Thursday, November 30, 2017

{allcanada} Toronto Blue Jays Announcer Fired For “Inappropriate Behavior” With Women


Toronto Blue Jays baseball television analyst Gregg Zaun has been fired for unspecified "inappropriate behavior and comments" toward female employees, according to a statement from Sportsnet, his employer.

Rick Brace, President of Rogers Media, Sportsnet's parent company, said in a statement Thursday that Zaun's employment was terminated immediately.

"This week, we received complaints from multiple female employees at Sportsnet regarding inappropriate behavior by Gregg Zaun in the workplace," the statement said. "After investigating the matter, we decided to terminate his contract, effective immediately. This type of behavior completely contradicts our standards and our core values."

He continued: "We believe in a professional workplace where all employees feel comfortable and respected. We are grateful to our employees who spoke with us and we will take every measure to protect their privacy."

Zaun, 46, was a former  catcher for 16 major league seasons, including in Toronto from 2004-2008.  He was considered a key in helping the Florida Marlins win the World Series in 1997.

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{allcanada} Sounders beat Dynamo to book rematch with TFC in MLS Cup


SEATTLE — Victor Rodriguez scored on a nifty give-and-go with Will Bruin in the 22nd minute, Clint Dempsey added his third goal of the playoffs early in the second half, and the Seattle Sounders advanced to the MLS Cup final with a 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Thursday night.

The defending champion Sounders advanced 5-0 on aggregate after their convincing two-goal win in Houston last week. Bruin added his second goal of the series in the 73rd minute as the Sounders advanced to face Toronto in the final and get the opportunity to become the first repeat MLS Cup champions since the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2011-12 — and on the same field Seattle won its first title a year ago. The Sounders and Toronto played to a 0-0 draw in the 2016 final before Seattle won on penalty kicks.

The Sounders took any nerves out of the second-leg with Houston early. Rather than packing in on defence, Seattle pushed forward and aggressively tried to get that third goal. It came on a four-pass series, with Bruin's right-footed flick the key. It found Rodriguez unmarked on a diagonal run into the penalty area, and his right-footed shot beat Joe Willis to give Seattle the early advantage.

Rodriguez's goal gave the 45,298 at CenturyLink Field a collective exhale as Houston would have needed to score three goals to advance. That number became four when Dempsey finished a deft cross from Joevin Jones in the 52nd minute, and if that didn't put the match out of reach, Bruin added his goal in the 72nd minute to complete the rout.

While Seattle's goal scoring deserved recognition, its defence continued to be stellar. The Sounders have yet to allow a goal in the playoffs and haven't been scored upon since a 2-0 loss at Philadelphia on Oct. 1. Seattle finished off the Dynamo without defender Roman Torres, who was out due to yellow card accumulation.

Houston played the final 24 minutes with 10-men after Tomas Martinez was sent off for shoving the head of Seattle's Jordy Delem as he was lying on the field following a foul. It was the second red card in the two-game series for Houston. Jalil Anibaba was given a red card in the first leg and missed Thursday's game. Houston was also without defender Philippe Senderos (hamstring) and forward Romell Quioto (illness).

Seattle also got a boost with the return of forward Jordan Morris after being out for two months due to a hamstring injury. Morris played the final 15 minutes of the match and should be available for the final.

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{allcanada} Stroll to compete in Daytona endurance race


Canadian Formula One driver Lance Stroll will return to sports cars in January for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Stroll will drive an ORECA 07-Gibson for Jackie Chan DC Racing, sharing the ride with Felix Rosenqvist, Robin Frijns and Daniel Juncadella.

"We are going to Daytona to enjoy, compete and of course try and win," said Stroll in a article. "I always want to be best and most competitive I can be. I'll be out there with some of my buddies in the same car and it is going to be a pleasure to do this race again as I just love to race. We are the four young guns so it will be great fun I'm sure because we go way back together."

The Montreal, Que. native raced for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2016 running of the prestigious 24-hour endurance race. His team finished fifth overall in a Riley DP.

Stroll made his Formula One debut this season for Williams Martini Racing, scoring one podium and seven top-10s.

The Rolex 24 takes place Jan. 27-28 on the road course configuration of Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

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{allcanada} Daniel Sedin reaches 1,000 NHL points with Canucks


Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin reached 1,000 points in his NHL career with three against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

Sedin has 1,001 points after gettng a goal and two assists. He scored a power-play goal at 10:22 of the third period for his 1,000th point after assisting on a goal by Loui Eriksson at 14:11 of the second period. Sedin assisted on Eriksson's empty-net goal with 57 seconds left in a 5-3 win.

Sedin has 376 goals and 625 assists in 1,251 NHL games. The 37-year-old became the 87th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points, the first since Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby on Feb. 16, 2007.

"When [the record] happens, it happens," Sedin said last week. "I think this year is obviously a little different with my role on the team, so it can happen next game or happen in six games, but we'll take it when it happens."

Sedin has seen his ice time reduced by more than four minutes from 2016-17 to this season (18:03 to 14:17 prior to Thursday). His twin brother, Canucks forward Henrik Sedin, reached 1,000 points on Jan. 20, 2017. They are the only two players to score that many playing for Vancouver.

