ionThe Wild took the last wild-card spot in the We from 123's blog

NEW YORK -- The WNBA is withdrawing its fines for teams and players that showed support of citizens and police involved in recent shootings by wearing black warmup shirts before and during games. Adidas Ultra Boost 2018 .WNBA President Lisa Borders said in a statement Saturday the league was rescinding penalties given to the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury and their players for wearing the shirts -- which was a uniform violation. The players started wearing them to show solidarity after shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.Each team was fined $5,000 and players were each given a $500 penalty because WNBA rules stated that uniforms may not be altered in any way. The normal fine for uniform violations is $200.While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues, Borders said. Given that the league will now be suspending play until Aug. 26 for the Olympics, we plan to use this time to work with our players and their union on ways for the players to make their views known to their fans and the public.The fines seemed to galvanize the players, who have used postgame interview sessions and social media to voice their displeasure. There has also been public criticism of the fines, including from NBA star Carmelo Anthony.Its a huge win overall, said Fever All-Star Tamika Catchings, who is president of the players union. I think more than anything I told Lisa at times youre going to agree to disagree. With this, Im really proud of the players standing strong and for utilizing their voices. Change starts with us. We have a social responsibility as well.The Rev. Al Sharpton said earlier Saturday his organization, the National Action Network, would pay the $500 fines. He called the penalty unacceptable.The Liberty wore the plain black shirts four times, including Wednesday against Washington. Indiana and Phoenix donned the shirts on Tuesday night before their nationally televised game. The fines were administered Wednesday and neither the Fever nor Liberty wore the shirts at their matinee game on Thursday. Tina Charles did wear her regular black warmup shirt inside-out in honor of a shooting in Florida that morning.We commend Lisa Borders for recognizing how the players of the WNBA felt and the sensitive time that were living in and being willing to re-evaluate their decision, New York Liberty President Isiah Thomas said. We are also very proud of our players the world is seeing what we already knew. Theyre truly incredible, thoughtful and talented individuals. Our league, our partners and our society are better because of our players willingness to enter the political and social activism arena.Charles was happy that the league rescinded the fines. She donated her entire salary this year to her charity -- Hopeys Heart Foundation -- so the withdrawn fine means more money that will help buy automated external defibrillators.Still, she said it was embarrassing that the players had been fined in the first place.The only good thing that came out of it is that the 70 percent of the WNBA that are African-Americans are protected when the jerseys are on. We are united with police officers, she said. When we take off our jerseys and we are out there, we could be next. We were able to show our voice. People responding to me said you gained a fan, not because of what I do on the court, but the act I did. We have followers now because of who we are, not what we do.Borders told The Associated Press in an interview Friday night that she had been talking with the union and its executive council for two weeks to try to come up with ways that both the league and its players could constructively address the Black Lives Matters movement. Nothing concrete was decided.We were making every effort to engage our players, she said. We made an effort to support them and we were trying to get them to come to the table to have a conversation. The players have an open invitation with the league.Our players are important to us. We believe in them. We want them to be the people they are and were proud of them. We want to make sure they play well on the court and they are happy off the court.Now with the league on break for a month, there is more time for both sides to work together and come up with plans once the league resumes play at the end of August.We are pleased that the WNBA has made the decision to rescind the fines the league handed down to the players on the Fever, Liberty and Mercury, WNBPA operations director Terri Jackson said in a statement. We look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue with the league to ensure that the players desire to express themselves will continue to be supported. Black and White Adidas Ultra Boost .Y. -- Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo had little trouble picking up his first shutout of the season against a Buffalo Sabres team thats having trouble scoring goals. Cheap Adidas Ultra Boost 2018 . NBA officials ruled the court unplayable in the Bucks final exhibition game on Oct. 25 because players were slipping, and the game was cancelled midway through the first period. . "Were just throwing s--- at the wall hoping something sticks," said Tortorella about the possible line combinations for Fridays game against Columbus. The Canucks have lost five straight games and six of their last seven, leaving them in a logjam in the Pacific Division, currently sitting fifth - good for ninth in the Western Conference. This feels very much like a season in which Chuck Fletcher is on trial as the longtime GM of the Minnesota Wild.A thoughtful and cerebral hockey man, Fletcher has been at the helm since May 2009, and his team has made the playoffs four straight years. Hardly an indictment for any GM when you consider how tough it is to make the playoffs in this era of so much parity in the league.But the first-round exit last season was a step backward in some peoples eyes.Ownership has spent to the salary cap for years. This is a hockey-crazy market that wants a Stanley Cup run.In one of his most important decisions with the club, Fletcher hired Bruce Boudreau as head coach this offseason in what I believe was a brilliant move.Yes, the narrative is well established about Boudreaus playoff hiccups. But that also overlooks the manner in which he turned around both the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks during his previous coaching tenures and transformed them into division-winning juggernauts.The task is daunting, however, in a crazy competitive Central Division in which the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators look to have improved, while contenders in the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars arent going away.Can Boudreau work his magic?Best new facesThe biggest addition is July 1 unrestricted free-agent signing Eric Staal, who no doubt enters this season ultramotivated to show people hes not done as an elite center. His numbers have certainly regressed the past few years, and his short tenure with the New York Rangers last season after a trade-deadline deal with the Carolina Hurricanes wasnt very impressive.Staal turns 32 on Oct. 29 and feels theres much hockey left in him. He signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Wild and intends to show that was a bargain. He will likely begin the season on the No. 1 line between Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle, so Boudreau is giving him every opportunity to succeed.The Wild also added veteran winger Chris Stewart (whom Boudreau had in Anaheim), No. 3 goalie Alex Stalock and depth defenseman Victor Bartley.Thomas Vanek waas bought out and signed with the Detroit Red Wings, so aside from Staal, the same Wild core returns. Blue Adidas Ultra Boost 2018. .Biggest unknownsSee Staal above. Whether he can bounce back and deliver an impact, No. 1-center-type season will go a long way toward writing the script.Is this the season Mikael Granlund takes it to another level? He put up 44 points (13-31) last season in 82 games, which is below what I think his potential should be delivering. At 24, perhaps this is the season he takes that step. Hes got the hands to do it and a coach who encourages offensive talent to shine.Whatever happened to Jonas Brodin? His play has regressed since he was one of the games most promising young defensemen. Hes only 23, so theres plenty of time to recapture that form, but this season he needs to prove he can be a consistent force on the blue line. We didnt see that enough last season.Sure thingsDefenseman Ryan Suter, thats for sure. He was an absolute two-way stud last season, second only to Erik Karlsson in ice time per game, and for my money should have received more Norris Trophy consideration, at least in terms of being in top-five consideration (he finished eighth in the voting). Suter doesnt take a game off. Hes a horse on that Wild blue line, and I dont expect that to change this season.Another sure thing is that Boudreau will improve the Wilds special teams. The Ducks were first in the NHL in both the power play and penalty kill last season, which is unheard of! You can bet the Wilds 27th-ranked penalty kill will definitely improve, while the teams 18th-ranked power play has a chance to get better under the offensive-minded Boudreau.PredictionThe Wild took the last wild-card spot in the Western Conference from the fifth-place spot in the Central, and I think theyll be in that mix again. To me, its going to be a coin flip between the Jets and Wild for that fifth-place spot in the Central, which could be a wild-card spot as well. Sixth in the Central. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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