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Sedins excited about present, future of Canucks –



The twins, who will have their numbers retired by Canucks on Wednesday for their accomplishments during 17 NHL seasons, all with Vancouver, say the current team can do big things this season, and that the outlook for the years ahead is also bright.

“They can beat anyone in this League, and that’s exciting,” said Daniel, who is first in goals (393) and second in games played (1,306), assists (648) and points (1,041) in Canucks history. “They can play some meaningful games this year and hopefully go a long way in the playoffs, but they have all the pieces to be successful a long time.”

Daniel and Henrik each received a standing ovation when they were shown on the big screen during the Canucks’ 6-2 win against the Nashville Predators at Rogers Place on Monday.

Video: Budweiser Canada lifts Sedin numbers around Vancouver

The victory helped the Canucks (31-21-5) extend their lead for first place in the Pacific Division to three points over the Edmonton Oilers.

Rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes had three assists in the victory against Nashville to give him 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists), which leads all NHL rookies. The 20-year-old joined Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque as the only rookie defensemen to have four games with at least three assists.

The Canucks also have center Elias Pettersson, who was voted winner of the Calder Trophy last season as the top rookie in the NHL. The 21-year-old leads the Canucks with 57 points (23 goals, 34 assists).

Vancouver also has young, homegrown forwards Brock Boeser, a 22-year-old who has 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists), and Bo Horvat, a 24-year-old with 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists). J.T. Miller, a 26-year-old forward acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade on June 22, has 56 points (22 goals, 34 assists). The play of goalie 30-year-old goalie Jacob Markstrom, who is 21-16-5 with a 2.81 goal-against average and .915 save percentage, is another reason the Canucks could get to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2014-15.

“They have a lot of young stars,” Henrik said.

Like the Sedins and retired forward Markus Naslund, who was honored before the game Monday along with Canucks greats Pavel Bure, Trevor Linden and Stan Smyl, Pettersson is from Sweden.

Linden sees the connection.

“The greatness Markus displayed and Daniel and Henrik and now to see Elias kind of follow up, and he’s a special player,” said Linden, who was president of hockey operations when the Canucks selected Pettersson No. 5 in the 2017 NHL Draft. “He’s special not just because of his skill, but from what’s inside. You can see the fire burns deep in his competitiveness, so it’s going to be fun to see where he gets to over his career.”

Henrik Sedin, the Canucks’ all-time leader in games played (1,330), points (1,070) and assists (830), said it’s easy to see why Hughes and Pettersson have been successful so early in their NHL careers.

“Confidence,” he said. “They seem to be guys that just step on the ice and know they’re good. That’s impressive at an early age.”

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CFL to return in August



The Canadian Football League (CFL), which saw its entire 2020 campaign wiped out by the COVID-19 outbreak, said on Monday its board of governors voted unanimously to kick off a shortened 14-game season in August.

The CFL, whose biggest source of revenue comes from ticket sales rather than TV deals like those enjoyed by larger U.S.-based leagues, also said fans will be able to return to the stands in line with provincial guidelines.

“This is an exciting day for Canadian football and for Canada itself,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a news release.

“I want to thank our fans, players, coaches, and partners for their incredible support and patience as we’ve worked together towards this day.”

The season will begin Aug. 5 while the Grey Cup championship game will be played Dec. 12 in Hamilton, Ontario.

The full schedule will be released on Tuesday along with each of the league’s nine team’s plan for distributing tickets to season ticket holders and, where government restrictions on stadium capacity allow, ticket sales to the general public.

After first delaying its 2020 season, the CFL decided to scrap it entirely following a last-ditch effort to secure financing from the Canadian government to stage a shortened campaign that would have been held entirely in Manitoba was turned down.

The CFL had previously said it would only move forward with a 2021 season if it could secure the government approvals for its plans to keep players and coaches safe and the green light to allow a “significant” number of fans to attend games.

“We are on track to receive all of the necessary health and safety approvals, thanks to our tireless medical advisers and staff, and the dedicated government officials who have been working with them,” said Ambrosie.

“And while the outlook for fans in the stands varies from province to province, we are confident that process is also on the right track.”


(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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Mixed Martial Arts-Door is open for YouTube’s Paul brothers in MMA



Logan and Jake Paul would make great Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, Bellator president Scott Coker has said as he targets exhibition matches featuring the YouTube personalities such as the former’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Logan Paul went the distance, surviving eight rounds against unbeaten (50-0) five-division world boxing champion Mayweather in an exhibition on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium.

USA Today reported the fight brought in one million pay per view buys with $50 million generated from sales in the United States.

It was only the second fight of Paul’s career, while his brother Jake has fought in three professional boxing matches, beating former MMA fighter Ben Askren in April.

Critics have labelled the bouts a sideshow due to the lack of sporting credibility of the duo, who made their names as social media personalities and have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

However, Coker told Reuters the brothers have impressive physiques and the door is open for them to move into MMA.

“I met with Logan Paul about two years ago and I’ve spoken to Jake Paul’s manager and Jake on a zoom call recently… The one thing I said was hey, if you want to do MMA we would love to promote you guys,” the 58-year-old said in a Zoom interview.

“These guys are young, athletic, strong and you saw the fight on Sunday night these guys they came and did their work.

“Mayweather couldn’t finish him and I know he tried, I heard he wanted to knock this kid out so bad,” he added.

“When I heard both had high school wrestling backgrounds in Ohio, which is a prominent wrestling state in the U.S., it really made me interested in pursuing them in some super fights in Mixed Martial Arts – and that door is continually open.”


Bellator, owned by Viacom, is gearing up for a busy month of events, starting with Bellator 260 on Friday with the headline fight between reigning welterweight world champion Douglas Lima and the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov.

However, super fights and exhibitions are where Coker is targeting a younger audience.

“My 14-year-old niece, I told her I was going to the Logan Paul fight and she thought that was the greatest thing,” he said.

“She asked me who he was fighting and I said Floyd Mayweather and she said ‘who’s that?’ – I thought wow, she doesn’t know boxing, she doesn’t know MMA, she’s just a 14-year-old girl on the internet doing what they do.”

As the sporting world gears up for the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July, Coker believes MMA will feature in future Games.

“When you think about mixed martial arts, what you’re talking about is boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, karate – those are all Olympic sports,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t mixed martial arts eventually get into the Olympics because six out of the seven disciplines MMA is known to use really is already there.

“There’d be a lot of details to work out but to me I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”


(Reporting by Christian Radnedge,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships



Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Wednesday, after the 2020 event Canada was to host was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The championships will return to Montreal from March 18-24, marking the 11th time Canada has staged the event.

“Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montreal,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO of Skate Canada, in a statement.


(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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