"When it happened to me, I don't think I realized how big a thing it was until it happened, and I'm sure it'll be the same for him," Henrik said. "He never talks about it, and I don't think he even thought about it until today when he moved to two points away. When it happens, it'll be fun for him."

In addition to Crosby (1,052), four other active NHL players have scored 1,000 points (totals before Thursday): Jaromir Jagr of the Calgary Flames (1,920), Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks (1,406), Patrick Marleau of the Toronto Maple Leafs (1,098), and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (1,060).

Selected by Vancouver with the No. 2 pick in the 1999 NHL Draft, Daniel Sedin is the Canucks leader in goals and is second in games played, points and assists. Henrik Sedin, the No. 3 pick in the 1999 draft, is first in games played (1,273), assists (792) and points (1,031).

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{allcanada} Gallagher scores twice, Canadiens beat Red Wings 6-3


DETROIT (AP) Brendan Gallagher scored twice, and his Montreal Canadiens teammates added three goals in the second period on the way to a 6-3 victory over the struggling Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

Charles Hudon and Andrew Shaw scored 43 seconds apart for the Canadiens, who have won four games in a row. Alex Galchenyuk also scored for Montreal in the second, and Max Pacioretty added a goal in the third to help Claude Julien to his 100th win as Canadiens coach.

Anthony Mantha, Tomas Tatar and Frans Nielsen scored for Detroit. The Red Wings have lost six straight, although three of those defeats were in overtime.

Detroit led 2-1 in the second when the puck came to Hudon after a scramble in front. He lifted it past goalie Jimmy Howard for the tying goal. Moments later, Shaw took a pass from Phillip Danault and beat Howard with a wrist shot.

Galchenyuk made it 4-2 late in the second.

Gallagher scored both his goals on deflections in front and has 12 on the season. His second goal of the night made it 5-2 in the third, and Pacioretty added a power-play goal later in the period.

Nielsen's goal came on the power play as well and made it 6-3.

Gallagher gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal in the first, but Mantha answered 64 seconds later with his 12th of the season. Tatar put Detroit up 2-1 with a power-play goal, beating Carey Price with a wrist shot from the left circle.

The four-game winning streak is Montreal's longest of the season. The Canadiens were in an early hole thanks to a seven-game skid in October, but this victory moved them into third place in the Atlantic Division.


The Canadiens and Red Wings play the back end of their home-and-home series in Montreal on Saturday night.

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{allcanada} Pamela Anderson Says Harvey Weinstein's Accusers Shouldn't Have Been Alone with Him: 'You Know What You're Getting Into'


Pamela Anderson has stirred up controversy by suggesting Harvey Weinstein's accusers shouldn't have allowed themselves to be alone with him.

"It was common knowledge that certain producers or certain people in Hollywood or people to avoid, privately," she told Megyn Kelly Thursday. "You know what you're getting into if you're going into a hotel room alone."

Anderson, who has spoken out about her own experiences with sexual abuse, went on to explain that when she was a young actress, she used her "common sense" to avoid uncomfortable situations with certain producers.

"When I came to Hollywood, of course I had a lot of offers to do private auditions and things that made absolutely no sense," she said. "Just common sense: don't go into a hotel room alone. If someone enters a door in a bathrobe, leave. These things that are common sense."

When Kelly suggested that many of these women were lured into meetings by their agents or female assistants, Anderson said the women should have insisted another person be in the room. "That's what they should have done. Send somebody with them. I think there's easy ways to remedy that. That's not a good excuse," she said.

She continued, "I know that Hollywood is very seductive and these people want to be famous. Sometimes you think you're going to be safe with an adult in the room. I don't know where this security comes from, but somehow I've dodged it all. I've been offered lots of things. A condo and a Porsche to be someone's number one girl. I just naively said, 'Well there must be a number two then, so I'm not interested.' Money, homes, roles in movies. And I just didn't want to do it that way. I had no desire. I'm a romantic and it didn't appeal to me."

Weinstein, 65, has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 50 women including Cara Delevingne, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed articles in October.

A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances."

Anderson previously revealed in 2014 that she was molested by a female babysitter when she was 6. She also said she was raped by a 25-year-old man when she was 12, and later gang-raped by a boyfriend and six of his friends.

Speaking about her past, Anderson told Kelly, "We naturally blame ourselves. You somehow think that you were to blame."

Anderson also opened up about being verbally berated by Weinstein while working on the Superhero Movie in 2008. According to Anderson, her character, Invisible Girl, was meant to have an invisible pet dog. As a staunch animal rights activist, Anderson refused to work with a stage dog to protest their treatment on film sets.

When Weinstein heard her argument, Anderson said he became furious. "You're Pamela Anderson and you don't deserve anything. If you don't do this you'll never work in this town again," she said Weinstein told her. "Never in my life had I been talked to [like this]. I've had some pretty bad boyfriends. And I've never been talked to this way."

In the second part of the interview, airing Friday, Anderson answers questions about her relationship with Julian Assange.

