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lin yelan (elaine95)
Free Member · Join Date: 29 May, 2018 · Posts 203
14 Sep, 2018 · #1
The NHL is staging more exhibition games in China this fall Kenyan Drake Jersey , hoping to make further inroads in establishing hockey as a sport in the world’s most populous nation.

The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames will face off Sept. 15 in Shenzhen in southeast China and then again Sept. 19 in Beijing in the second incarnation of the China Games.

The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks played preseason games in Shanghai and Beijing last September, the NHL’s first foray there.

China represents an as-yet untapped resource for the NHL, especially ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Commissioner Gary Bettman has so far been noncommittal about the NHL going to the 2022 Games after skipping South Korea this year, but the work is already underway in China, where the NBA has had a presence for decades.

”I think there is an enthusiasm to grow the sport, first at the grassroots level, but I think bringing games there and bringing NHL teams there and NHL players helps kind of support the story from the top down, as well,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday.

”It’s really a two-pronged approach where you’re trying to build hockey infrastructure in a society that’s never really had any and then in order to drive that, you’re bringing hockey at its highest level so that people can appreciate what the sport can look like.”

Growing youth hockey and bringing NHL games to China is the plan, but from the league’s perspective, it’s not a three-pronged approach tied to Olympic participation.

”I was there in the spring and we had lots of discussions with officials at all levels to talk about the development of hockey and how we can work together, and those are things that we’re working on,” Bettman said last month.

”Not once did we get asked about the Olympics in 2022. I’m not sure if we’re helping develop the game particularly at the grassroots level and giving them our software, if you will, whether or not we play for two weeks makes a difference.”

The league is working with local authorities to develop hockey programs as the government of the country with a population of 1.3 billion aims to have 300 million participants in winter sports by 2022. The Bruins made visits each of the past two summers to participate in hockey camps.

”Over the past three years we have collaborated with (businessman Zhou Yunjie) on growing the game both within the Chinese community in Boston and with youth hockey players in China Joe Berger Jersey ,” Bruins president Cam Neely said.

”We look forward to continuing these efforts by bringing Bruins hockey to China with these two preseason games.”

Shenzhen’s location close to Hong Kong, its burgeoning population and its world-class facility that’s home to the two China-based Canadian Women’s Hockey League teams made it a natural fit along with Beijing for NHL preseason action. More cities are in the running in the future, which could at some point include regular-season games.

”Part of it is exposing the sport in different major cities throughout the country,” Daly said.

”These games over the next number of years are going to hit different locations, and we’ll see what’s worked well and what can be improved and it’s very much kind of a learning process for us.”

Hockey in China is one big learning process, and the NHL is in the early stages of its assistance.

China is ramping up its hockey programs with an eye toward the 2022 Olympics, but that doesn’t mean the NHL is a sure thing to go. Daly said the league sees hockey in China and the NHL at the Beijing Olympics as mutually exclusive.

”Our philosophy is one that isn’t necessarily connected to the other,” Daly said. ”I don’t think the fact that we want to grow our presence in China and grow hockey’s presence in China necessarily means we have to be in the Olympics. But it doesn’t necessarily preclude us from being there if ultimately we want to be.”

Bettman noted that Germany reached the gold medal game at the non-NHL Olympics in February, and wondered if staying out would actually be beneficial.

”Maybe the Chinese would have more success in 2022 in being competitive if we’re not there,” Bettman said. ”A lot of variables to be considered.”

One of those variables that could help the NHL return to the Olympics for the sixth time would be the Chinese government pushing for it. Sochi was an example of that.

”I think it could happen, but even if that was something that they weighed in on, I’m not sure at the end of the day that would be a determining factor for us,” Daly said.

”I think there are a whole host of factors. It’s not just about kind of the conditions under which we go. It’s all the other things that are associated with Olympic participation, including what’s happening back here in North America.”



