The Montreal Canadiens fired general manager Marc Bergevin and two other executives Sunday amid on-ice struggles just months after advancing to the Stanley Cup Final. The Canadiens announced Bergevin’s dismissal along with those of assistant GM Trevor Timmins and Paul Wilson, senior vice president of public affairs and communications. “Their relentless work allowed our fans to experience many memorable moments, including last summer’s playoff run that culminated with the Stanley Cup Final,” team owner Geoff Molson said in a statement. “I think, however, that the time has come for a leadership change within our hockey operations department that will bring a new vision and should allow our fans and partners to continue cheering for a championship team.” The Canadiens said Jeff Gorton will serve as executive vice president of hockey operations as the team searches for a new general manager. Bergevin was in his 10th season as the team’s GM. Montreal has a 6-15-2 record this season and is ahead of only the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference standings. Bergevin’s long-term status with the team had been a question since he entered the season on an expiring contract . . . The San Jose Sharks placed forward Evander Kane on waivers and plan to send him to the AHL if he isn’t claimed by another team.Assistant general manager Joe Will said Kane has been placed on waivers before his 21-game suspension for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card and was eligible to return to play Tuesday against New Jersey. If Kane clears waivers, he is expected to report to the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL on Tuesday. It is uncertain when he will be ready to play.
Lincoln Riley leaving Oklahoma for USC
Southern California is finalizing a deal for Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley to be its next coach in a stunning and rare move of one traditional college football powerhouse swiping another’s highly accomplished head coach, according to multiple reports. Riley is 55-10 in five seasons leading the Sooners, winning four Big 12 titles, and making three College Football Playoff appearances. The Athletic, the Los Angeles Times, and Yahoo were among the first to report Riley’s decision. USC fired Clay Helton in September early in his seventh season in charge, and the school has been searching for a head coach to revive a program that has had meager success since a dominant run through the 2000s under Pete Carroll that included two national titles.
Michigan leaps to No. 2 in AP poll
Michigan jumped to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll and Oklahoma State joined the top five for the first time since 2015. Georgia was a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank for the eighth consecutive week. For the fourth straight week, there is a different No. 2 team behind the Bulldogs. Michigan has its highest ranking since it peaked at No 2. in 2016. The Wolverines moved up four spots after emphatically beating Ohio State on Saturday to break an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry. Cincinnati moved up to No. 3, flip-flopping with Alabama at No. 4. The Crimson Tide slipped after beating Auburn in overtime.
Florida hires Billy Napier from Louisiana-Lafayette
Florida hired Louisiana-Lafayette’s Billy Napier to be the Gators’ next football coach. The move ends a quick process that landed Florida its top target one week after it fired Dan Mullen. The 42-year-old Napier will remain with the Ragin Cajuns (11-1) this week as they prepare to host Appalachian State (10-2) in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Saturday. He is 39-12 in four seasons in Lafayette, including 32-5 the past three years. Mullen was fired last Sunday after the Florida’s fourth loss in five games.
Duke and David Cutcliffe part ways
David Cutcliffe won’t return for a 15th season as Duke’s coach after the school announced a “mutual agreement for separation” following the Blue Devils’ winless Atlantic Coast Conference record. The school’s announcement came a day after the Blue Devils (3-9, 0-8) closed a three-win season with a 47-10 home loss to Miami. That marked the first winless slate for Duke in league play under Cutcliffe, who transformed the Blue Devils from one of the nation’s worst performers into a regular bowl contender and even claimed a division title in the ACC in 2013 before the program slid badly in the past two seasons.
Sonny Dykes set to be introduced as TCU’s new coach
Sonny Dykes is set to be introduced as TCU’s new coach on Tuesday after four seasons at SMU, according to a person familiar with the decision. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was the first to report plans for Dykes to be formally introduced Tuesday. The son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes had been considered a top candidate for the Frogs job since Gary Patterson and TCU mutually agreed Oct. 31 to part ways with four games left in the season.