"He's so funny. He's very kind, he's very smart," she said of the controversial Wikileaks founder in a teaser for the second episode. "Brilliant. We talk about everything. I'm there for four hours at a time, and I see him all the time. He asks me about my kids, about my life. We just have this great conversation."

Assange has also been accused of sexual misconduct, and had been in a seven-year legal standoff with Swedish authorities of rape charges. In May, prosecutors in Sweden dropped the preliminary investigation because Assange had taken asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The investigation would continue if he ever makes himself available to authorities.

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{allcanada} Altidore's winner sends TFC to second straight MLS Cup


TORONTO — After rolling through the regular season, Toronto FC has had to fight tooth and nail to negotiate the MLS playoffs.

Pretty soccer has gone out the window. The league leaders have had to batten down the defensive hatches and find a way — any way — to get past the opposition.

On Wednesday night it took a 60th-minute goal by a limping Jozy Altidore to turn the tide as Toronto FC returned to the MLS Cup final with a 1-0 win over Columbus Crew SC in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final.

Toronto will host either the Seattle Sounders or Houston Dynamo in the Dec. 9 MLS Cup final. The Sounders, who took the title from Toronto in a penalty shootout last year, lead the Western Conference final 2-0 going into Game 2 Thursday in Seattle.

After a scoreless tie in Game 1 Nov. 21 in Ohio, fifth-seeded Columbus needed a win or draw with goals to advance. Toronto had to win.

Altidore could hardly walk after a collision with Columbus defender Harrison Afful early in the second half. He got treatment on the field and then had his ankle taped off it before returning to play.

Coach Greg Vanney said he told Altidore to keep going for as long as he could — and to let him know whether he had to come off.

"He didn't tell me so I figured he was going to gut it out for as long as he felt like he could," said Vanney.

"The moment he scored he was kind of like Keyser Soze," added Vanney, referencing the mysterious and occasionally limping antagonist in "The Usual Suspects." "He went from kind of limping to a perfect sprint and finished it beautifully. It was a beautiful goal."

It came with more than a little pain.

"I couldn't really move, I was hobbling around," said Altidore. "It's tough too in these conditions too when you get a knock like that, it's so cold, it's a little bit worse. I wanted to give a little bit of time for whoever was up next, and if a chance came down to it, I wanted it to fall to me. And it did."

Altidore was substituted eight minutes after scoring.

"That's heart," said goalkeeper Alex Bono. "That's all that is. That's heart."

The goal started with a Bono goal kick that found Sebastian Giovinco deep in Columbus territory. The diminutive Italian held off several defenders and backheeled the ball to Altidore who stabbed it to Victor Vazquez. The Spanish midfielder paused and then dinked a pass to Altidore who rolled a right-footed shot past Zack Steffen.

Altidore kept running to the corner flag where he was swallowed up in a ball of joyous teammates.

"When you're standing in the tunnel on nights like this and you look behind you, when you see Jozy it's a damn good feeling," said Toronto captain Michael Bradley. "Because you know what he's going to be about. You know that he's going to give you everything he had.

"And on a night when it didn't necessarily come easily or simply, in a moment where nobody would have thought twice if he'd gone off, he found a way to keep going and make a big play for us. I'm so proud of him, so happy for him.

"We're going to need one or two of those more next week. "

Playing before a sellout crowd of 30,392 on a crisp night at BMO Field, Toronto survived a few nervy moments at the end.

Justin Meram shot high in the 80th minute in one of Columbus' best chances.

Columbus striker Ola Kamara nearly tied it up in the 87th minute but couldn't get a boot to the ball on a raking cross. Bono then beat Kamara to a cross in stoppage time.

Steffen played his part in the first half Wednesday, stopping a Vazquez penalty in the 26th minute. It was the fourth penalty save this season for the 22-year-old 'keeper — and his second against Toronto.

"We were inches away from scoring the tying goal, we gave up one chance, they score," lamented Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter. "Zack makes a huge play on the penalty. It's a game of inches. We play all year for inches. Ball doesn't go under Ola's foot, we score. And we're singing a different tune now."

Bradley made a huge defensive play in the first half, intervening after a nice buildup by Federico Higuain and Kamara gave Meram a good look on goal in the 21st. But a poor first touch and Bradley's saving tackle rescued Toronto.

How difficult have the playoffs been for Toronto, a team touted as the league's best ever?

Toronto is 2-1-1 in the post-season. Altidore's goal Wednesday was the team's first in 258 minutes. The last score came almost a month ago — on Oct. 30, via a Giovinco free kick in the 72nd minute of a 2-1 win at Red Bull Arena.

Still top-seeded Toronto liked where it stood going into Game 2, needing a win on home soil to advance to the final. And it had all its weapons back with Altidore and Giovinco returning from the suspension that kept them out of the series opener.

After playing in a 4-1-4-1 formation without its top strikers in Columbus, Toronto reverted to its more usual 3-5-2. Jonathan Osorio replaced Marky Delgado in the midfield with Eriq Zavaleta resuming his normal position in the backline.

Fifth-seeded Columbus was without Brazilian midfielder Artur, suspended after picking up a second yellow card last time out. Mohammed Abu replaced him with Lalas Abubakar coming in for Jukka Raitala.

