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Jimmy Butler has a great deal of love for The Windy City, but it’s safe to assume he won’t be exchanging Christmas cards with the organization that just sent him packing to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“It doesn’t mean a damn thing,” Butler said of being the face of the Chicago Bulls to the Sun-Times. “I guess being called the face of an organization isn’t as good as I thought. We all see where being the so-called face of the Chicago Bulls got me. So let me be just a player for the Timberwolves, man. That’s all I want to do. I just want to be winning games. Do what I can for my respective organization and let them realize what I’m trying to do.”

During Thursday’s NBA draft it was announced that the Bulls were trading Butler and the No. 16 pick (Creighton’s Justin Patton) to Minnesota in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the No. 7 pick (Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen).

The 27-year-old reportedly wanted to remain with Chicago, even going as far as informing the Cleveland Cavaliers not to make a move for him, as his goal was to help the team return to prominence in the Eastern Conference. That loyalty didn’t stop the Bulls from shipping him off, though, despite the fact that he was clearly their best player, and on a bargain of a contract for the next two years.

“Whatever they want to call me – face – I don’t even want to get into that anymore. Whose team is it? All that means nothing,” Butler added. “You know what I’ve learned? Face of the team, eventually you’re going to see the back of his head as he’s leaving town, so no thanks.”

While Butler holds no ill will toward the franchise that selected him 30th overall back in 2011, he certainly wishes their working relationship would have ended on better terms.

“You can’t get mad at anybody. I’m not mad, I’m not. I just don’t like the way some things were handled, but it’s OK,” he added.

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Source: BBC Radio 1

Triple H appeared on BBC Radio 1 with Greg James today while in the U.K. During the appearance, Triple H talked about how they would often try to make The Undertaker laugh and break character during matches at non-televised events in the 90s. He brought up The Rock doing The People’s Elbow before it was a known move.

“You’re trying to make each other laugh and one night The Rock did The People’s Elbow,” Triple H recalled. “[It] wasn’t known as The People’s Elbow, it was known as ‘watch this move that’s going to make all of you lose it in your corners’.”

Triple H noted that the Rock would do the elbow move at a couple of events and then Mick Foley dared him to do it during a match on television, which would go on to become one of Rock’s trademark moves.

“These things morph in those ways, but they catch on,” Triple H said. “Trust me, we’re quick to go, ‘oooh, they like that, I’m sticking with that.'”

James described the People’s Elbow for the listeners, calling it a “ludicrous finishing move.” Triple H pointed out that he loved working with The Rock, but it was “the hokiest looking move ever.”

“You’ve gotta wait for like 20 minutes while he takes his elbow pad off and works the crowd,” Triple H said. “He runs back and forth, then he comes up and drops an elbow on you that looks like it barely touches you, except that a lot of times the point of his elbow hits you right in the mouth and you come up bleeding and you’re like, ‘how can you bust me open on that?’ It’s also so funny that you’re running away to the bank with it.”

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Not only does Charlie Sheen possess tiger blood, he appears to be the sole holder of two of the most coveted pieces of Babe Ruth memorabilia.

The avid baseball fan and longtime actor confirmed Monday that he cosigned Ruth’s 1927 World Series ring, as well as the original and widely remembered sale document that sent Ruth from Boston to New York in 1919, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

Both items are currently up for auction on Lelands.com, as bidding for the ring has already surpassed the $600,000 mark, making it the most expensive sports championship ring ever.

The original document, meanwhile, is going for over $400,000. A previous copy owned by former Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold for $996,000 in 2005.

“I’ve enjoyed these incredible items for more than two decades and the time has come,” Sheen said. “Whatever price it brings is gravy.”

Sheen, who said he’s been in possession of both items since the early ’90s, kept both pieces of memorabilia in terrific condition and said he wasn’t sure how much he initially paid for them.

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The always outspoken LaVar Ball and the world of professional wrestling seem like a match made in heaven.

With “Monday Night Raw” airing live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 26, World Wrestling Entertainment is reportedly interested in having LaVar – the father of the Lakers’ No. 2 overall pick, Lonzo – appear on its programming that night, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin.

The two sides have been in talks, but nothing is yet set in stone.

While livestreaming Thursday’s NBA draft from their seats, LaVar and the rest of the Ball family in attendance were overheard discussing what sounds like the possibility of him being on the show.

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Not only is the kid supremely talented on the ice, it appears he’s got some marketing chops, too.

Nico Hischier, after being drafted first overall by the New Jersey Devils on Friday night in Chicago, was basically left speechless after becoming the first Swiss player to go No. 1.

“I love to hockey,” Hischier said in an interview with NBCSN, which you can watch at Yahoo Sports.

Who wouldn’t buy a T-shirt with “I love to hockey” on it?

Hischier said he had no idea if he’d be selected first, and Devils general manager Ray Shero held his cards tight all the way to the end.

“I asked Ray maybe 10 minutes before he picked and he still wouldn’t tell me,” Philaelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall said, according to NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman. “I give him credit. That’s what he should have done. He kept it quiet right to the bitter end. Honestly I didn’t have an expectation one way or the other. We liked both players.”

That other player Hextall’s referencing is Nolan Patrick, who went to Philly at No. 2.

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Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will miss the entire 2017-18 NHL season due to a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications used to treat it, the Blackhawks and Hossa announced Wednesday in a joint statement.

“Over the course of the last few years, under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff, I have been privately undergoing treatment for a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat the disorder,” Hossa said. “Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season. While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice.”

Despite his health struggles, Hossa still played in 73 of the team’s 82 games last season, contributing 26 goals – good enough for third on the team – and another 19 assists.

“This is extremely difficult for us because we all know the incredible person and player that Marian Hossa is – competitive, loyal, and humble,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. “He has played a major role in the success our franchise has experienced in recent years, which makes his departure from our lineup a significant loss.

“His teammates and coaches know he battled through some very tough physical difficulties but never complained or missed games despite the challenges he faced. The organization will continue to provide him every resource he needs to maintain his health.”

Team physician Dr. Michael Terry “strongly supports” Hossa’s decision to sit out next season, calling it “the appropriate approach for Marian in order to keep him functional and healthy in the short term and throughout his life.”

The 2017-18 campaign marks the ninth year of Hossa’s 12-year, $63.3-million contract, leaving three more seasons after that with a cap hit of $5.275 million.

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Source: NBC Sports

NBC Sports has an interview with WWE SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan, ahead of his return on tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live. It is his first appearance on WWE television since Bryan and Brie welcomed their daughter, Birdie Joe, on May 9th.

Bryan discussed fatherhood, as well as his role on SmackDown. He also had some poignant comments about the current product feeling stale.

“I think a change of presentation is absolutely necessary,” Bryan said. “I think the way that we present our superstars probably needs to change. Years ago they went through with this idea of having as much live stuff as possible on the shows, but I think when you watch say UFC for example, some of the things that are the most endearing, that make you care the most about the fighters are these backstage vignettes that get to show their real personality. You’ll see great fights that people will cheer maybe because they’re great fights, but the fights that have the most impact are the ones with fighters who people actually care about.

“I think one of the things that really endeared me to people was that people got to view more aspects of my personality than most because of the different things that I did within WWE. Seeing performers frustrated and being able to show that on TV and being able to show their experiences, their reactions to what’s happening to them on the show and doing backstage vignettes. There was a great one on NXT about Roderick Strong recently about being a new dad and all of that kind of stuff. Since I’ve been gone, they’ve been doing some really fun stuff with the Fashion Police. Not that there needs to be more of that exact kind of stuff, but it helps people get to know their personalities. I think one of our failings on SmackDown Live was American Alpha. They’re great and on NXT they did all of these fun little interview segments with the two of them that got to show the people behind American Alpha. (They saw) who Chad Gable is, who Jason Jordan is. I’d like to do more of that kind of stuff.”

Bryan noted that personalities draw in other sports, and bringing more of that to WWE would help the business.

“In combat sports, personalities are what draw,” Bryan said. “Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was one of the worst boxing matches I’ve ever seen, but millions of people watched it because of the personalities involved. I think changing that dynamic and highlighting the personalities is something we really need to do. Now, I don’t know how we do it. I think if anybody has a magic answer of what the best way is to present personalities in this modern day of television, they’d make millions of dollars, so I may not have the answer.”

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Jonathan Drouin grew up about a two-hour drive northwest of the Bell Centre – home of the Montreal Canadiens – in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, and the 22-year-old couldn’t be more ecstatic he’s heading home.

“His words to me when I told him he was traded was, ‘This is my dream come true. This is my childhood dream,'” agent Allan Walsh said of Drouin, according to Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports.

Drouin infamously requested a trade out of Tampa Bay during the 2015-16 season. Though the two sides had appeared to patch things up, there’s no question playing for his boyhood team was always at the top of his wishlist.

Montreal fans are likely just as excited. The Canadiens haven’t had a francophone player of this stature since goaltender Jose Theodore in the early-to-mid-2000s. Before that brief stint of greatness, you’d have to look back to when Vincent Damphousse and Patrick Roy anchored the Habs back in the ’90s.

