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Sports briefs for Jan. 19, 2014

By Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Canucks coach Tortorella to meet with league over brawl

Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella is scheduled to have an in-person hearing with the NHL on Monday stemming from Saturday night’s brawl, according to Le Journal de Montreal.

Tortorella is expected to be fined and/or suspended for his role in the fight involving the Calgary Flames in which eight players were ejected. Tortorella was a standout forward for the University of Maine hockey team from 1978-81.

The brawl took place just two seconds into the game when Calgary coach Bob Hartley started the game with his fourth line and Tortorella countered with his fourth line. The moves went beyond gamesmanship when four players from each team were removed from the game after the fight. Calgary took 77 minutes in penalties and Vancouver was hit with 75.

Calgary’s Shane O’Brien and Vancouver’s Zack Kassian each received 10-minute misconducts later in the opening period. A total of 204 penalty minutes were handed out.

An angry Tortorella tried to barge into the Flames’ locker room after the first period.

Obama wouldn’t let son play pro football

President Barack Obama told the New Yorker that if he had a son, he would not allow him to play professional football.

The comments came a year after Obama said he was not sure if he would let his hypothetical son play youth football.

“I would not let my son play pro football,” Obama said.

“I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you, if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”

The topic came up in the latest issue of the New Yorker, given the research that connects the physical demands of playing football to concussions, early onset dementia and degenerative brain disease.

Obama also compared NFL players to smokers, in terms of the health risks involved. He said those involved understand those dangers.

Kings coach Malone fined $25,000

Sacramento Kings coach Michael Malone was fined $25,000 for verbal abuse of a game official and not proceeding directly to his locker room following the completion of the game, the NBA announced Sunday. The NBA also fined Indiana Pacers forward David West was fined $15,000 for elbowing Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin in the jaw.

Malone’s actions occurred after the Kings’ 91-90 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at FedExForum.

West’s incident occurred as time expired at the end of the second quarter of the Pacers’ 106-92 win over the Clippers on Saturday.

A Flagrant 2 foul was called on West and resulted in his ejection.

Crosby selected Team Canada’s captain

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby was named captain of Team Canada for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Crosby was considered the favorite to receive the honor but Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews was also considered. Toews and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber will serve as alternate captains.

“Sidney, Jonathan and Shea have been leaders on the international stage in the past, as well as with their NHL teams,” Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said in a statement. “These three players will be at the forefront of our efforts in Sochi, but we are confident we have 25 players on our roster that will lead in their own way and allow our team to be successful.”

The selection of Crosby as captain was led by Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman. Crosby has 25 goals and 43 assists in 48 games this season. He leads the NHL with 68 points.


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