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From the Branches: Rule 40 -- keep your mouth closed in Rio

Only the Olympic athletes sponsored by large brands can say the words “Olympic,” “Rio,” “medal,” “gold,” “summer,” “games” or “2016” before the games. Also, there's sewage in the water.

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The more I read about the Olympics in Rio, the more gravely concerned I am that the Olympics are largely bad for places that do not have an existing infrastructure that can support the games. Rio's Olympic village has poor construction, rendering the buildings uninhabitable. There is sewage in the bay that will hold some of the boating and swimming competitions. The police are on strike. Zika-infected mosquitos are everywhere. But, if you're an Olympic athlete, this is your only choice. Should the entire event be rethought? Here's a small survey of news leading up to the Summer Olympics.

Rio News

'Welcome to Hell': Rio police protest financial disaster ahead of Olympics | The Guardian
"Rio de Janeiro has cut budgets across the board, delaying officers’ salaries, halting patrols and fueling worries about safety at the world’s premier sporting event."

Rio Olympics 2016: NZ sportsman Jason Lee 'kidnapped by police' at gunpoint | Sydney Morning Herald
"A New Zealand sportsman was forced into a car by armed police and made to withdraw the equivalent of $800 in Rio de Janeiro over the weekend, just 13 days before the Olympics are set to start in the city."

How The Olympics Have Ravaged Rio, In 6 Photographs | Fast Co Design
"The British photographer Giles Price took to the skies to show the social and environmental impact Olympic construction has had on the city."

AP Investigation: Olympic teams to swim, boat in Rio's filth | AP
"Athletes in next year's Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found."

The Olympians can leave. Brazil’s poor live with filthy, reeking water every day | Stat News
"Across Brazil, untreated sewage flows through poor and working-class communities, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and skin disease. Hepatitis A, contracted from the polluted waters, is endemic."

Rio Olympics 2016: Athletes' village 'unliveable', Kitty Chiller reveals 'stress test' failure | Sydney Morning Herald
"The Australian Olympic Committee confirmed on Sunday evening that the athletes' village has been deemed uninhabitable in the short term due to significant plumbing and electrical concerns."

U.S. Olympic Committee’s Rule 40 is ridiculously restrictive on athlete’s sponsors | Seattle Times
Last but not least, if you're an athlete, you can't actually tweet about your time in Rio.

Hockey News

The Steve Dangle Podcast - Jul 26, 2016 - Faizal Khamisa | Sportsnet
I enjoyed this episode so much that I GOT A BLOODY SPEEDING TICKET WHILE LISTENING. Thx u, Steve Dangle.

Women's Hockey Wednesday: Deadlines loom | PPP
Female American sledge hockey players gear up for Team USA tryouts, NWHL free agency ends Sunday and CWHL draft registration ends Monday

Atlantic Division Offseason Report: Toronto Maple Leafs | LBC
"Although they have some nice young pieces in place, the Maple Leafs are probably a year or two away from being in the playoff picture. "

Auston Matthews and the sluggist World Cup of Hockey sales | NHL Numbers
"But something unique and relatively rare is happening in the same city Matthews will call home, and I'm a bit curious as to why it's not been a bigger 'sell' so far."

Tavares crushes Toronto hearts, tells Sportsnet Radio he wants to be an Islander "for the long haul" | LHH

Toronto Marlies sign Brett Findlay to AHL contract | MLHS
"He’s a solid depth signing, who — if required — will certainly not let Toronto down and will be a major asset to the Solar Bears as they look to have a more productive season than the last."

Is there a minimum acceptable threshold for shot-blocking in today’s NHL? | Yost
"I’ve looked at the relationship between shot-blocking (in efficiencies and in magnitude) and goal prevention at both 5-on-5 and the penalty kill before, and the findings have been relatively marginal."

Twitter unveils plan to stream NHL games | NBC
One per week.

Lightning Avoid Arbitration With Vladislav Namestnikov: Report | THW
That is not how you spell "Kucherov," Yzerman!

N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman Continues to Deny C.T.E. Link | New York Times
"[Bettman] blamed the news media for fanning fear of the long-term effects of head injuries and defended the N.H.L.’s "more measured approach" to the growing science of concussions."