Should there be a ‘good guy’ exception for NHL suspensions?

After Ducks center Andrew Cogliano was suspended, snapping his streak of 830 consecutive games played, former NHL tough guy Tie Domi tweeted that the league should have considered Cogliano’s streak — and respect among his peers — in meting out justice.
www.espn.com – NHL

Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar surrounded by enablers as he abused athletes

Understanding how Dr. Larry Nassar gained unfettered access to sexually assault young female athletes — despite repeated warning signs — means confronting an uncomfortable truth: He didn’t gain that access alone.
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Sources: Rockets push into Clips’ locker room

Houston’s James Harden, Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green pushed into the LA Clippers’ locker room Monday night looking to confront Austin Rivers after the Rockets’ loss, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
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The best and worst NFL free-agent signings of 2017

The Vikings signed a backup quarterback in an under-the-radar deal last March. Now that QB has them one game from the Super Bowl. Here are the deals that exceeded, met or fell short of expectations — good and bad.
www.espn.com – NFL

Vikings stun Saints on miracle last-second TD

Case Keenum hit Stefon Diggs for a 61-yeard touchdown as time ran out and Minnesota beat New Orleans in extraordinary fashion.

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Who will win the Calder Trophy this season?

The rookie of the year hunt is shaping up as a three-horse race between Canucks winger Brock Boeser, who’s on pace to score 40 goals; Islanders center — and human highlight reel — Mathew Barzal; and dynamic Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
www.espn.com – NHL

Silver: Alleged Trump remarks ‘discouraging’

Adam Silver says Trump’s alleged vulgar reference to Haiti and some African countries last week “is discouraging” but will not “deter” the work of the NBA and NBPA.
www.espn.com – NBA

Inside the play that saved the Vikings’ season — and crushed the Saints

Minnesota had less than a 3 percent chance to win before Diggs caught the 61-yard touchdown pass from Keenum. Here’s how the tide changed in the final moments — from both teams’ perspectives.
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Mularkey, Titans mutually agree to part ways

The Titans and head coach Mike Mularkey mutually agreed to part ways Monday morning, two days after Tennessee was eliminated by New England in the AFC divisional round.
www.espn.com – NFL

Warriors win in the north despite huge rally by Raptors

Golden State scored 81 first-half points in Toronto, but the Raptors fought all the way back and put a major scare in the defending champs.
www.espn.com – NBA

NHL awards race: Leaders for Hart, Vezina, Norris and more

At the midpoint of the 2017-18 season, there has been little separation in any of the awards races — well, aside from the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year. Here’s the latest look at the players in the mix for all the major awards.
www.espn.com – NHL

Sources: Patricia expected to be Lions coach

New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is likely to become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
www.espn.com – NFL

Friends Sean Payton, Mike Zimmer are ‘same guy’ in different packages

They might appear to be different, but Payton and Zimmer share a bond on and off the field, along with a relentless intensity that drives their teams.
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NHL Best and Worst: Classic quotes and unlikely streaks

Patrice Bergeron's four-goal game was only one of the rare feats accomplished this week.

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Why is fighting in the NHL down to historic lows?

Through the midpoint of the season, we’re on pace for the fewest fighting majors ever. We dive into that phenomenon, plus thoughts on Canada’s Olympic team, All-Star snubs, dancing Russians, this week’s jersey foul and much more.
www.espn.com – NHL

Giannis gets hard lessons from Kevin Durant

Giannis Antetokounmpo is becoming a star, but Friday’s game showed that he still has work to do before he’s considered at or near Kevin Durant’s level.
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Fan ejected for cursing at Warriors’ Thompson

A fan sitting in the front row at Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Bradley Center was removed from his seat by ushers after he yelled obscenities at Golden State’s Klay Thompson during the fourth quarter Friday night.
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Source: Knee injury contributed to Cam’s fall

The NFL, while conducting a probe into concussion protocol procedures concerning Cam Newton, will take into consideration a knee injury suffered by the Panthers QB, a source told ESPN.
www.espn.com – NFL

Which playoff bubble team could actually win the Stanley Cup?

