In a stunning reversal, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, who withdrew from the Eagles head coaching search on Jan. 6 after interviewing and announced he was returning to Oregon, has accepted an offer to become head coach of the Eagles.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while watching the worlds of sports and politics collide this weekend.
-- Can former Boston University standout Clayton Keller become the NHL’s newest rookie sensation for the Arizona Coyotes? The skills and the skating are certainly there, but we’ll have to see if he can remain in one piece all season with a middling team around him.
-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has Kris Letang returning to the Penguins on Sunday. It still blows my mind that Pittsburgh was able to win the Cup without him in its lineup last spring.
-- Speaking of the Penguins, they say they will accept the White House invitation to visit after last year’s Cup win, and offer a pretty non-committal statement about what’s going on in the other three major sports right now.
-- It was a tremendously successful opening of Little Caesar’s Arena for the Detroit Red Wings last night as they stomped the Bruins in preseason action.
-- The Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri is out to prove that last season wasn’t a one-year wonder.
-- For something completely different: Good to see another Stoneham guy getting some accolades for a dead-on impersonation.
Sunday morning, as President Donald Trump resumed his attack on the National Football League, Patriots president and CEO Robert Kraft issued a statement condemning Trump's call for NFL owners to "fire" players who protest against social injustice during the playing of the National Anthem.
MORE ON TRUMP
- Patriots' Devin McCourty fires back
- . . . and so do NFL owners
- LeBron James, other athletes blast Trump
"I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”
Trump, meanwhile, was back on Twitter, renewing his demand for punishment -- or employment termination -- against such players:
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
...NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017