Ryan Reynolds, group end bid to buy NHL franchise

Actor Ryan Reynolds, Christopher Bratty and the Remington Group have pulled out of their bid to purchase the Ottawa Senators. According to the Ottawa Sun, Reynolds and his group wanted an exclusive negotiating window in order to purchase the NHL franchise, but the request was turned down.

Specifically, Reynolds and company wanted their own window 30-day window to negotiate with the National Capital Commission and the city of Ottawa to discuss plans for a new arena for the Senators. After being declined that exclusive window, Reynolds reportedly grew frustrated with the entire process. That’s when he, Bratty and the Remington Group elected to remove themselves from the process of potentially buying the Senators altogether.

At least six other groups are still involved in bidding for the franchise, which is why Reynolds and his group were not given exclusive negotiating rights, according to the Ottawa Sun. However, the Sun also reported that the alleged $1 billion offer Reynolds and his group were set to make for the Senators likely would’ve been more than any other bid.

The Remington Group thought that they were “negotiating against themselves,” according to the Ottawa Sun.

Reynolds, who is from Canada and spent a few years of his childhood near Ottawa, had initially expressed interest in purchasing the Senators back in November 2022 when there were rumblings that the team may be put up for sale. The actor stated that he would keep the franchise in Ottawa if he purchased the team.

Much like he did with fellow actor Rob McElhenney at soccer club Wrexham AFC, Reynolds wanted to build something special with the Senators. However, it looks like he won’t get that chance.

Stars edge Kraken to advance to Western Conference Final

The Dallas Stars are returning to the Western Conference Final for the second time in four seasons. On Monday, the Stars shut down the Kraken 2-1 to win Game 7 and received a sensational performance from goaltender Jake Oettinger.

The Stars opened the scoring courtesy of Roope Hintz late in the second period. Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, who had played a strong game up to that point, couldn’t corral the puck in the neutral zone, and Hintz made the Kraken pay. Hintz went top shelf and beat Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer to give the Stars a 1-0 lead at the 15:59 mark of the second period.


Roope Hintz RIPS one blocker side and this #Game7 has its first goal! #StanleyCup

🇺🇸: @espn ➡️ https://t.co/Xul3x8VBHN
🇨🇦: @Sportsnet ➡️ https://t.co/wnHw6dQIOI pic.twitter.com/Urlb8JfFm7

— NHL (@NHL) May 16, 2023
The goal was Hintz’s ninth goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and his fourth of the series. Hintz also registered four goals and two assists over the series’ final four games.

This particular Game 7 proved to be a defensive battle, evident in the fact that there wasn’t a goal through more than half of the contest. However, the Stars got some much-needed insurance in the final period.

At the 12:48 mark of the second period, rookie forward Wyatt Johnston scooped up a loose puck and tucked it over the shoulder of Philipp Grubauer to give the Stars a 2-0 lead. It was the fourth goal of the postseason for the 20-year-old Johnston.

While the two goals were impressive against a confident Grubauer, Oettinger added another spectacular performance to his Game 7 lore. The Stars goaltender turned aside all 21 of the 22 shots he faced in Game 7.

This came after Oettinger stopped 64-of-67 shots against the Calgary Flames in Game 7 of their opening-round series during the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That marked the second-most saves in a Game 7 in NHL history, behind only Kelly Hrudey (73).

The Kraken added a goal at the 19:42 mark of the third period, thanks to Oliver Bjorkstrand, but it was too little, too late. Despite the loss, goalie Philipp Grubauer played extremely well as he recorded 26 saves.

Now the Stars will face off against the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Final after the Golden Knights beat the Edmonton Oilers.

 Will the Oilers ever be able to fix their goaltending issues?

After the Edmonton Oilers were swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2022 Western Conference Final, it was clear that the franchise needed more stability in between the pipes. So the team went out and signed veteran goaltender Jack Campbell to a five-year, $25 million contract last summer.

Yet one year later, the song remains the same.

The Oilers were let down by the goaltending position throughout the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which ended with them being eliminated by the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday.

