In a stunning move, the Blackhawks fired President and CEO John McDonough on Monday. The club announced the decision in an official release from owner Rocky Wirtz.
“Thirteen years ago, I recruited John to the Blackhawks because of his leadership, direction and vision,” Wirtz wrote. “John brought all of that to the table and more. His contributions went well beyond leading the team to three Stanley Cup Championships. He rebuilt the front office and helped guide the organization toward a winning vision. As difficult as this is, we believe it was the right decision for the future of the organization and its fans.”
The Blackhawks have been one of the most successful NHL teams since McDonough took office in 2007, winning three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, 2015) and restoring pride to an Original Six franchise that had been through a major drought prior to his tenure. McDonough was also instrumental in getting the Blackhawks to thrive on the business side of operations, turning the franchise into a sustainable and successful operation.
The organization ranked as the NHL‘s fourth-most valuable franchise with a $1.085 billion valuation from Forbes in 2019, trailing only the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Canadiens. The team has sold out their last 531 consecutive home games.
Despite the revitalization under McDonough’s leadership, the club’s decision to go in a different direction comes in the midst of a rough patch for the franchise’s on-ice product. The Blackhawks haven’t made the playoffs since 2017 and haven’t won a playoff series since their 2015 Cup run. They’ve undergone significant changes since their run of three Cups in six years; The front office has needed to maneuver around cap constraints and beloved head coach Joel Quenneville was fired in 2018.
Wirtz seems to believe that parting ways with McDonough is a necessary step to get the franchise back on track. If nothing else, it sends a strong message about what is expected of the team now.
“While we can reassure our fans there will be hockey again, no one knows what that will look like,” Wirtz said. “What we do know is that it will take a new mindset to successfully transition the organization to win both on and off the ice.”
The tight end position was not a pressing need so it is hard to justify the selection of Cole Kmet in the second round. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson is a great player but was only on the board because he had been dealing with an injury. Edge rusher Trevis Gipson was picked too early. Cornerback Kindle Vildor was a solid pick. He is a feisty competitor who can step in and fulfill a nickel role. Tulane wide receiver Darnell Mooney has great speed but needs to continue his development. The Bears ended the event by adding two relatively unknown prospects: offensive linemen Arlington Hambright and Lachavious Simmons.
The Bulls have completely overhauled their basketball operations over the past several months. Gone is the tandem of John Paxson and Gar Forman, which reigned over the Bulls for over a decade, and in their place is the new president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas. On Sunday, the Bulls reportedly landed his No. 2. as Philadelphia 76ers executive Marc Eversley will be the new general manager of the Bulls.With the status of the 2019-20 season up in the air, it could be quite some time before the Bulls are able to make a decision and begin this new era, but after so many years of underperforming teams built by the “GarPax” tandem, the combination of Karnisovas and Eversley should at least provide some optimism to a Chicago fanbase that hasn’t had much of it in recent years. Eversley joined the 76ers in 2016, a hire of former Philadephia GM Bryan Colangelo. Colangelo gave Eversley his big break, hiring him from Nike to serve on his staff with the Toronto Raptors in 2006. He was the vice president of scouting for the Washington Wizards prior to rejoining the 76ers, where he had served as both vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager. He will now join Karnisovas in reshaping a Bulls team that has fallen on hard times in recent years. The Bulls have not made the playoffs since trading Jimmy Butler in 2017, and have missed out in four of the past five seasons overall. While youngsters like Coby White, Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine have shown promise, none have separated themselves as potential franchise players. The Bulls of the past several seasons have lacked direction. It will be up to Karnisovas and Eversley to find one, and that starts with making a decision on the future of coach Jim Boylen. Boylen, who has a 39-84 record in Chicago, is widely regarded as one of the NBA’s worst coaches, but has the support of the Reinsdorf family, owners of the team.With the status of the 2019-20 season up in the air, it could be quite some time before the Bulls are able to make a decision and begin this new era, but after so many years of underperforming teams built by the “GarPax” tandem, the combination of Karnisovas and Eversley should at least provide some optimism to a Bulls fanbase that hasn’t had much of it in recent years.
The Bulls have been interviewing candidates for less than a week, but in that time, they appear to have found their new top-decision-maker. They are currently finalizing a deal to hire current Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas as their new executive vice president of basketball operations, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Karnisovas has been with the Nuggets since 2013 and has been the team’s general manager since 2017, working under president of basketball operations Tim Connelly in building one of the Western Conference’s top contenders. He was present for the drafting of virtually every core player on the Nuggets, including Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Michael Porter Jr. and previously worked for both the Houston Rockets and the league office. He was a highly coveted candidate for a top role like this having previously interviewed with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks for such a position.
