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Several NHL clubs have dropped the axe on their employees this season after they failed to make the 2014/15 Stanley Cup playoffs. It didn’t take long for the franchises to start cleaning house shortly after the regular season came to an end. Those clubs who have already made changes include the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, and San Jose Sharks.
The Maple Leafs got the ball rolling after finishing the season 26th out of 30 teams with a woeful record of 30-44-8. The Leafs had already fired head coach Randy Carlyle earlier in the season and replaced him with assistant Peter Horachek. It turned out to be one of the worst decisions in club history as Horachek posted a brutal record of 9-28-5 and the Leafs had their worst season in the last 20 years. Horachek was fired by team president Brendan Shanahan after the season, but Shanahan didn’t stop there. Also sacked were several assistant coaches as well as general manager Dave Nonis and almost the team’s entire scouting staff. When the dust had settled a total of 23 people were fired from their positions.
It was clear to the naked eye that several NHL clubs attempted to tank this season and finish as low as they possibly could in the standings to have a better shot at winning the first overall draft lottery. The lower the teams sank the higher percentage they had at winning the first pick, which is certainly to be junior star Connor McDavid of the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters. The Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Arizona Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs all shamelessly tanked in hopes of picking up the 18-year-old scoring sensation.
A semi-pro soccer player in England has been booted off of his team for shagging a female fan on the sidelines after a recent match. Striker Jay Hart was dismissed by the Clitheroe club of the Evo-Stik Division was caught on film having a romp with the woman on a sideline dugout bench and the film eventually found its way online soon afterwards. Hart was basically caught red handed by a fan with a mobile phone as he was still wearing his team jersey and the video was quickly brought to the attention of the Clitheroe club.
Anne Barker, the chairwoman of the side, released a statement on Clitheroe’s official website which said, “Following a NON-FOOTBALL RELATED incident at Mossley AFC yesterday. Jay Hart has been dismissed from the club. Any players, while wearing a Clitheroe tracksuit, represents the club. We expect a certain level of behaviour and discipline. And that wasn’t it.”
The French Ligue 1 has announced that it will be the latest major European soccer league to introduce goal line technology. France will now join the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A and the German Bundesliga as top leagues which will be relying on technology rather than referees’ eyesight to make the correct goal line calls. Ligue 1 recently said the new system will be in place for the beginning of the 2015/16 football season later this year.
Like Germany, France’s stance on the issue has undergone a 180-degree change since both leagues announced earlier that they wouldn’t be using goal line technology anytime soon. However, it appears that common sense has finally prevailed. Frederic Thiriez, the French Football League’s president, doesn’t seem to get the point though as he’s more worried about the cost of the technology than he is about making sure the calls on the pitch are the correct ones.
New York Mets’ relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia has been hit with an 80-game suspension after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Mejia tested positive for the banned substance Stanozolol and now faces half a season on the sidelines without pay. Major League Baseball announced the ban on April 11 and said it will start immediately. Mejia spoke to the media after the suspension was handed down and said he accepts the punishment because he knows the league’s rules, but has no idea how the banned substance got into his body.
The 25-year-old pitcher added, “have been through a lot in my young career and missed time due to injury. I have worked way too hard to come back and get to where I am, so I would never knowingly put anything in my body.” He then went on and apologized to his family, teammates, fans and the Mets organization. The suspension may not actually cause Mejia to miss 80 games since he’s currently on the National League team’s disabled list with an elbow injury.
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