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Ontario gives Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment $500K for NBA all-star game

TORONTO - Ontario's Liberal government came under fire Thursday for quietly giving $500,000 to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to help secure the 2016 NBA all-star game for Toronto. "It's amazing that they'd find $500,000 to give to the second wealthiest sports organization in the world," said Progressive Conservative Doug Holyday. "I don't think NBA basketball needs that help, and I'm certain if the Liberals were proud of doing it they would have made an announcement about it, and they haven't."

NHL: Blackhawks, Leafs win NHL season openers

Chicago Blackhawks players celebrated the team's fifth Stanley Cup title won last June with a championship banner-raising ceremony, then beat Washington 6-4 in Tuesday's National Hockey League season opener. Joining them in triumph were the Toronto Maple Leafs, who captured the first NHL game of the season played in Canada by beating the host Montreal Canadiens 4-3. At Chicago, the tone was set before the game as fans cheered the commemoration of the team's NHL Final triumph over Boston just over three months ago.

Big events have NHL seeing gold, silver and cash

By Steve Keating TORONTO (Reuters) - With the Sochi Olympics, the biggest Winter Classic and a new Stadium Series, the National Hockey League (NHL) launches its most ambitious season since expansion on Tuesday looking to regain lost momentum and fans. For NHL players, winning an Olympic gold medal and having their names engraved on the Stanley Cup will be the big prizes this season but for a league in recovery mode there is much more is at stake.

NHL: Clarkson suspended 10 games for brawl

David Clarkson was slapped with a 10-game ban Monday after he left the Toronto bench to join a brawl in the third period of a National Hockey League pre-season game against Buffalo. League officials said the punishment, which will start with the Maple Leafs' regular-season opener, was an automatic suspension for a player who leaves a team bench to fight. Clarkson left the Toronto bench Sunday to defend teammate Phil Kessel, who was being attacked by Buffalo's John Scott. Scott is 2.07 metres (6ft 8in), 25 centimeters taller than Kessel.

Maple Leafs' Clarkson banned 10 games for joining brawl

(Reuters) - Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson has been suspended 10 regular season games for leaving the bench to join a brawl in a preseason game versus the Buffalo Sabres, the National Hockey League (NHL) said on Monday. An earlier fight raised tensions in the exhibition game on Sunday and the melee, which included a scrap between the teams' goalies, began when a Buffalo enforcer tried to instigate a fight with Toronto forward Phil Kessel.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment enters sponsorship deal with Canadian Tire

TORONTO - Hockey fans can expect to see the Canadian Tire logo in-ice during Toronto Maple Leafs home games at the Air Canada Centre under a new partnership with Maple Leaf Sports The two companies announced an extensive and sweeping business partnership Monday that they say "matches up Canada's leading sports retail brands and the country's largest professional sports organization." In addition to extensive branding, the partnership includes plans for a new Sport Chek store in Maple Leaf Square and MLSE apparel stores in select Canadian Tire stores.

Oilers name Eakins as new head coach

(Reuters) - The Edmonton Oilers appointed Dallas Eakins as the National Hockey League club's new head coach on Monday, replacing the fired Ralph Krueger. Eakins, 46, has been the head coach of the minor league American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies since 2009. As a player, Eakins competed for the Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Calgary Flames.

So, is astronaut Chris Hadfield interested in politics?

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield says he's interested in politics but has no immediate plans to make it his next career. In an interview with The Canadian Press, he was asked whether he might use his newfound fame as a springboard into the political arena. "I'm as interested in politics as any Canadian, of course. That determines the fate of our country," Hadfield said Friday in an interview from Houston. "But for me personally, right now, I have no aspirations at all."

Buds Buzz: Toronto fans thrilled to have home playoff date after long wait

TORONTO - Chris Jesse proudly put on his Toronto Maple Leafs jersey on Monday, stepped out of his downtown condo building and soaked up the energy that has been building in the hockey-mad city. It was unlike any spring afternoon he had experienced in the last nine years. Post-season fever has gripped playoff-starved Toronto and Jesse is glad the wait is finally over. "It's actually been torturous," he said. "It's hard to find teams that I'm actually interested in other than the Leafs in the playoffs. It's been a long time coming and thank God it's here."

There'll be no NHL playoff bet between the mayors of Boston and Toronto

TORONTO - There won't be an NHL playoff bet between the mayors of Boston and Toronto. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had contacted the mayor of Boston, but in light of last month's marathon bombing, the request was turned down. The first game of the Eastern Conference quarter-final goes Wednesday night in Boston. Ford is encouraging Toronto residents to wear blue in honour of the Leafs as they take on the Bruins in their first playoff game in nearly a decade. And he predicts the Maple Leafs will win the first round matchup in six games.
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