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Hockey

🏒New York Rangers Fire President and General Manager

May 06, 2021
Source: Bruce Bennett/USA TODAY Sports
Source: Bruce Bennett/USA TODAY Sports

The incident: It started during Monday night’s Rangers vs. Washington Capitals game. Caps strongman Tom Wilson — who has a history of rough play and subsequent disciplinary action — acted severely outside traditional hockey violence boundaries and went after Rangers’ star Artemiy Panarin, injuring him.

  • Though many expected Wilson to be suspended for multiple games, he was only slapped with a $5,000 fine (the maximum) from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, which is led by another goon George Parros.

The backlash: The Rangers shared a strongly worded statement on Tuesday, calling for harsher punishment and for the NHL to fire Parros. The statement was well-received by everyone...except the NYR owners, who (plot twist) fired Davidson and Gorton yesterday.

  • The two teams faced off again in their final meeting of the season last night, and unsurprisingly, things started with a line brawl. The first period alone ended with 20 penalties and Wilson leaving with an upper body injury. 
  • The Caps are off to the playoffs now and the Rangers aren’t, but something tells us that in October, they’ll pick up right where they left off.

The postseason: Speaking of, there’s still no postseason start date. Due to the Vancouver Canucks’ previous COVID-19 outbreak and ensuring four-week hiatus, the regular season won’t end until May 19th, way past the original May 11th playoff start.

The happy news: Let’s end on a high. Team Canada made it to the IIHF U18 Men’s World Championships final after a stunning 8–1 defeat over Sweden yesterday. Canada will now face Russia in today’s final. Watch it on TSN3 at 9 p.m. ET.

🏒🏀🏉

Leafs clinched a playoff spot

April 29, 2021
Source: Frank Gunn/CP
Source: Frank Gunn/CP

🏒NHL: The NHL postseason is just around the corner, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are the first through the gate. The Leafs clinched a playoff spot last night with their 4–1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, who are battling the Calgary Flames for fourth place — aka the final playoff spot. Odds we get a new Justin Bieber song for the postseason?

🏀NBA: The Toronto Raptors, on the other hand, have all but kissed the playoffs goodbye. They still have 10 games remaining, but given seven of those are against some of the Western Conference’s top teams, things aren’t looking great. They’ll try their best against the Denver Nuggets tonight at 9 p.m. ET.

🏉Rugby: The Canadian women's rugby sevens team is without a head coach. The team filed a complaint against the coaching staff in January, citing harassment and abuse, and though Rugby Canada found no wrongdoing (um, excuse us!?), coach John Tait stepped down anyway. Don’t let the door hit ya!

⚾️ MLB: George Springer made his highly anticipated debut for the Toronto Blue Jays, and it was so great to see him dancing in the outfield that we’ll just totally ignore the fact that they lost 8–2 to the Washington Nationals. Let’s call it growing pains and hope for better when the Jays take on the Atlanta Braves tomorrow at 7:07 p.m. ET.

🎾🏀🏒🏆

Let's get down to business

April 29, 2021
Source: Rena Schild/Shutterstock
Source: Rena Schild/Shutterstock

🎾Naomi Osaka: The four-time grand slam champion is expanding her empire. Osaka announced yesterday that she’s collaborating with Frankies Bikinis on a brand new bathing suit line set to launch in May, and she is also launching a new SPF-loaded skincare line for melanated skin tones. #StayGolden

🐊Gatorade: Sports drink companies are picking up what we've been laying down for years: Bet. On. Women. Gatorade recently created a (very stacked) women’s advisory board to help deepen their connection with female athletes, while also holding them accountable in delivering against their guiding pillars. HYFR.

🏀NBA: TIME revealed their first-ever TIME100 list of the most influential companies on Tuesday, and the NBA was named as the top “Leaders” brand, thanks to their global growth. Eight sports-related brands made the list, but only one other sports league was featured: the English Premier League, highlighted for its exemplary broadcasting rights. Jolly good!

🏒NHL: They might not be NBA-level yet, but the NHL is working on growth, too, starting with broadcasting. After 16 years, they’ve cut ties with NBC to triple their revenue in a new seven-year deal with Turner Sports, and have already signed a deal with ESPN. It’ll mark the first time since 1999 that the NHL has two American broadcast partners. Double rainbow.

🏒🏈🏅

How COVID-19 is Still Impacting Sports

April 22, 2021
Source: Michael Dwyer/AP
Source: Michael Dwyer/AP

🏒Hockey: For the second straight year, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship (WWC) is canceled. The premier annual event for women’s hockey was to be held in Halifax starting May 6th. It’s going to take us a while to get over this one.

🏈Football: The CFL announced that they’re pushing back the start of the regular season from June to August, and reducing the number of games from 18 to 14. And if watching the Grey Cup in an outdoor stadium in November wasn’t already cold enough, it’s been to December 12th. We’ll gladly watch from home, thanks.

🥇Olympics: The Olympics, as far as we know, are still a go, but things look dicey. The torch relay, which sees the Olympic flame carried through a tour of Japan, had to be rerouted multiple times since starting on March 25th; and qualifying events for the host nation had to be moved out of Japan for the time being. Outlook: not so good.

🏀🏒🎾

We The North

April 19, 2021
Source: Toronto Raptors/Twitter
Source: Toronto Raptors/Twitter

🏀NBA: After last night’s 112–106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Toronto Raptors jumped up to 10th in the Eastern Conference, making the postseason look possible. With just 14 games left to go, the injury-riddled Raps are in a play-in tournament spot...for now. 

🏒NHL: After dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, the Vancouver Canucks played their first game in almost four weeks last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. And for a team that only restarted practicing less than a week ago, they more than held their own, winning 3–2 in overtime. Practice schmactice.

⚾️MLB: After losing three of their last four to the Kansas City Royals, the Toronto Blue Jays are rocking a 7-9 record. Unfortunately, that record isn’t likely to improve as they head into a two-game series against the league’s best Boston Red Sox tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. ET.

🎾Tennis: On a brighter note, Leylah Annie Fernandez filled big shoes in Bianca Andreescu’s absence, leading Team Canada to a win over Serbia and advance to tennis’ top international team tournament: the 2022 Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup (previously known as the Fed Cup) qualifiers