Exclusive: United Airlines in talks to buy wide-body jets – sources – Reuters


PARIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) – United Airlines (UAL.N) is in talks with planemakers Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing Co (BA.N) over the purchase of wide-body, long-haul passenger jets to replace a fleet of 50 Boeing 767 aircraft, people familiar with the discussions said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Airbus Group is seen on the company’s headquarters building in Toulouse, Southwestern France, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

Europe’s Airbus is expected to offer its upgraded A330neo jet against Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner in a deal potentially worth some $14 billion at list prices, the two sources said. All three companies declined to comment on the nature of the talks.

A win in the jet production contest would be especially important for Airbus, whose struggling A330neo program has lost a number of recent bids to U.S. rival Boeing for wide-body, long-haul aircraft.

Hawaiian Airlines in March chose Boeing to supply 10 new 787-9 aircraft, dropping an earlier order of the A330neo.

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing Company logo is projected on a wall at the “What’s Next?” conference in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

The European planemaker was again bested last month when American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, chose Boeing to supply 47 new 787 Dreamliner jets.

The fate of an order for 28 A330neos from IranAir is also in jeopardy, on concerns over a Tuesday decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from an international nuclear deal.

Airbus Americas Chairman Jeff Knittel said Airbus remained confident in the A330neo despite recent setbacks.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” he told Reuters.

“We are talking to a number of people as potential customers. We think the airplane makes sense and we are optimistic.”

He declined to say whether United was among the airlines with which Airbus is involved in discussions.

The Chicago-based carrier’s fleet already includes Boeing 787s, and the carrier has firm commitments for an additional 14 jets scheduled for delivery through 2027.

It does not fly the A330 family, the latest version of which – the A330neo – is due to enter service this summer.

Reporting by Tim Hepher, Alana Wise; editing by Hugh Lawson and Lisa Shumaker



Predators force Game 7 against Jets with 'championship effort' – The Tennessean


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Tennessean photographers, Andrew Nelles and George Walker, take you on a behind the scenes look at set up for a Predators NHL playoff game.
Autumn Allison, Andrew Nelles and George Walker, USA Today Network-Tennessee

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — This feels right. 

The Predators and Jets were on a collision course toward a second-round matchup for months, so it’s only fitting that the NHL’s best two teams will need a Game 7 to decide the winner of this compelling second-round series. 

With a 4-0 victory Monday, the Predators avoided elimination and will host their first Game 7 on Thursday. 

“We’re built for this,” Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said. “We’re built to come on the road and to win big games. That’s a championship effort tonight.”

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Twice previously in this series the Predators engineered dominant first periods without being rewarded on the scoreboard. They required one shot Monday to take a 1-0 lead for the third time at Bell MTS Place.

Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson redirected captain Roman Josi’s shot past Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck at 1:02, Josi’s first point of the series. Officials initially deemed that Arvidsson’s stick was above the crossbar but overturned the call upon review.

More: Filip Forsberg’s filthy goal against Jets helps Predators force Game 7

“I think we can gain a lot of confidence from this game,” Predators center Ryan Johansen said. “It wasn’t like we snuck away with one or weaseled a game out or whatever you want to call it. We controlled the game tonight. With our backs against the wall, we went out and we controlled the game.

“I think we need to recognize that and understand when we’re all on the same page, that’s how we can execute on a daily basis.”

The unquestioned star of the first period was Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, whose postseason play has been the subject of criticism. He made four shorthanded saves across three Nashville penalty kills, notably stopping Winnipeg center Paul Stastny twice in succession on the doorstep. 

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In the second period, Predators forward Filip Forsberg added to his rapidly growing collection of amazing goals.

With Jets defenseman Ben Chiarot draped over him, Forsberg retained control of the puck and beat Hellebuyck as he bulldozed toward the net.

It wasn’t even his most impressive goal of Monday’s game, let alone this postseason. He scored with a shot that he threaded between his legs in the third period, his team-leading seventh goal of the playoffs. 

More: How to watch, stream Nashville Predators vs. Winnipeg Jets Game 7 in NHL Playoffs

The Predators clamped down defensively, impeding many of the Jets’ rushes before they could reach dangerous areas of the ice. Rinne swallowed everything that reached him, making 34 saves to record the first opposing shutout at Bell MTS Place this season.