Sports Deputy Editor for Newsgathering Howie Rumberg in New York contributed.



LeBron James chose Boston as the place he’ll play next.

Game 7 is on. And any talk about James’ future is on hold.

Delivering another performance for the ages, James scored 46 points and preserved his reign atop the Eastern Conference for at least one more game as the Cleveland Cavaliers shook off losing All-Star Kevin Love with a head injury and beat the Celtics 109-99 on Friday night to force a decisive climax to this back-and-forth series.

James, playing in perhaps his final game for the Cavs in Cleveland David Amerson Jersey , added 11 rebounds and nine assists while playing all but two minutes – to avoid elimination and delay any decisions about where he’ll continue his remarkable career next season.

”Greatness,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. ”Championship pedigree. Giving it his all. We needed that, especially when Kevin went down. We had to play `Bron as many minutes as he had to. He delivered. He was up for the challenge. He carried us home as usual.”

The king is not dead, and he still has a chance to make his eighth straight NBA Finals.

This series, in which home court has meant everything, will have a fitting conclusion Sunday at TD Garden, where the Celtics are 10-0 this postseason.

”It’s a Game 7,” James said. ”It’s something that you wish you had when you’re done playing, but more than that, it’s just basketball for me. I know what I’m capable of doing, and I’m going to trust everything I put into it.”

George Hill added 20 points, and Jeff Green 14 for the Cavs, who lost Love in the first quarter after he banged heads with Boston rookie Jayson Tatum.

Terry Rozier paced the Celtics – now 1-6 on the road – with 28 points, and Jaylen Brown had 27.

The Celtics were still within seven in the final three minutes before James made consecutive 3-pointers, punctuating the second by pounding his chest with both fists and screaming along with 20,562 others.

”The love of the game Jerome Baker Jersey ,” James said, explaining his reaction. ”It’s a feeling you can’t explain.”

Just for good measure, he added a three-point play and then was taken out of the game to a rousing ovation and chants of ”Cavs in 7!”

Boston’s improbable run through the postseason without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will now take the Celtics back home, where they play with more intensity, togetherness and before fans hungry to see an 18th title banner raised to their arena’s rafters.

”It’s not going to be pretty,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. ”We’ve got to come out ready to get our nose bloody and our mouth bloody. We’ve got to come out ready to fight. You’ve got to find a way, whatever it takes.”

Love went out with a head injury in the first quarter, forcing Lue to juggle his rotations and keep James on the floor longer than he wanted to. The three-time champion played the first 35 minutes without a break and then endured the final eight while nursing a right leg.

James didn’t know until after the game that teammate Larry Nance Jr. had banged into him.

”I felt some pain throughout my entire right side of my ankle into my leg,” he said. ”I was just hoping for the best, obviously, because I’ve seen so many different injuries, and watching basketball with that type of injury, someone fall into one’s leg standing straight up. Luckily, I was able to finish the game.”

Hill, who came over in a deadline trade, has been awed by what James has done in this postseason.

”I’ve been in the league for some years and ran across him on the other side and really hated his guts Justin Houston Jersey ,” said Hill, who was on Indiana teams eliminated by James. ”But to have him on our side, it kind of lets me take a deep breath of fresh air. It’s just something that you really can’t explain what he’s doing night in, night out. It’s just something special.”

”I thought the best was when he always put us out. But to actually see it when he’s on your team, I can’t even put it into words.”

The real possibility that James was playing his last game in Cleveland hung over the game – and this city – in the hours leading to tip-off. Everyone had an opinion on what James will do next and that discussion filled the sports talk radio airwaves, bars and barber shops.

The 33-year-old has said several times since coming home in 2014 that he wants to retire with the Cavaliers, but fans are uneasy because he can opt out of his $35.6 million contract this summer and test free agency.

And, of course, he left in 2010.

James has said he’ll sit down after the season ends to decide next move, and he’s already being courted in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York where fans
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