OKLAHOMA CITY – Injured Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will return Thursday against the Miami Heat, his teammate, Kevin Durant said in a recent interview with Grantlands Bill Simmons. cheap jerseys paypal . Westbrook has missed 27 games since having surgery on Dec. 27 to deal with swelling in his injured right knee — the third procedure in nine months. The three-time NBA All-Star tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee during the second game of the playoffs last April. Westbrook underwent an operation after that injury and had another procedure on Oct. 1 to remove a loose stitch. Oklahoma City went 20-7 this season without him. The Thunder didnt immediately respond to calls and emails regarding Westbrooks status. Oklahoma City (43-12) entered the NBA All-Star break with the leagues best record. wholesale jerseys china . The much-maligned Moroccan striker headed in the winner in the 42nd minute to give Tony Pulis a win in his first home match in charge and provisionally lift the London club out of last place. cheap nfl jerseys usa . This girl has it all. For those days you cant decide between a 9 iron or a 3 pointer. This dunk was fire. Nobody will ever understand how pumped this guy was to score.The Atlanta Braves have avoided arbitration with Brandon Beachy. Beachy and the Braves agreed to a one-year deal on Monday, successfully avoiding arbitration with the 27-year-old. The righty underwent Tommy John surgery in June 2012 and returned to make five starts in 20013, going 2-1 with a 4. cheap jerseys nfl. 50 earned-run average. One of the Major Leagues premier strikeout pitchers, Beachy has fanned 275 batters in 267.2 combined innings over the past four seasons. Beachy has a 14-11 career record in 46 starts with the Braves.
(CCA) – Braden Calvert and his Winnipeg team notched two more wins on Saturday, including a 6-5 victory over first-place Norway at the World Junior Curling Championships in Flims, Switzerland. cheap jerseys nfl . “I guess well take the win after a game like that,” said Calvert, who handed Norwegian skip Eirik Mjoeen his first loss of the round robin. “We got off to a bad start. I threw a really bad rock in five and we had to come back from that. Luckily, we did and we pulled through.” After giving up consecutive steals and trailing 3-0 at the break, Calvert and his team of Kyle Kurz, Lucas Van Den Bosch, Brendan Wilson, alternate Matt Dunstone and coach Tom Clasper fought back in the sixth. Calvert made a tricky angle raise double to score two and followed that up with a steal of two in the seventh to go ahead. “That was huge in terms of the momentum we got from that shot,” Calvert said about the double in the sixth end. “We gained a lot of confidence and basically got back at them.” Against Switzerland, the Canadians “came prepared to play,” according to Canadian Team Leader Andrea Ronnebeck. “The Swiss fans, as always, were enthusiastic but so were the Canadian fans,” said Ronnebeck. “The arena was rocking (pun intended) with a full house of Norwegians, Swiss, Scots, Italians, Americans and Canadians. It was awesome. Cow bells and all!” And the Canadian supporters had a lot to cheer for as Calvert led the team to a 7-2 win over Switzerlands Yannick Schwaller, improving Canadas record to 4-3 and moving them into a three-way tie for third place (with Scotlands Kyle Smith and Schwaller). “Were starting to get on a bit of a roll,” said Calvert after the game. “Were starting to gain some momentum and confidence. We were really sharp out of the gate tonight and grabbed an early deuce. That was definitely the turning point in the game and we kept fighting and were able to pull it off. All the teams here are tough and each game is going to be a battle.” On Sunday, the Canadian men will take on USAs Jake Vukich (2-5) and Austrias Sebastian Wunderer (3-4) to finish up the round robin. On the womens side, Kelsey Rocque defeated USAs Cory Christensen 8-4 to move into first place in the standings, tied with Korea, Switzerland and Russia, all with 5-2 records. Rocque and her Edmonton team of Keely Brown, Taylor McDonald, Claire Tully, alternate Alison Kotylak and coach Amanda-Dawn Coderre led the USA 6-4 after eight ends and scored a deuce in the ninth to put the game away. The Canadian women have now won three in a row and will try to keep the momentum going in their final games of the round robin on Sunday against Scotlands Gina Aitken (2-5) and Denmarks Christine Svensen (0-7). cheap nfl jerseys free shipping . Prior to Tuesdays opening of the free agency period, the team has re-signed linebacker Kyries Hebert and kicker Sean Whyte. cheap nfl jerseys mall .Y. – Geno Smith still thinks of himself as the New York Jets starting quarterback. Making a push to win now, and dealing with substantial prospect depth, the Minnesota Wild went out and acquired a proven veteran scorer from the Buffalo Sabres. Numbers Game looks at the Wild adding Jason Pominville. The Wild Get: RW Jason Pominville and a fourth-round pick in 2014. Pominville, 30, is a versatile and consistent performer who has scored at least 20 goals and 50 points in each of the past six seasons, topping 60 points in five of those seasons. This year, Pominville has 10 goals and 25 points, with a plus-1 rating while playing a career-high 20:54 per game in 37 games. While the Sabres have struggled as a team, it has been difficult for anyone (perhaps aside from Thomas Vanek) to produce consistently. After opening the season with 14 points in the first 10 games, Pominville has managed 11 points in 27 games since. Going to Minnesota, Pominville could have an opportunity to move into a first-line spot alongside Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise. Its not as if rookie winger Charlie Coyle hasnt been strong in that spot, but the 21-year-old doesnt have Pominvilles track record for point production and Coyle can still use his size and strength even if hes bumped down the depth chart. That is, if that is how the Wild choose to deploy Pominville, who can also play the point on the power play and kill penalties. With one year remaining on his deal, at a cap hit of $5.3-million, Pominville is fairly priced for his role as a first-line forward, as long as he can produce like a first-line forward. (The Wild are already paying first-line forward money to Dany Heatley, who is not producing like a first-line forward.) The Wild paid a significant price, in terms of assets, to get Pominville, but it shows a commitment to winning now and is the kind of deal made possible by the Wilds deep crop of prospects. The emergence of goaltender Darcy Kuemmper, for example, helped make Hackett expendable, and Minnesota has young forwards like Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker who are still clamouring for regular roles in the NHL. cheap jerseys nfl china. The Sabres Get: RW Johan Larsson, G Matt Hackett, a first-round pick in 2013 and second-round pick in 2014. Larsson is a highly-regarded prospect that the Wild selected in the second round of the 2010 draft. The 20-year-old winger is in his first North American pro season and has 15 goals and 37 points, with an even rating, in 62 AHL games. Hell have a chance to play in a top-six role for the Sabres and maybe not too far in the future, given the current state of the Sabres roster. 23-year-old Matt Hackett has been a quality goaltending prospect and is in his third pro season. Hes posted a .913 save percentage in 132 AHL games and a .914 save percentage in 13 NHL games with the Wild. That doesnt mean that hes a sure thing as an NHL goaltender, but hes a very strong insurance policy for the Sabres, who could still consider dealing incumbent starter Ryan Miller in the offseason. Hackett will be a restricted free agent this summer. Getting a first-round pick from Minnesota, in what is considered a strong draft, is a valuable chip too. If the draft picks yield a future NHLer and even one of Larsson or Hackett becomes an NHL regular, then thats more than a fair return for the Sabres. Its a tough pill to swallow, dealing away their captain and getting the uncertainty of prospects and picks in return, but if the Sabres are going to rebuild, then moving a 30-year-old veteran for a pair of prospects in their early 20s, plus a couple good draft picks, is a strong package to get in return. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.
