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National Sports

NHL’s older coaches debate taking virus precautions

After two days behind a mask and off his skates, Rick Bowness returned to his natural habitat on the ice with air inside the rink blowing against his face. “You get out there and you miss it,” the Dallas Stars coach said. “You realize how much you enjoy being out there.” The NHL’s ...

NASCAR hosting largest sporting event crowd since pandemic

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Fans are trickling into Bristol Motor Speedway for Wednesday night's All-Star race in NASCAR's largest event with spectators since the coronavirus pandemic shut sports down in March. They were greeted by a plane flying over the Tennessee track that was pulling a banner ...

Brewers seek to make history with 3rd straight playoff berth

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers want to celebrate their golden anniversary by accomplishing something they have never done before. After reaching the National League Championship Series in 2018 and falling in the NL wild-card game last year, the Brewers are seeking an unprecedented ...

St. Thomas can go D1; Minnesota school was ousted from D3 league

The NCAA gave the University of St. Thomas permission Wednesday to jump directly from Division III to Division I, the final clearance for a bold move born out of the Minnesota private school’s ejection from its conference for competitive reasons. The Tommies, who previously secured a spot ...

Pucks, masks prevalent as 24 NHL teams open camps

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington is so accustomed to wearing a mask, he didn't mind doing so for the past four months during the coronavirus pandemic. "Sometimes, I forgot I'm wearing it while driving," Binnington said Monday, when the Blues were among the NHL's 24 teams to open ...

Short season could give rebuilding Tigers a shot

DETROIT (AP) — On their way to 114 defeats last year, the Detroit Tigers actually won seven of their first 10 games, and they were still 12-10 in late April. A start like that this season could mean a lot more. With only 60 games on tap for 2020, the rebuilding Tigers could be in a ...

NASCAR rookie Custer wins in upset at Kentucky

SPARTA, Ky. (AP) — Cole Custer saw an opening and, with help from a friend, squeezed through for the most fulfilling moment of his young racing career. Custer became the first rookie regular to win in the NASCAR Cup Series in nearly four years, surging to the lead in a four-wide, final-lap ...

Dodgers closer Jansen encourages masks after positive test

Play ball — and mask up, too. Protective face coverings won't be out of sight when Major League Baseball resumes in less than two weeks. Some players and coaches are planning to wear them on the field. MLB's safety protocols require masks in clubhouses to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ...

Big Ten Conference scraps nonconference football games

The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday it will not play nonconference games in football and several other sports this fall, the most dramatic move yet by a power conference because of the coronavirus pandemic. The conference cited medical advice in making its decision and added ominously ...

Devils hire Ruff as head coach

Lindy Ruff impressed the New Jersey Devils with his experience from decades of coaching. Tom Fitzgerald wowed ownership with his moves in a few short months as general manager. The Devils on Thursday hired Ruff as coach and removed Fitzgerald's interim tag to give him the full-time GM job. ...

Torkelson has shown Tigers why they took him No. 1

DETROIT (AP) — Spencer Torkelson has quickly shown the Detroit Tigers why they drafted him No. 1 overall this year and gave him a $8-plus million signing bonus to get in uniform for training camp. Torkelson put his power on full display during his first batting practice. "His first ...

NFL players banned from exchanging jerseys after games

NFL teams will be prohibited from postgame interactions within 6 feet of each other, which means players won’t be allowed to exchange jerseys after games as part of the guidelines to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions are outlined in the gameday protocols finalized ...

IIHF encouraged by NHL’s potential Olympics return

International Ice Hockey Federation chief Rene’ Fasel is encouraged after learning the NHL’s pending labor deal opens the possibility of the world’s best players returning to the Olympics. Aside from the uncertainty raised by the coronavirus pandemic, Fasel told The Associated Press he ...

Giants return, so do some players, but Padres’ Mateo out

As Major League Baseball cautiously tiptoes closer toward beginning its delayed 2020 season, several teams welcomed back players who might have been exposed to the coronavirus and the San Francisco Giants resumed workouts Wednesday after finally receiving the results of COVID-19 tests ...

Harbaugh was close to new deal at Michigan before pandemic

ANN ARBOR (AP) — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday he was closing in on a contract extension before coping with the COVID-19 pandemic became a top priority for all involved in the discussions. “There’s bigger fish to fry for our athletic director, or our administration, me as a ...

More positive tests, canceled workouts add to MLB unease

As baseball nears the two-week countdown to the start of its delayed season, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep more players, including Boston Red Sox projected opening day starter Eduardo Rodriguez, off the field. On Tuesday, one day after Major League Baseball released its 60-game ...

Blackhawks say team name honors namesake

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks say they will continue to use their team name because it honors a Native American leader who has been an inspiration to generations. “The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois’ Sac & ...

Chiefs, Mahomes agree to 10-year, $503M extension

The Kansas City Chiefs made sure they’ll have Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes around as long as possible. Mahomes agreed to a 10-year extension worth up to $503 million, according to his agency, Steinberg Sports. The deal is worth $477 million in guarantee mechanisms and includes a no-trade ...

Native American groups ask NFL to force Redskins name change

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a dozen Native American leaders and organizations sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday calling for the league to force Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the team name immediately. The letter was signed by 15 Native American ...

NHL, players’ union announce plan to resume play on Aug. 1

The National Hockey League and NHL Players’ Association announced a tentative agreement Monday to return to play this season and extend their collective bargaining agreement by four years. The CBA deal, coupled with both sides’ agreement on protocols for training camps and games, paves ...