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Bettman: Next NHL Season Could Start in December or January | Sports News

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By STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Hockey Writer

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Gary Bettman will take his first sigh of relief in months when he presents the Stanley Cup.

“Maybe I’ll get a full night sleep,” the NHL Commissioner said.

Maybe one, and then the work begins on next season. Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly had more questions of their own than answers next season, though it’s always been questionable if it will start on Dec. 1 as tentatively planned.

Bettman on Saturday raised the possibility of a start sometime later in December or even January, though the plan remains for each team to play 82 games and the league hold a full playoffs.

Much like its plan to resume this season, the league hopes to adapt to the pandemic circumstances in the U.S., Canada and worldwide and is open to adjusting on the fly as the situation evolves. Acknowledging there are factors like the U.S.-Canada border and local jurisdictions out of his control that could affect travel and attendance, Bettman indicated Saturday he wouldn’t be surprised if the season begins later than scheduled but would like to avoid playing deep into next summer.

“If there’s an option to consider, believe me, we’re considering it,” Bettman said during his annual pre- Stanley Cup Final news conference. “It’s conceivable that we start without fans, that we move to socially distant fans at some point and by some point in time maybe our buildings are open.”

There’s no way to know yet what a 2020-21 NHL season will look like, and the league is watching what’s going on in European hockey and the other North American professional sports leagues and college athletics to see what’s possible.

“Our goal is to get back to as great a sense of normalcy as possible under whatever circumstances are presented,” Bettman said.

One of the circumstances at play is the closure of the U.S.-Canada border to nonessential travel, which has more of an effect on the NHL than other pro sports leagues because it has seven teams in Canada and 24 in the U.S. until Seattle becomes the 32nd franchise in 2021.

Canada did not allow Major League Baseball’s Blue Jays to play in Toronto this season because of cross-border travel by them and other teams. The Canadian government approved the NHL holding its playoffs in quarantined bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton but has not allowed family members who aren’t Canadian citizens join, as had been planned by the league and players.

“That application remains pending,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “I think at this point, I don’t have a high level of expectation that it will be approved. But it has not formally been denied at this point, either.”

The league is less than two weeks away from pulling off a successful return, after the season was halted March 12. More than 30,000 tests inside the bubbles turned up zero positive coronavirus test results.

Before the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning opened the final, Bettman acknowledged he’s not taking a victory lap yet. He’s still focused on getting through this series even as preparations begin for next season.

Bettman said the league has “started informally thinking” about it and conceded there will be a financial hit because attendance makes up at least 50% of revenue. He’s not worried about any franchises not making it through this and said Seattle joining the league won’t be pushed back.

“While we know it’ll be less (money), we know there’s a substantial revenue impact, I’m comfortable that our franchises will be strong enough to weather this,” Bettman said. “Our franchises will get through this and will come out stronger on the other side.”

Those franchises will be better off when they can have some fans in their buildings, and Daly said everything will be done in the name of safety and in conjunction with national and local health authorities.

“We’re going to see what the circumstances are like and do the best we can,” he said. “We certainly want to maximize efforts to create circumstances where fans can attend our games and we can wait a certain amount of time to try to accommodate that. But at the end of the day, we also want to play a season, so we’re going to see what circumstance are like and make decisions when we need to make decisions.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Clemson QB Lawrence: ‘I Have the Option’ to Leave or Stay | Sports News

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By PETE IACOBELLI, AP Sports Writer

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is leaving the door open about his football future despite previously saying he planned on heading to the NFL following this his junior season.

Lawrence, the 6-foot-6 passer with the flowing hair, is considered the likely consensus No. 1 pick in next spring’s NFL draft.

But on Tuesday, Lawrence said he hasn’t ruled out returning to Clemson for another year instead of going pro.

“My mindset has been that I’m going to move on,” Lawrence said. “But who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen.”

At the forefront could be which NFL team is in line to draft Lawrence. Right now, that’s the offensively challenged New York Jets, who are 0-7 and the league’s only winless team.

Lawrence, from Cartersville, Georgia, has a 31-1 record as a starting college quarterback and has the top-ranked Tigers (6-0) in line for a sixth consecutive ACC title and trip to the College Football Playoff.

Lawrence is scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in December.

Lawrence believes there’s a plan for him, “no matter where I go, whether that’s across the country or whether it’s close to home, whether I stay another year, we’ll work it out,” he said.

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Lando Norris apologises for ‘stupid’ comments about F1 rivals

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“I’m not that kind of person, so know I should apologise to them but also everyone reading/listening. Sorry.”

Last Updated: 27/10/20 11:55am

Lando Norris has issued an apology over recent comments in interviews he admits were “stupid and careless” and that did not show “the respect I should have to certain people”.

Although the McLaren driver did not refer to which specific comments he was referring, they are likely to have been ones about Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton made after Sunday’s Portuguese GP.

A frustrated Norris was heavily critical of Stroll in the immediate aftermath of the race about the lap-17 collision between the two drivers, which earned his Racing Point rival a five-second time penalty from stewards. He claimed that Stroll “doesn’t learn from anything he does”.

In another interview, Norris also seemed to play down Hamilton’s achievement of winning a record 92 races by saying that while he was happy for his countryman “he’s in a car which should win every race, basically. He has to beat one or two other drivers, that’s it”.

But in an apology issued on Twitter on Tuesday, Norris wrote: “I’ve been stupid and careless with some things I’ve said lately in media and interviews, and haven’t shown the respect I should have to certain people.

“I’m not that kind of person, so know I should apologise to them but also everyone reading/listening. Sorry.”

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Lanco Stroll went wheel-to-wheel with Lando Norris over seventh place, the two made contact during the Portuguese GP.

Lanco Stroll went wheel-to-wheel with Lando Norris over seventh place, the two made contact during the Portuguese GP.

Norris finished outside the points at Portimao after being forced to pit for repairs after the Turn-One clash with Stroll amid a fight for seventh place, having run as high as four in the early stages after both McLarens made storming starts.

The 20-year-old, who was forced out of the previous race when running well at the Nurburgring due to power unit problems, is on a run of three grands prix without points and lost ground in the multi-driver fight for fourth in the championship.



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Can I celebrate Halloween during the pandemic? | NanaimoNewsNOW

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“There are lots of creative ways to approach this and make this year memorable,” said Dr. Colleen S. Kraft, who specializes in infectious diseases at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

If you’re venturing out, experts say to keep a 6-foot distance from others and sanitize hands regularly as you normally would.

Protective face coverings — plastic costume masks don’t count — should also be a part of every Halloween get-up, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some cities have discouraged or even banned door-to-door trick-or-treating. In places where it’s allowed, there are ways to make it safer.

Various devices such as plastic grabbers can help you hand out candy without any physical contact, says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Marking 6-foot spacing on sidewalks and driveways with duct tape or chalk can also discourage people from gathering at the front door.

Those with any COVID-19 symptoms, known exposures to the virus or pending tests results should stay home, according to the CDC. And experts say to avoid indoor parties and haunted houses since a lack of ventilation could make it easier for the virus to spread.

As Michigan health officials put it: “The only thing scary about Halloween should be the costumes.”

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The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org.

Read previous Viral Questions:

What do we know about superspreader events in the pandemic?

Does the coronavirus spread easily among children?

What are the rules on masks in schools?

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