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The McKeen’s team are scouting and writing about prospects all season long and provide in-depth reports on our website: www.mckeenshockey.comNew York Jets for NHL Face Masks
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If it's clear the Leafs aren't going to re-sign him, they could trade his negotiating rights to a team with interest in working out a deal.Miami Dolphins for NHL Face Masks

With the flat cap and the hope of their youngsters seizing more responsibility, the Flyers tried replacing the invaluable Niskanen by committee and it backfired badly. The Flyers missed the playoffs in the shortened, coronavirus-impacted 2020-21 campaign, yielded the NHL's most goals per game at 3.52 and owned the 30th-ranked penalty kill. Those marks did not fall squarely on the Niskanen absence, but the failure to fill the veteran's void had a lot to do with them.

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Teams often went through several roster iterations before success was achieved. For example, when the New York Islanders started their run of four straight Stanley Cup titles in the 1979-80 season there was only one player — Hall of Fame goalie Billy Smith — still on the roster from their expansion draft in 1972.

First, Ken Holland didn’t convince the Blackhawks to retain salary in sending Duncan Keith to the Oilers. Next, Steve Yzerman sent the Islanders a second-rounder, and retained salary for Panik, to relieve the pressure of Nick Leddy’s $5.5M cap hit. That translates to $4.125M in cap savings for the Islanders, not to mention the 52nd pick.

"We know the NHL hockey community will support Luke as he strives toward his goal of playing in the NHL, and we applaud the example he is setting for those in the game of hockey and beyond," Fehr said in a statement.Washington Football Team for NHL Face Masks

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But just how Francis may see and evaluate Vanecek is one of the more intriguing questions of the expansion draft when it comes to the Caps.Buffalo Sabres for NHL Face Masks
Walker swooped in and swatted at the ball, trying to make contact while it was still foul. But TV replays showed the ball was touching the chalk when Walker hit it, and plate umpire Jeremy Riggs called it a fair ball.Cincinnati Reds Face Masks

White Sox fans took their turn as Chicago welcomed the Astros to the South Side for the start of a three-game series.Kansas City Royals Face Masks

As manager Alex Cora explained, though, it's good for his ace to face a little adversity.

The 29-year-old has been the Cubs' top offensive player this season while providing valuable defensive versatility. He's made 10 or more starts at five different positions — first and third base, and left, right and center field.

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“They’ve just shown just a tremendous amount of grit. I just love how their attitude has been consistent all year," said Pete Alonso. "They’ve really helped us out at some pretty desperate times so far previously, and they’re doing the same thing now. I can’t speak highly enough of how great of a job those guys have done down there. They’ve been a tremendous help, for sure.”

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Observations: Cubs rally for 6 runs in 9th to beat Cards originally appeared on NBC Sports ChicagoWashington Nationals Face Masks

Kopech is 25 years old, is pitching to the tune of a 1.53 ERA and .93 WHIP, and there’s more where that came from. The White Sox are right to hold onto him not just for his future but for his present. He’s a valuable bullpen piece for the 2021 postseason and beyond.Milwaukee Brewers Face Masks
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And here’s Jerad Eickhoff out for his third inning of work this evening

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For skipper Luis Rojas, he’s already been informed this weekend that Jacob deGrom is headed to the Injured List. Now, he has to put up with this nonsense? It’s indeed been a rough couple of days for the NL East-leading squad.Milwaukee Brewers Face Masks

Obara even has a video on his cell phone showing Ohtani hit a towering home run at the age of 11, remembering the game that Ohtani once hit four homers off him.

On Saturday, the Chicago White Sox announced a two-year extension with their star pitcher, totaling $38 million. The team also holds an option for the 2024 campaign.Arizona Diamondbacks Face Masks

In the meantime, team officials have continued exploring Las Vegas and its surrounding areas as an alternative. Kaval and A's owner John Fisher have made three trips to southern Nevada this year and plan to return there on Wednesday. Manfred said last week it would be "a mistake" to refer to the Las Vegas option as a bluff, calling it "a viable alternative for a major league club." A "no" vote on Tuesday -- City Council members will meet at 9 a.m. local time -- could trigger conversations with other potential relocation sites, including Portland, Oregon; Nashville, Tennessee; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Montreal.Pittsburgh Pirates Face Masks