Berhalter switched to three in the back, opting for a 3-4-2-1 instead of the 4-2-3-1 last time out.

Toronto began to stroke the ball around but could not break down the Crew defence until late in the first half when Columbus had to resort to some desperate defending as Toronto pressed in the penalty box.

Delgado came in for Zavaleta to open the second half, with Toronto switching to what looked like a 4-1-3-2 — or 4-4-2 with Bradley shielding the backline at the bottom of a midfield diamond.

The last teams to make it to back-to-back championships games were the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo. They met in the 2011 and '12 championship games with the Galaxy winning both times.

Columbus arrived in Toronto having lost just once — 2-0 to New York City FC in the playoffs — since Aug. 5 (an 8-1-5 run). Despite an uncertain future — ownership is talking of move to Austin, Texas, after the 2018 season — Columbus has done its talking on the field.

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{allcanada} Ledecka fastest at World Cup downhill, Gagnon injured


LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — The final training run for the season-opening women's World Cup downhill was hard on the Canadian ski team.

Marie-Michele Gagnon dislocated her left shoulder in a crash Thursday.

She was just four hundredths of a second back of the fastest time of the day coming into the final turn, where Gagnon fell and flew into the safety netting within sight of the finish line.

She was removed from the mountain on a rescue sled. Gagnon was able to pop her shoulder back into place, according to the team doctor.

The 28-year-old from Lac-Etchemin, Que., is a regular podium contender in slalom and owns a pair of World Cup bronze medals.

Gagnon is intent on improving her downhill this winter in order to increase her medal chances in the super combined event at the Winter Olympics in February.

The best results of her 10-year career on the national team have been a pair of World Cup gold medals in combined. Gagnon was sixth at this year's world championship.

Gagnon was going to race World Cup downhills Friday and Saturday in Lake Louise, Alta., for the first time in her career, as well as Sunday's super-G.

But Canadian team coach Manuel Gamper said early indications were it was "not very likely" Gagnon will race in Lake Louise.

Gagnon was almost seven-tenths of a second faster than the entire field at the third interval Thursday and was "charging like crazy," Gamper said.

Gagnon has a history with her left shoulder. She dislocated it in a fall racing the combined at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Gagnon competed in three more races there and placed ninth in slalom.

She had surgery on her shoulder in 2015.

Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic posted the fastest training time Thursday in one minute 48.14 seconds.

Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. was second in 1:48.29 and Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein finished third in 1:48.68.

Vonn has won 14 downhills and four super-G races in Lake Louise, but was unable to compete on her favourite mountain last year because of a broken arm.

Valerie Grenier of Mont-Tremblant, Que., was 32nd in training.

Grenier is frustrated by the return of pain in her legs that she thought was solved by surgery for compartment syndrome in the spring of 2016.

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is an exercise-induced muscle and nerve condition that causes pain and swelling in the affected muscles, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Grenier, 21, is a rising talent in both technical and speed races.

She won women's downhill gold and super-G silver at the world junior championships in 2016, as well as a giant slalom bronze in 2015.

Grenier placed 16th in a downhill in Lake Louise a year ago for her best World Cup result.

But a pair of crashes in Europe last season triggered the return of pain in her lower legs "and it all went downhill from there, honestly," she said.

"I really don't feel as confident as last year for sure," Grenier continued. "It's hard to feel confident in my skiing because my skiing is not that good because I'm in pain. It's been hard."

She didn't want surgery again this year so close to the Winter Olympics. Grenier is managing her discomfort with cortisone shots.

"My shins were a little bit better today," she said. "Not as bad as the first training, but I'm still getting some pain.

"I don't like when that happens when I'm skiing because that's all I can think about. It's hard to stay focused."

Roni Remme of Collingwood, Ont., was 48th in training ahead of Vancouver's Stefanie Fleckenstein in 49th. Mikaela Tommy of Wakefield, Que., was 53rd.

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{allcanada} Team Canada announces roster for pre-Olympic hockey tournament


ith less than three months to go until the start of the Olympics, Team Canada has two tournaments left before it decides on the final roster for the men's event in South Korea.

The Channel One Cup is a three-game tournament in Moscow that runs from Dec. 13-17 and on Thursday Team Canada announced the roster it will bring there next month. This will serve as the second-last evaluation tournament before the final Olympic roster is set, with the last event coming later in December at the Spengler Cup in Switzerland.

"This has been a very busy few months of evaluation of Canadian hockey talent from around the world, and we are feeling very positive about where we're at in the process. We're looking forward to the Channel One Cup and seeing how this group of players comes together at the tournament," said Sean Burke, who is serving as GM for the Olympic process. "Our goal remains to put together the best possible team to compete in PyeongChang in February, and these 25 players are part of a larger group that remains under consideration."

Of the 25 players who will represent Canada at the Channel One Cup, goalie Barry Brust and forward Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau are the only players who haven't been invited to a previous tournament this year. Matt Frattin will be at the Channel One Cup after missing the Karjala Cup due to injury.