Few teams have more potential for a deep run than the Penguins. The Ducks were a conference finalist last season and still have the health, scoring and solid goaltending to surge again. And the rest of the West should watch out for the Wild.
www.espn.com – NHL

Chris Paul and the pursuit of passing perfection

Passing isn’t just an art and a science to Chris Paul. It’s an obsession that has helped create one of the greatest floor generals in NBA history.
www.espn.com – NBA

Barnwell: Should NFL teams rest starters in Week 17? Cases for and against

Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger are among the Steelers stars who rested for the last game of the regular season. Should they be worried after watching the Rams lose at home? Bill Barnwell dug into recent history to find out.
www.espn.com – NFL

Divisional insight and predicted winners

Which teams will advance to the conference championship games? Using insight from coaches and players, our reporters pick this weekend’s winners.
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The case for trading Auston Matthews

Trade a franchise center and former No. 1 overall pick? Sure, it seems crazy, but dealing Auston Matthews could bring the Maple Leafs a huge haul ahead of their leading scorer’s looming free agency at the end of the 2018-19 season.
www.espn.com – NHL

Markkanen goes for career-high 33 in 2OT win

Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen made the most of his first game at Madison Square Garden, hitting eight 3-pointers and finishing with a career-best 33 points in a 122-119 double-overtime win over the Knicks.
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Playoff bracket reset: Insiders predict 7 remaining matchups

With two upsets on wild-card weekend, the 2017 playoff bracket was upended. So we asked 11 ESPN Insiders to re-pick every game through Super Bowl LII. Will Tom Brady win title No. 6?
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How Case Keenum became the improbable face of a faceless contender

Undrafted as the most prolific passer in NCAA history. Undervalued as a backup. Still underestimated as the leader of the NFC’s No. 2 seed. Keenum’s breakout season seemed to come out of nowhere — except that it didn’t.
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NHL GMs on the hot seat: Who deserves it?

Here are seven general managers currently feeling the heat in the NHL — either because they followed up great seasons with stinkers or because they’ve been marinating in their own stink for some time — along with what the future holds.
www.espn.com – NHL

Lowe: Can Miami get red-hot again without making a big move?

Zach Lowe goes deep on a Heat squad trying to spark another incredible run this season. Is this a sleeping East contender, or do the Heat need to swing a major deal?
www.espn.com – NBA

Jerry Rice: Gruden’s ‘Chucky’ is coming for the young Raiders

Although Gruden hasn’t roamed the sideline in a decade, one of his former stars said he knows that the coach won’t take long to show his fire.
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Can Jon Gruden revive the Raiders again?

Is Gruden worth $ 100 million? Is he a great coach? What could his offense look like? Bill Barnwell runs through the mystery surrounding the Raiders’ hire — and what’s next.
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NHL midpoint awards: Best and worst of the season so far

We’ve handed out our choices for the traditional (legitimate) postseason awards. Now it’s time for a collection of bests, worsts, surprises and bummers, including best game, most disturbing trend and hot take that will look freezing cold by May.
www.espn.com – NHL

How Tua Tagovailoa became Alabama’s unlikely legend

Nick Saban saw that Alabama could not run the ball against Georgia, so he inserted a freshman gunslinger at QB. A gutsy call only Saban could make.
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NBA player rankings: Steph Curry right back to his MVP form

The Warriors point guard is back from injury and fighting a red-hot DeMar DeRozan for the top spot in our weekly rankings.
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The biggest offseason need for all 32 teams

The Browns have enough draft capital and cap space to find a long-term solution at quarterback. With other big decisions looming across the league, NFL Nation reporters assess every team’s top priority.
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How we’d realign the NHL divisions after expansion to Seattle

If the league adds a franchise in Seattle, how will the 32 teams be divided? Here’s our vision of the future — including a return of the old-school Smythe, Norris, Adams and Patrick names.
www.espn.com – NHL

NBA Power Rankings: Is IT the answer for the Cavaliers?

Isaiah Thomas is finally on the court for Cleveland, and Boston is riding a six-game winning streak, but both Eastern Conference contenders are still looking up at the undisputed No. 1.
www.espn.com – NBA

The big question for every remaining playoff team

Will the Steelers be at full strength? Are the Eagles good enough to overcome the loss of Carson Wentz? Here’s what’s facing the eight teams in the divisional round.
www.espn.com – NFL

Ranking the clearest paths to Super Bowl LII from 8 to 1

The NFL playoff bracket is setting up nicely for the Vikings, who could be the first team in league history to play a Super Bowl at home. How do the teams’ Super Bowl routes stack up from toughest to easiest?
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What Olympic hockey rosters would look like with NHL players

The NHL has prohibited its players from participating in the 2018 Olympics. What could have been if world’s top pros had been allowed to compete? From Team USA to Canada, and Russia to Sweden, we came up with our ideal rosters for the medal contenders.
www.espn.com – NHL

Luke Kuechly has been ultimate chess foe for Sean Payton, Drew Brees

The third Saints-Panthers matchup this season will require extra planning on both sides as Sean Payton and Drew Brees try to outhink Luke Kuechly.
www.espn.com – NFL

Playoffs Confidential: Blitzing Brady, grounding Gurley, negating Newton — players, coaches tell all

NFL Nation reporters asked players, coaches and team personnel for their anonymous thoughts on each playoff team.
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Are the Golden Knights the best expansion franchise ever?

