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UPDATE: Pittsburgh Appears OUT of NHL Hub Cities, Phase 2 Expands – Pittsburgh Hockey Now

By simple math and deduction, it appears Pittsburgh will not be an NHL hub city. Combining multiple credible reports which stated the NHL narrowed the hub city field to six cities, including three Canadian cities, the final candidates are coming into focus. W…

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How the Panthers’ 15-win season and potential dynasty went up in smoke – SB Nation

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LeBron James won’t wear social justice message on Lakers jersey – WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — LeBron James says his thoughts on social justice can’t be contained on the back of a basketball jersey. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar won’t wear one of the NBA-approved social justice messages on the back of his jersey when the NBA res…

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — LeBron James says his thoughts on social justice can’t be contained on the back of a basketball jersey.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar won’t wear one of the NBA-approved social justice messages on the back of his jersey when the NBA resumes competition later this month in the Orlando bubble.
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It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players, James said Saturday in a confernece call from Florida. I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. Its just something that didnt seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.”
As part of the NBA’s recognition of the nationwide invigoration of the social justice movement sparked by the death of George Floyd, NBA players are allowed to choose from a lengthy list of possible messages for their jerseys during the league’s restart.
NCAA extends Confederate flag policy, banning championship events where flag is flown
James is among just a few who declined to choose one of the messages.
I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey, James said. “I had a couple of things in mind, but I wasnt part of that process, which is OK. … Everything that I do has a purpose, has a meaning. I dont need to have something on the back of my jersey for people to understand my mission or know what Im about and what I’m here to do.”
The 35-year-old superstar has a long history of social involvement and advocacy for progressive causes. James speaks frequently of what he feels is a responsibility to campaign for positive social change from his powerful position in sports and pop culture.
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This is the mission I’ve been on for a long time now, James said. It’s great that a lot of people’s ears are opening. A lot of people are understanding, a lot of people are recognizing. A lot of people still don’t get it, and a lot of people are still afraid to talk about the racism that goes on in America, especially for our people. … But we have some ears, and we will continue to push the envelope and let everyone know that we are human as well. We don’t want to be just be used for our God-given abilities.
JaVale McGee, the Lakers veteran center, said he will wear Respect Us on his jersey in Orlando.
Its a blessing to have this platform, said McGee, whose asthma has him being particularly cautious during the pandemic. We have way more of a voice playing basketball Our fans are basketball fans over anything. This is the biggest platform we can speak about social injustices. Thats the best time to talk about it.
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James also said he didn’t consider not playing in the NBA’s restart, believing the league can be a positive force through its visibility and competition. He expressed no concerns for his health inside the bubble.
I believe the NBA and (Commissioner) Adam Silver, they took all precautionary measure to make sure that we as a league are as safe as we can be, James said. Obviously, in anything that you do, there can be things that can happen, so we will cross that line if it happens. But we’re doing everything to make sure everyone stays safe during this pandemic. Adam Silver has given me no reason to not believe him since he took over. I have no concerns. I’m here 100% and in great health.
Issues of social justice have been front and center across the sports world. Watch our previous report on the push to change the name of Cleveland’s MLB team in the video below:
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Mike Green opts out of NHL return; Red Wings get 2020 fourth-rounder from trade with Oilers – The Detroit News

Former Red Wings defenseman Mike Green joined a growing list of NHL players who are opting out of playing when the season resumes on Aug. 1.

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Former Red Wings defenseman Mike Green joined a growing list of NHL players who are opting out of playing when the season resumes on Aug. 1.
“Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and after much consideration, I’ve decided for deeply personal family health reasons not to participate in the return to play,” Green said in a statement.
“This has been a hard decision knowing that I’m going to miss the opportunity to compete in the playoffs with a Stanley Cup contender. I wish the best of luck to the guys and I appreciate the Edmonton Oilers support.”
Former Red Wings defenseman Mike Green joined a growing list of NHL players who are opting out of playing when the season resumes on Aug. 1.
 (Photo: David Guralnick, Detroit News)
Green, who was acquired by former Red Wings general manager Ken Holland at the trade deadline in February, played only two games for Edmonton before suffering a knee injury. He was expected to be a third-pair defenseman when the Oilers begin the best-of-five, play-in series against the Chicago Blackhawks next month.
In 48 games in Detroit this year, Green had three goals and eight assists with a plus-minus rating of minus-32. After signing a three-year, $18-million contract with the Red Wings in 2015, he wound up with 37 goals and 104 assists with a minus-73 rating in 303 career games in Detroit.
With Green sitting out the playoffs, the trade deadline deal between Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman and Holland is now finalized. 
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The Wings would’ve received a third-round pick in 2021 if the Oilers reached the Western Conference finals and Green played in half of their games.
Now, they will receive a fourth-round pick in 2020. Detroit also received center Kyle Brodziak, who was forced to retire because of a back injury.
Green is the sixth player to choose not to participate in the expanded 24-team playoffs in the aftermath of a deal being struck to resume the season.
Boston’s Steven Kampfer, Montreal’s Karl Alzner, Dallas’ Roman Polak, Calgary’s Travis Hamonic and Vancouver’s Sven Baertschi also decided to opt out.
Kampfer, who played 10 games with the Bruins this season, said his wife and son have a congenital defect that could cause complications with the virus and called it “one of the hardest decisions” he has had to make.
Polak is a pending free agent who last month agreed to a deal in his native Czech Republic next season and told reporters there he wasn’t planning on returning to the NHL if play resumed. Baertschi, who spent most of this season in the minors, is under contract through 2020-21.
“Sven informed us late yesterday that he has chosen to opt out of the NHL return to play program,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. “It was a difficult decision but ultimately one we respect and understand.”
Hamonic was the first player to publicly choose not to play in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Hamonic’s daughter was hospitalized last year with respiratory issues, and he and his wife also have a baby boy. Their health concerns, not the soon-to-be 30-year-old’s impending free agency, led him to opt out.
“I wish I could lace up my skates and be out there battling, blocking a shot and helping my team win, but my family has and always will come first,” Hamonic said. “Being my little kids’ dad every day is the most important job I have. I love this game and my team. This is a decision that is extremely hard for me to make.”
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league will be taking over injury and illness disclosure from teams as a way of protecting player privacy.
“Medical privacy is important in this process,” Daly said. “Having said that, we understand as a league we have an obligation of some transparency with respect to the COVID virus in particular, so at least for now we’re going to maintain a policy where the league is announcing on basically league numbers and clubs are really prohibited from giving any information with respect to COVID test results, and, for purposes of making the system work, any injury information going forward.”

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