GENEVA — Roger Federer eased to victory over Mikhail Kukushkin on Friday, bringing Switzerland level at 1-1 with Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup quarterfinals. cheap jerseys from china . Federers 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win in less than two hours restored order for the 15,000 Swiss fans who saw Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka surprisingly lose the opening singles match. “I was very satisfied with my performance,” Federer said. “It doesnt change in terms of being 1-0 up or down — I have to make sure I played my match.” Wawrinka, ranked No. 3 after his first Grand Slam title, was beaten 7-6 (5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5) by 64th-ranked Andrey Golubev. Federer and Wawrinka, doubles champions at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, are scheduled to team up Saturday against Kazakh doubles pair Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Evgeny Korolev. “Clearly I am available if (captain) Severin (Luethi) wants me to play,” Federer said after beating the 56th-ranked Kukushkin. The winner will face Britain or Italy in the semifinals in September. Italy leads 1-0 after a rain-affected first day, though Andy Murray leads Andreas Seppi 6-4, 5-5 in a singles rubber which will resume Saturday. Switzerland is aiming to reach its first semifinal since 2003 in pursuit of a first Davis Cup title. Wawrinka received a huge ovation stepping on court at the Palexpo indoor arena for his first match in Switzerland since becoming a Grand Slam champion in January. However, there was a stunned near-silence when Golubev converted his sixth match point with an overhead winner. The third-ranked Wawrinka acknowledged starting “a little bit tight, a little bit nervous.” “When Im in that position I know that I dont move so well,” he said, after making 70 unforced errors and converting just one of his 10 break points. The Swiss No. 1 also smashed his racket on the hard-court surface in frustration during the second set. Golubev, who lost to Wawrinka in the first round in Australia, overcame his early nerves to win a first-set tiebreak. “I tried to be always aggressive, didnt give him too much time,” he said. Wawrinka, who played in a 5-0 loss against Kazakhstan in 2010, said the heavily favoured Swiss would not be complacent. “We didnt come here thinking it was going to be an easy tie,” he said. wholesale jerseys usa .com) – Yankee Stadium is the home of the Bronx Bombers, but on Sunday afternoon it will open its gates to host the latest addition of the Hudson River Rivalry. cheap jerseys nfl wholesale . It resulted in a loss, so Curry tried a different tactic Friday night — and ended up making more MSG history. Curry had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in three quarters, Klay Thompson added 25 points, and the Golden State Warriors sent the frustrated New York Knicks to a fifth straight loss with a 126-103 victory.LONDON — The British government has cut funding for the countrys Olympic basketball program ahead of the 2016 Games. Basketball received 8.6 million pounds ($14 million) in the four years before the 2012 London Olympics where Britain qualified as hosts. But UK Sport, which distributes money from the government and National Lottery, has decided basketball doesnt offer a realistic prospect of producing a medal in Rio de Janeiro. NBA coommissioner Adam Silver said last month the London Olympics were a “lost opportunity” and questioned why the government wasnt backing basketball. cheap nfl jerseys usa. Roger Moreland, performance chairman at British Basketball, is “aghast” at the decision to strip funding, explaining: “We are still on the road to Rio but we now have to qualify for EuroBasket 2015 with our hands tied behind our back.”
BEREA, Ohio — The Browns fired their coach after one season. cheap jerseys usa . Now theyre sweeping out their front office. Owner Jimmy Haslam announced Tuesday that CEO Joe Banner will step down in the next two months and general manager Michael Lombardi is leaving the team. “Mike and Joe have left us in good position in terms of free agency and cap space as well as this years draft, where we have 10 overall picks and three of the first 35,” Haslam said at a news conference. Its yet another stunning development for a franchise that has undergone nearly constant change in the past 15 years. Haslam also said assistant GM Ray Farmer, who was pursued by Miami to be the Dolphins GM this winter, has been promoted and will immediately take the over the teams football operations and lead the Browns during free agency and draft. Cleveland has two first-round picks in Mays draft and is well under the salary cap to spend on free agents. Haslam added that president Alec Scheiner will keep his current role. “Alec Scheiner will run our business side and remain as president, Mike Pettine will be our head coach and Ray Farmer will be our GM,” Haslam said. “We will not have a CEO and those three people will report directly to me.” The shake-up comes one month after the Browns finally hired coach Mike Pettine. Banner and Haslam had fired coach Rob Chudzinski after a 4-12 season, the teams sixth straight with at least 11 losses. Wisconsin said Tuesday that coach Gary Andersen was contacted by the Cleveland Browns for their coaching vacancy but decided not to pursue the position following a conversation with the NFL team, which spent 25 days to hire Pettine. “Mike will have final say on the 45-man roster– who plays on Sundays– and Ray will have final say on the 53-player roster,” Haslam said. Banner, who previously worked in Philadelphia, was hired by Haslam to run the team shortly after his ownership was approved by the league in 2012. “We appreciate Joes contributions to the Cleveland Browns, especially in helping us as new owners,” Haslam said in a release. “He was committed to creating a successful organization and bringing in talented individuals. We thank him for his work and dedication. We wish him and his family the best.” Banner will transition out of his job over the next two months. “It is bittersweet leaving the Browns organization,” Banner said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jimmy Haslam and helping him set the infrastructure for this franchise. I am proud of the talented individuals we brought in to help lead this team and feel that the Cleveland Browns are in good hands moving forward.” Lombardis departure ends a curious second stint with the team. His hiring was widely panned by some Cleveland media members and many fans because of his time with coach Bill Belichick when he was Clevelands coach. Lombardi kept a low profile over the past year in Cleveland and was not in attendance at any major news conferences. “Were also grateful for Mike Lombardis efforts and commitment since rejoining our organization,” Haslam said. “He is an experienced and creative NFL executive with a unique ability to see the big picture. He has tremendous instincts and I know hell be a valuable addition to any NFL organization. We simply wanted to give Ray this opportunity that hes earned. We wanted to move forward under his leadership and capabilities.” AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, contributed to this report. cheap jerseys . He was 71. Palchak was with the Canadiens for 31 years and worked on 10 Stanley Cup winners, including the 1970s dynasty that won four straight from 1975-76 to 1978-79. cheap jerseys us . The Calgary captain scored twice Thursday night, and the Flames beat the slumping Red Wings 4-1. Detroit has dropped six straight (0-5-1) after winning its first five.New York, NY (Sports Network) – Major League Baseball has revealed its 2013 schedule, which will begin with an undetermined stand-alone matchup on Sunday, March 31, and features new twists for interleague play with the Houston Astros switching to the American League. Houstons first game as an AL West member will be against new division rival Texas at Minute Maid Park on April 2. Thanks to the Astros move from the NL, each league will now have 15 teams, necessitating interleague play throughout the year. The first season-opening interleague matchup will feature the Cincinnati Reds hosting the LA Angels of Anaheim on April 1. The Toronto Blue Jays open their season on April 2 at home against the Cleveland Indians. Interleague play for the Blue Jays will feature home series against the Giants, Braves, Rockies, and Dodgers, and road dates against the Braves, Padres, Giants, and Diamondbacks. The Blue Jays wrap up their season at home against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 29. Another new feature for interleague play takes place the week of May 27, when prime rivals will face each other for four straight days at two different venues. For instance, the New York Yankees will visit the Mets at Citi Field for games on May 27 and May 28. The teams will then square off at Yankee Stadium on May 29 and May 30. Each team will play a total of 20 interleague games throughout the season in a total of eight series — four at home and four on the road. The Los Angeles Dodgers will venture to Yankee Stadium for the first time since leaving BBrooklyn, as former Yankee star Don Mattingly takes his Dodgers into the Bronx for two games on June 18-19. cheap nfl jerseys. The Yankees then head to LA on the final two days of July. Other interleague matchups of note include the return of Ozzie Guillen to the south of side of Chicago. Guillens Marlins will visit the White Sox for the first time on May 24. Also, the Rays will play at Dodger Stadium for the first time from Aug. 9-11 and the Cubs will visit Oakland for the first time on July 2, while Albert Pujols will play against his former club, the Cardinals, in Anaheim from July 2-4. The new schedule will have teams play 19 games against divisional opponents for a total of 76 games. Each team will play six or seven contests against non-divisional league foes for a total of 66 games. Opening day matchups on April 1 will feature the Yankees and Red Sox in the Bronx; the Dodgers and Giants in Los Angeles; the Padres visiting the Mets; the Nationals hosting the Marlins; the White Sox welcoming the Royals; the Tigers traveling to Minnesota; the Diamondbacks hosting the Cardinals; the Rockies visiting Milwaukee; and the Cubs meeting the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Citi Field in New York will be the site for the 84th All-Star Game on July 16, as the Mets host the Midsummer Classic for the first time since 1964. The regular season will conclude on a Sunday for the first time in three years, as the final day will be Sept. 29. The 2011 season finished on a Wednesday and the 2012 campaign will also end on a Wednesday.