The NHL’s newest team is off to a historically great start. Its recent eight-game run tied Vegas with the 1976-77 Nuggets for the longest winning streak by a pro franchise in its inaugural season. Here’s how it stacks up against other first-year forays.
www.espn.com – NHL

Sources: Raiders giving 10-year deal to Gruden

The Raiders will sign Jon Gruden, who coached Oakland from 1998 to 2001, to a 10-year deal that will likely approach $ 100 million, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
www.espn.com – TOP
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After Isaiah Thomas’ slow grind back, Cavs in no rush to ramp up his minutes

The Cavaliers haven’t said when Isaiah Thomas’ minutes restriction will be lifted or when the All-NBA point guard will be available to play back-to-backs, but Thomas is eager to return to full-time action.
www.espn.com – NBA

Barnwell’s NFL playoff preview: A guide to all 66 possible matchups

Injuries have left the NFC wide open. A Steelers-Patriots rematch in the AFC? Don’t be so certain. Bill Barnwell lines up the many potential postseason scenarios.
www.espn.com – NFL

Lowe’s 10 things: A LeBron-Love dance, the fighting Clips and OKC

Zach Lowe highlights LeBron James and Kevin Love pick-and-rolls, Lou Williams’ insane scoring, the Thunder in crunch time and more.
www.espn.com – NBA

Weekly Reader: Teams that will be buyers — or sellers — on the trade market

Which franchises are open for business, and who’s looking to add assets as the trade deadline looms? The Penguins need another center, the Kings have cap space to spare, and the Blues and Islanders are among the teams sizing up center Max Pacioretty.
www.espn.com – NHL

’16 Heisman winner Jackson declares for draft

Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, the first player in college football history to record at least 3,500 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in consecutive seasons, is entering the NFL draft.
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Patriots on the brink: A 40-year-old QB, a furious coach and cracks starting to show

Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft are aiming for a sixth Lombardi Trophy. But friction between the coach and star QB could put the future of the dynasty in doubt.
www.espn.com – NFL

The Rockets and Warriors run historic offenses in wildly different ways

They put up huge numbers with unmatched shooting, but the two best offenses in the NBA — while historically potent — are actually nothing alike.
www.espn.com – NBA

Are the Penguins still a top Stanley Cup contender?

Sidney Crosby & Co. started the season as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup — for a third straight time. Things haven’t gone well, leaving us to wonder if their window of legitimate contention has closed. Here’s what the underlying numbers say.
www.espn.com – NHL

Best and worst QBs of 2017

The GOAT had an MVP-caliber year, but he wasn’t the best of the season by our metric. And while DeShone Kizer was the QB of an 0-16 team, he wasn’t quite the worst.
www.espn.com – NFL

Wooden Watch: The conversation starts with Young

The Oklahoma star has announced himself to the nation, and is the leader in the conversation for the Wooden Award. But he has company.
www.espn.com – TOP
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Batherson leads Canada to big win over Swiss

Drake Batherson scored twice as Canada earned an 8-2 quarter-final win over Switzerland on Tuesday.

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Morning Skate: New Year’s resolutions for the NHL

We have some suggestions for the NHL in 2018, including refining (or abolishing) the offside coach’s challenge; giving fan bases in Arizona, Ottawa and Calgary clarity; and better promoting young stars like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews in the U.S.
www.espn.com – NHL

What is Kyrie Irving chasing? And why chase it without LeBron?

This is the inside story of Irving’s last year in Cleveland, from his relationship with LeBron James to his demand to leave to what he is hoping to find as a member of the Boston Celtics.
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‘He’s still part of the Boston family.’ What IT means to the Celtics

Isaiah Thomas spent just two-plus seasons in green, but Boston’s “King in the Fourth” left a Celtics legacy that goes beyond the basketball court.
www.espn.com – NBA

11 games, 1 champion: NFL Insiders predict 2017 playoff bracket

A Patriots repeat? Maybe a surprise team out of the NFC? The Lombardi Trophy is up for grabs, and we’re here to guide you through the field.
www.espn.com – NFL

DeRozan’s historic night drives Raptors win

DeMar DeRozan poured in a career-high and franchise-record 52 points and the Toronto Raptors opened the new year with a thrilling 131-127 victory.

