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Golden Knights Back To Work After Stanley Cup Win And Short Offseason

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LAS VEGAS — From elevating the Stanley Cup to a victory parade on the Strip to a summer of celebration, the Vegas Golden Knights are now back to the business of playing hockey.

A brief offseason is a desirable yet problematic issue.

General manager Kelly McCrimmon said This is part of why some teams may have difficulty winning consecutive championships as the team opened training camp on Thursday. “An abundance of vigor and enthusiasm currently surrounds our team. I’ve always believed that if you play until the end and win, you don’t mind that short summer. The summer will feel brief if you play until the end and lose in the championship game.

The Knights, who won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Florida Panthers in five games, aim to become the most recent team to repeat as champions. Only two teams in the salary-cap era have accomplished this feat: the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017.

Vegas opened training camp with an almost identical roster to the one that claimed the championship less than three months prior. Reilly Smith, who was traded to the Penguins to create cap space, is the only player from the championship game who is no longer with the organization.

The Knights, who typically make a statement in free agency, added players on September 12, when they acquired forward Max Comtois. But Comtois, who has played for the Anaheim Ducks in parts of the past five seasons, was signed for training camp without a roster place being guaranteed.

The Knights focused most of their offseason efforts on re-signing goaltender Adin Hill and forward Ivan Barbashev.

The result was a locker room filled with familiar faces.

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The Knights’ status as underdogs is nothing new.

“You already know what to expect,” said center Chandler Stephenson. “You know how everyone operates and performs, as well as the systems and other pertinent information. It is somewhat fluid. You can continue roughly where you left off.”

Coach Bruce Cassidy set the tone early by making a repeat a priority, leading the chanting “back to back!” at the victory parade. It didn’t reach the level of Pat Riley’s promise at the Lakers’ parade in 1987 — Los Angeles did indeed repeat — but it was still a fairly bold statement less than a week after winning the championship.

“We feel like we’re returning a lot of players to give us that opportunity,” Cassidy said. “We are currently of an age where it wouldn’t be just this year, either. All of these are positive developments for us. I said it in jest at the time, but you’re asking me about it now. We have an equal opportunity as anyone else. I feel that way about where each athlete is in their career and where our team is, but until you get out there, everything is up in the air.”

The odds do not favor back-to-back performances. FanDuel Sportsbook lists Vegas as the sixth-most probable team to win the Stanley Cup, tied with the Dallas Stars at 13-1 odds. The Colorado Avalanche, who won the Stanley Cup two seasons ago, are 8 1/2-1 favorites.

The Knights’ status as underdogs is nothing new. Teams such as the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers received more attention heading into the postseason during the previous season.

After opening the playoffs with a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, however, the Knights went 16-5 for the remainder of the postseason.

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The Knights’ status as underdogs is nothing new.

Now they are back at work, hopeful that this season will end similarly to the previous one.

“We felt we had something to prove to ourselves and the rest of the league after missing the playoffs the previous year,” said center Jack Eichel. It’s an Equis theme.

IN ENEMY PROPERTY
When Eichel had his day with the Cup, he brought it to Chelmsford, Massachusetts, where he is from. That region had anticipated the Bruins would be the ones celebrating after they put together a record-setting regular season only to be eliminated by the Panthers in the first round.

“After they were eliminated, many (Boston) fans said they were rooting for me,” Eichel said. “Whether it was true or false, everyone was respectful.”

LEHNER IS YET ABSENT
Goal-scored Robin Lehner continues to be placed on long-term injured reserve. Six weeks before the start of training camp, he had hip surgery, which caused him to miss the entirety of the previous season. Being on LTIR allows the Knights to exceed the salary cap by Lehner’s $5 million salary.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Scottie Scheffler Arrested Outside PGA Championship, Then Returns And Climbs Leaderboard

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Darlington said police pulled Scheffler out of the car, pushed him up against the car and immediately placed him in handcuffs.

“Scheffler was then walked over to the police car, placed in the back, in handcuffs, very stunned about what was happening, looked toward me as he was in those handcuffs and said, ‘Please help me,’” Darlington said. “He very clearly did not know what was happening in the situation. It moved very quickly, very rapidly, very aggressively.”

Scheffler was released by police and returned to the course at 9:12 a.m. Around 9:30 a.m., he arrived at the practice area to the cheers of fans; one yelled “Free Scottie!” and more followed later wearing “Free Scottie” T-shirts.

