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发表于 2019-3-21 14:26:18 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
John Tavares needed to post only one picture on his Twitter account to explain the grip the Maple Leafs have had on him since he was a youngster growing up in suburban Toronto.The photo featured a not-yet-10-year-old Tavares in bed Custom Edmonton Oilers Jerseys , asleep on a pillowcase and under a blanket adorned with Maple Leafs logos, and accompanied by a note that read: ”Not everyday you can live a childhood dream.”In bidding farewell to the New York Islanders, where he was the captain and face of the franchise since being drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2009, Tavares chose Toronto and agreed to a seven-year, $77 million contract about an hour after the NHL’s free-agency signing period opened Sunday.The 27-year-old Tavares spent last week assessing offers from the Islanders, San Jose, Toronto, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Boston. He called his decision the toughest of his life in choosing between staying in New York or taking ”a calculated leap of faith into an opportunity I believe will be special to me and my family.”In the end, he was unable to avoid the lure Toronto presented, and informed the Maple Leafs he had chosen them late Saturday night.”I just felt this opportunity was just so rare, the timing of where the organization’s at, and obviously the connection being from here www.officialhockeypanthersshop.com ,” Tavares said. ”I really believe there’s a big window here to win, to be part of something special. It just felt right.”Tavares, whose 306 points over the past four seasons rank sixth among players over that span, was the highest-profile player to hit the market since the Minnesota Wild signed both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts.Tavares’ signing led to a domino effect in player movement.Toronto lost two forwards in free agency. James van Riemsdyk left the Maple Leafs after six seasons to return to Philadelphia, where he signed a five-year, $35 million contract. The Leafs also lost center Tyler Bozak, who signed a three-year, $15 million contract with St. Louis, which later on beefed up down the middle by acquiring Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster trade with the Buffalo Sabres.Some of money the Lightning saved by not landing Tavares was spent on signing defenseman Ryan McDonagh to a seven-year, $47.25 million extension, which kicks in next summer.Paul Stastny caused another ripple of moves in the Western Conference. He left Winnipeg to sign a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Stanley Cup finalist Vegas Golden Knights – a spot left open after David Perron returned to St. Louis by signing a four-year Florida Panthers T-Shirts Authentic , $16 million deal.Vegas forward James Neal is among the more high-profile free agents still unsigned.In Nashville, the Predators will turn their attention to negotiating a contract extension with defenseman Ryan Ellis, who is entering the final year of his contract. The Ottawa Senators are expected to do the same with their captain, Erik Karlsson.Tavares’ signing has the potential of shifting the balance of power in the Eastern Conference.He joins a young, talented group that already features Auston Matthews, the 2016 draft’s No. 1 pick, a veteran presence in Patrick Marleau and a top coach in Mike Babcock.The Leafs, who haven’t won a championship since their last Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1967, have made strides in three years since Babcock’s arrival. Toronto has made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons after qualifying just once in the previous 11. And yet, they have not advanced past the first round since 2004.Tavares specifically referenced Matthews and 21-year-old center Mitchell Marner, who led the Leafs with 69 points last season as reasons to be optimistic.”They’ve accomplished so much in such little time. You can only think about the trajectory they’re on, and that’s what gets me excited,” Tavares said.The Islanders experienced struggles even with Tavares by qualifying for the playoffs just three times in nine seasons.Now they face a daunting uphill climb minus their unquestioned leader and point-a-game producer. In a bid to retain Tavares Florida Panthers Hoodies Authentic , the team underwent an organizational makeover in recent months. They hired Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations and fresh Stanley Cup winner Barry Trotz as coach.”The New York Islanders would like to thank John Tavares for everything he has done for the franchise throughout his nine seasons,” Lamoriello said in a statement released by the team. ”We wish him and his family all the best.”Bruins GM Don Sweeney expressed one lament in losing out on signing Tavares.”I would have preferred it not be in our division,” Sweeney said, referring to Tavares making the switch from the Metropolitan to Atlantic Division. ”We put our best foot forward. It just didn’t fall our way.”Other notable deals:-Veteran defenseman Jack Johnson signed a five-year, $16.25 million contract with Pittsburgh. The 31-year-old Johnson is a 12-year NHL veteran, who spent the past six-plus seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets.-The Colorado Avalanche added two former Blue Jackets in signing defenseman Ian Cole and forward Matt Calvert to three-year deals. Cole gets $12.75 million and Calvert gets $8.4 million.-The Sabres filled a need at goaltender by signing former St. Louis Blues backup Carter Hutton to a three-year, $8.25 million deal. Hutton will share the starting duties with Linus Ullmark, who is pegged to make the jump to Buffalo after three seasons in the minors.-The Arizona Coyotes signed All-Star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year contract extension that averages $8.25 million per year.-The San Jose Sharks announced a $64 million, eight-year extension with center Logan Couture.-The New York Rangers agreed to sign restricted free-agent forward Vladislav Namestnikov to a two-year, $8 million deal.—AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen, in Boston and freelance writer Denis P. Gorman contributed to this report.— NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators‘ sizzling 13-3 start to the season is a distant memory. The defending Presidents Trophy winners have lost three straight and seven of the last 11 on their home ice called Smashville.Part of the problem is only the top line is scoring with any regularity.It’s enough to possibly force general manager David Poile into another big move before the NHL trade deadline Feb. 25. Fans are lighting up social media wanting something to change to snap the Predators out of struggles that have dropped them to eighth overall in the league standings. After winning the Central Division a year ago, Nashville is second with 71 points — four behind Winnipeg.Goalie Pekka Rinne believes the losses could possibly help the Predators in the long run.“I feel like everybody feels the urgency and desperation … Florida Panthers Hats Authentic ,” Rinne said Wednesday. “I mean you look at the standings and we still up there, but you don’t want to feel comfortable in our division. We just got to play better. That’s the bottom line. Get results …, and individually we all need to be just consistent, myself included, but it’s going to come. And hopefully we can look back in a little bit and … (see) that we grew from it and we learned from it.”The Predators dropped their third straight game Tuesday night 3-2 to Detroit , which came in next to last in the NHL in points. Coach Peter Laviolette put them through practice Wednesday working on a few issues, like a power play that has produced just three goals in 49 opportunities over the past 14 games. Nashville also has allowed the first goal in 31 of its 59 games.Still, Laviolette said he liked how the Predators played their last couple games with a 5-4 overtime loss to St. Louis on Sunday followed by the loss to Detroit.“There’s 10 different things that could’ve helped us or made us better,” Laviolette said. “It could’ve been a face-off, it could’ve been a power-play, a penalty kill, a better third period. An opportunity that goes in the net instead of not going in the net. There’s a bunch of little things I think that can happen. … We did a lot of good things in the last two games and the results didn’t come our way.”They could use more production beyond the JOFA line of center Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson. Johansen leads Nashville with 52 points in 57 games, while Arvidsson leads the team with 25 goals in just 35 games. Forsberg is second with 20 goals in 42 games because of injuries. Arvidsson has been on a tear since returning from a broken thumb scoring 11 goals in 11 games along with an NHL-best 17 goals since Dec. 31.There’s a drop-off after that.Craig Smith Custom Florida Panthers Jerseys , who has not missed a game this season, ranks third on the Predators with 16 goals.“It’s a work in progress,” Smith said. “I think we’re doing a lot of the right things. We get a bounce here and there to feel good. But it’s all about the process. Right now we like the way we work, we like the way, I guess the details of the game we’re doing a lot of the right things.”Nashville has 23 games left, starting Thursday night hosting Montreal. The Predators lead third-place Dallas by eight points in the division and know teams like St. Louis and Minnesota are pushing too.“Consistency is something that we need to work on,” Forsberg said. “But at the same time, we’ve seen our highs. If we can keep going, I think we’ll be fine.”
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