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ESPN laying off 100 staff

ESPN is laying off about 100 employees, including former athletes-turned-broadcasters Trent Dilfer, Len Elmore and Danny Kanell, in a purge designed to focus the sports network on a more digital future.

The cuts will trim ESPN's stable of on-air talent and writers by about 10 per cent.

The 37-year-old network has been squeezed by rising fees to broadcast live events at the same time hordes of cord-cutting TV viewers have been cancelling their ESPN subscriptions. ESPN has lost about 10 million subscribers during the past six years, based on estimates by Nielsen Media Research.

The downturn prompted an even bigger round of layoffs affecting about 300 workers in 2015, but on-air talent was mostly spared from those cuts.

ESPN chief John Skipper said Wednesday the company wants to provide distinctive content all the time on multiple screens, with more personality-oriented "SportsCenter" broadcasts, and is keeping people best suited to the new strategy.

ESPN isn't saying who has been fired. Many are releasing the news on social media, including Dilfer, NFL reporter Ed Werder, baseball reporter Jayson Stark and college basketball reporter Dana O'Neil.

Former morning host Jay Crawford, football columnist Jane McManus, ESPNU host Brendan Fitzgerald, hockey reporter Pierre LeBrun, soccer reporter Mike Goodman, baseball analyst Jim Bowden and baseball reporter Mark Saxon were among the others to announce their departures.



Subban shines as Predators strike first against Blues

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P.K. Subban had a goal and two assists and Vernon Fiddler scored with 5:05 left, sending the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Wednesday night.

CBC.ca

Sharapova back, winning

Looking relieved, Maria Sharapova went through her familiar routine of waving to the crowd and blowing kisses after winning her first match on her return from a 15-month doping ban on Wednesday.

The five-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 beat Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-3 in the opening round of the Porsche Grand Prix.

"It was the best feeling in the world," Sharapova said about stepping on court again for a professional match. "I have been waiting for this a long time."

Sharapova had earlier been given a lukewarm welcome by the 4,500 spectators, receiving a polite applause and some whistling when she entered the sold-out arena.

The Russian had not been afraid of the reception that awaited her, despite the fact that she entered the event on a much-debated wildcard.

Sharapova was not looking back in anger at her suspension, saying: "I am not an individual that's angry. I let things go pretty quickly."

Wednesday's match was the Russian's first since losing to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open, and her first match on clay in nearly two years.

Against the 36th-ranked Italian, Sharapova had a shaky start, conceding seven of the first eight points and dropping the opening two games within five minutes.

Apart from producing a string of unforced errors, Sharapova also showed flashes of her old self - with several outstanding returns and cross-court winners, mostly followed by her trademark fist pump.

Last year, Sharapova tested positive for the banned substance meldonium. She had her initial two-year ban reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled that the Russian bore "less than significant fault" in the case and that she could not "be considered to be an intentional doper."

Sharapova had been taking meldonium for many years, but overlooked an announcement by the World Anti-Doping Agency that it added the drug to its banned list on Jan. 1, 2016.



Babcock, McLellan, Tortorella finalists for coach of the year

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Toronto's Mike Babcock, Edmonton's Todd McLellan and Columbus' John Tortorella are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL coach of the year.

CBC.ca

Canada clinches playoff berth at mixed doubles curling worlds

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Canada locked up a playoff berth at the world mixed doubles curling championship on Wednesday with a 7-6 victory over England. Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers stole the winning point when Anna Fowler wrecked on a guard with her final throw.

CBC.ca

Andre De Grasse's dream 4-man relay team

Andre De Grasse's dream 4-man relay team

After Donovan Bailey named his dream 4-man relay team, Olympic bronze medallist Andre De Grasse names his own roster. Spoiler: they don't look the same.

CBC.ca

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Eugenie Bouchard blasts 'cheater' Sharapova

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Canada's Eugenie Bouchard had some harsh words for Maria Sharapova, calling the Russian tennis star a "cheater" who shouldn't be allowed to play the sport after failing a doping test.

CBC.ca

It's official: Green is coach

The Vancouver Canucks have named Travis Green as their new head coach.

The team confirmed Green's hiring in a release. He was scheduled be introduced at a press conference Wednesday at Rogers Arena.

Green spent the last four seasons coaching the Canucks' top farm team, the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League.

Prior to that, he coached the Portland Winterhawks to a 2012-13 Western Hockey League title and an appearance in the 2013 Memorial Cup final.

He replaces Willie Desjardins, who spent the last three seasons in Vancouver.

Desjardins was fired earlier this month less than 24 hours after the Canucks finished the 2016-17 campaign 29th in the overall standings.

Similar to Desjardins when he took the job in June 2014, Green has zero experience as an NHL head coach. Green has also never been an NHL assistant and is Canucks' fourth head coach since May 2013.

A 46-year-old from Castlegar, B.C., Green led the Comets to the Calder Cup final in 2015, but lost out in the first round last season before missing the playoffs altogether this spring with a depleted roster as a number of players expected to be in the AHL instead wound up in Vancouver.

The 19th head coach in Canucks' history, Green scored 193 goals and added 262 assists in 970 games over 14 NHL seasons as a centre with the New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins.



Jays, Cardinals postponed due to rain

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The St. Louis Cardinals' game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night has been postponed because of rain. The game has been rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheaderon Thursday. The first game will start as scheduled at 1:45 PM ET and the makeup game will start at 7:15 PM ET

CBC.ca

Rugby league player charged with making racial slur

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Salford's Justin Carney has been charged with making a racial slur during the Red Devils' win over the Toronto Wolfpack in Sunday's fifth-round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup match. Carney was sent off in the 26th minute of Salford's 29-22 rugby league win over Toronto for the alleged abuse against veteran prop Ryan Bailey.

CBC.ca

Canucks coach Travis Green wants Sedins to push culture of team

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‚ÄčThe Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday promoted Travis Green, naming him head coach after he spent the past four seasons guiding their American Hockey League team in Utica, N.Y.

CBC.ca

Andre De Grasse is a busy man

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Eight months after his star turn in Rio, and with the world championships looming this summer, Canadian sprint sensation Andre De Grasse has barely had a chance to catch his breath. But he did take some time for a quick Q&A with us.

CBC.ca



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