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Verstappen drives to 6th win of season, holding off Sainz at Montreal Grand Prix – CBC Sports

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Max Verstappen maintained his hold on the Formula One championship fight by holding off a late challenge from Carlos Sainz Jr. to earn his sixth win of the season in an easy Sunday drive in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Verstappen won from the pole at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to extend his lead in the standings to 46 points over Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who retired early with a gearbox issue

“It’s still a very long way to go and I know the gap of course is quite big, but I also know that can switch around very quickly,” the Dutchman said of his points lead. He noted he trailed Charles Leclerc by 46 points following the third race of the season.

Canada’s Lance Stroll was 10th, while Toronto native Nicholas Latifi, who has admitted his seat at Williams is not secure, was 16th in his first career home grand prix.

“It’s great to finally have my first home race and the support I felt from my family, friends and all the fans in the grandstands was amazing,” said Latifi. “In terms of on track, we were lacking a lot of pace and we need to try to understand why. Regardless of the result, this weekend has been one to remember.”

Verstappen had no trouble clearing Fernando Alonso, who earned his first front-row start in a decade then joked he’d attack Verstappen in the first turn to steal the victory.

But there was no challenge and by the time Sainz cleared Alonso for second on Lap 2, Verstappen had already built a lead of 2.4 seconds in his Red Bull. Sainz was able to close the gap over the final 10 laps and pressured the reigning F1 champion but faded on the last lap and finished .993 seconds behind in his Ferrari.

“It was good racing, it is always more enjoyable to be able to really push rather than just save your tires,” said Verstappen, who added Sainz didn’t have “a go in terms overtaking, but it was super close.”

Sainz said second was the best he could get on Sunday.

“When I gave it all, I was risking everything,” Sainz said. “I can tell you I was pushing. I left everything out there. For the first time this season I can say I was fastest man on track, which gives me confidence and some hope for the next races.”

Rousing ovation for Hamilton

Mercedes had a tremendous rebound from its season-long struggles, which included a terrible Friday practice, as seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton scored his first podium since the season-opening race in March. George Russell was fourth as Hamilton beat his new teammate for just the second time in nine races this season.

“It feels great to be amongst the battle and at the end there I was keeping up with these guys, but it does give me and the team a lot of hope,” Hamilton said. “The potential is truly there if we can get the setup right and I think that’s been the most difficult thing this year.”

WATCH | Lafiti looks forward to his 1st Candian Grand Prix: 

Montreal-born Nicholas Latifi looks forward to competing in his first Canadian Grand Prix

4 days ago

Duration 2:49

Williams driver Nicholas Latifi will finally compete in Montreal as the Grand Prix makes its triumphant return after the pandemic forced cancellation of the race in both 2020 and 2021.

Hamilton received a rousing ovation after his finish and said he had no problems with his back, which has been plaguing him all season because of how the new Mercedes bounces all over the track.

“It’s good, I’m back to being young,” said the 37-year-old. But he added “we still had bouncing, but it’s night and day the difference.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted after the race the team had raised the ride height on its cars to make them more drivable and eliminate the “porpoising” effect that has bogged down Hamilton and Russell all season. The bouncing has caused back pain and headaches for its drivers.

“The [wind] tunnel has told us that the lower the car, the faster you go, the more ground effect it will have,” Wolff said. “But in effect, you can’t drive the car there, so you need to lift it, and lift it, and lift it, and then on paper you are losing half a second or so in downforce.

“We raised it already [Saturday] but the more you raise, the more performance you lose. So, it’s always a compromise.”

Record crowd over 3-day weekend

Verstappen, meanwhile, has now won six of the first nine races in his title defense season.

It was Verstappen’s best finish in Montreal, which F1 said hosted a record 338,000 spectators over the three-day weekend as the series returned to Canada after a two-year pause during the pandemic. The Sunday crowd was treated to clear, sunny skies after two days of rain that upended qualifying and created the slick track that allowed Alonso — and other drivers, including Hamilton — to earn their top starting spots this year.

Leclerc rallied from a 10-place grid penalty for changing the engine in his Ferrari to finish fifth from 19th. Estaban Ocon of Alpine finished sixth and teammate Alonso, who said he’d be pleased with a fifth-place finish, was seventh but penalized five-seconds after the race for weaving.

WATCH | Fans thrilled as Grand Prix returns to Montreal: 

Montreal celebrates the return of Grand Prix weekend

10 hours ago

Duration 1:59

The Montreal Grand Prix raced back to the city’s streets over the weekend, to the delight of F1 racing fans and local businesses.

That dropped Alonso to ninth, while Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo moved to seventh. Bottas was followed by rookie teammate Zhou Guanyu, who was moved to eighth after the Alonso penalty and finished in the points for the second time this season.

