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Chiefs introduce Dorsey as new general manager

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Chiefs introduce Dorsey as new general manager

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) John Dorsey called becoming the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs the ``perfect storm.'' The word ``serendipity'' may have been more appropriate.

The longtime Packers personnel man met his wife, Patricia, on a blind date orchestrated by former Chiefs executive Lamonte Winston several years ago. Patricia had attended the University of Kansas and lived in Kansas City, and Dorsey remembers being smitten by her.

``I'll be honest with you, the moment I met her, I knew I'd marry her. That's the truth,'' he said. ``And I could see that she didn't walk away from me, so that was good.''

Dorsey was also smitten by Kansas City.

Even though he played for the Packers during the 1980s, and got his start in their scouting department, he still considered the Chiefs his ``dream job.'' So when chairman Clark Hunt called looking for a replacement for the fired Scott Pioli, Dorsey couldn't turn down the chance.

Dorsey was officially introduced as the Chiefs' new general manager on Monday.

``I was like, `If this could possibly work out, would we be at peace with this whole thing?''' Dorsey said. ``Once Trish was at peace with it, and I was at peace with it, that was a good thing. And then we had to make sure Clark Hunt said yes. And my gosh, when he said yes, I looked right at her, and I said, `You would not believe what that phone call just was.'''

It was the culmination of more than two decades of work in Green Bay, where Dorsey was instrumental in putting together drafts that helped the Packers win nine division championships, three conference titles and Super Bowls in 1996 and 2010.

``I didn't know a lot about him other than his reputation,'' Hunt said. ``I can't tell you how excited he was. He said, `This is the opportunity I've been waiting for.'''

Dorsey takes over a team that was 2-14 last season, the worst finish in franchise history and tied for the worst record in the NFL. There are problems at quarterback, holes up and down the roster and several top players about to become free agents.

But he also inherits a franchise that will have the No. 1 pick for the first time, and that has plenty of salary cap space to begin plugging all those holes.

``We would like to be consistently competitive in this division, this conference and ultimately the Super Bowl. That's why we're here, to do the job,'' Dorsey said. ``I'm going to do everything within my God-given ability to make sure we have a competitive team in the NFL.''

Dorsey will have final say over all personnel matters, but he'll likely get plenty of input from new coach Andy Reid, whom he worked with in Green Bay during the 1990s.

The former Eagles coach was introduced as Romeo Crennel's replacement a week ago.

``I'm happy to work with John again,'' Reid said. ``I've known John for a long time, and I have a lot of respect for him. He's a talented individual with a strong work ethic.''

He's also a ``people person,'' Hunt said, someone who can bridge divides.

Hunt interviewed Dorsey for about six hours last Tuesday. The discussions continued for several days before Dorsey, who had bypassed other GM overtures in the past, finally decided to move into the hot seat in Kansas City.

``In his interview, although it went on for a while, he showed a high degree of enthusiasm the whole way,'' Hunt said, ``which showed to me that Kansas City was a priority for him.''

Dorsey said he spent an hour with the personnel staff Monday, and that his next order of business is to evaluate the current roster. He wants to meet with the coaching staff to discuss their philosophy, and then outline a plan for free agency and begin meeting about the draft.

The draft, of course, is where Dorsey burnished his reputation.

He began his career as a college scout in Green Bay, and later rose to director of college scouting. During his years with the Packers, Dorsey helped to scout and draft quarterback Aaron Rodgers, defensive tackle B.J. Raji, linebackers Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk, and wide receivers Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings and Randall Cobb.

``John has been a loyal member of the Packers family and the Green Bay community for more than half of his life,'' Packers GM Ted Thompson said in a statement. ``The Chiefs have hired a good man, and John has earned this opportunity.''

Dorsey didn't get into details about what the next few months will hold for the Chiefs, though there are several personnel decisions that must be made soon.

Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and left tackle Branden Albert are among several key players who can become free agents, and could potentially be franchised. Other players will also be available on the free-agent market, though Dorsey warned about the flaws of building a team in that way.

