Blackhawks

Rees pleads guilty, apologizes for May arrest

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Rees pleads guilty, apologizes for May arrest

Per multiple reports out of South Bend, Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees has pleaded guilty to resisting law enforcement and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor, both misdemeanors, stemming from an incident in May. Prosecutors dropped charges of misdemeanor battery and a second charge of resisting law enforcement.
The incident occurred May 3, in which Rees attempted to flee police breaking an off-campus party and reportedly kneed an officer trying to chase him down. Reportedly, the then-19-year-old Rees had a BAC over the legal limit.
"I apologize to my family, friends, the Notre Dame community, Fighting Irish fans and the South Bend Police Department for my actions this spring," Rees said in a statement released Monday afternoon. "I made a poor decision and I accept full responsibility.
"I learned a valuable lesson and witnessed first-hand that actions have consequences. This experience will make me a better person and I will focus on being a positive role model and citizen. To those who supported me during this difficult time, I offer my sincerest thanks. To the people I disappointed, I am dedicated to winning back your trust and confidence."
The Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton reports Rees' plea agreement entails a 30-day suspended sentence, 50 hours community service and 11 months probation. Additionally, Rees will have to write a letter of apology to the officers involved in the incident, and he'll have to pay a fine for restitution, the amount will be determined at a hearing in August.
Notre Dame has yet to take any disciplinary action regarding Rees, and any further penalties will be levied by Notre Dame's Office of Residence Life or coach Brian Kelly.
How this impacts Rees' standing in Notre Dame's four-player quarterback battle won't be known until preseason practice begins in early August. Rees, a junior and the eldest member of the group, will compete with sophomores Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson as well as true freshman Gunner Kiel for Notre Dame's No. 1 quarterback job leading up to the team's season opener Sept. 1 in Dublin, Ireland against Navy.
Rees completed 65.5 percent of his passes in 2011, throwing for 2,871 yards and 20 touchdowns. Turnovers plagued Rees -- and the entire Notre Dame offense -- with the then-sophomore quarterback throwing 14 interceptions.

It's official: Blackhawks-Bruins to play at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019 Winter Classic

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USA TODAY

It's official: Blackhawks-Bruins to play at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019 Winter Classic

It’s official: The Blackhawks are headed back outdoors.

The NHL announced that the 2019 Winter Classic will be held at Notre Dame Stadium, featuring the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1.

"The Blackhawks and Bruins, two of our most historic franchises, will be meeting outdoors for the first time at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Notre Dame Stadium, with its capacity approaching 80,000, will provide an ideal setting for this ground-breaking event and will host the largest live audience ever to witness a game by either of these teams."

"The Chicago Blackhawks are honored to be participating in this marquee event at an iconic venue like Notre Dame Stadium," Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough said in a statement. "The University of Notre Dame has strong alumni roots in both Chicago and Boston, and, with an established rivalry between the Blackhawks and Bruins, fans will be treated to an exciting game in a unique atmosphere. We appreciate the invitation to the game and look forward to what will be a great day for both franchises and the National Hockey League."

It's the sixth time the Blackhawks will be playing outdoors, and their league-leading fourth Winter Classic. The Blackhawks are 1-4-0 in outdoor games, and are winless in three Winter Classic games.

Chicago's only outdoor win came against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2014 Stadium Series Classic, a 5-1 victory at Soldier Field.

Joao Meira spills the first news of the Fire's offseason

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USA TODAY

Joao Meira spills the first news of the Fire's offseason

The wait to find out which players have their options picked up or declined by the Fire might still be a couple weeks, but the first news of a player move in the Fire's offseason came via Twitter.

Defender Joao Meira announced he won't be returning to the club in 2018.

Meira signed with the Fire just before the start of the 2016 preseason after being out of contract in Europe. The Portuguese center back signed a one-year deal with a club option for the second year.

After he played 28 matches with 26 starts in 2016, the Fire picked up his option. He became even more of a fixture at center back in 2017, beating out Jonathan Campbell for the other starting spot alongside Johan Kappelhof. Meira played in 30 regular season matches and made 27 starts, finishing fourth on the team in minutes played (2,412).

That Meira won't be back isn't a major surprise for a few reasons. First, he was out of contract. He was one of two players, along with Bastian Schweinsteiger, on the Fire's roster that the team had no control over for 2018. On top of that, the 30-year-old had made it clear that he wanted to be closer to his home and family in Portugal.

Meira's departure leaves a gap at the center back position for the Fire. Kappelhof, who enters the third year of a three-year guaranteed deal in 2018, and Campbell, who will likely have his club option picked up, enter as the only healthy center backs in 2018. Christian Dean was added in August via trade, but is coming off a broken foot, an injury that has plagued him before. His status for the start of the 2018 season is unclear.

Grant Lillard, a potential homegrown signing and a senior at Indiana, could compete for time at center back next season. He is one of the top rated players in the country for the Hoosiers, which are the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. While Lillard could step in from a numbers perspective and would add size to the Fire's back line (Lillard is 6-foot-4), he wouldn't be able to replace Meira's ability on the ball. Meira wasn't as effective of a defender as Kappelhof, but was arguably the best passer among the Fire's center backs and helped alleviate pressure at times.

This also opens up an international spot on the Fire's roster. The Fire went over the alloted total last season, but were able to put John Goossens and Jorge Bava on the disabled list to clear room. Meira's exit gives a bit more flexibility in that department.