Expectations will certainly be high for the former third overall pick, but, if he performs up to par, there’s no doubt he’ll be beloved by one of the NHL’s most passionate fan bases.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Joe Thornton is expected to be healthy at the start of training camp despite undergoing offseason surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left knee.

Where Thornton and longtime San Jose teammate Patrick Marleau will be playing remains an open question as they head toward unrestricted free agency.

”They’ve meant a lot to us, they mean a lot to us,” general manager Doug Wilson said Friday. ”It goes back to making this a place where players want to play. It’s great when players want to be here, players of their ilk who have set the standard for everyone else. We’re exploring it, trying to do everything we can to make the best decision for this franchise. They have choices also obviously. But they know how we feel about them.”

Thornton had a salary cap hit of $6.8 million and Marleau was at $6.7 million last season in the final year of three-year deals that were signed on the same day in 2014. Both players will be 38 at the start of next season, raising questions about how long the Sharks will want to commit and how much money they will be willing to pay.

Marleau is coming off a 27-goal season and still has the speed to keep up with much younger players in today’s faster game. Thornton scored just seven goals – his fewest in an 82-game season since his rookie year in 1997-98 – but is still an elite playmaker and had 43 assists.

There is also the injury to consider with Thornton, who tore the MCL and ACL in his knee on April 2 but still returned to play the final four games of a first-round playoff loss to Edmonton.

”Jumbo’s doing extremely well,” Wilson said. ”He’s been in here every day, looks really good. I don’t think there’s any doubt he’ll be ready and fit to start the season. The work that he’s put in already, that’s pure Jumbo. He loves the game. I see him every day here at the rink.”

The two have been the faces of the franchise, with Marleau joining as the No. 2 overall pick in 1997 and Thornton being acquired in a trade from Boston on Nov. 30, 2005.

San Jose has made three trips to the conference finals with both players on the roster and went to the Stanley Cup Final a year ago before losing to Pittsburgh in six games.

Thornton recorded his 1,000th career assist last season and ranks in the top 25 all-time in assists (1,007, 13th place) and points (1,391, 22nd place).

Marleau scored his 500th career goal last season and is 41st all-time with 508 in his career.

More importantly, they have set the standard for scores of teammates in San Jose to emulate and have become fan favorites. But the decision on their future will be solely a hockey one not a marketing one, according to Wilson.

”These guys have been cornerstones of this franchise. We operate under a cap system which is different from many, many years ago when those choices maybe come into play,” Wilson said. ”You sometimes have to make tough decisions. Make no mistake about our respect and appreciation for them will never end. Under a cap system we’ll see and we’ll navigate ourselves through this. We’ve been very fortunate to have players like this play at as a high a level as they have. How important they are to this franchise will not be forgotten. When it comes to making the hockey decisions, we have to make the decisions under this system, the cap system that makes sense.”

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WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday struck down part of a law that bans offensive trademarks in a ruling that is expected to help the Washington Redskins in their legal fight over the team name.

The justices ruled that the 71-year-old trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes free speech rights.

The ruling is a victory for the Asian-American rock band called the Slants, but the case was closely watched for the impact it would have on the separate dispute involving the Washington football team.

Slants founder Simon Tam tried to trademark the band name in 2011, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request on the ground that it disparages Asians. A federal appeals court in Washington later said the law barring offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.

The Redskins made similar arguments after the trademark office ruled in 2014 that the name offends American Indians and canceled the team’s trademark. A federal appeals court in Richmond put the team’s case on hold while waiting for the Supreme Court to rule in the Slants case.

In his opinion for the court, Justice Samuel Alito rejected arguments that trademarks are government speech, not private speech. Alito also said trademarks are not immune from First Amendment protection as part of a government program or subsidy.

Tam insisted he was not trying to be offensive, but wanted to transform a derisive term into a statement of pride. The Redskins also contend their name honors American Indians, but the team has faced decades of legal challenges from Indian groups that say the name is racist.

Despite intense public pressure to change the name, Redskins owner Dan Snyder has refused, saying it ”represents honor, respect and pride.”

In the Slants case, government officials argued that the law did not infringe on free speech rights because the band was still free to use the name even without trademark protection. The same is true for the Redskins, but the team did not want to lose the legal protections that go along with a registered trademark. The protections include blocking the sale of counterfeit merchandise and working to pursue a brand development strategy.

A federal appeals court had sided with the Slants in 2015, saying First Amendment protects ”even hurtful speech that harms members of oft-stigmatized communities.”

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Tom Brady’s father revealed to the Boston Globe on Monday that his wife, Galynn, completed her cancer treatments two months ago.

The mother of the Super Bowl-winning quarterback underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments in 2016 and only managed to attend one of Brady’s games, Super Bowl LI.

“She is doing great,” Tom Brady Sr. said to Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe. “She is getting out and playing golf and tennis and looks wonderful.

“I think in the dark recesses of every cancer survivor is the thought it could reappear. We simply pray now that after her treatment it never rears its ugly head again.”

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As announced on last week’s SmackDown, John Cena will make his official WWE return on the blue brand’s July 4th episode. It’ll be his first appearance since WrestleMania 33 (2 April), when he and Nikki Bella defeated The Miz and Maryse, before Cena proposed to his partner in the middle of the ring.

The 16-time World Champion’s imminent comeback has naturally provoked rumours on who he’ll feud with upon returning, with the latest speculation suggesting he’ll head straight into the WWE Title hunt, and clash with Jinder Mahal.

‘The Maharaja’ is set to defend his belt against Randy Orton at Money In The Bank this Sunday. Given the anti-American gimmick he has been using lately, having him interrupt a patriotic Cena return promo on Independence Day should be easy heat, as pro-USA rhetoric has been part of Cena’s babyface character for years.

There’s no word on whether or not Cena should be expected to break the record he currently shares with Ric Flair by winning his 17th World Title. Regardless, WWE will likely be hoping that overcoming Orton and feuding with Cena will legitimise Mahal as champion, and bring credibility to his much-maligned reign.

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So far, so good.

The Vegas Golden Knights have released a statement to express how pleased the organization is with how the expansion draft process has gone so far as the NHL trade freeze took effect Saturday at 3 p.m. EST.

The other 30 teams had until 5 p.m. EST to hand in their protection lists, and Vegas will keep the phone lines open with a view to helping make the selection process as painless as possible.

From the official statement:

Now, general manager George McPhee and his staff will continue to have discussions with the other 30 NHL clubs.

Vegas has indicated that they will give all 30 clubs every opportunity to keep their rosters intact if they’d like.

This means that before the Golden Knights claim a player off a team’s unprotected list, McPhee and his staff are willing to negotiate deals so the other clubs do not lose a player they would otherwise like to keep.

As a reminder, the protection lists will be made public on Sunday at 10 a.m. EST, and Vegas’ final selections will be submitted to the NHL exactly 72 hours later.

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John Chayka is far from done.

That was the clear message the Arizona Coyotes general manager sent out after sending goaltender Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames earlier Saturday.

“This move wasn’t made in isolation,” Chayka said, per Dave Vest of the team’s website. “It was made to set up other moves to improve our club … I think we’ve planted a lot of seeds that we can move forward with.”

At this point in his career and considering the team’s trajectory, it made sense to part ways, especially with Smith carrying a $5,666,667 cap hit for two more seasons.

“We’re trying to continue to build for the future and continue to make this as competitive of a team as possible,” Chayka added. “We think we’ve got a good, young group here who has a chance to be a good team next year. The reality is Mike Smith is a 35-year-old goaltender and when some of our players are reaching their prime years then he’s probably on the wrong side of his career.”

Chayka added trading Smith wasn’t an easy deal to pull off, and that Chad Johnson – part of the return in the swap – is one option as a potential replacement in net.

“Hopefully we can get a good goaltender in there that can help our group next year,” he said. “There’s a chance (Johnson) could be a starter in this league, but right now we’re just sorting through all the different options and he’d be one of them.”

On Friday, it was reported that Arizona is one of several teams with serious interest in New York Rangers center Derek Stepan, who has four years remaining on a contract that carries a cap hit of $6.5 million.

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The long-rumored sale of the Miami Marlins has stagnated somewhat, but the added intrigue of a third bidder may increase the urgency of the matter as another viable buyer has entered the fray, according to a Friday report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that he was “convinced” the Marlins would complete the sale, likely to either the Derek Jeter-led group or the Tagg Romney-led group.

While the third bidder’s identity is unknown, it could nevertheless expedite the purchase for the Jeter or Romney groups – the latter of which includes Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer Tom Glavine.

Jeter’s team had seemed to be the favorite to complete the sale, but the recent loss of Jeb Bush appears to have complicated matters.

The Marlins – currently owned by Jeffrey Loria – are expected to fetch $1.3 billion from their eventual buyer, which Manfred thinks could materialize by the end of the month.

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Few men made a more significant impact on Randy Moss’ life and career than his first NFL coach, Dennis Green.

With Moss back at the Minnesota Vikings‘ facility this week to celebrate his upcoming induction into their Ring of Honor, the all-time great receiver was asked Wednesday what he would say to Green, who died in July 2016, if he had the chance.

