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Russell is leading contender to replace Hamilton for Sakhir GP – F1i.com

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Williams’ George Russell has emerged as the leading contender to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for next weekend’s Sakhir GP according to multiple reports out of Bahrain.

Talks are apparently ongoing in Bahrain between Mercedes and Williams management to reach an agreement for the Grove-based outfit to release its driver for a one-off with the championship winning outfit following Hamilton’s unavailability after testing positive for COVID-19.

Should the negotiations reach a successful outcome, Williams reserve Jack Aitken, who has yet to race in F1 but who holds a super licence, is Russell’s most likely replacement.

If the talks are not successful, Mercedes is likely to rely on Stoffel Vandoorne to fill Hamilton’s seat, as the Belgian is the Brackley team’s official reserve and is race-ready having wrapped up his campaign in Formula E with the German manufacturer.

While racing for Williams, Russell remains contracted to Mercedes who backed the young Briton and 2018 Formula 2 champion during his formative years.

Williams is likely to demand a financial compensation from Mercedes for releasing its driver, but the prospect of lending Russell to the Black Arrows squad could entail some interesting marketing benefits for the team if the 22-year-old wins next weekend – hardly a far-fetched hypothesis – and then returns to Grove a Grand Prix victor.

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

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Trade grades: Pierre-Luc Dubois and Patrik Laine swap teams – ESPN

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We’ve got our first blockbuster trade of the 2021 NHL season, as the Columbus Blue Jackets have sent disgruntled center Pierre-Luc Dubois along with a 2022 third-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for disgruntled winger Patrik Laine and forward Jack Roslovic.

Laine and Dubois arrived on the NHL radar simultaneously, as the No. 2 and No. 3 picks, respectively, in the 2016 NHL draft. Heading into this season, there were murmurs that both were unhappy with their current situation. Now, they each get a fresh start where the other began his NHL career.

How did both GMs do in this swap of stars? Here are our grades for the deal.

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Montreal Canadiens recall Corey Perry from taxi squad – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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The Montreal Canadiens have announced the recall of Corey Perry from the taxi squad, making the winger available for Saturday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Perry’s recall was necessary because of the concussion that Joel Armia suffered on Thursday night. Perry will likely slot into Armia’s position on the third line with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Tyler Toffoli.

This will be Perry’s NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens. The veteran winger signed a 1-year $750,000 contract during the offseason after tallying 21 points in 56 games with the Dallas Stars the previous season.

The absence of additional recalls likely means that Paul Byron will be in the lineup or — at the very least — that the team is comfortable placing Victor Mete in the lineup. This move allows the team to evaluate the cap situation and their injury situation during the upcoming four-day break prior to their home opener on Thursday.

Perry can stay on the NHL roster for 30 days or play 10 games without requiring waivers to return to the taxi squad.

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Player grades: McDavid's brilliance not quite enough as Edmonton Oilers drop a tight one in T.O. – Edmonton Journal

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#56 Kailer Yamamoto, 7. Robbed by Andersen in the early going off a great Draisaitl feed, though if he could have found the upper half of the net it likely would have been a different story. Was all over the puck again, winning an important shorthanded puck battle against Morgan Rielly to feed the disc into Draisaitl’s territory and earn his fifth point of the young season. Had a few other chances of his own but failed to hit the target. Blocked 4 shots at the other end, which is to say 3 more than all the other forwards combined. Has been like a dog on a bone around the puck all season.

#63 Tyler Ennis, 6. His standout moment was a great stretch pass to send Puljujarvi in on a breakaway. A couple of shots of his own. Drew a penalty.

#74 Ethan Bear, 6. A solid night on the back end, though his ice time was down a tad at 18:12. Earned an assist, firing a point shot that McDavid was able to deflect home from the slot. 3 hits and some decent puck movement.

#93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 7. A key part of the dominant McDavid unit, which had the puck on a string for much of the night. Earned an assist with a good puck recovery and pass that led to the McDavid tally early in the third. Involved in 5 Oilers Grade A chances and was clean at the other end, unless you want to consider a lost battle at centre ice that led to Marner’s empty netter with under a second on the clock. Played 22:39 but an unusual 0:00 on the penalty kill, which in retrospect may have been a mistake.

#97 Connor McDavid, 8.Best player on the ice for either team. Had one early issue when he was caught puckwatching as Wayne Simmonds swooped in for an early chance, but more than made up for that by later contributing to 11 (eleven) of Edmonton’s 17 chances on the night, with 7 of those Grade A shots coming off his own stick. Indeed his 7 shots were 3 more than any other player on either team. Burst around the defence for one close in jam shot and a behind-the-back rebound. Robbed by a superb Andersen glove grab when he pounced on Koekkoek’s rebound that had the Oilers’ ace smiling in disbelief. Hammered a one-timer from centre slot that the  Leafs netminder rejected, Oilers’ best powerplay chance of the night. Scored the 2-2 goal on a superb mid-air deflection. 9/17=53% on the dot. Edmonton dominated the shot clock to the tune of 16-4 during his 19 minutes at 5v5.

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Follow me on Twitter @BruceMcCurdy

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