Let’s start by briefly going back one year. During the 2022 postseason, veteran goalie Mike Smith had his fair share struggles:

He posted just an 8-6-0 record to go along with a 3.37 goals-against-average
That included allowing a mind-boggling 19 goals in four games against the Avalanche in the Western Conference Final.
Smith completely came unglued as the Oilers blew a 3-1 third period lead in Game 4 and lost the contest, 6-5, in overtime.
As injuries were signaling the end of Smith’s career, the team chose to address the goaltending position in the form of Campbell. He signed a fairly substantial contract, but, at least in the first year, did not live up to it in the regular season.

The veteran netminder tallied a 21-9-4 record, a 3.41 goals-against-average and a .888 save percentage in 36 games.

As a result of those shortcomings, Campbell was overtaken by Stuart Skinner, 24, who didn’t have a ton of experience entering this year. Skinner had a 29-14-5 record to go along with a 2.75 goals-against-average and a .914 save percentage in 50 games (48 starts).

While Skinner did produce a very strong regular season manning the Oilers crease, his performance during the Stanley Cup Playoffs was one to forget.

Skinner had a 5-6-0 record with a 3.68 GAA and a .883 save percentage in 12 games.
Over the course of the Oilers’ series against the Golden Knights, Skinner produced a 3.17 goals-against-average and surrendered at least four goals in four of the six games.
When Edmonton needed a stellar performance to keep their playoff hopes alive, Skinner again gave up four goals to the Golden Knights and was replaced by Campbell after two periods.
Always follow the bouncing puck. 🤭 #StanleyCup

🇺🇸: @espn ➡️ https://t.co/WIU6lWMfRk
🇨🇦: @Sportsnet ➡️ https://t.co/wnHw6dQIOI pic.twitter.com/ePRNOJ83GS

— NHL (@NHL) May 15, 2023
Campbell actually played well when he replaced Skinner in three of the games in the series. He yielded just one goal in Game 3 and didn’t give up anything else. Over the course of the postseason, Campbell went 1-0-0 with a 1.02 GAA and .961 save percentage in four games.

Considering how well Campbell played when he did see time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it may have benefitted the Oilers to go back to him as the full-time starter after Skinner surrendered 10 goals over the first three games. Yes, Skinner did give up just one goal in Game 2, but he let in four and five goals respectively in Games 1 and 3. During the postseason in his career, he owns a 2.45 career goals-against-average despite giving up 21 total goals in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ seven-game series against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2021-22.

Obviously, Campbell didn’t exactly perform the way the Oilers envisioned when they signed him to a five-year deal in the 2022 offseason. Skinner is signed through the 2025-26 season and is certainly too young for the Oilers to give up on despite his postseason struggles. Meanwhile, Campbell also probably isn’t going anywhere considering that he’s got four more years on his contract.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Oilers handle the goaltending position when the 2023-24 season begins. Both have had their fair share of bright spots. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them work in tandem throughout the regular season until one proves that he deserves to be the full-time starter.

They are not in an entirely different position entering this offseason as they were exactly a year ago. One thing is for sure though: this is a team that is way too talented else where — hello, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl — to bow out in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the same reason year in and year out.

Coyotes’ plan to build new arena gets rejected by Tempe voters, leaves team with uncertain future in Arizona

The Coyotes’ future in Arizona remains unclear. The team’s hopes to build a new arena in Tempe fell through on Tuesday night when the plan was rejected by voters. As a result, the franchise’s chances of staying in Arizona “will be evaluated by our owners and the National Hockey League” over the next couple of weeks.

The new arena was set to be included as part of a new $2.1 billion entertainment district in Tempe, with at least $1.9 billion of the project slated to be privately funded. But voters had to vote in favor of Propositions 301, 302 and 303 on a special election ballot that was mailed out in April and included in-person voting on Tuesday.

If passed, it would’ve meant that voters accepted that both the funds be spent and the land be used for the new entertainment district. Unofficial results from Tuesday night showed between 56% and 57% of voting “no” on the three propositions, according to CBS’ local Arizona affiliate AZFamily.com.