Sergio Perez exited the race after just nine laps with a gearbox issue, the fourth Red Bull mechanical failure this season between Perez and Verstappen. Eleven laps later, Mick Schumacher came to a stop on track — ending the Haas driver’s bid to score his first F1 points.

Haas had equalled its best qualifying effort in team history a day earlier when Kevin Magnussen and Schumacher qualified fifth and sixth, but the team failed to convert. Magnussen damaged his front wing on the opening lap and finished 17th.

“I feel like we built the cake, but we just didn’t get to put the frosting on it,” Schumacher said.

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is scheduled for July 3. Hamilton won a year ago in what’s considered the Brit’s home race.

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Makar gets love from Orr after winning 2022 Norris, Conn Smythe Trophies – NHL.com

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Canuck icons Henrik, Daniel Sedin, Sens star Alfredsson lead 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame class – CBC Sports

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Henrik and Daniel Sedin entered the NHL together.

The superstar twins then tormented a generation of opponents with the Vancouver Canucks throughout dominant careers that included mesmerizing displays of skill, individual accolades and unprecedented team success.

It’s only fitting the talented brothers will walk into the Hockey Hall of Fame side-by-side.

The Sedins headline the class of 2022 elected Monday, one with a decidedly West Coast and Swedish feel that includes former Canucks teammate Roberto Luongo, fellow countryman and former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, Finnish women’s player Riikka Sallinen and builder Herb Carnegie.

“It’s not what you think about when you when you play the game,” said Henrik Sedin, who along with his brother and Luongo were in their first years of hall eligibility. “We’ve always just put our head down and tried to put in our work.

“What we were most proud of is that we got the most out of our talent.”

“Truly an amazing feeling,” Luongo added on a media conference call. “It feels surreal.”

WATCH | Daniel and Henrik Sedin have numbers retired in Vancouver:

Daniel and Henrik Sedin have numbers retired in Vancouver

2 years ago

Duration 1:42

The Swedish superstars were honoured on Wednesday in an hour-long pregame ceremony.

Alfredsson, who’s has been eligible since 2017, thought he might have to wait at least another year until the phone rang at his home in Sweden.

“It’s such a privilege to be able to play this sport for a living,” he said. “Something I would have played for fun for my whole life without a question.”

“I’m probably the second-best Daniel out of this group,” joked Daniel Sedin, who along with his brother will be 42 when the induction ceremony takes place in November.

“Couldn’t be more honoured.”

Henrik Sedin — selected No. 3 overall at the 1999 draft, one spot behind Daniel — is Vancouver’s all-time leader in assists (830), points (1,070), games played (1,330) and power-play points (369).

The centre won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP and the Art Ross Trophy as its leading scorer in 2009-10. He added 23 goals and 78 points in 105 playoff games, including the Canucks’ run to the 2011 Stanley Cup final.

If Henrik was the passer on what was one of hockey’s most dangerous lines, Daniel Sedin was the trigger man.

His 393 goals are first in team history, and the winger sits second in assists (648), points (1,041), games played (1,306) and power-play points (367).

Daniel Sedin won the Ted Lindsay Award as the league MVP as voted by NHL Players’ Association members in 2010-11 to go along with the Art Ross Trophy. He added 71 points in 102 playoff games.

“Just watching them work with each other on the ice and literally knowing where they are without even seeing each other was something that always blew my mind,” Luongo said of the Sedins. “They’re great teammates. Everybody loved them, great people.

“Not so great card players, but that’s for another day.”

The hall’s 2020 edition was finally inducted last November after a delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic after officials decided against naming a class of 2021.

The 18-member selection committee met in-person this year for the first time since 2019.

Luongo’s storied career began with Islanders

Luongo started his career with the New York Islanders and wrapped up with the Florida Panthers.

His best moments, however, were on the West Coast.

When he retired, Luongo ranked third in NHL history with 489 wins, a number that’s since been surpassed by Marc-Andre Fleury.

The 43-year-old sits second behind Martin Brodeur in three goaltending categories — games played (1,044), shots against (30,924) and saves (28,409).

Luongo twice won 40 games with the Canucks, including an eye-popping 47 victories in 2006-07, and made at least 70 appearances in four straight seasons.

“He was the difference for us to get the next level,” Henrik Sedin said. “If you’re talking about a winner, he’s the guy.

“Never took a day off.”

A finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top netminder on three occasions, Luongo sat behind only Sidney Crosby in Hart Trophy voting following his 47-win campaign.

The Montreal native won two Olympic gold medals, leading Canada to the top of the podium in Vancouver in 2010 before backing up Carey Price in Sochi four years later.