“I don’t know, man,” said Moss, before becoming overcome with emotion. “I was 6 years old playing this game. On draft day, I really don’t know why I was treated the way I was treated on draft day, but Coach Green gave me an opportunity, man. And I told him, ‘Coach, you’re not going to regret this.’

“So, you ask me what I would say to him. Man, I’d probably just fall in his arms and give him a hug. There’s no words that I can tell him.”

Moss was selected 21st overall by Green and the Vikings in 1998 after being touted as the class’ best receiver and one of its elite players. After his unexpected fall down the draft board, Moss remains grateful that Green gave him a shot.

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Evgeni Malkin isn’t satisfied. He probably never will be.

The Pittsburgh Penguins center won his third Stanley Cup on Sunday night, and he celebrated by letting everyone know that he’d like to make it three in a row and four overall.

“We’re still young,” Malkin said. “We’re still hungry. We want more.”

The man known as “Geno” was a force in the playoffs, finishing with a league-leading 28 points (10 goals and 18 assists). While Sidney Crosby took home the Conn Smythe Trophy for the second straight year, the Pens don’t win the Cup without Malkin – it’s as simple as that.

Malkin, 30, was drafted second overall in 2004, with Crosby selected first overall in 2005. It was, clearly, the start of something very special.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, meanwhile, is still upset about Malkin not being included in the NHL’s list of its top 100 players, unveiled earlier this season. He even spoke about it Sunday night.

“You’d think that Geno could get into the top 100, wouldn’t ya?” Rutherford said, according to Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski. “Maybe we can vote again and get him in the top 101 this year. I mean … wow. I’ll just leave that alone for now. That was so disappointing for me, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.”

Rutherford’s right: He should leave it alone. He’s a Stanley Cup champion again, and that’s probably all that matters to Malkin, too.

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Stephen Curry is about to hit unrestricted free agency, where he’ll have the opportunity to go anywhere his heart desires.

The Golden State Warriors hope that means their starting point guard will stay in the Bay Area. They’ll do everything in their power to ensure it happens.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to keep Steph here and happy,” team owner Joe Lacob told Tim Kawakami of Bay Area News Group. “And I know he wants to be here and we want him here. So, I do not anticipate any issues with him staying.”

Curry said during the regular season that he cannot fathom leaving the Warriors, who drafted him in 2009 and fostered his development into superstardom.

“Like I’ve said from Day 1 when I was first asked about free agency, this is a perfect place to play,” he said in January. “Bay Area fans are amazing, our organization’s amazing, we’ve put together an amazing team that’s competing for championships every year.

“There’s really no reason that I can see right now that would draw me elsewhere.”

He’s right. Boasting by far the most talent in the NBA and a culture predicated on selflessness and joy – for which Lacob credits Curry with starting – the Dubs just captured their second championship in three years.

On-court dominance and organizational excellence aside, Golden State can offer the reigning two-time MVP a longer and more lucrative deal than anyone else. With his All-NBA Second Team selection this season, Curry is eligible for a super-max deal worth about $205 million over the next five years in Oakland. It’s a huge jump from his bargain deal that saw him earn about $11 million annually for the past four years.

Led by Chef Curry and three other All-Stars in their primes in Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, there’s no reason why Golden State can’t continue this run if its core remains intact.

That’s the goal for Lacob and the Warriors, whose free agents this summer include Curry, Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, JaVale McGee, David West, and Zaza Pachulia.

It’s conceivable that some of those players could bolt, but it seems highly unlikely in Curry’s case.

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Ray Shero isn’t completely ruling out trading the first overall pick, but he’s leaning toward keeping it.

“I’ve gotten calls asking if there’s interest moving down and other calls where it’s been more specific and it’s something to think about,” the New Jersey Devils general manager told NHL.com’s Mike Morreale. “But I haven’t called them back. The idea is we’ll probably be picking, but we’re open to a lot of things.”

Shero doesn’t have a specific price in mind for a potential deal.

“What would it get me to trade the No. 1 pick outright? I couldn’t even tell you,” he said. “It hasn’t been done that much, but if we did do something like that it would be pretty apparent it was the right thing to do. You have to be ready for all different scenarios in moving up or down, and in this case down.”

Nolan Patrick topped Central Scouting’s final rankings for North American skaters, but either he or Nico Hischier could conceivably be selected first.

“I think Nico is a little better skater; they both are good defensively,” Devils director of amateur scouting Paul Castron said.

“Patrick has the size edge and both are so smart. It’s all projection for us and we stress that in all our meetings. No matter what round we’re picking, the guy that scores 90 points and the guy that scores 60 points must be looked at separately because there are a lot of factors that come into play. Some guys get more ice time and it’s no different than in the NHL. The guys with the most points are usually the guys that get the most power-play time.”

We’ll find out what the Devils do with the top pick when the draft begins June 23 in Chicago.

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Although it’s been almost a year since she’s performed inside a wrestling ring, Paige has managed to remain one of the most talked about performers in the entire industry, mostly for reasons potentially damaging to her career.

During her hiatus she was hit with two Wellness Policy violations shortly before undergoing and rehabbing from a neck surgery that WWE was allegedly not in favor of.

The former NXT and WWE champion also began a highly-scrutinized relationship with Alberto El Patron, who frequently hurls public insults at her present and his former employer, which can’t sit well with the brass at WWE. And to top all that off, during filming of the Dwayne Johnson-produced biopic on her family’s adventures in pro wrestling, she was victimized by a leak of private photos and videos to the internet.

With all the controversy surrounding ‘The Anti-Diva’, it began to feel as if we’d seen the last of Paige on Vince McMahon’s programming. Not so, according to the English superstar, as she recently updated her social media with messages that indicate her return is on the horizon.

Paige tweeted that she was undergoing her final x-rays along with the word “comeback”, and PWInsider claims to have spoken with company sources that confirmed she will return to action if medically cleared by the results. Photos posted to her Instagram account reveal she appears to be in great shape physically.

It seems there’s no bridge burned between WWE and talent that’s incapable of being rebuilt, so perhaps all is well between the two parties and we’ll see Paige back in action sooner than expected. Surely ‘The Rock’ and everyone involved in the production of Fighting With My Family would prefer her to help with the film’s promotion, and it’s well known if there’s money to be made with someone Vince is willing to overlook any bad blood that might exist.

In regards to the WWE product, the brand split has weakened the women’s division, highlighting a top heavy lack of depth on both Raw and SmackDown. Paige’s ability and star power would go a long way in strengthening whichever show she ends up on.

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There’s a reason why Sidney Crosby has won everything there is to be won in hockey. It’s what he lives for.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain and superstar celebrated his second straight Stanley Cup victory – and third overall – Sunday night, along with his second straight Conn Smythe Trophy, and told reporters it’s winning, and the emotion that comes with it, that keeps him going.

“I think this feeling right now,” Crosby said when asked what motivates him. “You can’t match this. This is what it’s all about, and to be able to share that with a group of guys, and a lot of them guys that you’ve played a long time with and understand how difficult it is and what you’ve had to go through and that kind of thing, to share it with family and friends, you know, is just … that’s what it’s about.”

Crosby called these Penguins – the first club to repeat as champs in almost 20 years – a very special team.

“I’m really happy to be a part of this group, and a good chunk of the guys are returning from last year, so it’s pretty special,” he said. “You know, we set out to try to go back to back. We knew it was going to be difficult, but I think that’s probably where the most joy comes out of, is just knowing how difficult it is now to go back to back and knowing that we overcame all those things. It’s a pretty special group.”

Mission accomplished. And in the salary cap era, no less.

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Seattle hockey fans shouldn’t hold their breath.

Despite the city beginning negotiations for a possible renovation of KeyArena, there is no guarantee the NHL will soon set up shop in Seattle.

“We haven’t made any commitments to Seattle,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told NHL Network Radio on Wednesday. “We’re not making any commitments to expand. We’re not planning on moving anybody.”

Seattle has long been rumored as a future destination for the NHL. However, due in part to no NHL-ready arena in the city, Seattle did not submit a bid during the 2015 expansion process. The NHL received proposals from Las Vegas and Quebec City, with Las Vegas chosen to begin play next season.

Still, the commissioner didn’t rule out of the possibility of the NHL looking at Seattle in the years to come.

“If (Seattle) sorts out the building arrangement and somebody actually puts a shovel in the ground, my guess is there will be people knocking on our door saying, ‘We’d like to have a team play in that building,'” Bettman said. “If and when all that happens, then we’ll focus on it, and decide if we have any interest in expanding and if we have any interest in expanding to Seattle.

“Beyond that, there is no reason for anyone to think a team is imminent right now in Seattle.”

In February, the Arizona Coyotes denied a report the team explored the possibility of relocation to Seattle. The NHL, which held ownership of the Coyotes for a four-year period beginning in 2009, has remained steadfast about the market and franchise, much as it did with the Nashville Predators.

In 2007, former Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie attempted to gain control of the Predators and relocate the team to Hamilton, Ontario before a group of local business owners stepped forward to keep the team in Tennessee. Now, 10 years later and the Predators are two wins away from capturing the Stanley Cup, marking both of their victories in the Finals before packed and enthusiastic crowds at Bridgestone Arena.

