Flames executive says team will leave Calgary without new arena

Calgary’s iconic Saddledome has been home to the NHL’s Flames since 1983.

Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke says it’s time for a new home. And he isn’t just asking for a new arena, he’s demanding it.

We’re not going to make the threat to leave. We’ll just leave, Burke told a group gathered Wednesday at a business luncheon at the Canadian Club of Calgary, via the Calgary Herald. We still have a building that was built in 1983, the oldest in the league by more than 10 years.
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They figured it out in Edmonton, where they know that a new building can rejuvenate the downtown. But I guess we’re just smarter than that here.

Burke’s mention of Edmonton refers to the Oilers moving into the brand new Rogers Place last year after playing for 42 years at Northlands Coliseum.

While Burke was particularly blunt in his stance, Flames president and CEO Ken King said Burke does not speak for the organization.

The 34-year-old was on a historic run through the Western Conference. His .941 save percentage was the best among netminders who made at least 16 starts since Mike Smith in 2011?12.

On Wednesday, Rinne probably would like to have two goals back. First when Jake Guentzel slipped the puck between Rinne’s pad and glove short side for the Pens’ first goal, and again 10 seconds into the third period when Rinne left a juicy rebound and Guentzel buried it to set off the three-goal spurt that ended Rinne’s night.

Steve Largent Elite Jersey While it’s likely Laviolette will stick to his guns, the Predators can ill-afford further struggles from their most important player.

You have to put it behind you, Rinne said. I treat this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I played a long time for the first time having a chance to play for the Cup. You just have to bury these two games and move ahead.

Marc-Andre Fleury pens emotional ‘thank you’ to Pittsburgh

Marc-Andre Fleury is bidding his final farewell to Pittsburgh.

T.J. is an invaluable member of our team and we felt it was imperative for us to re-sign him in a competitive free agent market, general manager Brian MacLellan said in a release. T.J. is a highly competitive player with a tremendous skill set; he epitomizes the kind of player our team must have in order for us to continue to put ourselves in a position to compete in this League.

Oshie, 30, is coming off a stellar season in which he tallied 33 goals and 23 assists in just 68 regular-season games, missing time with shoulder issues and a concussion. Since he arrived in Washington two years ago, the Capitals are 54-7-6 when Oshie records a point.

Rinne was an eighth-round pick in 2004 who grew up in the organization, as did Josi as a second-rounder in 2008. Another fan favorite, 31 goal scorer Viktor Arvidson, was drafted in the 2014 fourth round. Colton Sissons, the Game 6 hero with a hat trick against the Ducks, was a second-round selection in 2012. And there are first-rounders such as stalwart defenseman Ryan Ellis. They all worked their up from minor league affiliate Milwaukee to the big club.
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Game Kids Kenny Britt Jersey The Predators’ presence and success has fueled a boom in youth hockey leagues, high school hockey and adult leagues in Middle Tennessee. More ice arenas are being built to meet the demand.

Meanwhile, Poile stole Forsberg in a trade with the Capitals for an aging Marty Erat. The GM shocked everyone with the gutsy move to acquire the mobile Subban in exchange for another all-star and team captain in Shea Weber. Other major trades brought key contributors Ryan Johansen (now unfortunately out for the playoffs after thigh surgery), James Neal and current captain Mike Fisher.

Russell Westbrook now has Kevin Durant in his ear

Russell Westbrook had a tough night Wednesday:
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Game Mens Jake Rudock Jersey He hit the floor hard after being leveled by Zaza Pachulia on a pick. Pachulia then taunted Russ. Westbrook vowed retaliation; Pachulia shrugged.

Westbrook, in typical blunt fashion, told reporters after the game that this was a one-sided conversation, despite his seeming on-court response. (Those comments follow his just-as-blunt take about Pachulia’s foul.)

Yeah, KD’s return to OKC on Feb. 11 is going to be tons of fun.

Height links these men, for an obvious reason. It comes up throughout One in a Billion, from the Ludhiana coach who requested only boys 6-feet and taller to NBA India’s senior director of basketball operations, Troy Justice, reflecting on meeting Singh, noticing his height and then realizing he was only 14.

The old saying in basketball is you need to be really good or really tall. Indian players are fighting an uphill battle in skill development, with most not playing the game until they’re years older than American counterparts. Height is a way to get noticed, a way to mitigate any lack of ball-handling ability or ideal form on a 3-pointer. When we invited Satnam to come work out, we invited him because he’s 7-foot-3, Cuban said in the documentary.

Singh took that invite and ran with it. He impressed with his learning curve and willingness to do anything coaches asked. He has yet to put much of a dent in the D-League with the Texas Legends, but that was to be expected.

Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith: First full practice in pads ‘a great feeling’

Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith took another step Wednesday in his long journey back from a devastating knee injury, practicing in full pads for the first time in 19 months.

“It’s just a great feeling, a huge accomplishment to get back on the field with my teammates,” Smith told reporters (via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). “It was about moving forward. It was full pads. It’s a lot of things that come with it, the nitty gritty and the real contact. It was something I embraced today and was able to get after it.”