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How Henrik Lundqvist became the king of outdoor hockey games

Henrik Lundqvist loves playing al fresco — and the challenges that come with stopping pucks in freezing temperatures and blinding glare. Maybe that’s why the goalie is 4-0-0 in stadia following the Rangers’ 3-2 OT Winter Classic win over the Sabres.
www.espn.com – NHL

What you need to know about Alabama-Georgia

The teams will meet at the epicenter of SEC football in Atlanta to battle it out for the national championship trophy. Here’s what to expect.
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Koby Altman got his dream job, but is he up for the challenge of keeping LeBron?

Koby Altman once traded a lucrative real estate career for long nights watching film and doing laundry in hopes of becoming an NBA GM. Now that he’s there, he’s tasked with one big job: Keep LeBron.
www.espn.com – NBA

NFL Power Rankings: Who had season’s easiest, toughest schedules

Who had the smoothest path to the playoffs? Which teams were hampered by difficult slates? Here’s how our experts stack the league with the regular season in the books.
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Bills break longest playoff drought in sports

Buffalo's win against Miami means for the first time since 1999 the Bills will be playing on Wild Card weekend.

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New Year’s resolutions for James Harden, Kyrie Irving and more

What could make James Harden even more unguardable? What’s holding back Kyrie Irving? Here’s what five franchise players can improve upon to have a happier new year in 2018.
www.espn.com – NBA

What’s in, what’s out for 2018 in the NHL

Connor McDavid in the playoffs? Whatever, that’s so 2017. In 2018, all the cool kids are excited about Taylor Hall and the high-flying Devils making the playoffs. Get up to speed with the latest trends in the NHL now that the calendar has flipped.
www.espn.com – NHL

Sources: Bears fire Fox after last-place finish

John Fox is out as the Bears’ coach after Chicago finished last in the NFC North for the third consecutive season.
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NFL playoff primer: Bracket, Super Bowl paths, X factors, more

The field is set, and the league’s best 12 teams are in. Here’s your guide to everything you need to know about the race to Super Bowl LII, from schedules to reasons for hope — and concern.
www.espn.com – NFL

Pelton mail: Do the Wizards really play down to the competition?

Kevin Pelton answers questions on Klay Thompson’s defense, who gets their shots blocked the most, the mystifying Wizards and more.
www.espn.com – NBA

The best trades and signings of 2017

The past year featured plenty of movement in the NHL. From Kevin Shattenkirk giving the Rangers a hometown discount to Vegas plucking Marc-Andre Fleury from the Penguins to the Golden Knights dealing for Jonathan Drouin, here are 2017’s savviest moves.
www.espn.com – NHL

NFL playoff picture: What’s at stake in Week 17

Three berths, a first-round bye, home-field advantage in the AFC and the NFC South crown are still up for grabs. Here’s everything on the line Sunday.
www.espn.com – NFL

Weekly Reader: 10 audacious hockey predictions for 2018

Greg Wyshynski peers into his crystal ball and predicts that, among other things, John Tavares will test free agency, the U.S. women will win Olympic gold and Jaromir Jagr will hang up his skates in 2018.
www.espn.com – NHL

Schedule alert! Every game tired teams should lose in January

Next month features the most sever schedule disadvantage of the season. How much did the schedule affect teams in December, and who should be on alert in January?
www.espn.com – NBA

Holiday gifts from teammates to NFL offensive linemen: Boots, watches, more

Quarterbacks led the way in playing Santa Claus for the men tasked with keeping them upright, though others were feeling plenty generous, too.
www.espn.com – NFL

Don’t forget about Lamar Jackson as he caps another spectacular year

Lamar Jackson was better this year than he was during his Heisman campaign, but he has been a forgotten man in 2017. On Saturday, in what is probably his last college game, he’s looking to go out with a win.
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As the Winter Classic turns 10, here’s why we’re still watching

The novelty of watching professional hockey outdoors — it might be snowing! — hasn’t worn off. But that’s not the only reason we’re hyped for another edition of the NHL’s New Year’s Day showcase.
www.espn.com – NHL

Harden: Two-ref crew ‘can’t happen’ in NBA

An injury to referee Mark Lindsay left Thursday’s Rockets-Celtics game one official short, drawing the ire of James Harden, who said having only two refs “changes the dynamic of the game.”
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How LeBron James has remained so dominant in his 15th season