“Sometimes, the commentary around our franchises is a little too frenetic when it comes to the state of a franchise,” Bettman added. “If you think about Tampa before (owner) Jeff Vinik purchased it, Pittsburgh before Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux stepped … the fact is, our teams are in great markets, but as franchises, as businesses, as hockey teams, you sometimes go through difficult periods.

“It doesn’t mean the market isn’t a good hockey market or won’t support the team. There are sometimes other factors at play, and our goal is always to work through those issues and give the great, loyal fans that have supported our team in a particular place an opportunity to make it work for them.”

Should the NHL add its 32nd team to Seattle, local hockey fans will have a little hockey history on their side. While the city has never iced an NHL team, it is home to the WHL’s Thunderbirds. Furthermore, the Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, doing so in 1917.

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With the news of Eva Marie not returning for Season 7 of Total Divas (or the company in general), there was bound to be some sort of shakeup for the long-running E! series. It sounds like there will actually be two replacements for the “love to hate” red-headed wrestler and both women are currently on the Raw brand.

According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, both Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss will be joining the reality show for the upcoming season.

We’ve seen a lot of changes on Total Divas over the years, as the initial season had Cameron (released from the company), Naomi (removed from the show in Season 3), JoJo (also removed from the show) as well as later castmate Rosa Mendes departing as well.

E! is likely hoping that the additions of Jax and Bliss will help turn things around. Much like Raw and SmackDown, Total Divas has seen a significant drop in viewership over the past few years. Initially, it drew about a million viewers a week, now they’re dipping under 600,000 on a consistent basis. However, without the biggest “villain” on the series returning as a regular cast member, that’s going to be tough to do.

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Naheed Nenshi wants Brian Burke to stop riling people up.

“Don’t try to make headlines,” Calgary’s mayor told the Calgary Sun’s Rick Bell when asked if he had any advice for the Flames president of hockey operations Thursday. “Don’t try to inflame people.”

Nenshi was critical of several comments the Flames‘ president of hockey operations made at a public speaking engagement Wednesday, including Burke’s soft threat of relocation if the hockey club doesn’t get a new facility and the executive’s comparison of the Flames’ plight to the Edmonton Oilers‘ arena situation.

The mayor says he saw right through what he believes Burke was trying to do.

“Seriously, it’s the script,” Nenshi said. “We’ve seen this movie before. The point is we need a different ending here in Calgary.”

The Oilers moved into their new arena, Rogers Place, last fall, and that building was constructed with more public money than Nenshi wants used on any future Flames facility.

“I want it to end in something that doesn’t look like Edmonton, that is a deal where any public money is very clear and it absolutely leads to public benefit,” the mayor said.

He added, “(The Oilers) had a very different situation. They had a derelict part of their city. They hadn’t had a skyscraper built in the downtown in who knows how long. They needed to try and really revitalize their downtown. We are a completely different environment. To ask for that deal in a completely different environment isn’t going to fly with taxpayers. It can’t just be, ‘Give us the deal the guys up the road got.'”

Flames president and CEO Ken King was quick to engage in damage control Wednesday, addressing Burke’s comments with a brief statement insisting Burke “is not our spokesperson regarding a new events center for our city.”

Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome is the oldest arena in the NHL that hasn’t undergone extensive renovations, having opened in 1983.

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Even though life after baseball appears like it’s all hunky-dory for Alex Rodriguez, it might not be.

The former New York Yankees slugger turned broadcaster, who is currenty in a relationship with Jennifer Lopez, is being extorted by an unnamed ex-girlfriend for $600,000, reports TMZ.

A-Rod’s ex, who TMZ is told he broke up with in 2014, is threatening to expose private messages to make it seem like he was still contacting her while he was with Lopez.

TMZ writes that Rodriguez has told the former girlfriend to leave him alone because he’s happy with Lopez – who is standing behind him in the matter – and he plans to get his legal team involved.

A-Rod confirmed he was dating Lopez in March when he appeared on “The View.”

Rodriguez last played in the big leagues in 2016. He played 22 years in the majors, winning three MVP awards and hitting 696 home runs.

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Lonzo Ball being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers is apparently still not a done deal. While that report is not new, there are “some genuine disagreements” in the Lakers’ front office over who the team should select, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford.

The organization is also going out of its way to stifle the idea that Ball is a lock for them, Ford reports.

While conventional wisdom for months has linked Chino Hills native and UCLA product Ball with his hometown purple and gold, the Lakers are believed to still have interest in De’Aaron Fox and Josh Jackson with the No. 2 pick in the June 22 draft. While both Ball and his father LaVar have plainly stated a preference for the Lakers, a report last month suggested they were open to working out for the Philadelphia 76ers, who select third.

Both projected NBA point guards, Lonzo is more of a facilitator and shooter while Fox is more out of the Russell Westbrook mold. Jackson, a 6-foot-7 wing, is generally considered to be the best non-guard in the draft.

Lakers president Magic Johnson has said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t consider the media antics of LaVar to be an obstruction in drafting Lonzo. Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has said the same thing, and Ford reports that the Suns are hoping Lonzo drops all the way to fourth, where Phoenix currently selects.

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Repeat.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are back-to-back Stanley Cup champions.

Sidney Crosby and Co. defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Sunday’s Game 6 to win the Stanley Cup Final 4-2. Patric Hornqvist scored the winning goal at 18:25 of the third period, and Carl Hagelin sealed the deal with an empty-net goal. Matt Murray was spectacular in the crease, stopping 27 shots to earn his second straight shutout.

It’s the fifth Stanley Cup in Penguins history, each won on the road, and the third in the Crosby and Evgeni Malkin era.

The game was filled with controversy, after an early second-period goal by Colton Sissons was ruled no-goal after referee Kevin Pollack blew the play dead early having lost sight of the puck.

The referees did their best to try and make it up to Nashville, the Predators going on four power plays to Pittsburgh’s none, but Peter Laviolette’s crew couldn’t find the back of the net.

Pittsburgh is the first team to repeat as Cup champs in the salary cap era, and the first since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

Crosby was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, earning the nod for the second straight year. He finished the playoffs with eight goals and 19 assists.

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Von Miller knows there are far more important things in life than what happens on the football field.

In reference to the apparent revelation that Tom Brady had a concussion last season, the Denver Broncos superstar was asked if he’d self-report a concussion by Dominic Bonvissuto of The MMQB.

Miller gave an affirmative, citing the importance of health and the seriousness of concussions.

“I just play football, it’s not life or death out here,” Miller said. “At the end of the day, I’m just a grown man playing a child’s game. Health is the most important thing. If I get a broken fingernail, I’m coming off the field. If it’s something serious like a concussion, I’m definitely going to go and get it checked out.”

Understanding that no head injury is worth the risk of putting yourself in danger, there are likely countless players who share Miller’s thoughts on reporting concussions.

One of the many challenges the NFL faces in combating the ongoing epidemic, though, is that so many others either don’t want to come off the field or believe they can’t afford to miss time.

Perhaps Miller and other players of his stature speaking out can be a step in the right direction as the league continues to address this all-important issue.

A pioneer of creative touchdown celebrations, Chad Johnson, appears to have played a role in the NFL’s decision to relax its rules on end zone antics.

The former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver explained that Roger Goodell reached out to him before the changes were made, during an appearance on the “B-More Opinionated” podcast with CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.

“I knew the rule change was coming,” Johnson said. “I had talked to Roger (Goodell) a couple of times at length, maybe two or three times, before the rule change came out. And he asked my advice on what he could do to be able to loosen the reins on the celebration rules, but at the same time maintain the respect and integrity of the game.”

Much like players have long opposed the NFL’s stance on what’s really a harmless issue, Johnson told Goodell there needs to be a balance without placing too much of a restriction.

“And I said, ‘It’s a fine line, and you have to find a way to find a balance between letting the players have fun and be themselves, without losing the integrity of the game as well.’ And honestly, I told him, ‘You only have to worry about who is celebrating and actually making the headlines, and that would be your top players who consistently score all the time.'”

It’s unclear exactly how much influence, if any, Johnson’s thoughts had on the matter, but it’s fair to assume it was beneficial for Goodell to hear out a player’s perspective.

At long last, the rule change actually sees the NFL take a step away from the longstanding and well-deserved title of the “No Fun League.”

Let’s see how far players can actually take their post-touchdown joy before the league again finds itself concerned about the “integrity of game” being compromised.

Al Pacino is in line to play former Penn State coach Joe Paterno in an HBO movie about the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, according to a report from Kate Stanhope of the Hollywood Reporter.

Barry Levinson, director of “The Natural” and “Rain Man,” is attached to direct.

Paterno served as the Nittany Lions head coach from 1966 to 2011 but was fired as the allegations of sexual abuse of children against his former assistant Jerry Sandusky became public. Paterno died Jan. 22, 2012 just over two months after he was dismissed.

It won’t be Pacino’s first time playing a football coach on film, although the genre of movie will be quite different. He portrayed Tony D’Amato, head coach of the fictional Miami Sharks in 1999’s “Any Given Sunday” which included the famous “Inches” pregame speech.