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Over those four starts, Stroman has given up 14 runs (10 earned) in 18 innings while never pitching past the fifth inning.
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The Giants know there will be more injuries in the second half, and they got a reminder of the nightly minefield when Brandon Crawford exited the first game back with a left hamstring cramp. They know some of their veterans might slow down, and some of their latest finds might finally start to struggle. Chicago White Sox Face Masks
5. Smith tacked on another to make it a one-run ballgame in the top of the sixth with a double to right field that scored Jeff McNeil, thanks to a throwing error by Gregory Polanco. Smith had a solid day at the dish going 3-for-5 with that RBI.

The Mariners had to place four pitchers on the COVID-19 list in late May after a road trip to San Diego with two eventually having to quarantine.Atlanta Braves Face Masks

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16. Chicago Cubs (46-47): Started their sale early by shipping Pederson to the Braves, and if they want to keep going they can shake up the races in both leagues. Craig Kimbrel, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo would represent massive upgrades for contenders and those trades could rebuild the Cubs' system overnight.Los Angeles Angels Face Masks

The Giants avoided any long-term commitments to starters in the offseason, giving Kevin Gausman the qualifying offer and adding Anthony DeSclafani, Wood and Aaron Sanchez on one-year deals. It was a boom-or-bust strategy, and so far it's worked out beautifully.Los Angeles Dodgers Face Masks

The Cubs’ trade-deadline selling began this past Thursday, when the club dealt veteran outfielder Joc Pederson to the Braves for a first base prospect.

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And yes, that includes his brother Eli, who you knew wouldn’t be able to resist teasing Peyton.Oakland Athletics Face Masks

After conducting testing and contact tracing involving members of the New York Yankees’ organization, the Club’s home game tonight vs. the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium will proceed as scheduled.
Let’s go ahead and chalk Sunday up as a rough one for New York Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker. In a road showdown against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the right-handed starter didn’t make it out of the first inning, giving up four hits and five earned runs.

"What you see from him and what he tells you, it's what you get," Larnach said. "And he's not too concerned about what anybody says about him.Chicago Cubs Face Masks

After the field was cleared and play resumed, Stroman and Nogowski were still going at it. The two were shouting at each other at the top of the sixth. A good lip reader can make out the words the two players are yelling at each other. Although the source of the brawl is still unknown, Stroman and Nogowksi provided MLB fans with a bit of excitement as baseball begins its second half of the season.Atlanta Braves Face Masks

"Hopefully that goes a long way for him," Melvin said, "not that he’s unconfident, he’s always confident, but when you’re going through a bit of a rut, a home run like that can do wonders for you.”Pittsburgh Pirates Face Masks

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As Passan notes, Bauer is still getting paid by the Dodgers as he is on administrative leave, where he makes around $1.5 million a week.Cincinnati Reds Face Masks

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The Angels fortified their thin outfield by signing Adam Eaton to a major league deal Wednesday, just two days after the 32-year-old veteran was granted his unconditional release by the Chicago White Sox.

The 27-year-old Cronenworth has made a huge impact for the Padres after getting called up to the big leagues last summer. In 386 plate appearances before Friday’s game, he slashed .276/.350/.459 with 12 home runs and 34 RBIs. He’s also played in 91 of the Padres’ 93 games this season.
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"There's no getting around the fact that when he makes a 3, makes a couple 3s, gets 10 or 12 points, we are a better team," Kerr told the media. "Draymond knows that.Phoenix Suns Face Coverings

"He does have a huge fire in his belly, it’s not just as outward as some other players express in their animation," he said. "Believe me, he’s got a passion and fire burning that is as intense as anyone. Sometimes with his unassuming personality, it can be mistaken as, 'He is tough enough?' He’s plenty tough physically and mentally, and he’s always been that tough."Atlanta Hawks Face Coverings

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Bey's another option to promote from the select team after making All-Rookie this season and playing with the senior team in exhibitions. Bey is a 3-and-D wing who can guard four positions and doesn't need the ball in his hands as much as the superstars already on the roster, so the fit is certainly there. 

The 36-year-old point guard took the blame for the loss after Wednesday's game but said he had moved on from the disappointment. He added that no one on the Suns thought this would be easy.