The full roster for the mid-December tournament is as follows:


Taylor Beck R 6'2 203 Kunlun Red Star (KHL)
René Bourque L 6'2 216 Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
Gilbert Brulé R 5'11 187 Kunlun Red Star (KHL)
Matt Ellison R 5'11 200 Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Matt Frattin R 6'0 205 Barys Astana (KHL)
Ryan Garbutt L 6'0 194 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)
Rob Klinkhammer R 6'3 214 Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)
Brandon Kozun R 5'8 170 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)
Eric O'Dell R 6'1 201 HC Sochi (KHL)
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau R 6'0 201 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (KHL)
Teddy Purcell R 6'2 194 Avangard Omsk (KHL)
Derek Roy L 5'9 187 Linköping HC (SHL)
Max Talbot L 5'11 185 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)
Linden Vey R 6'0 190 Barys Astana (KHL)
Wojtek Wolski L 6'3 220 Kunlun Red Star (KHL)
Simon Després L 6'4 218 HC Slovan Bratislava (KHL)
Stefan Elliott R 6'1 190 HV71 (SHL)
Chay Genoway L 5'9 170 Lada Togliatti (KHL)
Shawn Lalonde R 6'1 205 Kölner Haie (DEL)
Chris Lee L 6'0 187 Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Maxim Noreau R 6'0 198 SC Bern (NLA)
Mat Robinson R 5'10 185 CSKA Moscow (KHL)
Karl Stollery L 5'11 181 Dinamo Riga (KHL)


Barry Brust 6'3 240 HC Fribourg-Gottéron (NLA)
Ben Scrivens 6'2 181 Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)


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{allcanada} Healthy Tanaka hoping to return to Olympics for Canada


Canadian ski jumper Atsuko Tanaka remembers having to call her parents to pick her up from the dog park when a bout of nausea — a symptom of a concussion — brought her to her knees while she was walking her dog.

That's when the Olympian wondered, at age 22, if her ski jumping days were behind her.

Tanaka, who finished 12th at the Sochi Games in 2014, was among a handful of athletes to make history when women's ski jumping made its Olympic debut after years of fighting for inclusion.

But since then it's been an uphill battle for the now 25-year-old Calgarian, who endured two anterior cruciate ligament tears in her left knee, a concussion sustained from whiplash during a car accident, and the mental pains of losing out on a full season of competition just as she was reaching her peak.

"I honestly did think about quitting a lot," Tanaka told The Canadian Press in a recent interview. "I sunk to the level where I thought 'this isn't even worth it.' I couldn't even walk my dog.

"It was really hard to get back in the gym for a while and face everybody because they were already at peak performance and I was so behind and I didn't think that I would be able to catch up physically and at that time mentally, too.

"I was just kind of in a hole, really stuck and couldn't focus, and it took me a long time to get my head back in the game."

With her sights set on qualifying for the Pyeongchang Games this February, Tanaka is hopeful that an almost two-year comeback process will pay off.

"I feel like now I'm able to find my space in my head where I can clear all my thoughts and focus," she said. "I've learned to do that and I'd never been able to do that (before the injuries). So yeah, maybe I am a little stronger now."

Currently ranked 44th in the world, Tanaka will have two months of the upcoming World Cup season, which begins Friday in Norway, to get her ranking down to 35 or better in order to qualify for Pyeongchang.

It will be Tanaka's second full season since her injuries.

The concussion happened in November 2014 — about six month after her ACL surgery — right as she was cleared by her physiotherapist to start ramping up her workouts.

She missed the entire 2015 World Cup campaign while recovering, including the World Championships and a Grand Prix event that would have helped her qualify for the 2018 Games.

"The whole experience of injury after injury and not being able to fully come back (was tough)," Tanaka said. "I went from almost being able to ski jump to having to do everything all over again."

Tom Reid, the chairman of Ski Jumping Canada, called Tanaka's comeback remarkable.

"There are very few people who can take the hits that she's taken and can get back on the horse," Reid said. "She sustained very difficult injuries so to get back up and do it again, that speaks volumes."

Unlike higher profile Olympic athletes, Tanaka is paying for much of her road to the Olympic Games herself — including travel, equipment, and accommodations.

She has one sponsor, Sportchek, where she also works part-time, but she's not benefiting from Canada's Athlete Assistance Program. Her sport is not currently funded by Own The Podium, which Reid says is "understandable."

"It's not supposed to be supporting the sport. Sports have to support themselves through their own fundraising, through the grassroots, through their own sponsorship," Reid said. "Own The Podium is there to bring an athlete from ninth place to the podium, it's not there to get someone from nothing to the podium."

With a medal a long shot in Pyeongchang, Tanaka's aiming instead for a spot on Canada's Olympic team as well as a world ranking that consistently hovers around 15.

Reid believes that's an attainable goal.

"Atsuko has shown flashes of brilliance and she's got a gruelling two-month schedule of World Cups to qualify for South Korea," he said.

"I think she's got a shot. She's not that far away from qualifying. And in ski jumping anything can happen."

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{allcanada} Lions name Hervey as GM; Buono to coach


VANCOUVER — The B.C. Lions hope a major front-office change can turn around the CFL club's sagging fortunes.

