Sports Digest: Czech Republic says Russian players not welcome for NHL games in Prague

HOCKEY

The war in Ukraine derailed the National Hockey League’s planned return to Europe in October to play its first games outside of North America since the start of the pandemic.

The Czech Foreign Ministry told two NHL teams starting their seasons in Prague that Russian players would not be welcome due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Nashville Predators and the San Jose Sharks will play regular season games on October 7 and 8 at the O2 Arena in Prague. There aren’t many Russians on the two rosters: Nashville has forward Yakov Trenin and San Jose has Alexander Barabanov, along with Evgeny Svechnikov, who is in training camp on a trial deal.

BASKETBALL

NBA: Utah continued to revamp its roster, agreeing to send forward Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons for forward Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee, according to a person with knowledge of the trade.

Detroit will become Bogdanovic’s fifth NBA club. He averaged 18.1 points for the Jazz last season in 69 games, all of them starts, and has averaged 15.0 points in eight seasons with Brooklyn, Indiana, Washington and Utah.

Olynyk will also join his fifth team, after stints with Boston, Miami, Houston and the Pistons. He played in 40 games for Detroit last season, averaging 9.1 points.

• Kawhi Leonard has been cleared again to play 5-on-5 basketball, more than a year since his last NBA game.

Clippers president Lawrence Frank said the team will proceed with some caution with Leonard, the two-time NBA Finals MVP and five-time All-Star who tore the ACL in his right knee during the playoffs in June 2021.

FOOTBALL

LEAGUE OF NATIONS: Kylian Mbappe added another great solo goal and Olivier Giroud moved closer to France’s goalscoring record as the defending World Cup champions beat Austria 2-0 in the Nations League in Paris.

Giroud headed in hard from Antoine Griezmann’s cross for his 49th international goal, two short of Thierry Henry’s record.

France was already eliminated from contention for the Nations League Final Four next June, but Croatia, the Netherlands and Belgium all won to stay in contention.

Croatia beat visiting Denmark, 2-1; The Netherlands won 2-0 in Poland; and Belgium beat Wales 2-1 at home.

GOLF

EUROPEAN TOUR: Rasmus Hojgaard holed a 72-foot birdie putt before shooting a nine-under 62 in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, giving the Danish player a two-shot lead over Alexander Bjork of Sweden.

WINTER SPORTS

SKI JUMPING: The World Cup returns to the United States for the first time in nearly two decades, with a February visit to Lake Placid, New York.

The last ski jumping World Cup in the United States was in 2004 in Park City, Utah. The circuit hasn’t been to North America since 2009 in Vancouver.


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