In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs are dealing with a number of injuries. What is the latest status on some of the big names who are out of action? Meanwhile, there are questions about the Boston Bruins long-term plans at center and whether or not the team should hang on to Jake DeBrusk. Are the Calgary Flames working on any trades? Finally, count Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman among those who hopes the NHL pushes back the 2021 NHL Draft.
Maple Leafs Injury Updates
The Maple Leafs are dealing with a host of injury issues. Chris Johnston notes that defenseman Jake Muzzin has a broken bone in his face. When he returns, it will be with a full face shield. Kristen Shilton notes that forwards Zach Hyman and Joe Thornton are day-to-day. Johnston added that all three players were absent from Leafs practice today.
As far as the goaltending situation goes, the Public Relations Department for the team tweeted out before Monday’s game that goaltender Frederik Andersen was unable to go and Michael Hutchinson would go in. Andersen has a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Fortunately, Jack Campbell is not far from a return, even if he’s not quite ready yet. Luke Fox cites head coach Sheldon Keefe who noted Campbell is “progressing really well.” There isn’t an exact timeline on his return, but it’s looking like next week is a possibility.
Bruins Plans at Center and With DeBrusk
Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic was asked what the long-term plan at center was for the Bruins and he responded that the team will focus on that position at the draft because once David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron are gone, the organization will be forced to look to Charlie Coyle, Jack Studnicka, Trent Frederic, Oskar Steen and John Beecher. Shinzawa said this is projected to be their biggest team weakness.
In other Bruins chatter, Shinzawa suggests the team has grown frustrated with Jake DeBrusk but that there is too much there and too much invested for the Bruins to toss him aside. He writes:
They would be selling low at this point. If they move him and he hits his sweet spot, that would be a really tough asset to lose, especially given Brad Marchand’s age and the eventual departures of Bergeron and Krejci. Jake is worth working with to express the entirety of his skill set.
source – ‘Jake DeBrusk’s potential? David Krejci’s next contract? Bruins mailbag’ Fluto Shinzawa – The Athletic – 02/18/2021
Nothing in the “Hopper” for Flames
There are lingering questions in Calgary when it comes to Sam Bennett and new questions regarding their goaltending as Jacob Markstrom was unavailable for Monday’s game against the Maple Leafs. Could Bennett be moved to land another goaltender if Markstrom’s injury turns out to be anything more than a day-to-day issue? It doesn’t sound like it.
Regarding Bennett, Elliotte Friedman told Pat Steinberg on Sportsnet 960 the FAN, prior to Monday’s game, “I don’t know how it’s going to be possible … there’s nothing in the hopper right now that I can tell,” . Friedman discussed how Brad Treliving is making phone calls and in on almost every possible deal that comes up, but nothing has materialized.
Friedman said, “I think he really tried to be in on Dubois. I think whenever there’s somebody out there who’s got a name, I think he’s involved. I don’t see anything imminent, but I think he’s got his lines out there.”
Yzerman Wants NHL Draft Pushed Back
When it comes to rumors that the NHL might hold two consecutive NHL Drafts in 2022 and postpone this year’s event, Yzerman is one of those GMs very much in favor of the idea. “I would hope they push it back, and give us a chance to watch these kids and give these kids a chance to play and put their best foot forward leading up to the draft,” he told Helene St. James.
Part of the reasoning Yzerman might be so keen on the idea is because the Red Wings will be drafting so high and the pick is critical. Detroit stands to lose a lot if this year’s prospects can’t compete, or be properly scouted.
Unfortunately, moving the NHL Draft is not a simple thing to do. Friedman pointed out on during the Headlines segment on Saturday that there are questions about the CBA and how long players will have to wait to hit unrestricted free agency.”
Ashleigh Barty, Aryna Sabalenka to meet in Madrid final – WTA roundup
Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty and fifth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka traversed through their semifinal matches on Thursday to advance to the championship match of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Barty recorded six aces while dispatching Spanish wildcard Paula Badosa 6-4, 6-3, while Sabalenka notched a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.