The Lions announced Thursday that former Edmonton Eskimos executive Ed Hervey will take over as the club's general manager from Wally Buono, who has held the post since 2003. Buono will coach a final season in 2018 to help with the transition and will continue as vice-president of football operations.

The announcement comes after disappointing season that saw the Lions finish last in the CFL West Division at 7-11 with Buono in a dual coach/GM role. But Hervey said Buono's continued involvement with the team was a selling point when considering the GM job.

"I don't think I would have made the commitment to come here if he wasn't committed to being the head coach," Hervey said at his introductory press conference. "Number two, with Wally as vice-president he gives me someone to work with (and) bounce things off of. I'm still a young general manager, and his wealth of knowledge and experience ... who better to have around?"

Hervey was general manager of the Edmonton Eskimos for three seasons from 2013 to 2016, building a Grey Cup-winning team in 2015. But he was criticized in Edmonton for restricting media access to Eskimos players, and when he was fired on April 7, 2017, Edmonton president Len Rhodes cited a "philosophy in the way we do business" as part of the reason.

Hervey denied obstructing media access while with Edmonton.

"The locker room has always been the coach's decision and will always be the coach's decision, and will be supported by the organization," Hervey said.

Buono is the CFL's all-time leader with 273 coaching wins and had served as the Lions GM since 2003.

After an encouraging 5-2 start in 2017, injuries and inconsistent play plagued the Lions the rest of the way as they spiralled to a 2-9 finish and missed the CFL playoffs for the first time since 1996.

"My time with the Lions has been memorable to say the least, but right now my sole focus is working with Ed to build a championship team in 2018," Buono said in a statement. "This past season was tremendously frustrating for all of us, but today's announcement is the kind of change I believe our organization needs, our fans want to see and something we can build on moving forward."

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{allcanada} Medlock re-signs with Bombers


WINNIPEG — Justin Medlock has decided retirement isn't in his immediate plans after all.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced today that the CFL club has signed the kicker to a one-year contract.

Medlock was a pending free agent. After the Bombers lost the CFL West Division semifinal 39-32 to the Edmonton Eskimos on Nov. 12, the seven-year international kicker said he'd go home to Florida and take some time to decide if he even wanted to continue playing.

"I want to take a second to kind of think about what I want to do, whether I want to play, whether I want to play somewhere else, whether I want to play here," he said at the Bombers' season-ending locker cleanout.

The 34-year-old will head into his third season with Winnipeg after joining as a key free-agent signing in 2016.

He has made 116 of 138 field-goal attempts (84.1 per cent) and is 88-for-89 on converts in two seasons with the Bombers, leading the CFL in scoring both years.

"Simply put, Justin is one of the best to ever do it and is a significant part of our team's success," Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters said in a release.

"He's been at the very top of his craft, hit a rough patch for a few weeks this past season, but rebounded back to his normal self quickly. That's what pros do, and he is without question one of the elite professionals in our league."

In his first season with Winnipeg, the UCLA product was named the CFL's most outstanding special teams player and all-star kicker after hitting a league-record 60 field goals.

He set a new franchise mark with 227 points, tied the Winnipeg record for longest field goal at 58 yards and established a career-high punting average of 42.7 yards.

This past season, Medlock was good on 56 of 70 field goals (80 per cent) and set a new career-high in punting with an average of 43.7 yards.

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{allcanada} Redblacks sign WR Sinopoli to 2-year deal


The Ottawa Redblacks re-signed wide receiver Brad Sinopoli to a two-year contract on Thursday.

Sinopoli posted 1,009 yards and three touchdowns on 91 catches this season. His season came to an early end in late October due to a shoulder injury.

"Brad has been a big part of this team both on and off the field since he came here and we're looking forward to having him back," said general manager Marcel Desjardins said in a release. "We could not envision heading into the 2018 season without Brad Sinopoli."

Sinopoli has topped the 1,000-yard mark in three straight seasons with the Redblacks since coming over from the Calgary Stampeders.

He will turn 30 in April.

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{allcanada} Dorsett retires from Canucks


Vancouver Canucks forward Derek Dorsett has been forced to retire from the NHL because of health reasons and risks associated with playing, general manager Jim Benning announced Thursday.

Dorsett, 30, had cervical spine fusion surgery on Dec. 5, 2016, after appearing in 14 games. He was medically cleared to play this season and had nine points (seven goals, two assists) in 20 games. However, the latest evaluation of his neck revealed a cervical disc herniation adjacent to and separate from his previous fusion, according to Dr. Robert Watkins.

"I'm devastated by the news," Dorsett said. "It will take a long time for this to truly sink in. As hard as it was to hear, Dr. Watkins' diagnosis is definitive. There is no grey area, and it gives me clarity to move forward. I have a healthy young family and a long life of opportunities ahead of me. Hockey taught me a lot and it will help me be successful in whatever I choose to do in the future.

"I still have so many thoughts to share and people to thank for all of their support. What I can say for certain right now is that I left it all out on the ice. I gave my heart and soul to the teams I played for and never backed down from a challenge, including this one. I am proud of the way I played. It made me successful and a good teammate. Most of all I am truly honored and grateful to have lived the NHL dream."

