack of progress to date,” the bank said.
“From Hockey Canada, we expect a tangible commitment to transparency with Canadians, strong leadership, accountability with their stakeholders and the hockey community, and improved safety both on and off the ice. Our position hasn’t wavered: the time for change is long overdue.”
The Ontario Hockey Federation, the largest of Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial hockey associations, has asked Hockey Canada a second time to not collect the $3 participant assessment fee from its members for the 2022-23 season.
OHF executive director Phillip McKee told CP his federation made the same request in July to Hockey Canada’s former board chair Michael Brind’Amour.
“It is our understanding now that this request was never directed to the board before his departure,” the OHF said in a statement.
Brind’Amour resigned from his position Aug. 6. Andrea Skinner took over as interim board chair.
The Canadian Press reached out to provincial hockey associations in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for reaction to Hockey Quebec’s resolution. B.C. Hockey said it would “continue to monitor” the situation, while Hockey Saskatchewan responded with a “no comment” reply. Hockey Alberta and Hockey Manitoba did not respond.
Hockey Canada continues to vigorously defend its leadership amid criticism over the handling of alleged sexual assaults and the way money was paid out in lawsuits.
Two recent allegations involve players from the 2018 and 2003 Canadian junior men’s teams. Those allegations have not been tested in court.
Revelations also included Hockey Canada’s admission that it drew on minor hockey registration fees to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual abuse claims.
Brind’Amour and Skinner were grilled Tuesday by members of Parliament on why wholesale changes haven’t been made to Hockey Canada’s leadership. Both continued to back chief executive officer and president Scott Smith.
Hockey Quebec’s move was applauded by Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge, who has called for a leadership change at Hockey Canada.
“It also sends the message to the leaders at the organization that are holding on to their jobs that Hockey Canada doesn’t belong to them,” St-Onge told reporters in Ottawa. “It also belongs to their members, and they want change. They want a change of culture and they want to fight against sexual violence.
“Since the leaders of Hockey Canada are holding on to their jobs, the voting members need to clean the house.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it “boggles the mind that Hockey Canada is continuing to dig in its heels” as more Canadians lose faith in it.
“It’s no surprise that provincial organizations are questioning whether or not they want to continue supporting an organization that doesn’t understand how serious a situation it has contributed to causing,” Trudeau said Wednesday.
Hockey Canada has been under fire since May when it was revealed it settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight players from the 2018 junior men’s hockey team at a June gala event in London, Ont., that year.
The allegation is the subject of three investigations being conducted by London police, the National Hockey League and Hockey Canada.
Ontario Conservative MP John Nater said Smith and Hockey Canada’s upper management need to go in order to see meaningful change in the organization.
“Right now, we need to put pressure on the organization,” Nater said Wednesday before entering his party’s weekly caucus meeting.
“Put pressure on the 13 voting members to ensure that there’s a board in place that’s going to make those meaningful changes at the top.”
Conservative MP Kevin Waugh added Hockey Canada has the money to weather the current scandal for years to come.
“It will be up to the sponsors, I believe now,” Waugh said.
Sports marketing expert Tom Mayenknecht said Hockey Canada’s defensive posture makes it harder for the national body to retain public and corporate trust.
“This is such a series of bad decisions and bad handling, in my view, that I’m not sure if Hockey Canada hasn’t already crossed that line, again, given some of the public sentiment and even membership sentiment that I’m hearing at the grassroots level,” Mayenknecht told The Canadian Press.
“I’m not so sure that they can fully regain the trust without doing a lot more than they already have.”
It was revealed in July that Hockey Canada paid out $7.6 million in nine settlements related to sexual assault and sexual abuse claims since 1989.
The figure didn’t include this year’s payout of an undisclosed sum to the London plaintiff, who had sued for more than $3.5 million.
Since Hockey Canada’s settlement became public in the spring, Halifax police were asked to investigate an alleged sexual assault by members of the 2003 junior men’s team.
The federal government froze Hockey Canada’s federal funding and several companies paused their sponsorship in June.
Brind’Amour stated Tuesday that Smith has “the necessary qualities to do something positive for the organization.” Skinner, meanwhile, said culture change can happen while maintaining leadership stability.
Western University school of kinesiology director Laura Misener says Hockey Canada’s reluctance to alter its organizational structure shows a lack of understanding for what’s needed while attempting to shield the sport.
“I think there’s two things going on there: one, there is a level of protectionism. Wanting to protect the sport that they believe in, that they really strongly, truly value, that there is something important about protecting that sport,” Misener said. “I think that that’s happening on one hand and why they want to stay in their positions.
“Two, I think there’s a real misunderstanding of what culture shifting (and) culture change requires.”
