The New York Rangers abruptly fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton on Wednesday with three games left in the season. Chris Drury, a star player for Boston University from 1994-98, was named new president and GM. He previously served as associate GM under Davidson and Gorton. The move came less than 24 hours after the team ripped the league for fining but not suspending the Washington Capitals’ Tom Wilson for his role in a scrum Monday night that injured Rangers star Artemi Panarin. Cutting ties with Davidson and Gorton is a shocking development given the apparent speed of New York’s rebuild. The Rangers qualified for the NHL’s expanded, 24-team playoffs in 2020, won the draft lottery and the opportunity to select Alexis Lafreniere with the top pick and are expected to finish fifth in the eight-team East Division this season. Since Gorton became GM in 2015 and Davidson joined the organization in spring 2019, the Rangers have built one of the most impressive collections of young talent in hockey. In addition to Lafreniere, they picked forward Kaapo Kakko second overall in the 2019 draft, found their goaltender of the future in Igor Shesterkin and acquired an elite No. 1 defenseman in Adam Fox.
Flyers’ Gostisbehere suspended
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was suspended for two games without pay by the NHL for boarding Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman in Flyers’ 7-3 loss Tuesday night. The suspension will cost Gostisbehere $77,586 … Alex Ovechkin did not play against the Rangers because of a lower-body injury. The forward left after playing one shift in his return to the Washington Capitals in their 6-3 win at the Rangers on Monday. Ovechkin missed the previous four games with the injury. Coach Peter Laviolette said he remains confident Ovechkin will be healthy for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs … The head of New Jersey’s homeland security department, Jared Maples, is leaving to become the NHL’s executive vice president and chief security officer.
Chelsea in final of Champion League
Chelsea defeated Real Madrid to join Manchester City in the Champions League soccer final May 29 in Istanbul. The Blues booked their third berth to the final by ousting 13-time champion Real Madrid, 2-0, in the second semifinal leg for a 3-1 aggregate victory. Their triumph set up an all-England final for the second time in three seasons, following the Liverpool-Tottenham Hotspur clash in 2019 … A 15-year-old sued in federal court for the right to play in the National Women’s Soccer League, which doesn’t allow players under 18. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Portland, Oregon, on behalf of Olivia Moultrie alleges the league’s age rule violates antitrust law and also hinders her career development and chances of reaching the US national team. Moultrie, who trains with the Portland Thorns but does not play in games, is asking for a preliminary injunction that would her allow to play in the league, which opens the regular season on May 15 … Manchester United’s game against Liverpool will be played on May 13 after being postponed because of home fans protests of American owners at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Players against super league
Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are opposed to a Saudi-back proposal for the Premier Golf League, a super league that would attract top players for a concept of team golf played around the world for massive riches. The Daily Telegraph in London reported the league is prepared to offer fees ranging from $30 million to $50 million to marquee players to join a new circuit that would begin playing as early as September 2022. Dustin Johnson, like a number of top players, had no comment about the league. The Telegraph said Phil Mickelson, who at age 50 is No. 115 in the world ranking, is being offered twice the money as the “de facto leader of the rebels.” According to several players, PGA commissioner Jay Monahan said in a meeting Tuesday night at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., which is hosting this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, that players who join the league would be suspended from the PGA Tour and could be banned permanently. Still unclear is how this would affect the world ranking or invitation to the majors, even a spot in the Ryder Cup, because it is not known if any player has agreed to the money.
No pay for off-site injuries
The NFL reminded teams following Ja’Wuan James’s potentially season-ending Achilles injury that they’re not obligated to pay salaries of players who get hurt away from team facilities. The memo sent to all 32 teams and obtained by the Associated Press was spurred by James’s injury he sustained while working out at a private gym away from Broncos headquarters on Tuesday … Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane would theoretically consider cutting an unvaccinated player if it meant the team being able to lift NFL COVID-19 protocols restricting in-person team meetings … The Dallas Cowboys released defensive tackle Antwaun Woods, less than a week after drafting two potential replacements for a starter from each of the past three seasons …The NCAA football oversight committee is preparing to recommend changes to preseason camp that will include fewer fully padded practices and the elimination of some old-school collision drills. The latest move to scale back contact in practice comes in response to a five-year study involving six major college football teams that found more head impact exposure and concussions happened in preseason practice than during games.
Nadal routs Spanish teen
In a much-anticipated battle of generations, Rafael Nadal showed he is still clearly the man to beat in Spanish tennis, cruising to a 6-1, 6-2 win over teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz in the second round of the Madrid Open … Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets were each fined $35,000 for violating the NBA’s media access rules, ESPN reported. “The fines result from Irving’s repeated refusal to participate in postgame media availability,” the NBA said in a statement … New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram was diagnosed with a left low ankle sprain and has been ruled out of Friday night’s game in Philadelphia … American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner, was elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. Seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher and 13-time champion steeplechase trainer Jack Fisher also were elected … UMass basketball transfer Ronnie Degray has committed to Missouri.