NHL season start still in air
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Saturday said he would not be surprised if the next NHL season begins after the tentatively planned Dec. 1 start date. In his annual pre-Stanley Cup Final news conference, Bettman said that there is still too much uncertainty to know what that season would look like. He would not address speculation about an all-Canadian division given the US-Canada border closure to nonessential travel. The focus would remain on the safety for players, coaches, staff and fans, Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “If there’s an option to consider, believe me, we’re considering it,” Bettman said. The league has repeatedly said that opening training camps on Nov. 17 and beginning the season on Dec. 1 were tentative targets. Bettman raised the possibility of the season starting later in December or in January. Asked about potentially not playing until the autumn of next year, Bettman said he anticipates a full, 82-game season and playoffs. “How and when we do that is something that we don’t all have enough information to make any decisions,” Bettman said. The US-Canada border is a significant issue and has more of an effect on the NHL than other pro sports leagues because it has seven teams in Canada and 24 in the US until Seattle is set to become the 32nd franchise next year. Canada did not allow MLB’s Blue Jays to play in Toronto this season because of cross-border travel.
Southern Kings to liquidate
South African Rugby (SA Rugby) has placed the Southern Kings into voluntary liquidation because of debts of 55 million rands (US$3.37 million) and no chance of generating any income this year. The Kings, based in Port Elizabeth, were last month withdrawn from all competition due to their financial position following a failed takeover bid that forced SA Rugby and the Eastern Province Rugby Union to take control. “The hard fact is that the Kings are insolvent, with significant debts and zero assets and it would have been reckless of the board to continue to trade,” Eastern Province chairman Andre Rademan said in a statement.
Tigers manager to retire
Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire on Saturday announced his retirement, bringing a sudden end to his three-season tenure with the Tigers and ending a 16-year MLB managerial career. The 62-year-old compiled 1,200 wins as a big-league manager, 46th in MLB history. Gardenhire said before Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Indians that he came to the decision suddenly. “The way I’ve been feeling since I had that bout of food poisoning in Minnesota and the stomach problems and the stress involved with this job, I told Al [Avila, Tigers’ general manager] I’ll step down right now,” said Gardenhire, who was treated for prostate cancer in 2017.
Castres kicked out of Cup
Castres on Saturday were thrown out of the European Challenge Cup, 24 hours before their quarter-final in Leicester, because of four COVID-19 positives. The French club confirmed that three players and one manager tested positive before the team’s departure to England. The limit for a match to take place is three, said European Professional Club Rugby, the organizer of the competitions.
China wants to unite its 1.4 billion people through soccer, while also using the sport as “a bridge to work with the rest of the world,” Chinese Football Association secretary-general Liu Yi told reporters in an interview published yesterday. Liu spoke about what lies behind the country’s push to become a major soccer power by 2050. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping — who is described by state media as an “avid soccer fan” — the world’s most populous country has grand plans to host and even one day win a World Cup. Liu spoke about “using football to motivate the whole nation.” “Football is
‘JOB NOT DONE’: The outfielder, who hit a homer and stole two bases, said that players ‘have to be good at all aspects of game all the time and not take plays off’ Los Angeles outfielder Mookie Betts put himself in rarefied company with a standout performance in the Dodgers’ Game 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the 116th World Series on Tuesday. Betts sparked the Dodgers’ four-run fifth inning with a walk and two stolen bases, joining Babe Ruth as the only players in World Series history to record such an inning. After walking to lead off the inning, Betts stole second base. After Corey Seager walked, Betts reached third on a double steal, giving the Dodgers runners on second and third with one out. Betts took an aggressive stance off the bag
TENNIS Federer eyes Australia Roger Federer is practicing pain-free after undergoing two knee surgeries this year and said that he expects to return to the circuit at the Australian Open in January. The 39-year-old Swiss reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park at the start of the year, but missed the rest of the season after undergoing a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. “I’m on the right track,” he told German-language magazine Schweizer Illustrierte. “I’m gradually coming back, but I’m going to take my time and don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I will only take part in a
Marcus Rashford once again sank Paris Saint-Germain after netting the decisive goal in a 2-1 Champions League win in the French capital. Rashford, who scored the winning spot-kick when United knocked PSG out two seasons ago, drilled home a low shot three minutes from the end, which won a thrilling Group H contest at a near-empty Parc des Princes. United had taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Bruno Fernandes slotted home from the spot at the second attempt, but Anthony Martial inexplicably headed Neymar’s corner into his own net 10 minutes after the break. The rest of the match was an