``I like to be selective in free agency,'' he said. ``I always believe you can still get value within that philosophy, and you can still acquire players.''

The Chiefs are also in desperate need of an upgrade at quarterback, where Matt Cassel was benched last season and Brady Quinn fared little better.

Kansas City has only drafted one quarterback in the past six seasons - Ricky Stanzi in the fifth round. The Chiefs also haven't picked a quarterback higher than the third round since 1992, and in the first round since choosing Todd Blackledge in '83.

``Any time when you begin to build a franchise, let's be real, the quarterback is a very important part,'' Dorsey said. ``As you note the last couple weeks in the playoffs, the quarterback position is a very important position to the long-term success of the organization.''

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A Capital doesn't win Hardest Shot at NHL Skills for the first time in 3 years

A Capital doesn't win Hardest Shot at NHL Skills for the first time in 3 years

ST. LOUIS -- John Carlson did a valiant job trying to defend his title for the hardest shot, but Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber took home the prize with a blistering 106.5 MPH shot at the NHL Skills on Friday.

Alex Ovechkin won the Hardest Shot in 2018 and Carlson won it in 2019. He looked to be in good position to win it again after taking the lead with only one shooter left to go.

As Carlson skated up for his turn, the number to beat was 102.4 from Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson. Carlson shattered that with a shot of 104.5, beating his own winning shot from last year of 102.8.

The only problem? Weber was the last shooter.

"With Webs going behind him you kind of just expect him to go put up some big numbers," T.J. Oshie said. "But when John put up 104.5, you thought maybe there was a chance, but obviously Shea stepped up and took care of business."

Weber had Carlson beat on his very first shot. Weber smashed the puck for 105.9 MPH on his first attempt. As he was the last shooter, he had already won, but took his second shot anyway and beat his own mark, finishing with a 106.5 MPH shot.

While the Caps had won the event in each of the past two seasons, Weber had won it three straight times before Ovechkin took the title in 2018.

Even when Carlson took the lead, he still did not believe he would win knowing Weber still had to go.

"I think I knew all along we were all just a part of the show," Carlson said.

Braden Holtby also fell short in his attempt to win the Save Streak event. Frederik Anderson had the number to beat of seven when Holtby went between the pipes. He faced shooters from the Atlantic Division and made a run at seven when he stopped David Pastrnak’s shot. A goalie's round could not end on a save. As the captain, Pastrnak was the last shooter unless Holtby saved his shot. When Holtby stopped Pastrnak, that meant he would continue facing shots until he was beaten. With two straight saves, Holtby denied Shea Weber and Brady Tkachuk to get his streak up to five saves before he was finally beaten by Jack Eichel.

"I was just hoping Shea Weber wouldn't come down and take a slap shot on me,” Holtby told the NBCSN broadcast.

St. Louis Blues Jordan Binnington ended up winning the event, much to the delight of the home crowd. Andrei Vasilevskiy raised the save streak up to nine with Binnington as the last goalie to go. In dramatic fashion, Binnington went on to deny 10 straight shots to take the win.

Other highlights of the All-Star Skills:

Ryan O’Reilly’s football helmet

Next week is the Super Bowl Sunday and Ryan O’Reilly showed who he is cheering for in warmups as he came onto the ice wearing a Kansas City Chiefs' helmet.


Connor McDavid is not the fastest skater?

We all know who the fastest skater in the NHL is. It’s Connor McDavid. You might as well just declare the race over, right?

Not so fast. (See what I did there?)

Stunningly, McDavid did not win the event and was edged out by New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal who completed the event in 13.175 seconds, just 0.03 seconds away from the record.

The Justin Bieber mask

San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl decided to have some fun during the save streak. Before his shot attempt on Binnington, he busted out a Justin Bieber mask and put it on before shooting.

No, he did not score. Yes, the mask was terrifying.


The women’s 3-on-3 game was awesome

If there is one complaint about the All-Star Skills and All-Star Game, is that it is not competitive enough. Players have fun with it, as they should, but they aren’t exactly going 100-percent like they would in an actual game. That was certainly not the case for the 3-on-3 women’s game between Canada and USA.

The women’s teams put on a great display of skill in what was an incredibly fun game to watch. Canada took a 1-0 lead in the first period off a goal from Rebecca Johnston. Melodie Daoust made it 2-0 in the second period and Hilary Knight finally put USA on the board putting them to within one.

But really it was the goalies who stole the show. With plenty of room to work, there were a number of breakaways and odd-man rushes. Both Alex Cavallini for the USA and Ann-Renee Desbiens for Canada were strong in net to keep it a three-goal game.

"It was pretty impressive," Oshie said. "The goalies stood on their head, but the girls were making some awesome plays, some great moves. It's always fun cheering on the Americans."

Desbiens had a drop the mic moment with a glove save just as time expired to maintain the 2-1 win for Canada.

Shooting Stars

You have to credit the NHL for trying. One of the new events featured players on a raised platform in the crowd shooting at targets on the ice. It was...different. The biggest issue with it was that the players could not hit most of the targets and the one that seemed the easiest to get was worth the most points. This one will need some tweaking if they want to bring it back again next year.

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Ryan Zimmerman’s return to the Nationals is finally happening

Ryan Zimmerman’s return to the Nationals is finally happening

If Ryan Zimmerman did not return to the Nationals, he at least would have a future teaching how not to negotiate.

Zimmerman openly drove down his bargaining leverage for almost a year before signing a one-year deal on Friday to return to the only professional team he’s known, a source confirmed. The deal is reported at $2 million.

Throughout the season, Zimmerman openly discussed his interest in returning and understanding it would be at a low rate. As if his stance wasn’t already clear, Zimmerman explained at a screening of the Nationals’ championship video he would return or play more golf.

“So, we’ll be good to go,” Zimmerman said.

It’s baseball for now. Zimmerman rejoins the defending World Series champions to play his 16th season. He’s a 35-year-old platoon player this season. Zimmerman’s money and legacy have been established. He’s back in the fold to pursue another title. 

And he makes an already old Nationals team older. Zimmerman turns 36 years old the day after the 2020 regular season ends. Howie Kendrick will be 37 years old by midseason. Asdrúbal Cabrera is 34 years old. Eric Thames is 33 years old. Will Harris is 35, Daniel Hudson 32, Sean Doolittle 33, Max Scherzer 35, Kurt Suzuki 36. Yan Gomes will be 33 just after the All-Star break. 

Zimmerman will share first base with Thames and, occasionally, Howie Kendrick. They provide an intriguing splits-based platoon. Thames hits right-handers well -- 23 of his 25 2019 home runs came against them, as did much of his opportunity in Milwaukee -- and Zimmerman has a .917 career OPS against left-handed pitchers. Zimmerman is the much better defender.

He’s back because he -- and the Nationals -- believe Zimmerman’s production remains directly tied to his health. His September and postseason work showed Zimmerman’s bat speed remains intact. He is quietly one of the better defensive first baseman in the league. They think they can protect him. Overall, the Nationals are so comfortable with an expanse of older players because they plan to shield them with limited usage. Also, Josh Donaldson went to Minnesota, clearing the cash and providing a need for Zimmerman. 

Kendrick, Cabrera and Starlin Castro can play various infield spots. Thames and Zimmerman will reduce the other’s role, as well as pinch-hit when not starting. Davey Martinez has options. He also has the challenge of rotating players. One thing on his side: older players know they are just that. Grousing about playing time should not be an issue with the group, the majority of which played as role players last year on the way to a World Series title. 

One other thing to note about Zimmerman: he’s 30 home runs short of 300. Can he get there with another two years on the field? He has at least one more to add to his total, assuring his driver has another lonely summer.

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