“We are very disappointed Tempe voters did not approve Propositions 301, 302, and 303,” the Coyotes said in a statement. “As Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said, it was the best sports deal in Arizona history. The Coyotes wish to thank everyone who supported our efforts and voted yes.”

League commissioner Gary Bettman added that he was “terribly disappointed by the results of the public referenda regarding the Coyotes’ arena project in Tempe” in a statement.

Specifically, the Coyotes wanted to build a new 16,000-seat arena and entertainment district at the west end of Tempe Town Lake. The plot of land the arena would’ve sat on is nearly 46 acres and located two miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. In November 2022, the Tempe City Council unanimously approved the plans.

The Coyotes lost their home in Glendale — at what was then called Gila River Arena but now goes by Desert Diamond Arena — at the end of the 2021-22 NHL season. They had called that arena home for 18 years. The franchise then relocated to the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University, sharing the arena with the school’s men’s hockey team.

The Coyotes are scheduled to call Mullett Arena home for the next two seasons with an option for a fourth year. The 2022-23 season marked the first for the Coyotes at Mullett Arena.

The franchise originally began playing in Phoenix after relocating from Winnipeg in 1996. With the Tempe plan rejected, the Coyotes’ days in Arizona may be numbered.

 Starting lineup prediction, bench rotation, depth outlook for 2023-24

Last season Kansas went 28-8 and earned a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament before a crushing 72-71 second-round loss to Arkansas brought the Jayhawks season to an abrupt end. Since then, KU lost leading scorers Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick to the NBA Draft and a bevy of others to the transfer portal. In fact, only four scholarship players are back.

But amid all the attrition, one personnel move stood out above the rest for Kansas, both literally and figuratively. When KU landed a commitment from 7-foot-2 Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson on May 4, it signaled to the Big 12 and the nation that the Jayhawks aren’t going anywhere. Dickinson ranked as the No. 1 offseason transfer in the CBS Sports Transfer Rankings. He will combine with veteran returners Dajuan Harris, Kevin McCullar and K.J. Adams to give coach Bill Self an excellent nucleus.

But there are some depth concerns for the Jayhawks following the June departures of freshmen signees Marcus Adams Jr. and Chris Johnson. Without those two, the team was down to just 10 scholarship players before the late signing of freshman small forward Johnny Furphy on Aug. 3.

The Jayhawks put their revamped roster on display during a three-game exhibition tour through Puerto Rico this month, giving us a glimpse into how things are shaping up for Self’s 21st season on the job. As offseason player movement cycle slows to a trickle, it’s time to start breaking down the rosters of the sport’s top programs. For this installment, we’re taking a look at the Jayhawks and trying to decipher what their lineup could look like when the season begins.

Projected starting lineup

  1. Dajuan Harris Jr.
    6-2 | 170 | R-Jr.

Harris is a trusted, veteran point guard who averaged 8.9 points, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game last season on the way to earning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. While it’s possible his scoring average could tick up this season, it’s more likely that he continues to serve as a gritty distributor and defensive menace who occasionally looks to score. Now in his fifth season with the program, Harris has fended off critics and plenty of challengers at his position to cement himself as a vital figure in this era of Kansas basketball.

  1. Elmarko Jackson
    6-3 | 195 | Fr.

Jackson steadily rose through the prospect rankings to finish the 2023 recruiting cycle ranked No. 19 overall, according to 247Sports. The McDonald’s All-American is regarded as a fast and physical guard who is still developing skill after picking up organized basketball late in his youth. When Jackson signed, Self said, “we feel he will be an immediate impact player for us and potentially one of the best guards we’ve had in our program.” While the other four starters remained constant during the Puerto Rico exhibition tour, Jackson was one of three Jayhawks who got a shot as the starting shooting guard. He averaged 10.6 points on 52.1% shooting and will be in a battle with Morris and Timberlake for the fifth starting slot.