“It’s a really, truly humbling experience,” Luongo said before adding of the Sedins: “And the best part of the whole thing is that I get to go in with two of my favourite teammates of all time and two of the greatest people I know.”

Alfredsson scored 444 goals in 18 seasons

Alfredsson put up 444 goals, 713 assists and 1,157 points during his 18 NHL seasons.

The face of the Senators for a generation in the nation’s capital won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year in 1996, and added 100 points in 124 playoff contests.

“We looked up to the way he plays hockey and what kind of person he is,” Henrik Sedin said.

Alfredsson, who won Olympic gold with the Sedins in 2006 and led Ottawa to the 2007 Cup final, thanked Senators fans for helping him get over the hall hump, including a social media campaign this spring that included boosts from the organization and former teammates.

“Really special with the support I’ve had from Ottawa throughout my career from the beginning until this day,” said the 49-year-old, who owns the franchise record for goals, assists and points. “They’ve been a real big supporter of mine and trying to help me get into the Hall of Fame.

“They’re behind me all the way … it goes both ways.”

Sallinen played 16 seasons with the Finnish women’s national team, winning Olympic bronze in both 1998 and 2018.

She added a silver at the 2019 world championships to go along with six third-place finishes. In all, the 48-year-old scored 63 goals and added 59 assists in 81 games for her country.

Hall of Fame selection committee chair Mike Gartner, who was inducted in 2012, said on the media call that Sallinen had yet to be informed of the honour, but quipped she should pick up the phone and dial in if she was listening.

Carnegie, who died in March 2012 at age 92, has often been mentioned as the best Black hockey player to never play in the NHL.

Following a long career in senior hockey where he faced racism that kept him from achieving his ultimate dream, Carnegie founded Future Aces, one of Canada’s first hockey schools, in 1955.

He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, and was also named to the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.

“This is so important to so many people out there who believed in my father,” said Herb Carnegie’s daughter, Bernice. “Whether he was golfing or whether he was in business or whether he was working with thousands upon thousands of young people, it always came back to hockey and how his how he learned so much from the game.

“I am so proud.”

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Report: Nets’ Kyrie Irving opting into $37M player option for 2022-23 season – Sportsnet.ca

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NEW YORK — Kyrie Irving has decided to exercise his $36.9 million option for the coming season and will remain under contract with the Brooklyn Nets, two people with knowledge of his decision said Monday.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the Nets had not confirmed the decision publicly.

The Athletic first reported Irving’s decision. “Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall,” the outlet quoted Irving as saying.

On Twitter, Irving posted a separate statement: “I know who I am,” was the message there.

For now, that still means a member of the Nets.

The seven-time All-Star averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists this past season for the Nets, with whom he has spent the last three seasons. He’s about to enter the final season in a four-year, $137 million deal with Brooklyn.

Irving had until Wednesday to inform the Nets of his opt-in decision. It closes one element of the ongoing saga regarding Irving’s future, which has been one of the biggest storylines as the league prepares for the start of free agency later this week.

He appeared in only 29 regular-season games this past season, largely because of his decision to not be vaccinated against COVID-19. That made him ineligible to play in most of Brooklyn’s home games, until getting an exemption to New York City’s mandate in the spring.

The Nets entered this past season thinking they would have a core of Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden. It didn’t work out anywhere near as planned; Irving wasn’t with the team for the majority of the season, Harden ended up getting traded to Philadelphia, the Nets needed to survive the play-in tournament just to make the playoffs and wound up getting swept in the first round by eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston.

Back in March, Irving was asked if he was planning to return to Brooklyn for next season. He gave no indication otherwise.

“I love it here,” Irving said at the time. “Once that summertime hits, I know that we’ll have some conversations. But there’s no way I can leave my man 7 anywhere.”

Summertime hit. The conversations apparently didn’t go as first planned.

And “my man 7” — that meant Durant, who wears jersey No. 7 for the Nets — may have been seeing his point guard departing, a move that certainly could have led to Durant pondering his own future in Brooklyn.

But with Irving presumably back, and with Ben Simmons — who didn’t play at all this season and was acquired by the Nets in the Harden trade — set to team up alongside Irving and Durant this coming season, Brooklyn could quickly return to contender status.

Irving could have made this all go away over the weekend, or at least turned the full boil down closer to simmer, when asked by Complex News at the BET Awards if he still wants to play for the Nets. He declined to answer. He wasn’t rude about it, did it with a smile, but didn’t provide so much as a hint.

A tiny one came Monday when the clip was posted to Instagram and Irving was among those to comment.

“When I smile like that, it means there’s more to the story,” Irving wrote Monday, several hours before his opt-in decision was revealed. “I’ll have my time to address things.”

NBA free agency opens Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.

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