Thomas Vaneks NHL future does not appear to be with the New York Islanders. cheap nfl jerseys mall . Newsdays Arthur Staple tweeted Monday morning that his sources indicate the 30-year-old Austrian has turned down a “substantial” contract offer from the Islanders. Staple added that the Islanders are now likely to deal Vanek before the NHLs Mar. 5 trade deadline. Newsday reported on its web site that the offer is “believed to be in the same range as Vaneks current seven-year, $50 million deal”. The Isles acquired Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 27 in exchange for forward Matt Moulson and a first round draft pick. In 41 games with the Islanders, Vanek has scored 15 goals and added 23 assists. He has 19 goals and 28 assists in 54 total games this season between the Sabres and Islanders. Vanek is in the final season of the seven-year, $50 million contract he signed with the Sabres prior to the 2007-2008 season. A one-time Second-Team NHL All-Star, Vanek has scored 269 goals and 266 assists in 639 career games with the Sabres and Islanders. The Sabres originally selected him fifth overall at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. cheap jerseys . No matter where you look in the city, Jets flags, banners, sweaters and hats are everywhere as NHL fever has taken over. Not to mention the fighter jet that just flew over downtown while I write this and nearly sent me diving under the desk for cover. cheap jerseys usa . Masahiro Tanaka has touched down in the United States and the courting of the Rakuten Golden Eagles stud pitcher has begun in earnest by a bevy of MLB teams interested in the Japanese ace. LONDON — Less than a year after pushing to leave Manchester United, Wayne Rooney committed his long-term future to the struggling Premier League champion on Friday by signing a lucrative contract through June 2019. The 28-year-old forwards future at United has been uncertain since Chelsea tried to sign him last year, and he had only 18 months remaining on his current deal. But Rooney now looks set to end his playing career at the club he has been at since 2004 after signing a contract reportedly worth around 300,000 pounds ($500,000) a week. The deal makes Rooney the leagues top earner, and softens the blow of potentially not playing against Europes elite clubs next season. In the first season since David Moyes replaced Alex Ferguson, United is seventh in the league with 12 matches remaining, 11 points from Englands fourth Champions League berth. “Its not a massive concern for me,” Rooney said on his personal website. “This is because I know the direction that this club is going in, and if we dont make it this season then we will come back stronger and claim a Champions League spot next season. “Lets not forget we still have a chance this year. Some of the other teams are playing well, but we have a strong squad here and if we have a positive end to the season then who knows what can happen.” The England national team star has been at United almost a decade, since leaving an Everton team then managed by Moyes. In 403 United appearances, Rooney has scored 208 goals, putting him fourth on the clubs career list, 41 behind record-holder Bobby Charlton. “Wayne has been the best player in England since I put him into the Everton first team in 2003,” Moyes said. cheap jerseys nfl wholesale. . “Since becoming United manager in July last year, I have enjoyed working with him and seeing just how he has developed his incredible talent. As part of the new contract, Rooney will become a club ambassador when his playing career ends. He already is central to the clubs global marketing operation as one of the teams most high-profile players. “Ive been here since I was 18 and this contract will take me through to my 30s, which is almost my entire professional career,” Rooney said. “Ive played most of my best football here and am looking forward to hopefully playing even better football in the next few years.” Moyes is delighted to have prevented Rooney from joining a rival. “Everyone would want him in their team,” Moyes said. “There were clubs who did want him. There were clubs who would have wanted him, but there was never going to be a chance he was going to leave Manchester United, certainly not on my watch.” Convincing Rooney to stay, having already broken the clubs transfer record to sign midfielder Juan Mata last month, should help Moyes persuade other players to join as he looks to strengthen the squad. “Part of the rebuilding is making sure that you keep the players you really want to keep,” Moyes said. “We are looking to bring the best players in the world to the club. I think Wayne Rooney is one of them. I will be looking to make more signings in the summer and hopefully add to the quality we already have got.”
MANCHESTER, England — A superstar in the United States, Kevin Durant has enjoyed being just a “regular person” during his time in Britain this week. cheap nfl jerseys free shipping . On Tuesday, Durant was back to being the centre of attention. The Oklahoma City Thunder was behind 51-48 at halftime against Philadelphia 76ers in an NBA pre-season match in Manchester when Durant came alive, scoring 14 points in the third quarter to turn the game on its head and put his team 83-74 up. Durant stayed on the bench for the final quarter, giving him 21 points for the match, and although the Sixers pulled level at 85-85 with 8.43 minutes left, guard Reggie Jackson (29 points) led the Thunder home to a 103-99 victory. “I like what he has been doing in pre-season,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of a player who has led the NBA in scoring in three separate seasons. “He has come back even better.” Durant scored a game-high 24 points in the Thunders 95-82 victory over Fenerbahce Ulker of Turkey on Saturday but started slowly three days later, making just 3 from 10 from the field before halftime. If the Sixers thought he was off colour at that stage, they were to be mistaken. It wasnt just Durants third-quarter scoring, it was also his quick passing, his leadership. Barking orders from the bench during the fourth quarter, he could easily have been the Oklahoma City coach. “We demand a level of play and he is as coachable as any player I have seen in this league,” Brooks said. “He is going to continue to get better. He has the talent, the skill, the body, the touch, the gifted game. But he also has an unmatched work ethic.” Manchester can hardly be called the hotbed of basketball in Britain — there were plenty of empty seats in the 21,000-capacity Phones 4u Arena — but a sign of the sports growing appeal in the country is the staging of a regular-season NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks in London in January. And a slew of Premier League footballers, including Manchester United players Rio Ferdinand and David de Gea, were courtside to see the Thunder and the Sixers step up their preparations for the new NBA season. After missing out on the playoffs last season, the Sixers are in a rebuilding phase under new coach Brett Brown and have lost All-Star guard Jrue Holiday, who was traded to New Orleans on draft night. However, they held their own against one of the NBAs standout team for three quarters. It was Durants brilliance in the third quarter, which the Thunder won 35-23, that was the difference, along with 20 turnovers. “I am really proud of our guys,” said Brown, who had 20 points from Tony Wroten. “I see carry-over (from training),” he added. “Thats the Holy Grail.” Like the Thunder, Philadelphia has been on a week-long tour of Europe as the NBA looks to promote the sport around the world, and beat Bilbao Basket 106-104 in Spain on Sunday. The NBA season starts in three weeks time, but the league hasnt seen the back of Britain. “Its a great atmosphere here, the fans are unbelievable,” said Durant, who won gold with the U.S. team at last years London Olympics. “I think they deserve basketball, especially regular-season basketball. Im sure well see that in the future.” cheap nfl jerseys mall . “This resilience training starts now,” Canadas womens soccer coach said. The Canadians face South Korea at Edmontons Commonwealth Stadium on Oct. cheap nfl jerseys china. 2 spot in the unofficial pound-for-pound fighter rankings. White, along with most other observers, has consistently ranked middleweight champion Anderson Silva as No.TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger have the latest on the possible movement involving the Canucks Ryan Kesler, the Rangers Ryan Callahan, and the Maple Leafs Dave Bolland. Not long ago Bob, you mentioned that the Vancouver Canucks are willing to deal anybody but the Sedin twins. Whats the latest on that front? Bob McKenzie: The team that Im most interested to see what, if anything, they do is the Vancouver Canucks. Now I can tell you this, there are multiple teams in the National Hockey League that are looking at veteran defenceman Alex Edler and veteran forward Ryan Kesler and are trying to find out if the Canucks are possibly serious about moving these guys and if so, what the price is going to be. Now keep in mind a couple of things – nobody in Vancouver leaves if they dont want to leave as there are lots of no-move, no-trade clauses, and we also want to see what happens with Kesler with the MRI coming back on the finger from the shot that he blocked at the Olympics. In New York talks have clearly broken down between Ryan Callahan and the Rangers with Callahan set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Is it now a foregone conclusion that hes going to move? Darren Dreger: Im told that its 99 per cent guaranteed that Ryan Callahan will get traded by the New York Rangers. There are many teams involved in this process. We know that the St. Louis Blues have been the most consistent in showing interest, and theres some connection with the Tampa Bay Lightning and other teams as well. But theres an ongoing back-and-forth with defenceman Dan Girardi as well. Many predicted that this deal would be done by now to keep Girardi with the Rangers. If hes not signed by March 5, the trade deadline, theres also a 99 per cent chance that he gets traded. McKenzie: And youre right Darren, there have been no talks over the Olympic break between Callahan and the Rangers. There has been ongoing dialogue with Girardi – there seems to be a little bit of a difference in term, maybe a little less than $500,000 a year difference in money, but theyre working and trying to get that done. In Toronto, Dave Bolland is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. How are negotiations going there, and what are the chances hes still a Maple Leaf on March 6? Dreger: Well this is going to be a real difficult negotiation for the Toronto Maple Leafs, very similar to the one they had with Tyler Bozak creeping up to the trade deadliine last year. cheap jerseys free shipping. Of course trading Bolland is an option, its believed he wants as much as $5 million, maybe better than $5 million per year to stay with the Leafs to avoid unrestricted free agency. So the Leafs have a tough decision to make, since they would rather pay him in the $4 million range than the $5 million range. So do they hold him, and use him as their own rental and take their chances on trying to sign him? They need to make a hockey deal and not a trade that would include draft picks coming back the other way. Then what do the Leafs need? Dreger: The Leafs need a top-four defenceman and theyre