  1. Kevin McCullar Jr.
    6-7 | 212 | R-Sr.

Getting McCullar back after he tested the NBA Draft waters marked a huge win for KU. A two-time Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist, McCullar rated as the Jayhawks’ best defender by a significant margin last season, per EvanMiya.com. He is only a career 29.8% 3-point shooter but does everything else well. As a fifth-year Big 12 player with 112 college appearances, McCullar will be a tone-setter for Kansas.

  1. K.J. Adams Jr.
    6-7 | 235 | So.

Adams earned the Big 12’s Most Improved Player award in 2023. The springy forward was often asked to punch above his weight in the front court as the Jayhawks regularly deployed small-ball lineups. Adams may need to expand his offensive repertoire a bit this season to allow Dickinson the space needed to operate in the paint. His 2 of 3 shooting performance from 3-point range in Puerto Rico was an encouraging sign.

  1. Hunter Dickinson
    7-2 | 260 | Sr.

The prized transfer of the college basketball offseason chose the Jayhawks over his pick of other top programs after three standout seasons at Michigan. Dickinson is an automatic Big 12 Player of the Year candidate and brings the heft to KU’s front court that was missing last season as Self shied away from playing young bigs Ernest Udeh and Zuby Ejiofor. Both transferred to other schools following Dickinson’s commitment as it’s clear he should log 30+ minutes per game at center for the Jayhawks.

Arterio Morris
6-4 | 195 | So.
Morris played his freshman season at Texas after finishing the 2022 recruiting cycle as a five-star prospect in the 247Sports rankings. He logged just 11.7 minutes per game for the Longhorns but showed some flashes of his potential by reaching double figures in six games. A domestic violence allegation against Morris lingered throughout his freshman season and has cast a pall over the beginning of his college career. Now he’ll get a fresh start with the Jayhawks and compete for the starting shooting guard spot. He averaged 13.5 points on 55% shooting in two games, which included one start, during the team’s exhibition tour.

Nicolas Timberlake
6-4 | 195 | Graduate senior
Timberlake shot better than 40% from 3-point range his last two years at at Towson and evolved into an All-CAA performer. The veteran marksman will be asked to provide some punch from the perimeter amid the departures of Gradey Dick and Jalen Wilson, who combined for 61% of Kansas’ made 3-pointers last season. He hit 6 of 15 attempts from beyond the arc (40%) during the August exhibition tour while starting one of KU’s three games.

Parker Braun
6-10 | 235 | Graduate senior
The older brother of former Kansas standout and current Denver Nuggets wing Christian Braun is joining the Jayhawks as an experienced forward. Braun started 65 games the past two seasons for an upper-echelon WCC program at Santa Clara and has power conference experience after beginning his career at Missouri. He connected on 67.9% of his shots inside the arc last season while averaging 7.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. Braun logged 12.6 minutes per game during the exhibition tour.

Jamari McDowell
6-4 | 180 | Fr.
McDowell was four-star prospect rating who ranked No. 84 in the 2023 class. The Manvel, Texas native is a versatile backcourt option for the Jayhawks with a shot to crack the rotation early. “At 6’4″, he’s got great size for his skillset and is a guy that I kind of see like as an Ochai (Agbaji) that you can throw lobs to and he’s a terrific three-point shooter,” Self said.

Zach Clemence
6-11 | 230 | So.
Clemence showed promise as a four-star freshman in the 2021-22 season but failed to carve out an increased role last season. He initially planned on transferring to UC Santa Barbara before changing course and returning to KU. While announcing his return, Self suggested a redshirt year would be ideal for Clemence.

Johnny Furphy
6-8 | 202 | Fr.
Furphy reclassified late in the recruiting cycle and signed with the Jayhawks on Aug. 3 as an intriguing prospect out of the Center of Excellence in Australia. “He is one of the most gifted, skilled young kids in the 2023 class and certainly as gifted and skilled as any player remaining that we could recruit,” Self said.