From his childhood in Akron to his Olympic days in Beijing to a summer of film study, LeBron James long ago planted the seeds for long-term success. Now in his 15th season, the harvest has arrived.
www.espn.com – NBA

Jimmy G looks legit, and it changes everything in San Fran

An offseason chase for Kirk Cousins? Nah. The 49ers — 4-0 with Jimmy Garoppolo at the controls — have a whole new outlook. Can 49ers fans get excited about 2018?
www.espn.com – NFL

Inside the NBA Academy and what it means for the future of basketball

The NBA Academy Africa — one of six across the world that provides teenagers with NBA-level resources — took its first trip ever to Europe for a series of competitive games.
www.espn.com – NBA

Ranking the top 10 hockey people of 2017

Connor McDavid won all the awards. Sidney Crosby won another Stanley Cup. P.K. Subban won the internet. But there was one person who rose above them all as the most influential person in hockey during the past year.
www.espn.com – NHL

The best and worst moments of 2017 for every team

The Patriots’ improbable win over the Steelers. The Falcons’ epic collapse in Super Bowl LI. The rise of the Eagles and eventual loss of Carson Wentz. Here are the highs and lows that shaped the league over the past year.
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Barnwell’s alternate NFL reality: How the 2017 season could have been different

What if Jimmy Garoppolo had been traded before the season? What if Jay Cutler had stayed in broadcasting and Miami got desperate? Time to use your imagination in our bizarro timeline of the season.
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It’s time to take note of Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell

After losing an All-Star in Gordon Hayward, the rebounding Jazz have handed the keys to the offense to their explosive rookie.
www.espn.com – NBA

The most inspirational hockey moments of 2017

Our final stick taps of the year go to the fledgling Vegas Golden Knights for helping their city heal after unfathomable tragedy, the U.S. women’s national team for its brave stand and Brian Boyle for his triumphant return from leukemia treatment.
www.espn.com – NHL

NFL players vote: The best end zone celebration of 2017 is …

We asked 151 players to pick their favorite TD celebration of the season. Here are the top four vote-getters.
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The 10 moves that ultimately led the Patriots to sign James Harrison

Here’s a look at the key personnel moves that led the Patriots to sign veteran outside linebacker James Harrison on Tuesday.
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Rockets’ confidence remains: ‘We’ll be all right’

The Rockets, after a rough stretch in which they’ve lost three straight games following a 14-game winning streak, say getting injured players healthy is key to getting back on track.
www.espn.com – NBA

Another win for Team USA? What we’re looking forward to at the World Juniors

Happy Boxing Day! With the World Junior Championship set to kick off in Buffalo, our writers clue you in on why it’s a must-watch event, including a look at the next wave of NHL talent, and a chance to see the latest epic U.S.-Canada clash.
www.espn.com – NHL

Week 17 Power Rankings: All 32 teams vs. their projected win totals

The Rams, Vikings and Eagles all blew past their preseason projections. Which other teams have exceeded Vegas expectations? Which have met theirs or fallen short?
www.espn.com – NFL

LeBron: Poignant memories will be about family

LeBron James says he doesn’t dwell on the Cavs’ 2017 NBA Finals Game 3 collapse that all but assured the Warriors their second ring in three years. Instead, he said, what sticks with him are moments he treasures with his children.
www.espn.com – NBA

Orr’s iconic goal in 1970 still top NHL moment

At age 9, Wayne Gretzky watched in awe as Bobby Orr scored in overtime to win the Stanley Cup in 1970 for the Bruins, beating Blues goaltender Glenn Hall and leaping through the air to celebrate what has become the most iconic goal in NHL history.
www.espn.com – NHL

5-on-5: Best stars, matchups and more to watch on Christmas Day

Christmas Day is full of some of the NBA’s best and most exciting players and teams. Who has the brightest future? What are the biggest things to watch in Cavs-Warriors?
www.espn.com – TOP
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Barnwell: Todd Gurley’s surging case for MVP, and why the GOAT still has an edge

The Rams running back has had a historically great December, and the MVP race appears to be down to two. Here’s how Todd Gurley could win — and how Tom Brady could hold him off.
www.espn.com – NFL

Leafs’ Matthews battling concussion symptoms

Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews practiced for the first time in two weeks Friday after dealing with concussion symptoms following a collision with a teammate.
www.espn.com – NHL

NFL bonuses: Gronk closing in on $6.5M; others chasing millions, too

Rob Gronkowski had $ 6.5 million in bonuses at stake this season, but he’s not the only NFL player who will be able to cash in on some big bonuses.
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Cavs-Warriors: A rivalry for the ages

With the Cavs and Warriors set to meet again on Christmas Day (ABC, 3 ET), here’s our look at the NBA rivalry that keeps on giving.
www.espn.com – NBA

Playoff picture and Week 16 scenarios: What’s at stake Sunday

Seven berths, home-field advantage in both conferences and three first-round byes are all up for grabs. Here’s everything on the line.
www.espn.com – NFL

Real Madrid dealt blow with Clasico rout

Barcelona beat Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the La Liga season, and extended its lead over its rival to 14 points.

