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With three NHL goalies under contract, Sens GM Murray knows something has to give

OTTAWA — With three NHL goalies under contract, Bryan Murray knows something has to give. The Ottawa Senators general manager told media Thursday morning that he has fielded a number of calls regarding his goaltending trio. With Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner already under contract, the Senators made their goaltending situation more interesting by signing Andrew Hammond, who had a breakout...

Reds star Joey Votto suspended 2 games for home plate tantrum, files appeal

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto appealed a two-game suspension Friday for his home plate tantrum, saying that he didn't deserve to be ejected from a game let alone suspended.

Major League Baseball also fined Votto an undisclosed amount Friday before the Reds' game against the St. Louis Cardinals. By appealing the suspension, Votto could stay in the starting lineup.

The Toronto native was ejected by plate umpire Bill Welke during the eighth inning of a 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park. He took a second called strike during the at-bat and asked for timeout, but was denied.

The 2010 National League MVP had declined to talk about the matter until he received notice of his suspension Friday. Votto said he politely asked for timeout, using the word "please" three times, but Welke twice said no.

Votto said he'd never been refused a timeout in the major leagues.

"I've played for nine years now," Votto said during his 10-minute explanation to the media outside the Reds' clubhouse. "I'm granted a little bit extra time as long as I'm not showing up the umpire. There was no behaviour along those lines. We have a good relationship, myself and umpires in general. I've got a great track record.

"He said no, you can't have time."

During the loud disagreement that followed, Votto waved his arm and yelled at Welke. He said he used profanity, but didn't spit on the umpire and didn't bump him. Reds manager Bryan Price also was ejected.

"Did I overreact? Yeah, I did overreact," Votto said. "But I felt so compelled and was in such an intense place. Who's to decide how angry I'm allowed to get as long as I follow the rules? I didn't touch him.

"I disagree with the suspension. I disagree with the ejection."

The ejection was Votto's third of the season and seventh of his career. He was suspended for one game after bumping umpire Chris Conroy on May 6. Votto publicly apologized for his behaviour after that confrontation.

He said Welke's refusal to grant him timeout will be central to his appeal.

"I've never seen that before and I don't know if he has a track record of saying no," Votto said. "It was just such an odd scenario and I didn't get it, I didn't get it at all.

"I know I'm appealing for some compassion here, but I've been hammered publicly for this over the last couple days and I feel like I'm trying to give my side of the story here."

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

The Associated Press

TransCanada warns layoffs coming as oil downturn squeezes customers

CALGARY — Employees at TransCanada were informed this week that more job cuts are coming as part of a major overhaul that includes shedding a fifth of senior leadership positions from the pipeline and energy company.

"Falling oil prices and the current environment are having a profound impact on our customers and we must do all we can to drive down costs and pursue our projects more efficiently and strategically," spokesman James Millar said in an emailed statement.

"We are now introducing significant changes that will make us a more nimble organization that will ensure each one of our three business units — natural gas pipelines, liquids pipelines and energy — are able to make the decisions necessary to maintain competitiveness and maximize shareholder value."

TransCanada's growth plan includes $46 billion in commercially secured projects that are set to be complete by the end of the decade.

Millar said about 20 per cent of senior leadership positions are expected to be cut when layoffs and retirements are taken into account.

After that, TransCanada will continue to analyze its organizational structure. It's not clear yet how many of TransCanada's 6,000 employees may ultimately lose their jobs.

TransCanada eliminated 185 positions from its major projects division in June, the first phase of a process that's expected to wrap up in November.

Earlier this week, U.S. presidential contender Hillary Clinton came out against TransCanada's (TSX:TRP) proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a cross-border oilsands conduit that has been stuck in U.S. regulatory limbo for seven years.

Meanwhile, U.S. benchmark crude prices are hovering below US$45 a barrel — about half of what they were a year ago and below what many producers need to turn a profit.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has estimated 35,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry have been shed so far this year.

Follow @LaurenKrugel on Twitter.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Frank Lampard scores first MLS goal; NYCFC beats Toronto FC 2-0

NEW YORK — Another early goal cost Toronto FC.

