O’Reilly will return before the playoffs; GMs discussing rule changes
Ryan O’Reilly Toronto Maple LeafsChris Johnston: It’s encouraging news from the Leafs’ end of things as Kyle Dubas said, definitively, that Ryan O’Reilly will be back before the playoffs. That wasn’t necessarily in total question but they’ve been more vague with his timeline previous to this, especially after he suffered that broken left index finger earlier this month.
An interesting thing that Kyle Dubas noted was that the nature of the break was an encouraging one. It was a clean break and one that should heal pretty well. They are expecting O’Reilly to resume skating this week with an anticipated return of a little sooner than when the playoffs start five weeks from now.
Are there updates on other injured players around the league?
Mark Stone Vegas Golden KnightsDarren Dreger: There are injury issues for a number of clubs around the National Hockey League. It’s a delicate time of year as you approach the later stages of the second half of the regular season.
The Colorado Avalanche have announced that Artturi Lehkonen is going to be out for several weeks. There has not been much of an update coming from the Vegas Golden Knights about Mark Stone because he’s been out for a period of time now but he needs that much more before they have a better idea of where he’s at and whether or not he can be a playoff participant.
You think of Ryan O’Reilly and you think of Mark Stone and they are the heartbeats of their organizations in many respects.
What discussions have taken place about potential rule changes, like the expansion of the coach’s challenge?
D.J. SmithJohnston: I’d say this is the early stage of discussion. I don’t expect that when the meetings wrap on Wednesday, we’ll be having a formal change to the rule. At this point, I think they’re wrestling with the idea of “What do you do with technology?”
We can all sit here and say we want to get as many calls absolutely correct as possible but there’s a line there, especially when you’re looking at high-sticking plays and whether it’s “friendly fire” or not. Do you potentially want to be reviewing an extra 700 penalties? Which is how many high-sticking calls there currently are. Does that review have to come in the form of a coach’s challenge, where the coach is making that call? Or does the league do it? They’re even talking about putting a watch on the referee so they can buzz him. The point being is I don’t think they’ve landed on any one area that this is going to go to I think we’ll be talking about this in future meetings when we get together.
Dreger: I agree. But there’s a public relations twist to this as well, right? Because we’re so good at what we do. Technology is enhanced over time and the NHL is tired of getting hit over the head with missed calls so that’s why when you look at the puck over glass or a phantom high stick, or friendly fire in the high stick category, that’s why they’re having this discussion here.
You have to fast forward and look at the bigger picture. Can you envision a coach in a playoff environment, say overtime, calling a coach’s challenge and potentially going into a 5-on-3 situation if they get that challenge wrong? The general managers would prefer the NHL keep that in-house and that decision, whether to apply video review or not, is handled by the situation room. But then you’ve got the NHL saying “All right, we’ve got it wrong once, we don’t want to get it wrong twice.” So there are a lot of layers to this.
Are referees going to be held accountable?
Wes McCauleyJohnston: They are and director of officiating Stephen Walkom addressed the GMs on Tuesday. One of the things he did in his presentation is show a video of a day in the life of veteran official Wes McCauley. That detailed through a game the kind of discussion that are had between periods among the officials, how the officiating director on site communicates with the referee and points out, maybe, “Hey you missed a call here or you could have done this there.” [It even showed] how McCauley himself breaks the game down the next day and looks at his own performance.
This is a stressful time of year between the referees and the GMs on how those calls go down but a little accountability lesson was a part of the presentation on this day.
Gino Reda: Looking ahead to Day 3 of the general managers’ meetings, there’s going to be some news. We expect to find out the date of the Draft Lottery. With Connor Bedard waiting in the wings, expect some pomp and circumstance.
Bianca Andreescu says she's waiting on test results after injuring leg during Miami Open – The Globe and Mail
Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu provided an injury update of sorts on Tuesday, saying she’s still waiting on official test results after injuring her lower left leg at the Miami Open.
Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., was hurt Monday night in the second set of her fourth-round match against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.
The 22-year-old was moving across the baseline when she fell to the hardcourt and clutched her lower leg in pain. She was wheeled off the court a short time later.
Andreescu provided an update on Tuesday via social media.
“Woke up with a brace on my foot anyone know what happened? On a serious note tho that was the worst pain I’ve ever felt praying for nothing serious. Still waiting on official results. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and kind words, doesn’t go unnoticed,” she said in a Twitter post, complete with a pray emoji.
Andreescu, who won the U.S. Open in 2019, holds the No. 31 position in the world rankings.
Her agent, Charlotte Lawler, said via e-mail that Andreescu met with her doctor Tuesday afternoon. Lawler said a statement would be released once injury specifics were available.
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Emotional Bianca Andreescu leaves court in wheelchair after injury at Miami Open
Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu was forced to leave the court in a wheelchair after suffering an injury during Monday’s match against Ekaterina Alexandrova in the Round of 16 at the Miami Open.
Andreescu officially retired at 6-7, 2-0, winning 75 percent of her points on first serve. With tears in her eyes, she left the court to a standing ovation. Alexandrova, who will face Petra Kvitova in the next round, came over to console a devastated Andreescu as her team prepared for her exit.
“I’ve never felt this kind of pain before,” Andreescu said in agony while the medical team approached.
The 22-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., suffered the injury during the third game of the second set while tracking down a shot.
Andreescu was off to an excellent start to the tournament, defeating Emma Raducanu 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the Round of 128, before proceeding to knock off No. 7 Maria Sakkari 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, then defeating Sofia Kenin in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
This is a potentially devastating injury for Andreescu, who was rounding into form with the summer schedule on the horizon. Andreescu had previously advanced to the Round of 32 in the Indian Wells Masters before losing in straight sets to No. 1 Iga Swiatek in a tightly contested match.
Andreescu has a lengthy history with long-term injuries, suffering a torn meniscus in October 2019, shortly after winning the U.S. Open against childhood hero Serena Williams. Andreescu did not play the entire 2020 season in large part due to the complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, then struggled through the 2021 season. Andreescu missed the opening three months of the 2022 season and struggled with a back injury towards the end of the year.
Andreescu said in a recent interview that she actually contemplated retiring from tennis in 2021.
“That was, honestly, about me wanting to figure out if I really wanted to continue playing tennis,” Andreescu told reporters on Sunday, per The Telegraph. “I was literally about to drop my rackets and say, ‘Screw this.’ I wasn’t happy at all and I wasn’t happy basically for the full year of 2021. I thought, if I continue like this, it’s just going to get worse.”
Those hardships from the past few years have helped Andreescu grow as both a player and a person.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot,” Andreescu told Sportsnet’s Vivek Jacob earlier this month. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot even in the past two months about myself, which is such a great thing about life, you’re constantly growing, you’re constantly learning. The main thing is I want to be able to feel good in my own skin whether I win a match or lose a match.”
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