No. 7 Xavier and No. 22 Creighton will all be in the Big East Tourname | Forum

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The NHL and NHL Players Association want players to plan for life after hockey long before they hang up their skates. Sami Vatanen Ducks Jersey .Now they have an avenue to do so.The league and union on Thursday announced a new program intended to help players further their education, network and find out what jobs they might be suited for, such as finance and broadcasting. The goal of the Core Development Program is to connect with players early so the transition to life after hockey is easier.Its not just for players late in their careers, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. Its going to be focused on players and really raising awareness among even the younger players that the sooner they can start focusing on the longer term, the better off theyll generally be -- as much in their careers as after their careers.The NFL, NBA and MLB all have resources to help players transition after retirement, and the NHL Alumni has one with the BreakAway program. This new endeavor is closer to the NFL and NFLPAs Player Engagement department that focuses on continued education, financial stability and career development.Retired defenseman Mathieu Schneider, now the NHLPAs special assistant to the executive director, said player feedback as far back as 2013 helped spawn the new program. He said he believes players are generally conscious of the uncertainty of life after hockey and that many wanted more assistance.Its really to help guys figure out first what they think theyre good at, and then second to help them figure out what they really are good at and to give them the tools to be successful at whatever it may be that theyre interested in, said Schneider, who called the diversity of the union membership the biggest challenge. You have a significant number of players that want to [get a college degree], you have a significant number of players that might want to start their own business, that want to be involved with finance, that want to become agents. While theyre playing, they have incredible opportunities that other people might not have.Some players have taken their own initiative in establishing non-hockey interests during their playing days, such as Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara getting his real estate license. Longtime forward Jeff Halpern, now an assistant coach for the American Hockey Leagues Syracuse Crunch, considers an example such as Chara the best way to sell this program to current players.I think its easy when guys are ending their careers or at the end of their career for people to become interested because they realize that their window is closing, said Halpern, part-owner of a fried chicken and doughnut shop in the Washington area. Getting through to young players may be the hardest obstacle for the league and for the PA. I think most guys, they want to hear about other examples, other things that could be made available to them.Washington Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt is in the process of studying for his real estate exam and working with an adviser at the University of Minnesota. He said he thinks the program could help a lot of players fill their time and ease their minds.A lot of guys, I think, are just scared of what happens after theyre done playing, Schmidt said. Even for a guy that has a college degree, Im kind of nervous for when that day might come.Taking away the What now? nerves is another potential benefit of the program. In other words, a relaxed player is a better player.There have been studies done that show that players that are prepared for life after sports, after their careers, actually perform better during their careers, Schneider said. Maybe it alleviates the anxiety or the some of the pressure that might come normally.The voluntary program is independent of BreakAway, but Daly didnt rule out collaboration later. More ideas cant hurt, and players are glad to know they have help coming up with future paths.You need to be aware of the opportunity thats there, Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said. Its nice to learn and be more of a well-rounded person because hockey is just one part of your life and it lasts for a year to 20, if youre lucky, and then you got a whole lot more hopefully to live. Kevin Bieksa Ducks Jersey . After Martin Skrtel put the Reds in front from close range at Stamford Bridge after only four minutes, Hazard hit back in the 17th with a superb strike. Etoo gave Jose Mourinhos team a decisive lead from Oscars back pass in the 34th. Cam Fowler Ducks Jersey . Vettel, who has already clinched his fourth straight F1 title, enters the finale with a chance to equal Michael Schumachers 13 victories in a year and match the record of nine consecutive wins by Alberto Ascari in the 1952 and 1953 seasons. . It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home. Durant scored 32 points and the Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. NEW YORK -- Its not quite Tobacco Road but New York City is providing college basketball fans in the Metropolitan Area with plenty of chances to see ranked teams.The two arenas that provide all these opportunities are just eight subway stops apart, Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.Ten teams ranked in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 will appear at The Garden this season, while Barclays has nine.Madison Square Garden will host top-ranked Duke twice (State Farm Champions Classic & Jimmy V Classic) while Barclays brings in No. 2 Kentucky (Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival).The other ranked teams on The Garden schedule are Kentucky, No. 3 Kansas and No. 12 Michigan State in the State Farm, No. 15 Purdue in the Jimmmy V, and No. Ryan Kesler Ducks Jersey. 18 Connecticut and No. 19 Syracuse in a rematch of the six-overtime Big East Tournament quarterfinal in 2009.No. 4 Villanova, the defending national champion, No. 7 Xavier and No. 22 Creighton will all be in the Big East Tournament from March 8-11.Barclays also hosts Syracuse in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational, No. 20 West Virginia in the NIT Season Tip-Off, No. 21 Texas in the Legends Classic and No. 25 Maryland in the Barclays Center Classic.Duke, No. 6 North Carolina, No. 8 Virginia, No. 13 Louisville and Syracuse will be in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament from March 7-11. 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