NFL eyeing onsite offseason workouts; NFLPA prefers virtual setup
The NFL indicated meetings will likely remain virtual for the foreseeable future, but this year’s offseason workouts are not expected to be fully virtual like they were in 2020. However, the union has offered pushback to an onsite offseason returning this year.As of now, teams can schedule onsite OTAs to begin April 19. This is, however, contingent on no offseason plan being agreed to between the NFL and NFLPA. The union has offered pushback to an onsite offseason returning this year, with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reporting little progress has been made between the sides on this front.
The Chicago Blackhawks will not have Brandon Hagel available to them Friday. The young forward has been placed in the league’s COVID protocol. His name will be added to the list that comes out Friday, but no specific details on his absence have been (or likely will be) revealed. © Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Hagel
It is important to note that entering the protocol does not mean that a player has tested positive for coronavirus or even that he has been confirmed as a close contact.
Hagel, 22, has played in 35 games for the Blackhawks this season, scoring 14 points in his first taste of full-time action. Originally a sixth-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres, he never signed with them and instead inked his entry-level deal with the Blackhawks in 2018. Now just a few years later he has become an important depth piece for Chicago, one the team will be without for now.
Trump Afghan pullout deal unachievable, says ex-Pentagon leader
The May 1st deadline to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan is "not a deadline that could have ever been achieved," former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday.But Hagel, a retired sergeant and former Republican senator for Nebraska, also said it's high time for U.S. forces to vacate America's longest war."I think it's time that we will have to leave and I think we will leave, but it has to be done responsibly," Hagel told The Hill'sBut Hagel, a retired sergeant and former Republican senator for Nebraska, also said it's high time for U.S. forces to vacate America's longest war.
It is not clear how long Hagel will be out, but notably, he did play in Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Blackhawks are back in action Saturday afternoon.
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- Blackhawks' Stan Bowman named GM of 2022 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team
- Report: At least eight Canucks players test positive for COVID-19
- The 'Chicago Blackhawks captains' quiz
Related slideshow: The best possible fictional hockey team (Provided by Yardbarker)
The best possible fictional hockey team
Hollywood has given us many memorable fictional sports moments, especially when it comes to the great game of hockey, with classic teams and legendary players that we still talk about today.If we were to put a team together of fictional hockey players from film and television, here's what it would look like.
Forward: Adam Banks ('The Mighty Ducks' franchise)
Banks is one of the most complete players on our team. He's a strong two-way player, who won't necessarily draw a lot of attention to himself unless it's through his time on the ice. Our first introduction to Banks (Vincent Larusso) sensed a bit of standoffishness, but once he accepted that his ice time would come as a member of the Mighty Ducks instead of the revered Hawks, we started to warm to the young man.
Forward: Connor Banks ('Mystery, Alaska')
Banks is the star of the famed "Saturday Game" in this remote Alaskan community. According to Sports Illustrated, he's known as the "cruise missile." Connor Banks (Michael Buie) might be the fastest player on our club. A tremendous skater in the open ice and one fine puck handler, Banks would log plenty of minutes, potentially as a top-line center. He's also apparently a successful grocer, but not a big fan of outsiders.
Forward: Ned Braden ('Slap Shot')
Apparently, Braden (Michael Ontkean) is one of the greats in the history of the Ivy League. He's highly intelligent but shunned the corporate world for a shot at professional hockey. He's the most talented player on the Charlestown Chiefs but has no appetite for the club's goonish theatrics. His dry wit and sarcastic sense of humor should enable him to fit in well with this group.
Forward: Doug Dorsey ('The Cutting Edge')
There's a time when Dorsey was considered the best amateur hockey player in the state of Minnesota. However, a head injury that left his peripheral vision hindered also ended his hockey career. While Dorsey (D.B. Sweeney) ended up enjoying a successful career as a pairs figure skater, he might be worth a couple of shifts per game on nights when he's not a healthy scratch. The "Minnesota Machine" still could have something left to offer.
