The Butterfield Breakdown

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A laptop getting ready to look into each of the major leagues. Ethan Butterfield

Rumours, news, and outcomes

Returning once again to breakdown the latest in big sporting developments in the month of March, the initial weeks have been interesting to say the least. Not to give too much away of what’s below, but the NFL free agency is starting to heat up and there are some big deals going on in the NBA. That aside, you can find the rest just below:

MLB

Opening day in the MLB is scheduled for April 1.

NHL

Positive news coming out of the NHL is that U.S. players have started to get the vaccine for COVID-19. With more players (like that of Sidney Crosby) being added to the COVID-19 list, the vaccine will certainly be welcome to prevent more names from finding their way on it.

In other news, hit suspensions have been dealt out to a couple of players recently. Notably, Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals is serving a seven-game suspension for his hit on Boston Bruin Bradon Carlo, a blatant hit to the head.

As well, Chicago Blackhawk defenseman Connor Murphy was ejected for his hit against the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Erik Cernak.

Standings wise, currently the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Islanders, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are all number one in their divisions.


NFL

Big signings are starting to occur in the NFL. Mega defensive star J.J. Watt is no longer a Houston Texan and has found a new team in the Arizona Cardinals. With Watt, the Cardinals also feature big names like Kyle Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, and may once again have Larry Fitzgearld Jr. back on the roster, assuming free agency goes their way.

Not only Watt, but quarterback (QB) Dak Prescott also inked a new deal with his original team, the Dallas Cowboys. Prescott will earn more than $150 million over 4 years. This solidifies Prescott as the franchise quarterback moving forward, and throws backup Andy Dalton into an interesting position.

In more rumour-based reports, it seems the career of Ryan Fitzpatrick may be coming to an end despite interest being shown for the veteran by the Denver Broncos organization. The actual result of Fitzpatrick’s status will likely be known in the coming days, if not the end of the week.

As well, veteran QB Russell Wilson may no longer be a part of the Seattle Seahawks as there’s been interest from the Chicago Bears franchise in signing him. On the subject of the Seahawks, defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap has been released from the team.

As far as new entrees into the league, the NFL draft is fast approaching (April 29) and shows some promise in being one worth watching. Two quarterbacks, Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence, look set to go in the first round with the New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars primed to receive them. As things become clearer, it looks as if Wilson will be making his way to the Jets and Lawrence will be heading towards the Jaguars.

UFC


UFC 259 occurred on March 9 with a few noteworthy updates, including a bantamweight title change.

Then-Bantamweight Champion Petr Yan lost his title due to disqualification (DQ), wherein Alijamain Sterling was then awarded the belt. The DQ occurred with regards to Yan landing an illegal knee to the forehead.

Two title defences took place at UFC 259 as well, with famed champion Amanda Nunes defending her title against Megan Anderson, and Jan Błachowicz defeating Israel Adesanya to retain his Light Heavyweight Championship


NBA

With the NBA in full stride, the playing field is becoming more and more clear.

Big news came out of the NBA recently as Blake Griffin is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, adding some serious experience to the team.

Signing aside, and taking on a Canadian perspective, the Toronto Raptors have been losing ground in the standings. Now, currently sitting at 8th overall in the Eastern Conference, Toronto has accumulated a 17 win and 19 loss record, this still being a positive change from their ‘once-upon-a-time’ 8 win and 12 loss record during one of my last updates. Now settled at just below .500, the Raptors can hopefully develop their game and move even further along in a winning direction, providing a challenge for any opponents along the way.

The Raptors having been looked at and are now focusing on the current number one ranked teams in each conference, the Philadelphia 76ers are still holding on to their first-place position in the East, certainly making their case as “the team to beat”. That being said, teams like the Brooklyn Nets are literally right behind the 76ers in the rankings and look primed to take the title of number one away.

Moving on – in the West, the Utah Jazz remain in the top spot of the conference as a result of their record. However, the Phoenix Suns have gained a lot of ground since the last update and are making a run for the top place in the West.

Keeping up with my look at the New York Knicks in the standings, the team is now 5th overall in the Eastern Conference. I am so happy right now.


So, there you have it, the updates and news from around the league. From the looks of things, it seems as though these updates will become more of a monthly thing, rather than a weekly thing, moving forward. That aside though, as always, let’s remember to keep safe and healthy with everything that’s going on in the world today.

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