“We obviously believe in each other,” Forsberg said. “We’ve been doing that all year. We’ve been proving (to) everybody and ourselves that we’re a really good team. Nothing’s going to change. We’re just going to keep working hard. We’re obviously going to need a really good game on (Thursday).”

Reach Adam Vingan at avingan@tennessean.com and on Twitter @AdamVingan.

 



Big Buff has Winnipeg Jets on verge of 1st West final – Washington Post


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Dustin Byfuglien busted out his dance moves for a little celebration of his latest big goal, which may have caught many people by surprise.

Not his teammates.

“He’s so loose before games,” Winnipeg center Bryan Little said. “He’s a joker, definitely the prankster on the team. It’s strange for me to see him talking to you guys in front of the camera. It’s like, ‘That’s not who I know.’”

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Byfuglien is making a big impression on the NHL playoffs on both ends of the ice as the Jets have muscled their way to within one win of Winnipeg’s first berth in the Western Conference Final. Timely goals, rugged defense, leadership — it’s all part of his game. He dropped jaws during the second-round series against the Predators by literally manhandling two Nashville players, one in each hand.

His journey back to the postseason has been a long one, but the 33-year-old Byfuglien has made Winnipeg his home and is a key reason the Jets are Canada’s last surviving team this postseason. The last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup was Montreal in 1993, and the 25-year drought is a painful one in the home of hockey.

Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler considers Byfuglien a “great equalizer” and unlike anybody else in the NHL.

“Having him on our team gives us an advantage no matter who we play,” Wheeler said. “That’s the type of player he is and from Game 1 of the playoffs, he has just dominated. You can’t stop it.”

Byfuglien is making the most of his deepest postseason run since helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 2010,

Not only has he been a strong counter to Nashville by outplaying a group often considered the NHL’s best top four defensemen, Byfuglien is leading all defensemen this postseason with four goals. He’s also tied with Boston’s Torey Krug for most points with 12 while skating an average of 26 minutes, 25 seconds a game.

Byfuglien started the Jets’ rally in Game 3 against Nashville from a 3-0 deficit by scoring the first goal and his tying goal prompted his little dance. He wound up with the game-winning goal in Winnipeg’s 6-2 victory Saturday night that put the Jets on the verge of clinching only their second series — all this postseason.

“What makes him unique is he can, I don’t know if ‘take over’ is right, but he can make an impact in a game in just about every single way possible,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “He can defend, he can play real physical, nobody wants to drop the gloves with him, and then there’s an offensive side, it’s a perfectly placed shot, quick hands, all the other things that he can do offensively.”

And Chicago gave all that potential up in 2010. Byfuglien switched from defense to forward for the Blackhawks and scored three game-winning goals in a sweep of San Jose in the Western Conference finals for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Final since 1992. He had a hat trick against Vancouver in the conference semifinals.

But the Blackhawks were strapped for salary cap space after contract extensions for Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith on top of pricey deals for Marian Hossa and Brian Campbell. Byfuglien was traded away to the then-Atlanta Thrashers, a franchise that relocated to Winnipeg in 2011.

“There’s only one Dustin Byfuglien, and you want him on your team,” Little said. “You can’t imagine what it would be like playing against him. There’s only one of him. You can’t really compare him to anyone out there.”

Winnipeg has become home to Byfuglien. The town is just 115 miles as the crow flies from where he grew up in Roseau, Minnesota. Since the franchise moved to Winnipeg, Byfuglien married, and has three children. The Jets rewarded him in February 2016 with a five-year, $38 million contract to make him a key piece of the Jets’ future.

He just isn’t a big talker. Asked where his dance came from in Game 2, Byfuglien said he didn’t know.

He sure is talking to his teammates, trying to share his experience from that 2010 Cup run and offering advice on how to handle what they hope is a two-month run.

“We’ve obviously talked as a group,” Byfuglien said. “It’s not going to be an easy ride. It’s just take one game at a time, one shift at a time, and just believe in each other.”

Having Big Buff around certainly provides a confidence boost,

“Any time he’s on the ice, it’s dangerous,” Little said.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

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Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



The Lonely Existence of Winnipeg Jets Fans in Atlanta – New York Times


“I’m man enough to admit that I cried,” said Austin Kitchens, 24, who had just completed his junior year of high school when the Thrashers moved.

His friends joke that he is a northerner living in the South, loving hockey as he does. Heading into that first season without the Thrashers, Kitchens tried not to like the Jets. He was jealous that Winnipeg could cheer for his team, for his players. Then he started scanning message boards and watching preseason games on the internet and following Jets reporters on social media and traveling to Nashville and Tampa, Fla., for games.

Over the Jets’ seven seasons, Kitchens estimated, he has missed maybe a dozen games on television. Whitlock has rarely missed a game on TV or radio since he re-engaged with hockey after a few years of indifference. He often works nights, setting up events, which is conducive to the later start times of Jets games, but he tries to watch with Claire — born on a Jets off-day, naturally — because Winnipeg tends to win when she does. Except for that double-overtime loss at Nashville in Game 2.

“She fell asleep,” said Whitlock, turning to Claire. “Don’t worry — it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault.”

Whitlock hopes she will grow up to love the Jets as much as he does, which is even more than he loved the Thrashers. Hockey, fast-paced and physical, appealed to him more than football or baseball ever did. When the Thrashers left, he missed having a rooting interest.

“I felt kind of like a guy without a soul, you know?” Whitlock said.

The thought of adopting a perennial contender, like Chicago or Pittsburgh, repulsed him. So did switching to Nashville, the team closest to Atlanta. The Predators capitalized on the void by offering weekend ticket packages to abandoned Thrashers fans. They included discounted hotel rates and a gas card, and Nat Harden, the senior vice president for tickets and youth hockey, said the Predators sold almost 150 packages.

One went to David Pugliese, 58, a former Thrashers season-ticket holder from Milton, Ga., who said the team’s departure topped the list of disappointments in his life. Pugliese attended several Predators playoff games last year and drove up for Game 5 Saturday in Nashville against the franchise he once supported.

“I think it would be much weirder if it was the same roster, but the roster has changed so much,” said Pugliese, noting that only five players on the Jets were part of the Thrashers organization. “There’s really no mixed emotions.”

Had Matt McReynolds, 26, followed his impulse, he, too, might have changed his allegiance. Angry at the league and at Commissioner Gary Bettman, who he felt did not do enough to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta, McReynolds tried cheering for Nashville. It felt strange, artificial.

In 2012, about halfway through the Jets’ first season back in Winnipeg, McReynolds had his left shoulder tattooed with the Thrashers’ logo. Gradually he began watching the Jets again, sucked in by players he liked who were now wearing a new insignia on their chests.

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Lipman was among the white-clad crowd for Winnipeg’s playoff opener on April 11, when Scheifele scored the first goal.

Credit
John Woods/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

“Now,” he said, “it’s pretty much my kid, my wife and Jets hockey.”

As a hockey fan in Georgia, McReynolds already felt isolated and lonely; he has never met another Jets fan that he did not convert to the team himself. It seemed natural to devote himself to a team in a city he has never visited, that plays in an arena whose smells and sounds and sights he cannot conjure.

Once, he said, a customer at a Publix supermarket in Conyers, Ga., where McReynolds lives, spotted him wearing Jets gear and called him a traitor. When Whitlock wears his Jets hat, with a fighter jet atop a red maple leaf, people ask why he supports the Canadian air force. When he wears his Thrashers hat, with a bird gripping a hockey stick, people ask whether it’s a skateboarding company.

Without that kinship, Kitchens said, rooting for the Jets feels like a private endeavor.

“You’re not about to go to work and say, ‘How about those Jets last night?’ ” said Kitchens, a union pipe fitter from Stockbridge, Ga. “They’d be like, ‘Who?’ ”

Lipman had long wanted to visit Winnipeg. Seeking a more communal experience, he booked airfare and a hotel room for the Jets’ playoff opener before the regular season ended, betting that they would secure home-ice advantage in the first round against Minnesota.

To score a ticket to Game 1, Lipman, an interventional radiologist, cold-called another one in Winnipeg, Brian Hardy, and presented his bona fides: a Thrashers season-ticket holder with a closet full of Jets jerseys who watches practically every game on his laptop or phone.

A day later, Hardy invited Lipman to sit with him and his family, but on one condition: that Lipman give grand rounds at the hospital. For the occasion, Lipman wore a navy Jets jersey — his dress blues, he said — and in a show of gratitude, was presented with a trove of Jets paraphernalia.

“I got all kinds of nice Winnipeg booty,” Lipman said.

An unopened Jacob Trouba bobblehead sat behind the bar in his basement, where Lipman watched Game 3 on Tuesday on a television topped by another bobblehead, that of Jets center Mark Scheifele. From his seat in the arena, Hardy called Lipman on FaceTime, letting him absorb the pregame atmosphere.

His blazer long discarded, draped over an easy chair, Lipman agonized as Nashville scored the first three goals (you’ve gotta have that!), rejoiced as Winnipeg scored the next four (that’s more like it!) and kicked the coffee table when the Predators equalized in the third period.

With six minutes remaining, he rose from the couch to wave his “We Are Winnipeg” rally towel and rub the Scheifele bobblehead for good luck. A minute later, a Scheifele shot caromed to Blake Wheeler — a former Thrasher — whose snipe from a sharp angle proved the winning goal in a 7-4 victory.

With Winnipeg one win from the conference finals, a playoff round neither incarnation of the franchise has reached, Lipman was thinking about his next potential trips — to Las Vegas, maybe, with his son, Jonathan, if the Golden Knights also advance.

But, really, he wants to return to Winnipeg, to revel with fans who lost their beloved team and grieved its absence and are now celebrating the best hockey they’ve ever seen. People dressed in white but dreaming of silver, of the Stanley Cup, just like him.

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Jets Sign Seven Undrafted Free Agents – newyorkjets.com


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In addition to their six-member draft class, the Jets have signed seven undrafted free agents who will work with the club at this weekend’s rookie minicamp. 

FB Dimitri Flowers, Oklahoma (6’2”, 248)
Son of former NFL pass rusher Erik Flowers, Dimitri ranks first among Sooners running backs with 13 career receiving touchdowns and fourth in receiving yards (886). The San Antonio, TX native primarily served as a blocker and receiver for the Sooners, but was the featured back for one game in 2016 and rushed for 115 yards on 22 carries against Iowa State.

OL Austin Golson, Auburn (6’5”, 312)
Golson began his collegiate career at Ole Miss and played 12 games as a true freshman before transferring to Auburn. After sitting out the 2014 season because of transfer rules, the Prattville, AL native started at center for the Tigers in 2015. In 2016-2017, Golson started games at left tackle, left guard and center and was voted a team captain for his senior year.

CB Reggie Hall, Jacksonville State (6’3”, 208)
Hall only played in three games as a true freshman in 2014 before playing in all 15 as a sophomore where he also returned kicks. The Opelika, AL native had his most productive year in 2016 as he started in all 12 games for the Gamecocks and earned All-OVC honors. Only played in seven games as a senior and recorded 13 tackles, two interceptions and four pass defenses.

DT Lord Hyeamang, Columbia (6’4”, 285)
A 2017 first team All-Ivy League selection, Hyeamang recorded 24 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery his senior season. He totaled 76 tackles, 14 of which were for loss, 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 39 career games (20 starts) for the Lions. The Minnesota native didn’t start playing football until eighth grade and was a two-sport high school athlete in football and wrestling.

OL Darius James, Auburn (6’4”, 324)
James began his collegiate career with Texas and played in six games (two at right tackle) in 2014, but had his season cut short due to a knee injury. After missing the entirety of the 2015 season due to transfer rules, James played in 13 games in 2016 and started the final eight games at left tackle. In 2017, he started at right tackle and played in all 13 contests. For his career, James played in 32 collegiate games with 22 starts.