— With files from Frederic Daigle in Montreal, Stephanie Taylor in Ottawa, and Abdulhamid Ibrahim in Toronto.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2022.
The Canadian Press
Baker Mayfield Los Angeles Rams defeats Las Vegas Raiders – TSN
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Baker Mayfield was waived by Carolina on Monday and claimed by the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday. After a cross-country flight, he got one short practice with his new team on Wednesday.
And on Thursday night, Mayfield led the Rams to two late fourth-quarter touchdowns and a stunning 17-16 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, capped by a 23-yard scoring pass to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds left.
Mayfield could only wonder what Friday will bring in this wild week of his life, but the former No. 1 overall pick knows it probably won’t be more fun than one of the most amazing moments of his bumpy NFL journey.
“I don’t know if you could write it any better than that,” Mayfield said. “Obviously, we’d like to be a little bit more stress-free, but it’s a pretty damn good story, I’ll be honest with you.”
Just two days after the Rams (4-9) claimed him, Mayfield went 22 of 35 for 230 yards — and eventually snapped the defending Super Bowl champions’ six-game losing streak in dramatic style.
“What a quick study,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “He just got here five minutes ago and figured out a way to be able to do some special things tonight.”
The Rams went on a 75-yard TD drive moments before the winning drive, the latter of which ended with Mayfield finding Jefferson behind rookie Sam Webb in the end zone. The 98-yard march was the longest go-ahead TD drive in the final 2 minutes of a game over the past 45 NFL seasons.
Los Angeles trailed 16-3 after Daniel Carlson’s third field goal with 12:20 to play, but Mayfield got the Rams moving and Cam Akers made a short TD run with 3:19 left, one play after he fought for a first down at the Vegas 1 on a gritty fourth-down catch.
The Rams’ defense stopped Derek Carr and the Raiders at the 2-minute warning, but AJ Cole dropped a 64-yard punt at the Rams 2.
Undaunted and with no timeouts, Mayfield led the Rams downfield again — with ample help from an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Raiders’ Jerry Tillery for knocking the ball out of the quarterback’s hands after a play. The drive included a contested 32-yard reception by Ben Skowronek, who finished with career highs of seven catches for 89 yards.
“Man, you forget what winning is like, and it sure is fun,” McVay said after the Rams’ first victory since Oct. 16.
Josh Jacobs rushed for 99 yards and the only touchdown for the Raiders (5-8), whose three-game winning streak ended in humiliating fashion. Less than four weeks after Las Vegas lost in former ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday’s NFL coaching debut with Indianapolis, the Raiders lost to a quarterback who joined his new team less than 48 hours before the game and had just one brief walkthrough practice.
“We’ve played against (Mayfield) before and know he’s a really good competitor,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said. “He made some critical throws for them. We prepared for all three quarterbacks, not necessarily knowing who we were going to get and on a short week, so give them credit. He made enough plays.”
Carr passed for 137 yards with no TDs and two interceptions. Davante Adams made two jaw-dropping catchesin the first half, but had none in the second half while Las Vegas’ offense managed only 67 yards.
“We left some plays and points out there,” Carr said. “And then at the end of the game, I just didn’t think we finished it how we could have finished it to win the game. You know, not even having to put the defense out there or anything like that. We just didn’t execute.”
John Wolford ran the opening series for the Rams’ offense, but McVay then turned it over to Mayfield, a player he has long admired. Mayfield was having a terrible season for the Panthers, but he improbably injected a spark into the Rams with a handful of big plays and decent drives despite minimal knowledge of the playbook.
“There was kind of a shortened list of plays that I was really, really studying,” Mayfield said. “I will say we dipped out of that little list and got into some other things.”
With McVay apparently giving detailed instructions into his helmet before each huddle, Mayfield immediately got the Rams moving. Akers short-circuited Mayfield’s solid second drive with a fumble in the red zone, but Rams linebacker Ernest Jones made an end-zone interception late in the first half.
Mayfield completed 15 of his 20 passes in the fourth quarter, flawlessly directing his new teammates downfield for two scores.
“I love to compete,” Mayfield said. “I love this game.”
Jacobs injured his hand early in the second half and briefly went to the locker room, but kept playing. … Aaron Donald (high ankle sprain) missed his second game due to injury in his nine-year NFL career. … Raiders RG Alex Bars injured his knee on the opening drive and didn’t return. … Rams WR Jacob Harris injured his shoulder playing special teams in the second half.
Raiders: Host New England on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Rams: At Green Bay on Monday, Dec. 19.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
The free agent market is sizzling, who’s left for the Blue Jays?
