It might be a tad early to be thinking of off-season moves, on the other hand the off-season may well be here already. One’s thing’s for sure, there’s little enough in the way of hard news to keep a hockey fan occupied just now. So why not engage in a little Spec-ulation?
That’s “Spec” for Mark Spector, of course. In his new weekly mailbag #AskSpec, the Sportsnet analyst and Edmonton Oilers insider responded to a series of Oilers-related questions. The query that caught my eye was one I’d been pondering myself, namely, whether the locals might be interested in re-signing Sam Gagner for a third run with the team. Spector saw merit in the suggestion.
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“I believe GM Ken Holland sees Gagner as a future member of his front office, the way he did with Dan Cleary, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby in Detroit. Now, Gagner wants to continue his NHL career, but no matter where he plays he will be a sub-$1 million player on a one-year deal. With the cap issues faced by NHL teams, Gagner’s agent will have to work to find him a place that is a better fit than Edmonton.
“Meanwhile, Gagner’s home is in Edmonton, his family (three kids) is here, and as we said, we see his off-ice future here as well. Gagner has made a lot of money in his NHL career (over $33 million) and would likely sign in Edmonton as a fourth-line winger with the skills to moves up when needed, and the persona to help the Oilers young leaders succeed.”
Gagner played the first seven years of his career here 2007-14, becoming most famous for an eight-point game against Chicago and for being on the receiving end of a nasty highstick from future teammate Zack Kassian. Remember this?
Hockey Canada statement on Return to Hockey in Canada – Hockey Canada
CALGARY, Alta. – The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey Canada from Tom Renney, chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer, on the return-to-hockey process in Canada.
“On March 12, the decision was made to cancel all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities across the country. This was a difficult decision, but one made to maintain the health and safety of all participants and the general public amid growing concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Currently there are no Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities being conducted, and we are working with our Members on their return-to-hockey plans. After ongoing discussions with the board of directors, our chief medical officer, the 13 Members and public health authorities across the country, it has been determined that the best approach for a return to hockey in Canada is to allow each Member the opportunity to work with authorities in their respective regions to determine when it is safe to return to the ice in areas that fall under their jurisdiction. We expect the timing of each Member’s return to hockey will be different, but will be based on the advice of their government and public health authority.
It is imperative to note that we are not ready to return to the game across the country. As we have seen in respect to flattening the curve, the impact of the pandemic varies from region to region. Permitting our Members the opportunity to decide on an appropriate return-to-hockey timeline will allow them to work directly with public health authorities to determine when it is safe to return while also implementing specific safety measures and rules within their associations and leagues.
Hockey Canada knows the game will look quite different, and the return will happen at different speeds and at different times across the country. Be assured, we continue to work on our multi-faceted return-to-hockey plan that includes health and safety regulations, communications and seasonal structure. As with so many people across the country, we look forward to returning to the game when it is safe to do so, and we will support our 13 Members as we continue to work towards getting back on the ice.”
For more information on the Return to Hockey plan, please visit HockeyCanada.ca/returntohockey.
Amanda Nunes on possible COVID-19 infection: ‘I never felt like that before’ – Bloody Elbow
Amanda Nunes feels she won’t have any problems fighting amidst the coronavirus pandemic at her UFC 250. That is because the UFC’s female bantamweight and featherweight champion believes she already had a mild case of COVID-19 and is now completely recovered from it.
In an interview with Combate, Nunes talked about a trip to Las Vegas she took back in the beginning of the pandemic, where she was in contact with several people at once. Afterwards, Nunes described coming down with a strong sickness, which left her bedridden and feverish for a few days. Although she was never tested, the ‘Lioness’ feels like it was a case of COVID-19.
“I was at a convention in Vegas. There were people from all over the world. I was exposed to a lot of people while I was there. When I got home, I was sick. I had the same symptoms as the coronavirus. Now that I’m headed to a UFC card, I’ll know for sure. When I got back from the trip, I went straight to bed, I had a fever, my body really ached. I never felt like that before.”
“I’ve been sick before, but I never felt the way I did when I got back from Vegas after the convention.” Nunes continued. “Then I got sick, I was bedridden for two, three days, and later on Nina (Ansaroff, Amanda’s wife) caught it and got sick, too. So I believe I had a fast case of coronavirus, but now I’ll know if I really had it. I should be immune now, right? Once you get it, you’re immune, I read something along those lines. Then I’ll really know.”
Although there are no well documented cases of reinfection, scientists remain unsure as to whether or not you can be reinfected with COVID-19. There were cases of reinfection reported in South Korea. However, it was determined that those patients’ second positive tests for the virus were because they still had genetic material connected to COVID-19 in their body left over from their initial infection. These patients were also determined to not be secretors of the virus.
Currently on a 10-fight winning streak in the UFC, Amanda Nunes (19-4), will try to defend her featherweight title for the first time since taking it from Cris Cyborg, back in December 2018. After the win, the 32-year-old successfully defended the bantamweight title twice, against Holly Holm and, most recently, against Germaine de Randamie, in December 2019. The Brazilian’s last and sole loss in the Octagon dates back to September 2014, when she was TKO’d by Cat Zingano.
Now, Amanda Nunes is expected to meet Felicia Spencer at UFC 250’s main event, on June 6, at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Drew Brees issues apology for comments on kneeling during anthem – Sportsnet.ca
“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused,” Brees said in an Instagram post. “In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.
“They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.”
On Wednesday, in an interview with Yahoo Finance‘s Daniel Roberts, Brees was asked how the NFL should respond if players decide to once again kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality in the United States — as former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick first did in 2016 — particularly in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
Brees did not offer his support, saying he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America, or our country,” and describing his own experience of hearing the anthems:
“Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played or when I look at the flag of the United States,” he told Roberts. “I envision my two grandfathers — who fought for this country during World War II — one in the army and one in the marine corps, both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart and looking at that flag and singing the national anthem — that’s what I think about,” said Brees.
“And in many cases, it brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed, not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ’60s and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it’s not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and show respect to the flag with your hand over your heart is it shows unity. It shows we are all in this together. We can all do better. And we are all part of the solution.”
In his apology Thursday, Brees said the following of his support for the Black community:
“This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference,” his post read. “I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement.
“I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening… and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.
“For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”
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