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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

{allcanada} Saturday Night Live: Fred Armisen, Drake Hosting Final Season 41 Episodes

 

Saturday Night Live called Drake on his cell phone, which can only mean one thing: He's heading back to Studio 8H!

NBC on Wednesday announced that the Degrassi grad will serve as the host and musical guest for the May 14 episode (11:30/10:30c), marking his third appearance on SNL. He made his debut in 2011 as Anna Faris' musical guest, then returned in 2014 to pull double duty.

Additionally, SNL is welcoming back former cast member Fred Armisen (2002–2013) to host the May 21 season finale; Courtney Barnett will be his musical guest.

As previously reported, Brie Larson will host the May 7 episode, joined by musical guest Alicia Keys.

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{allcanada} World championship could benefit if NHL snubs Olympics

 

(Reuters) - The ice hockey world championship may not have all the best players but with the National Hockey League non-committal about future Olympic participation the yearly tournament could be about to receive a boost in importance.

Among the top players that will not be present when the tournament begins in Russia on Friday are Russian sniper Alex Ovechkin and Canadian Olympic hero Sidney Crosby, whose teams are currently battling each other in NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But many familiar names will be chasing world championship gold like Slovenia's Anze Kopitar and Russia's Pavel Datsyuk as well as top prospects Auston Mathews of the United States and Finland's Patrik Laine.

Despite NHL players participating in each of the last five Winter Games, there is a growing sense the North American league won't participate in the 2018 Olympics in South Korea due to a lack of money to cover player insurance and travel.

Adding to the uncertainty, the NHL re-booted the World Cup of Hockey, which will take place in Toronto later this year, but after that there could be a hole on the international schedule when it comes to countries competing in a best-on-best format.

That could give players a little more incentive to represent their country on the international stage even if it is not an Olympics.

The worlds will always be there for players who want to extend their season. For example, Kopitar's NHL campaign ended sooner than expected, but the forward is excited about building on Slovenia's quarter-final showing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"Considering that my father is the coach, it was easier to make the decision," Kopitar said. "I have an opportunity to come to play for Slovenia and get together with the guys with who we achieved a great result in Sochi."

Canada enter the worlds as the defending champions. Last year, Crosby suited up for Canada and beat Ovechkin and Russia in the gold medal game. With the win, Crosby became the 26th member of the Triple Gold Club, players who have won Olympic gold, a world championship and Stanley Cup.

The 37-year-old Datsyuk, who is expected to announce this offseason that he will leave the NHL's Detroit Red Wings after 14 seasons to return home, will attempt to lead Russia to their first championship on home soil since 1986.

The tournament also will be a showcase for rising stars like Connor McDavid, fresh off his impressive NHL rookie campaign, and Matthews and Lain, who are the consensus top-two choices for next month's NHL Draft

Laine and the Finns have an opportunity to pull off a rare triple championship season after their junior-aged teams won the under-18 World Championship last month and the under-20 World Junior Championship in early January.

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{allcanada} Warriors star Hunt named WHL POY

 

CALGARY - Moose Jaw Warriors winger Dryden Hunt was named the Western Hockey League's player of the year on Wednesday.

Hunt, who led the WHL with 58 goals and 58 assists in 72 regular-season games, accepted the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy at the WHL awards ceremony in front of former NHLers Joe Sakic, Bobby Clarke and Lanny McDonald.

"I'm honoured to have those guys here," said the 20-year-old Hunt. "I think it's great for us young guys to see those guys come in and I think they enjoyed this experience as much as we did. It's great to see those guys and to win this award in front of them … it's a pretty special way to end off my WHL career."

Hunt also had seven goals and nine assists in 10 playoff games.

As part of the WHL's 50th season celebrations, Sakic and Clarke were recognized as the league's top two players while McDonald accepted this year's WHL governors award.

Hunt said he battled nerves on his way up to the stage to accept the award in front of Sakic and Clarke, both previous winners of the Trophy.

