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Quick Shifts: Rapid-fire thoughts on NHL trade rumours –



A quick mix of the things we gleaned from the week of hockey, serious and less so, and rolling four lines deep. Tonight, we tested positive for free-agent fever. We will begin our quarantine now and enter our recovery process on Oct. 10. We will get through this TOGETHER!

1. Glass half-full or glass half-empty?

Let’s fret about the hockey hibernation later and soak in the deluge of news and rumours that is upon us. Fast on the heels of the Stanley Cup’s booze cruise, we’re getting the draft, free agency and enough trade chatter to knock out a tooth or two. Enjoy it.

Some thoughts on the latest scuttlebutt:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson could’ve had his pick of half the league when he approached free agency. Instead, he bet on the team that drafted him.

“I love living in Arizona and I love playing for the Coyotes, so it was a no-brainer for me,” Ekman-Larsson said upon inking his life-changing $66-million extension in 2018. “Being loyal to your team and people that really care and believe in you, that’s something I had in the back of my head and that’s why I wanted to stay.

“I didn’t really think about leaving or going anywhere else, to be honest with you, but it’s nice to get an end to people asking me if I would stay or go somewhere else. I’ve been focused on staying in Arizona. That’s where I want to play. I think we have something good coming.”

The good never arrived, and the captain — holding a full no-move clause he negotiated with John Chayka — has earned the right to not stick around for more of the mediocre.

We understand why Ekman-Larsson wants to join Boston or Vancouver, but this is a difficult first deal for rookie GM Bill Armstrong to execute. How can the Bruins’ Don Sweeney sell letting fan favourite Torey Krug walk and making an imported talent the highest-paid guy on the roster?

And with the Canucks so tight to the cap, how many young players lose their raise to make space for OEL?

Also: Arizona wants a high draft pick for Tuesday. Boston doesn’t pick until Round 2 and Vancouver doesn’t pick until Round 3.

Jake DeBrusk would look great in Oilers sweater, but Sweeney would need to immediately start looking for a second-line winger.

• Regarding Patrik Laine: Has anyone traded away a 22-year-old 40-goal scorer and won the deal?

• Marc Bergevin saying he wants to make Brendan Gallagher Montreal’s highest-paid forward sounds splashy until you realize that the highest-paid forward is Jonathan Drouin at $5.5-million and Gallagher’s comparables are much closer to $6.5 million. Anything less than making Gallagher the highest-paid forward would be an insulting offer.

• Bergevin is willing to trade his first-rounder (16th overall) for a top-six winger, as he should be. It wasn’t so long ago that Tampa’s Julien BriseBois traded late first-round picks for bottom-six wingers Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman. Pittsburgh landed what it sees as a top-six winger in Kasperi Kapanen for the 15th-overall pick, but only because Toronto viewed Kapanen as a third-liner. The trick will be finding a team undervalues one of its wingers or has a glut of them.

Laurent Brossoit signed Friday. There is going to be an NHL-calibre unsigned backup goalie waiting for a phone call upon the first injury of 2020-21, isn’t there?

• I love Devan Dubnyk. I’m rooting for Devan Dubnyk. That said, his win total and save percentage have dropped in each of the past three years, and he’s been playing behind a decent defensive squad. I’m not convinced he’s the answer for San Jose.

• Vegas has been grouped in with Colorado, Florida and Detroit among the parties interested in trading for Krug’s rights before Friday. The Knights’ left side is decent and their right side got exposed against Dallas, so this is a tough fit for me. Would rather see them pursue righty Alex Pietrangelo and work their way down that list.

• Rookie GM Bill Zito has already traded two regular defencemen away from the Florida Panthers, a bad defensive team. Is he simply cutting costs or setting up for a bigger play, like Krug?

Watch Round 1 of the NHL Draft on Sportsnet and SN NOW beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Then catch Rounds 2-7 on SN1 and SN NOW starting at from 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

2. Las Vegas, 2012: Sent to cover my first NHL Awards for this fine website, my editors wanted me to earn my pool time. In addition to conducting interviews and filing stories, they also asked me to shoot iPhone photos and capture Instagram videos for this thing called “social media” that was all the rage back then.