Dakoda Shepley, University of British Columbia (6’4”, 305)
Shepley’s first sport was hockey, but he transitioned to football in 10th grade. A native of Windsor, Ontario, located five minutes south of Detroit, Shepley had some interest from FBC, DII and DIII schools, but he elected to stay in Canada. In four seasons for the Thunderbirds, Shepley started at right tackle and made a Canada West all-star appearance. He participated in Eastern Michigan’s pro day and impressed scouts with a 5.05 40-yard dash and 31 reps on the bench press.

DL Mychealon Thomas, Texas Tech (6’1”, 325)
Thomas split his four collegiate seasons between Butler Community College and Texas Tech. The Dallas native earned All-KJCC second-team honors after his sophomore year and decided to transfer to Texas Tech. As the Red Raiders’ nose tackle, Thomas played 23 games and recorded 49 tackles, five for loss and two pass defenses.

 



Why Predators turned to Scott Hartnell over Kevin Fiala against Winnipeg Jets – The Tennessean


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Predators reporter Adam Vingan explains how the Nashville Predators showcased defense to take back the momentum in the series against Winnipeg.
Autumn Allison, USA TODAY NETWORK- Tennessee

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Peter Laviolette had a decision to make.

The Predators’ Game 4 lineup against the Winnipeg Jets needed adjusting. But what to do? 

Laviolette wasn’t touching his top forward line of Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson. Same went for Colton Sissons, Nick Bonino and Austin Watson, his go-to shutdown unit. Miikka Salomaki, Mike Fisher and Ryan Hartman had found chemistry as an effective fourth line, too. 

“I didn’t know where I was going last game, but I had mentioned to the other coaches that I was putting Scott Hartnell in the lineup,” Laviolette said. “And then I had to figure it out from there.”

More: Predators fan heckles Byfuglien only to find out Jets defender’s parents sitting behind him

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When news of Laviolette’s lineup decision reached Nashville on Thursday from across the border, social media erupted in disbelief. You almost expected incredulous Predators fans to ready torches and march on Manitoba.

How could Laviolette possibly justify scratching Kevin Fiala, a 23-goal scorer who just delivered his second career playoff overtime winner, for Hartnell, a no-frills grinder who had played once this postseason? And in a series brimming with offense? 

“In this building against the opponent that we were playing,” Laviolette said, “I saw somebody that had a little bit of experience, had more size, more weight, more physicality, still be able to score a goal if given the opportunity and maybe a different look to that line as well.”

Rexrode: Predators coach Peter Laviolette is running a clinic on all of us

Linked through their shared time with the Philadelphia Flyers, Laviolette always feels he can count on Hartnell to bring energy, which is exactly what he did Thursday. 

On one of his first shifts, he stepped right up to monstrous Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, tussling with him near the boards. His tireless work ethic, contagious to his teammates, meshed well with Kyle Turris and Craig Smith. 

Predators vs. Jets: 3 things to watch in Game 5 of NHL second-round playoff series

“You’re out of sync a little bit,” said Hartnell, who dispensed a team-high four hits. “That first period, I felt like I was doing the Wingate (conditioning) test in training camp. I was dying a couple times, but the second and third (periods), I felt a lot better and just tried to keep things simple. My game is simple to begin with, and I just wanted to do a great job of that.”

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Hartnell’s biggest contribution, however, was less tangible. The Predators revere him for his calming presence, which they needed Thursday in a critical situation and will need moving forward.

“He brings so much to our team, especially in grit,” Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said. “I know playing against him in the East when he played for Philly was always a tough battle. Playoff hockey is his type of hockey. … I respect him so much as a player, but as a person as well. I think all the guys in the room respect him that way.”

Reach Adam Vingan at avingan@tennessean.com and on Twitter @AdamVingan.

Predators vs. Jets schedule

All times are CT. All games on 102.5-FM.

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Winnipeg 4, Nashville 1

Game 2: Nashville 5, Winnipeg 4 (2OT)

Game 3: Winnipeg 7, Nashville 4

Game 4: Nashville 2, Winnipeg 1

Game 5: Saturday at Nashville, 8:30 p.m. (NBC SN)

Game 6: Monday at Winnipeg, 8:30 p.m. (NBC SN)

Game 7 (if necessary): Thursday at Nashville, TBD