"Just walking up there in front of those guys and having to speak not only in front of the room but in front of three Hall of Famers, it's a pretty cool experience," said Hunt, who signed an entry level contract with the Florida Panthers in early March. "Obviously there's so many great players in this league. You take a look at the list of past players who've won it and it's kind of surreal.

"Honestly, I don't think I'll ever get used to it."

Former Tri-City Americans goalie Carey Price finished third in fan voting for the WHL's top 50 players, but was unable to attend the awards ceremony because he's with his wife Angela as the couple is expecting their first child any day.

Also up for the WHL player of the year award was Victoria Royals defenceman Joe Hicketts, who recorded eight goals and 53 assists in 59 games during the regular season with the Victoria Royals before scoring once and setting up six others in six playoff games.

Hicketts also finished as runner up behind Ivan Provorov of the Brandon Wheat Kings for the WHL defenceman of the year award.

Provorov finished with 21 goals and 52 assists in 62 games in his second season with the Wheat Kings, who will face the Seattle Thunderbirds in the best-of-seven WHL finals.

"There's a lot of great defencemen in the league this year," said Provorov. "It's an honour to receive this award. Also, there's a lot of great defencemen to receive this award in the past and to be included in this group, it's pretty special."

Victoria bench boss Dave Lowry was named WHL coach of the year while two of his players — Matthew Phillips, rookie of the year award, and Tyler Soy, most sportsmanlike player — also came away with awards.

"It means a lot," said Phillips. "You look on the award and there's some really good players who have gone on to have not only good WHL careers, but good NHL careers. This year alone there was some extremely talented rookies nominated and looked at for the award, so it's definitely a big honour to be recognized."

A pair of Lethbridge Hurricanes also won awards. Tyler Wong was chosen as humanitarian of the year, while general manager Peter Anholt was named as executive of the year.

Other awards went to: Adam Brooks of the Regina Pats, top scorer; Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips, goaltender of the year; Rylan Parenteau of the Prince Albert Raiders, hardest working player; and Tanner Kaspick of the Wheat Kings, scholastic player of the year.

The Spokane Chiefs were named the scholastic team of the year, Brandon won the WHL marketing/business award, and Chris Schlenker was chosen as the top official of the year.

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{allcanada} Cecil on boos: 'I’m not the only one struggling'

 

Brett Cecil has been hearing it from the Toronto Blue Jays faithful of late after being tagged with five losses in the month of April.

Cecil currently leads the MLB in losses and owns a 5.59 ERA in 15 games this season. He is also 0-for-3 in save situations. In April, he became the first pitcher in MLB history to be credited with five losses in the opening month of the season. His record remains at 0-5.

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The Jays reliever says he's noticed the jeers from the fans as he enters the game from the bullpen but has not let it impact his game.

"I mean I notice it. You try not to pay attention to it and you try not to let it affect you and it doesn't affect me," Cecil said Wednesday. "I'm not going to say it doesn't bother me, but it doesn't affect me at the same time. I don't know if you want to know what I think about it."

Cecil entered Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers in the eighth inning, but he was quickly pulled after giving up consecutive singles and failing to record an out. The home town crowd rained boos on him as he was replaced by Roberto Osuna.

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Cecil, 29, says he understands fans are unhappy, but also hinted he should not be their only target.

"I can understand the frustration of fans and guys not doing well, but I'm not the only one that's struggling right now. [I'm] not saying don't boo me, boo other guys – I don't want anybody to get booed. But, I'm not the only one that's struggling right now. Jesus, for almost 10 years of my life I've put everything I've had into this organization. It's the only organization I've been with.

"I've had three great years being a reliever and it's a shame, I think, people act that way. Like I said, I notice it, it bothers me, but it doesn't affect me."

The left-hander appeared in 63 games for the Blue Jays last season and posted a career-low ERA of 2.48 with a 5-5 record. His WHIP sat at 0.957 last season, compared to the 1.966 WHIP he holds through 15 outings this year.

The Blue Jays' record sits at 13-15 entering Wednesday's night matchup with the Rangers.

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