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Weekly Reader: Is free-agent fear fueling Vegas’ success?

There are no superstars in Vegas’ locker room, just highly motivated winners who are playing for their next deal — and each other. Plus, the Penguins’ preposterously funny “Christmas Story” riff and whether John Tavares will be an Islander for life.
www.espn.com – NHL

Deck the halls! The Celtics are (finally) home for Christmas

At long last, the NBA’s most decorated franchise will have a home game on Christmas Day.
www.espn.com – NBA

Follow live: Man City looks to add to its record run

Going for a 17th consecutive Prem victory, Man City takes on Bournemouth at Etihad Stadium.
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Biggest Week 16 questions, stats and predictions

Who will punch their postseason ticket? Is Blake Bortles really this good? Can Kareem Hunt win the rushing title? We should find out this weekend.
www.espn.com – NFL

Should the NHL play on holidays?

The league will take its annual Christmas break from Dec. 24 through Dec. 26. Is not having NHL games a good thing for players, coaches and staff — or a Scrooge move for hockey fans? Our writers debate the merits of ceding the stage to the NBA and NFL.
www.espn.com – NHL

Why the Rockets don’t think anyone — even the Warriors — can slow them down

Chris Paul is driving James Harden and Houston to new heights. Zach Lowe looks at what it will take for the Rockets to get over the top and upend Golden State.
www.espn.com – NBA

Inside the Cleveland Browns’ latest tantalizing disaster

Sure, it’s mess. Yet with the arrival of a new GM and the prospect of more high-draft picks, another terrible Browns team is on the cusp of an offseason filled with hope.
www.espn.com – NFL

2018 draft QB class primer: Everything you need to know about Rosen, Mayfield, Darnold, more

Scouting reports, insight from NFL personnel, and what’s next — we’ve got it all on the best signal-callers in next year’s draft. Catch up here on the most-talked about class in years.
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Power Rankings: Golden Knights surge to No. 2, plus each team’s secret superstar

The holidays are about appreciating what we have right in front of us — like unheralded but invaluable players such as the Lightning’s Brayden Point, Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault and Nashville’s Kyle Turris, who deserve props for powering top-3 teams.
www.espn.com – NHL

Lowe’s 10 things: Let’s get the All-Star draft right

Zach Lowe highlights another young Chicago Bull, a masterful Dwyane Wade move, Andrew Wiggins and the winning-ugly Timberwolves, struggling lottery picks, and more.
www.espn.com – NBA

Destination Cousins: 14 places Kirk could play in 2018

The Redskins quarterback could become the NFL’s highest-paid player if he reaches the free-agent market in 2018. You like that?! Here are all the places he could land.
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All the NFL quarterbacks who could change teams in 2018

Kirk Cousins is going to get paid. Alex Smith might land in the perfect spot. The 2018 offseason is shaping up to be a fascinating game of quarterback musical chairs. Bill Barnwell lays out the field of contestants.
www.espn.com – NFL

Why Lonzo Ball won’t be the star the Lakers need

The Lakers drafted Ball to be the star of their post-Kobe era. There’s just one (possibly insurmountable) problem: Dude can’t score.
www.espn.com – NBA

The Blackhawks must fix their pathetic power play

Chicago doesn’t lead the league in squandering power-play opportunities. It just seems that way. The Blackhawks — and Blues, Blue Jackets and Sabres — can’t seem to take advantage when they have the man advantage, and failing to convert has cost them.
www.espn.com – NHL

All 88 Pro Bowl selections, plus snubs and surprises for each NFL team

Tom Brady, Todd Gurley and Drew Brees are in. Who else made it among the 88 players? And who should have made it? NFL Nation reporters detail every Pro Bowl pick, surprise and snub for all 32 teams.
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Let’s shake up the Pro Bowl: 8 rule changes the NFL could test

