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NHL Rumors: Blues, Canucks, Maple Leafs, Lightning, More – The Hockey Writers

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In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is talk the St. Louis Blues might try to put a rush on a Vladimir Tarasenko trade. What are the Vancouver Canucks looking at in free agency? Are there targets they’ve identified that can help the team in their middle-six? Are the Toronto Maple Leafs looking at trading for Tyler Bertuzzi and who are the Tampa Bay Lightning most likely to lose this summer?

Blues to Try and Trade Tarasenko Before Expansion Draft Lists Due?

The St. Louis Blues might be trying to trade Tarasenko before July 17th. That’s a quick turnaround from word getting out that the player has requested a trade and it’s going to be challenging for the Blues to get anything of value if the team has no leverage and they can’t affect their own or other team’s expansion draft plans.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 27: Vladimir Tarasenko #91 of the St. Louis Blues celebrates his second period goal against the Boston Bruins in Game One of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on May 27, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Dispatch asks if the Blues should protect a player they want to trade or expose him and risk losing him for nothing? He writes:

The issue could be solved if general manager Doug Armstrong can pull off a Tarasenko trade before July 17. That’s when a five-day freeze begins on trades, signings and waivers among the other 31 teams heading into the Seattle expansion draft.

source – ‘Tarasenko trade request complicates Blues’ expansion draft list’ – Jim Thomas – St. Louis Post Dispatch – 07/08/2021

If Tarasenko isn’t moved, the most likely scenario is that he stays on the protected list because you want to get something for him via trade.

Canucks Possible Offseason Targets

According to Harman Dayal and Thomas Drance of The Athletic, the Canucks need more skill, speed and two-way intelligence up front, but can’t afford to target a big-name top-six winger on the unrestricted free-agent market or via trade this offseason. What does that leave?

They write:

The Canucks won’t be kicking the tires on the sexiest names, so much as they’ll focus on identifying bounce-back candidates and other imperfect, likely to be affordable forwards who are decent bets to outperform their pedestrian cap hit.

source – ‘Canucks offseason targets: 11 under-the-radar forward options with middle-six upside’ – Harman Dayal and Thomas Drance – The Athletic – 07/05/2021

The two scribes list 11 forwards GM Jim Benning could go after: Warren Foegele, Mason Appleton, Derek Ryan, Derick Brassard, Derek Stepan, Tyler Ennis, Ryan Dzingel, Vinnie Hinostroza, Ondřej Kaše, Danton Heinen, and Michael Bunting.

Maple Leafs Have Interest in Tyler Bertuzzi

After a report by TSN’s Darren Dreger that the Leafs might be a team that kicks tires on Taylor Hall, per Elliotte Friedman, the Maple Leafs might have their eyes on someone different. He says the Leafs organization had interest in Tyler Bertuzzi for a while now. This could be a player the team looks at if they are unable to re-sign Zach Hyman and if Alex Kerfoot is picked up in the NHL Expansion Draft.

Tyler Bertuzzi Detroit Red Wings
Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“I’m wondering if he’s one of the guys they’re going to look at,” Friedman said. ” He plays a way that I think Toronto would like to add to their roster.”

Bertuzzi is three years younger than Hyman and already has had two seasons with career highs (47, 48 pts) that were higher than anything Hyman has produced (41 pts). For Toronto, there could be a belief that Bertuzzi hasn’t scratched the ceiling of what he could do, especially if placed with some elite-level talent.

Bertuzzi is an RFA this summer and Friedman heard the Maple Leafs were looking at him ahead of the NHL trade deadline last year, but before the player got hurt and was done for the season.

Most Likely Lightning Player Exits

Friedman also listed a few of the names most likely to be leaving the Lightning this offseason. As most are aware, the team is well above the salary cap and can’t afford to keep everyone.

He noted that Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow will be leaving via free agency as there are teams that will show interest. Tyler Johnson could go, and might be easier to move this summer because he had an impactful playoffs and had a great attitude throughout a trying season personally. As for Alex Killorn, there was a belief he was going to be traded last season, but the Nikita Kucherov injury allowed the team to keep Killorn.

The NHL insider doesn’t think that Steven Stamkos is going anywhere and has absolutely no desire to leave the team or the city.

