Enterprise-Record (Chico)

Bettman defends NHL handling of Pride night situations as ‘inclusive’


NHL Commission­er Gary Bettman at his state of the game news conference Saturday at AllStar Weekend defended the way the league and two teams handled situations that arose regarding Pride night celebratio­ns.

Philadelph­ia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov did not take part in warmups Jan. 18 because he refused to wear a Pridetheme­d jersey. Nine days later, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night despite previously advertisin­g they planned to do so.

Bettman said tolerance of varying viewpoints was part of being “open, welcoming and inclusive.”

“You know what our goals, our values and our intentions are across the league, whether it’s at the league level or at the club level,” he said. “But we also have to respect some individual choice, and some people are more comfortabl­e embracing themselves in causes than others. And part of being diverse and welcoming is understand­ing those difference­s.”

Bettman said the NHL was not accepting bigotry or promoting homophobia. ATLANTIC WINS NHL ALLSTAR FINAL >> The Central Division and the Atlantic Division reached the final of the NHL All-Star Game.

Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk had three goals and two assists — his five points tying a single-game record for the 3-on-3 All-Star format — in the Atlantic’s 10-6 win over the Metropolit­an Division in the second semifinal at the All-Star Game.

In the opener, Arizona’s Clayton Keller had two goals and an assist, Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon scored twice and the Central moved into the title

matchup with a 6-4 win over the Pacific.

Detroit’s Dylan Larkin had a hat trick, Toronto’s Mitch Marner had three assists and the Atlantic Division topped the Central Division 7-5 in the final.


IRVING SITS OUT >> Kyrie Irving will not play for the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night, a day after he told the team he would like to be traded.

The Nets said Irving’s absence was due to right calf soreness, adding him to the injury report for their game against Washington. Irving had not been listed on the report either Friday night or Saturday morning.

Irving asked the Nets for a trade Friday, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press. The All-Star has been frustrated that the Nets have thus far refused to give him an extension on his contact that expires after this season.


Pitcher Max Fried lost to the Atlanta Braves in salary arbitratio­n, and will make $13.5 million in the upcoming season instead of his $15 million request.

Mark Burstein, Fredric Horowitz and Jeanne Vonhof issued their decision a day after hearing arguments.

Fried won a $6.85 million

salary last year in arbitratio­n instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal.


GERMANY RULES >> Germany took first and second in the women’s bobsled world championsh­ip, while Kaillie Humphries of the U.S. claimed bronze for her seventh medal in the event.

Kim Kalicki and Leonie Fiebig finished their four runs over the two-day event in 4 minutes, 32.86 seconds. They were just 0.05 seconds ahead of German teammates Lisa Buckwitz and Kira Lipperheid­e.

Humphries and Kaysha Love got third in 4:33.37.


Retired longtime Associated Press sports writer Denne H. Freeman, whose 32 years with the AP included covering all five Super Bowl championsh­ips won by the Dallas Cowboys and many golf majors, has died after a series of health issues. He was 86.

Freeman’s family said he died Friday night at a Plano hospital.

The Dallas-based Freeman retired from the AP in the summer of 1999, ending a career in which he was also a golf writer who often traveled to the four majors: the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championsh­ip and British Open. After his retirement, it was determined that he had covered about 1,000 MLB games, 500 NBA games and 350 NFL games for the AP.


The United States swept its way into the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals, getting the winning point in a 4-0 victory over Uzbekistan from the doubles team of Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek.

They beat Sergey Fomin and Sanjar Fayziev 6-2, 6-4, after Tommy Paul and Mackenzie McDonald had won singles matches Friday in Tashkent.

Ram is No. 3 in the ATP Tour doubles rankings and partnered with Joe Salisbury to win the last two U.S. Open men’s doubles titles. But the Americans opted not to use Ram last year in the final round, when they dropped the doubles match in a 2-1 defeat against Italy in the quarterfin­als.


SEATTLE DEBUT ENDS >> Mohamed Afsha scored on a deflected shot in the 88th minute and sent Al Ahly into the Club World Cup semifinals by beating the Seattle Sounders 1-0.

Afsha scored after coming on as a substitute in the 63rd. He lifted Al Ahly into the semifinals for the third straight year, and brought an abrupt end to the first appearance by a team from the United States in the competitio­n.

His initial shot from outside the penalty area hit the crossbar. Seattle was unable to clear the danger and Afsha’s second attempt deflected off defender Alex Roldan and bounded past goalkeeper Stefan Frei.


Swiss skier Ramon Zenhaeuser­n beat unheralded A.J Ginnis to win the last men’s World Cup slalom before the world championsh­ips.

Zenhaeuser­n finished 1.02 seconds ahead of Ginnis, who became the first skier from Greece on a World Cup podium.

 ?? LYNNE SLADKY — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? NHL hockey players stand before they are introduced before the NHL All Star Skills Showcase on Friday in Sunrise, Fla.
LYNNE SLADKY — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NHL hockey players stand before they are introduced before the NHL All Star Skills Showcase on Friday in Sunrise, Fla.
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