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licensed cloth face coverings available for purchase – NHL.com

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NEW YORK / TORONTO – As the National Hockey League (NHL®) community continues to practice social distancing and take precautions during this ever-changing time, the League today announced that NHL-licensed cloth face coverings will be available for purchase on NHLShop.com, with the League’s proceeds going to support the Feeding America and Food Banks Canada COVID-19 Response Fund. The face coverings are intended for personal use, in keeping with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Canada regarding the use of cloth face coverings in public settings as a step to limit the community spread of COVID-19.

“The health, well-being and safety of our fans and all communities across Canada, the United States and around the world, is our number one priority,” said Kim Davis, NHL EVP, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs. “We’re committed to assisting in the effort to support the face covering guidelines from the CDC and Health Canada with the important benefit and outcome of helping food banks across the U.S. and Canada in their efforts to feed people in need during this unprecedented time.”

The NHL has licensed FOCO to manufacture the face coverings, which are available with branding for all 31 NHL teams in packs of three for $24.99 (USD) on NHLShop.com and FOCO.com.

“As a longtime licensee of the NHL, FOCO is proud to participate in the NHL’s campaign to support the COVID-19 relief efforts of Feeding America and Food Bank Canada,” said Michael Lewis, CEO, FOCO. “In addition to manufacturing the face coverings, FOCO will also be making contributions to support the two organizations’ efforts.”

NHL-licensed cloth face coverings are intended for personal use, are not intended for medical use and are not a replacement for medical-grade personal protective equipment. The use of cloth face coverings is one of the ways to limit the community spread of the coronavirus, which also includes washing your hands often, social distancing and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Full details regarding COVID-19 prevention can be found at the CDC and Health Canada websites.

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NBA's Board Of Governors To Approve 22-Team Return-To-Play – RealGM.com

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The NBA’s Board of Governors will approve a proposal from Adam Silver on a 22-team format to restart the 19-20 season in Orlando at the end of July. The conference call and vote will take place at 12:30 PM ET on Thursday.

The plan includes 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams, eight regular-season games, a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed and playoffs.

The NBA suspended the season on March 11th after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

The NBA has yet to publicly detail how it intends to keep players and staff safe.

Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that one owner said they believe the 22-team format was the ultimately most compelling and certainly more financially rewarding than just 16 teams.

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Archer (shoulder) will miss 2020 season – TSN

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Right-hander Chris Archer has undergone thoracic outlet surgery in his throwing shoulder and will miss all of 2020, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Wednesday.

Archer, 31, was to head into the final season of his current deal with the Bucs holding an $11 million option for 2021 with a $250,000 buyout.

A native of Raleigh, NC, Archer made 23 starts last season, going 3-9 with a 5.19 earned run average and WHIP of 1.412 over 119.1 innings pitched.

Joining the Pirates in a trade midway through the 2018 season, Archer spent the first six seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays with whom he was a two-time All-Star.

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Report: NBA presents players with 22-team restart plan – TSN

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The NBA has told the National Basketball Players Association that it will present a 22-team plan for restarting the season to the league’s board of governors on Thursday, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The teams that will be going to the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex on the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida would play eight games to determine playoff seeding starting around July 31 before the post-season begins, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the league has not released its proposal publicly.

The plan, once approved, would have 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams going to Disney and the cutoff being that teams must be within six games of a playoff spot at this point. Playoffs would start in August, and the NBA Finals will likely stretch into October, the person said.

The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics already have clinched playoff spots — and, if only eight games are left, that would mean the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets would theoretically have clinched spots as well.

The Dallas Mavericks would be virtually assured of clinching a West spot, holding a seven-game lead over eighth-place Memphis. So that would mean the Grizzlies, Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix all would be in the running for the No. 8 seed out West. In the East, Washington is six games behind No. 7 Brooklyn and 5-1/2 games behind No. 8 Orlando — so within range of triggering a play-in series.

“I’m all in from the state’s perspective,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference in Central Florida on Wednesday. “I don’t think you could find a better place than Orlando to do this. I think it’s very exciting.”

DeSantis met by phone with NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum on Tuesday. The governor also said the state helped with the plans to make a golf match last month featuring Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning — one that raised $20 million for coronavirus relief — happen. And Major League Soccer announced Wednesday a plan to restart its season in Orlando.

“Orlando really could be the epicenter of the comeback of professional sports,” DeSantis said.

For an NBA play-in series to happen to determine the No. 8 seed on either playoff bracket, the ninth-place team would have to be within four games of eighth place once the eight-game schedule of lead-in games is completed. If a play-in series occurs, it would basically be a best-of-two — where the No. 9 seed would have to win two head-to-head matchups to take over the No. 8 spot.

There would also be some jostling for playoff positioning happening in the eight-game restart. In the East, Toronto and Boston are separated by three games for the No. 2 spot and Miami, Indiana and Philadelphia are separated by two games for the No. 4 spot. Out West, the Clippers, Denver, Utah, Oklahoma City and Houston are all within four games of one another in the race for the No. 2 seed on that bracket.

There are still some elements of the restart plan that could be changed, and other matters are still being negotiated — such as how much of a percentage of their salaries that players will lose because some regular season games will be cancelled. If 15% of the regular season is not played, which would be the current estimate based on the proposal, players would have to give up roughly $610 million in salary for this season.

It’s also unclear what will happen to the eight teams that would not be vying for a post-season berth under the proposed format — Charlotte, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, New York, Cleveland, Minnesota and Golden State. If the 2020-21 NBA season doesn’t start until December at the earliest, which would seem to be a very real possibility, those teams could go about nine months without playing games and some have expressed concerns over what that will mean for player development.

The NBA suspended its season March 11, becoming the first of the U.S. major pro leagues to do so after it became known that Utah’s All-Star centre Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The list of NBA players who were known to test positive eventually grew to 10 — not all were identified — and Commissioner Adam Silver said that the actual total was even higher.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a 255-acre campus with multiple arenas that could host games simultaneously and has been home to, among other things, the Jr. NBA World Championship in recent years. ESPN is primarily owned by Disney, one of the NBA’s broadcast partners.

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