Avisail Garcia, Marlins agree to deal
Free agent outfielder Avisail Garcia has agreed to sign with the Miami Marlins, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Garcia’s deal will pay $53 million over four seasons, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. The Marlins will become Garcia’s fifth team. The 30-year-old is coming off his best season, hitting 29 home runs with 86 RBIs — both career-bests — for Milwaukee in 2021.
Byron Buxton, Twins agree to contract
The Minnesota Twins and center fielder Byron Buxton agreed to a seven-year, $100 million contract , according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the contract was not yet finalized and pending a physical exam. Buxton posted an aerial picture of Target Field on his Instagram account with a heart emoji for a caption ... The Texas Rangers have reached an agreement on a seven-year contract with Gold Glove second baseman and potential shortstop Marcus Semien, according to a source familiar with the deal ... The Toronto Blue Jays have reached an agreement with right-hander Kevin Gausman on a five-year, $110 million contract, pending a physical, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The 30-year-old Gausman was 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 192 innings for San Francisco last season. He has a 64-72 record and 4.02 ERA in his career with Baltimore, Atlanta, and San Francisco.
Isaiah Thomas lifts US men’s basketball team over Cuba
Isaiah Thomas made sure USA Basketball’s road to the 2023 World Cup didn’t begin with a major upset. Thomas scored 21 points, including a sealing 3-pointer with 13.3 seconds left, and the Americans erased a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Cuba 95-90 in their World Cup qualifying opener. The lead was just two after a Cuba basket by Jasiel Rivero with 34 seconds remaining. The US didn’t call a timeout, and Thomas kept the ball in his hands for the entirety of what became the biggest possession of the game for the Americans. The two-time NBA All-Star — who averaged 29 points for the Boston Celtics in 2016-17 and spent a considerable amount of time battling injuries since — waited for a screen, used it, and connected from near the top of the key for a 93-88 lead.
BC women win over Albany
The Boston College women’s basketball team defeated Albany 77-65 at Conte Forum. The Eagles improve to 5-1 on the season after their third straight win, while Albany falls to 1-3. Makayla Dickens (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) turned in her best performance of the season, as she led three players in double figures with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. Dickens also added five rebounds and four assists. Taylor Soule was up to her usual ways with 17 points on six baskets, led the team with a season-best six rebounds, and dished out three helpers. Ally VanTimmeren joined Dickens in providing a lift off the bench, pouring in a season-best 15 points (13 in the first half) and shot 7-for-8 from the field.
Philadelphia advances with win over Nashville
Andre Blake made two spectacular saves, Nashville missed on two penalty kicks and the Philadelphia Union won a shootout to advance to Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference final for the first time in franchise history. Philadelphia won the shootout 2-0 after the teams remained tied at 1 after 30 minutes of overtime. Philadelphia will face the winner of the semifinal Tuesday night between The Revolution and New York City ... Bobby Wood directed Justin Meram’s crossing pass low into the right corner in the 90th minute to give Real Salt Lake a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference semifinals. Coming off a first-round victory on penalty kicks at Seattle, Real Salt Lake advanced to face the Portland Timbers in the conference final. Portland also won the road, topping Colorado 1-0 on a 90-minute score Thursday ... Mouhameth St. Thiam scored the game winner for the Beavers as No. 16 seed University of New Hampshire men’s soccer team fell to No. 1 seed Oregon State, 1-0, in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Three countries advance in Davis Cup Finals
Britain, Kazakhstan, and Croatia each advanced to the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup Finals by winning their groups. Orlando Magic center-forward Wendell Carter Jr. and Miami Heat center Dewayne Dedmon were fined by the NBA. Carter was fined $35,000 for " forcefully throwing " his protective glasses at a game official in the Magic’s loss at Cleveland on Saturday night.Dedmon was docked $15,000 for kicking a seat cushion from the team bench into the spectator stands Saturday night in a victory at Chicago . . . Sir Frank Williams, the founder and former team principal of Formula One Williams Racing, has died. He was 79.