With MLB’s 2022 Winter Meetings in San Diego this week, the number of free agent signings has reached a frenzied pace. As of this writing, 44 free agents have already signed deals worth a combined $1.9 billion so far this offseason, headlined by monster deals for Yankees OF and AL MVP Aaron Judge (nine years, $360 million), new Phillies SS Trea Turner (11 years, $300 million), and new Texas ace Jacob deGrom (five years, $185 million). That figure doesn’t include the reported five-year, $90 million guaranteed deal that Japanese star OF Masataka Yoshida apparently agreed to on Wednesday. The average free agent contract so far has been for 2.4 years and $44 million total value.
The Toronto Blue Jays have so far been unlucky in their free agent pursuits, highlighted by starter Kyle Gibson passing up the same one-year, $10 million offer made by Toronto to sign instead with the Baltimore Orioles. The Jays have also been mentioned in relation to starters Justin Verlander, Andrew Heaney and Jameson Taillon, as well as reliever Kenley Jansen and CF Cody Bellinger, who have all signed with other teams. All of their other AL East peers have been active this week signing and trading for players.
The need for a power-hitting left-handed bat to balance out the Jays lineup has been clearly defined as necessary to improve this club’s postseason chances following the Teoscar Hernández trade last month. A number of LHH OFs have agreed to deals already, including the above mentioned Masataka Yoshida, Joc Pederson, who accepted the San Francisco Giants $19.65 million qualifying offer (QO), and Cody Bellinger, who signed a one year, $17.5 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.
Remaining LHH free agent options in CF include Brandon Nimmo and Kevin Kiermaier. Should the Jays decide to keep George Springer in CF instead of moving him to right to reduce the wear and tear on his body, they could also look at left-handed hitters Joey Gallo or Michael Conforto in RF. Trading Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in a package for starting pitching or a CF like the switch-hitting Bryan Reynolds or Dalton Varsho might make sense if they were were able to sign one of Michael Brantley or Andrew Benintendi for LF, But those trades would both be costly in terms of the likely drain on an already bottom third ranked farm system.
Further, with the St. Louis Cardinals signing free agent catcher Willson Contreras to a five year, $87.5 million contract, it appears less likely that the Cards might be a trade destination for one of the Blue Jays three catchers. One of Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk or Gabriel Moreno in a deal for switch-hitting OF Dylan Carlson or LHH RF Lars Nootbaar looked good on paper, but now seems less likely.
Marner and Matthews stay hot, Samsonov earns shutout as Maple Leafs beat Kings
Mitch Marner extended his franchise-record point streak to 21 games with a second-period goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs earned a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
With Toronto in front 3-0, thanks to goals from Pierre Engvall, David Kampf and William Nylander just 1:06 apart earlier in the second, Marner checked in with a slapshot marker after a Kings turnover inside their blue line.
The Maple Leafs (17-5-6) won for the seventh time in eight outings and handed Los Angeles (14-11-4) its seventh loss in 10 games.
With Canadian pop star Justin Bieber among the 18,567 at Scotiabank Arena, Marner scored his 11th of the season. He has 10 goals and 16 assists in his 21-game point streak.
Marner’s streak is now tied for 23rd all-time in the NHL with Dave Taylor, Adam Oates and Bobby Hull.
Marner also became the 10th different player in the past 35 years to string together a point streak of 21 or more games and the third active skater, behind Patrick Kane (26 games in 2015-16) and Sidney Crosby (25 games in 2010-11).
Toronto goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves for his first shutout in a Maple Leafs sweater and the seventh of his career.
The Maple Leafs outshot their opponents 41-29.
Kings netminder Jonathan Quick, who made 36 saves, kept his club in the game for the opening 25 minutes.
The Maple Leafs had outshot the visitors 19-7 when Engvall beat Quick with a wrist shot for a power-play goal 5:10 into the second period.
Twenty-six seconds later, Kampf employed linemate Alex Kerfoot as a decoy to score on a two-on-one rush started by Kerfoot to provide the Maple Leafs with a two-goal advantage.
Nylander checked in with his 15th of the season, and fifth in seven games, on a breakaway goal 40 seconds later. He also set up Auston Matthews for his 14th goal midway through the final period.
Kerfoot was good for two assists against the Kings.
Engvall’s night ended early in the third period when he was given a match penalty for intent to injure after he high-sticked Kings defenceman Sean Durzi, a former Toronto draft pick, in the back of the head in the neutral zone.
During the ensuing five-minute power-play, Los Angeles winger Adrian Kempe scored but the goal was rescinded after a video review determined the play was offside.
Maple Leafs defenceman T.J. Brodie returned to the lineup after a 12-game absence because of an oblique injury, playing alongside newcomer Conor Timmins. Toronto went 9-0-3 without Brodie.
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