Karnisovas will be hiring his own general manager and has seemingly been given total control over the franchise’s basketball operations. Former vice president of basketball operations John Paxson will remain only in an advisory role, whereas current general manager Gar Forman’s future with the team is up in the air. Nothing is known yet of the status of coach Jim Boylen, though ownership reportedly preferred a new front office to at least keep an open mind about retaining him.
The Bulls have struggled mightily in recent years, first under Fred Hoiberg and now under Boylen. They have made the playoffs only once in the past five seasons, and have been unable to find a true cornerstone with the high draft picks that losing has granted them. Former franchise player Jimmy Butler, meanwhile, has thrived since the Bulls decided to trade him, putting further pressure on the unpopular front office tandem of Paxson and Forman. The two have run the Bulls in tandem for over a decade, with Paxson being the only top decision-maker with the Bulls since 2003, when he succeeded the architect of their 1990s dynasty, Jerry Krause.
That resistance to change has been a staple in with the Bulls, but Karnisovas has worked for one of the NBA‘s more innovative teams of the past few seasons. Denver’s creativity in building around a pass-first center in Jokic will be welcome as the Bulls attempts to meaningfully contend for a championship for the first time since Tom Thibodeau’s departure. They have quite a ways to go, but in hiring one of the NBA’s most respected general managers, they’ve taken the first step back in that direction.
The rapid spread of the coronavirus is causing cancellations and postponements of sporting events around the globe. As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 116,000 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to CBS News. While 64,000 people have recovered, more than 4,000 have died. In America, multiple states are under a state of emergency and some politicians and public health officials are recommending large gatherings of people — including sporting events — in coronavirus hotspots be canceled or closed to the public.
Organizers of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the biggest global sporting event of the year, are already concerned that the disease will problematic, and the status of the games could be up in the air as late as May.
Charlie McAvoy scored 1:19 into overtime, and the Boston Bruins beat the Blackhawks 2-1 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.McAvoy finished a pretty passing sequence for the defenseman’s first goal of the season. David Krejci threw the puck outside to a streaking Jake DeBrusk, who made a perfect pass to McAvoy for the tap-in on the right side of the net.The Blackhawks thought they had taken a 2-1 lead with 1:05 left in regulation when it looked as if Drake Caggiula beat Jaroslav Halak for a short-handed goal. But it was waved off by the referee Peter McDougal after Bruins defenseman Torey Krug tripped Olli Maatta for a penalty.The crowd of 21,472 booed vociferously when the ruling was announced.After the game, the Officials admitted that they blew that call, There was no hand pass,although McDougal blew hit whistle.
Sean Kuraly also scored for Boston, which was coming off a 4-0 victory over Vancouver on Tuesday night. Halak made 21 saves.The Home team wasted a terrific performance by Robin Lehner, who made 38 stops in his first start since Jan. 21. The Blackhawks also lost defenseman Adam Boqvist to a right shoulder injury in the second period.Alex DeBrincat had the Blackhawks only goal. Next up for the Blackhawks, who are fighting to stay in the mix for the Western Conference’s second wild card, is a five-game trip to Canada.Boqvist got hurt when he was pushed into the boards by Krejci 6:13 into the second period. The 19-year-old Boqvist then skated off with his right arm hanging on his side, while Krejci was sent off for boarding.Krejci’s penalty turned into DeBrincat’s third power-play goal of the season. Kirby Dach was denied by Halak in front, but DeBrincat skated in from the side and knocked it home for a 1-0 lead at 6:50.Boston controlled the play early on, but Lehner stepped up for the Hawks. He made 16 saves in the first, including a terrific stop on Krejci with 1:51 left in the period.After the Blackhawks jumped in front in the second, Kuraly skated behind the net and into the right circle before beating Lehner through the goaltender’s legs at 12:49. It was Kuraly’s fifth of the year.Boston had a prime scoring opportunity near the end of the second, but Charlie Coyle, Krug and Kuraly were denied in rapid succession by Lehner.
Tha Hawks and Boston closed out their season series. The Blackhawks beat the Bruins 4-3 on Dec. 5 on Jonathan Toews’ overtime goal.
Patrick Mahomes outplayed Mitchell Trubisky, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another score, and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Chicago Bears 26-3 Sunday night to stay in contention for a first-round playoff bye. Kansas City (11-4) earned its fifth straight win and remained a game behind New England for the AFC’s second seed. The Patriots clinched their 11th consecutive AFC East championship by beating Buffalo on Saturday. The Chiefs hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over New England thanks to a victory two weeks ago that helped secure their fourth AFC West title in a row. Mahomes’ big game in his first appearance at Soldier Field is just another blow for Chicago in a rough season that began with Super Bowl hopes. The Bears passed on Mahomes when they traded up a spot to grab Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017. Mahomes went to Kansas City at No. 10 and won the MVP award last season. Trubisky has not performed the way the Bears envisioned. And with their playoff hopes already dashed coming off an NFC North championship, they got outclassed by Kansas City. Mahomes, playing his 30th game, became the fastest player to reach the 9,000-yard passing mark. He was 23 of 33 for 251 yards, giving him 9,238 in three seasons. Hall of Famer Kurt Warner did it in 32 games. Mahomes also has 75 touchdown passes, making him the fastest player to hit that mark. Travis Kelce, already the first tight end with four straight 1,000-yard seasons, became the first to reach 1,200 yards in back-to-back years. He caught eight passes for 74 yards, giving him 1,205 this year. That included a 6-yard touchdown near the end of the first half. Harrison Butker kicked a career-best 56-yard field goal that was the fourth-longest in franchise history. He also hit both the left and right uprights on a missed extra point. And coach Andy Reid beat protege Matt Nagy in his first meeting with his longtime former assistant. ”Proud of Matt,” Reid said. ”It is a process. He is going about it the right way.” The Bears (7-8) dropped their second straight after winning four of five. Trubisky completed 18 of 34 passes for 157 yards. Khalil Mack had a sack, and fans let the Bears have it before heading toward the exits in the closing minutes. ”I think it just comes to down all of us with the details and just understanding that on each and every play, we all need to be extremely detailed,” Nagy said. ”We all need to understand where we’re at and how important it is.” DOMINATING EARLY The Chiefs have outscored Denver and Chicago a combined 49-6 the past two weeks. And they took control early in this one. Kansas City led 17-0 at halftime after scoring on all three possessions and racking up more than twice as many yards as the Bears (203-93). Mahomes rolled to his left and went 12 yards untouched to the end zone, capping a 15-play drive that ate up 7 minutes, 58 seconds. Butker nailed a 56-yard field goal early in the second quarter. And Mahomes hit Kelce for the TD in the closing minute of the half, after Chicago’s Kevin Pierre-Louis got flagged for running into punter Dustin Colquitt. The Bears drove to the 4 in the third, but Trubisky’s fourth-down pass to Allen Robinson in the left side of the end zone got broken up by Charvarius Ward. Chicago finally scored when Eddy Pineiro kicked a 46-yard field goal as the quarter ended. Mahomes answered with a 14-yard touchdown to Damien Williams on the opening drive of the fourth to make it 23-3. Butker then missed the extra point when the ball somehow ricocheted off the left and right uprights.
INJURIES Chiefs: The Chiefs said in the fourth quarter RB Spencer Ware suffered a shoulder injury. Bears: NT Eddie Goldman (concussion) exited in the first half. … RG Rashaad Coward suffered a knee injury in the first half
DePaul improved to 12-1 before conference play. Coach Dave Leitao tempered his excitement just a bit.Charlie Moore scored 25 points, Jaylen Butz added a career-high 24 and DePaul held off Northwestern 83-78 on Saturday.Paul Reed and Jalen Coleman-Lands scored all of their combined 24 points after halftime to guide the Blue Demons, who are aiming for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003-04.
“My staff is trying to console me because I’m not jumping for joy after the game,” Leitao said. ”I’m looking at all the things we didn’t do as opposed to what we did do. So there’s a lot of room to grow.”
Boo Buie had 25 points in his first career start, Miller Kopp added 21 and Ryan Young had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Northwestern (5-6), one of the youngest teams in the country.Coleman-Lands added 13 points and Reed had 11 points and 12 rebounds for DePaul for his 10th double-double to lead the Big East. The Blue Demons are receiving poll votes and won 10 games before Jan. 1 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.Northwestern’s four-game winning streak in the teams’ all-time series was snapped.DePaul opened the second half on a 16-4 run for a 50-42 lead, but Northwestern retook the lead on an 11-2 run. Coleman-Lands completed a four-point play for a three-point DePaul lead, Butz made a dunk and layup and DePaul hit free throws to hang on.
”We started flying around a little bit better than we had the first 36 1/2 minutes,” Leitao said. ”That turned the tide.”
DePaul has won three straight since its 74-69 loss to Buffalo. Northwestern has lost four of six.Northwestern started Buie and A.J. Turner, a senior, for the first time this season with Anthony Gaines (shoulder) out. Buie scored a career-high 26 points against No. 15 Michigan State in his last game. Northwestern coach Chris Collins said he altered the starting lineup so Northwestern wouldn’t have an all-freshman bench.
