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Archive for February 6th, 2018

MLB says all ballparks to have extended netting around dugouts in 2018


Major League Baseball announced today that all Major League ballparks will have protective netting extending to at least the far ends of both dugouts by 2018 Opening Day. Each Major League Club has made the decision to expand its ballpark netting beyond the minimum recommendations issued by the Commissioner’s Office in December 2015.  Many Clubs have already announced or implemented expanded netting.

Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “Providing baseball fans with a variety of seating options when they come to the ballpark, including seats behind protective netting, is important. Major League Clubs are constantly evaluating the coverage and design of their ballpark netting and I am pleased that they are providing fans an increased inventory of protected seats.”

Read more: MLB


NHL suspends Sabres’ Larsson for illegal cross-checking


Johan Larsson on ice 2013 photo by Michael Miller - Own work via wikipedia commons

NEW YORK (Feb. 2, 2018) – Buffalo Sabres forward Johan Larsson has been suspended for two games, without pay, for cross-checking Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck during NHL Game No. 777 in Buffalo on Thursday, Feb. 1, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.


The incident occurred at 19:25 of the third period. Larsson was assessed a major and match penalty for cross-checking.


Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Larsson will forfeit $15,860.22. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.


For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link:




NHL honors Penguins’ Malkin, Bruins’ Bergeron and Avs’ Bernier as January’s ”Three Stars of the Month”

Evgeni Malkin holding Stanley Cup 2017 photo By Michael Miller - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https


Patrice Bergeron driving towards goalie 2009 photo By Amanda from USA - CC BY 2.0, https


Jonathan Bernier

NEW YORK (Feb. 1, 2018) – Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of January.



Malkin led the NHL with 12 goals and ranked second with 19 points in 12 games (12-7—19) to lift the Penguins (28-21-3, 59 points) to a 9-3-0 January and second place in the Metropolitan Division. He collected at least one point in eight of his 12 contests, highlighted by four three-point performances. Those included his 12th career hat trick Jan. 30 vs. SJS (3-0—3) and 22nd career four-point outing Jan. 13 vs. DET (2-2—4). Malkin also scored three game-winning goals, headlined by his 12th career overtime winner Jan. 7 vs. BOS. The 31-year-old Magnitogorsk, Russia, native shares fifth place in the NHL with 26 goals and sits 11th overall with 55 points through 48 contests this season. That includes a League-best 19 goals and 34 points in 26 outings since the start of December.



Bergeron ranked second in the NHL with nine goals and fourth with 17 points in 11 games (9-8—17) to guide the Bruins (29-11-8, 66 points) to an 8-1-2 January and within five points of first place in the overall League standings. He found the scoresheet in nine of his 11 appearances, headlined by a career-high four goals and five points (tied) Jan. 6 vs. CAR. In doing so, Bergeron became the first Boston player to score four goals in one game since Oct. 28, 1999 (Dave Andreychuk). The 32-year-old Ancienne-Lorette, Que., native and four-time Frank J. Selke Trophy winner sits third on the Bruins with 20-22—42 in 43 outings this season. He now has reached the 20-goal milestone in nine of his 14 NHL campaigns, including five straight.



Bernier posted a League-high eight wins, compiling a 2.10 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and one shutout in 11 games to propel the Avalanche (27-18-4, 58 points) to an 8-2-1 January. He yielded two or fewer goals in seven of his 11 appearances, including his 16th career shutout Jan. 4 vs. CBJ (34 SV). Bernier also made a season-high 45 saves Jan. 18 vs. SJS (5-3 W), three shy of his career best set Dec. 5, 2013 (w/ TOR). The 29-year-old Laval, Que., native – who won a career-high nine straight games from Dec. 31 – Jan. 22 (1.53 GAA, .955 SV%, 1 SO) – owns a 14‑9‑2 record with a 2.67 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and two shutouts in 25 outings this season.



NY Islanders center Mathew Barzal named NHL Rookie of the Month for January


Mathew Barzal

NEW YORK (Feb. 1, 2018) – New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, who led all rookies with 12 assists and 15 points in 13 games (3-12—15), has been named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January.


Barzal edged Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde (6-2—8 in 12 GP), Islanders teammate Ryan Pulock (2-6—8 in 13 GP), Pittsburgh Penguins center Dominik Simon (4-3—7 in 11 GP) and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Alex DeBrincat (4-3—7 in 12 GP) for the honor.


Barzal registered at least one point in eight of his 13 January appearances, highlighted by 2-3—5 Jan. 13 at NYR – his second five-point performance of the season (also Nov. 5 vs. COL: 0-5—5). Only four other rookies have posted multiple five-point games within a single season during the League’s expansion era (since 1967-68); Barzal became the first to do so since 1981-82 (Marian Stastny).


The 16th overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, Barzal paces all rookies with 35 assists and 51 points through 52 contests this season. The 20-year-old Coquitlam, B.C., native joins Arizona Coyotes center Clayton Keller (October) and Vancouver Canucks right wing Brock Boeser (November and December) as a Rookie of the Month winner in 2017-18.




