Connect with us

Sports

NHL sells naming rights to 4 re-aligned divisions

Published

 on

The National Hockey League, which took a revenue hit last year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, said on Tuesday it has sold the naming rights to its divisions for the first time.

The move to sell naming rights to divisions that were once named after some of the founding fathers of the league before taking on geographical designations, follows a recent decision by the NHL to allow small advertisements on player helmets.

For the new season, which begins on Jan. 13, teams will play in the Scotia NHL North Division, Honda NHL West Division, Discover NHL Central Division and the MassMutual NHL East Division, the league said in a news release.

The NHL did not say whether having corporate sponsorships for divisions would be the new normal or simply a one-year-only campaign, but some marketing experts believe they are here to stay.

“While some fans may protest the over-commercialization of the league, the majority understand the importance of finding new revenue streams, especially now,” Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco, told Reuters.

“I’m sure this won’t be a one-timer for the NHL. Whether it’s naming rights, logos on uniforms, or almost any other new sponsorship deal bringing in much-needed revenue, fans will get used to it and leagues will keep pursuing it.”

NHL sought to minimize travel

Due to COVID-19 and the closure of the U.S.-Canada border, the NHL sought to minimize team travel as much as possible and the 56-game regular season, down from the usual 82, will shift exclusively to intradivisional play.

To accommodate this plan, the NHL’s 31 teams will be split among three U.S.-based divisions and one all-Canadian division.

The current plan is for all games to be played in teams’ home arenas, as opposed to single-site locations, which were used for last year’s playoffs. Most venues will not, at least in the initial part of the abbreviated season, be able to host fans.

Last month, Forbes said the average value of NHL franchises declined for the first time since 2001 as the COVID-19 pandemic robbed teams of critical revenue.

The NHL held 85 per cent of its regular-season games with fans last season before suspending the campaign in March due to COVID-19. Play resumed nearly five months later with a post-season held at neutral sites and behind closed doors.

Source: – CBC.ca

Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Brady bests Brees as Buccaneers advance to NFC Championship – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


NEW ORLEANS — Tom Brady‘s best game in three tries against New Orleans kept the Buccaneers moving on in the NFL playoffs, and has Saints quarterback Drew Brees headed home — perhaps for good.

Brady and the Bucs’ offence turned three of four Saints turnovers into touchdowns and Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 30-20 in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday night.

Two of those touchdowns came on short passes to Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette. And after linebacker Devin White snagged the second of thee interceptions thrown by Brees, Brady drove the Bucs to the 1, from where he scored himself with 4:57 left to virtually ensure his 14th trip to a conference championship game — his first in the NFC.

That game will take place in Green Bay next week, where the 43-year-old Brady will try to advance to his 10th Super Bowl in a showdown with Packers All-Pro QB Aaron Rodgers.

“We worked hard to get to this point. Two road playoff wins is pretty sweet,” Brady said. “We’ve got to go beat a great football team we know pretty well. Aaron’s playing incredible.”

Meanwhile, the Brees era in New Orleans could be over after 15 seasons.

While just 3,750 tickets were distributed in the 73,000-seat Superdome to comply with local COVID-19 restrictions, the fans made themselves heard with an eruption of cheers when the 42-year-old Brees first took the field for New Orleans (13-5), seemingly sensing this could be their last chance to see him play at home.

Brees, under contract for one more year, declined to say whether he’s retiring. After he’d changed in the locker room, he walked back onto the field and watched his four children play, at one point sharing a long embrace with his wife, Brittany.

“I appreciate all that this game has given to me,” Brees said. “There are obviously so many incredible memories.”

If it was his last game, it won’t be one he’ll want to remember. The NFL’s all-time leader in completions and yards passing was 19 of 34 for 134 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

“A couple of them I probably shouldn’t have thrown and maybe forced it,” Brees said. “That’s what this game came down to is those turnovers because all of those gave them the ball deep in our territory, and you can’t do that with (Tampa Bay’s) offence. They’re too good and they’re going to capitalize on that, which they did.”

