UNDATED (AP) — NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says coronavirus cases spiking in the Las Vegas area contributed to the NHL’s decision to complete its season in Canada. Games are scheduled to begin Aug. 1 in Toronto and Edmonton. Las Vegas was long considered a front-runner. Daly also said one player testing positive when play starts isn’t expected to shut down the playoffs, but an outbreak would change the equation. He didn’t say what the league considered an outbreak. Training camps open across North America on Monday, which is also the deadline for players to opt out of participating with no penalty.
UNDATED (AP) — Dallas defenseman Roman Polak and Vancouver forward Sven Baertschi have joined the list of players who won’t be reporting to training camp for the resumption of the NHL season. Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic was the first player to publicly choose not to play for family reasons. The Tampa Bay Lightning won’t have captain Steven Stamkos at 100% for the opening of camp because of a lower-body injury, but they’re optimistic he’ll be ready when games get under way in early August. The Minnesota Wild, who face the Canucks in the qualifying round, have ruled out defenseman Greg Pateryn indefinitely with an upper-body injury.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo says he doesn’t know if he actually had the coronavirus despite two positive tests, since he has never had any symptoms and also had multiple negative tests. He says he plans to have a more extensive antibody test to be sure after a finger-prick test didn’t indicate he had COVID-19 at any point. The 26-year-old All-Star slugger missed the first week of the Rangers summer camp and isolated from teammates for two weeks after two positive tests that sandwiched a negative result.
UNDATED (AP) — Duke has hired Boston Celtics assistant coach and former WNBA All-Star Kara Lawson to lead its women’s basketball program. The school announced the hiring in a social media post today. That came a little more than a week after Joanne P. McCallie announced she wouldn’t return for a 14th season as she entered the final year of her contract. It is the first college head coaching job for the 39-year-old Lawson. She played under Pat Summitt at Tennessee and was part of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal in Beijing. She joined the Celtics in June of last year.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — One of Michigan’s most beloved sports and entertainment venues has been turned into rubble with a series of controlled explosions. The shell and roof of the Palace of Auburn Hills crumbled to the ground Saturday after a series of explosive pops. The rest of the arena was removed previously. The Palace opened in 1988 and was home to three championship Detroit Pistons teams and three Detroit Shock teams during its nearly 30-year run. It also played host to some of the world’s biggest musical acts, the last of which was rocker Bob Seger in 2017. That was the year the Pistons relocated to a new arena in downtown Detroit. A new mixed-use development project is planned for the site.
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