Every team’s most likely next inductee, from Lakers’ LeBron James to Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of achievement for every NBA player, coach and executive — a sign that your career was not only great but also worthy of immortalization. The 2023 class is riddled with familiar NBA names, including Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich, who will all be inducted on Saturday.

Like most of the sports world, we generally have a hard time living in the present and always want to look to the future, so we thought it would be interesting to take a look at all 30 NBA teams’ current roster to see who their most likely next Hall of Fame inductee would be.

Please note the key words there: First, “current roster” — the player has to be with the team at this very moment to be considered. Second, “most likely” — meaning we’re not saying that the person is certainly going to get in, but it is just the best candidate available. And lastly, “next,” indicating that the person selected has to be the one who’s going to reach the Hall of Fame the soonest.

For the purposes of this exercise, we looked at players, coaches and members of the front office (we decided to leave owners and governors out, because that’s not much fun). As you’ll see, some are extremely obvious — hi, LeBron! — and others are true head-scratchers — Wizards, yeesh!

Kevin Durant vs. Nets, Marcus Smart’s return to Boston among 10 reunion dates to circle

The NBA schedule was released on Thursday and we’ve tracked key dates from all angles, including games to circle for the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks and Warriors. Below we are looking at reunion dates, when a marquee player who has switched teams will be making his first trip back to his former home arena as a visiting player (Gabe Vincent or Max Strus returning to Miami is cool and all, but it’s not going to make this list, nor is Grant Williams going back to Boston or Bruce Brown returning to Denver). We’re looking at the big fish here.

Games are listed in chronological order. Let’s get to it.

*LP denotes League Pass

  1. Chris Paul in Phoenix: Warriors at Suns — Nov. 22 (ESPN)
    Paul returns to the Valley with the Warriors after spending three seasons with the Suns and helping lead them to the 2021 Finals. Paul basically aged out in Phoenix, which brought in Bradley Beal to form a big three with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, but he was the key figure in getting that franchise on a title-contending trajectory.
  2. Mikal Bridges in Phoenix: Nets at Suns — Dec. 13 (LP)
    Bridges wasn’t a marquee player in Phoenix, but he became one in Brooklyn and he’ll surely have an extra hop in his step for this one. Bridges was traded to Brooklyn in the Kevin Durant deal but didn’t come back to Phoenix post-trade last season.
  3. Jordan Poole in Golden State: Wizards at Warriors — Dec. 22 (ESPN)
    Poole was a big part of the Warriors’ 2022 championship but only lasted one season after signing a four-year $140 million contract. Things ended pretty badly for Poole with Golden State, starting with the punch heard round the basketball world from Draymond Green and finishing with an abysmal postseason showing in 2023. He’ll be a go-to guy in Washington and will surely be looking to jack up plenty of shots against his old team.
  4. Jalen Brunson in Dallas: Knicks at Mavericks — Jan. 11 (LP)
    Brunson didn’t play in New York’s only trip to Dallas last season, so this will actually mark his first time on the American Airlines court as a visiting player. This will be a tough one for Mavericks fans. Letting Brunson get away looked bad at the time. It’s borderline stomach-turning now.
  5. Kevin Durant in Brooklyn: Suns at Nets — Jan. 31 (ESPN)
    Durant only played eight regular season games for the Suns after the trade last year and none of them were in Brooklyn. Durant’s time with the Nets was muddled. He performed at an MVP level when he played, but they never made it past the second round and he eventually tried to get his coach and GM fired before he forced his way out.
  6. Marcus Smart in Boston: Grizzlies at Celtics — Feb. 4 (ESPN)
    Smart will receive a massive ovation when he returns to face the Celtics as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. With Derrick White arguably supplanting him as the better player, Smart became expendable. Kristaps Porzingis is in Boston as a result.
  7. Bradley Beal in Washington: Suns at Wizards — Feb. 4 (NBA TV)
    It’s only fitting that on the same night Smart returns to Boston, Beal’s return to face the Wizards will get the stepchild NBA TV treatment, where Wizards playoff games were stuck for years in the Wall-Beal era.
  8. Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn: Mavericks at Nets — Feb. 6 (TNT)
    Like Durant, Irving will also be making his first trip back to Brooklyn as Dallas didn’t play the Nets following last year’s trade. This is the one I’m looking forward to the most. Irving absolutely torpedoed the Nets over multiple seasons. I would assume a massive round of boos are in order.
  9. Fred VanVleet in Toronto: Rockets at Raptors — Feb. 9 (LP)
    VanVleet was an integral part of the Raptors’ first championship as a franchise. He got a huge deal with the Rockets and rightfully left as Toronto continues to toe the line of keeping its core intact and finally entering the rebuild phase.
  10. Damian Lillard in Portland? Heat at Blazers — Feb. 27 (TNT)
    Well, look what we have here, the Miami Heat in Portland, for the Blazers’ lone nationally televised game of the season, almost directly AFTER the trade deadline. Might the league be anticipating a Damian Lillard deadline trade to Miami? It hasn’t happened yet, but keep the date circled on your calendar. Adam Silver certainly has done so.