also in the market for a top-nine forward. Again, Dave Nonis is less interested in a rental player and more interested in adding pieces that are going to help this team in the playoffs. Whats the latest on Ryan Millers status with the Buffalo Sabres? McKenzie: There have been reports out there that the Sabres are trying to sign Miller. My clear understanding is that the priority and the preference is still to try and get a trade for netminder Ryan Miller and virtually any other player on the roster. General manager Tim Murray is open for business, and there isnt a single untouchable on this team, maybe with the exception of Zemgus Girgensons. The New York Islanders are also conducting an auction for forward Thomas Vanek and defenceman Andrew MacDonald. As many as six teams have enquired on Vanek, and there was at least one serious offer that was rejected by the Islanders. At least seven teams have enquired on McDonald but there have been no firm offers at this point. Dreger: Some are suggesting that maybe there is a three-way deal involving the St. Louis Blues and perhaps the Minnesota Wild where Jaroslav Halak might be included. Maybe Jake Allen, I know the Buffalo Sabres would want to get him as part of a package. Again, thats the time of year it is and thats the type of rumour mongering that goes on creeping up to the deadline. Were hearing that Mike Cammalleri has been offered a deal by the Calgary Flames. What are the chances that he remains a Flame after the deadline? McKenzie: I think its much more likely that he gets traded than remains a Flame, but there is a remote possibility that Cammalleri could get a deal done with the Flames. But at this point the smart money suggests that he would be – along with those guys like Matt Moulson, Thomas Vanek and others – as a goal-scoring winger who could be had as a rental.
TORONTO – Pascal Pelletier scored the game-winner with 34 seconds remaining as the Utica Comets edged the Toronto Marlies 2-1 in American Hockey League action Sunday afternoon. cheap nfl jerseys wholesale . Pelletier re-directed an Alex Biega shot past Drew MacIntyre for his 10th of the season. Jeremy Welsh opened the scoring in the first period for the Comets (20-23-7), who beat Toronto for the first time in three meetings this season. Brandon Kozun tied it for the Marlies (28-17-4) in the second. Joe Cannata made 25 saves for his sixth win of the season while MacIntyre stopped 26 shots in the loss. Utica opened the scoring at 18:06 of the first period as Welsh picked up his first of the season, on a power play, putting home the rebound off a Colin Stuart shot. Toronto tied it 1-1, on a power play, at 6:54 of the second when Kozun tipped a T.J. Brennan shot past Cannata for his 14th of the campaign. The Marlies had two separate 5-on-3 power-play opportunities totaling nearly three minutes, but mustered just three shots and failed to score. Toronto finished the game 1 for 9 on the power play while Utica scored once on three chances with the man advantage. The Marlies continue their 10-game home stand Monday when the Texas Stars visit. Note: The Marlies recalled goaltender Christopher Gibson from the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL on Sunday. cheap nfl jerseys mall . Valanciunas eclipsed other nominations in the field which was voted on by selected journalists and fans, easily seeing off Croatias Dario Saric and Frances Leo Westermann, who finished second and third respectively. cheap nfl jerseys free shipping . Thompson was shown a yellow card for his dangerous slide tackle. Viana had clear possession of the ball when Thompson went hurtling into him with both feet, knocking Viana to the ground in the 12th minute of their game.Its tough being a Canadian sports fan in the summer time. It has been 18 years (and counting) since the Stanley Cup has graced our shores; our lone professional basketball team is closer to the outhouse than the penthouse while the surviving pro baseball team has not seen the playoffs in nearly two decades. Generally we Canucks are forced to look elsewhere for our diversions. Thankfully the movie industry is there to fill the gap as Hollywood waits for the warmer months to release their biggest blockbusters. Movies filled with action and adventure with enough thrills and chills to make the viewers drop their popcorn and satisfy their entertainment needs until the leaves start changing colour and the temperature falls once again. While movie reviews might not be our strength at CTVOlympics.ca, we do know a blockbuster when we see one. And for Canadian sports fans that are looking for a little excitement, we have a sneak peak at some of the biggest coming attractions next year. In true Hollywood fashion, Canada will be unveiling a new legion of stars in London 2012, led by a group of leading ladies who are ready to seize the spotlight. While they wont be decked in the latest styles by Armani and Versace, they are expected to bring home enough jewelry to put the late Elizabeth Taylor to shame. One name to become familiar with right now is Windsor, Ontarios Mary Spencer. Already a three-time world champion, Spencer is looking to become Canadas first Olympic boxing gold medallist since Lennox Lewis in Seoul in 1988. Although Tinsel Town has often looked to the ‘sweet science for inspiration, Spencer is hardly a “Million Dollar Baby” ready to shock the World. A proud aboriginal athlete and member of Cape Croker nation, Spencer is more reminiscent of Ivan Drago than Rocky Balboa, striking fear in the hearts of her opponents and leaving a trail of devastation in her wake. While her current training regimen has her preparing for the Pan Am Games in October in Guadalajara, Mexico, Spencer realizes that she will faces her ultimate challenge in London 2012 as the eyes of the world will be on her as womens boxing makes its official Olympic debut. Fortunately for fans of Canadian sport, Spencer is ready for the challenge. “I associate pressure with a negative feeling, so I definitely dont feel pressure,” stated the current world champion at the 75kg weight class. “I feel like its a great opportunity and that Im blessed to be in this position. And I cant wait to perform. I dont feel pressure at all, I just feel very privileged.” Her prospective opponents certainly cant feel the same way as Spencer has reached a point where she feels that she enters each fight with a distinct advantage. “I know that all of my opponents are thinking ‘we have to train to beat Mary Spencer. I dont have anyone that I can look at and say ‘Im training to beat them.” Despite a nearly flawless record, Spencer feels as though she has yet to reach her peak, however she believes that come next July, she should be approaching her optimal performance level. “My coach always told me that podium potential athletes have 10 years of training, six days a week for a minimum of three hours a day,” recalls Spencer. “In 2012, Ill be 27, which is a great age for female boxers, and I will have 10 years of experience so everything is setting up to be perfect in 2012.”While Spencer will be looking to write her legacy in London, others will be looking to protect theirs. Another Hollywood summer convention is to release a sequel to an already successful film in order to create a franchise that constantly delivers the goods at the box office. Despite very little pre-Games hype, Hazelton, BCs Carol Huynh broke through in a big way in Beijing in 2008 and made headlines by capturing Canadas first gold medal of the 2008 Olympic Games in womens 48kg wrestling. Now facing the daunting task of living up to her previous success in her return Olympic enngagement, Huynh realizes that she is no longer the hunter, but is now in fact the hunted heading to London. cheap nfl jerseys china. “I do feel that I have a target on my back and thats something that I had to deal with after the Olympic Games,” said Huynh. “Before a match, always being announced as ‘Carol Huynh: Olympic Champion. I always feel like there is an expectation on me to always be at my best and that just wasnt the case before.”She was once again at her best earlier this month in the Canada Cup where she went undefeated to capture gold in her weight class. While Huynh is hoping to write the next chapter, Canadas synchronized swimming team is looking for a fresh start. In Hollywood, a “reboot” is often required when a franchise appears to have reached its natural conclusion. Consider Marie-Pier Boudreau Gagnon and Elise Marcotte “The Dark Knight” of the London 2012 Games. While Boudreau Gagnon has enjoyed a great deal of success both as a soloist and with duet partners Chloé Isaac and Isabelle Rampling, her new partnership with best friend Marcotte has led to immediate success. The pair claimed gold at the Brazil Open in June where Canada also stood atop the podium in the team event. Both the team and the duet remain on target for a podium finish in London 2012 after finishing fourth in both disciplines at last weeks FINA World Championships in Shanghai. With the use of more aggressive music in their routines, Marcotte feels that they are helping to change the way that the sport is perceived. “I think that we are really trying to change the all around style of synchronized swimming,” said Marcotte. “Classical? Were trying to get rid of that. Thats why when Marie-Pier proposed to do the duet to Metallica, our coach was like Nice, I think its a good idea. Lets try it. We listened to the music and the beat is really good. We are open to pretty much everything now.” Its a good thing that the pair are fans of heavy metal because they could be in line for some “heavy medals” of their own come next July. Much like Spencer, they too are focused on the Pan Am Games in order to gain automatic entry to London 2012. Over the past few years, Hollywood has enjoyed a great deal of success with the Superhero genre as the likes of “Batman”, “the X-Men” and “Spiderman” have all been box office gold. While the ‘Dynamic duo of Marcotte and Boudreau Gagnon will face their share of obstacles on the road to London, nothing can compare to the monumental task that Canadas own ‘Wonder Woman Priscilla Lopes-Schliep faces. The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist in the womens 100m hurdles is set to deliver her first child in September, giving her less than a year to get back to where she needs to be physically to compete for a medal in London. While it would be a daunting task for most women, Lopes-Schliep is not like most women. “Just knowing that this little person is going to come and its going to push me to strive and hit that podium,” said Lopes-Schliep. “I never want to sell myself short. I never have in the past and Im not going to start now. Look out for me at the 2012 Olympics.” Although it is exactly one year until the curtain us officially raised on the London 2012 Games, there is plenty to get excited about in the meantime. In just 12 short months, Canadians will have a new generation of heroes to cheer on in victory and shed tears with in defeat. The athletes have been training their entire lives for that very moment, and in one years time, we as fans of Canadian sport will be able to share the emotion with them once again. While names may be added to the marquee between now and July 27 2012, you can expect the aforementioned group of budding stars to truly develop into Canadas leading ladies in London. They are all ready for their close-ups, and you should be too. Lights…Camera…Action.
When Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson last week compared his new playmaker Pedro Morales to Major League Soccer standouts Diego Valeri and Federico Higuain, he was setting a very high standard for the clubs new Designated Player. cheap nfl jerseys china . On Saturday, in just 25 minutes of action as a second half substitute, the Chilean midfielder showed exactly why his new manager has such high hopes. On a day when almost everything went right for Vancouver, Morales short but extremely influential performance capped a wonderful afternoon for the Whitecaps as they opened the 2014 season with a 4-1 win against the New York Red Bulls at BC Place. Robinson was quick to dampen expectations for his new look team following the victory, but the rookie head coach couldnt have asked for a better start to his managerial career as his side showed the attacking qualities he wants to be the trademark of his club. “Well be free-spirited and exciting,” Robinson said in the buildup to the season opener. “I want players who can lift me to my feet.” On Saturday, he certainly got that, as the Whitecaps turned on the style in the second half. Of course its far too early to draw any conclusion about how Vancouver will fare this season based on one result against a New York side that looked poor, but the initial signs are extremely encouraging. Morales started the match on the bench after a hectic travel schedule and only a couple of training sessions with his new team, but it didnt take long for the Whitecaps fans to get a glimpse of the fantastic technical ability their new signing possesses. There were a few fancy touches as well as a superb through ball for Kenny Millers second goal of the game, and then Morales scored himself in the closing stages to complete the rout. It was an impressive debut. It wasnt just Morales. There were quality performances throughout the team. Young Uruguayan Sebastian Fernandez played on the left side of the three attacking midfielders in the Whitecaps 4-2-3-1 formation and was influential throughout. He took his goal beautifully and was a creative spark, but he also worked very hard defensively. Darren Mattocks had one of his best games as a Whitecap. He didnt score, but the Jamaican international finally showed he is capable of playing the lone striker role. He has a point to prove after a disappointing 2013 season, but if his attitude is right, he has all the qualities needed to be a success. Veteran forward Kenny Miller scored twice, the second a lovely chip over the goalkeeper. Like Mattocks, Miller is playing for his future in Vancouver. The Scottish striker wants to stay with the club when his current contract expires this summer. While he wont grab the headlines for his goal-scoring performances, one of the biggest off-season upgrades for the Whitecaps has been the signing of Designated Player Matias Laba from Toronto FC. Described by Robinson as “a destroyer,” the young Argentine was superb in breaking up play, protecting the back four and starting moves with excellent vision and distribution. Hes a player who will make the jobs of those around him much easier. Central defenders Jay DeMerit and Andy OBrien will benefit greatly from Labas presence, as will his midfield partner Nigel Reo-Coker who will now be able to get forward more. We saw near the end of the game what Reo-Coker is capable of when he has license to attack, assisting on the goal scored by Morales. Another big strength for the Whitecaps this season will be the depth within the squad. Along with Morales, Saturdays substitutes included attacking options Kekuta Manneh, Erik Hurtado and Nicolas Mezquida, midfielder Gershon Koffie and Honduran international defender Johnny Leveron. “Its important to start off on the right foot,” said Robinson. “Its important that I keep pushing them to those standards. We did well, but there are still 33 more games to go.” Now as the Whitecaps begin preparing for their first road game of the new season at Chivas USA in California next weekend, Robinson has some interesting decisions ahead. He will want to get Morales into the starting lineup as soon as possible, but after Saturdays performance, it will be difficult to leave anyone out. Vancouver Whitecaps at Chivas USA on Sunday, March 16 is live on CTV BC 2. Kickoff is 4pm PT. cheap jerseys paypal . Kadri had three assists extending his point streak to four games as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Florida Panthers 6-3. cheap jerseys nfl china ., faces ring veteran Jose-Luis Castillo on Oct. 20. Promoter Yvon Michel said Tuesday the title was added because both fighters want the top-10 ranking in the World Boxing Association that goes with winning the NABF belt.NEW YORK — LaMarcus Aldridge struggled with his shot for much of the game, so the All-Star was confident about his last attempt. It was just time for him to make a big play. Nicolas Batum had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Wesley Matthews scored 18 points, and the Trail Blazers overcame poor-shooting nights by two of their best players in a 94-90 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Aldridge finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds while shooting just 5 of 17 from the floor, but he knocked down a turnaround jumper with 35 seconds left after the Knicks had cut Portlands lead to two. “I had the whole game to miss shots so I felt like I was due some makes,” Aldridge said. “Law of averages have to catch up sooner or later. I had made one easy one, one tough one. So I felt like I was going to make it.” All-Star Damian Lillard shot 4 of 12 for his 12 points, but he and Aldridge were far from the only frigid shooters on a snowy day in New York. The Trail Blazers made just 38 per cent, but the Knicks hit only 40 per cent of their attempts and were 4 of 21 from 3-point range. “I thought our defence all game was pretty good. I thought for us to win a game shooting 38 per cent, its not an easy thing to do,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. New York star Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points but was scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting in the fourth quarter, finishing 11 of 28 as the Knicks dropped their third straight. The Knicks were within one after a strong start to the fourth, then had just two baskets and five points over the next 7 minutes — and still had a chance to pull it out. “Whenever you hold a team to 38 per cent or whatever it is that we held them to, I mean, you think youre going to win. But obviously that wasnt the case tonight,” Knicks centre Tyson Chandler said. Portland, missing free throws and layups throughout the fourth, couldnt put it away even while the Knicks were making just two of their first 18 3-point attempts. J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. then made consecutive shots from behind the arc, cutting it to 89-87 with 50 seconds left. Aldridge made a turnaround jumper 15 seconds later, and after Annthony missed a drive, Mo Williams made a pair of free throws to make it a six-point game. cheap jerseys free shipping. . Smith made three from the line after Batum fouled him behind the arc, but Lillard made one to make it 94-90, and the Knicks missed their final 3-point attempt. Anthony was frustrated throughout the night, picking up one technical foul and waving his arm in disgust toward referee Dan Crawford a few times. He appeared to be yelling toward him after the buzzer. “It was just one of them nights. Just as far as shots go, couldnt find it coming down the stretch,” Anthony said. “I dont want to speak on the calls. Nothing I can do about that right now, nothing we can do about it.” Smith had 18 points and Amare Stoudemire, getting the extra minutes he sought, scored 15. Portland, which has had one of the NBAs best records all season, had dropped three of four and five of its last eight games. But the Blazers did just enough to rebound from Mondays 100-90 loss at Washington, its only one in nine road games against the Eastern Conference this season. Aldridge missed 10 of his first 11 shots and the Blazers led by two before he made a short jumper over Raymond Felton while being fouled with 3:25 left in the third quarter, starting Portlands run of seven straight points that made it 70-61. The lead hit 11 in the final minute on Dorell Wrights three free throws, and it was 77-68 entering the fourth. New York ran off the first eight of the final period, pulling to 77-76 on Pablo Prigionis 3-pointer with 8:16 to play. But Williams made a 3-pointer from the corner to steady the Blazers just about the time the Knicks stalled. The Knicks were without forward Kenyon Martin, who will rest a sore left ankle for at least the next week. NOTES: Anthony was announced before the game as the Eastern Conference player of the month for January, when he averaged 28.7 points and 9.0 rebounds. … Boxer Manny Pacquiao was at the game. … The Knicks paid tribute to actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, a fan of the team who died Sunday. … The Knicks played their first of three straight against the Northwest Division. They host Denver on Friday and visit Oklahoma City.