Dorsett last played on Nov. 18 against the St. Louis Blues, but symptoms of neck and back stiffness persisted.

"We've evaluated Derek's health and fitness to play consistent with every player's medical history," Canucks physician Dr. Bill Regan said. "When his latest symptoms presented, we immediately took the precaution of removing him from the lineup to carry out a thorough evaluation, including consultation with Dr. Watkins. His pre-existing conditions, combined with the recent surgery and the risks associated with continuing to play, led to a recommendation that Derek seriously consider not playing again."

Selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the seventh round (No. 189) of the 2006 NHL Draft, Dorsett has 127 points (51 goals, 76 assists) in 515 NHL games during 10 seasons with the Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Canucks. He was in his fourth season with Vancouver.

"Derek overcame the odds to make the NHL and play over 500 games," Benning said. "He's an example of what you can accomplish when you persevere. He is a great teammate, a terrific role model and leader for younger players. This is truly unfortunate news for Derek, his family and our team. We will be there every step of the way to support him, his wife Ali and his family as they take the next steps in their lives."

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{allcanada} Talbot placed on injured reserve by Oilers


EDMONTON -- Goaltender Cam Talbot was placed on injured reserve by the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Coach Todd McLellan said he will be out for at least two weeks.

Talbot was injured during a 6-2 win at the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 22, McLellan said. Talbot finished that game and then played in consecutive wins, 4-2 at the Boston Bruins on Nov. 26 and 3-2 in overtime against the Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Place on Tuesday.

"He was sick in Buffalo (missing a start on Nov. 24) and actually in Detroit he tweaked something up top but we didn't think anything of it," McLellan said. "That day off, change in schedule as far as not playing allowed him to feel better.

"We came home the other night after the game (against Arizona) and he didn't feel good so we had it looked at and he's obviously on IR now. We don't think he'll be available for at least two weeks and it could be longer."

McLellan said Talbot's injury is not a concussion.

Talbot is 10-10-1 with a 3.00 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in 22 games, all starts. He finished fourth in Vezina Trophy voting last season after leading the NHL with 44 victories and 73 appearances, finishing with a 2.39 GAA.

The Oilers (10-13-2) are seventh in the Pacific Division after advancing to the Western Conference Second Round last season. They play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Place on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SNW, TSN4).

Backup Laurent Brossoit, 24, will start against Toronto. The native of Port Alberni, British Columbia has made 23 NHL starts, including three this season (0-3-1, 3.31 GAA, .881 save percentage).

"I feel great," Brossoit said after the morning skate Thursday. "Obviously under these circumstances you never want to see a teammate go down. But of course, in my position as a backup, I'm looking for an opportunity and this is a great chance for that."

Brossoit said he won't be overwhelmed by the stage or playing against the Maple Leafs.

"It's the NHL, it's always going to be intimidating," he said. "I don't think there are many guys here that don't get nervous before games, but it's dealing with the nerves and learning how to do that is the big thing that I think I've been able to manage that.

"Every game, every minute played out there I feel a little more comfortable. It brings more comfort for me and it's just experience, and I'm looking forward to getting some more. I think it's huge (opportunity) but I don't want to make it bigger than it needs to be. It's just one day and I'm going to take it as that."

Brossoit allowed three goals in his past two starts (0-1-1), when the Oilers scored two goals in the two games. He also gave up six goals on 37 shots in relief of Talbot during an 8-3 loss at the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 21.

"Every pitcher needs run support," McLellan said. "That's an analogy for the goaltender. We have to give him some goal support when we can but that being said, we can't just run around and play loose. We have to protect the position. We have to take our defensive game, our penalty-kill game up so that he feels comfortable and we can put him in the best situation possible to have success, and we believe he can."

Defenseman Darnell Nurse said the Oilers need focus, not worry, with Talbot out.

"When your backup goes in, you want to be there to support him but at the same time, we know he's very capable," Nurse said. "We're going to have to be very strong defensively but we have a lot of faith in him. It's going to be important for us to maintain our focus on defense, be in the right spots, make his life as easy as possible."

Goalie Nick Ellis was recalled from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League and will back up Brossoit on Thursday. Ellis, 23, is 5-5-1 with a 2.82 GAA and .914 save percentage in 11 games.

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{allcanada} "No Pressure" for Micheal Haley


"No Pressure" for Micheal Haley


No pressure. Growing up, Micheal Haley often heard those two words from his father. Now, the Florida Panthers forward is passing it along to his four-year-old son.

One day after netting a goal in a 5-4 road win against the New York Rangers, Haley, 31, is back at home in the Sunshine State, getting ready to take his oldest son, Hudson, to the hockey rink.

"I picked him up from school, we went for a swim and now it's off to hockey," said the Guelph, Ontario native, who also has a one-year-old son, Taylor. "He's obsessed with hockey. He just loves it. It's hockey, hockey, hockey, all the time. He's a pretty good little skater. He's been on roller blades and skates since he was two. For him, it's the same as it was for me playing hockey – no pressure. My dad (Don) is down here visiting right now. I remember him always telling me to just go out and have fun. Whether you are the top goal scorer or whatever it is, as long as you're working hard at it and having fun, that's all you need to do."