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“Iron Mike” had some stiff words for Conor McGregor.

In a clip from an upcoming interview with Sirius XM Sports, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was asked to respond to fellow legend Oscar De La Hoya’s open letter warning that a match between Floyd Mayweather and MMA superstar Conor McGregor would be disastrous for the sport of boxing.

Tyson disagreed with De La Hoya’s assessment, but didn’t exactly give McGregor’s boxing aspirations a ringing endorsement either.

“No, I don’t believe it can ruin boxing at all,” Tyson said, according to Damon Martin of FOX Sports. “Only way it can ruin boxing is if McGregor goes and boxes Floyd because he’s going to look really ridiculous boxing him. But if he goes in there with the UFC stuff, now this could be pretty interesting.”

An MMA match between Mayweather and “The Notorious” appears to be out of the question, so Tyson doubled down on his prediction for the crossover bout that is still mired in negotiations.

“(McGregor) doesn’t win in a boxing match.”

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There’s no need to back up the moving vans.

That’s because the Calgary Flames won’t load up their pucks and sticks for a relocation to La Belle province, Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume told Eva Ferguson of the Calgary Herald.

“It’s a negotiating strategy. We’re used to it,” Labeaume said Thursday. “Everyone is calm, the Flames will not come to Quebec.”

The quote from the mayor came one day after Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke said the team could leave Calgary if it doesn’t get a new arena. Burke doubled down on the stance of Flames CEO Ken King, who in April stated the team wouldn’t just threaten to move, but would simply leave if a new facility in Calgary didn’t come to fruition.

Since 1983, the Flames have played out of Scotiabank Saddledome, which will become the NHL’s oldest arena next season (1968-built Madison Square Garden underwent a $1-billion revitalization in 2013). Two years ago, the Flames launched CalgaryNEXT, an $890-million proposal that includes a new arena for the Flames and a new fieldhouse for the CFL’s Stampeders. Both entities are owned by Calgary Sports and Entertainment.

Speaking before the Canadian Club of Calgary on Wednesday, Burke likened the Flames’ need for a new arena to that of their rival Edmonton Oilers, who this season cut the ribbon on Rogers Place. The Oilers’ arena broke ground in 2014, after owner Daryl Katz floated the possibility of moving the team to Seattle if Edmonton would not agree to build a new home for the hockey team.

The Oilers’ arena cost $480 million, largely funded through public sources. The Flames have proposed a similar arrangement with the City of Calgary, with $200 million paid by the team, with additional funds generated through ticket surcharges. Public funds would cover the remainder of the project costs.

If King, and now Burke, are to be believed, the Flames could leave Calgary if the city balks at a new arena. Questioned by a luncheon attendee about where the Flames could relocate to, Burke responded, “You don’t think we could find a place to go? With a straight face you’re saying that? Quebec. Let’s see, they have a brand new building that meets NHL standards.”

The Quebec capital recently unveiled the NHL-ready Videotron Centre, a facility with 18,000-plus seats that opened its doors in 2015. The arena cost $370 million and was funded entirely by city and provincial taxpayers.

Quebecor Inc. also submitted a bid as part of the NHL’s recent expansion process in hopes of landing a franchise for Quebec City, but was ultimately unsuccessful, with the league choosing to add a team in Las Vegas. Quebec City has not been home to the NHL since the Nordiques uprooted for Colorado in 1995.

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A WWE fan has started a petition to have a wax figure of Bret “The Hitman” Hart added to the famous Madame Tussauds Hollywood wax museum.

In the petition, which was posted on Change.org, Angie Garcia argues that the WWE Hall of Famer is most deserving of representing wrestling in the wax museum. The petition has received 244 signatures of the required 500 to date.

Here’s an excerpt:

When wrestling fans think of wrestling, one name comes to mind: Hulk Hogan, in which I respect. When I think of wrestling, I think of one name myself: Bret “Hit Man” Hart. I believe Bret Hart is the perfect person to represent wrestling at Madame Tussauds Hollywood Wax Museum by creating a Wax Figure of him if possible. He’s a retired professional wrestler that is known as the Excellence of Execution. He was one of the safest wrestlers to ever step foot inside a wrestling ring. He protected himself, his opponents and his craft while in a match. He was a 7 time world champion. Today, he’s still known as the Best there is, the Best there was and the Best there ever will be.

Even on the brink of being swept out of The Finals by the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James doesn’t have an issue with how his rivals constructed their superteam.

“Is it fair? I don’t care, I think it’s great,” James asserted in his Thursday media availability session when pressed about the league’s top-loaded talent distribution. “I think it’s great for our league. Look at our TV ratings. Look at the money pouring in. Our guys are loving the game, our fans love the game. Who am I to say whether it’s fair or not?

“No matter who I’m going against, if I’m going against four Hall of Famers like (Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant), or if I’m going against two, whatever the case may be, I’m always excited to play the game. I’m not one to judge and say whether it’s fair or not if guys are adding players to their team. That’s what you want to do.”

LeBron famously left the Cleveland Cavaliers after the 2009-10 season, creating his own superteam alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. He then returned to Cleveland for the 2014-15 season, joining fellow All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. You can say what you want about the King, but he’s doing his best to avoid blatant hypocrisy.

James finished by drawing comparisons to two of the great dynasties from the 1990s – and suggested that his team management style would be just as aggressive if he ever owns a team.

“Is it fair that the New York Yankees in the 90s were adding piece after piece after piece after piece? If you have the opportunity to do that, is it fair that the Cowboys added Deion Sanders? It happens. It’s sports. If you have an opportunity to sign one of the best players and you can do it, go ahead and do it, why not? If I become an owner, I’m going to try to sign everybody.”

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The Miami Dolphins will wear their throwback uniforms twice this season, but many fans of the team want to see the beloved look on a permanent basis.

Several of the team’s players and coaches seem to want the same thing, with some of them wearing the team’s former logo at practice.

Team president Tom Garfinkel acknowledged he’s noticed this trend and left the door open for the team to return to its classic look at some point in the future.

“There have been fans that certainly love that aspect of the uniform,” Garfinkel told Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post. “And we love it too. There is a long time frame. You can’t just change uniforms on a whim. So I’d say we’re listening to the fans and evaluating everything. We’re open-minded. But as of right now there is no plan to change.”

Any uniform changes for the 2018 season should have already been submitted to the NFL, so it’s likely the earliest the Dolphins could make a change would be in 2019.

If the momentum for a return to throwbacks keeps building, that outcome could progress from a possibility to a likelihood.

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The Sterlings just won’t stay away.
 

Shelly Sterling, wife of disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, spoke with James Rainey of NBC News in her continued quest to have the league lift its lifetime ban over Donald Sterling from attending NBA games.

“I couldn’t understand the severity of the ban. It just seemed a little bit out of line,” Shelly Sterling said. “I have talked to (the NBA) several times and I don’t know what they will do. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t (lift the ban). Maybe it takes a little bit more time.”

One year ago, Shelly Sterling pitched the NBA for leniency by citing the case of Cincinnati Reds team owner Marge Schott, who was docked $25,000 and suspended one year after she made racial slurs and anti-Semitic remarks at employees in 1993. The NBA shut down that appeal.

Donald Sterling was banned from attending NBA games and fined $2.5 million following the emergence of a recorded tape in which he made racist comments toward blacks. That was followed by a legal battle in which the NBA eventually arranged to have the Clippers sold to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion in 2014.

To hear Shelly Sterling tell the story, that generous sum was the reward for the “tragedy” suffered by her racist husband.

“I think that, really, at this stage of his life, he is happy, not at the way that it happened, but that he got so much money for it,” she said. “He could have never sold it today at that price…. We never know when we are going through it, but sometimes, through tragedy, comes happiness.”

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One of the most recognizable members of Raider Nation is hoping his team can deliver a championship to Oakland before skipping town.

Discussing the looming move to Las Vegas in an appearance on “First Take,” hip hop legend Ice Cube explained that the Raiders need to leave their passionate fan base in the Bay Area with a parting gift.

“I think the Raiders owe Oakland a Super Bowl championship before they leave,” he said, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “So that’s why, I think, people are going to support them.”

A native of Los Angeles, Ice Cube has long been in favor of the Raiders returning to his hometown, where they played 13 seasons from 1982-1994.

He was disappointed that such a move didn’t work out last year, with the NFL officially giving the Rams and Chargers the green light to share a stadium in Inglewood, but feels bad that Oakland will be losing its team for a second time.

“I was sad they wasn’t coming to L.A.,” Ice Cube said. “But I feel sad for Oakland, straight up. I think the NFL makes so much money. They have enough money to build a stadium here. What are they doing? Why they have these teams uprooting and leaving?”

With a talented young roster led by Derek Carr and Khalil Mack, and a hometown hero in Marshawn Lynch coming out of retirement to join the efforts, the Raiders are certainly in a position to challenge for a title before making the move in 2020.

Building upon the success of last season and going on a deep playoff run would also go a long way toward easing any tension created by the awkward situation of the team sticking around until a new stadium is built in Las Vegas.

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The incoming Vegas Golden Knights won’t put together a deal to acquire Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.