This entailed covering the red carpet walk of hockey royalty.

If you’ve never covered a red carpet before, understand that it is a manic free-for-all. A lawless environment in which the lions pounce on any fresh meat that tries to scoot by.

If you’ve never found yourself wandering a giant Vegas casino looking for a very specific location, understand that it may take you longer than anticipated to maze your way there.

I say all of this to say that when I did find the carpet, I was late, sweaty, confused and fumbling to figure out the recently-downloaded Gram when I looked up and saw the King gliding my way.

Resplendent midnight-black tuxedo. Hair clipped from the heavens. The amount of stubble that makes a man looks like he doesn’t care but he totally does. Smile out of a toothpaste commercial. Eyes the colour of confidence. Henrik Lundqvist looked like 59.5 million bucks as he walked in to collect his Vezina.

I asked for a minute of his time. Graciously, he said yes.

Then… nothing. Mind blank. Silence of the most awkward degree. I’d seen a flash of handsome and had pounced without a plan.

For the first and last time in my career, I was so flustered I couldn’t even speak.

“Uh… I forgot my question,” I finally conceded, disclosing my inner idiot. The carpet no longer looked red compared to my face. “It’s all right. Go ahead to the next one.”

“No, no, no. That’s OK,” Lundqvist replied, patiently. “Take your time. No rush.” A smile.

Able to breathe again, I got through asking him a few questions — one of which may or may not have been “Will you marry me?” — and he sailed off to charm his next pesterer.

The Rangers lost a Hall of Famer this week, absolutely. But they also lost the classiest hockey player of a generation. Here’s hoping Lundqvist takes his talents elsewhere and keeps his Cup dream alive. GMs are inquiring.

3. The amount of dead money on the Rangers’ books is staggering. Buyouts Dan Girardi, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Spooner (retained salary) and now Lundqvist will account for $12.99 million on the cap. Brad Richards doesn’t count against the cap, but the Blueshirts will still be paying the retired star $1.06 million a year through 2025-26.

No wonder Jeff Gorton was happy to find a trade partner for the dependable but expensive Marc Staal. The price to unload Staal’s paperwork wasn’t cheap (a second-round pick), as the Detroit Red Wings did a fine job weaponizing their cap space and adding a solid veteran to a depleted defence core.

On paper, New York has more cap room than any club who qualified for the NHL’s 24-team return to play. But Gorton has valuable RFAs to sign at every position: centre Ryan Strome, winger Brendan Lemieux, defenceman Anthony DeAngelo, and goalie Alexandar Georgiev.

Complicating matters? Every one of them holds arbitration rights. Every one of them is hot off the best showing of his career.

It’ll be more challenging to wedge Jack Eichel’s $10-million contract into this roster than you think (wink).

Stray thought: If Gorton knew he was going to win the Alexis Lafreniere draft lottery, would he have signed Chris Kreider to a seven-year, $45.5-million extension in February? That’s a heckuva price for the third-best left wing on the depth chart.

4. Sportsnet’s chief prospect prognosticator Sam Cosentino and I had a long, enjoyable Zoom call with projected top-10 pick and quick wit Marco Rossi from Austria. The story comes out next week, but this anecdote can’t wait.

Rossi was interviewed by too many teams to count. I asked him the strangest question fired his way by an NHL team executive.

“The weirdest question I got was, like, if I would hit my mom to win a game,” Rossi said, smiling. “And I said, ‘No, I would never do that. Would you do it?’ And he was just loving it. It was so funny.”

Did you tell your mom?

“I did. And she was in shock,” Rossi chuckles. “And I was like, ‘No! I didn’t say yes.’”

Poor Claudia Rossi, getting dragged into a fight from the stands.