Saturday’s clash will mark the second time in less than two weeks that Barty and Sabalenka will meet in a final. The Australian rallied for a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over Sabalenka to win in Stuttgart on April 25.
Sabalenka, who had 21 winners against 11 unforced errors in Thursday’s semis, is ready to take another swing at Barty.
“Physically I have to be ready for this match,” said Sabalenka, who is from Belarus. “She’s No.1, she’s great. I played her in Stuttgart. It’s not an easy game. I will do everything I can to prepare myself as good as I can. Just looking forward for this battle.”
Barty holds a 4-3 edge in career matches against Sabalenka.
Barty played her semifinal match prior to knowing there would be another tussle with Sabalenka.
But she was pleased with her performance and the victory was her 16th straight on clay surfaces.
“I’ve learned a lot more about it, without a doubt,” Barty said of clay. “I promise you, I’m still counting down to the grass court season. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I think the memories and the learnings now that we’re getting from the red clay has been really cool, to be able to challenge myself in different ways.”
Thursday’s victory also was important to Barty because she was upset by Bodosa 6-4, 6-3 last month in the quarterfinals of the Volvo Car Open at Charleston, S.C.
“You have to learn from every game, every match you play against an opponent,” Barty said. “I definitely learned a lot from the match we played in Charleston. There was a small adjustment. I think just learning from some of her patterns, tendencies that came through and showed through in that match in Charleston.
“I think I was just able to control the court a little bit better.”
L’Open 35 de Saint-Malo
Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus upset fourth-seeded Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia to advance to the quarterfinals at Saint-Malo, France.
Second-seeded Rebecca Peterson of Sweden also moved on with a 4-6, 6-4, 4-0 win over Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya, who retired in the third set.
Russia’s Varvara Gracheva beat Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova when the latter retired. Gracheva won the first set 6-4 and the second was tied at 5-5.
–Field Level Media
Baseball lifts San Diego’s spirits. Can it revive a pandemic-stricken U.S. economy?
By Daniel Trotta, Howard Schneider and Chris Canipe
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – It was Saturday night in downtown San Diego, and J Street near the Petco Park baseball stadium was bustling.
Fans of the hometown Padres, many decked out in team gear, packed the bars and restaurants with more waiting in line and happy to do so after a year of pandemic lockdown.
“It’s definitely a feel-good time,” said lawyer Chris Schon, 33, as he waited for a table outside Bub’s at the Ballpark, a sports bar.
However festive the scene, it nonetheless highlights some of the limits emerging in the U.S. economic recovery.
The Padres have been “selling out” most every game since Major League Baseball’s reopening a month ago, but in the age of coronavirus that means hitting an attendance cap of around 15,000, or roughly a third of capacity. Elsewhere in the league, results are lagging.
The surrounding restaurants, dependent on summertime ballpark crowds, remain limited to 50% capacity in California for at least another month. Owners expect depressed revenue through 2021 and worry that even as restrictions are lifted people will hesitate to join standing-room-only crowds.
“Back in the good old days, we were four or five deep at the bar, slinging beers…. Are people going to get turned off by that?” wondered Brant Crenshaw, a partner in the Social Tap bar and restaurant where big-screen TVs and picture window views of the ballpark are a draw.
His opening day revenue this year? Around $15,000 versus $30,000 to $40,000 in prior years.
‘NOT BACK TO WHERE WE WERE’
The start of a full baseball season with 162 games on tap was a milestone in the U.S. reopening. The 2020 season, shortened to 60 games and played in empty stadiums, gave way to the fanfare of Opening Day 2021 and dreams of playoff games packed with cheering crowds come October.
Restrictions are being eased as coronavirus vaccinations proceed and daily infections and deaths ebb.
Among the largest U.S. states, Texas and Florida have dropped all COVID-related limits, New York is allowing restaurants to reopen at full capacity on May 19, and California plans to lift most remaining restrictions on June 15.