Brady finished 18 of 33 for 199 yards in what often resembled more of a defensive struggle. Unlike his previous two meetings with the Saints — both losses — he was not intercepted and largely avoided pressure, taking only one sack.

“Really just locking in and playing a lot better than we did the first two times we played them,” he said. “We had a bunch of turnovers last time. This time they turned it over and that’s usually the story of football games.”

After Brees’ third interception on a tipped pass late in the fourth quarter, the Bucs were able to close out the game with Brady, in his first season with Tampa Bay (13-5) after 20 with New England, taking a knee.

“Obviously they beat us twice in the regular season,” Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith said. “We came around in Round 3 with the knockout.

“We’ve been building. You got to get hot at the right time.”

THIEVING BUCCANEERS

The Saints led 6-3 when Brees, while trying to flee pressure, underthrew Michael Thomas and was intercepted by Sean Murphy-Bunting, who raced 36 yards along the sideline to the Saints 3. Brady hit Evans one play later to put the Buccaneers up 10-6.

Brees’ 16-yard pass to Tre-Quan Smith put the Saints ahead 20-13, and New Orleans appeared primed to build on that lead when Brees found Jared Cook across the 50. But Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. stripped Cook from behind and White snagged the loose ball, returning it 18 yards to the New Orleans 40.

“It wasn’t nothing Brees did. It was everything our defence did,” White said. “Our mindset the whole week was they won the first two rounds, we had to win round three.”

Five plays later, Brady hit Fournette over the middle for a 6-yard score.

Ryan Succop’s 36-yard field goal made it 23-20 before White’s interception of a pass intended for Alvin Kamara gave the Buccaneers the ball at the New Orleans 20, setting up Tampa Bay’s final TD.

WINSTON’S MOMENT

Jameis Winston, forced out of Tampa Bay when Brady became available, threw a 56-yard touchdown pass against his old team on a trick play.

Kamara took a direct snap and gave the ball to receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a reverse before Sanders lateraled back to Winston. The reserve QB launched an accurate pass down the middle to an open Smith.

STATS

Fournette finished with 107 yards from scrimmage, 63 on the ground. He had 40 yards in one drive that set up a field goal that tied it at 13 as time expired in the first half.

Kamara had 105 yards from scrimmage, with 85 on the ground. Thomas was held without a catch in his final game of an injury-plagued season.

INJURIES

Buccaneers: Linebacker Jack Cichy went out with an elbow injury in the first quarter.

Saints: Deonte Harris, who returned the first Tampa Bay punt 54 yards to set up a field goal, left with a neck injury in the first half.

UP NEXT

The Bucs will try to advance to the second Super Bowl in franchise history with Brady, no stranger to high-stakes games in cold weather after his two decades in New England.

New Orleans might have to ponder life without Brees.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Why the Maple Leafs put Jason Spezza, Aaron Dell on waivers – The Athletic

Published

 on


The fact is this was always going to happen.

The Maple Leafs were going to run into a cap crunch — either due to injuries or COVID-19 or performance issues — and they were going to have to put more people on waivers.

They tried to wait that process out, through the tail end of training camp, when it felt like half the league was in the bargain bin. They thought, maybe, they could sneak a few players through later on, when rosters were set around the league.

The Leafs were willing to eat a little cap space in order to keep a few veterans on the roster those extra five days, but when rookie Nick Robertson went down with a knee injury on Saturday in Ottawa, that became more difficult.

They needed some more flexibility. And that’s why, in a nutshell, they put Jason Spezza and Aaron Dell on waivers on Sunday afternoon.

More moves are coming, too. The majority of them have to do with the complex machinations of the collective…

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Brady, Buccaneers top Brees, Saints to reach NFC Championship – TSN

Published

 on


NEW ORLEANS — Tom Brady‘s best game in three tries against New Orleans kept the Buccaneers moving on in the NFL playoffs, and has Saints quarterback Drew Brees headed home — perhaps for good.