Friedman did say that the organization could be forced to make a move earlier than they’d like because of the draft.

Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”

Other content contributions include: NHLtradetalk.com, The Sportster and hosting weekly video casts, THW News and Rumors Rundown, plus Oilers Overtime.

For interview requests or to provide content info, follow Jim on Twitter or his social media accounts. They appear under his photo on articles like this one.

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Andreescu's 3-year title drought extended at Wimbledon tune-up in Germany – CBC Sports

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Caroline Garcia won her first tour title in three years after coming back from a set and a break down to beat 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in the final of the Bad Homburg Open in Germany.

Andreescu was looking for her first title since beating Serena Williams in the 2019 final at Flushing Meadows before injuries forced her to miss the entire 2020 season.

“I’m very happy. It’s been a couple of rough years but, you know, I’m putting in the work and on to the next. I’m excited for Wimbledon,” said Andreescu, who became visibly emotional while thanking her team. “You guys stuck with me through the toughest moments and that’s all anyone could ever ask for.”

She has drawn American qualifier Emina Bektas in the first round of Wimbledon next week. Garcia has Yuriko Miyazaki of Britain for her opener.

WATCH | Andreescu falls to Garcia in Bad Homburg final:

Andreescu falls to Garcia in Bad Homburg final

1 day ago

Duration 2:40

France’s Caroline Garcia battled past Canadian Bianca Andreescu to win 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Germany on Saturday.

Garcia took a medical timeout for what seemed to be a shoulder problem early in the second set. She then went 4-2 down before winning 10 of the next 14 games to seal the match ahead of the start of Wimbledon on Monday.

“It was a fight [for] every point from the first to the last one,” Garcia said.

Garcia is 8-3 in career finals but her last title was almost exactly three years ago in Nottingham in the build-up to the 2019 Wimbledon tournament.

WATCH | Canadian tennis star Andreescu answers questions from kids: 

Bianca Andreescu answers questions from kids

2 days ago

Duration 4:02

Canadian tennis champ Bianca Andreescu answers questions and offers a few words of advice to young athletes from the Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga.

Kvitova captures Eastbourne title

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova tuned up for the Grand Slam tournament by overpowering Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-2 to win the Eastbourne title on Saturday in England.

The 14th-seeded Kvitova earned her first grass-court title in four years — and 29th trophy of her singles career overall – after breaking Ostapenko, the defending champion, early in both sets and feasting on the Latvian’s second serve.

Kvitova saved five break points in the fourth game of the second set to stay in control of the match at 3-1.

“Playing on the grass is very special for me every time,” the 32-year-old Czech player said in her on-court interview. “It’s the best preparation for Wimbledon, as well.”

Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, plays Tuesday at the All England Club in a first-round match against Jasmine Paolini of Italy.

She is now 5-1 in grass-court finals in her career. Her most recent title on grass had been Birmingham in 2018.

Injured Keys, Coric out of Wimbledon

Madison Keys, the 2017 U.S. Open runner-up, and Borna Coric withdrew from Wimbledon on Saturday because of injuries.

The tournament begins Monday.

Keys, an American who was seeded 19th at the All England Club, pulled out because of a hurt abdominal muscle.

She was replaced in the field by Coco Vandeweghe, twice a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon and twice a semifinalist at other Grand Slam tournaments, who lost in qualifying this week. Vandeweghe’s first-round opponent will be No. 17 seed Elena Rybakina.

“This isn’t what I was hoping to say a few days before @Wimbledon, but unfortunately I have to withdraw due to an abdominal injury,” world number 24 Keys tweeted.

“I’m so disappointed, but my health comes first and my body needs time to get back to 100%. Lots of love London fans. See you next year.”

Former world No. 7 Keys won her first title since 2019 at the Adelaide WTA tournament in January before reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open.

She was defeated in the French Open fourth round by Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova.

Coric is a Croatian who got into the field thanks to a protected ranking because he has been injured. He cited a shoulder problem for his withdrawal.

He was drawn to face No. 12 seed Diego Schwartzman and that spot will be filled by an as-yet-unannounced player who lost in qualifying.

Jaeger: Sexually harassed ‘at least 30 times’

Former teenage tennis phenom Andrea Jaeger said she was sexually harassed “at least 30 times” by a female Women’s Tennis Association staff member during the 1980s.