5. Quote of the Week goes to the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings:

“I was doing yoga for most of the interviews, so I was trying to not be a distraction.” — Steve Yzerman, on why he was muted behind a dark screen during Zoom calls with draft prospects

It’ll be a while before we know how Detroit’s 2020 picks turn out, but this draft is already a triumphant victory for multitaskers.

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6. Yzerman dished on the backstory of drafting Conn Smythe runner-up Brayden Point in the third round of 2014.

At No. 80 overall, the Lightning were one pick behind Minnesota (79) and eyeing the undersized centre. One of the voices at the Tampa table piped up: “Oh, Minny. He’s the type of guy Minny drafts.”

The Wild were at the next table over.

Yzerman grabbed the phone, called Chuck Fletcher and said, “Chuck, are you interested in a seventh for us to jump in front of you for the pick?”

Fletcher looked over at Yzerman 10 feet away like, “Are you serious?”

“Yeah,” Yzerman responded.

Fletcher shrugged. “OK, but you gotta tell me who you’re picking.”

Yzerman told him the truth.

“Obviously it turned out pretty good, but in all likelihood Point would have still been there, and we would’ve had our seventh-round pick,” Yzerman told reporters Thursday.

At No. 80, Fletcher drafted defenceman Louie Belpedio (three NHL games played). The seventh was for 2015 and used to draft defenceman Jack Sadek, who had a respectable ECHL season with the Allen Americans last year.

7. All the juicy draft tales from the championship roster are coming to light.

Yzerman did the heavy lifting, but Brian Lawton and Julien BriseBois bookended his construction with some key ingredients.

Lawton was at the helm when Tampa drafted Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman. He credits Jay Feaster for the Stamkos pick and delivered fantastic insight behind the Hedman decision on Real Kyper at Noon Wednesday.

Heading into the 2009 draft holding the second-overall pick and knowing the Islanders would select John Tavares No. 1, the consensus among Lightning brass was to choose Matt Duchene. However, the buck stopped with Lawton, and he had in his own mind landed on Hedman.

The GM quietly met with then-owner Oren Koules, informed him that the staff debates favoured Duchene but that on draft day he’d be taking Hedman instead. Koules gave Lawton the green light, and Lawton informed his staff at the draft that he was overruling the consensus.

Further, Lawton says he was “privately pleased” that he’d lost the lottery to the Islanders because he had concerns about Tavares’s skating. By picking second, he’d able to secure his target in Hedman and avoid any backlash had he been tempted to take Hedman over the highly touted Tarvares at No. 1.

Prior to the draft, Lawton invited Tavares, Hedman and Duchene to Tampa at the same time for interviews and testing and dinners. He wanted to see the three interact.

At one dinner with Koules and the three top prospects, the Lightning made a rule: no hockey talk.

Lawton said because Tavares and Hedman had been competing with players older than them, he sensed they were “much more advanced emotionally than Matt — and that meant something to me.” He spotted the seeds of a leader in a shy youngster.

One unnamed staff member was ticked off that Lawton had chosen Hedman over Duchene. He approached Lawton post-draft and said, “Brian, the Colorado Avalanche are laughing at us.”

8. I’ve been burning through episodes of SmartLess, the newish podcast started by actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and noted Maple Leafs fan Will Arnett.

In one fun riff, Bateman chides Arnett for getting his golf balls custom stamped with the No. 17 — in honour of Wendel Clark, the “greatest hockey player” in Arnett’s opinion.

Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, a friend of Arnett’s, notices.

“I sometimes feel like Shanny feels like, ‘Wow, you really love Wendel,’ ” Arnett said. “Shanny’s 14.”

“Well, that’s a better score than 17,” replied Bateman, arguing that looking down at such a large number isn’t helpful for golf’s mental game. “Save you three shots on the next hole.”

9. The latest edition of Quest for Cup, the league’s inside-the-bubble docuseries, features a pair of great speeches from inside the Lightning’s dressing room before they reach the mountaintop.

One is from injured captain Steven Stamkos, explaining how impressed he’s been by his teammates’ play, how far they’ve come, and why he believes they have what it takes to finish off the Stars. (The speech is carpeted with F-bombs and won’t be transcribed here, but seek it out. Earmuffs, kids.)