For the second straight offseason, there is considerable talk around the league that the Bulls plan to add a point guard. Given management’s attempt to trade Markkanen for Ball at the trade deadline, not to mention the background that sources said management is performing on myriad options, this time it seems inevitable.Charlotte Hornets Face Coverings

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Here are the five most likely teams to trade for Lillard this offseason. What teams make sense?

At the moment, Ben Simmons seems to be among the dominant storylines in the NBA, even with a champion not yet decided and the NBA draft under 10 days away. Washington Wizards Face Coverings
USA Basketball said in a statement that it hoped LaVine would be able to join the team in Japan later this week.Philadelphia 76ers Face Coverings

It probably doesn’t hurt that one of his children works on the show, but Kerr clearly admires the leadership and coaching style of the title character, portrayed by Jason Sudeikis.

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Somebody like Thad I've looked to a lot. He was the leader of our team. He was the vocal guy. I don't have to be like Thad. I have to be the best version of me as a leader. And setting the tone obviously offensively, defensively, having the right mindset, being tough out there. So I'm trying to just continue to evolve as a player and a person.

You had a month or two break between the end of the season and here. How did you spend that time?

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As the report mentions, Duarte has potential to be a first-round pick. The former Duck believes he’s a lottery pick.Memphis Grizzlies Face Coverings

One of the major adjustments Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer has made in this series has been on the defensive end.Boston Celtics Face Coverings
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Suns point guard Chris Paul knows firsthand how COVID-19 can alter the playoffs trajectory. Paul missed the first two games of the Western Conference finals against the LA Clippers because he was in the league's health and safety protocol.Phoenix Suns Face Coverings
"I want to thank Zach and Ryan for everything they did for our organization over the past nine seasons, both on and off the ice," said owner Craig Leipold. "They were tremendous ambassadors for our team and helped us win a lot of games. I wish them nothing but the best going forward."

With Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk protected, that exposes Jeremy Lauzon, Connor Clifton and Jakub Zboril on the defensive end. All three are under the age of 27 and wouldn’t be expensive assets for the Kraken to add to their roster. 

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Protected lists will be turned in and made public this weekend, so we’ll know soon enough who the Bruins have chosen to make off-limits.  Pittsburgh Steelers for NHL Face Masks

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The Kraken could offer Niederreiter some priceless peace of mind. Maybe he signs a team-friendly extension in exchange for trade protection?

The total cap hit must fall somewhere between 60-percent and 100-percent of the upper limit of the salary cap.Kansas City Chiefs for NHL Face Masks

BriseBois faces a serious issue in putting together a roster for next season because of salary-cap issues as Tampa Bay seeks a three-peat.Detroit Red Wings for NHL Face Masks
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"Look how many lives you've touched, Matiss. Look how many lives you've touched," Legace said. "Torts even flew in, and he hates goalies."Seattle Kraken for NHL Face Masks
His skating remains a work-in-progress -- particularly backwards -- and his defensive play could use some refining, but this offense-minded blueliner is likely bound to fill a top-pairing NHL role in the not-too-far future.Jacksonville Jaguars for NHL Face Masks

The finale QUEST FOR THE STANLEY CUP doesn't dwell on the Nikita Kucherov press conference, but it does show how we was, um, fueled up for it, courtesy of Victor Hedman. @TBLightning City Chiefs for NHL Face Masks

Just over a week after losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final, the Montreal Canadiens have been dealt another heavy blow.

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on Twitter @Sean_LeahyBaltimore Ravens for NHL Face Masks

Riley Barber (F) Kyle Criscuolo (F) Turner Elson (F) Valtteri Filppula (F) Sam Gagner (F) Luke Glendening (F) Darren Helm (F) Taro Hirose (F) Vladislav Namestnikov (F) Frans Nielsen (F) Bobby Ryan (F) Evgeny Svechnikov (F) Dominic Turgeon (F) Hayden Verbeek (F) Alex Biega (D) Dennis Cholowski (D) Danny DeKeyser (D) Christian Djoos (D) Joe Hicketts (D) Dylan McIlrath (D) Marc Staal (D) Troy Stecher (D) Jonathan Bernier (G) Kevin Boyle (G) Kaden Fulcher (G) Calvin Pickard (G)Calgary Flames for NHL Face Masks

