Trotz Resigns As Capitals Head Coach – Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz has tendered his resignation from the team, becoming a free agent after leading the franchise to its first Stanley Cup on June 7. “After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I am officially announcing my resignation as Head Coach of the Washington Capitals,” Trotz said in a statement Monday. It was believed that Trotz did not have a contract after this season. According to multiple reports, there was a two-year extension on his contract if Trotz won the Stanley Cup. That extension was negotiated in 2014, at a time before head coaches like Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks exploded the coaches’ salary market with blockbuster deals. The Capitals and Trotz attempted to renegotiate an extension on better conditions for Trotz, but were unable to come to terms.
Gay Opting Out Of Deal With Spurs – San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay is declining his 2018-19 player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, league sources tell ESPN. Gay is turning down a salary of $8.8 million in order to hit free agency. The 31-year-old veteran signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Spurs last offseason, and the deal contained a player option on the second year. During his lone season in San Antonio, Gay served in a reserve capacity for the first time in his 11-year NBA career. He appeared in 57 games during the 2017-18 campaign, averaging 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in a career-low 21.6 minutes per game. The Spurs are now waiting for a decision from shooting guard Danny Green, who has a player option of $10 million.
Nadal Fights Off 4 Set Points, Wins French Opener – Ten-time champion Rafael Nadal fought off a strong challenge by Italian lucky loser Simone Bolelli in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday, yet still advanced in straight sets. Nadal improved his Paris record to 80-2 with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9) rain-interrupted win completed over two days on Court Philippe Chatrier after saving four set points in the tiebreaker. Nadal, once again the overwhelming favorite on his preferred surface after claiming clay titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome, trailed 6-3 in the tiebreaker but fended off Bolelli’s chances in impressive fashion: The top-ranked Spaniard hit an ace, a backhand volley and a crosscourt winner in succession. Mixing deep groundstrokes with subtle shots, Bolelli obtained another set point with a backhand drop shot to lead 7-6, but Nadal hit a service winner on the next point. Nadal won the first three games on the day, but the 129th-ranked Bolelli raised his level and managed a series of good returns. Nadal saved four break points in the eighth game of the final set, including one with a ferocious trademark cross-court forehand winner. Third-seeded Marin Cilic also started his Paris campaign with a straight-set win over James Duckworth, while up-and-coming Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov got past John Millman in his Grand Slam debut 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.
Three-Time NFL Coach Of Year Knox Dies At 86 – Chuck Knox, who has the second-most victories of any coach in Seattle Seahawks history and who also coached the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills, died at age 86 after suffering from dementia. The Seahawks on Sunday confirmed the news of Knox’s death. Nicknamed “Ground Chuck” for his teams’ run-first offenses, Knox went 80-63 during the regular season over nine years as Seattle’s coach. His debut season with the Seahawks in 1983 was highlighted by the first playoff appearance in franchise history; Seattle advanced to the AFC Championship Game against the Raiders with a road upset of Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins in the divisional round. Knox is the only head coach in the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor, having been inducted in 2005. His 80 victories with Seattle are second to Mike Holmgren’s 86. Pete Carroll is third with 79.
Dodgers’ Seager Having Tommy John Surgery – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that shortstop Corey Seager will miss the rest of the season and will undergo Tommy John surgery to fix a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm. “I was pretty good through spring, and pretty good through the beginning, but then, like I said, this weekend I had a few bad throws that really irritated me and went in and got it looked at and we are where we are,” Seager said. “In the physical sense, it hurt, had some numbness and it was time to go get it looked at,” he added. Seager said he was “hoping for inflammation” when he went in for the MRI.
Ichiro Nearing Return to Mariners – Ichiro Suzuki is nearing a return to the Seattle Mariners, who are working to finalize an agreement with the former franchise icon, a source confirmed to ESPN. USA Today Sports first reported Monday that Ichiro and the Mariners were close to a one-year major league deal.
The Mariners announced earlier Monday that outfielder Ben Gamel will miss four to six weeks with an oblique injury, jeopardizing his availability for Opening Day and opening a potential roster spot for the 44-year-old Ichiro. Ichiro’s deal with Seattle could be completed as early as Monday, according to sources.
Cavaliers Suspend Smith For Game vs. 76ers – The Cleveland Cavaliers have suspended guard JR Smith for Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers for detrimental conduct, the team announced. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said “something happened after shootaround” Thursday that led to Smith’s one-game suspension. A team source told ESPN the suspension is from a team-related issue, nothing off the court. Smith was at shootaround Thursday. Rodney Hood will start in place of Smith when the Cavaliers host the 76ers at Quicken Loans Arena. Lue said Smith will be back at practice Friday and will be back in the starting lineup on Saturday against Denver. Smith, 32, is averaging is averaging 8.3 points in 59 games (56 starts) this season.