While a trade would reconnect Ovechkin with Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, who was at the Capitals’ helm until 2014, he said it’s not a move fans should expect to see in the coming weeks.

“That’s not going to happen. Too many No. 8 jerseys in Washington,” McPhee told Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal of the fan enthusiasm for the Russian superstar in D.C.

Ovechkin’s name joined the rumor mill when the Capitals lost again in the second round of the postseason. It was a disappointing finish for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning team, which hasn’t made it to the third round of the playoffs since 1998.

That’s led to talk of change in Washington, and Ovechkin is a central part of those discussions. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan did little to quiet the murmurs earlier this week, when he left open the possibility that Washington could consider trading their leader if a “hockey deal” emerged.

The GM added that Vegas is unlikely to pursue Ovechkin’s countryman, Ilya Kovalchuk, who’s considering a return to the NHL after spending the past four seasons in the KHL.

“We haven’t had any discussions and I don’t imagine we’d go down that path,” McPhee told reporters Saturday, via Sportsnet. “We’ll be looking for younger players and people who will be with us three-to-four years from now.”

Kovlachuk, 34, can return to the NHL if he signs with the New Jersey Devils, who hold his rights, at which point he can be dealt to another club.

While McPhee won’t pursue either of the two Russians, he added that the Golden Knights are close to their first trade, and could have an announcement as early as Monday or Tuesday.

Vegas will make its expansion draft picks as part of the NHL Awards ceremony held June 21 at T-Mobile Arena, the team’s home arena.

NFL ACTION:  SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS

Warning: Story contains coarse language

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman vehemently denied the notion that he doesn’t get along with quarterback Russell Wilson during an interview Thursday.

ESPN The Magazine’s Seth Wickersham wrote a story titled “Why Richard Sherman can’t let go of Seattle’s Super Bowl loss” detailing a June 2014 incident where the cornerback allegedly yelled “you fucking suck” at Wilson after intercepting him in practice.

Wickersham also reported that Sherman took the Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLIX defeat harder than anyone.

The four-time Pro Bowler appeared to be incensed by Wickersham’s story.

“It’s just a bunch of nonsense from ‘anonymous’ sources. Can never put much gravity of things like that,” Sherman said on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett was also infuriated by the story, deeming it “trash” and “gossip” in a tweet.

Sherman was reported to be on the trade block after the 2016 season ended, with the New England Patriots allegedly expressing interest in him, but no deal came to fruition.

For the time being, the Seahawks are coming together in defense of their teammates.

NBA: Preseason-Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers

This must be reassuring for everyone else on the team.

Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson appeared on a radio interview with ESPN Los Angeles and circled 2016 No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram as the only untouchable player on the roster.

“I would say probably the only player that we would say, hey, we would probably not move is Brandon Ingram,” Johnson said, as transcribed by Baxter Holmes of ESPN.

“I think that we’re excited about Brandon, his length, his size, his agility, his athleticism. And then when you think about, you know, he was a baby coming in, in his first year last season and we see that he really has a high ceiling and we’re excited about what he can possibly turn into.”

Ingram struggled to start his rookie year, but most of his shortcomings were tied to his slim stature. The 6-foot-9, 19-year-old was not only one of the youngest players in the league, he also weighed less than 200 pounds and was often unable to hold his position.

The Duke product eventually got more comfortable as the year went on. The versatile forward was entrusted to run the point in Luke Walton’s egalitarian offense while also honing his abilities off the ball. Ingram eventually finished his year averaging 9.4 points, four rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game.

Ingram is the crown jewel on a Lakers roster littered with prospects. Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance, Ivica Zubac, and Jordan Clarkson all hold potential for growth, but they’re all secondary to Ingram when it comes to the future of the team.

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Jim Caldwell seems to have every intention of repairing things between his Detroit Lions and one of the best players in franchise history.

Addressing Calvin Johnson’s recent comments, which hinted at a strained relationship on the heels of his retirement last year, the veteran head coach likened the team dynamic to that of a family – and its attendant conflicts.

Caldwell anticipates that, at some point, the matter will be settled through communication.

“Playing in the National Football League for a team, it’s like a family. Families sometimes have disagreements,” Caldwell said, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN. “They look at things a little differently. I have grown children. Sometimes we look at things a little differently. We hash them out, talk them out. There’s dialogue, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love them. But we get the differences worked out.

“I think the same thing will happen in this situation. Maybe there’s a disagreement, a little different viewpoint, but the most important thing, I think, is perhaps this whole thing will bring about a little bit more dialogue.”

Neither Johnson nor the Lions have disclosed the points of contention between the two sides, and Caldwell didn’t want to offer a time frame for when the issue might be resolved.

Johnson’s dissatisfaction with the organization became apparent over the weekend when he was asked about the possibility of Detroit retiring his jersey.

“I don’t even like to talk Lions too much just because the way our relationship ended,” Johnson responded, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “If they see me around here, we’ll see. But hey, I don’t know. I just didn’t feel like I was treated the way I should have been treated on the way out. That’s all. I mean, it’s all good. I’m not tripping. I don’t feel any kind of way, just hey, that’s what they did. Hey, it is what is.”

Johnson, selected No. 2 overall in the 2007 draft, was one of the league’s most dominant receivers over the course of his nine seasons in Detroit.

The six-time Pro Bowler’s incredible level of production – 731 catches, 11,619 yards, and 83 touchdowns – saw him walk away with a sizable lead atop each of the franchise’s all-time receiving categories.

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The city of Santa Clara, Calif. learned the hard way that the NFL is a ruthless business.

After partnering with the San Francisco 49ers to build and finance Levi’s Stadium, the city of Santa Clara found itself overmatched in negotiations and now faces a mountain of debt that local political officials are unsure how to overcome.

Santa Clara mayor Lisa Gillmor recently described the situation to John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle as a “David and Goliath” scenario, as the city did not have the expertise or resources to be certain it would see a return on its investment in a new stadium.

“We learned we cannot trust the 49ers,” Gillmor said. “They are our partners, but they have exploited what we’ve tried to do in the city.

“They recognized the fact that we were ill prepared … they were professional; they knew what they were doing.”

Ground was broken on the $1.2-billion stadium in 2012 before the venue officially opened in July 2014. Gillmor admits she was in favor of bringing the stadium to Santa Clara when it was proposed in 2010, but has since regretted her initial belief.

The 49ers pay a league-high $24.5 million in rent and want to negotiate the cost down as they enter their fourth year in the venue, but Gillmore claims she has no way of verifying the checks and balances. The 49ers keep all football revenue but share all non-football profits with Santa Clara.

“We are not able to verify the numbers they give us,” Gillmor said. “They lump them together without detailed financial information in dozens of areas. Dozens.”

The city and team are just four years into their 40-year lease.

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Edmonton will play host to the 2018 Grey Cup at Commonwealth Stadium, the league announced Monday.

The game will coincide with the 40th anniversary of Commonwealth Stadium and will be the 106th installment of the Grey Cup.

“The Edmonton Eskimos are thrilled to host the Grey Cup in 2018, a year that will mark the 40th anniversary of Commonwealth Stadium, and the 70th anniversary of our team’s play as the Edmonton Eskimos,” said chairman of the Eskimos’ board of directors, Brad Sparrow. “This organization and this city share a legacy that is second to none in sport. And we’re confident that, with the support of our fans, and our private and public sector partners, we will host a game and a celebration that adds a proud new chapter.”

It will be the first time Edmonton has hosted the event since 2010, when they sold out the game in one week. The Eskimos last played in the game in 2015, defeating the Ottawa RedBlacks.

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Former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s decision to back out of his attempt to purchase the Miami Marlins reportedly came about thanks to a dispute with his would-be partner, former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, sources close to the situation told Joan Murray of CBS 4 Miami on Tuesday.

The issue apparently stemmed from a discussion regarding which roles each man would play in running the team, according to CBS Miami’s source. A report earlier in May suggested Jeter would run the team’s baseball operations department while Bush would man the business side of things. However, per the CBS report, Jeter reportedly desired a larger all-around role with the team.

Still, while Bush has apparently soured on purchasing the National League squad, Jeter remains interested in pursuing ownership of the Marlins and is reportedly considering putting together a new bid. Jeter and Bush have also remained friends following the “amicable” split, CBS reported.

The Bush-Jeter group was one of two leading bidders looking to buy the Marlins from the club’s longtime owner Jeffrey Loria, alongside a group fronted by Massachusetts businessman Tagg Romney – the son of onetime presidential candidate Mitt Romney – and Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine.

Commissioner Rob Manfred told The Associated Press earlier this month that the two groups had submitted bids that were relatively even in price. It’s thought that the Marlins could fetch a sale price in the area of $1.3 billion.

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After so many years watching Adrian Peterson torch NFL defenses, Drew Brees seems thrilled to have the future Hall of Famer at his side.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback expressed his excitement for the addition of Peterson while speaking with reporters Thursday, making specific mention of the veteran running back’s physicality.

“He is a stud,” Brees said, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “He looks the part. It has been impressive. Obviously, you admired the guy from afar. I have played in a few Pro Bowls with him, so I do have a little bit of that experience. There is something about handing the ball off to that guy and watching him run through the hole and take on anybody who tries to tackle him. Obviously, we are not in pads right now, but you are just imagining what it is going to be like. So, I am excited for that time to come.”

