The San Jose Sharks announced Friday that coach Bob Boughner and his staff have been fired two months after the regular season ended, a move the team said it made to clear the decks for the next general manager to pick new leadership behind the bench. Interim general manager Joe Will informed Boughner, assistants John MacLean and John Madden, and video coach Dan Darrow on Thursday night they were being let go. Will linked the decision to the lengthy GM search getting down to a handful of potential candidates to replace Doug Wilson, who stepped down after nearly two decades. Former Sharks players Mike Grier and Ray Whitney and longtime NHL forward-turned-Canadiens assistant GM Scott Mellanby have been linked to the opening, with the process expected to last beyond next week’s draft and potentially the start of free agency July 13 … The Jets reportedly are finalizing a deal to make Rick Bowness their coach. Bowness, who spent most of the past three seasons with the Stars and led them to an appearance in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, stepped down at the end of this past season … Restricted free agent Brock Boeser re-signed with the Canucks, agreeing to a three-year deal worth $6.65 million a season. The 25-year-old right wing had 23 goals and 23 assists last season … The Lightning retained forward Nick Paul, acquired from the Senators via trade in March, with a seven-year contract worth just over $22 million. Paul had five goals and nine assists in 21 regular-season games with Tampa Bay and added five goals and four assists in the playoffs.
Mohamed Salah gets three-year deal with Liverpool
Mohamed Salah signed a three-year contract which will keep him with Liverpool until 2025. The Egypt international had entered the final year of his existing contract after negotiations over extending his stay dragged on for most of last season. The 30-year-old forward’s wage demands had been a stumbling block, but a delegation flew out to meet with the player and came to an agreement which reportedly makes the forward the highest-paid player in the club’s history. Salah has scored 156 goals in 254 games since arriving in 2017 and has helped the club win the English Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup, FA Cup, and League Cup.
FIFA going high-tech for offside calls
FIFA will introduce new technology to improve offside calls at the World Cup in Qatar this year, using a limb-tracking camera system. FIFA said the semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) uses multiple cameras to track player movements plus a sensor in the ball — and will quickly show 3D images on stadium screens to help fans understand the referee’s call. It’s the third World Cup in a row that sees FIFA introduce new technology to help referees. Goal-line technology was ready for the 2014 tournament in Brazil after a notorious refereeing error in 2010. In 2018, video review to help referees judge game-changing incidents was rolled out in Russia. The new system promises faster and more accurate decisions than are currently made with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system. Each stadium will have 12 cameras beneath the roof synchronized to track 29 data points on each player’s body 50 times per second. Data is processed with artificial intelligence to create a 3D offside line that is alerted to the team of VAR officials. A sensor in the ball tracks its acceleration and gives a more precise “kick point” — when the decisive pass is played — to align with the offside line data, FIFA innovation director Johannes Holzmüller said.
US men’s basketball wins World Cup qualifier
Justin Jackson scored 26 points, Langston Galloway added 18, and the United States men’s basketball team took another step toward qualifying for next year’s World Cup by topping host Puerto Rico, 83-75, at San Juan. John Jenkins scored 13 for the Americans, who improved to 4-1 in World Cup qualifying from the FIBA Americas region. Jose Alvarado scored 20 for Puerto Rico (2-3). The US closes first-round play Monday at Cuba. The Americans have clinched a spot in the second round, as has Puerto Rico … Liz Cambage had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Nneka Ogwumike also scored 21 points, and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Dallas Wings, 97-89, at Arlington, Texas, to become the first WNBA franchise to reach 500 wins … Former South African track star Oscar Pistorius met last week with the father of Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he shot to death in 2013, as part of his parole process, the Steenkamp’s family lawyer told The Associated Press. Pistorius, a double-amputee track star who made history by running at the Olympics, became eligible for parole last year, eight years after killing his girlfriend in his home in Pretoria. Pistorius, now 35, was convicted of murder in 2015 after a long trial and numerous appeals. He was sentenced to 13 years and five months … In Triple A baseball, Connor Wong and Jeter Downs hit RBI doubles in a four-run first inning and the Worcester Red Sox held on for a 5-4 win at the Rochester Red Wings … In Double A, Spencer Horwitz went 4 for 6 with a solo home run, five RBIs, and five runs for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a 16-0 thumping of the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field … Authorities ruled last month’s death of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, who was found unresponsive in a North Baltimore home, accidental from the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine.