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Putting Sin City on ice: Golden Knights eager to turn Las Vegas into a hockey town
LAS VEGAS — In the western suburb of Summerlin, Nevada, a planned community painted in hues of beige and brown and with a dizzying amount of roundabouts, there is an anonymous business park the Vegas Golden Knights temporarily call home. In the fall, they will move operations into a nearly $30 million practice facility. For now, an office building 14 miles from the Las Vegas Strip is where the NHL hopes its next ice age dawns. When Kim Frank arrived in town last September as the team’s vice president of marketing, after working for the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards since 2007, the Golden Knights had a name but no identity. There was no logo. No uniforms. No players on the roster. Nothing in place that could help Frank do her job: sell the brand of hockey to a community in a sports desert. “It’s a true start-up,” Frank says in the lobby of the Black Knight Sports & Entertainment offices, on a July morning when the oppressive heat surpasses triple digits. “It’s new. It’s not moving a franchise. It’s a brand new expansion team,” Frank continues, “which means from the ground up.” The Golden Knights will begin their inaugural season in October as the 31st team in the NHL but the first professional sports franchise in Las Vegas. Hockey is not an abstract concept to the more than two million residents; The Las Vegas area has plenty of emigres from across North America who now pay taxes in Clark County, residents who still have teams back home to root for. Minor league hockey had a long run in town as well, although Las Vegas’s WCHL and ECHL teams have since folded. However, in a city more known for its spectacles, the entertainment ranging from roulette tables to limitless rum-and-Cokes to residencies for Donnie and Marie, building fluency in hockey begins with uncovering the ‘other’ Vegas — the one that lives in the shadow of the blinding lights of Las Vegas Boulevard. “Sports teams give cities identities,” said Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, another Washington transplant who held the same position for the Capitals for 17 years. “It seems the residents of the city want to be known for more than the Strip.” A billboard near Dean Martin Drive warns that The Raiders Are Coming, a tease in silver and black for the pending move of a pro football team, the Oakland Raiders, to Las Vegas. However, before the NFL stakes its claim here, for now, Las Vegas is a hockey town. “We can own this one. We can do this,” says Asi Oba, a fireman whose unit is stationed near the T-Mobile Arena, where the Knights will play. Originally from Cincinnati, Oba admits he’s never watched a minute of hockey in his 35 years but asked himself, “why not?” and decided to give this game a chance. Recently, as Oba and his son, Amare, took in NBA Summer League action at the Thomas & Mack Center, they walked the concourse proudly wearing the black, steel gray and red of the Golden Knights. “It brings something that we’ve never had,” Oba says, then repeats his singular draw: “I can own this.” Related ArticlesAugust 4, 2017 Tony Granato to coach U.S. men’s hockey at Olympics August 1, 2017 Peter Karmanos seeking $500M in sale of NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes It’s a belief that was shared by thousands of residents in 2015 when owner Billy Foley, with no commitment from the NHL, needed to prove this market was viable for hockey. “There was nothing (tangible here),” recalls Todd Pollock, the vice president of ticketing and suites, one of the first employees on the ground and tasked with running the season ticket drive. “We were selling the dream to people and painting a picture. ‘How cool would it be to have a team in town to call our own?’ ” The league gave the Knights a target of 10,000 season-ticket deposits. Within a couple months, the team had exceeded that goal. By June 22, 2016, when the NHL rewarded Las Vegas with a franchise, 16,000 people had paid for the chance to secure future season tickets. Those deposits turned into more than 14,000 actual season-ticket holders. One of the earliest pledges belonged to 23-year-old Las Vegas native Thomas Field. He wasn’t always a hockey fan. Field had to leave the Mojave Desert to fall in love with the game. While attending and playing baseball at the University of Chicago-Illinois, Field watched the Chicago Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups. Field didn’t know much at first, confused about icing and offside violations, but witnessing a dynasty turned the novice into a lifelong follower. “The Blackhawks were running the town at the time,” Field recalls. “Just going to games, it was so unique. There’s no experience like it.” When he settled back home in Las [...]
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Avalanche signs college free agent Dominic Toninato
The Avalanche failed to entice defenseman Will Butcher of the NCAA champion Denver Pioneers to sign with Colorado, but it did agree to terms with forward Dominic Toninato of the runner-up Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Both Butcher and Toninato captained their college teams as seniors and became unrestricted free agents Wednesday, and Toninato — a 2012 draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs — agreed to a two-year, two-way contract with the Avs, paying him $800,000 in the NHL and $70,000 in the minors. Butcher, a 2013 Avalanche draftee, is exploring opportunities with a handful of teams. “(The Maple Leafs) didn’t have any contracts available,” Toninato said in a phone interview. “They only had an AHL offer and that’s not what we were looking for. So things just didn’t work out with them.” College players can become free agents four years after their draft year, or in Toninato’s case, until after a four-year NCAA career. Toninato, 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, was Minnesota-Duluth’s fifth-leading scorer last season with 29 points (16 goals). He had a team-high plus-25 rating and was the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s defensive forward of the year. Toninato expects his professional career to emulate what he did in college. “I want to be a 200-foot centerman,” he said. “I want to play the full ice, be good in the D zone and the offensive zone. I want to contribute in special teams and be out there in any situation.” Toninato said he and his agent were talking to multiple teams but “Colorado was at the top and had everything I was looking for.”   [...]
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Broncos defensive end Jared Crick latest camp casualty
Defensive end Jared Crick is the latest victim of the Denver Broncos' injury outbreak. Crick is the 10th Denver defender - and the sixth member of the D-line - to get hurt this offseason. Crick, who played more snaps than any defensive lineman on the team last year, appeared to be favoring his right leg after getting hurt during run drills. [...]
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[MLS: Colorado Rapids] – U14s capture third straight Galway Cup title
... with Swett’s late PK marking the difference. Two goals from Swett helped the Rapids earn their second win the following day against Ireland Athlone 2-0. Yapi fo ... [...]
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Nuggets Set for Prime Time in 2017-18 Season
The Nuggets will make nine national television appearances as the NBA moves them back among teams that are highlighted during the 2017-18 [...]
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President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly Headlines First Basketball Without Borders Camp in Israel
The NBA, FIBA, and the Israel Basketball Association today announced the current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players who will coach at [...]
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Quick hits: Broncos' Tuesday practice
Kalif Raymond continued his recent strong work as the Broncos got in a two-hour practice without pads before leaving for the San Francisco Bay Area. [...]
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Takeaways from the Broncos' Tuesday: When Vance Joseph names a starter, 'it's pretty permanent'
So the head coach said after Tuesday's practice, which took place before the Broncos left for the San Francisco Bay Area. [...]
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Nolan Arenado pushes his way back into the Rockies lineup. And Ryan McMahon will wait.
Nolan Arenado barely needed much lobbying to get himself into the Rockies’ lineup Tuesday. Colorado’s all-star third baseman, with batting gloves on and a bat in his hand, spoke just four words to his manager as they passed each other in the clubhouse hallway. “I think he’d just come from the cage,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “I said: ‘Hi, Nolan. How you doing?’ He said, ‘I’m good to go.’ And we just passed each other in the hall and that was it. So I immediately kept going and saw (bench coach) Mike Redmond. And I said, ‘Red, Nolan is in the lineup.’ He said: ‘I know. I talked to him earlier.’” Arenado on Monday estimated he would miss two or three games with a bone bruise on his left hand, after he was hit by a pitch in Miami on Sunday. “It’s definitely bothering me,” he said. By Monday night, Arenado had talked himself into a pinch-hitting situation, batting in the eighth spot in the seventh inning. He popped out, but his swings looked healthy. Then he tried to sneak to third base. “Little did I know he was going to try to take the field,” Black said. “That wasn’t in the game plan. That’s like a Little Leaguer, when little Johnny runs out to right field. ‘No, Johnny, that’s Billy’s position.’” By Tuesday, Arenado was back in the starting lineup. The swelling in his hand decreased enough that it didn’t affect his swing. Black called his return “a bonanza” for the Rockies. They were prepared multiple days without their Gold Glove corner infielder. McMahon waiting. In the one game Arenado did not start, Black used utility infielder Pat Valaika at third base. He considered, but decided against, giving recent call-up Ryan McMahon the start. Since his call-up Friday, McMahon has started one game, at first