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Sports Digest: Czech Republic says Russian players unwelcome for NHL games in Prague

Sports Digest: Czech Republic says Russian players unwelcome for NHL games in Prague


HOCKEY

The war in Ukraine threw a wrinkle into the National Hockey League’s planned return to Europe in October to play its first games outside North America since the start of the pandemic.

The Czech Foreign Ministry told two NHL teams opening their seasons in Prague that any Russian players would not be welcome because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks are set to play regular-season games Oct. 7 and 8 at Prague’s O2 Arena. There are not many Russians on the two rosters: Nashville has forward Yakov Trenin and San Jose has Alexander Barabanov, along with Evgeny Svechnikov, who is in training camp on a tryout agreement.

BASKETBALL

NBA: Utah continued to revamp its roster, agreeing to send forward Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons for forward Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee, according to a person with knowledge of the trade.

Detroit will become the fifth NBA club for Bogdanovic. He averaged 18.1 points for the Jazz last season in 69 games, all of them starts, and averaged 15.0 points in eight seasons with Brooklyn, Indiana, Washington and Utah.

Olynyk is also joining his fifth team, after stints with Boston, Miami, Houston and the Pistons. He played in 40 games for Detroit last season, averaging 9.1 points.

• Kawhi Leonard has been cleared for 5-on-5 basketball again, more than a year since his last NBA game.

Clippers President Lawrence Frank said the team will proceed with some caution with Leonard, the two-time NBA Finals MVP and five-time All-Star who tore the ACL in his right knee during the playoffs in June 2021.

SOCCER

NATIONS LEAGUE: Kylian Mbappe added another fine solo goal and Olivier Giroud moved closer to France’s scoring record as the defending World Cup champions beat Austria 2-0 in the Nations League in Paris.

Giroud powerfully headed in a cross from Antoine Griezmann for his 49th goal for the national team – two behind Thierry Henry’s record.

France was already eliminated from contention for the Nations League Final Four next June, but Croatia, the Netherlands and Belgium all won to stay in contention.

Croatia beat visiting Denmark, 2-1; the Netherlands won 2-0 in Poland; and Belgium beat Wales 2-1 at home.

GOLF

EUROPEAN TOUR: Rasmus Hojgaard holed a 72-foot birdie putt on the way to shooting a 9-under 62 in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, giving the Danish player a two-stroke lead over Alexander Bjork of Sweden.

WINTER SPORTS

SKI JUMPING: The World Cup is returning to the United States for the first time in nearly two decades, with a visit in February to Lake Placid, New York.

Ski jumping’s last World Cup in the US was in 2004 in Park City, Utah. The circuit has not been in North America since 2009 in Vancouver.


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