Brady and the Bucs’ offence turned three Saints turnovers, including two interceptions of Brees, into touchdowns, and Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 30-20 in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs Sunday night.

Two of those touchdowns came on short passes to Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette. And after Brees was intercepted by linebacker Devin White in the middle of the fourth quarter, Brady drove the Bucs to the 1, from where he scored himself to all but ensure his 14th trip to a conference championship game — his first in the NFC.

That game will take place in Green Bay next week, where the 43-year-old Brady will try to advance to his 10th Super Bowl in a showdown with Packers All-Pro QB Aaron Rodgers.

“We worked hard to get to this point. Two road playoff wins is pretty sweet,” Brady said. “We’ve got to go beat a great football team we know pretty well. Aaron’s playing incredible.”

Meanwhile, the Brees era in New Orleans could be over after 15 seasons.

The game may have been the last in the Superdome for the 42-year-old Brees, who is under contract for one more year but has not discussed any plans to play beyond this season, and has sometimes hinted at his impending retirement.

While just 3,750 tickets were distributed in the 73,000-seat Superdome to comply with local COVID-19 restrictions, the fans made themselves heard with an eruption of cheers when Brees took the field for New Orleans’ first offensive series.

If it was his last game, it won’t be one he’ll want to remember. The NFL’s all-time leader in completions and yards passing was 19 of 34 for 134 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

Brady finished 18 of 33 for 199 yards in what often resembled more of a defensive struggle. Unlike his previous two meetings with the Saints — both losses — he was not intercepted and largely avoided pressure, taking only one sack.

“Really just locking in and playing a lot better than we did the first two times we played them,” he said. “We had a bunch of turnovers last time. This time they turned it over and that’s usually the story of football games.”

After Brees’ third interception on a tipped pass late in the fourth quarter, the Bucs were able to close out the game with Brady, in his first season with Tampa Bay after 20 with New England, taking a knee.

The Saints led 6-3 when Brees, while trying to flee pressure, underthrew Michael Thomas and was intercepted by Sean Murphy-Bunting, who raced 36 yards along the sideline to the Saints 3. Brady hit Evans one play later to put the Buccaneers up 10-6.

The Saints answered, helped by a drive-extending third-down defensive holding call on Murphy-Bunting. New Orleans drove to its 44 before unleashing a trick play.

Kamara took a direct snap and gave the ball to receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a reverse Sanders lateraled back to Jameis Winston. The reserve QB launched an accurate pass down the middle to Tre’Quan Smith for a 56-yard score.

Ryan Succop’s 37-yard field goal capped an up-tempo Bucs drive powered by Fournette’s 40 yards from scrimmage, tying the score at 13 to end the half.

Brees’ 16-yard pass to Smith put the Saints ahead 20-13, and New Orleans appeared primed to build on that lead when Brees completed a third-down pass to Jared Cook across the 50. Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. stripped Cook from behind and White snagged the loose ball as it bounced to him, returning it 18 yards to the New Orleans 40.

Five plays later, Brady hit Fournette over the middle for a 6-yard score.

Succop’s 36-yard field goal made it 23-20 before White’s interception of a pass intended for Kamara gave the Buccaneers the ball at the New Orleans 20.

STATS

Fournette finished with 107 yards from scrimmage, 63 on the ground. Kamara had 105 yards from scrimmage, with 85 on the ground. Thomas was held without a catch in his final game of an injury-plagued season.

INJURIES

Buccaneers: Linebacker Jack Cichy went out with an elbow injury in the first quarter.

Saints: Deonte Harris, who returned the first Tampa Bay punt 54 yards to set up a field goal, left with a neck injury in the first half.

UP NEXT

The Bucs will try to advance to the second Super Bowl in franchise history with Brady, no stranger to high-stakes games in cold weather after his two decades in New England.

New Orleans might have to ponder life without Brees.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending