Sabres place Elie on waivers; Leafs cut Marincin

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5:18 PM ET

Associated Press

The Buffalo Sabres have placed underperforming forward Remi Elie on waivers, and the Toronto Maple Leafs pared their defensive depth by waiving Martin Marincin.

The Sabres announced the move Saturday, while a person familiar with the Maple Leafs decision told The Associated Press about Marincin.

Elie was placed on waivers for demotion to the minors a day after playing a team-low nine shifts in a 7-3 loss to Chicago. He played his second consecutive game after being a healthy scratch in Buffalos previous seven.

Elie has one assist in 16 games since being waived by Dallas and claimed by the Sabres on Oct. 2.

Marincin becomes the odd man out after Toronto acquired defenseman Jake Muzzin in a trade with Los Angeles on Monday. The sixth-year player has two assists in 10 games this season and will be assigned to the minors should he go unclaimed.

This article was originally published by Espn.com. Read the original article here.

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Limo shortage feared in Atlanta on SB weekend

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9:14 PM ET

Associated Press

ATLANTA Limousine companies are blaming the state of Georgia for leaving them 300 to 400 vehicles short of whats needed to transport NFL owners, corporate clients and others this Super Bowl weekend.

Amy Patterson, vice president of operations and logistics with Atlantas Super Bowl Host Committee, said in a letter to Georgias public safety commissioner that she fears this will become a viral news story and a black eye for the state.

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State law bars out-of-state limousines that arent insured and registered in Georgia. Limousine firms say they should get an exemption for special events such as the Super Bowl. The states public safety chief says he wont allow it.

The concerns were first reported by Atlantas Fox affiliate, WAGA-TV.

We are begging Gov. [Brian] Kemp to step in and protect the people of Atlanta, the people of Georgia, the people coming in from out of town to allow us to safely handle their transportation, said Jeff Greene, president of the Greater Atlanta Limousine Association. Greene calls the situation extremely, extremely urgent.

Kemp said hes leaving it up to Georgias Department of Public Safety commissioner, Col. Mark McDonough, and the colonel says he wont bend.

McDonough said the law is needed for public safety, noting that chauffeured vehicles have been involved in deadly accidents.

Theyre basically asking the colonel of state patrol to set aside state law. Thats kind of brash, McDonough told WAGA-TV. Thats not something Im going to give permission to do.

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Greene said limousine firms were allowed to use out-of-state vehicles to handle the crush of VIPs during the 1996 Olympic Games and the 2000 Super Bowl in Atlanta. But McDonough said he cant find written proof that was allowed to happen.

The situation is between the limousine companies and the state, a representative of the Super Bowl Host Committee said in a Friday email to The Associated Press.

In a separate email to the AP, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau spokesman Heather Kirksey said, We arent aware of a transportation shortage.

But limousine company owner Fred Rich said, Were going to have to break major contracts.

Were going to have to tell major, major corporate clients we cant handle their VIP travelers, Rich said.

Authorities have been urging everyone else to use public transportation.

This article was originally published by Espn.com. Read the original article here.

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Giants Barkley continues run, named top rookie

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5:46 PM ET

ESPN News Services

Saquon Barkley, described by some as a generational running back, is The Associated Press 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The second overall draft pick who rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns behind a weak New York Giants offensive line drew 26.5 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league.

Browns QB Baker Mayfield and Giants RB Saquon Barkley, the top two picks in last years NFL draft, have a bet riding on the outcome of the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

Barkley edged top overall draft pick Baker Mayfield, who earned 21.5 votes. In addition to the award, Barkley also will soon be sporting a chain courtesy of Mayfield as a result of a wager with the Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback on the outcome.

The losers got to get someone else a chain, Barkley told cleveland.com earlier this week. We get to pick the chain and we get to have fun with it because obviously everyones talking about whos going to win.

In a rarity, a guard, Quenton Nelson of the Indianapolis Colts, got two votes in balloting announced at NFL Honors.

Barkley also made a team-high 91 receptions for 721 yards, and his 2,028 yards from scrimmage led the NFL.

This kid is a special player, a special talent, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. Hes such a big, powerful guy that has breakaway speed. Sometimes, its impossible, but you kind of have to get two or three bodies on him. Hes a tremendous running back, and a load to bring down.

Barkley is the second Giants player in five seasons to win the award; wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., took it in 2014. They are the only Giants to win it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This article was originally published by Espn.com. Read the original article here.

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Fowler fires 64, moves step closer to Phoenix title

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6:25 PM ET

Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Rickie Fowler had eight birdies in a 7-under 64 on Saturday, taking a four-shot lead over Matt Kuchar into the final round of the Phoenix Open.

Twice a runner-up at TPC Scottsdale, Fowler navigated a difficult two-putt on the par-4 18th hole to reach 20-under 193.

Kuchar shot a bogey-free 65 to put himself in position for his third victory of the wraparound PGA Tour season. He won the Mayakoba Classic and Sony Open.

Justin Thomas, who started a shot behind Fowler, shot 65 and will be five back of his friend and desert roommate headed into Sundays final round.

Branden Grace and Byeong Hun An were seven back at 13 under.

This article was originally published by Espn.com. Read the original article here.

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Best of Bill Belichick at 2019 Super Bowl, by (or buy) the book

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12:00 AM ET

ATLANTA New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked by a reporter Wednesday whether he would consider writing a book when his career is over. As he often does, Belichick deflected the topic by mentioning that his only focus is the upcoming game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Then there was a pause before Belichick had a question of his own.

Would you buy one?

That sparked laughter throughout the room.

Bill Belichick tends to have a little more fun during his news conferences at the Super Bowl.Matt Rourke/AP Photo

Belichicks wit and dry sense of humor dont often shine through when hes behind the dais. But if there is a time when they do, its the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Of course, Belichick has been to nine of them as Patriots head coach, so he knows this drill well.

Nothing could top what he said before Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, when he noted that he never received much friendly hospitality until the time he unsuccessfully went for it on fourth-and-2 a reference to the 2009 season and a 35-34 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

But Belichick was clearly in his element this week, including on Wednesday, when he went on for 6 minutes, 15 seconds when asked how much he values history. At the end of his answer, he smiled and said, Thats a long answer to a short question. Thank you for getting me going on that. Class will start tomorrow at 9.

Because Im a masochist, I transcribed Bill Belichicks entire soliloquy on football history from todays news conference. 953 words. Six minutes and 15 seconds. Fascinating stuff. Here it is in full: pic.twitter.com/y94DEgZrAy

Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) January 31, 2019

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There were some similar moments along the way, starting from Mondays opening night, when he sat at podium No. 5 and patiently fielded a variety of questions. When things started slowly and no one asked an initial question, he cracked, All right, thats it?

He wasnt exactly soaking up the scene like tight end Rob Gronkowski, but he played along as he was handed a shirt with his picture on it and appreciated that the sleeves were cut off.

Later in the week, the 66-year-old Belichick was talking about his history in the game when he said, Its fascinating for me to talk to people that predate me. I guess there arent that many more. There are a couple.

The self-deprecating humor went over well and was reflective of how Belichick at times struck a more relaxed tone than the norm.

He said theres no place hed rather be than working during Super Bowl week, and it showed.

This article was originally published by Espn.com. Read the original article here.

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Burnley net late penalty to leave Saints with just a point

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12:10 PM ET

* Late Barnes penalty secures 1-1 draw against Southampton

* Spot kick cancels out Redmond opener for the visitors

* Saints striker Ings goes off injured in the 27th minute

* Barnes booked after penalty appeal failed in 33rd minute

* Superb Redmond 25-yard strike puts Saints ahead in 55th

* Barnes volleyed against the bar for frustrated Burnley

* Barnes levels for hosts in injury time from the spot

* Burnley are at Brighton next, Southampton host Cardiff

BURNLEY 1 SOUTHAMPTON 1

Feb 2 (Reuters) Burnley converted a stoppage time penalty through Ashley Barnes to earned a 1-1 draw with Southampton at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Saturday.

A superb 55th minute strike from Nathan Redmond had given Southampton the lead before the late drama.

With the clock running down, Ashley Westwood lofted a cross towards Burnleys new signing, substitute Peter Crouch, and Saints defender Jack Stephens rose and appeared to handle.

Burnley had not been given a penalty in their previous 67 league games but Barnes kept his cool and slotted past Alex McCarthy to extend the home sides unbeaten run to six games.

Southampton, revitalised under Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, are unbeaten in five and have now claimed eight points from a possible 12 in their last four away matches.

Burnley will consider the penalty just reward after they had a strong appeal for a spot kick turned down in the 33rd minute when Barnes went down under challenge from McCarthy.

Redmonds opener was a fine solo effort, the midfielder picking the ball up deep, running at the defence and beating keeper Tom Heaton with a low drive into the bottom corner.

The introduction of 38-year-old debutant Crouch in the 76th minute caused some chaos in the Saints defence and Barnes had smashed a volley against the bar before he scored from the spot. (Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)

This article was originally published by Espnfc.com. Read the original article here.

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Barcelonas Lionel Messi faces fitness race ahead of Copa Clasico

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BARCELONA, Spain Lionel Messi is a minor doubt for Barcelonas game against Real Madrid on Wednesday after ending Saturdays 2-2 draw with Valencia with a thigh problem.

Messi, who scored twice as Barca came from two goals down to earn a point against Valencia at Camp Nou, received treatment on the sidelines for five minutes during the second half.

The Argentine forward was eventually able to finish the game, but he will now undergo tests to determine the severity of the injury.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde is hopeful that its nothing too serious and is optimistic that Messi will be available to face Madrid in the Copa del Rey semifinal first leg.

We have to wait until [Sunday] to see how the pain is, Valverde said in his postgame news conference. I cant help you any more than that. We hope that he will recover [in time] for Madrid. Either on Sunday or on Monday well determine exactly what the problem is.

I dont know what it is. We will see what the medical team tell us but we dont imagine it is anything too bad.

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Fear, paranoia, difficult behaviour and constant battling with club officials and players led to the inevitable, writes Rob Dawson.

When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentinas most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.

Barca beat Madrid 5-1 in the league earlier this season with Messi missing through injury, but he once again demonstrated his importance against Valencia.

A goal from Kevin Gameiro and a Dani Parejo penalty had given Valencia an unexpected 2-0 lead at Camp Nou but Messis 20th and 21st league goals of the season earned Barca a draw.

He scored from the penalty spot just before half-time and added his second after the break with a brilliant finish from 20 yards as Barcas eight-game winning streak in La Liga came to an end.

Valencia started really well but after that we were in control of the game, Valverde said. We werent switched on and they caught us on the counter and then doubled their lead with the penalty.

But we have taken charge of the game from there. We were dominating the ball and the feeling was that we could score goals. It was a good reaction in the end but when you dont win you always feel that something has slipped away.

Barca could see their lead at the top cut to three points if Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis on Sunday, but in the meantime they will turn their attention to Wednesdays Clasico in the cup.

As well as Messi, there are also doubts about Ousmane Dembeles availability for the game. The Frenchman has missed Barcas last four matches and Valverde said he didnt know whether he would make his comeback from injury against Madrid on Wednesday or at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

This article was originally published by Espnfc.com. Read the original article here.

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Premier League January transfer spending falls for first time since 2012

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La Liga correspondent Sid Lowe joins the show to talk Denis Suarez and what type of impact hell have at Arsenal.

Alexis Nunes and Paul Mariner tackle this weekends Premiere League fixtures, including a big match up between Manchester City and Arsenal.

The amount spent by Premier League clubs in the January transfer window fell for the first time since 2012, figures released by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte have shown.

Clubs in the top division spent 180 million in the winter window, down from 430m last year, when150m was spent on deadline day compared with 50m this year.

The figure takes total gross spending by Premier League clubs this season to an estimated 1.4 billion, the second-highest after last seasons 1.9bn, while the league was the highest-spending in Europe ahead of Serie A.

With help from former Tottenham and Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli, we show you a step-by-step guide to a transfer.

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Almost one-third of this Januarys spending came on one player Chelseas 57m move for Borussia Dortmunds United States international midfielder Christian Pulisic, while Newcastle spent around 20m on Atlanta Uniteds Miguel Almiron.

Last years winter window featured a number of big-money moves including Virgil van Dijks 75m arrival at Liverpool from Southampton.

In January 2012 Premier League clubs spent 120m, with that total increasing to 130m in the following two winters and then rising to 175m, 215m and 430m in the next three years.

The Deloitte figures showed that transfers by the top flights big six clubs accounted accounting for 43 percent of this Januarys expenditure, down from 62 percent at this time last year.

This article was originally published by Espnfc.com. Read the original article here.

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Cop in Blake arrest says he got death threats

TennisCop in Blake arrest says he got death threats

7:01 PM ET Associated Press NEW YORK The police officer who tackled retired tennis player James Blake in a mistaken arrest outside a Manhattan hotel testified Tuesday that he and his family have received death threats since the 2015 incident. Officer James Frascatore was part of an undercover operation targeting credit card fraud and

… read more

July 31, 2018 by admin 0 Comments

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Fellainis move to China, Giovinco to Saudi Arabia highlight busy window in Asia

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The transfer window may still be open in parts of Asia, but with the New Year holiday approaching in much of the continent, many deals have been done. ESPNFC takes a look at some of the most significant.

Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United, England) to Shandong Luneng, China)

With help from former Tottenham and Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli, we show you a step-by-step guide to a transfer.

Can a 44-year-old man cut it in the Premier League? Our writer suffers and suffers some more through a medical at Everton.

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Despite the wild stories of Marko Arnautovic leaving West Ham for an unnamed Chinese Super League club, this has been a relatively quiet window in China. The biggest move came late January with the Belgian star leaving Manchester for the industrial city of Jinan. Fellaini could shine as the team looks for a first title since 2010.

Hwang In-beom (Daejeon, South Korea to Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada)

This transfer came out of the blue as many expected the newly established South Korean international to move to Germany, but instead he is MLS bound. Reports suggest that Vancouver paid close to $2 million for the 22 year-old, outbidding any European suitors. Hwang, creative and hard working, is set to be a central part of the Korean midfield for years to come.

Milos Degenek (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia to Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia)

The Australia defender had an Asian Cup to forget in the end as it was his mistake that let in the United Arab Emirates to score and win the quarterfinal. The well-travelled 24-year-old has plenty going on to take his mind off that as during the tournament it was announced that he was moved back to Asia from Europe to sign for Saudi champs Al Hilal.

Wu Lei (Shanghai SIPG, China, to Espanyol, Spain)

Chinese fans have been waiting to see one of their own in one of the big leagues for some time now and Wu is the best player the country has. Still, the 2018 Chinese Super League top scorer will have to step up his game at Chinese-owned Espanyol, but if anyone can do it, Wu can.

Ikhsan Fandi (Young Lions, Singapore to Raufoss IL, Norway)

The teenage striker, already a full international, deserves credit for heading to Norways second division to move out of his Singapore comfort zone. In doing so, Ikhsan can also move out of the shadow cast by his legendary father, Fandi Ahmad.

Taylor Regan (Adelaide United, Australia to Selangor, Malaysia)

The 30-year-old has already spent time in Malaysia with Negeri Sembilan, but signed for a much bigger team in Selangor. In between Regan was with Adelaide United in the A-League and continues a fine tradition of Australian centre-backs turning out for the Red Giants.

Reza Ghoochannejhad (APOEL, Cyprus to Sydney FC, Australia)

A-League clubs have been criticised for not looking to Asia enough so this move is welcome. The 31-year-old has years of experience in Europe and went to the 2018 World Cup with Iran and it was his goals that played a major part in taking Team Melli to the 2014 edition. His direct running and composure in front of goal could make a difference over the rest of the A-League season.

Safiq Rahim (JDT, Malaysia to Melaka United, Malaysia)

One of the best Malaysian players in the past decade, it will be strange to see the midfielder take the pitch against his old team Johor this year. Safiq led the Southern Tigers to new heights and at 31, there is still enough in the tank to do the same further along the coast.

Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC, Canada to Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia)

The former Juventus star is taking his goals, creativity and all round attacking ability from North America to the Middle East. According to his social media posts, the 32 year-old was reluctant to leave Canada but Torontos loss is Al Hilals gain as the former Italy international could be a star in Saudi Arabia.

Diogo Santo (Buriram, Thailand to JDT, Malaysia)

Signing the prolific Brazilian forward could be a real coup for Johor as they prepare for a first attempt in the AFC Champions League. Diogo scored for fun to the north and creates plenty too.

Kim Min-jae (Jeonbuk Motors, South Korea to Beijing Guoan)

One of Asias brightest prospects was linked to English Premier League club Watford and no wonder as he has established himself in the middle of Koreas defence. In the end however Monster, who missed the 2018 World Cup due to injury, moved across the Yellow Sea for a fee reported to be close to $8 million.

Rafael Ramazotti (Hougang United, Singapore to FC Juarez, Mexico)

Singapore to Mexico is not a well-worn transfer route and it was not one that Hougang intended to use this January. The month started with the club signing Ramazotti on the first day of the new year but 23 days later, the Brazilian striker was unveiled as a FC Juarez player halfway across the world. Hougang quickly terminated his contract.

This article was originally published by Espnfc.com. Read the original article here.

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