The other comes care of coach Jon Cooper, during the second intermission of Game 4, which was easily the best, most controversial and most pivotal game of the series:

“Do we have any worry in this room? Not a chance,” begins Cooper, before preying on the mentality of the opposition.

“They’ve blown a 2-0 lead and given up goals at the end of both periods. They have zero room for error. That’s it. They gotta be sitting over there like, ‘Holy f—.’

“Just come at them in waves. Keep driving, fellas. Go get it here, boys.”

Tampa would take that back-and-forth grudge match 5-4 in overtime to seize a 3-1 stranglehold on the series.

10. “I’m the Big Rig! And I’m back-to-back!”

Even deep in a well of Bud Lights, Patrick Maroon knows what he has accomplished is a rare feat:

Maroon became only the third player of the expansion era to hoist the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons with different teams and the first since Cory Stillman did so in 2004 (Tampa) and 2006 (Carolina), a run interrupted by the lockout.

Claude Lemieux pulled off the stunt in the mid-’90s with Colorado and New Jersey.

“I thought last year was something else, but this year was something special. I’ve been fortunate enough to be on so many good hockey teams,” Maroon said. “Most people don’t get a chance to play in a Stanley Cup Finals. I got to do it back to back, and win. I got the chills talking about this.”

Maroon took a surprising small-rig salary as a 2019 free agent and was worth every penny of the $900,000 the Lightning paid for his services this year.

As a free agent, he heads to market with an opportunity to pull off an individual three-peat. Playoff teams could do much worse when it comes to complementary role players in their bottom six.

11. Turns out, you don’t need a start date for the 2020-21 season to bet on the winner of the 2021 Stanley Cup. Some interesting odds (via BetOnline):

The Lightning (7/1) are favoured to repeat, followed by Colorado (15/2) and Vegas (15/2), then Boston (12/1). Despite winning the West, Dallas is tied at seventh (20/1) with Toronto.

Decent value in longshots St. Louis (22/1), Carolina (28/1), Winnipeg (33/1) and Chicago (80/1). Only the Senators (100/1) and Red Wings (150/1) have longer odds than the Blackhawks.

12. Hang around the game long enough and good things can happen.

KHL journeyman Andrei Kuteikin, a 36-year-old Moscow Spatak defenceman, fired a puck from behind his own blue line Thursday and it went right through CSKA goaltender Alexander Sharychenkov. Yikes.

The most enjoyable part of the video is Spatak coach Olegs Znaroks laughing at the goal, then realizing he better cover his face with his lineup sheet.

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Garoppolo shines in return to NE; Niners crush Patriots 33-6 – Yahoo Canada Sports



FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Jimmy Garoppolo was once considered to be the man in waiting to take over at quarterback in New England for Tom Brady.

Now he’s the guy who helped hand the Patriots their worst home loss under Bill Belichick.

Jeff Wilson Jr. rushed for a career-high three touchdowns and 112 yards before leaving with an ankle injury and the San Francisco 49ers crushed New England 33-6 on Sunday.

Garoppolo finished 20 of 25 for 277 yards with two interceptions in his first game against his former team. San Francisco (4-3) has followed back-to-back losses with consecutive wins and is 3-0 on the road.

“It was an exciting night. Lot of emotions. Couldn’t imagine it going any better than this,” Garoppolo said.

The Patriots’ 27-point loss was their largest at home under Belichick. They had gone 286 games without a three-game losing streak, the longest span between three-game slides in NFL history. New England fell to 2-4 for the first since Belichick’s first season in 2000, when the Patriots went 5-11.

New England was outgained 467-241 in total yards.

“We were clearly out-coached, outplayed. Just out-everything,” Belichick said. “We’re still a long way from where we need to be. That’s obvious.”

San Francisco’s Brandon Aiyuk had six catches for 115 yards and Deebo Samuel had five catches for 65 yards before leaving the game with a hamstring injury.