Scheffler seemed normal, relaxed, sharing a few laughs on the driving range.

“I was never angry. I was just in shock,” Scheffler said. “I was shaking the whole time. I was shaking for like an hour. It was definitely a new feeling for me.”

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Scottie Scheffler Arrested Outside PGA Championship, Then Returns And Climbs Leaderboard

He could see from a TV in the jail that tee times were pushed back 1 hour20 minutes because of the traffic situation, and realized when an officer knocked on the door and said, “Let’s go,” that he had a chance to play.

He made birdie on his first hole of the day after sticking his approach shot to 3 feet.

Darlington, the ESPN reporter, said police were initially unsure who Scheffler was. He said an officer asked him to leave, and when he identified himself as being with the media, he was told, “There’s nothing you can do. He’s going to jail.”

Darlington said another police officer later approached with a notepad and asked if he knew the name of the person they put in handcuffs.

Scheffler said he never told police who he was except to say, “I’m sorry, I’m just trying to get to my tee time.”

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Scottie Scheffler Arrested Outside PGA Championship, Then Returns And Climbs Leaderboard

Louisville police have attracted negative national attention in recent years after the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020 and a federal investigation into its policing practices.

A Department of Justice report released last year said Louisville officers use excessive force and conduct searches based on invalid warrants. The report said Black motorists in Louisville were more likely to be searched during traffic stops, and officers used neck restraints, police dogs and Tasers against people who posed no imminent threat.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot by officers who had come to her apartment with a warrant that federal officials later said was falsified.

PGA of America, which runs the PGA Championship, offered sympathies for Mills’ family and said, “As it relates to the incident involving Scottie Scheffler, we are fully cooperating as local authorities review what took place.”

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AP – VOR News Image

Scottie Scheffler Arrested Outside PGA Championship, Then Returns And Climbs Leaderboard

Scheffler has won four of his last five tournaments, including his second Masters title. He has been home in Dallas the last three weeks, waiting for the birth of his first child, a son born May 8.

Scheffler is trying to become only the fifth player since 1960 to win the first two majors of the year.

SOURCE – (AP)

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NASCAR planning in-season tournament in 2025, with opening race in Atlanta

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ATLANTA  Following the NBA’s lead, the NASCAR Cup Series plans a five-race, bracket-style tournament in the middle of the 2025 season, beginning with a night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The competition, which features a $1 million reward for the winner, is part of a new media rights agreement that includes TNT.

The Atlanta-based cable network will air all five races in the tournament, beginning with a 400-mile race in its home market on June 28, 2025.

“Next year, having $1 million on the line, that’s for sure going to be a goal before the season starts and something that you and your team strategize around,” Larson said. “I am looking forward to it. The summer months get boring. It’s not dull, although it does become repetitive. “You lose some excitement.”

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NASCAR planning in-season tournament in 2025, with opening race in Atlanta

Atlanta will host the inaugural tournament event, which has produced some of NASCAR’s most dramatic races since the circuit was reconfigured with more banking. The rest of the 36-race program will be released later.

Brandon Hutchison, president and general manager of the Atlanta track, stated that the venue was ready to offer racing after dark after being slated for two-day events this season. Receiving the first event of the new in-season tournament was a bonus.

“We have heard our fans loud and clear,” Hutchison stated. “We understand they wanted the night race back. We were overjoyed to even be able to consider giving it to them. Then, with TNT as a hometown broadcast partner, a home track, and the first season of the in-season bracket tournament in NASCAR history, we believe that June 28, 2025, will be a very exciting moment to be at Atlanta Motor Speedway.”

This season, the NBA introduced a competition that is based on in-season tournaments held by soccer leagues all over the world. The Los Angeles Lakers won the first event in December, defeating Indiana in a championship game hosted in Las Vegas.

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NASCAR planning in-season tournament in 2025, with opening race in Atlanta

The NASCAR tournament will include the top 32 drivers from three seeding races, which will be staged soon before the Atlanta event and aired on Amazon Prime.

The drivers will be paired in head-to-head contests based on seeding, with the victors moving on to the next round in a bracket-style similar to the NCAA basketball championships.

The number of competitors will be decreased to 16 for Race 2, followed by the quarterfinals in Race 3, the semifinals in Race 4, and the final in Race 5.

“There has never been a better time to be a motorsports fan, and this new, first-ever in-season tournament will add a new competitive dynamic to NASCAR’s summer race weekends,” said Craig Barry, executive vice president and chief content officer of TNT Sports.

Hutchison stated that the Atlanta track will continue to hold two races in 2025; however, the full calendar is still pending.

This season, the 1.54-mile oval in suburban Hampton hosted the second points race of the year on Feb. 25 — a week after the Daytona 500 — with Daniel Suarez edging Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch in a three-way photo finish.

The NASCAR playoffs will begin with Atlanta’s second race in 2024 on September 8. Next year, the race will be moved to the in-season tournament rather than the playoffs.

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AP – VOR news Image

NASCAR planning in-season tournament in 2025, with opening race in Atlanta

Denny Hamlin described the competition as “such a win for our sport and drivers” in a post on X, the social media platform that replaced Twitter. He playfully continued, “I’ll collect my $1 million royalty next season.”

Larson believes the tournament will be a much-needed pick-me-up during the summer slump.

“I think this bracket, or whatever you want to call it, is going to add a lot of excitement and more storylines,” he stated. “So I love it.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Simone Biles Is Stepping Into The Olympic Spotlight Again. She Is Better Prepared For The Pressure

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Spring, Texas – Simone Biles isn’t “cured.” Let’s start there.

A cure indicates finality. The ultimate and final victory.

If the gymnastics superstar had learned anything in the three years since those odd, unsure days in Tokyo when she prioritized her mental health and personal safety over her chase of additional Olympic gold, it is that the battle to defend oneself never truly ends. Only partially won.

It’s a lesson she learned in front of the entire world in Japan when Biles arrived as the face of the Summer Games only to withdraw from many competitions, including the team final because her body just stopped doing what her brain told it to do.

At that moment, Biles blamed “the twisties.” On the surface, she was correct. However, they emerged from something deeper and more difficult to define.

“She can’t even explain it (and) the doctors she sees probably can’t either,” said Laurent Landi, who has been coaching Biles with his wife Cecile since 2017. “It was a traumatic event that occurred at a horrible moment for her, and she was unable to deal with it. It’s as simple as this. She couldn’t function. “She couldn’t be a gymnast at the time.”

She can now, but the journey to this point — Biles will compete for the first time in 2024 at this weekend’s U.S. Classic — has been rough. It has taken a new perspective, at times a literal mother’s touch, and ongoing attention to work on herself, which she now realizes has no expiration date.

Biles tried to take all of the extra attention before Tokyo in stride. She portrayed a sense of normalcy. It was only a facade. Her pent-up emotions and aggressions eventually drove her to “crack.”

Biles was in therapy before Tokyo but had interrupted treatment before traveling abroad. With millions watching, she went off the floor at the Ariake Gymnastics Center after a misplaced vault in the women’s team final and contacted her family, who had stayed from home in Texas because of COVID-19 restrictions imposed for the games.

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Simone Biles Is Stepping Into The Olympic Spotlight Again. She Is Better Prepared For The Pressure

Nellie Biles answered the phone and heard her daughter exclaim through tears, “Mom, I really cannot do this.” “I’m lost; I can’t do this.”

So she didn’t. Biles withdrew from a few finals before returning to win bronze on the balance beam, a medal she considers one of the most meaningful of her career. As terrible and frightening as the experience was, it was necessary because it taught Biles that mental health is something she cannot ignore.

“I couldn’t run away from it, you know,” Biles told The Associated Press. “I just acknowledged it and stated, ‘Hey, this is what I’m going through. This is the assistance that I am going to receive.”

Help has driven Biles back to the top of her sport, with another Olympics on the horizon. Help manifests itself in various ways and often from unexpected locations

Biles is confident she is in a better place this time, thanks partly to weekly Thursday meetings with her therapist, which have become an immovable part of her schedule.

Biles went into a practically empty arena last fall in Antwerp, Belgium, for podium training before the world championships, her first team competition since Tokyo. Something about the scene triggered, as Nellie Biles describes it, “a PTSD moment.” Biles dashed off the floor to gather herself after being triggered by an unexpected event.

There were more tears. Increased anxiety. More calls. More reassurance.

“She almost didn’t go back out there,” Nellie Biles explained.

After being “a little bit hesitant,” Biles pushed through, thanks in part to the decision to meet with her therapist, which she rarely did close to competitions before commencing practice for the U.S. Classic in Chicago last summer

The US women were given the afternoon off, and some went to a chocolate factory. Biles opted to remain behind and FaceTime her therapist instead.

“I know how important it is for me to stay present, mindful and not be too anxious,” she stated. “So yes, we will keep that up.”

There were other home comforts in Belgium. Specifically, her family.

Every day, Nellie Biles went to Simone’s hotel room and braided her daughter’s hair for 30-45 minutes, which was a first.

“My daughter is (27) and I know (she) can braid her hair,” Nellie Biles remarked. “But it’s just that touch and closeness. It is that connectedness. It was just what she needed, and it worked.

The meet concluded in the same way that many others had during Biles’ decade-long reign at the top: with a fistful of medals packed in her suitcase for the return flight home, setting the stage for a potentially momentous Olympic year.

Before Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo in 2021, the idea of Olympic history threatened to—and occasionally did—overtake her.

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Simone Biles Is Stepping Into The Olympic Spotlight Again. She Is Better Prepared For The Pressure

It does not anymore. Life has, thankfully, gotten in the way.

One year ago, Biles married Jonathan Owens, the current Chicago Bears safety. The two are constructing a home in the Houston suburbs that will be completed (hopefully) in late summer or early fall

In some ways, she resembles many other 20-something brides in Biles’ orbit. For example, former Olympic teammate MyKayla Skinner had a daughter last September. A part of Biles thinks, “That’s what I should be doing.”

Instead, she’s “still flipping out here,” still making her way to the Biles family’s gym, the World Champions Centre, and practicing with other Olympic hopefuls, many of whom are nearly a decade younger and grew up idolizing her.

Why does she keep putting herself through this? Well, that’s the most important issue of all.

“I think everything I’ve been through, I want to push the limits,” she stated. “I want to see how far I can get. I want to see what I’m still capable of so that when I retire from this sport, I can be fully satisfied with my career and say I gave it my best.”

She is well aware of what may happen this summer that the millions captivated by what happened in Tokyo — from the crowds who cheered her on to the social media haters who labeled her a quitter or worse — would tune in to see if she cracks again.

Those closest to Biles believe she is better prepared for whatever may arise

“She knows something like (Tokyo) can happen because it did happen,” Landi stated. “So it’s just like, ‘OK, I’m going to be careful, I’m going to follow the same protocol every time and then I’m going to avoid (the pitfalls)’ and that’s all you can do.”

Is it the last time? She will not say. That is too far ahead. She does not frequently use the phrases “Paris” or “Olympics” in her chats. This may appear to be purposeful, but it is not. It’s just something she does.

“It’s not like I think that ‘Olympics’ is a plague and I’m trying to avoid it or trying not to say it,” she stated. “I just think there are other things I have to get to before that.”

The U.S. Classic, which takes place this weekend in Connecticut, will feature 2020 Olympic champion Sunisa Lee and 2012 Olympic champion Gabby Douglas. The United States Championships are later this month, and the Olympic Trials start in late June.

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Simone Biles Is Stepping Into The Olympic Spotlight Again. She Is Better Prepared For The Pressure

One turn, routine, rotation, and encounter at a time. With all of her tools, including her therapist, at the ready.

“I feel very confident with where I’m at mentally and physically, that (Tokyo) is not going to happen again just because we have put in the work,” she stated.

There is also something greater at risk here: a message sent by Biles to others. It’s OK to not be OK. It is acceptable to make yourself vulnerable and to be open and truthful about the process, no matter how messy it becomes.

She says she’s lost track of how many people have told her, “Because of you, I’m getting the proper help that I deserve.”

It can be jarring in certain ways. She never intended to become the face of this movement, but it happened anyway.

If Biles retreats to Tokyo rather than face her troubles full on, those folks may lack the guts to ask for something they desperately need. That’s a blessing from the recent Olympics that far transcends any medal.

“As unfortunate as it (was) … it’s exciting because I know that by speaking out it’s helping other people,” Biles stated. “And that’s what I’ve always wanted to do, inside this sport and outside this sport.”

So, she’ll salute the judges on Saturday and return to the spotlight.

No, she has not been cured. She is better, though, even if she is still a work in progress, as are so many others who found the strength to say “me too” after witnessing the biggest star in the American Olympic movement open up about her troubles with so much at risk

This is the true lesson of Tokyo. It was vital, no matter how difficult it felt at the time.

“It’s good that it happened,” Biles stated. “Because I don’t think I would have got the proper help that I need (without it).”

SOURCE – (AP)

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