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Patriots trade Sony Michel to Rams for 2022 fifth-, sixth-round picks: Sources – The Athletic

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The Los Angeles Rams are acquiring running back Sony Michel from the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round draft pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick that are not conditional, sources told The Athletic on Wednesday.

The deal originally involved 2022 fifth- and sixth-round picks, but the two teams had to re-work the deal after the NFL stepped in, according to sources. A change in league policy prohibits exchanging conditional compensation picks.

Michel, the 31st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, played three seasons in New England, helping the Patriots to a win against the Rams in Super Bowl 53. He’s rushed for 2,292 yards on 535 carries (4.3 yards per attempt) and 14 touchdowns.

The trade comes following the emergence of 2019 third-round pick Damien Harris as the lead back, James White established as a veteran presence and pass catcher, and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson showing flashes in two preseason games with New England.

The Rams are dealing with injuries to multiple running backs. Cam Akers is out for the season with a torn Achilles, Raymond Calais broke his foot in Saturday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders, and Darrell Henderson sprained his thumb in Monday’s practice and is day to day.

(Photo: Al Pereira / Getty Images)

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NHL Rumors: Devils, Senators, Bruins, Maple Leafs, More – The Hockey Writers

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In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the New Jersey Devils signed Travis Zajac to allow him the chance to retire in a Devils’ jersey He’s not entirely done with the NHL as he’ll join the team in an executive role. Tyler Ennis has signed a PTO with the Ottawa Senators. Does he have a shot at making their roster? The Boston Bruins might have to slow-play Charlie Coyle’s move to the second-line center position and are the Toronto Maple Leafs thinking about making a trade with so many forwards competing for roster spots?

Zajac Retires From NHL, Will Join Devils as Consultant

He was the last player of the group of New York Islanders players that needed to sign a new contract, but with the expectation Zajac might remain with New York, he’s instead headed back to New Jersey where he’s signed a one-day contract so that he can retire from the NHL as a member of the Devils’ organization.

Zajac won’t be leaving the NHL for good. The Devils announced that he will remain with the organization in an on/off-ice player development and consulting role, while also working to grow the club’s youth hockey initiatives.

Zajac finishes his playing career with an impressive 1037 games played. He amassed a total of 203 goals and 552 points. 

Senators Sign Tyler Ennis to PTO

The Ottawa Senators are bringing back a former player as Tyler Ennis has signed a PTO this offseason. The Edmonton, AB native was skating with his former Oilers teammates but a deal was not offered by GM Ken Holland. As a result, Ennis will go back to the Senators and try to make a roster that he’s quite familiar with.

Artem Anisimov Tyler Ennis Mark Borowiecki
Ottawa Senators right wing Tyler Ennis celebrates a goal (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Ennis spent 61 games during the 2019-20 campaign with the team and as per Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, “the club likes what he brings to the table.” Garrioch adds:

It’s worth it for the club to take a chance on Ennis in camp. Dorion and coach D.J. Smith along with the rest of the staff all liked him during his short stint here and it’s fair to say he’s a low-maintenance player. Ennis is the type of guy who can play anywhere from the first line if there’s injuries to the fourth line.

source – ‘GARRIOCH: Tyler Ennis will return to familiar territory to try to earn a contract with the Ottawa Senators’ – Burce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 09/19/2021

Coyle Dealing with Injury for Bruins

According to The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa, Coyle jumping into the second-line center role in the absence of David Krejci might be easier said than done. Apparently, he could be limited at the start of training camp thanks to an injury that has carried over from last season.

Coyle underwent knee surgery in July but will be asked to play a more pivotal role alongside Taylor Hall this season. The Bruins are relying on him to step up and if he’s not 100%, it could pose issues for them offensively.

Maple Leafs to Make a Proactive Trade?

While discussing the arrival of Nikita Gusev and just how many bubble forwards have one-way deals for the Maple Leafs, James Mirtle of The Athletic writes, “The Leafs are obviously not going to carry 15 forwards this season — nor can they. The 23-man roster above is $1.4 million over the salary cap.” He notes to expect roster changes in the coming days or perhaps a trade.