“When we got them down, we got to keep them down, don’t want to give them any chance to breathe. I thought we did that tonight,” Garoppolo said. “Started from the first snap and carried its way throughout the whole game.”

Cam Newton struggled for the Patriots, completing 9 of 15 passes for 98 yards and three interceptions before being replaced by Jarrett Stidham in the fourth quarter. Stidham was 6 of 10 for 64 yards and an interception.

Belichick said his plan is to keep Newton as the starter.

“Yeah, absolutely,” he said.

Newton was out of sync from the outset, making poor reads and poorer throws. Garoppolo, meanwhile, was successful in spreading out New England’s defence with a steady diet of passes behind the line of scrimmage and jet sweeps to get the ball into the hands of Wilson, Samuel and tight end George Kittle.

San Francisco dominated the first half, taking a 23-3 lead, holding the ball for 22:30 and racking up a 301-59 advantage in total yards. The Patriots managed four first downs to the 49ers’ 18.

The Niners took just over five minutes and nine plays to march 75 yards and take a 7-0 lead on 3-yard run by Wilson. It was the first time the Patriots have allowed a touchdown on an opponent’s opening drive at home since Week 4 of 2016 against Buffalo.

Following a Patriots punt, San Francisco was pinned inside its 15. Long completions by Garoppolo helped erase some early penalty losses before he missed high on a pass for Kittle and was intercepted by Devin McCourty.

San Francisco’s defence limited the damage, yielding a 40-yard field goal by Nick Folk.

That wasn’t the case for the Patriots later in the second quarter.

Trailing 10-3, Newton made a bad play worse when he tried to dump off the ball on the run to receiver Jakobi Meyers. It was picked off by linebacker Fred Warner. Five plays later, the 49ers capitalized on a 4-yard touchdown run by Kyle Juszczyk.

The lead grew to 23-3 with just under a minute to go before halftime on a 16-yard run by Wilson.

“D just played impressive the whole day. I thought special teams and offence did, too. It was an extremely physical game,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was fun to watch.”


49ers: WR Richie James left with an ankle injury. … Wilson had just crossed into the end zone following his third TD when his leg twisted as he was tackled. He stayed down on the field before walking off under his own power. Shanahan said the tentative diagnosis is a high ankle sprain. “Not sounding great right now,” he said.

Patriots: WR N’Keal Harry left with a head injury and did not return. … LG Joe Thuney departed with an ankle injury. … RT Justin Herron also left with an ankle injury.


With an 11-yard pass to Jakobi Meyers in the third quarter, Newton became the 48th NFL quarterback to reach the 30,000-yard plateau.

He also became the first NFL player to pass for 30,000 yards and rush for 5,000 yards in his career.


The 49ers head to Seattle next Sunday. The Patriots visit Buffalo.


More AP NFL: and

Kyle Hightower, The Associated Press

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Browns star Odell Beckham Jr. done for season with torn ACL –



CLEVELAND — Odell Beckham Jr. was in a much better place emotionally and physically. This was going to be the season he changed minds.

He was determined to make 2020 _ and its many obstacles — a special year, re-establish himself as one of the NFL’s best players and lead the Browns back to the playoffs, along with with best friend and teammate Jarvis Landry.

Beckham won’t get the chance.

The star receiver’s second season with Cleveland ended on Monday after an MRI confirmed he sustained a torn left knee ligament in the opening minutes of Sunday’s 37-34 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Beckham’s injury is a devastating personal blow and a potentially major setback to the Browns, who are off to their best start since 1994 and eyeing their first post-season appearance in 18 years.

They’ll have to get there without Beckham.

“Obviously, it’s a big loss,” coach Kevin Stefanski said. “He’s a huge part of what we do, so now we just have to huddle up and find some different ways and find some different people and put them in that role. … I’m sick for Odell.”

The three-time Pro Bowler got hurt when his left leg buckled while he was trying to make a tackle after Baker Mayfield’s first pass was intercepted by Bengals cornerback Darius Phillips.