However, data including national travel statistics as well as stadium-by-stadium baseball attendance https://tmsnrt.rs/3nOh7Wa compiled by Reuters suggests people remain hesitant, putting a potential brake on how quickly some parts of the economy will improve.
The 29 U.S.-based MLB stadiums are selling an average of just under 74.8% of the limited numbers of seats each team has made available. That compares with an average paid attendance of 67.6% at fully open stadiums before the pandemic. While higher now, it’s not break-down-the-doors higher at a time when households have record levels of cash saved over the past year.
The 30-team MLB’s one non-U.S. club, the Toronto Blue Jays, are playing at a minor league stadium in Florida because of travel restrictions between Canada and the United States.
More broadly, air travel has climbed back to only around 60% of pre-pandemic levels. An April Conference Board survey found 43% of respondents planned a vacation within the next six months, up from around 30% during the pandemic but well off the 55% or more before the health crisis.
Consumers spent heavily on goods during much of the pandemic, but services account for two-thirds of the economy so a fulsome recovery needs spending on everything from healthcare to baseball games to find its way back.
“When are things going to get back to normal? When people don’t worry about the virus anymore,” said Tim Duy, chief U.S. economist at SGH Macro Advisors and an economics professor at the University of Oregon. “If you are still not willing to go to a ballgame, if you cannot get more than 60% travel, we are not back to where we were.”
‘APOCALYPSE’ GIVES WAY TO ‘ELECTRIC’
Near Petco Park, but for the few face masks in the crowd, things appeared much as they did before the pandemic. Firefighters played Wiffle ball outside their station. A jazz band played around the corner.
If last year’s emptied downtown “was the apocalypse,” said Cory Whitmore, 44, a cyber security engineer who wore his “Friar Faithful” jersey to Basic Bar/Pizza, the Saturday scene had now turned “electric.”
Erik Tesmer, Basic’s general manager and part owner, said the baseball season pulls in roughly 70% of the business at his industrial brick building, previously home to a horse carriage repair shop and a surfboard company.
Revenue plummeted to 25% of normal in 2020, and the restaurant survived only thanks to two Paycheck Protection Program loans from the federal government. Basic was able to keep about 15 employees on payroll, down from 50, Tesmer said.
Baseball may be back, and for long-suffering Padres fans there is even hope the team’s off-season spending on players will mean wins – and sellouts – as stadium attendance limits are likely raised through the summer.
But Tesmer notes the gaps still in San Diego’s larger ecosystem. Comic-Con, a summertime comic book and entertainment convention, was canceled last year and again in 2021, as was a music festival set to move downtown. Basic will be lucky to generate 50% of typical revenue this year, Tesmer said.
His best hope, he said, is for a winning Padres season.
“With a good season … we could be packed wall to wall and everybody is in a good mood and ready to get back to normal,” he said. “It certainly would help us if there are playoff games.”
(Daniel Trotta reported from San Diego; Howard Schneider reported from Washington; Chris Canipe reported from Kansas City, Missouri; Editing by Dan Burns and Howard Goller)
Advantages of Live Casino Games
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The Good Side of Online Casinos
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Get to enjoy games in real time with Live Dealers!
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Indulge in your favorite Live Casino Games from anywhere and at any Time!
Playing on the go has never been so easy. Never has it ever been so effortless and easy to access fun gaming, with the best thing being the fact that you need not travel for miles on end to be able to do this. Not only do you get to cut on all those travel expenses, but you also get the chance to enjoy high quality gaming just as if you were in an actual brick and mortar location.
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Nearly all leading live casinos will integrate high quality gaming technology and systems, offering players a smooth wagering process. Thanks to the live streaming feature, gamers can observe all action to detail as it happens from the beginning of the game to the end of it. This high level tech also comes with high level kind of protection to user information, adding on to the peace of mind.
Thanks to cutting edge technology, bettors can interact with other game participants and the dealer as well. This not only makes the game more enjoyable and real, but the personal connection established takes things to a whole new level.
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