TORONTO – Jose Bautista entered Wednesdays play at or near the top of most of baseballs important offensive categories. cheap jerseys nba . The 33-year-old is the league leader with 34 walks. His 1.058 OPS and 191 OPS+ are the best in the game. Bautistas hit nine home runs, which ties him for fourth in the majors. Hes reached base safely in each of the Blue Jays 33 games to begin the year. Thats a club record. “I think Ive had a pretty strong first month, as strong as I might have had ever in my career,” Bautista told TSN.ca during a conversation in Philadelphia. “But the seasons long and its hard to look at small samples and how thats going to portray into a complete season. I try not to pay attention to those things and just focus on the preparation and the work and my effort and hopefully at the end of the year everythings taken care of itself.” As teams around the league rely more heavily on spray charts and advanced offensive data, Bautista, like most sluggers around the league, often hits with three infielders on the left side of second base. The percentages show that if Bautista hits the ball on the ground, most of the time hell pull it. With that in mind, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer has encouraged Bautista to occasionally take pitches the other way. Manager John Gibbons believes the approach helps Bautista stay on breaking pitches down and away. He sees those often as opposing pitchers often work around him or, at least, are particularly careful about keeping the ball out of the middle of the strike zone. “The only difference I see with him is hes taking some hits the other way and I think its making him a tougher out,” said manager John Gibbons. “You hear some people who complain about, well, hes a home run hitter, youve got to do it this way. Well, you know what? His home run numbers havent suffered one bit.” Bautistas coaches and teammates took notice of his approach in the 10th inning of Tuesday nights 6-5 win over the Phillies. Melky Cabrera led off with a single. Bautista worked a 2-2 count and with the infield pulled around to the third base side he pushed a 93 miles per hour fastball through the gaping hole where the second baseman would usually stand. Cabrera advanced to third on the play and one out later scored the game-winning run on Juan Franciscos sacrifice fly. Manager John Gibbons called it “winning baseball.” “Its good to see, thats what winning players and winning teams do, the little stuff,” said Jose Reyes. “In that situation he didnt try to hit a two-run home run and pop it up to the infield or something. He just tried to move Melky over, he saw that huge space there at second base and he hit the ball that way, first and third and we win the game right there.” Outfield coach Tim Leiper paid Bautista the ultimate praise last week, equating his pregame preparation and in-game adjustments to that of a coach. Bautista doesnt want the label but he is involved in every pitch. From the dugout hes studying the opposing pitcher, watching for tendencies that may indicate which type of pitch will be thrown. Not a base stealer himself, Bautista tries to help his faster teammates get a read on a pitchers move. Defensively, hell involve himself in outfield positioning based on his extensive knowledge of hitters. “I try to pay attention to things like that and I share all kinds of information with my teammates,” said Bautista. “I also encourage them to share stuff that they know and information that they have with me. I like to listen to that kind of stuff and put it into my database, I guess.” Gibbons recalls a game in Kansas City early last year when injuries to Jose Reyes and Brett Lawrie forced Bautista from his usual spot in right field and in to play third base. Bautista would frequently hover around the mound in between outs, giving the pitcher a scouting report on the next hitter. “Joses not just out there playing,” said Gibbons. “He studies this and hes paying attention to whats going on. Hes played against a lot of these guys over the years so hes got a pretty good idea of what they do.” The Blue Jays entered Wednesdays action with a record of 16-17 following a 4-4 road trip to Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Like on their previous road trip, they left some games on the table due to poor, late-game pitching. Bautista isnt panicking, however, because the American League East remains tight six weeks into the season. Torontos just a game and a half back of first-place Baltimore. “The only thing that would matter if we were 15 games back,” said Bautista. “That would mean wed dug ourselves a big hole to come out of. From that perspective it doesnt really matter. What matters is how we play from here on out and weve got to focus on that.” cheap nfl jerseys . Krejci and Smith scored in the third period on Tuesday as the Bruins rallied for a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames. “It was a really tough first two periods,” said Smith, who is now tied with Krejci and Milan Lucic for the team lead with three game-winning goals each. cheap jerseys paypal . Nicholson made the comments Wednesday after announcing the 2014 recipients of the Order of Hockey in Canada. “Our contingency plan would be everyone around this room today,” he said while speaking to reporters at Rogers Arena.After months of lengthy debate from hockey fans across the country, Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subbans status for Sochi is no longer up in the air. Hes officially a member of the 2014 Canadian mens Olympic hockey team – and no one is happier than Montreals No. 76. “Obviously I was very happy (to receive the phone call) and my family was as well,” he told reporters after Tuesdays announcement. Subban, 24, captured the Norris Trophy last season as the NHLs best defenceman after posting 11 goals and 27 assists in 42 games during the lockout-shortened campaign. But the Habs top blueliner has maintained that he wouldnt stand still as he tried to make a lasting impression with Hockey Canada. “I try not to be complacent, get better every day and do my job to help my team win,” said Subban. “Im just grateful to have the opportunity to play with the best players in the world, play against them and learn from them.” The Toronto native has a solid international resume, having captured back-to-back gold medals at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championship, including a berth in the tournament All-Star Team in his second stint with three goals and nine points. Hes also no stranger to playing on the larger ice surface that will be utilized in Sochi. “I played on an Olympic-sized rink in junior for four years with Belleville,” he explained. “It changes the game a little bit in terms of how much space and time you have out there.” And Subban has shown no signs of slowing down from last years career campaign, leading the Canadiens in scoring with sevven goals and 26 assists in 44 games this season. wholesale jerseys paypal. “His greatest strengths are his shot and his puck handling,” said Steve Yzerman, executive director of Team Canada. “Hes the right fit for that spot right now.” That assessment was echoed by Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien, whos been pleased with the improvements Subban made to earn the selection. “He made progress over the last two years,” he said Tuesday. “We wanted to make sure he was a good all-around player and he puts in effort. All the credit goes to him.” Subban is one of four players named to Team Canada that is currently playing for a Canadian NHL team, joining teammate Carey Price as well as Dan Hamhuis and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks. And the young blueliner is looking forward to sharing the Olympic experience with Price – a long-time friend on and off the ice. “Myself and Carey, weve had the opportunity to play together for a couple years now and to represent our country is great,” said Subban. “I hope I get to room with him so I can snore and keep him up all night.” Another teammate Subban plans to chat with is defenceman Andrei Markov, who was named to the Russias team at the same time. Provided of course, he can get Markov to respond. “Hes not talking very much right now, maybe hes already in Olympic mode,” joked Subban. “Ive spoken to him many times about Sochi and he thinks its going to be a great experience. Ill definitely pick his brain on a couple things.”