base in place of Mark Reynolds. “It’s been pretty surreal,” McMahon said. “But this team is in a playoff push right now. I need to kick the nerves and get ready to help any way I can.” Related ArticlesAugust 15, 2017 Rare E-5 on Nolan Arenado leads Atlanta to an unlikely victory over the Rockies at Coors Field August 15, 2017 With Chad Bettis back, Rockies found an acquisition hiding in full view. Their rotation seems set. August 14, 2017 Chad Bettis returns to the Rockies with flair in a commanding outing against the Braves at Coors Field August 14, 2017 Ryan Howard debuts for the Rockies in the minors saying: “Get me to the plate” August 14, 2017 Nolan Arenado dodges the disabled list, to Rockies’ relief, but he will miss time McMahon, Black said, will be used primarily as a backup first and second baseman, for however long his first stint in the majors lasts. “Mac hasn’t played a lot of third base this season,” Black said. “He’s played a lot more on the right side — even going back to last year, the conversion to first base in Double-A, and he played a lot of first base in the fall league. Not that he couldn’t go to third base and feel comfortable, but to have his second major-league start at third base might not be the right thing to do. But we did think about it.” Bullpen boon. With Kyle Freeland back in the starting rotation, the Rockies now have three former starters in the bullpen: veteran Tyler Chatwood, rookie Antonio Senzatela and left-hander Chris Rusin. But they will not necessarily be confined to long-relief roles. “They can all be used in different types of situations,” Black said. Rusin and Chatwood, over the past week, both pitched in spot relief and longer stints. They may be used in matchup situations, as late-inning setup men or long relief. “Those are three major-league pitchers. The more major-league pitchers you have, the better off you’re going to be.” Footnotes. LHP Tyler Anderson (left knee surgery) pitched his second proper bullpen session Tuesday. He is working to strengthen the thigh muscle on his plant leg above the knee. “He’s going to pitch this year,” Black said. … Outfielder Ian Desmond (right calf strain) did more hard running work and hit in batting practice. But there is no timeline for his return… To make room for Freeland, the Rockies optioned lefty reliever Zac Rosscup to Triple-A Albuquerque. Looking ahead David Zalubowski, The Associated PressColorado Rockies starter Jon Gray delivers a pitch to San Diego Padres' Manuel Margot in the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Denver.Jeff Roberson, The Associated PressColorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray throws during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, July 25, [...]
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Rare E-5 on Nolan Arenado leads Atlanta to an unlikely victory over the Rockies at Coors Field
Something radically improbable squirted away into the dirt around first base Tuesday night at Coors Field: a Nolan Arenado error. In 305 fielding chances this season, Colorado’s five-time Gold Glove-winning third baseman had misplayed a baseball on just four occasions — and never on a groundball so routine as the one he saw in the eighth inning of the Rockies’ 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves. “I don’t expect to make errors. But they happen, unfortunately. I’m human,” Arenado said. “It’s unacceptable. I have to make that play. I didn’t this time and we lost.” The Rockies blasted three home runs, but all were solo shots. Rookie starter Kyle Freeland gave up just four hits, but three for runs. And the Rockies’ offense, their supposed hallmark, failed to score more than three runs in an eighth consecutive game. Colorado (66-53) also lost a chance to add a cushion in the National League wild-card chase after Arizona (66-53) and St. Louis (61-58) also lost. But no detail caused more double-takes than Arenado’s skip-throw in the eighth. With two outs in a 3-3 game and Atlanta’s Brandon Phillips stuck on second base, right-handed reliever Pat Neshek forced Tyler Flowers into a soft chopper toward third. Arenado corralled the grounder like the thousands of fungoes he fields every season in a daily practice routine that borders on obsessiveness. He hopped into a throwing motion and fired toward first baseman Mark Reynolds. But the throw fell short and skipped through the dirt, and as the ball bounced away, Phillips sprinted home for the go-ahead run. “I short-armed it and didn’t get enough on the throw,” Arenado said. “Just a bad error at a bad time.” Reynolds explained the error in terms of misfortune: “It was kind of a ‘tweener’ hop,” he said. “Long hops and shorthops, I’m good at. I don’t think he threw it hard, so it was kind of a changeup ‘tweener.’ He’s the best over there. People mess up. I feel bad I didn’t pick it up or at least keep it close. Tough luck.” Phillips, Atlanta’s third baseman, commiserated. “You have the guy who never makes errors at third base make an error like that,” Phillips said. “It shows you he’s human.” Arenado’s place in Tuesday’s game was doubtful even the day before, after his left hand swelled with a bone bruise caused by an errant pitch Sunday in Miami. He lobbied his way into the lineup, and it was working for the Rockies. Arenado homered in the first inning to give them an early lead. Boxscore: Atlanta 4, Colorado 3 Runs for the Rockies came piecemeal. Arenado redirected a low-zone Sean Newcomb 97 mph fastball to dead center for a solo shot. Midafternoon a day earlier, Arenado could barely grip a bat, let alone swing one. But he tied Charlie Blackmon for the club lead with 27 home runs. In the fourth inning, Reynolds led off by jerking a changeup from Newcomb into the left field seats, an arced shot that seemingly nipped the clouds in its long hang time. It was Reynolds’ 24th homer this season, but his first since Aug. 3 and second since July 23. His was not the only Colorado leadoff homer. Trevor Story shot-putted a solo job over the right-field fence in the fifth inning, victimizing another Newcomb fastball, this one in a 2-0 count, for his 16th home run of the season. Story hit 27 homers in an injury-shortened, 97-game rookie season in 2016, but he had not hit one out before Tuesday since July 29. Related ArticlesAugust 15, 2017 Nolan Arenado pushes his way back into the Rockies lineup. And Ryan McMahon will wait. August 15, 2017 With Chad Bettis back, Rockies found an acquisition hiding in full view. Their rotation seems set. August 14, 2017 Chad Bettis returns to the Rockies with flair in a commanding outing against the Braves at Coors Field August 14, 2017 Ryan Howard debuts for the Rockies in the minors saying: “Get me to the plate” August 14, 2017 Nolan Arenado dodges the disabled list, to Rockies’ relief, but he will miss time Freeland returned to the Rockies’ rotation after a minimum stint on the disabled list to help heal a strained left groin muscle. He picked up where he left off, tossing a 13th quality start (at least six innings and no more than three earned runs) with a workmanlike performance. He gave up only four hits, and no more than one in an inning. Atlanta took an early lead with just one hit, after Freeland walked Flowers to lead off the second inning and walked Lane Adams three batters later, and then rookie Dansby Swanson lined a two-run double to the left-field corner. The Braves’ second hit was another double, Freddie Freeman’s one-hopper off the right field [...]
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2017 Post Preps TV Game of the Week Schedule
Each week, Post Preps TV broadcasts a Game of the Week in Colorado high school football, starting with Week 0 on Aug. 25 and running through Week 10 on Nov. 3. The broadcasts will be available live, in HD and for free, via our website and Facebook pages. The links for each game’s stream will be available online the Monday before the game, and the games will also be archived on our site afterwards. 2017 broadcasting schedule* Friday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m.: Mullen at Pomona, NAAC Friday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m.: Regis Jesuit at Cherry Creek, Stutler Bowl Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m.: Arapahoe at Heritage, LPSS Friday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.: Eaglecrest at Grandview, Legacy Friday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.: Valor at Pomona, NAAC Friday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.: Fossil Ridge at Lakewood, Jeffco Friday, Oct. 6: BYE Thursday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.: Mullen at Columbine, Jeffco Friday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.: Chaparral at Rock Canyon, Shea Friday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.: Highlands Ranch at Legend, Echo Park Friday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.: Chatfield at Heritage, LPSS *Schedule subject to change. [...]
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Class 5A volleyball preview: Fossil Ridge’s firepower gives Sabercats the inside edge to a repeat
In a parity-laden Class 5A volleyball field, Fossil Ridge once again possesses the one-two punch needed to tip the championship scales, as the SaberCats did last season en route to the program’s first state title. Junior outside hitters Riley Zuhn, a Nebraska commit, and Catie Semadeni both return, as does senior setter Tyler Lindgren (Temple) and junior middle blocker Mataya Megson on a squad that is ranked No. 1 in the preseason Denver Post, MaxPreps and CHSAANow polls. “Even though we have a few holes to fill, we definitely have a target on our back,” Fossil Ridge coach Paul Shimek said. “Riley will be out for at least the first two games because she had her elbow operated on, so that’s when we’ll have to show we’re a good team that gets out there, makes it work and rises to the occasion.” In the seasons since Grandview’s repeat in 2013 and 2014, there have been around a dozen teams capable of winning the 5A title each year — it simply comes down to what team gets hot when it matters most at the state tournament, which will be held Nov. 10-11 at the Denver Coliseum. The SaberCats were that team last year, and Cherokee Trail was the fall before. Now, No. 2 Rock Canyon, No. 3 Cherry Creek, No. 4 Chaparral, No. 5 Chatfield and more are capable of dethroning Fossil Ridge. Rock Canyon boasts the classification’s best returning outside hitter, as senior Keeley Davis racked up 421 kills last fall while the Jaguars booked their second straight state tournament appearance. The Creighton commit headlines a roster that also features a talented set of twins in juniors Abi and Alex Leitner. “I think Keeley’s gotten consistently better, skill-wise, every single year, and now this is her year to be the leader on the team, because she’s always been one of the younger ones on varsity,” Rock Canyon coach Angela Nylund-Hanson said. “She’ll take