Tavares’ former teammates not buying criticisms of his character

CALGARY — He may not be their teammate anymore, but the New York Islanders are still quick to stand up for John Tavares. A handful of veterans reacted emphatically when asked Tuesday about a tweet from retired Islander Rob Schremp that appeared to question his former captain’s work ethic and leadership, suggesting he was selfish. […]

Small-market Padres take meaningful step forward with Machado deal

For most of the off-season, we’ve seen baseball’s richest teams operate like their small-market counterparts, seeking advantages on the margins instead of overwhelming an impressive free agent class with competitive offers. Asked recently why the Cubs haven’t spent more money, team chairman Tom Ricketts replied: “We don’t have any more.” Even as a historically talented […]

31 Thoughts: Could a stealth suitor emerge for Matt Duchene?

• Could Flames, Isles storm Duchene sweepstakes?• Stars checking in on Panarin, Zuccarello• Oilers know Puljujarvi “very unhappy” I loathe the pre-deadline edition of the blog because things change incredibly quickly — making my work even less accurate than normal. So, no wordy top. Let’s get right to it. Mostly quick hitters this week. 31 […]

Guerrero Jr. smiling, carrying himself with ease at Blue Jays camp

DUNEDIN, Fla. – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., ambled through the Toronto Blue Jays clubhouse Monday when he crossed paths with Justin Smoak, who eyed the young slugger’s bright yellow dreads and broke into a wide grin. “Oh yeah,” the first baseman bellowed. “I wish I had hair like that.” Guerrero smiled, just as he did sitting […]

Blue Jays, Stroman on divergent paths, seem headed for divorce

DUNEDIN, Fla. – Whatever you think of Marcus Stroman – and opinion on the lightning-rod 27-year-old polarized further Sunday after his remarkable castigation of the Toronto Blue Jays – he’s no dummy, and he wouldn’t at random incinerate the ground around him. Consider that Saturday, after his first bullpen session at camp, he declined to […]

Marcus Stroman disappointed Blue Jays haven’t offered long-term deal

DUNEDIN, Fla. – Marcus Stroman took a flamethrower to the tranquil opening of Toronto Blue Jays training camp, saying his desire to remain with the club is unrequited, pushing for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., to open the season in the majors and saying the veteran presence from recent years is a crucial element that’s been lost. […]

Maple Leafs unconcerned by off-night against disciplined Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Two hours before puck drop, Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet let out a long sigh when asked about the challenge of stopping a motivated Auston Matthews. “I hope he was out late last night,” said Tocchet. “That’s how you defend him.” As it turns out, he had another trick up his sleeve […]