Around The Bases – Your trip around the world in sports for December 5, 2018

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The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.

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First Base - Brandon Browner sentenced to eight years in prison

Brandon Browner, the former cornerback of the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots, and former star for the Calgary Stampeders, was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to kill his ex-girlfriend. This seems especially rough for the NFL coming off the heels of the Kareem Hunt video, but Browner was arrested in July. He plead no-contest. 

Second Base - Flames win big over Columbus; Leivo scores in Canucks debut

After falling behind 4-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets early in the second period yesterday, the Calgary Flames rattled off five straight goals in the second, ultimately winning a very wild game, 9-6. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monohan each had two goals and two assists. Both goalies were pulled in the game. It's a big win for the Flames, their third in a row, as they try to hold off the surging Anaheim Ducks, winners of four straight, who are three points behind Calgary for first spot in the Pacific Division. In Vancouver, though the Canucks lost 2-1 to the Minnesota Wild, Josh Leivo made a splash by scoring his first goal with his new team. Leivo was traded to Vancouver from Toronto on Monday, and playing alongside star rookie Elias Petterson, wasted no time scoring on a pass from his teammate. 

Third Base - Raptors begin tough stretch, host 76ers

The Toronto Raptors, coming off a tough last-second loss to the Denver Nuggets — the top team in the West —begin a stretch of play tonight where eight of their next nine opponents are against teams over .500. That includes games against the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, and the Nuggets again. Tonight, they host the Philadelphia 76ers, who have won four in a row, and have been red hot since trading for Jimmy Butler. This is an important stretch for the Raptors. They have to show their impressive start is no fluke and that they can beat other good teams, especially at home. Adding to the pressure is the fact ESPN will show the game on national TV and are covering the Raptors exclusively all day. But I say there's no pressure at all, and welcome the scrutiny of the team, and can't wait to see what transpires on the court tonight. 

Home Base - NHL gives Seattle the league's 32nd franchise

The NHL announced yesterday that its board of govenors had approved Seattle getting the league's 32nd franchise. This was expected for a year now, and now it's official. It's really exciting, Seattle is a rowdy fan base, and the time is right to capitlaize on the success of the Vegas Golden Knights. I'm not certain the NHL needs 32 franchises — the NFL is the only other major sport that has that many — but the team should be successful while continuing to grow the game and the league in the States, and could lead to the league relocating one of its struggling franchises to Canada, though there's been no talk of that lately. The team won't begin play until the 2021-2022 season. While three years away seems like a long time, it's thought the team got the NHL to agree to that start date due to rumours of a 2020 lockout. All the talk going forward will be on the team name. I'm an optimist when it comes to these things, and think that every name sounds goofy at first but becomes acceptable as time goes on. Here's hoping to a creative and colourful logo and jersey scheme. 

Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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