Frank Lampard scored his first MLS goal and New York City FC beat Toronto FC 2-0 on Wednesday night to end a three-game losing streak.

Lampard, a former Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder, scored in the 20th minute. He settled RJ Allen's back-pass with his chest and rolled in a goal through traffic to send Toronto (11-13-4) to its third straight loss.

"We've gone down relatively early in a number of games lately," said Toronto captain Michael Bradley. "There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves. To look at the other results, the standings, this, that. It's about continuing to work and getting ourselves back home in front of our own fans in our own stadium and getting ourselves back on track."

New York City (8-14-7) won its first game since Aug. 13.

Lampard spent 13 seasons with Chelsea, won three Premier League titles and scored 176 goals in 599 games.

Patrick Mullins headed in Andrea Pirlo's corner kick in the 77th.

"Until they scored the second goal on the corner kick, up until then we are still in it and creating chances," said TFC head coach Greg Vanney. "A few too many times they are able to find that guy and relieve pressure. All in all we need to work harder collectively. Dig down and defend better collectively. Work a little harder, go a couple yards more when we need to.

"We've left a lot of opportunities on the table these last few games."

Josh Saunders had a diving save of Sebastian Giovinco's deflected free kick in the 62nd minute and he punched Bradley's shot from distance over the crossbar in the 70th.

"You have to give credit to their goalkeeper," said Bradley. "They had a number of really good plays in terms of saves and dealing with crosses and dangerous balls in the box. It's frustrating for sure. We let a few more points slip away.

The Associated Press

Vancouver transit vote ‘case study’ in national transportation funding crisis

VANCOUVER — Ballots for an unprecedented plebiscite begin arriving in mailboxes on Monday asking Vancouver-area residents whether they're willing to foot the bill for a massive public transportation overhaul. The vote gives citizens the option of paying a 0.5 per cent sales tax in exchange for a vastly upgraded rapid transit system, hundreds more buses, additional ferries and a new...

Man charged in chemical case faces family complications in bid for bail: lawyer

HALIFAX — The lawyer for a man accused of possessing dangerous chemicals in Halifax says his client may not be able to apply for bail when he appears in court today because of complications in his family situation. But Mike Taylor says he can't provide further details about the complications involving the family of Christopher Burton Phillips, who is charged...

Wolfpack are Back! Eighth-seeded NC State stun No. 1 Villanova 71-68 to advance to Sweet 16

PITTSBURGH — Villanova went from a top seed to No. 1-and-done. N.C. State is back in the Sweet 16, attacking one of the top teams in the nation for 40 minutes and stunning Villanova 71-68 on Saturday night. The Wolfpack went wild as the final horn sounded and danced around the court in celebration. No, it wasn't quite Jim Valvano's mad...

A timeline of the undercover RCMP sting into the B.C. legislature bomb plot

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia couple has been found guilty by a jury of plotting to set off handmade pressure-cooker bombs at the provincial legislature on Canada Day two years ago. The panel convicted John Nuttall and Amanda Korody of conspiracy to commit murder and possession of an explosive substance on behalf of a terrorist group. Their arrest was the culmination of...

System to get economic immigrants to Canada and into jobs faster set to launch

OTTAWA — The Conservative government's overhaul of Canada's immigration system hits a milestone Jan. 1 with the launch of a new system for selecting economic immigrants. The Express Entry program is a mostly-computerized process which uses a set of criteria to assign a ranking to those interested in immigrating to Canada under the skilled worker program, skilled trades program and...

Blatter set for big presidential win in a rare FIFA election held without corruption claims

GENEVA — For once, a major FIFA election is untainted by claims of vote-buying. There's no need this time. Sepp Blatter's widely expected re-election on May 29 as president of soccer's world governing body for a fifth term has seldom seemed a real contest. His hold on the top job is so secure that Blatter published no manifesto, declined to debate...

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to host Nickelodeon TV show next year

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton will be hosting a television show on Nickelodeon next year, the network has announced.

The network said Wednesday that the Carolina Panthers quarterback will host a show called "I Wanna Be" that will feature Newton taking children to help their dreams come true. There will be 20 episodes in all.