”He’s made a big jump over the past couple weeks,” Collins said of Buie. ”He’s fearless, which I love. Now he’s just got to continue to study the game and learn and get better.”
Buie had 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting for a four-point Northwestern lead at halftime.NU is the youngest team in the Big Ten and the only team without a conference win.DePaul is on its way to its second straight winning season after 11 consecutive losing seasons. The Blue Demons improved to 3-0 against the Big Ten after also winning at Iowa and Minnesota. Butz was voted the Waldo Fisher-Frank McGrath MVP Award which has been awarded since 1974.
GREEN BAY—Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers‘ wait to see if a long-time foe would help them clinch a playoff spot was a whole lot easier than the lateral-filled final play they had to survive to beat the Bears in the rivals’ 200th game.
Leading by eight points with just 1 second remaining, Tramon Williams
fell on Jesper Horstead’s fumble at the 2-yard line to end Green Bay’s
21-13 victory over the Bears Sunday. A few hours later, the Packers were
playoff bound, when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Los Angeles Rams.
”I think I blacked out there for a second,” Green Bay coach Matt
LaFleur said. ”There was so many laterals. I couldn’t tell. I was just
hoping that someone was going to make the tackle.”
With the win, Green Bay (11-3) swept the Bears for the 15th time in the last 26 seasons and the seventh time in 11 seasons. The Packers defeated the Bears 10-3 in the season opener. Green Bay now leads the series 99-95-6.
”I think we have a bunch of guys that are going to fight for every
inch out there and that are resilient and that care about each other,”
LaFleur said. ”This is what I told the team last night, `What I love
about this team is these guys have embraced their roles.”’
The Packers improved to 19-5 against the Bears with Rodgers as the starting quarterback. Rodgers completed just 16 of 33 passes for a pedestrian 203 yards. The two-time MVP entered the day with a 103.2 career passer rating against the Bears, the highest in league history of quarterbacks with at least 250 passes against the Bears. He had a 78.2 rating on Sunday.
”I love being 11-3,” Rodgers said. ”I think the performance was a
little up and down but I thought we did some really good things. We just
gotta be a little more opportunistic when we have opportunities.”
Mitchell Trubisky completed his first five pass attempts for the Bears (7-7) but for only 18 yards. The Bears offense opened the game with three straight punts and a turnover on downs. Trubisky finished 28 of 53 for 321 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, and the Bears had their three-game win streak end.
”Obviously, not the outcome that we wanted,” coach Matt Nagy said. ”We wanted to come here and play four quarters. I thought the way that our guys fought back there at the end to give us a chance to win is good, but obviously the outcome’s not good. Got to pick up the pieces and get better.”
The Packers got on the board first on a 29-yard strike from Rodgers
to Davante Adams in the first quarter. Adams beat Buster Skrine off the
line for his fourth touchdown in the last four weeks. Adams finished
with 103 yards on seven catches.
”I think what Matt did today was great, moving Davante around,”
Rodgers said. ”We had a number of snaps with him in the slot. And he
was playing both Z and X. We’re going to have to do that.”
Eddy Pineiro knocked in a 30-yard field goal late in the first half for the Bears.The Packers opened the second half with an impressive five-play, 73-yard drive that featured a 34-yard reception to Adams, a season-long 17-yard scamper by Rodgers, and a 21-yard touchdown run by Aaron Jones, his 13th rushing TD of the season.
”I just think it’s so imperative in this league, especially when
you’re playing against a good defense, you gotta get those chunk
plays,” LaFleur said. ”You gotta find ways to come up with and find
ways to create some explosives. If you’re able to do that, you’re able
to score points. … Third down has not been very good to us, so we’ve
gotta find ways to create those chunk plays and stay out of third-down
After another stalled possession by the Bears, Rodgers and Jake Kumerow linked up for a 49-yard gain, Kumerow’s longest reception of the season. The play helped set up another score for Jones from 2 yards and the Packers took a commanding 21-3 lead in the third quarter.Pineiro added a 27-yard field goal at the start of the fourth and Trubisky found Anthony Miller for a 2-yard score to cut it to 21-13 with 8:09 to go. Miller had nine catches for 118 yards and the score.
”All in all, big picture, we don’t get the win,” Nagy said. ”We
could have played better in all three phases, and I could point to a lot
of different things. But I’m going to stay positive with our guys,
because I appreciate their fight.”
Former Northwestern Defensive lineman Dean Lowry picked off Trubisky with 6:33 left, Lowry’s first career interception.