Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler will have surgery Friday after suffering injuries to his orbital bone, cheekbone, and upper jaw bone, the team announced Wednesday.

A timetable for his return will be announced following the procedure.

Fowler suffered the injury Monday against the Nashville Predators when he was hit in the face with a puck.

He’s picked up three goals and seven assists in 19 games this season.

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Center Jason Kelce, already a two-time Pro Bowler, rose to even greater fame during the Philadelphia Eagles‘ run to Super Bowl LII last season as a leader of the wholly-embraced ‘underdog’ team.

An eighth-year veteran, Kelce cites the Eagles’ loss of several experienced players in the offseason as reason for a 4-5 record through the first 10 weeks.

“Last year, it just seemed like everybody was clicking. We had guys like Brent Celek who had been here a long time who was very accountable, Torrey Smithwho had been in the league for a long time, very accountable. Mack Hollins was a guy that gave great effort. LeGarrette Blount and all of these running backs that, they had their limited amount of stuff that they had to know, but they knew what to do, and they knew how to do those things. That’s what we’re missing. We’re missing that accountability,” Kelce said Wednesday, according to Tim McManus of ESPN.

Celek retired after being released by the team. Blount joined the Detroit Lions in free agency, Smith was traded to the Carolina Panthers, and Hollins is on injured reserve due to a groin injury.

The Eagles opened the 2018 campaign as the NFL’s 11th-youngest team by average age. They ranked 23rd in that department at the beginning of the 2017 season.

Kelce says the Eagles haven’t been able to replace the value brought last season by players who had been around a long time and who knew the “ins and outs of the game.”

“This isn’t just players, this is coaches, this is everybody. Everybody takes accountability in making sure that everybody is ready to go,” Kelce said.

“(Last year) there was a much greater level of accountability from a cohesive standpoint of everybody working together.”

The Eagles are tied for second place in the NFC East heading into a Week 11 matchup against the 8-1 New Orleans Saints.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred will keep his current role through the 2024 season.

MLB owners voted unanimously on Thursday to approve a five-year extension for Manfred on a contract that was set to expire following the upcoming 2019 season.

Among other things, this will ensure Manfred oversees the next round of collective bargaining with the MLBPA. The current CBA is set to expire following the 2021 campaign.

As Bud Selig’s successor, Manfred became MLB commissioner prior to the 2015 season. Originally serving as outside counsel during the 1994-95 work stoppage, Manfred officially joined MLB as a full-time employee in 1998, eventually becoming Selig’s chief operating officer in 2013.

Manfred has instituted pace of play rules, including a limit on mound visits, and negotiated a new CBA with the players’ union prior to the 2016 season. He replaced the 15-day disabled list with a 10-day DL, put a cap on spending for international free agents, and added stricter penalties for exceeding the luxury tax.

Among Manfred’s other notable accomplishments, the 60-year-old is responsible for negotiating the league’s first drug testing agreement in 2002 and led the Biogenesis investigation which sought to prove that Anthony Bosch distributed performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and Nelson Cruz, among others.

The news comes on the same day MLB finalized a reported $5.1-billion extension with FOX for broadcasting games through 2028, according to Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins inked general manager Jim Rutherford to a three-year contract extension Wednesday that will keep him with the team through the 2021-22 season.

The 69-year-old is in his 25th year as an NHL general manager and his fifth with the Penguins.

During his tenure with Pittsburgh, he’s helped build the team into a perennial contender, with four 100-plus-point seasons and back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.

“We think Jim Rutherford is one of the best general managers in all of sports and, during his tenure in Pittsburgh, arguably the best GM in the NHL,” Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said in a statement. “His goal every year is to win the Stanley Cup and that kind of commitment to excellence is what drives us all.”

Rutherford won his first Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks is the only other GM to win three championships in the salary-cap era. Rutherford ranks eighth all time among general managers in both wins (850) and games managed (1,834).

General manager John Dorsey hasn’t revealed much about the Cleveland Browns’ head coaching search, but he does have one person in mind.

Dorsey told reporters on Wednesday that Gregg Williams will be interviewed for the position, via Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot.

Williams was named the interim head coach after Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were relieved of their duties on Oct. 29. Freddie Kitchens was also promoted to offensive coordinator at that time.

After raving about the job Williams and Kitchens are doing, Dorsey said he’s looking for a head coach with character and a high football acumen, and someone who can lead a young Browns team, per Cabot.

“I just want the best possible head coach to move this thing forward regardless of age. It could be a woman, too,” Dorsey said, via Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com.

Dorsey declined to say if he’s been scouting any college coaches, according to the Chronicle-Telegram’s Scott Petrak. Lincoln Riley has been connected to the job, though the Oklahoma head coach said he “doesn’t have that itch” to make the jump to the NFL.

“When we had the first pick in the draft, I didn’t say much. I’m not going to say much (about the coaching search),” Dorsey said, via Cabot.

Since firing Jackson, Cleveland has gone 1-1. Currently on their bye, the Browns will look to improve their 3-6-1 record in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

UFC fighter Paige VanZant believes there’s an opportunity for crossover with the WWE and is still interested in working there, according to MMANews.com.

VanZant, who competes in the women’s flyweight division, is one of the most popular females in MMA to have never held a belt, and has already shown mainstream appeal after finishing second on Dancing with the Stars in 2016.

Currently in Portugal attending the global tech conference Web Summit, where WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon is one of the main speakers, VanZant said:-

“I’m not ready to leave the UFC just yet…I also think the WWE is an amazing organisation and it’s a very athletic entertainment industry which would suit me. There’s probably huge potential for a crossover down the line and of course I’m a big fan of what they do, so it would be great to be a part of.”

Perhaps seeking a deal similar to Brock Lesnar’s which would allow her to compete in both organisations, and of course following in the footsteps of current RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, VanZant apparently spoke to McMahon at the conference regarding a potential deal.

Holding a UFC record of 4-3, VanZant is currently ranked 15th in the women’s flyweight division, and many have called for her to make the transition into professional wrestling.

Nevertheless, for now she is focused on her return to the Octagon after a year away, where she faces Rachael Ostovich on 19th January in Brooklyn for UFC’s ESPN+ debut.

Far from just acquiring a star in his prime in Jimmy ButlerPhiladelphia 76ershead coach Brett Brown believes the organization has obtained a player that fits perfectly both with the team and the city.

“I mean, where do you begin?” Brown said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I think that, defensively, and with the physicality that he plays with … he mirrors the spirit of Philadelphia.

“He is a fierce competitor, and there is (a) toughness that he plays with. It’s who he is. He wears it on his face. It’s seen in his game. It’s confirmed by multiple All-Defensive teams, and it’s a perfect fit for our city and our program defensively.”

The 76ers lost a couple of important pieces in the deal to acquire Butler with the Minnesota Timberwolves, trading away starting forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric. However, Brown believes he’s now equipped with a roster that can take the next step after a second-round appearance last season and years of struggle during the “Trust the Process” era.

“Maybe (Butler is) the first move in the new reality that our goal is to build for a championship, and play in the NBA Finals, and continue to be an annual – and that’s always the hardest thing – contender,” Brown said. “I think we are building a core, truly, with their ages, that is going to have the ability to do that. We are going to have the ability to do that for a while now.

“We’ll be amongst royalty for a while now. So if you refer to that as sort of the first phase of the legitimate process, I think that’s fair.”