Video: UHSAA executive director Rob Cuff talks the latest on realignment, goes in depth on the transfer rule

In part one of a two-part video series, Deseret News Rewind’s Dusty Litster and Dane Stewart talk with UHSAA executive director Rob Cuff about several topics, including his overall thoughts on this past athletic season, the addition of a 6A classification in many sports and the latest on realignment, as well as what the transfer process and rules will look like for the upcoming season.

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

Prospect Of Interest: The 411 on Ryan Merkley

Although his skills are undeniable, Ryan Merkley may be the most polarizing player who could get called in the first round of the NHL Draft.

“He’s one of the most talented players in the draft,” one National Hockey League scout told Sportsnet. “His natural ability to skate and make plays with the puck is at another level. But there are some teams that wouldn’t take him no matter what. He’s the biggest wildcard of the draft.”

Nobody argues about the defenceman’s natural talent. Merkley might turn out to be the best blueliner in this draft – or maybe second-best if top pick Rasmus Dahlin proves to be a generational player.

Dahlin is universally ranked No. 1 among prospects. NHL Central Scouting ranks Merkley as the 45th-best North American skater, which was a big fall from his mid-term ranking of 21.

Team: Guelph (OHL)
Position: D
Shoots: Right
Age: 17
From: Oakville, Ont.
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 170 pounds

31 Thoughts: The Podcast

A weekly deep dive into the biggest hockey news in the world with hosts Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek. New episodes every Thursday.

Apple Podcasts

| Podcatchers

| Listen Now

So why exactly are there concerns with this player? There are a few things. Last season, he publicly argued with his junior coach at the bench and was sent to the dressing room. This season, Merkley was suspended three games for a dangerous, spectacularly undisciplined, two-handed slash at an opponent who had whacked him on the hand.

And in both years, while piling up points for the Storm like few defencemen in recent Ontario Hockey League history – 55 points in 62 games as a 16-year-old rookie, 67 points in 63 games this season – the mercurial Merkley has demonstrated an inability to defend and unwillingness, it seems, to learn.

Honestly, viewed from afar, his greatest …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Dwane Casey wants to send home travelling Raptors fans ‘unhappy’

For years now, Toronto Raptors fans have taken annual pilgrimages to invade the Palace of Auburn Hills and, just this past season, Little Caesers Arena to bring a little bit of the North to the Motor City.

New Detroit Pistons head coach, and former Raptors bench boss, Dwane Casey doesn’t want this tradition to end, although he will now be looking for a different result than what’s been the norm.

“[Toronto Maple Leafs and former Detroit Red Wings head coach] Mike Babcock is a good friend of mine so I know all about the rivalry, the connection between the two countries,” Casey said during his introductory press conference to the Pistons media Wednesday. “One thing I do want is we want those busses to come down from Canada and buy tickets and we’re gonna send them home unhappy.”

The Raptors have owned this mini-rivalry with the Pistons, having won six straight meetings, including four in Detroit. Now that Casey’s on the other end of it, however, he’s determined to reverse course.

“It’s a great rivalry, it’s what the league should be about,” Casey added. “Whether it’s hockey or basketball, we embrace it. They’re a good team up there and so we wanna make sure we send them home unhappy, and I think they’ll respect that.”

Casey was fired by the Raptors shortly after he was swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round for the second straight season, despite setting a franchise record 59 wins and earning the club its first-ever No. 1 seed.

Despite this, the 61-year-old isn’t holding any hard feelings over how things ended in Toronto.

“I can say, unequivocally, that I can hold my head up high for what we built in Toronto,” Casey said. “That’s part of …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca