Capitals

Calhoun reveals he had cancer surgery in May

Calhoun reveals he had cancer surgery in May

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Former Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun revealed on Monday that he had surgery in May to remove an apparent cancerous growth from his lungs.

Calhoun mentioned the surgery Monday while taping an episode of YES Network's Center Stage with Michael Kay in New York.

Calhoun told YES that doctors removed the growth, concerned it might be related to a previous skin cancer.

Reached later by telephone, Calhoun was asked to clarify whether the growth was cancer.

``It was cancer-related, yes,'' he told The Associated Press. ``I'm not going to talk about it. I was out for a day and a half. I'm completely healthy now.''

Calhoun, who also had spinal surgery in February, retired in September weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured hip suffered in an August bicycling accident.

The three surgeries ``took a toll on my body,'' Calhoun told YES, ``and I was tired. Now, the energy level I feel is much different.''

The 70-year-old Calhoun, who is still using a cane while recovering from that surgery, also told YES that he has not completely ruled out a return to coaching.

``I would never say never,'' Calhoun told YES.

Calhoun was 873-380 in 40 seasons as a head coach, 26 of them at Connecticut, the other 14 at Northeastern.

Calhoun led UConn to national titles in 1999, 2004 and 2011, an NIT championship in 1988, 10 Big East regular-season championships and seven Big East Tournament titles. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.

But along the way, he suffered from a string of health problems.

He is a three-time cancer survivor, overcoming prostate cancer in 2003 and skin cancer twice, most recently in 2008. He missed 29 games over his 40-year career because of various medical conditions and had to leave another 11 games for medical reasons.

Calhoun missed eight games last season because of the effects of spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine, normally associated with aging and sometimes with arthritis, which led to surgery to have a disk fragment removed from his spine.

He returned to the sideline just five days after that operation.

In 1999, Calhoun coached the Huskies to a 34-2 record and their first NCAA championship, a 77-74 upset over Duke.

In 2004, the Huskies started and ended the season at No. 1, beating Georgia Tech in the NCAA championship game 82-73. The Huskies, led by Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, won their six tournament games by an average of over 17 points.

In 2011, the Huskies, led by Kemba Walker, finished the regular season in ninth place in the Big East before reeling off a remarkable 11 consecutive wins during the postseason, including a 53-41 victory over Butler in the national championship game.

Calhoun is currently serving as a special assistant to the athletic director at UConn, and among other things is helping raise money for the school to build a $40-million training facility, with construction slated to begin in the spring.

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Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

You know what’s fun? Winning Metropolitan Division titles. 

No, it’s not as good as the big prize. The Capitals will never top their 2018 Stanley Cup championship. But winning a competitive division against their biggest rivals five years in a row? Pretty, pretty good. 

Washington took its fifth in a row officially on Tuesday when the NHL announced that the regular season had concluded thanks to the ongoing coronavirus. The Capitals just outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers with 90 standings points to 89. The difference over 69 games? One extra Caps game going into overtime for a single point. 

Credit to the Flyers for making a late run. No one was playing better in the NHL than Philadelphia just before the season was halted. Whether that carries over into the Stanley Cup Playoffs remains to be seen. 

But the Capitals should take pride in that streak. It’s hard to do in an age of parity. They play in a division where the Pittsburgh Penguins won two Stanley Cups in the previous four seasons. The two teams slugged it out three times in the second round. That’s the luck of the draw, and so four straight division titles -- and two Presidents’ Trophies -- meant just one Cup for Washington. 

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It’s also rare to dominate a division the way the Capitals have for five years. The Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division title every year from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, the Detroit Red Wings won the Central Division an astounding eight times from 2001 to 2009. It doesn’t get you a championship -- Washington won the expired Southeast Division from 2008 to 2011 -- but it does mean you played great hockey year after year.

And to do it in the reconstituted Patrick Division, where long-time rivals like the Penguins, Flyers, Rangers, Islanders and Devils joined with newer rivals Carolina and Columbus, makes it even sweeter. Add another banner to the rafters at Capital One Arena. The Caps are the class of the Metropolitan Division yet again. 

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Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

The Washington Nationals decided to use “partial furloughs” to keep their baseball and business employees at work through the end of their contracts or the calendar year.

The road map works like this:

All full-time business and baseball employees will receive a reduction in pay and hours ranging from 10 to 30 percent. If the employee’s contract runs to the end of baseball season -- typically Oct. 31 -- then these parameters apply from now until then. If the employee is not on contract, these reductions persist until Dec. 31.

No full-time employee is being laid off because of the economic impact from coronavirus.

An example: If a person works a 40-hour week, and has the 10 percent reduction in pay and hours, they are down to a 36-hour week at 10 percent pay cut.

The reduction scale slides. The highest-paid employees, like Mike Rizzo, are taking the largest reduction in pay. Then on down the line.

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The Nationals deciding to do this now allows their staff to know what the future holds as opposed to wondering month-to-month what decision the organization will make in regard to their job status.

Major League Baseball organizations remain uneasy about their financial future in 2020 since the season has stalled. The league and its team owners are in the midst of negotiations with the MLBPA while attempting to find a safe, revenue-satisfactory path back to the field.

Meanwhile, teams across the league are assessing their non-player finances, and the approach varies. For instance, the Anaheim Angels decided last week to furlough some non-playing employees.

In Washington, no full-time employee will be laid off because of this salary adjustment.

USA Today was first to report the Nationals’ overall decision.

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