The concern with Peterson, and the primary reason he found such a weak market in free agency, is the fact that he’s now 32 years old and coming off a 2016 season in which injuries limited him to just three games.

Looking back to the level of play he managed to maintain just one year prior, though, it’s easy to see why those within the Saints organization would still be optimistic about what he can bring to the table.

The now-former Minnesota Vikings star racked up a league-high 1,485 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns while starting all 16 games in 2015.

Peterson is now entering new territory, where he’ll have to compete for snaps alongside the likes of Mark Ingram and third-round rookie Alvin Kamara, but anything close to that kind of production would give him every opportunity for a featured role.

New Orleans improving upon its 16th-ranked standing in the run game could provide the ideal complement for a passing attack that, led by Brees, remains one of the NFL’s most explosive.

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PITTSBURGH – Just about anywhere else in the NHL, Evgeni Malkin would be ”The Guy.”
 

The captain. The unquestioned leader. The brightest star. The fulcrum around which to build a franchise.

Yet he has found comfort, peace and freedom in Pittsburgh, where the player everyone calls ”Geno” has spent the last 11 years not as ”The Guy” but ”The Other Guy.” That’s not a slight. How can it be when the player a few stalls over in the dressing room happens to be a good friend and the best player in the world?

Sure, if he played in another market, Malkin would be the centerpiece. Why do that when you get to chase Stanley Cups every spring with Sidney Crosby?

”I don’t want to be No. 1 in Carolina,” Malkin said on the eve of Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup Final date with Nashville. ”I want to be better (with) Sid.”

And occasionally more dangerous than Sid.

It’s Malkin, not Crosby, who leads the league in scoring during the playoffs. The big Russian’s power-play goal in Pittsburgh’s 5-3 Game 1 victory over the Predators gave him 25 points in 20 games, just ahead of Crosby’s 22 in 19. If the Penguins find a way to fend off Nashville and raise the Cup for a second straight year and the third time in the Crosby and Malkin era, it could be Malkin who walks away with a second Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP.

Not that Malkin is keeping track. Point out he won his Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 2012 during a season in which Crosby was limited to just 22 games due to a concussion, Malkin shrugs. When he was left off the NHL’s list of 100 greatest players released at the All-Star break, he cracked a couple of jokes and moved on. Asked to revisit the omission over the weekend, Malkin responded with typical bluntness.

”No, I don’t care, my record is Cups,” Malkin said. ”If I win like one more Cup, it’s like my record. I not think about points. It’s only team.”

If Crosby is the Penguins’ captain and conscience, Malkin is their id. While the unfailingly understated Crosby searches for the right thing to say, Malkin usually only pipes up when there’s something he needs to get off his chest.

After Pittsburgh failed to close out Ottawa in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference FInal, Malkin groused about the need for him to be better even though he was the best player in black and gold on a night his sublime second-period goal gave Pittsburgh a lead it couldn’t quite hold. That’s just Geno being Geno.

”He plays a pretty emotional game,” Crosby said. ”His game is skilled, but physically he’s not afraid to engage.”

That fearlessness, however, can make it appear at times that the 30-year-old is indestructible. He’s not. He gritted his way through the 2016 playoffs despite searing pain in his right elbow, not that it stopped him from putting up six goals and 12 assists as the Penguins won their fourth Cup.

The victory last spring served as validation for both Crosby and Malkin following a string of spring flameouts that left some wondering if the Penguins would be better off with just one franchise center instead of two. It’s a sentiment that always struck Malkin as odd.

Malkin fled Russia and the Kontinental Hockey League a few weeks after his 20th birthday in 2006 to begin a new life 5,500 miles away from home. He forged a bond with another generational talent, one whose own greatness has forced Malkin not to take his own for granted. He could have chosen to explore free agency three years ago but instead signed an eight-year extension with Pittsburgh long before he hit the open market.

”I sign big deal here because I feel we can win every year,” Malkin said. ”I want to play with Sid long time. I want to be like – it’s good competition between me and Sid.”

While KHL officials have spoken publicly about making a run at Russian stars this summer – dangling the chance to play in the Olympics after the NHL decided it would not send its players to South Korea next February as part of the bait – Malkin wants no part of it.

He’ll always be a Russian. His life, however, is now in Pittsburgh. His son, Nikita, turns 1 on Wednesday. While fatherhood has mellowed Malkin off the ice – he joked he’s gone out ”zero times” since Nikita’s birth – he remains fully engaged on it.

”I come to rink every day smiling,” Malkin said. ”I want to try new sticks, new skates. I’m still (excited) to play. If we win one more Cup, it’s amazing. If I win one more MVP, it’s amazing. I try and be better.”

When he’s at his best, there are few who can keep up. When the Penguins were at risk of botching a 5-on-3 power play late in the first period of Game 1, it was Malkin who took command. While his teammates searched for the perfect shot, Malkin opted to just blast one at Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne. The puck squeezed through to give the Penguins an early lead and set the tone for a three-goal outburst by the time first-period horn sounded.

A few hours later Malkin was back home, focusing on being what he calls being ”a good dad, not just a good hockey dad.”

Nikita is still too young to realize what his father does for a living. Still, Malkin is well aware of the legacy he’s creating one shift at a time, one that isn’t focused on selling more No. 71 jerseys but more mid-June Cup parades through his adopted hometown.

”I know when (Nikita) growing up, he’s like 2 years old, 3 years old, he start understanding,” Malkin said. ”I hope he’s little bit proud to me.”

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Source: Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated this week posted an interview with Sting at WrestleCon earlier this month. Below are a couple of highlights:

Match with The Undertaker never taking place:

“There was a worldwide desire to see that match. It was a dream match for me, too.

“I regret not being able to get in the ring with him one time. It would have been great, but I’m OK with the way it turned out.”

Which WWE stars he watches:

“I’m always interested in what ‘Taker’s doing, and Seth, of course. I have some bragging rights because my career ended with him – so Seth, ‘Taker, I’m always paying attention to those two.”

What it takes to succeed in the business:

“For me, it took almost 30 years. You’ve got to have your game face on, 24-7, that’s for sure, and be totally and completely committed in every possible way. You have to understand how to deal with the public and how to speak to the public. You have to work on your physique. You’ve got to have longevity, so you’ve got to be able to work through injuries. You’ve got to do all those things, otherwise you’re not going to be WWE-caliber. It takes a lot of effort.”

Sting also discussed The Undertaker’s career, not being a wrestling fan growing up, Rick Rude being underrated, working with Kurt Angle and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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LeBron James has the full support of a fellow Cleveland sports legend.

Former Browns running back Jim Brown offered his praise of the Cavaliers forward for his eloquent handling of a hate crime that occurred at James’ California home earlier this week.

“To watch him express himself the way he did today only reinforces that he’s a class individual, and he has my utmost respect,” Brown told ESPN’s Pat McManamon.

“LeBron James is a great human being and great American,” he added. “What he has done for his sport and the teamwork he shows is unparalleled. His community work is tremendously effective and impactful.”

James addressed reporters on the eve of The Finals after his estate was spray-painted with racist graffiti earlier in the week.

“No matter how much money you have, how famous you are, how much people admire you, being black in America is tough,” James said.

“End of the day, if this incident (that) happened to my family can keep the conversation going, to keep progressing, not regressing, I’m not against it happening to us again,” he added.

A police investigation is currently underway.

 

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The long-awaited return of Georges St-Pierre could be a brief one.

During an appearance on “The MMA Hour” on Tuesday, the 36-year-old welterweight legend announced that if he fails to pick up a win in his comeback fight, he will retire.

“One thing I can tell you for sure, is that if I come back and I lose, this is it for me,” said St-Pierre. “If I come back and I lose, it’s finished.”

St-Pierre took a break from competition in November 2013 following his ninth consecutive defense of the 170-lb championship, citing the need for rest. During his hiatus, St-Pierre never committed to hanging up the gloves for good and this past February he signed a new contract with the UFC after months of speculation.

A prospective bout between himself and middleweight champion Michael Bisping was quickly put together by the organization only for it to be canceled when St-Pierre recently revealed that an eye injury will keep him out of action until the end of the 2017. UFC president Dana White said the organization is planning to move on from that matchup for now.

St-Pierre has stuck to his guns on wanting to fight Bisping, an experienced opponent that he believes will elevate his legacy, but even if that fight materializes and GSP is victorious, he’s only going to stay active as long as he keeps getting his hand raised.

“(I don’t want to hang around) to become a punching bag for the younger people,” said St-Pierre. “I do not believe I’m going to lose, I think I’m at my best, my trainers think I’m at my best. I put a lot on the line and I know that if I come back it’s because I believe I’m a much better version than what I was and I want to go back to another (title) shot and rewrite history.

“But if down the road, I lose, I pass the torch. It’s over.”

St-Pierre’s career record stands at 25-2 and he hasn’t lost since being upset by Matt Serra at UFC 69 on April 7, 2007.

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Facilitating Ilya Kovalchuk‘s NHL return isn’t at the top of New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero’s to-do list quite yet.

The Russian forward is interested in returning to North America following a four-year KHL hiatus, but – pending the approval of all 31 owners – can only do so via the Devils, either as a member of the team or by way of a sign-and-trade.

Shero, for his part, remains in wait-and-see mode.

“Kovalchuk kind of drives the bus on this in terms of talking to teams or where he could want to play,” he said Thursday, per Mike Morreale of NHL.com.

“I can’t go out calling teams because that’s a waste of my time. He’s going to tell (us) where he wants to play and in the end, if that does work out and it’s not the Devils, then I’ve got to see if that makes sense for us to do that.”

Despite Kovalchuk’s contract being terminated in 2013 upon taking on voluntary retirement, New Jersey retains his NHL rights until he turns 35 on April 15, 2018.

Kovalchuk is fresh off his second Gagarin Cup win as a member of SKA Saint Petersburg, for whom he’s been playing the past four seasons.

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Source: WWE Network’s Table For 3

On the WWE Network‘s Table For 3 episode entitled ‘Divas Champion Club’, former WWE Divas Champions Maryse, Eve Torres, and Kelly Kelly shared a meal together and discussed a number of topics including Maryse’s recent success on WWE programming with her shoot husband, The Miz, and the so-called Women’s Revolution.

According to Maryse, the feud she and The Miz had with John Cena and Nikki Bella was good because it came from a real place. ‘The French-Canadian Beauty’ said she and The Miz are doing so well on their current WWE run and she would never have predicted their success.

“There’s a lot of truth and everything that has been happening is 100% the way it is. To be able to come out and tell the story, yeah. I always say karma is a thing that is real. The biggest positive for me is definitely working with Mike [Mizanin] and we just complement each other so well and we do great together. And you see where we were when we first started at the WrestleMania last year, this year, I mean, thank you, we’re doing so well. If you would have asked me before, five years ago, even when I came back last year, I would have told you ‘no.'”

On the subject of the Women’s Revolution, Maryse claimed that people need to remember their place in history.

“It’s funny that everyone talks about Women’s Revolution and I’m the first one to be behind all of them and be with them, but you can’t forget that behind every Women’s Revolution, there was a pack of women before them and before every single generation fought for something.” Maryse continued, “the Women’s Revolution has been going on for years prior. It didn’t just start last year or two or three years ago. It [has] been a fight for us for a long time. We had amazing matches. On live events, we would have 20 minutes. When we get to television, we get [four minutes with entrances], so you’re trying to relate to a crowd and you can’t really relate because you don’t have the chance they do. I’m glad that they’re taking that chance.”

Eve echoed this sentiment, saying that every generation has done its part.

“Everyone plays their part and you just chip away at it. And then, the next generation chips away. And then, the next generation chips away. And eventually, it breaks and they say, ‘okay’ and they see that it’s something worth investing in. So I think it’s fair to say that every generation did their part.”

Kelly divulged that she does not like that the term ‘Diva’ has been cast off in favor of the unisex term, ‘Superstar’ and that the Divas Championship is no more.

“We always recognized the women that came before us. Do you know what I mean? And then, when the Divas Championship came along, and I feel like they totally wiped that out.” Kelly added, “what about us? Do you know what I mean? We gave it our everything when we walked through that curtain every night. Like, we went out there and we gave it our all. And so, I feel like even the Divas Championship itself, like, just wiping that out and kind of like forgetting about that, it’s kind of like, [a knife to the heart].”

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The Montreal Alouettes and quarterback Drew Willy have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, the team announced Monday.

Willy had been searching for a new club after being released by the Toronto Argonauts following training camp. The pivot appeared in four games for the Argos last season after coming over in a trade from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The 30-year-old is a five-year veteran of the CFL, throwing for more than 8,500 yards and 39 touchdowns. He should provide Montreal with some insurance at quarterback behind starter Darian Durant.

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UFC lightweight Nate Diaz is being sued for more than $1 million by former representatives The Ballengee Group in connection with his high-profile rematch with Conor McGregor, according to Tristen Critchfield of Sherdog.com, following an initial report based on court documents acquired by TMZ Sports.

According to the lawsuit, Diaz fired the agency a month prior to the UFC 202 bout, which it had helped negotiate, and failed to pay for services rendered.

The court documents state that Diaz made The Ballengee Group his agent of record in 2014 after it had previously forged a relationship with his brother Nick. The agency says it subsequently helped Nate negotiate bouts with Rafael dos Anjos, Michael Johnson, and McGregor on two occasions.

Nate made a disclosed $2 million for the second McGregor fight – the largest payday of his career – and that appears to be the root of The Ballengee Group’s complaint as it seeks over $1 million in damages.

He’s being sued for breach of contract, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation, among other claims.

The lightweight has not fought since losing a majority decision to McGregor in their rematch.

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Source: F4WOnline

Mauro Ranallo returned to WWE at last night’s NXT television tapings from the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Ranallo joined Percy Watson and Nigel McGuinness as the new trio for the NXT brand that will debut on next week’s episode on the WWE Network.

Dave Meltzer noted on the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE had been working to get Ranallo back since approximately April 20, 2017. Ranallo mysteriously disappeared from his duties as the play-by-play announcer of SmackDown Live since the March 14, 2017 episode, including missing WrestleMania 33. It was later learned that Ranallo was dealing with depression, something that was rumored to have been exacerbated by bullying issues with fellow commentator John “Bradshaw” Layfield.

As noted, Ranallo spoke about his return to WWE with The Associated Press and was asked about issues with JBL.

“I was willing to walk away from my dream job,” Ranallo said. “Let’s leave it at that. In order for me to do that, I had to be true to my convictions and what makes you a human being.”

Meltzer noted WWE didn’t want Ranallo on the outside, talking about what happened, plus the fact that Ranallo is really good at his job. In addition to his responsibilities with WWE, Ranallo now works for Bellator MMA and is the play-by-play man for Showtime Boxing, which will include calling the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight in August.

“He’s on a show that most of the people that run WWE production don’t go to. So that’s kind of the key right there,” Meltzer commented. “So he’s in a different world, working the Orlando shows and the TakeOvers and not the high pressure shows, so to speak. And it’s a lot of tapings during the middle of the week.”

Ranallo and WWE mutually agreed to his departure earlier this year, which ended his agreement with the company. His new deal to do play-by-play for NXT is a new multi-year contract. Meltzer also noted that Ranallo is away from Layfield, which had to happen.

You can read about how WWE re-introduced Ranallo to their audience at this link.

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The Chiefs have rewarded Andy Reid for steering Kansas City to four straight winning seasons by giving the head coach a contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

Reid was entering the final year of his current deal. The Chiefs didn’t disclose the terms of the extension.

“My family and I have been very pleased by the success the franchise has sustained over the last four seasons under Coach Reid,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “He has already established himself as one of the best coaches in the league, and he is well on his way to solidifying a place among the all-time greats. We are proud to have him leading our football team, and I look forward to working with him to bring a championship to Chiefs Kingdom.”

Within an hour of the Chiefs announcing Reid’s extension, the team also announced they will part ways with general manager John Dorsey, who was hired about a week after the head coach in 2013. However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Dorsey’s departure was a firing rather than a mutual decision.

The Chiefs won their first division title since 2010 last season, finishing with a 12-4 record before being bounced from the playoffs in the divisional round.

“We’ve made quite a bit of progress over the last four seasons, but we are not done yet. We are going to continue to work towards our ultimate goal of winning championships,” Reid said.

Reid is entering his 19th season as an NFL head coach after spending the first 14 years of his career in charge of the Philadelphia Eagles. He currently sits 10th in all-time wins and trails only Bill Belichick in victories for active head coaches.

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Source: Channel Guide Magazine

Cody Rhodes spoke with Channel Guide Magazine on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

The success of Bullet Club:

“Bullet Club has become even more worldwide. It was already worldwide with Finn [Bálor] and AJ Styles, Bullet Club OG’s Karl Anderson and Gallows. They set the playing field. Now to walk out on it and it really is worldwide. The addition of Marty Scurll is very significant. I don’t know if people are giving him the credit they should. He represents an entirely different demographic.”

No plans to come back to WWE:

“I don’t want to sound negative but being part of history right now and this new era and new boom. I didn’t get that while in WWE. So currently there is no incentive for me to return to WWE. I’m making more money than I was with WWE. I’ve been in some unbelievable matchups. Two are coming up. I love WWE. Just currently there is no incentive. There are some things I would love to be a part of. I would love to be part of the Dusty tag team tournament. At the same time I don’t think I’m playing a revenge song here. I don’t think I’m ready to move out of the spot of where I’m at.”

Shawn Michaels’ advice:

“Shawn Michaels told me once that when someone asked, ‘Hey, how was my match?’ He answered them, but then said to me, ‘You know how your match was when you walk through the curtain. You know if it was awesome or if it wasn’t. You know because of how the audience reacted.’ It’s more about asking what you could have done differently. It’s made me really happy to play my music, my way.”

Cody Rhodes also discussed New Japan Pro Wrestling. You can read the full interview by clicking here.