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Tuesday FTB: An anticlimactic end to the Taylor Hall trade rumours – Pension Plan Puppets

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Well that didn’t last long. The Arizona Coyotes have officially won the 2019 Taylor Hall sweepstakes!

The Coyotes are currently first in the Pacific, and acquiring Hall certainly implies that they think that this year could be Their Year™, especially as Hall is apparently not looking to sign a contract right now (his agent, Darren Ferris, is not known for his fondness of signing contracts mid-season, as Leafs fans are all painfully aware). They’re currently getting by more on goaltending than scoring, but teams have certainly ridden that all the way into the playoffs before. Hall has also been performing well below expectations in New Jersey the last couple of years, so maybe the change of scenery will do him some good (and if not, hey, the Coyotes can at least look forward to getting a first overall as a compensation prize. That’s how his witchcraft works, right?).

Either way, as a fan of a team that isn’t in their division, I wish them all the best! Except for on February 11, 2020, when I wish them only the worst.

I leave you with this spectacular quote from the man himself:

ICYMI

Another roster shuffle ahead of tonight’s game as the Leafs call up Timothy Liljegren and Martin Marincin:

Interested in learning more about the Marlies new head coach? Didn’t even realize they’d gotten one? Don’t worry, Katya’s got you covered:

Elsewhere

Maple Leafs Hot Stove takes a look at the Leafs’ defense:

Dom Luszczyszyn breaks down five reasons to be optimistic about Keefe’s version of the Toronto Maple Leafs:

Anthony Duclair has been having a great time in Ottawa, which is perfect if you’re someone who loves to see Tortorella proven wrong, but is less ideal if you were, say, hypothetically, a fan of a team in the same division as the Senators who is fighting them for a playoff spot right now.

Can’t win them all I guess.

In another exciting episode of “how will the NHL enforce the rules today”, the FlyersJoel Farabee has been suspended for three games:

The Blackhawks have suspended their assistant coach, Marc Crawford, until January 2, 2020, following accusations of physical and verbal abuse by former players. The team and the coach both put out statements:

And finally,

The Leafs made their annual visit to SickKids yesterday…

…and a new Leafs blueprint!

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Happy gameday everyone!

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

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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.”

HEADLINE FIGHT

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

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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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Andreescu splits with coach Bruneau after French Open exit

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World number seven Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday announced she has split with longtime coach Sylvain Bruneau, a week after falling in the first round of the French Open.

The pair had worked together for four years as Andreescu made her breakthrough with three titles in 2019, including the U.S. Open.

“It is with a heavy heart that I would like to inform my fans that my long time coach, mentor and friend, Sylvain and I, have mutually decided to end our incredible coaching relationship,” Canadian Andreescu wrote on Twitter

“Our friendship will live forever … I am very grateful for everything we accomplished together and all of our great memories.

“Sylvain was more than a coach… he is family.”

Andreescu, 20, returned to action at this year’s Australian Open, having missed 15 months due to a knee injury.

A positive COVID-19 test subsequently ruled Andreescu out of both Madrid and Rome before an abdominal injury forced her to pull out of Strasbourg at the quarter-final stage.

Her most recent appearance at Roland Garros ended with a 6-7(1) 7-6(2) 9-7 defeat by Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek.

 

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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