Last week showed us the catch rule and ball spotting are as flawed as ever. Why not experiment with alternatives? Here’s how to make the game useful.
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Hoiberg: Mirotic rallying Bulls during 6-0 streak

Nikola Mirotic scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Chicago won its sixth game in a row Monday night, 117-115 over the 76ers. The Bulls are now 6-0 since Mirotic returned from facial fractures and a concussion suffered at the hands of Bobby Portis.
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Habs’ Weber out indefinitely with injured foot

Defenseman Shea Weber has an injured foot and will be sidelined indefinitely, the Canadiens said.
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Panthers’ Davis gets 2-game ban for illegal hit

Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis was suspended two games for his hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams in Sunday’s game.
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Garrett unsure of how Cowboys will use Elliott

Coach Jason Garrett was not ready Monday to say how much and when the Cowboys will play Ezekiel Elliott in his return for the season’s final two games.
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Lakers’ Lopez out with ankle sprain vs. Warriors

The Lakers lost center Brook Lopez against the Warriors on Monday night with a sprained ankle.
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The NHL’s most underrated players — according to their peers

ESPN canvassed locker rooms to find out which players don’t get enough credit. We start with a rising young two-way center playing in the Sunshine State.
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Melo limited to 4 points in win, fewest since ’12

Carmelo Anthony has repeatedly talked this season about “sacrifice” as he adjusts to playing in a complementary offensive role with the Thunder. On Monday night, the time came.
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Week 16 Power Rankings: The top Pro Bowl veterans on every team

Tom Brady could be the third QB to earn the honor at 40. Julius Peppers could be on his way to No. 10, while Julio Jones might be looking at his fifth.
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Winners and Losers: Tom Brady does it again

The Patriots' ageless and legendary quarterback engineered yet another comeback victory in a big game. Like it or not, he's the greatest.

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Kobe Bryant is finally ready to say goodbye

The Lakers’ legend grew up devouring VHS highlights of Wilt, Magic and West. Bryant’s jerseys will join theirs on Monday night, as he’ll move on from his NBA career.
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Ranking the 10 greatest years in hockey history

In honor of the NHL’s centennial celebration, we set out to determine which calendar year, since 1917, was the greatest in hockey history, factoring in international hockey tournaments and anything off the ice that might have made the year memorable.
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Barnwell: Three options to fix the NFL’s catch rule

OK, fine, the catch rule was interpreted correctly in the final minute of the Patriots’ win over the Steelers. But the rule is still bad. Here’s how the league can make it better.
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The Rams’ insane turnaround, and the 2018 worst-to-first candidates

The 2016 Rams were downright terrible — they had the league’s worst offense by far. One year later, L.A. is on the verge of an NFC West title. Here’s what we can learn from the stunning improvement.
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Owner: Sens ‘could look good somewhere else’

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk spoke Friday about the possibility of relocating his franchise, saying “the market here has to prove itself.”
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Pelton mail: Who gets credit for the NBA 3-point revolution?

Kevin Pelton answers questions on the 3-point explosion, which Gasol brother was better at his peak, what’s plaguing the Pelicans and more.
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Sources: Bengals’ Lewis planning exit after ’17

Marvin Lewis, the longest tenured head coach in Bengals history, is planning to leave the team after the season to explore other opportunities, league sources told ESPN.
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Playoff picture: How Week 15 can affect seeding

This weekend could determine two division titles, up to four total playoff berths and more. Here’s how the field looks now and what can change.
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Trust Your Elders: Sixers’ young stars kept honest by vets

The Process has led to a high ceiling for the Philadelphia 76ers, but the veterans are there to raise the floor as well.
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Weekly Reader: McDavid among biggest penalty-minute magnets

Why does Connor McDavid draw penalties at a higher rate than his peers? Because his ability to get into scoring position all but forces opposing players to foul him. Plus, the latest on the Seattle expansion front and more Jersey Fouls.
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NFL draft prospects to watch in Saturday’s bowl games

Four of the most highly regarded pro prospects will play their bowl games this weekend, including QB Mike White and OT Tyrell Crosby.
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Biggest Week 15 questions, stats and predictions

One of the biggest weekends of the regular season has a huge Pats-Steelers showdown, Aaron Rodgers’ return, a telling test for the Rams and more.
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Which player will people still talk about 100 years from now?