“That’s a coach’s dream, to have that kind of prediction because there is no pressure on you but I think that is total bull,” Ryan said. “If that is the case, why was I fired when I was fired if that’s how bad this team was? So I don’t get that. To saddle them with four wins, I totally disagree with that.”

Later in the interview Ryan showed similar support and belief in President Donald Trump, whom he introduced at a rally in Buffalo in April 2016.

“I am proud to be an acquaintance of Donald Trump. I felt honored he asked me to speak,” Ryan said. “I’m not a politician I don’t know politics that well. Just because I support Donald Trump doesn’t mean I support 100 percent everything he has ever done. I’m proud I know Donald Trump and I support him. And by the way, he happens to be our President. And I think anybody who is against him now is against our country. Without question, I’m proud to be a proud supporter of Donald Trump.”

The full interview can be found here.
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Breaking down stats of Russell Westbrook’s latest triple-double

Russell Westbrook has been putting up a triple-double almost every night this season, but his performance Wednesday night against the Magic was probably his best one yet.

Frank Kaminsky has been playing extremely well lately, but he didn’t bring his A-game against the Cavs Friday night. The big center went 0-for-9 from the field, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range, in the Hornets’ 112-105 loss to the Cavs.

Kirk Mclean Game Jersey Giannis Antetokounmpo picks off a pass and has open court in front of him. What he does next looks like something out of the NBA Slam Dunk contest. Antetokounmpo finished with 34 points in Milwaukee’s 100-97 victory over the Hawks.

Wizards (43-28) vs. Cavaliers (46-24), 7:30 p.m. ET — The Wizards still have an outside shot of catching the Cavs to earn the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers have been in the dumps lately, going 7-8 over their last 15 games.

Last week, Ball appeared on an episode of In the Zone with Chris Broussard where he discussed how James’ sons, 12-year-old LeBron James Jr. and 9-year-old Bryce Maximus James, would struggle growing up in their dad’s shadow.

Byron Maxwell Game Jersey The monsters in the NBA, their dads wasn’t that good, Ball said. They were OK, they was players, but the fact that the old [Dell] Curry wasn’t no All-Star, he wasn’t cold. He could shoot the ball, though. Kobe Bryant, his dad wasn’t all that, that’s why he’s such a monster.

You got LeBron, it’s going to be hard for his kids because they are going to look at them like, ‘You got to be just like your dad.’ And after a while, that pressure starts sitting on you like, ‘Why do I got to be just like him? What can’t I just be me?’ And then they are going to be like, ‘Aw, you’re soft, you’re not that good.’ Because the expectation is very, very high.

the Warriors became the first NBA team to clinch a playoff spot with a 112-95 win over the lowly Nets.

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Darius Butler Authentic Jersey Wilson had been drawing interest from NBA types because of his potential as a defensive specialist, a guy who can protect the paint and grab rebounds. But by the end of the year, especially during Michigan’s magical, season-ending spurt that saw them win the Big Ten tournament and now nestle into the Sweet 16, Wilson was much more aggressive and productive on the offensive end. He averaged 11.0 points this year, but has averaged 16.2 since the start of the postseason.

With his combination of size and length, and his potential to knock down 3-point shots, Wilson is looking more like a late first-rounder now. Some of the complaints about his game—especially his passiveness on the offensive end—have been answered.

Bell is, in some ways, a reflection of Wilson, except that he has not had the late-season surged to move his stock out of the second round. He’s super-athletic and has a knack for blocking shots, averaging 2.1 per game, and his future in the NBA is likely as a defensive big man. He has been big on the boards lately, with 12 in each of his two tournament games, and four straight double-digit rebounding efforts. Scouts will be looking for him to continue that kind of effort against Wilson.

The 76ers are probably happy they kept Jahlil Okafor after the 6-11 center scored 28 points with 10 rebounds. Robert Covington continued his hot streak with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Warriors became the first NBA team to clinch a playoff spot with a 112-95 win over the lowly Nets. The Warriors (49-9) actually clinched a playoff berth three days earlier than they did last year en route to setting an NBA regular-season record for wins.

Brandon Jennings asked Knicks for release so he can play for winning team

The Knicks plan to waive Brandon Jennings, according to multiple reports.

The point guard, who was averaging 8.6 points this season, asked to be released by the team, according to ESPN. The reason he asked for a release is because he hopes to play for a playoff-contending team instead of the 24-35 Knicks.

According to The Vertical, New York plans to sign Chasson Randle to replace Jennings. Randle was recently waived by the 76ers as a result of the team’s trade with Dallas.

Jennings was once a promising player in Milwaukee, averaging over 19 points during the 2011-12 season. Recently, however, he’s been bounced around a few teams, and eventually spent some time in the Development League.
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He still has some flashes of great play, scoring 32 in a December game for New York. He probably won’t go anywhere as a starter, but he can be a solid backup guard for a team looking to add depth in a postseason run.

