Wednesday, January 19, 2022

July 16, 2021 Before 30 NHL teams release the list of players available for the Kraken, many of them are shuffling the deck to make sure they’re in a good position for the Seattle expansion draft.

Rather than losing Ryan Graves, Colorado traded him to New Jersey. Rather than worry about whether 2020 playoff hero Anton Khudobin would get snapped up, Dallas took goaltender Ben Bishop’s suggestion to expose him instead. Rather than trading or risking the Kraken nabbing defenseman Matt Dumba, Minnesota bought out Ryan Suter and Zach Parise for the expansion draft and other reasons.

“It was a contributing part of the decision,” Wild general manager Bill Guerin said. “We get to protect two more players.”

From players waiving no-movement clauses to GMs making trades and exercising buyouts, this week has been all about preparing for the expansion draft. Protected lists are due Saturday, the Kraken reveal their picks at the expansion draft Wednesday and the rest of the league isn’t standing idly by waiting to see what happens.

“We’re looking at everything,” Philadelphia GM Chuck Fletcher said Tuesday. “It’s an exciting time in a sense that with the Seattle expansion draft, with the flat (salary) cap, you might see maybe a few more trades, a few more hockey trades throughout the week.”

Out of Fletcher’s crystal ball came the Avalanche’s trade Thursday night that sent Graves to the Devils for young forward Mikhail Maltsev and the 61st pick in the regular draft. A 6-foot-5 defenseman who’s only 26 and signed for two more years, Graves almost certainly would’ve been Seattle-bound and now can be protected by New Jersey, which had plenty of protection spots available.

With the 2017 Vegas expansion draft a cautionary tale and the goal of losing as little talent as possible this time, each move happening right now involves some strategy to guard against Seattle. Some moves are more selfless than others.

Bishop, who missed all season recovering from knee surgery, went to GM Jim Nill to offer to waive his no-movement clause so the Stars could protect Khudobin. Bishop could either become for the Kraken what Marc-Andre Fleury was for the Golden Knights as an established goalie for an expansion team or return to Dallas with Khudobin and Jake Oettinger.

Any player with a no-movement clause — the most powerful tool in a player’s contract — must be protected unless he agrees to waive it to save someone else. Colorado’s Erik Johnson and Buffalo’s Jeff Skinner are among the other players who agreed to waive theirs.

Duncan Keith waived him to facilitate a trade from Chicago to Edmonton, and the Oilers are well-positioned to protect the three-time Stanley Cup champion and two-time Norris Trophy winner.

Florida is in an easier spot after buying out veteran defenseman Keith Yandle, who had a no-movement clause. As GM Bill Zito said, “While a decision of this kind is never an easy one to make, we believe that this shift is necessary as we look towards the 2021-22 season and our club’s future.”

The future for every team but the Golden Knights involves losing one player to Seattle, and some will make side deals that involve giving up another or a draft pick. Kraken GM Ron Francis will have all the leverage from this weekend through the expansion draft, but until then he’s playing the waiting game while his colleagues plan ahead.

“Seattle, I’m sure, will have good options,” Fletcher said. “They’ve worked hard, but I think we had a little bit more time to plan for this one. We feel like we’re in good shape.”

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Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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