Cubs

NHL team parts ways with its GM

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NHL team parts ways with its GM

From Comcast SportsNet
MONTREAL (AP) -- The Canadiens fired general manager Pierre Gauthier after a dismal season and split with Montreal great Bob Gainey on Thursday, insisting such play will not be tolerated by a franchise long part of hockey history. "We need to remember that our fans want us to win, period," owner Geoff Molson said. "Our organizational culture is to support and adopt this passion for victory. Nothing else matters." A string of moves by Gauthier failed to revive Montreal, which has been hit by injuries and is 29-34-14, last in the Eastern Conference. "Everyone in this organization, including our players, expected better," said Molson, stressing the Canadiens' standard is to reach the top, not just make the playoffs. Gainey, whom Gauthier succeeded as GM, is leaving his role as team adviser, Molson said at news conference. Gainey and Gauthier are longtime friends. Serge Sarvard, another Canadiens star, will advise Molson in the search for a new GM. Molson praised his team's fans and spoke of a restoration to the day when the Canadiens ruled the NHL, pointing to a stockpile of draft picks and promises of acquiring new talent. Gauthier fired assistant Perry Pearn and then coach Jacques Martin in mid-December, only to find himself in even more trouble for appointing unilingual Randy Cunneyworth as interim coach. With protests from some Quebec nationalist groups and an ongoing controversy in the media, Gauthier apologized and promised that a French-speaking coach would be behind the bench next season. In February, Molson resorted to Twitter to deny that Gauthier had been dismissed. Gauthier was hired as GM and executive vice president in February 2010, taking over from Gainey. He joined the organization in 2003 when he was appointed director of professional scouting.

Cubs officially hire Jim Hickey as pitching coach, fill other coaching vacancies

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USA TODAY

Cubs officially hire Jim Hickey as pitching coach, fill other coaching vacancies

Joe Maddon's 2018 coaching staff came into focus Tuesday, with the Cubs officially announcing three moves.

The Cubs made Jim Hickey the team's pitching coach, making official what has been assumed for a while, that Maddon's former pitching coach with the Tampa Bay Rays would take over for Chris Bosio on the North Side.

Additionally, Brandon Hyde was moved from his role as the team's first base coach to become Maddon's bench coach, taking over for Dave Martinez, who is the new manager of the Washington Nationals.

And the Cubs announced that Will Venable will be the new first base coach after he was recently named a special assistant to president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer.

Hickey, a Chicago native, spent the past 11 seasons as the Rays' pitching coach, presiding over a litany of young arms during and after Maddon's tenure as the manager there, including James Shields, Matt Garza, David Price, Chris Archer and Alex Cobb. Hickey was the pitching coach for a pair of World Series teams: the 2005 Houston Astros and the 2008 Rays.

Hickey's relationship with Cobb could be of particular interest this offseason, as the free-agent pitcher could be a target for the Cubs' front office.

Hyde has served as the Cubs' bench coach before, filling the role on Rick Renteria's staff in 2014. He spent the past three seasons as Maddon's first base coach, part of a staff that appeared in three straight National League Championship Series and won the 2016 World Series.

Venable spent nine seasons in the major leagues, wrapping up his playing career in 2016 after playing for the San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

In addition to these moves to lock in Maddon's coaching staff, the Cubs also announced the addition of Jim Benedict as a special assistant. Benedict was most recently the vice president of pitching development for the Miami Marlins and has also worked for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.

Potential top pick in 2018 NBA Draft Michael Porter Jr. will likely miss entire freshman season

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USA TODAY

Potential top pick in 2018 NBA Draft Michael Porter Jr. will likely miss entire freshman season

The Bulls will be keeping a close eye on the best young talent the loaded 2018 NBA Draft will have to offer. But they likely won't be seeing much of Missouri's Michael Porter Jr.

The school announced Tuesday that their freshman forward, the top recruit in the country, will miss the remainder of his freshman season.

Porter played all of 100 minutes for the Tigers, amassing 2 pioints and 2 rebounds in the Tigers' win over Iowa State.

The injury isn't to say Porter won't declare for the 2018 NBA Draft, or that it will affect his stock at all. He's still considered a legitimate franchise player and certainly someone all teams drafting in the top 5 will have their eye on.

But there will be competition. Players like Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley, DeAndre Ayton and Mo Bamba make up what could be one of the best draft classes in recent memory.

For now the Bulls will have to wait until the spring or summer to see Porter Jr. work out, while doing due diligence on the rest of the class.