February means Hockey Is For Everyone Month

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Feb. 1, 2018) – As part of its ongoing effort to celebrate diversity and inclusion in hockey, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), National Hockey League (NHL) and its 31 Member Clubs announced Hockey Is For Everyone month begins today. The annual campaign focuses on awareness and activities with organizations that celebrate all people who play or watch hockey, including fans of every race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and those with disabilities. Below is a snapshot of this year’s campaign, by the numbers:


1 — Hashtag for fans worldwide to join the conversation, #HockeyIsForEveryone.


5 — Disabled grassroots hockey disciplines being played across North America, including blind, deaf/hard of hearing, sled/sledge, standing/amputee, and special hockey.


6 — Colors in the Pride Tape rainbow representing inclusion and support of LGBTQ players on the ice, in the locker room, behind the bench, and in the stands. This year, more than 100 NHL players will wrap their sticks with Pride Tape to raise awareness for equality, respect, and inclusion. Fans looking to purchase Pride Tape can visit or


8 – Hockey Is For Everyone month ambassadors who come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. This year, the hockey community is proud to work with the following ambassadors who will share their stories throughout the month: Shandor Alphonso, an NHL linesman since 2014 with a Trinidad-Jamaican background, making him the second-ever black official in the League; Sfc. Joseph Bowser, a 14-year military veteran, Staff Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, and member of USA Warriors, an ice hockey program for wounded veterans; Harrison Browne, who plays in the National Women’s Hockey League and is the first openly transgender athlete in professional hockey; Dave Jackson, the longest-tenured NHL referee who has worked more than 1,500 games since first joining the NHL Officials Association in 1989; Angela James, a renowned international hockey player who was inducted into the Black Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame (2006), the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Hall of Fame (2006), and one of the first females to be inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame (2008), Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (2009), as well as the Hockey Hall of Fame (2010); Josh Pauls, captain of the U.S. National Sled team who will be competing at the 2018 Paralympics; Fred Sasakamoose, the first Canadian indigenous NHL player and an appointee to the Order of Canada (2017); and Harnarayan Singh, the first-ever Sikh commentator to do play-by-play of an NHL game in Punjabi and English.


9+ — Women who will be part of an all-female production of NHL Network’s NHL Now on Wednesday, Feb. 28, featuring hosts, analysts, and reporters including NHL Network’s Jamie Hersch and Jackie Redmond, NBC’s Kathryn Tappen,’s Amalie Benjamin, as well as reporters Caley Chelios (Tampa Bay Lightning), Lauren Gardner (Colorado Avalanche), and Shannon Hogan (New York Islanders), who will all serve among the show’s pregame correspondents. Special guests will include Manon Rheaume, the first female goaltender in NHL history, and members of the U.S. Women’s National Team following their trip to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. This production of NHL Now will feature an extensive recap of Team USA’s quest for gold, discussions focusing on the state of women’s sports, and the efforts of the Hockey Is For Everyoneinitiative.


17 – Hockey organizations that have partnered to support the Declaration of Principles. The eight principles cover a range of shared beliefs, including recognizing and celebrating diversity in hockey – “All hockey programs should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. Simply put, hockey is for everyone.”


18 – Hockey Is For Everyone grassroots programs from across North America that will gather in Philadelphia Feb. 16-18 for the annual ‘Willie O’Ree Skills Weekend,’ where boys and girls from diverse backgrounds will take part in on-ice and off-ice skills and activities designed to help strengthen character, build confidence, and teach life skills.


28 – Record number of teams that participated in the 2017 USA Hockey Sled Classic presented by the NHL, an annual tournament since 2010. This year, the sled teams were affiliated with 20 NHL Clubs.


31 — Current NHL players who are Hockey Is For Everyone ambassadors. All have pledged to be leaders in the locker room and in the community. To see the full list, visit


60 — Years since Willie O’Ree broke barriers when he became the first black player to compete in an NHL game on Jan. 18, 1958. O’Ree has been an NHL diversity ambassador since 1998, focusing on the League’s Hockey Is For Everyone initiatives.


80+ – Hockey Is For Everyone events taking place throughout the month of February, including two national broadcast awareness nights – Tuesday, Feb. 6: MIN @ STL (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN); and Saturday, Feb. 17: FLA @ CGY (10 p.m. ET, SN360). The month also will include community and in-game activations with You Can Play and RISE (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality) as well as ceremonies, clinics, and community activations with members of disabled hockey, women’s and girl’s teams, LGBTQ teams, First Nations programs, immigrants and newcomers, the military, and other new demographics.


120,000 – Boys and girls who have participated in a Hockey Is For Everyone youth hockey program since its inception in 1998. These programs engage diverse communities across North America, using Hockey Is For Everyone values – dedication, perseverance, and teamwork – to teach kids positive life skills.




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