Newton will film the show during the off-season. The Pro Bowler will also serve as executive producer of the television series.

The quarterback said he wants to create positive messages to inspire the next generation.

"It's really unbelievable," Newton said during his weekly news conference before Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. "You know I'm a kid at heart, we all know that — but yet, I think nowadays days, so much is really said about reality TV. After knowing so many people that are actually there, I didn't necessarily want to go that route."

Newton said his love of kids is what drove him to expand his horizons.

"I love giving back and just seeing their faces and the energy they give off, which is reciprocated because I'm enjoying that as well," Newton said.

The network's release said Newton will step into the lives of different children and taken them on a journey that will push them closer to fulfilling their dreams.

"It's coming off the notion of everybody sees the superhero in how I play," Newton said. "I've gotten the nickname Superman, SuperCam ever since I can remember.

"And now I'm showing that, to kids, you don't necessarily have to be a football player, you don't have to be a basketball player — but everybody has a superpower in them. Your superpower may be drawing, your superpower may be being a teacher, your superpower may be even being a scientist or a doctor."

Newton said he is anxious for what he expects to be a "wild ride."

"Meeting new kids and trying to make them maximize their superpower is pretty cool," Newton said.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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AP Sports Writer Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina contributed to this report.

The Associated Press

SNC-Lavalin gets boost from analyst over federal changes and contract awards

MONTREAL — Embattled engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin got a boost Monday when an analyst upgraded his rating for the company after the federal government signalled a change in its procurement policy in last week's budget. Analyst Chris Murray of AltaCorp Capital said his new target price for SNC shares (TSX:SNC) is $51, up from $43. The shares peaked at...

B.C. man convicted of human trafficking in nanny case gets new trial

VANCOUVER — A B.C. man convicted of human trafficking over the alleged treatment of his Filipinio nanny has been awarded a new trial after winning an appeal. Franco Orr was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in jail in 2013 for human trafficking, illegally employing a foreign national and lying to immigration officials. He was charged along with his wife, who...

Thomas Vanek, Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise score in third, Wilds beat Flames 4-2

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Thomas Vanek and Mikko Koivu scored early in a three-goal third period and the Minnesota Wild pulled away to beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 on Friday night. Matt Dumba and Zach Parise also scored for Minnesota, which pulled within a point of Chicago for third place in the Central Division and moved a point ahead of...

IOC panel visits Beijing’s 2022 bid sites as China fires back at human rights critics

BEIJING — IOC evaluators began a five-day inspection tour of Beijing's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics on Tuesday as Chinese organizers fired back at critics of the government's human rights record. The International Olympic Committee inspection is a key test of Beijing's status as a front-runner in the bid race against Almaty, Kazakhstan. Beijing is seeking to become the...

2 killers must have taken days to cut their way out of prison; $100,000 reward posted

DANNEMORA, N.Y. — Two convicted murderers who used power tools to escape from prison near the Canadian border must have taken days to cut through steel walls and pipes and break through the bricks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday as a $100,000 reward was posted for information leading to their capture. Authorities were investigating how the inmates obtained the power...

Interim injunction against Wet’suwet’en members not going away soon: lawyer

VANCOUVER, B.C. - A lawyer for members of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation who oppose a natural gas pipeline through their traditional territory says they will likely be ordered to maintain a 10-metre distance from any work site or workers for several months. Michael Lee Ross says interim injunctions like the one granted to Coastal GasLink in December typically remain in...

Canada loses two players to injury ahead of Ghana soccer friendly

ORLANDO, Fla. — Defender David Edgar and midfielder Kyle Bekker have dropped out of Canada's roster for next week's friendly against Ghana due to injury.

The Canadian Soccer Association says Charlie Trafford, a newcomer to the Canadian program, will replace Bekker, who plays for the Montreal Impact. Edgar, currently on loan with England's Sheffield United, is not being replaced.

Trafford plays in Finland for Kuopion Palloseura (KuPS).

Canada, ranked 104th in the world, meets No. 25 Ghana at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 13. The team is currently in camp in Florida.

The Canadian Press

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