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Finlandia Joins New Athletic Conference – Wednesday Sports Wrap

Finlandia

Finlandia University has a new athletic conference affiliation. The Lions teams that had competed in the American Collegiate Athletic Association will now be members of the Capital Athletic Conference. The move is a result of a merger between the ACAA and the CAC. Former ACAA members UC-Santa Cruz, Mills College, Mount Mary University, Pine Manor College and Pratt Institute will also make the move. Pine Manor will drop out after the 2020-2021 season.

The Capital Athletic Conference was founded in 1989, with schools located in the Mid-Atlantic region. It had struggled in recent years, as one of its member schools transitioned to NCAA Division II, and several others announced moves to different conferences.

The revised version of the CAC is expected to adopt a new name. It will include 11 schools this coming season, but will drop to eight for the 2021-2022 campaign. At that time, only three teams that played in the CAC this past year will remain – Christopher Newport University and University Mary Washington in Virginia, and Salisbury University in Maryland.

Like the ACAA, there will be no regular-season league competition. Championships will be determined at post-season tournaments. Champions in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and volleyball will automatically qualify for the NCAA Division III tournament.

NHL

The National Hockey League season will conclude with a 24-team Stanley Cup tournament. Commissioner Gary Bettman announced yesterday that team owners and players had agreed on the format. Specific dates for resumption of play have not yet been announced, but the goal is to begin small-group, voluntary workouts early next month. Formal training camps will open no earlier than July 1st. Each conference will stage its preliminary rounds in a single hub city.

The bottom eight qualifiers in each conference will engage in a best-of-five game play-in series, with the winners advancing. The top four teams from each conference will get guaranteed playoff berths, but will face each other in a preliminary round to determine their eventual seeding.

The Detroit Red Wings will not be part of the tournament, having finished with the worst regular-season record among the league’s 31 teams.

The seven teams that did not make the playoffs, and the eight teams eliminated in the qualifying round, will be awarded chances in the upcoming draft lottery. After finishing last in the league, the Wings will have the best chance at getting the top pick, at 18.5 percent.

MLB

Major League Baseball is not so close to returning. Team owners submitted a revised proposal to the players union yesterday. It dropped the proposed 50 percent of revenues salary cap to which the players had objected. Instead, owners proposed a sliding scale for pro-rated compensation, in which lower-paid players would receive a higher percentage of their salaries than would higher-paid stars. Representatives from the union called the proposal disappointing, and added that the two sides also remain far apart on health and safety issues. Team owners would like to begin a shortened season around Independence Day.

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