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Marchand leaves Bruins loss to Blue Jackets in exhibition game –



Brad Marchand did not play the final 11 minutes for the Boston Bruins in a 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in an exhibition game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Thursday.

The forward appeared to grimace in discomfort killing a penalty with 11:54 remaining in the third period and ended his final shift 14 seconds later.

“He left,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Don’t think it’s anything serious, but we’ll have a better idea obviously in the morning.”

As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.

The Bruins next play an Eastern Conference round-robin game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS). They also play the Tampa Bay Lightning (Aug. 5) and Washington Capitals (Aug. 9) to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Marchand was second on the Bruins with 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) this season. His linemate, leading scorer David Pastrnak, scored the Bruins’ goal after missing all but one day of training camp and practicing for the first time with the full team Monday in Toronto, the Eastern hub city.

“Obviously I knew coming into the game I’m not going to feel great,” Pastrnak said. “But at the end it wasn’t that bad. … To be honest, I’d rather play and get the time, get the game mode, the earlier, the better. I’m really happy I played.”

Pastrnak scored 48 goals this season to tie Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead. He had to quarantine for 14 days, including the first two days of training camp, after returning from the Czech Republic, where he spent most of his time after the NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. After he skated at a rink in Boston, he completed a second 14-day quarantine, he said Tuesday.

“Good legs,” Cassidy said. “Obviously scored a nice goal. Had a few looks. That whole line was out of sync a little bit. They didn’t manage the puck like they typically do. Columbus did a good job against them. But I thought he played well for a guy that hadn’t seen a lot of hockey. That bodes well for us.”

Pastrnak scored at 12:16 of the second period, faking Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins before slipping the puck through his legs.

“I was coming from line change,” Pastrnak said. “I saw Sean [Kuraly] had a little bit of time and [Zdeno Chara] was kind of buzzing up the ice, so I kind of just let them go and then I turned towards the net and there was the puck. I was all alone there. So just a quick decision and it was nice to get on the board.”

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Mixed Martial Arts-Door is open for YouTube’s Paul brothers in MMA



Logan and Jake Paul would make great Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, Bellator president Scott Coker has said as he targets exhibition matches featuring the YouTube personalities such as the former’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Logan Paul went the distance, surviving eight rounds against unbeaten (50-0) five-division world boxing champion Mayweather in an exhibition on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium.

USA Today reported the fight brought in one million pay per view buys with $50 million generated from sales in the United States.

It was only the second fight of Paul’s career, while his brother Jake has fought in three professional boxing matches, beating former MMA fighter Ben Askren in April.

Critics have labelled the bouts a sideshow due to the lack of sporting credibility of the duo, who made their names as social media personalities and have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

However, Coker told Reuters the brothers have impressive physiques and the door is open for them to move into MMA.

“I met with Logan Paul about two years ago and I’ve spoken to Jake Paul’s manager and Jake on a zoom call recently… The one thing I said was hey, if you want to do MMA we would love to promote you guys,” the 58-year-old said in a Zoom interview.

“These guys are young, athletic, strong and you saw the fight on Sunday night these guys they came and did their work.

“Mayweather couldn’t finish him and I know he tried, I heard he wanted to knock this kid out so bad,” he added.

“When I heard both had high school wrestling backgrounds in Ohio, which is a prominent wrestling state in the U.S., it really made me interested in pursuing them in some super fights in Mixed Martial Arts – and that door is continually open.”


Bellator, owned by Viacom, is gearing up for a busy month of events, starting with Bellator 260 on Friday with the headline fight between reigning welterweight world champion Douglas Lima and the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov.

However, super fights and exhibitions are where Coker is targeting a younger audience.

“My 14-year-old niece, I told her I was going to the Logan Paul fight and she thought that was the greatest thing,” he said.

“She asked me who he was fighting and I said Floyd Mayweather and she said ‘who’s that?’ – I thought wow, she doesn’t know boxing, she doesn’t know MMA, she’s just a 14-year-old girl on the internet doing what they do.”

As the sporting world gears up for the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July, Coker believes MMA will feature in future Games.

“When you think about mixed martial arts, what you’re talking about is boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, karate – those are all Olympic sports,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t mixed martial arts eventually get into the Olympics because six out of the seven disciplines MMA is known to use really is already there.

“There’d be a lot of details to work out but to me I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”


(Reporting by Christian Radnedge,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships



Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Wednesday, after the 2020 event Canada was to host was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The championships will return to Montreal from March 18-24, marking the 11th time Canada has staged the event.

“Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montreal,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO of Skate Canada, in a statement.


(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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Andreescu splits with coach Bruneau after French Open exit



World number seven Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday announced she has split with longtime coach Sylvain Bruneau, a week after falling in the first round of the French Open.

The pair had worked together for four years as Andreescu made her breakthrough with three titles in 2019, including the U.S. Open.

“It is with a heavy heart that I would like to inform my fans that my long time coach, mentor and friend, Sylvain and I, have mutually decided to end our incredible coaching relationship,” Canadian Andreescu wrote on Twitter

“Our friendship will live forever … I am very grateful for everything we accomplished together and all of our great memories.

“Sylvain was more than a coach… he is family.”

Andreescu, 20, returned to action at this year’s Australian Open, having missed 15 months due to a knee injury.

A positive COVID-19 test subsequently ruled Andreescu out of both Madrid and Rome before an abdominal injury forced her to pull out of Strasbourg at the quarter-final stage.

Her most recent appearance at Roland Garros ended with a 6-7(1) 7-6(2) 9-7 defeat by Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek.


(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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