Haley has certainly heeded those words over an NHL career that began in 2009-10.

Undrafted, the former Sarnia Sting (OHL) forward signed as a free agent with the New York Islanders in May of 2008. He's also played with the New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks, before signing a two-year contract with Florida as a free agent this July.

Said head coach Bob Boughner on the day of the Haley signing, "I know what sort of impact he has in the room and on the ice. He's the type of person and player that we need."

Haley was grateful for the praise.

"Any time someone speaks to your character in a positive manner, it's flattering," he said. "It's nice when that doesn't go unnoticed. I appreciate it."

What does being a good teammate mean to Haley?

"In a team sport, not everyone can be the superstar," started the veteran of 154 NHL games. "Sometimes it means doing the so-called dirty work, the less glamorous things. I don't mind doing them."

And his teammates don't mind voicing their appreciation for the blocked shots, big hits and glove drops.

"They're a young group here, but they've been nothing but supportive," noted Haley. "The guy that's scoring the goals can't be looking over his shoulder all the time, so they know I have their back. Their job is to score and that's what I want them to focus on."

That enables Haley to do what he's most effective at. It's a role he happily embraces.

Yes, he likes to score a goal. But, his biggest contributions come in other forms.

If someone were to say he had a good game, what would Haley have done?

"Making the sure the other team knows I'm playing," he offered. "Whether it's their defenceman – if they know I'm on the ice – they're not going to be making that extra move or anything like that. Every night, if I can spend more time in the opposing end, that's a good game. We tired them out. If you can chip in on the scoreboard, that's a plus. But if you spend more time in their end, that's a good game to me."

And with that, it's time to take his oldest son to hockey.

"Are we going now?" asked Hudson.

"Yes, we're going to hockey," said Haley with a laugh.

No need to ask if Hudson will have fun. How could he not? There's no pressure.

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{allcanada} Habs get Cracknell from Rangers for Holland

The Montreal Canadiens have acquired forward Adam Cracknell from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Peter Holland.

Cracknell, who was playing with the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, will report to the Laval Rocket. He owns two goals and one assist in 15 games with the Wolf Pack this season.

The 32-year-old was held without a point in four games with the Rangers this season.

Holland, 26, has spent the entire season with the Rocket, posting eight goals and 18 points in 20 games with the AHL club.

He appeared in 48 games last season with the Arizona Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs, posting five goals and 12 points.

The 2009 first-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks appeared in a career-high 65 games with the Maple Leafs during the 2015-16 season and scored nine goals with 18 assists.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

{allcanada} MacKinnon scores in OT to give Avalanche 3-2 win over Jets


DENVER (AP) Nathan MacKinnon scored a power-play goal 59 seconds into overtime after he had a goal waved off 30 seconds earlier, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Wednesday night.

MacKinnon celebrated with his teammates when his shot hit a Jets player and went into the net 29 seconds into the extra period. But replay showed that Colorado was offside.

Thirty seconds later, he hit the back of the net again - and this one counted.

Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and an assist and Nikita Zadorov also scored for the Avalanche, who improved to 8-2-1 at home this season. MacKinnon also had an assist and finished November with 20 points - five goals and 15 assists - in 12 games.

Semyon Varlamov stopped 31 shots in his first game since Nov. 18 because of an illness.

Bryan Little and Josh Morrissey scored for the Jets, and Connor Hellebuyck made 23 saves. Winnipeg is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games.

Little put Winnipeg ahead 2-1 at 4:08 of the third. Nikolaj Ehlers beat the Colorado defense during 4-on-4 play and put the initial shot on Varlamov before Little tipped a rebound chance under the goalie's glove.

Zadorov tied it for the Avalanche with 8:03 remaining.

Earlier, Winnipeg opened the scoring 8:43 into the first period on Morrissey's third goal of the season. The defender let loose just in front of the blue line to beat Varlamov for his first goal since Oct. 26.

The Jets came into the game 11-1-2 this season when scoring first.

The Avalanche tied it on Kerfoot's power-play goal with 6:37 left in the opening period. During a strange sequence, MacKinnon put a shot on Hellebuyck from inside the circle and J.T. Compher tipped the rebound in front to Kerfoot. Kerfoot's backhander hit the back of the net just as Hellebuyck shook off his mask and helmet after a strap came loose.

Hellebuyck quickly pleaded his case to officials but the goal stood. The rule states play should be stopped immediately if a goalie has lost his mask and/or helmet unless the opposing team has an impending scoring opportunity.

NOTES: Colorado D Anton Lindholm, who'd been out with a broken jaw since Nov. 4, celebrated his 23rd birthday with a return to the lineup. ... G Steve Mason suffered a concussion Saturday against the San Jose Sharks and was designated for injured reserve. ... The Avalanche assigned D Chris Bigras and D Andrei Mironov to AHL San Antonio and recalled Duncan Siemens, who was a healthy scratch Wednesday. ... LW Gabriel Landeskog began his four-game suspension for his crosscheck against Calgary on Saturday.


Jets: Host Las Vegas on Friday night.

Avalanche: Host New Jersey on Friday night.

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