that central leadership role this year, which will be crucial for some of the girls coming up who played on our undefeated JV team last year.” Coach Sally Moos, in her 36th year at Cherry Creek, will have the Bruins also vying for a state title largely thanks to junior outside hitter Katie Sherman, who paced their offense with 3.2 kills per set last season. But Cherry Creek — like Chaparral and a litany of other elite teams — needs to replace a lot of talent. The Bruins graduated ten seniors, while Chaparral graduated seven and Chatfield graduated eight. “We have a very different team this year, because we graduated a lot of kids, just like the other top eight teams at state last year,” Chaparral coach Amanda West said. “It’s been about rebuilding for us this year, but we’ve got a lot of young talent and we’ve got a lot of good leadership within the seniors as well. Those are the things we’re hoping can take us to the next level.” The Wolverines feature three quality leaders in sophomore middle hitter Juliana Dalton, junior middle blocker Abby Heimlicher and junior libero Kyla Gerson, while Chatfield — which has won 20 matches or more in four of the past five seasons — is led by senior middle blocker Julia Eiken, junior setter Shea Fuller and senior outside hitter Breanna Jones. “We’re going to try hard to keep up our intensity level in practice — that’s what we try to ascribe to, is playing harder there than we have to during the games,” Chatfield coach Stephanie Schick said. “But it’s going to be tough to set that tone, because of the graduated seniors who provided the majority of the experience for us. So new girls need to step in, and step their level up, right now.” No. 6 Mountain Vista will also be in the mix thanks to senior middle hitter Amanda Keller and senior libero Sam Novak, as will No. 7 Fort Collins (plenty of returning talent on Lambkin Way), No. 8 Grandview (coach Rob Graham always has his team prepared), No. 9 Castle View (paced by senior outside hitter Kate Menz) and No. 10 Denver East (as defined by junior outside hitter Qairo Bentley’s athleticism). In short, it’s another fall where there is plenty of opportunity on the table, ripe for the taking. “Just because we graduated a bunch of girls doesn’t mean that we still can’t be competitive,” Rock Canyon’s Nylund-Hanson pointed out. “We need to work hard this season, because there’s so many good teams in 5A and in our Continental League, and we know we need to approach every point as a team this year.” Class 5A Preseason Power Rankings Fossil Ridge Rock Canyon Cherry Creek Chaparral Chatfield Mountain Vista Fort Collins Grandview Castle View Denver East [...]
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LeBron James blasts Trump, calls him “so-called President”
SANDUSKY, Ohio — LeBron James swiped at President Trump on Tuesday, calling him the “so-called president” while calling for unity in light of the Charlottesville tragedy. Speaking on stage to students, parents and families connected his to foundation at the end of a daylong event at Cedar Point Amusement Park, James said he wanted to spend a moment addressing the weekend’s violent protests, where a woman was killed. “I know there’s a lot of tragic things happening in Charlottesville (Virginia),” James said. “I just want to speak on it right now. I have this platform and I’m somebody that has a voice of command and the only way for us to get better as a society and for us to get better as people is love. And that’s the only way we’re going to be able to conquer something as one. It’s not about the guy that’s the so-called president of the United States, or whatever the case.” Earlier in the day, the NBA superstar blasted Trump on Twitter after the president appeared to equate the actions of white supremacists and those protesting them. James has been outspoken on his political beliefs in the past, and he took advantage of his first public appearance since the NBA Finals, to call out Trump’s actions. “It’s not about a teacher that you don’t feel like cares about what’s going on with you every day,” James continued. “It’s not about people that you just don’t feel like want to give the best energy and effort to you. It’s about us. It’s about us looking in the mirror. Kids all the way up to the adults. All of us looking in the mirror and saying, ‘What can we do better to help change?’ And if we can all do that and give 110 percent, then that’s all you can ask for. Related ArticlesAugust 16, 2017 Woman charged with felonies in toppling of Confederate statue in North Carolina, sheriff says August 15, 2017 Backlash over GOP bills to shield drivers who hit protesters August 15, 2017 Obama’s response to Charlottesville violence is one of the most popular in Twitter’s history August 15, 2017 Lesson’s from son’s upbringing weren’t on display in Charlottesville, dad says August 15, 2017 What is the “alt-left,” which Trump just blamed for some of the violence in Charlottesville? “So, shout out to the innocent people in Charlottesville (Virginia) and shout out to everybody across the world that just want to be great and just want to love. Thank you, and I love you all.” James was joined on stage by his three children, singers Usher and Jordin Sparks, who performed during the event, and Cavaliers teammate J.R. Smith. James flew to New York earlier Tuesday to play in pickup games with Warriors star Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. [...]
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