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Tough calls: The Canucks don't have to make too many tough decisions on defense, given Quinn Hughes is exempt and Alexander Edler and Travis Hamonic are set to be unrestricted free agents. The Canucks protect Thatcher Demko -- having made that decision when they let Jacob Markstrom leave in free agency last summer -- and see if Seattle has any interest in picking up Braden Holtby's contract ($4.3 million through next season). Selecting the seventh forward spot is trickiest. Highmore made our list, but the Canucks could easily choose Kole Lind, Zack MacEwan or Jonah Gadjovich, who has put up impressive AHL numbers, but has yet to get a full look in the NHL.

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Josh Anderson (F) Joel Armia (F) Jake Evans (F) Brendan Gallagher (F) Jesperi Kotkaniemi (F) Artturi Lehkonen (F) Tyler Toffoli (F) Ben Chiarot (D) Joel Edmundson (D) Jeff Petry (D) Jake Allen (G)
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"We rely on a lot of guidance from medical experts and try to implement the best of our abilities. ... We're certainly trying to create... a safe environment to come work and travel in, and we'll constantly be reevaluating that whenever necessary for the benefit of our personnel," Cashman said.Los Angeles Angels Face Masks

Former closer Robb Nen is familiar with deep playoff runs as a member of the Giants. With San Francisco from 1998-2002, Nen was part of three playoff runs with the club, including a heartbreaking World Series loss to the Los Angeles Angels in 2002. 

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The return of Brandon Nimmo on July 3 has paid immediate dividends, with the Mets scoring 52 runs in 10 games since then.

In the seventh inning of a 9-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies, Betts hit his third double of the evening but slowed between first and second base, then left the game with what the Dodgers said was irritation in his right hip. Betts said he had first felt discomfort in the hip earlier in the game.Baltimore Orioles Face Masks
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While the power was a welcome and expected development for the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder, the swing-and-miss rate caused his draft stock to plummet, making him available to the Red Sox, who have been scouting him since high school.

In these Mets vs Pirates highlights, Francisco Lindor left the game due to injury and Marcus Stroman had a war of words with John Nogowski. Just when it looked as though the Mets were close to getting all their regulars back from injury, Francisco Lindor suffered an apparent oblique injury after a swing in the 5th inning. All-Star Adam Frazier's two-run single plus solo homers by Wilmer Difo and Bryan Reynolds was all the offense Pittsburgh needed.In contrast, the Mets were 0-12 with runners in scoring position. The game also featured a confrontation between Mets starter Marcus Stroman and Pirates first baseman, John Nogowski, which led to the benches clearing at the end of the 5th inning.Kansas City Royals Face Masks

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"I have talked to some of them about it - I would never force them to do it, but I have tried to get their reasonings. They have their reasonings, and if I agree with them or don't, it really doesn't make a difference. It's their particular decision."St. Louis Cardinals Face Masks
How likely are the Caps to lose Vanecek to the Kraken? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
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In summer 2020, the team revealed its nickname, the Kraken, chosen from a pool that included Steelheads, Sockeyes and Metropolitans. In June 2021, the Kraken announced former Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol as their first head coach.

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Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop is willing to waive his no-trade clause, making him available in next week’s expansion draft according to a report from Mathew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News.Los Angeles Chargers for NHL Face Masks

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Yandle, 34, another casualty of the flat cap, becomes a free agent after five seasons with the Panthers. The defenseman, who had 27 points last season and averaged more than 17 minutes a game, will want to find a new team quickly because he's 43 games away from breaking Doug Jarvis' record ironman streak of 964 games. Florida also re-sign defenseman Gustav Forsling and forward Anthony Duclair to three-year deals on Thursday.Carolina Hurricanes for NHL Face Masks

• Collin Delia and Malcolm Subban were the two goaltenders left exposed, which is no surprise. But the Blackhawks shouldn't be too worried about losing either of them. Chicago Blackhawks for NHL Face Masks

Several Bruins players have reacted to Miller's retirement, including defenseman Charlie McAvoy in an Instagram story. Anaheim Ducks for NHL Face Masks

For a deeper look at how the Panthers mixed the right ingredients together with the right system, check out this from Jack Han.