Pierre Engvall Toronto Maple Leafs
Pierre Engvall, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Mirtle writes the roster is jammed up and instead of potentially losing a player via waivers, the Leafs try to be proactive. He notes:

Maybe that’s fine if you lose someone to Buffalo or Arizona on waivers. Maybe you can afford to sacrifice a Pierre Engvall for nothing if you have to, freeing up nearly enough salary to accommodate two league minimum payroll players. … It would probably make more sense to deal him in a trade rather than using waivers, assuming some of the NHL’s bottom feeders have interest in the 6-foot-5 skating giraffe.

source – ‘Mirtle: Will the Maple Leafs have to think trade to ease their cap and roster logjam?’ James Mirtle – The Athletic – 09/20/2021

If a trade is not made, the most likely candidates are forward Kurtis Gabriel and center Adam Brooks.

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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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Blue Jays’ bats struggle vs. Rays’ latest development success story – Sportsnet.ca

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow long ago made the Tampa Bay Rays’ return for Chris Archer in their 2018 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates absurdly one-sided, yet here’s Shane Baz ready to be another problem for Toronto Blue Jays and the American League.

The 22-year-old right-hander, sitting on an overpowering 96.9 m.p.h. with his fastball and generating 11 misses on 21 swings at his slider, made a dazzling debut Monday in a 6-4 victory. Teoscar Hernandez, in the second, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., in the fifth, took him deep but that was all the Blue Jays could manage against the latest power arm churned out by the Rays’ seemingly unending assembly line.

In keeping the game under control for five innings, Baz outduelled Robbie Ray, whose fastball was down a tick from the dominant heater he deployed last week when he struck out 13 Rays over seven innings of one-run ball.

This time, Rays hitters chewed him up in each of his 4.2 innings, finally breaking through in the decisive fifth, when Yandy Diaz followed a pair of hits with a three-run homer that erased a 2-0 Blue Jays lead.

“They made me battle,” said Ray. “I had to be on the whole night. They worked some deep counts, laid off some really good pitches. The one pitch (to Diaz), I made my pitch, fastball in off the plate, the guy sucked his hands in, nothing you can really do about it.”

Two batters later, Julian Merryweather escaped the inning, but the Rays scratched out runs against Tayler Saucedo in the sixth, Nate Pearson in the seventh and Ryan Borucki in the eighth that came in handy in the ninth, when Marcus Semien hit a two-run shot.

The Blue Jays (84-66) eventually loaded the bases but Dietrich Enns caught Breyvic Valera looking to close things out, the loss dropping them 1.5 games back of idle Boston for the first wild card. The New York Yankees (83-67), who beat Texas 4-3, moved a half-game behind them for the second spot.

Baz’s arrival is the latest dividend paid by the Rays’ clever trading, which was also on display in the eighth when J.P. Feyereisen worked around an error to put up a zero. The terrific set-up man was acquired with Drew Rasmussen in a May deal that sent to Milwaukee shortstop Willy Adames and righty Trevor Richards, later flipped to the Blue Jays for Rowdy Tellez.

Rasmussen, stretched out in a pinch last month only to throw 27 innings of 1.33-ERA ball in six starts, goes Tuesday against Alek Manoah, highlighting again how well the Rays develop and maximize their arms. Baz allowed just the two homers and struck out five and could be a late-season weapon added to their playoff mix.

“First time we see him, good arm,” said manager Charlie Montoyo. “That’s what I saw from him, another good arm for the Rays comes up from the minor-leagues.”

They’re very much the standard, in that regard, but the Blue Jays can certainly point to Ray’s turnaround this year as one of their success stories, even after a rare tougher night.

Though he could have created some separation between himself and Gerrit Cole in the Cy Young Award race, Ray still has a slight edge over the Yankees ace in several pitching categories.

Each still has a couple of starts to swing not only that race, but also the competition for a post-season berth. The teams meet next week in Toronto.

“You’ve got to give Diaz credit,” Montoyo said of Ray’s one fateful pitch. “They did a good job grinding out the at-bats but Robbie Ray is still Robbie Ray, Cy Young candidate, and Diaz did a good job. Other than that, Robbie kept us in the game. He did throw a lot of pitches, but Robbie Ray has done that before.”

Ray, like Baz, was also a trade acquisition, one picked up as a low-cost rental at the deadline last summer. The 29-year-old lefty, a former all-star, was a mess at the time, but showed flashes of a turnaround, prompting the Blue Jays to re-sign him to an $8-million, one-year deal.

Why?

“The thing that stood out most was his competitiveness and his drive and seeing it up close was very attractive to us,” said GM Ross Atkins. “It just increased our belief that he would get back to the form he had before, or close to it.”

So, too, did the time they spent together last summer, giving them an opportunity to find “reason to believe that he’ll get back to that form.”

“When you have the time with the player, the likelihood of them being successful is higher,” added Atkins. “That’s the takeaway for me, as opposed to someone that you haven’t spent time with and you’re doing it all from 30,000 feet.”

Similar but different, the Blue Jays can use their time with Jose Berrios, who is eligible for free agency after the 2022 season, to build a relationship that perhaps tips the scales when the time comes.

Those are just a couple of the ways the Blue Jays can counter the seemingly constant supply of pitching the Rays produce.

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Jones scores four TDs as Packers bounce back to beat Lions – TSN

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Jones caught three of Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes and rushed for a fourth score, and the Green Bay Packers had a welcome return to normal after an embarrassing opening-week loss, beating the Detroit Lions 35-17 on Monday night.

Green Bay (1-1) won its ninth straight home opener. The Packers, who got thumped 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, looked more like the team that went 13-3 in each of coach Matt LaFleur’s first two seasons.

Rodgers went 22 of 27 for 255 yards and surpassed John Elway for 10th all-time in passing yards with 51,633. Rodgers has followed up each of the Packers’ last five regular-season losses by throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions in his next game.

Jones became the first Packers running back to catch three touchdown passes in a game since Andy Uram against the Chicago Cardinals in 1942. He had 17 carries for 67 yards and six catches for 48 yards.

Detroit’s Jared Goff completed 13 of his first 14 passes but struggled the rest of the way as the Lions (0-2) blew a 17-14 halftime lead. Goff finished 26 of 36 for 246 yards. He connected on touchdown passes to Quintez Cephus and T.J. Hockenson but also threw an interception and lost a fumble.

Green Bay scored touchdowns on its first three second-half possessions to seize control.

The Packers faced third-and-12 on their opening series of the second half when Rodgers threw a 50-yard completion to Davante Adams, who ended the night with eight catches for 121 yards.

Lions rookie cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu injured his thigh on the play, further weakening a secondary that already lost cornerback Jeff Okudah to a ruptured Achilles tendon in Detroit’s season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Green Bay dominated the rest of the way.

Rodgers capped that drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Robert Tonyan. Detroit’s next series ended when Goff threw an incompletion on fourth-and-1 from the Green Bay 25.

Rodgers threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jones to extend the Packers’ lead to 28-17.

Green Bay’s Krys Barnes recovered Goff’s fumble at the Detroit 23 on the Lions’ next snap. Jones scored on a 1-yard run and that was that.

INJURIES

Lions: WR Tyrell Williams missed the game with a concussion. … Melifonwu did not return after the thigh injury.

Packers: TE Josiah Deguara was out with a concussion.

ST. BROWN VS. ST. BROWN

The Packers activated wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown from the practice squad, giving him the chance to play against his younger brother. The Lions selected receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown out of Southern California in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Amon-Ra had the better stat line with three receptions for 18 yards, while Equanimeous had one catch for no gain.

PACKERS’ LINE CHANGE

Green Bay’s Lucas Patrick, who started at left guard against New Orleans, was active after getting out of concussion protocol. But he wasn’t on the field for the opening series.

Jon Runyan Jr. was at left guard instead in the 2020 sixth-round pick’s first career start. Runyan’s father was an All-Pro tackle who went on to represent New Jersey in Congress from 2011-15.

IN MEMORIAM

The Packers wore a helmet decal to honor Ted Thompson, who worked as the team’s general manager from 2005-17 and died Jan. 20 at the age of 68. The Packers also honored Thompson during a halftime ceremony.

UP NEXT

Lions: Host Baltimore (1-1) on Sunday. The Ravens are coming off a Sunday night victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Packers: At San Francisco (2-0) on Sunday night. This will be the fourth time in the last three seasons the Packers have played at San Francisco. They won 34-17 last season. Two years ago, the Packers lost 37-8 to the 49ers in the regular season and 37-20 in the NFC championship game.

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