Forward: Reggie Dunlop ('Slap Shot')
The legendary Dunlop (late, great Paul Newman) serves many a purpose for our team. The longtime player-coach of the Charlestown Chiefs, Dunlap is the captain of our squad, and likely the face of the franchise. Reg won't shy away from a radio or television interview and should be a favorite of those sportswriters (not sure if Dickie Dunn is still on the beat). He's best days on the ice might be in the past, but Dunlop still provides plenty of value to this effort.
Forward: The Hanson Brothers ('Slap Shot')
We took some liberty here by including all three Hanson Brothers -- Jeff (Jeff Carlson), Steve (Steve Carlson), and Jack (Jack Hanson). There is no doubt this "goon" trio will be the most popular group of players on our roster. However, it's likely they will be healthy scratches most nights. Unless we've got a big game against Tim McCracken, Ogie Ogilthorpe, and the rest of those Syracuse punks. When their line is called, the Hansons will have the foil on and their opponents in their sights. Plus, they will always respect the playing of the national anthem.
Forward: Derek Sutton ('Youngblood')
Sutton (the late Patrick Swayze) was one of the best junior hockey players in the world during the mid-1980s. A pure scorer, Sutton was slated to be a high NHL draft pick until an on-ice head injury nearly ended his career. We assume -- if there was ever a Youngblood sequel -- we would see Sutton back on the ice. Maybe not his once-dominant self, but a serviceable member of this team nonetheless.
Forward: Paula Taymore ('Hockey Mom')
Taymore (Jessalyn Gilsig) is a hard-working single mom in the Calgary area. Still, she enjoys some rat hockey every now and then but does not like being put down, seemingly playfully, by the guys at the rink. So, after she brought together a group of talented women players to take on the men, Paula earned a spot on our club. She's feisty and fierce, has a solid slap shot, and is always ready to throw an opponent into the boards.
Forward: Stevie Weeks ('Mystery, Alaska')
One of the youngest players on the team, Weeks is still a raw talent but he's too good to be kept off this roster. Back in Mystery, Weeks (Ryan Northcott) turned heads while "skating the river." Something that not only displays talent but strength. If there is one drawback to Weeks' overall character is that he's dating one of our coach's daughter. Let's hope that's not a distraction.
Forward: Dean Youngblood ('Youngblood')
Just a teenager, Youngblood (Rob Lowe) is loaded with talent but needs a little fire and grit to complete his overall promise. Youngblood shined during his short time with the Hamilton Mustangs, but that was more than enough to make this team. Nobody is denying his scoring prowess, and now that he's also willing to drop the gloves if needed, Youngblood has the potential to be a star. By the way, he's also dating the daughter of another of our assistant coaches.
Defenseman: John Biebe ('Mystery, Alaska')
This wily veteran is a forward by trade, but John Biebe (Russell Crowe) will be shifted to defense on this team. He's getting up in age and lost some of his burst, so one of our assistant captains seems better served along the blue line. Also the town sheriff in Mystery, Biebe is considered one of the greats in the history of the "Saturday Game" and someone for the young guys on the squad to emulate.
Defenseman: Dave 'Killer' Carlson ('Slap Shot')
"Killer" is not the most talented player on this team, but he might have the biggest heart. Carlson (Jerry Houser) is an overachiever, who has to work hard for his ice time. He's a coach's dream and will always stick up for his teammates. He's also not afraid to get into a donnybrook and shed some blood. Dave's only fault might be that he does not often wear a coat when going out to start his car during heavy storms.
Defenseman: Greg Goldberg ('The Mighty Ducks' franchise)
Goldberg (Shaun Weiss) began his playing career as a goalie, so if we ever need an emergency netminder, he could be the guy. In the meantime, Goldberg is expected to be a force on defense, especially when it comes to the penalty kill. Goldberg's husky stature makes him a huge offensive obstacle in front of the net -- especially when we find ourselves in those 5-on-3 situations.
Defenseman: Ross 'The Boss' Rhea ('Goon')
Rhea (Liev Schreiber) is your typical hockey enforcer. He doesn't really care much about scoring and has little offensive prowess on the ice. However, he's an agitator and a brute. When we need a game to change from an emotional standpoint or light a collective fire under the team, "The Boss" is our guy. He might not be a blue-liner by trade, but this is where we'll need him.
Defenseman: Derek Thompson ('Tooth Fairy')
Can you imagine the "Tooth Fairy" (Dwayne Johnson) standing in front of the net pushing smaller opponents away from the crease? Thompson, a cocky and ignorant enforcer, had to endure a long minor-league career before getting his shot with the Los Angeles Kings. He's a natural forward, mostly on the wing, but since we have a lack of depth on defense, we will make the switch and hope for the best.
Goaltender: Julie 'The Cat' Gaffney ('The Mighty Ducks' franchise)
It's quite possible "The Cat" (Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine) will be our No. 1 goaltender. Julie might also be the smartest player on our team, both on and off the ice. From her time with the Mighty Ducks and Team USA, we know "The Cat" is capable of coming through in the clutch. When the game is on the line and we need a big save, Gaffney is our girl.
Goaltender: Tommy Hanrahan ('Slap Shot')
Hanrahan (Christopher Murney) might not be the most dependable netminder on our roster, but we can probably use him in a pinch. He also has some apparent off-ice issues, especially regarding his wife, Suzanne. We're not sure what the relationship will be like between him and former rival-turned-teammate Reg Dunlop, but maybe they'll just need to drop the gloves in practice to settle some old scores.
Goaltender: Denis Lemieux ('Slap Shot')
One can stay Lemieux (Yvon Barrette) has a case of small man's syndrome. He's a hot-head, but also a bit misguided in his anger. He never really liked living and playing in Charlestown for the Chiefs, so maybe his play will improve with this team. Denis's English is getting better, so at least he's got that going for him. Lemieux is also always good for an interview when none of his teammates are available.
Head coach: Gordon Bombay ('The Mighty Ducks' franchise)
Much like his players with the Ducks, Bombay (Emilio Estevez) matured over time and became quite the successful hockey coach. He was able to take a group of overachievers and turned them into winners. Now, he will have plenty of talent to work with on this club, but we think he's fiery and strong enough to deal with all the egos. Plus, we've surrounded Bombay with a couple of veteran assistant coaches to help the process.
Assistant coach: Judge Walter Burns ('Mystery, Alaska')
The Old Bear. Burns (Burt Reynolds) is a former "college 2A" standout, and also one of the more prominent judges in Alaska. We are apperceptive that he will devote his time to the club and assist Gordon Bombay. He can be a disciplinarian and takes an old-school approach to the game, but perhaps that's what we need to keep everybody in line. We still don't know how he feels about Stevie Weeks dating his daughter.
Assistant coach: Murray Chadwick ('Youngblood')
The epitome of old school. Chadwick is a hockey lifer. He's seen it all as a player and a coach. Though he enjoyed some big-time success, Chadwick (the late Ed Lauter) seems most comfortable hanging around the bus leagues. Murray demands the best of his players and does not need to be bothered by whiners or weaklings. He's a solid teacher of the game, who doesn't have much patience. He's also not a fan of Dean Youngblood going out with his daughter.
The Buzzer: Surging Saros, Brady Tkachuk vs. Weber (Saturday in the NHL) .
Scores, highlights, and more from around the league. Also more on the Canucks' COVID situation.For most of us, it was getting challenging to latch onto memories of Saros rebounding late in seasons during recent years. Through February (12 games), Saros was 5-5-0 with a troubling .898 save percentage. As much as the Predators wanted to let the 25-year-old take the torch from 38-year-old Pekka Rinne, they were running out of time.