Jaeger, now 57, also told The Independent she also was unknowingly served alcohol when she was 16 by a different staff member, who drove her home and tried to kiss her.

The two-time Grand Slam finalist was on the tour from ages 14 to 19 and was ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in 1981. Despite her success, she said she made it a habit to avoid WTA officials at tournaments during her five years on tour. Jaeger said much of the harassment occurred in locker rooms.

“I’d change in portable toilets or a bathroom stall because I didn’t want to deal with the comments, the interest or actions of people,” Jaeger said, according to The Independent. “I had at least 30 incidents with one specific non-playing staff member, physical attempts all in the locker room very, very early in my career. That particular non-playing staff employee had a major issue keeping her hands to herself.

“I avoided being in training rooms alone because an approach was made on me there as well.”

Jaeger said she was served multiple alcoholic drinks following the 1982 WTA Championships and began to get fuzzy. An official drove her home.

“When we got to my condo, she walked me to the door and tried something on with me,” Jaeger said. “She was trying to kiss me. I was so sickened that I was crawling up the stairs inside trying not to throw up so my dad wouldn’t see me.”

Jaeger said she complained to WTA officials after the incident and was threatened with reprisals.

She won 10 career titles before retiring at age 19 due to a shoulder injury.

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Lightning’s Brayden Point remains out of lineup for Game 6 – Sportsnet.ca

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Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is not anticipating any lineup changes Sunday night for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final as forward Brayden Point continues to deal with an undisclosed “severe injury.”

Point sustained a leg injury during Game 7 of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He returned for the start of the Stanley Cup Final and recorded one assist in two games before leaving the lineup again.

“It’s tricky too because players are used to playing at, I guess, a certain way or how they feel they can play,” Cooper told reporters. “If they don’t feel confident in playing at the calibre they’re used to, it almost works against them.

“It’s unfortunate because it was a severe injury and at this time of the year, everybody’s trying to get back into the lineup and there are just some things you can’t do. When you can’t do what you’re used to doing, it’s tough on the player.”

The 26-year-old Point, who has 78 points in 76 career postseason games, skated with the Lightning during Sunday morning’s practice, and Cooper did not completely rule him out for a potential Game 7.

“He’s still plugging along here and rehabbing and trying to get better. Who knows? If the series goes one more game, you never know,” Cooper said. “It’s tough on these guys because they’re such competitors.”

The Colorado Avalanche hold a 3-2 series lead looking to secure their first Stanley Cup since 2001 while the double defending champion Lightning are aiming to keep their hopes of a three-peat alive. Watch Game 6 live on Sportsnet or Sportsnet NOW starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

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In Gee Chun perseveres, holds off Lexi Thompson to win Women's PGA – Golf Channel

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BETHESDA, Md. — In Gee Chun rallied after losing her once-sizeable lead, overcoming a bogey-filled front nine to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday when Lexi Thompson faltered with the putter.

Chun shot a 3-over 75 for the second consecutive day at Congressional, but that was enough to win her third major title by a stroke over Thompson and Minjee Lee. Chun, after leading by six at the tournament’s midway point, lost a three-shot advantage in the first three holes of the final round. Thompson was two strokes ahead of her after the front nine, but her putting problems were just beginning.


Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Open


The 27-year-old Floridian botched a par putt from a couple feet on No. 14, but a birdie on 15 restored her lead to two. Then she bogeyed the par-5 16th while Chun made birdie, leaving the two players tied with two holes remaining.

Thompson three-putted for bogey on 17, and after an impressive approach from the rough on 18, her birdie putt wasn’t hit firmly enough.

Chun’s approach on the par-4 18th bounced past the hole and just off the back of the green, but she putted to within 5 feet and sank her par attempt to win the tournament.


Chun earns long-awaited major win at Women’s PGA


Chun, a 27-year-old from South Korea, led by seven strokes after finishing her first round in wet conditions Thursday. The lead was down to five at the end of that day — still equaling the largest 18-hole advantage in the history of women’s majors.

She was six strokes ahead at the halfway point and had a three-stroke advantage coming into Sunday. She finished at 5-under 283.

Chun won her first major at the U.S. Women’s Open in 2015 and added the Evian Championship in France the following year.

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