The centennial of the NHL’s first game got us thinking about the legacy today’s stars will leave. Sidney Crosby has all those Cups and Alex Ovechkin is one of the game’s greatest scorers, but there’s something mythical about hockey’s most famous mullet.
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One-stop guide to all 41 bowl games

It’s not all about the playoff. Don’t sleep on the pre-Christmas games, as bowl season begins Saturday, including Boise State-Oregon.
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Lowe’s 10 things: Lonzo’s smart plays, OKC and good news for the Bulls

Zach Lowe highlights Charlotte’s Dwight Howard problem, Lonzo Ball’s development, Marcus Smart’s manipulative passing and more.
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Rookie of the Year races: Where they stand, how they could finish

Kareem Hunt emerged as the early favorite for the offensive award, but a midseason slump cracked the field wide open. NFL Nation reporters make cases for the top five candidates on both sides of the ball.
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While the Lakers pine for LeBron, his next home remains a mystery

LeBron James welcomes the Lakers to Cleveland on Thursday night. Is he taking the court against his future teammates, or will “LeBron to L.A.” remain the stuff of Hollywood fiction?
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Power Rankings: Recasting each NHL team as a Star Wars character

The Lightning as Rey? The Penguins as the Death Star? The Canadiens as Darth Vader? Colorado as Lando Calrissian? We channeled our love for both hockey and a galaxy far, far away to identify the Star Wars character who best embodies each team.
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Rodgers: Not back to save Packers’ season

Aaron Rodgers knows the Packers have little room for error if they seek a playoff spot, but the quarterback said he is back to play “the way I know how to play,” not to salvage the season.
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Barnwell: Ranking the NFL’s best and worst potential coach openings

A super-talented 22-year-old quarterback and a few defensive stars? The Texans’ job is intriguing if Bill O’Brien doesn’t return. Bill Barnwell sorts the coaching jobs that could come open in 2018.
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How to fix the Penguins’ woes

Pittsburgh looks like a team with a lot of miles on its tires from those two Stanley Cup runs. Our writers offer ideas to help the Pens get back in gear, such as: make a trade, score more even-strength goals — and keep passing the puck to Phil Kessel.
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Is time running out on OKC’s Big Three experiment?

Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have preached patience through the Thunder’s tumultuous start. But as OKC’s new stars prepare to face their old teams, a reunion tour has the feel of a season-defining road trip.
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Sources: Lakers asked LaVar to tone it down

LaVar Ball confirmed that he met with the Lakers’ front office recently to discuss his criticisms of head coach Luke Walton, saying of the meeting, “It’s about coming together and to get a solution to this problem.”
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Browns, Bills and 49ers set up for big 2018 draft

Three teams traded up to select their quarterbacks of the future in 2017. Now three others are armed with lots of capital, but not all will take a QB.
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Bet on Golden Knights to make postseason

How many teams that didn’t make the playoffs last season, but are in position now, will be there in April? The Lightning, Kings and Jets are locks. The Devils have doubters and not everyone is sold on the Stars or the Islanders, but Vegas’ odds look good.
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How Joel Embiid is trolling the NBA

Embiid has turned the Sixers’ famed process into performance art, and everyone is feeling merry and bright — for now.
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OKC still searching for answers: ‘It’s gotta stop’

The Thunder dropped another stunning game Monday night while playing on their home floor against a Hornets team standing 13th in the Eastern Conference.
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Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Biggest breakthroughs — including a new No. 1

The Steelers’ improved pass rush has helped catapult them to the top. The Rams’ offensive overhaul keeps them high. Case Keenum is still playing at an MVP level, despite the Vikings’ loss. Here’s how the league is stacking up.
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Toronto proves that spending big pays off

Toronto FC outspent other MLS teams by almost $ 5 million this year, and their championship win might force other teams to follow suit.

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Should the Senators trade Erik Karlsson?

Erik Karlsson is one of the best defensemen in NHL history, but his future has been in flux since he said he won’t give the Senators a hometown discount when he becomes a free agent. Our writers discuss Ottawa’s options regarding the swashbuckling Swede.
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NBA Power Rankings: Indy making noise in the East

The Rockets are on cruise control behind a nine-game winning streak, while an undefeated week has Victor Oladipo and the Pacers making their first appearance in the top 10.
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How is the NFL concussion protocol supposed to work?

The policy should prevent risky returns to play. But as the case with Tom Savage illustrates, that doesn’t always happen. Here’s what you should know.
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Nine questions (and answers) on Wentz’s injury, Eagles’ Super Bowl chances, more

The MVP candidate could be out for the season, forcing Philadelphia to turn to Nick Foles. But the Eagles still have a great shot at securing home-field advantage, and backup quarterbacks have won Super Bowls before.
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