Baseball season is just around the corner and TSN. cheap nfl jerseys .ca has you covered for whos in, whos out and what to expect from all 30 teams. Check in every day this week for two new division previews, finishing up with Scott MacArthurs look at the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. Heres what to expect out of the American League East in 2014. Baltimore Orioles GM: Dan Duquette Manager: Buck Showalter 2013: 85-77, third in AL East. Did not qualify for playoffs. That was Then: The Os came into 2013 feeling like world-beaters. Having out-performed presumed playoff candidates like the Tampa Bay Rays and the disappointing Boston Red Sox in the American League East and taken the wild card playoff berth from the defending A.L.-Champion Texas Rangers, the Orioles were expected to challenge in an even tougher East. However, despite career years out of first baseman Chris Davis and closer Jim Johnson, the Orioles were unable to repeat the feat. The pieced-together rotation saw four starters hit 20-plus starts but only 16-7 Chris Tillman was able to carry a heavy load, logging 206.1 innings, meaning their (admittedly excellent) bullpen was once again leaned upon to the tune of 500-plus innings. Davis had a star-making year, setting career-highs in home runs, runs batted-in, average, OPS and total bases while hitting the 160-game plateau for the first time in his career. He became the second Oriole in MLB history to surpass the 50-home run plateau, after Brady Andersons “surprise” 1996 outing. When the dust settled, the Os finished level with the depleted Yankees for third in the Division and were left figuring out ways to recapture their 2012 team spirit and compete once more. This is Now: Apparently the best way to improve is to ship 50 saves over to a fellow Wild Card contender. Johnson, who was arbitration-eligible this past winter could become a free agent at the end of 2014, may well have priced himself out of Baltimore, but the man did still put up over 100 saves over the past two seasons. So the closers gig is now up for grabs with the likes of Darren ODay, Ryan Webb and former starter Tommy Hunter looking to get the ball in the ninth. Jemile Weeks – the return from Oakland for Johnson – will likely take over the lions share of the work at second with Brian Roberts Bronx-bound. Meanwhile, the Os offensive core of Davis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis remains intact. If Manny Machado can be more of the guy he was between April through June (that is a .300-plus hitter on pace for 80-plus RBI) and not the guy that slumped through July and September with a sub-.200 average, the bats could carry this team. The Orioles took advantage of the late-winter market for free agent bats once theyd already forfeited their first-rounder to bring in Nelson Cruz. The bullpen workhorses – Hunter, ODay, T.J. McFarland – are all returning and the rotation has been bolstered with the additions of Korean free agent Suk-Min Yoon and Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez late in the winter, but will they be able to keep pace if the Yankees and Rays return to push for the Red Sox division crown? Whos In?: IF David Adams (claimed from CLE), RP Brad Brach (trade with SD), OF Nelson Cruz (one-year contract), RP Edgmer Escalona (one-year contract), SP Ubaldo Jimenez (four-year contract), UT Steve Lombardozzi (trade with DET), OF Francisco Peguero (one-year contract), SP Johan Santana (minor league contract), RP Ryan Webb (two-year contract), 2B Jemile Weeks (trade with OAK), SP Suk-Min Yoon (international free agent). Whos Out?: OF Chris Dickerson (signed with PIT), SP Scott Feldman (signed with HOU), RP Jim Johnson (trade with OAK), OF Nate McLouth (signed with WAS), OF Michael Morse (signed with SF), IF 2B Brian Roberts (signed with NYY), RP Francisco Rodriguez (signed with MIL), C Chris Snyder (signed with WAS), C Taylor Teagarden (signed with NYM). Boston Red Sox GM: Ben Cherington Manager: John Farrell 2013: 97-65, first in AL East. World Series Champions. That was Then: The Sox went into 2013 under a cloud of uncertainty as to whether additions like Mike Napoli or Shane Victorino would be enough to get them out of the Eastern cellar. There was also some concern as to whether John Farrell – recruited from the fourth-place Blue Jays – was the right man to lead the team from the bench. However, on April 15, the Sox 2012 struggles became a triviality in Boston. The City -shaken by the Boston Marathon bombings – rallied together under the “Boston Strong” mantra and the Sox returned the favour. The Sox would go 15-4 to finish April and would never look back atop the East. Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz (despite the latter missing a sizable chunk of the season with a neck strain) both had tremendous seasons and the veteran leadership of Napoli and Victorino added to the core group including David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia to power the Sox to their first division crown since their 2007 World Series triumph. Staring down a possible 0-2 deficit in the ALCS, Ortiz grand slam brought the Sox level with the Detroit Tigers and turned the playoff picture around for the team. The Red Sox would complete the “Boston Strong” narrative with a six-game World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals to win their third title in 10 years. This is Now: Theres been some change to endure for the Sox over the winter, so the re-shaped Sox may once again need some time to gel. The most notable absence will be lead-off man Jacoby Ellsbury, who jumped ship to the arch-rival Yankees. The Sox will undoubtedly miss his presence on the base-paths as he was the League leader in steals in 2013. The Sox may have found an unlikely replacement in the form of camp-invite Grady Sizemore, who has not played a Major League game since 2011. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will give way to A.J. Pierzynski behind the plate, while 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts will take over from Stephen Drew at shortstop. Bogaerts will be one of two crucial young cogs for the Sox, as they may also need 23-year-old Jackie Bradley to pick up some of the slack in centre. The Sox did well to insulate now-undisputed closer Koji Uehara with Cardinals closer Edward Mujica and should have a reliable rotation with a healthy Buchholz as well as a full year of Jake Peavey. Was 2013 a product of shrewd management or one of emotional momentum? The Sox will likely be able to forget their days of cellar-dwelling, but whether they can keep ahead of the rest of the East remains to be seen. Whos In?: P Blake Badenhop (trade with MIL), SP Chris Capuano (one-year contract), IF Jonathan Herrera (trade with COL), RP Edward Mujica (two-year contract), C A.J. Pierzynski (one-year contract), OF Grady Sizemore (free agent). Whos Out?: SP Alfredo Aceves (signed with BAL), RP Andrew Bailey (non-tendered), SS Stephen Drew (qualifying offer declined),OF Jacoby Ellsbury (signed with NYY), IF John McDonald (signed with LAA), RP Franklin Morales (trade with COL), C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (signed with MIA), RP Matt Thornton (signed with NYY). New York Yankees GM: Brian Cashman Manager: Joe Girardi 2013: 85-77, fourth in AL East. Did not qualify for playoffs. That was Then: The Yankees were forced to scramble to fill some roster holes in 2013, looking to the likes of Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Travis Hafner to fill production vacancies left by Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and more. A strong April got the Yanks off to a decent enough start, but the team was middling throughout most of the rest of the season. Team captain Derek Jeter was in and out of the line-up all year long with injuries to his ankle, calf and quadriceps, making 2013 a continuation of how his 2012 season ended. Mariano Rivera said goodbye to the Majors, picking up keepsakes in nearly every city in the latter half of the season, while Alex Rodriguez opted to fight the 211-game suspension he was handed for his part in the Biogenesis scandal and defiantly finished the season with the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers made do with what they had in 2013, but it wasnt nearly up to their fans lofty standards. They would finish the year tied for third with the Orioles while posting their lowest winning percentage since 1992. This is Now: A year without Jeter, the A-Rod rodeo and the Mariano Rivera farewell tour are all things of the past. Unfortunately for Yankees fans, the future does not include Robinson Cano at second base, the 31-year-old chasing top dollar and signing with the Seattle Mariners in the off-season. Never afraid to spend, the Yankees have brought in a lot of options via free agency to compete for playing time. Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran replace Curtis Granderson and Wells. Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts will both vie for Canos job at second while Brian McCann comes in behind the plate. The Yanks also lured the off-seasons biggest international free agent to the Bronx, plucking Masahiro Tanaka from Japan at a cost of $155 million over seven years. Pressure will likely be huge to make the Jeter era end on a high note as the franchise bids farewell to one of its icons. However, the Yanks deep pockets and “winning it for the captain” might not be enough if the teams age starts to show. Whos In?: OF Carlos Beltran (three-year contract), OF Jacoby Ellsbury (seven-year contract), 2B Kelly Johnson (one-year contract), C Brian McCann (five-year contract), 2B Brian Roberts (one-year contract), SS Brendan Ryan (two-year contract), SP Masahiro Tanaka (seven-year contract), RP Matt Thornton. Whos Out?: IF David Adams (signed with CLE), OF Brennan Boesch (signed with LAA), SS Reid Brignac (signed with PHI), 2B Robinson Cano (signed with SEA), RP Joba Chamberlain (signed with DET), IF Luis Alfonso Cruz (released), IF Alberto Gonzalez (signed with SD), OF Curtis Granderson (signed with NYM), SP Phil Hughes (signed with MIN), 3B Brent Lillibridge (signed with TEX), RP Boone Logan (signed with COL), IF Jayson Nix (signed with TB), 1B Lyle Overbay (signed with MIL), SP Andy Pettitte (retired), IF Mark Reynolds (signed with MIL), RP Mariano Rivera (retired), C Chris Stewart (signed with PIT), OF Vernon Wells (released), 3B Kevin Youkilis (signed in Japan). Tampa Bay Rays GM: Andrew Friedman Manager: Joe Maddon 2013: 91-71, second in AL East. Lost to Boston in American League Division Series. That was Then: Stop us if youve heard this before, but a shrewd piece of off-season business proved to be a catalyst for the Rays success last season. Trading James Shields to the Kansas City Royals brought in one of the games top prospects in Wil Myers and the 23-year-old turned on the jets almost the minute he made his full-time debut for the Rays in June. Less than a week into his MLB career, Myers had his first grand slam and the kid would hit .293, driving in 53 runs in 88 games en route to the A.L. Rookie of the Year Award. The Rays responded in kind to Myers arrival, losing just five games in July and finishing strong to force not one, but two win-and-youre-in playoff games after a three-way tie left the Rays, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers tied after Game 162. David Price went the full nine to top the Rangers in Game 163 and Tampa blanked the Indians to make the ALDS. There they would run into destiny in the form of the Boston Red Sox, but the Rays booked another solid season, proving themselves once again to be one of baseballs model franchises. This is Now: The Rays will once again piece together their line-up and try to get maximum efficiency out of low-profile pick-ups. James Loney and Yunel Escobar will stick around in the infield and be insulated by Logan Forsythe. Fernando Rodneys arrows will head towards someone elses rafters, replaced by former As closer Grant Balfour and one-time stud Heath Bell, whom manager Joe Maddon believes will show marked improvement at the Trop. Any team with Maddon at the helm has a fighting chance and the Rays still have tremendous balance both at the plate with Evan Longoria anchoring the line-up and on the mound with Matt Moore and Alex Cobb emerging as legitimate threats alongside Price. Speaking of Price, the vultures will be circling soon enough as the 28-year-olds clock appears to be winding down in Tampa. Likely the next high profile casualty of Tampas tight budget, Price is free agent-eligible after next season, putting his value at arguably its high-point by the middle or end of the 2014 campaign. If the Rays dont get the kind of performance to which theyve become accustomed, could a mid-season move be in the cards? Whos In?: RP Grant Balfour (two-year contract), RP Heath Bell (trade with ARI), RP Brad Boxberger (trade with SD), IF Logan Forsythe (trade with SD), C Ryan Hanigan (trade with CIN). Whos Out?: RP Jesse Crain (signed with HOU), 1B Shelley Duncan (signed with ARI), OF Sam Fuld (signed with OAK), SP Roberto Hernandez (signed with PHI), IF Kelly Johnson (signed with NYY), IF Ryan Roberts (signed with CHC), RP Fernando Rodney (signed with SEA), RP Alex Torres (trade with SD), RP Jamey Wright (signed with LAD), RP Wesley Wright (signed with CHC), OF Delmon Young (signed with BAL). Toronto Blue Jays Check back in on Friday for Scott MacArthurs exclusive 2014 Blue Jays preview.cheap jerseys from china . The French duo routed Agnieszka Radwanska and Grzegorz Panfil 6-0, 6-2 at Perth Arena. Tsonga had given France the lead by beating Panfil 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the opening match before Radwanska levelled the best-of-3 series by outlasting Cornet 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-2 to set up the decisive mixed doubles.cheap jerseys nfl nike . Spanish leader Barcelona, meanwhile, didnt miss the injured Lionel Messi as it cruised by Valladolid 4-1 at home with Neymar scoring once and setting up one of Alexis Sanchezs two goals. At 1-1, Levantes Nabil El Zhar grabbed what looked to be the winner in the 86th, but Madrid substitute Alvaro Morata stepped up to level in the 90th.CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michael Jordan scoffs at the idea of tanking games. The fiery 14-time All-Star who helped the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships simply doesnt have it in his makeup to intentionally lose games this season just so his Charlotte Bobcats can get a better draft pick next year. Forget that the NBA would likely hand down a hefty fine and fans would probably boycott if a team admitted to doing that, the Bobcats owner said purposely losing games is just not part of his competitive DNA. “I dont know if some teams have thought of that. Thats not something that we would do,” Jordan told The Associated Press on Friday. “I dont believe in that.” He then laughed heartily and said, “If that was my intention I never would have paid (free agent) Al Jefferson $13 million a year.” Its not that the Bobcats couldnt use a player like Andrew Wiggins at Kansas or Dukes Jabari Parker — two college freshman who many view as potential NBA stars. Jordan, 50, hasnt been able to translate his on-court success to winning as an NBA owner and executive. The Bobcats are just 62-168 in his three full seasons as majority owner. They were 21-61 last season. Still, he doesnt believe there are shortcuts to winning. While the 2014 NBA draft offers hopes to fledgling teams with a host of talented players, Jordan made it clear he isnt thinking about losing. “Its not guaranteed (the player) you are going to get is going to be that star anyway,” Jordan said. “I did read that certain teams are thinking about doing it. But Im not one of them. “So lets alleviate that conversation.” Jordan, relaxed and at ease at the Bobcats headquarters hours before his teams regular season home opener, has been widely criticized for his failures with the Bobcats and for his struggles in the front office with the Washington Wizards. He said some of that comes with the territory. “Its somewhat unfair, but you come to expect it,” said Jordan, who became the majority owner of the Bobcats in 2010. “You set certain standards as a player that transcend whatever you do. It goes where you go. You will be wearing that around your neck so that when people see the name they expect the results. “Its somewhat unfair but it is what it is. I dont let it define me.” However, Jordan said he remains committed to the Bobcats and said hes tried to be transparent with the fans about the direction of the team. This past off-season he used the amnesty clause on forward Tyrus Thomas, a move that took his hefty contract off the books. cheap jerseys nhl. Jordan still has to pay Thomas $18 million, but the move freed up that money under the salary cap as part of a one-time policy under the new collective bargaining agreement. The Bobcats used that money to sign Jefferson to three-year $41 million contact and to re-sign guard Gerald Henderson for $18 million over three seasons. “I mean, that was a statement,” Jordan said of his commitment to the Bobcats. “I still have to pay more than $17 million, but it was a move that we needed to make to build and go get a guy like Big Al.” Jordan also feels like he finally has the right man in charge in new coach Steve Clifford, a long-time NBA assistant who took over for Mike Dunlap, who was fired after one season. “Were focused on what were trying to do,” Jordan said. “I think the direction were moving is positive. … It is baby steps. Every now and again you have a hiccup. But I must admit that were headed in the right direction and Im very happy with that.” The Bobcats, however, along with other small market NBA teams, are at a disadvantage with potential free agents like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh — who all could be a part of the 2014 class. The stars want to go “where the lights are,” Jordan said. He said last year he didnt think the new CBA did enough to help level the playing field for small market teams in terms of helping them land — or keep — a high-profile difference maker in free agency. A year later, after seeing the system at work, he has eased up on that stance. “Its better,” Jordan said. “We are still going through and seeing the full effects of it. From a business standpoint if you operate your team in the right way it gives you a chance to break even or be profitable. And it makes it more difficult for your talent to get up and go somewhere else. “You can provide more advantages than other teams to keep your player. Its a fair assessment that if you get your star you can get parity within the league. I think parity is starting to happen within the league.” Jordan doesnt feel players orchestrating deals that land a trio of stars in big markets to form a “big three” is necessarily good for the game. “Im not a big advocate for it,” Jordan said. “I came from an era where it didnt happen. If that happened to evolve from the draft, then you seemed pretty smart.” Now hes trying to make that happen in Charlotte.