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Sports at a glance

NHL approves playoff format

The NHL Players’ Association’s executive committee authorized moving forward in talks with the league on returning to play from the coronavirus suspension, approving 24 teams making the playoffs with other aspects still to be negotiated

The NHLPA did not provide a breakdown of the vote of its 31 player representatives in making the announcement Friday night, a day after the proposal was presented to the union’s executive board. In giving the format the green light, the NHLPA stressed several details still need to be negotiated before games can begin.

The proposal will now go to the NHL board of governors, which is expected to approve the plan in the next few days. Once approved, the proposal effectively ends the season of the league’s bottom seven teams.

Under the plan proposed by the NHL/NHLPA Return To Play committee, the top four teams in each conference would play each other in a mini-tournament for seeding while the remaining 16 teams face off in a best-of-five series play-in round to set the final 16 to compete for the Stanley Cup.

Though the approval is considered significant, the task of establishing a path to getting players back on the ice remains challenging.

The next step would have the Return To Play committee sort out a host of other issues, ranging from health and safety protocols to determining where games will be played, with the league preparing to group teams in a select number of hub cities.

Las Vegas has become the city most mentioned as a potential site, particularly because of its large concentration of hotels that could house numerous teams. Other cities mentioned include Columbus, Ohio; Nashville, Tennessee; Raleigh, North Carolina; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Edmonton, Alberta.

Hoyas’ Ewing tests positive

WASHINGTON — Georgetown basketball coach Patrick Ewing tested positive for COVID-19 and is being treated at a hospital.

The school said the 57-year-old Ewing is the only member of its men’s program who has contracted the coronavirus.

As a player, the 7-foot Ewing helped Georgetown win the 1984 NCAA men’s basketball championship and reach two other title games.

During Ewing’s four years playing for John Thompson Jr., Georgetown went 121-23, a winning percentage of .840.

He was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 draft after the Knicks won the NBA’s first lottery. Ewing wound up leading New York to the 1994 NBA Finals, where they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets.

Ewing played 17 seasons in the NBA, 15 with the Knicks.

Tennis legend dead at 83

BRISBANE, Australia — Ashley Cooper, who won four Grand Slam singles titles including the Australian, Wimbledon and U.S. championships in 1958, has died. He was 83.

Tennis Australia said Friday that the former No. 1-ranked player and long-time administrator had died after a long illness.

Cooper led Australia’s Davis Cup team to victory over the United States to retain the title in 1957. But after the result was reversed in a loss to the Americans the following year he was so upset, according to Tennis Australia, that he considered withdrawing from a professional contract because he felt he owed the country more.

A right-handed serve-and-volley player, Cooper won four Grand Slam singles and four Grand Slam doubles titles in the amateur era. In 1958, his only loss in the Grand Slams came in the semifinals at the French championships.

The Associated Press

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