‘I’ve been patient all summer’

Another day, another talking point regarding James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers. This time the All-Star guard is saying that he thinks his relationship with the team is beyond repair. After returning from China — where he publicly called 76ers president Daryl Morey a liar — for an event he’s hosting in Houston this weekend, Harden spoke briefly about his relationship with the Sixers and the amount of patience he has with the situation.

“I’ve been patient all summer,” Harden said via KHOU 11. “For me, it’s just focus on what I can control and getting ready for this season.”

When asked if he thinks his relationship with the Sixers is beyond repair, Harden responded “I think so.”

So basically, nothing has changed since Harden requested a trade demand in late June, or since he called out Morey earlier this week and how he would never play for a team of his. Harden, who opted into a $35.6 million player option with Philadelphia in late June, is seemingly upset at Morey and the 76ers for two reasons. Harden was likely expecting a lucrative long-term offer from Philly this summer after taking a pay cut last offseason to give the team more financial flexibility. When that offer never materialized, Harden requested a trade, but those talks have fizzled.

While Harden has the patience to call Philadelphia’s bluff of ending trade talks with the Clippers (his preferred trade destination) with the intention of bringing him into training camp, there are costly ramifications on the horizon.

If Harden follows through with holding out of training camp like what’s been reported, it could cost him his free agency next summer. Because Harden is in the final year of his contract, the CBA states that if he “withholds services” for more than 30 days and isn’t traded by the Sixers this season, then he won’t be allowed to become a free agent next summer until Philadelphia “expressly agrees otherwise.”

It’s a potentially risky standoff for both sides, and Harden is likely betting on the Sixers not invoking that clause as it wouldn’t land well with other players around the league. However, the Sixers also have an obligation to get the best deal possible for the their organization going forward, so dumping Harden at the first offer also isn’t ideal. It’s a tricky situation, and as we inch closer to training camp opening on Oct. 3 the tension will only rise as both sides try to figure out the best path forward.

How to watch USA vs. Germany, live stream, TV channel, 2023 FIBA World Cup dates

Team USA basketball is one week away from starting the FIBA World Cup and appears to be on track to improve upon 2019’s seventh-place finish. Anthony Edwards, who paced all players with 21 points in an exhibition win over Greece in Abu Dhabi on Friday, is just one of the up-and-coming stars on the roster. Mikal Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr., Cameron Johnson, and Austin Reaves also reached double figures in points en route to the 108-86 victory. The Americans are now 4-0 in exhibition games ahead of Sunday’s final tune-up against Germany.

Chemistry is improving ahead of the team’s trip to the Philippines for the World Cup and an undefeated 5-0 run could work wonders for the group’s confidence before its first real game against New Zealand on Aug. 26. Germany could be the toughest test yet, though. Dennis Schroder, Franz Wagner, Moritz Wagner, and Daniel Theis won’t make it easy in a contest loaded with NBA talent.

Here’s everything you need to know about Team USA’s upcoming schedule.