Isaiah Thomas defers to Paul Pierce in turning down Celtics video tribute

Isaiah Thomas has declined the Celtics’ offer to honor him with a video tribute on Feb. 11 because it’s the same day Boston is to retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

The Cavaliers, who acquired Thomas from the Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade before the season, are scheduled to visit Boston for a nationally-televised game that Sunday afternoon. Thomas doesn’t want to detract from the moment of “The Truth.”

Toews scored nine seconds into the extra period and had an assist in regulation to lead Chicago past the Colorado Avalanche, 2-1 on Tuesday night.

The winner was generated directly from the faceoff at center ice. Toews pulled the draw to Duncan Keith, who passed to Patrick Kane on the right side. Kane fed Toews on a 2-on-1 and the Chicago captain chipped his 18th goal past Semyon Varlamov from the low edge of the circle.

The Blackhawks’ signature puck possession game has disappeared for much of their disappointing season. But in overtime, Chicago was the only team to touch the puck on a play Toews said came almost off the drawing board.

Francis, 55, had served as executive vice president and general manager for four years during which the Hurricanes failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs. A former star center with both the Hurricanes and their previous incarnation, the Hartford Whalers, Francis is in his 12th season in team management overall.

Carolina is 29-27-11 and four points out of the last wild card in the Eastern Conference, and it is 2-6-2 in its last 10 games. The Hurricanes haven’t qualified for the playoffs since losing in the conference final in 2009.

This is the first major shake-up for the franchise by Tom Dundon, who purchased the Hurricanes last December from Peter Karmanos, Jr.

“Since I took control of the team, I’ve had a good chance to be around and assess the operations,” said Dundon. “There are a lot of good people working in the organization, but I feel that a change in direction is needed when it comes to hockey personnel decisions. Ron is a smart and talented hockey man. I am glad that he will continue to be a part of the team, serving in this new role.”

A source told ESPN that the next Hurricanes GM will report directly to Dundon.packers_012