The Mavs are hoping that they can draw a similar outcome with Bogut as the Suns are looking for with Tucker. They’re aware that Bogut has not been deemed worthy of a first-rounder to this point, but what happens when contending teams looking to beef up for a playoff run feel they’ve got to get something done at the deadline?
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Bogut has not been healthy, but he has a championship pedigree, having anchored the Warriors’ defense in consecutive trips to the Finals. The fact that he has struggled to get on the floor might prevent any team from getting desperate enough to give away a first-round pick, but if he can be had for a couple of second-rounders and bounces back down the stretch, he could be the kind of low-risk, high-reward gamble who would pay off for a contender.

Pistons’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope arrested for suspicion of DUI

Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was arrested hours after the team’s loss to the Heat on Tuesday night and ticketed for driving under the influence.

WDIV first reported the arrest, which occurred after Caldwell-Pope was pulled over around 2:50 a.m. Wednesday for driving 45 mph in a 25 mph zone. The officer who stopped him smelled alcohol and arrested Caldwell-Pope after conducting field sobriety tests. A Breathalyzer test later registered the player’s blood-alcohol content at 0.08, WDIV reported.

Caldwell-Pope played in Thursday night’s win over the Nets, scoring 12 points. The 24-year-old is averaging 14.1 points per game this season and is set to become a restricted free agent this summer.

Detroit has six games remaining in the regular season and enters Friday’s contest at Milwaukee 2 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Arriving to a team that had never played in a championship series, Duncan put small-market San Antonio on the pro sports map and did more on the court than anyone else to transform the Spurs into the NBA’s model franchise.

By his second season, he led San Antonio to its first title and finished up with five championships, three Finals MVP awards and two regular-season MVP awards. He’s considered the greatest power forward to ever play, although he starred for a good chunk of his career in the middle.

Regardless of how he’s viewed, he’s most responsible for the Spurs’ amazing near-20-year run of excellence. During his 19 seasons, the Spurs never missed the playoffs once and posted a 1,072-438 regular-season record. That’s the best 19-year stretch in NBA history and No. 1 in the four major U.S. pro sports during that time period.4

Astros star Carlos Correa out 6-8 weeks after thumb surgery

Astros All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, he said via social media.

Correa posted a picture of himself in a surgical gown with a caption that described the surgery as a success followed by ready for what’s next.

Rodriguez underwent surgery on his shoulder after he was injured in a nasty car wreck in January, just two months after he agreed to a two-year, $11.5 million deal with the Braves.
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Rodriguez was traveling with his family when they were hit by a stolen car. The driver of the stolen vehicle was killed, and Rodriguez, his wife and two of their children sustained injuries.

Despite the terrifying situation, Rodriguez said God’s power and traditional hard work got him rehabbed faster than trainers anticipated.

Steve Smith Sr Womens Jersey I told them right out of surgery that I was going to be back a lot sooner than they thought, Rodriguez said. I was taught young, you set your mind to something and just keep getting it and winning every day, just see what happens. Again, I’ve had a lot of good people around me, from Pete Cicinelli (Braves major league performance therapist), to Andrew Hauser (director of player health and performance) and the training staff.

Aside from Rodriguez, there are other potential big changes in the Braves’ roster. Manager Brian Snitker told the AJC that shortstop Dansby Swanson won’t be playing everyday, and there is a chance he could be sent back to the minors.

Waiters got into peak physical condition under the Heat’s elite training staff

One year after essentially taking a $3 million make-good contract in Miami, Waiters gets to cash in. And it’s well-earned after the year he had.

Mychal Rivera Limited Jersey Waiters got into peak physical condition under the Heat’s elite training staff, and averaged nearly 16 points and over four assists per game. Sure, he’s still not super efficient with his wild tendencies driving the basketball, but he’s a knockdown catch-and-shoot guy, and he still possesses toughness defensively on the ball. He’s turned himself into a useful player that can be a starter on a solid team in today’s NBA.

Analysis (Foster): Going for a frontline starter now would seem to indicate the Braves believe they have a serious shot at the postseason this year. That seemed a silly thing to say coming out of spring training, but a better-than-expected first half has them in the conversation as a darkhorse contender

Bobby Wagner Limited Jersey The rotation has been quite uneven this season, so an upgrade is definitely needed if Atlanta plans to make a run. It certainly has the prospects and expendable veterans to get a deal done, but the real question is whether it makes more sense to wait until the offseason and try to form a roster that will be in the playoff mix from opening day in 2018.

Analysis (Rivera): Let’s be honest: The Mets need to sell like a grandma selling Super Nintendo games at a yard sale. Their chances of a playoff spot are slim, and if they keep fighting against injuries, things won’t get any better. Duda is an interesting trade chip: He’s in the middle of a pretty good season — he has 14 homers at the All-Star break — and he could offer a team a decent power threat at first base or DH. The fact that the Mets reportedly are willing to deal him to the Yankees is even more interesting, but the cost will be the question.