An MRI taken Monday in Cleveland confirmed the diagnosis of the torn ACL, an injury that typically requires nine months to one year of recovery time. The team said Beckham will be placed on injured reserve, but Stefanski did not have a timetable on when he will have surgery.

On what became his final play of 2020, Beckham, who was slowed last season by a core muscle injury, was chasing Phillips down the sideline when his leg got twisted awkwardly. He immediately grabbed it, was taken directly to the locker room and didn’t return.

The Browns (5-2) played well without Beckham, who for all his talent hasn’t been able to make a strong connection with Mayfield since arriving in a blockbuster trade from the New York Giants before last season. The three-time Pro Bowler played most of 2019 with an injury that required off-season surgery.

After Beckham went out Sunday, Mayfield completed 21 consecutive passes and threw five TD passes _ matching a franchise record _ as the Browns outlasted Joe Burrow and the Bengals.

Mayfield was also without injured running back Nick Chubb, tight end Austin Hooper and Landry played with a broken rib. But the third-year QB had one of his best games by making plays with rookie tight end Harrison Bryant (two TDs), Rashard Higgins (six catches) and rookie receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, who entered the game without a catch and grabbed Mayfield’s winning TD pass with 11 seconds left

Cleveland, which hasn’t made the post-season since 2002, will have to go the rest of the way without Beckham, who turns 28 on Nov. 5. He had 23 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns this season and scored on a 50-yard touchdown run.

Beckham’s presence alone made defences account for him on every snap.

“Odell, the energy he brings to practice, the energy he brings to games. No one else is going to be able to bring that type of juice,” Stefanski said. “But it’s our job to find the guys that can go compete and we’ll put them in spots where they can succeed and think we’ll be able to do that.

“It’s not easy. I don’t want to have to do it and I’m very disappointed for Odell, but that’s the nature of this beast. Injuries are part of this thing and that doesn’t mean any of us have to like it, but we do have to deal with it.”

While Beckham had continued to make some headlines with off-the-field antics, he had been emerging as a leader on the Browns. He was healthier than he had been in several years and showing some of the breakaway speed that made him so dangerous with the Giants.

The torn ACL is the latest injury for Beckham, who was the AP’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 after being drafted with the No. 12 overall pick by New York. He made the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons, but was limited to four games in 2017 with a broken ankle and 12 games in 2018 with a bruised quadriceps.

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Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap offers house for sale after loss to Browns, fight with coach – Yahoo Canada Sports



<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Carlos Dunlap appears to be done with the Cincinnati Bengals.” data-reactid=”12″>Carlos Dunlap appears to be done with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end has spent his entire 11-season career with the Bengals, but seemed to reach his breaking point with the franchise on Sunday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Bengals lost a tight game to the rival Cleveland Browns as quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for five touchdowns against the Cincinnati defense.” data-reactid=”14″>The Bengals lost a tight game to the rival Cleveland Browns as quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for five touchdowns against the Cincinnati defense.

As time wound down, cameras caught Dunlap in a sideline argument with the coaching staff.

Dunlap: ‘I don’t got time for this’

Dunlap lost his starting job earlier this season and wrote, via Instagram on Saturday “I don’t got time for this” alongside a whiteboard image of the Bengals depth chart.

That post has since been removed.

House for sale in Cincinnati

The 31-year-old failed to record a tackle in Sunday’s loss. Immediately after the game, he announced on Twitter that his house is for sale. “Serious inquiries only.” They read:

The tweets have since been deleted.

The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 3. Dunlap is making clear that he wants to be a part of it.

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 29, 2019: Defensive end Carlos Dunlap #96 of the Cincinnati Bengals waits for the snap in the third quarter of a game against the Cleveland Browns on December 29, 2019 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati won 33-23. (Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Carlos Dunlap is not taking his new role off the bench in stride. (Nick Cammett/ Getty Images)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More from Yahoo Sports:” data-reactid=”38″>More from Yahoo Sports:

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