Sports Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash join forces with Las Vegas lacrosse team
Minto Cup, Canada's junior A lacrosse championship, cancelled for 2021 season
OTTAWA — The Minto Cup, Canada's junior A lacrosse championship, has been cancelled for 2021. Lacrosse Canada announced the cancellation on Tuesday, a month after the national body shelved 10 other championships because of COVID-19 safety regulations that make interprovincial travel difficult. Teams from the BC Junior A Lacrosse League, the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League, and the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League have competed for the Minto Cup for nearly 75 years. Lacrosse Canada said that this is not a cancellation of the season.
LAS VEGAS — Two of Canada's most prominent athletes are part of the ownership group of the National Lacrosse League's new Las Vegas franchise.
The NLL says Wayne Gretzky and Steve Nash will join golf star Dustin Johnson and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai in the ownership group for the expansion team.
The league's 15th team will start play in the fall of 2022.
Johnson is engaged to Gretzky's daughter, Paulina.
Tsai also owns the NLL's San Diego Seals.
The Las Vegas team will play at MGM Resorts International’s Michelob Ultra Arena, which is inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. It also is home to the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces.
Expansion primer: Winnipeg Jets
At look at Winnipeg's options ahead of the expansion draft.The Jets had a bit of an up-and-down season as they went from battling for the top spot in the North Division to backing into the playoffs. Then they went from sweeping Edmonton in the first round to being swept by Montreal in the second round. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have some decisions to make this summer as a result, including a couple of calls to make in terms of their expansion planning. In the Vegas draft, they traded down 11 spots in the first round to secure the protections of Marko Dano and Toby Enstrom.
Gretzky played lacrosse while growing up in Brantford, Ont.
The hockey legend recently took a job as a television studio analyst for NHL coverage for American-based Turner Sports. Gretzky also accepted a role as brand ambassador for BetMGM, a sports betting and digital gaming company.
"I couldn’t be more excited to have one of the most iconic Canadians ever, Wayne Gretzky, joining an ownership group in our league," said Jamie Dawick, owner of the Toronto Rock. "The NLL’s newest franchise in Las Vegas has put together a great ownership group and I’m sure they will hit it out of the park."
Nash, now the coach of the Nets, grew up in Victoria, a lacrosse hotbed.
Gretzky and Nash both have experience as sports team owners.
Nash is a co-owner of Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps, while Gretzky was a co-owner of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts in the early 1990s.
The Rock, Halifax Thunderbirds, Calgary Roughnecks, Saskatchewan Rush and Vancouver Warriors are the five Canadian teams in the NLL.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2021.
The Canadian Press
Sharks re-sign veteran forward Matt Nieto .
The San Jose Sharks are bringing back another one of their free agent forwards, re-signing Matt Nieto to a two-year contract. The deal not only lets the team retain a valuable depth piece but also solves one of their expansion issues. Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News reports that the contract will carry an average annual value of $850K. Sharks’ GM Doug Wilson released a short statement on the deal: © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports Matt brings a consistent, veteran presence to our line-up, and his speed and defensive awareness have made him a valuable part of our penalty-killing unit.