The Globe’s Robert MacLeod curates the best of sports on the web Monday to Friday
Dave Nonis has, by most accounts, enjoyed a solid National Hockey League training camp.
The Toronto Maple Leaf general manager displayed his truculence, showing solid resolve to get Nazem Kadri and then Cody Franson to sign new deals prior to the start of the regular season.
With the Leafs in Montreal to begin the real deal against the Canadiens Tuesday night comes word that Nonis is working hard to get a new contract completed with Phil Kessel.
Chris Johnston writes for Sportsnet.ca that negotiations on a contract extension for Kessel between the Leafs and the star winger’s agent are taking place.
Time is running out, however, as Kessel has maintained that he will not be open for any discussions about a new contract once the regular season gets underway.
With Kessel reportedly seeking a monster deal that could see him paid roughly $8-million a season it is no wonder that Nonis and the Leafs are proceeding with caution.
The Chicago Blackhawks will begin their defence of the Stanley Cup at home against the Washington Capitals.
Mark Lazerus writes in the Chicago Sun-Times that the Blackhawks are prepared to handle all the hype and expectations and shoot for their third title in five seasons.
Let’s see how Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Capitals handle all the pomp and ceremony as the Blackhawks raise their championship banner to the rafters at the United Center before the game.
With games Tuesday night on three NHL fronts fans will have to get used to hybrid icing which has been added to the rule book as announced by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly on NHL Live.
The rule change is viewed as a safety measure for players as it will prevent mad dashes to the end boards by opposing players looking to touch the puck first on icing plays.
Linesmen will now be able to allow the play to continue or whistle it down depending on which player is ahead at the faceoff dots.
The rule is being ushered in after Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Joni Pitkanen suffered a broken left heel late last season and will miss the entire 2013-14 season.
Rays finally hold upper hand against Rangers
David Price and Evan Longoria both played a role as the Tampa Bay Rays upended the Texas Rangers 5-2 to win the American League wild card tie-breaking game in Arlington.
Gary Shelton writes in the Tampa Bay Times that for the Rays it was payback time against a Rangers team that has given them so much misery over the past few years.
Now it is off to Cleveland for the Rays for the one-game wild card showdown against the rested Indians who won their last 10 games in a row to get to this stage.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona, who was run out of Boston as the manager of the Red Sox a couple of years ago, joked that it helped his players “stayed away from the chicken and beer.”
Saints remain undefeated
The New Orleans Saints extended their win streak to nine games playing on Monday nights, eradicating the Miami Dolphins 38-17 in a battle of the National Football League unbeaten.
As Katherine Terrell writes in the New Orleans Times-Picayune a number of Saints played a role in this impressive victory.
In New York there is no longer any doubt that the Jets are now Geno Smith’s team.
Ian Rapport, writing for NFL.com, reports that Mark Sanchez has decided to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Judy Batista, writing for NFL.com, said that it will be a fitting end for Sanchez who will be released by the Jets once the season comes to a close.