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Premier League to four
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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2019 04:44:33    Post subject:  Premier League to four
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BROSSARD, Que. -- Balancing the defence and making room for younger leaders marked the opening day of NHL free agency for the Montreal Canadiens. General manager Marc Bergevin acquired defenceman Tom Gilbert and re-signed rearguard Mike Weaver on Tuesday to fix the right-hand-left-hand balance at the blue-line, along with inking centre Manny Malhotra to add a veteran faceoff ace and penalty killer for the fourth line. He also shocked many fans by trading defenceman Josh Gorges, an alternate captain, to Buffalo and then letting captain Brian Gionta go to the Sabres as a free agent. Bergevin had said after the Canadiens were eliminated in the Eastern Conference final that the teams leadership had shifted to younger players like P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, Carey Price and Brandan Gallagher. Seeing off Gorges and Gionta made it official. "We felt that with our performance during the playoffs, our young core was ready to take a bigger role when it comes to leadership," said Bergevin, who refused to speculate on who the next captain may be. "Eventually you need to give your young players a chance to take over that role." Bergevin may have other moves planned, but his next task will be signing Subban, the 2013 Norris Trophy winner as the leagues top defenceman who is now a restricted free agent. Subban is expected to ink a long-term deal for top dollars. But the clubs main goal was to rearrange the defence. The addition of Gilbert will allow left-shooting Alexei Emelin to move to the left side where he will likely be more effective, while Weaver will probably play right defence in a pairing with one of the teams young prospects like Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi or Greg Pateryn. That would allow coach Michel Therrien to pair his two top rearguards, Subban and Andrei Markov. "Were more balanced now," said Bergevin. The parting with Gorges was awkward. News leaked out last week that the veteran was not only on the block, but had refused to waive his no-trade clause to complete a deal with the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Gorges added a couple of teams to the list of acceptable destinations, and was sent just before free agency opened to Buffalo for a 2016 second round draft pick. Bergevin was not pleased with how it unfolded. "It was difficult, hes a very good person," he said. "The fact the information got out was disappointing for us and for him. "No player should have to go through that. It was stressful for him and his family. Thats why I dont talk about trades in public. You see what happened. I have no idea where it came out from, but I can guarantee it did not come from the Montreal Canadiens organization." Gorges said he was shocked by the deal. A Canadien since 2006, he was seen as a heart and soul defenceman and a leader who was always willing to sacrifice his body to help the team. The Kelowna, B.C. native said he couldnt bring himself to play against Montreal in a Toronto (or Boston) jersey, and was relieved to go to a young, rebuilding squad in Buffalo. "Its been a tough couple of days and now things are looking bright again," Gorges said on a conference call. "You know where youre going and thats a good feeling." Bergevin was looking to move Gorges contract, which had been signed with the previous management and has another four seasons at US$3.9 million per year. He reportedly made a bid to keep Gionta, but at a much reduced salary from the $5 million the right winger earned in each of the least seasons. The Rochester, N.Y. native ended up signing with Buffalo for three years at $4.2 million per season. "Youre losing great people," said Bergevin. "Sometimes you make decisions that are not popular. But Im not here to be popular, Im here to make decisions." On Monday, he also traded veteran centre Daniel Briere to Colorado for right winger P.A. Parenteau. It still left Montreal short a right winger, but Bergevin said the spot on the second or third line will likely be taken a by a young player, possibly a newcomer like Jakob de la Rose, Sven Andrighetto or Jiri Sekac. The much-sought after Sekac, a six-foot 175 pound Czech, inked a two-year, two-way deal with Montreal after reportedly talking to more than 15 NHL teams. "Hes a kid that has top-three line skill that can help at some point in the future," said Bergevin. "I wont be able to tell you until hes here at camp and he shows us what he can do. We felt it was a calculated risk to bring him to Montreal." Gilbert, an unrestricted free agent, signed a two-year deal worth $2.8 million. The 31-year-old, who was bought out of the final two years of a contract with Minnesota in 2012, played for Florida on a one-year deal last season. He had three goals and 25 assists in 73 games. "For me, a lot of it has to do with skating and getting the puck and making that first pass," said Gilbert, who had hoped to sign with Montreal last year but couldnt get a deal. Instead, he saw his Panthers teammate Weaver get traded to the Canadiens on March 4 and earn a new one-year $1.75 million contract by helping them to reach the conference final. Now the two are together again. "He sent me a text asking me why Im chasing him around," Gilbert joked. "Hes going to fit in great with the team," Weaver said of Gilbert. "Hopefully he cuts his hair a bit shorter, but the way he plays, I notice, is almost similar to what we do. Short little passes into the zone to break out. "Hes going to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience." Malhotra signed a one-year deal worth $850,000. The 34-year-old centre, who has come back from a career-threatening eye injury suffered in 2011, had seven goals and six assists in 69 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. While he still has reduced vision in his left eye, Malhotra was praised for his leadership and his ability to win faceoffs. He probably could have got more money on the open market, but wanted to play for a contender. "At this stage of my career, the most important thing for me is winning," he said. "You look at the season the Canadiens had last year and the way theyve been growing as a team and the pieces they have in place, to be able to be part of something like that means a lot to me, rather than trying to chase a few extra dollars in a place where I probably wouldnt be as happy hockey-wise. "To say its a great hockey market is a gross understatement. Im really looking forward to being a part of it."
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. "It was awesome," he said. Coming off an ugly three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees, Toronto found itself in a deep hole early after the Reds put an eight spot up on starter Liam Hendriks (six runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched) and Todd Redmond in the second.
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. Messier, who had been a special assistant to Rangers general manager Glen Sather, announced Thursday in a statement that he is resigning in order to "expand the game of hockey in the New York area by developing the Kingsbridge National Ice Center.
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.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills will head into the regular season short on experience at quarterback after trimming the roster on Friday.
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. The Senators will put the busy off-season and training camp behind them when they open their regular season on the road. They kick things off Friday against the Buffalo Sabres and then head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on Saturday.
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. Torres tells Spanish daily AS "in football you never know where you will be inside one month. Im going to work hard, thats all you can do with this last part of the season so important.LONDON -- Spanish champion Atletico Madrid replaced Chelsea at the top of the AP Global Football 10 on Tuesday after beating Real Madrid 2-1 over the weekend at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Chelsea dropped to second in the poll despite extending its winning start in the Premier League to four matches. Inter Milan is third. Victory for Diego Simeones side was secured by an Arda Turan strike in the second half, and the midfielders performance impressed voter Paolo Condo of Gazzetta Dello Sport in Italy. "I enjoyed the Madrid derby very much - I was at the Bernabeu - and I can say that the impact over the match from Turan was enormous before his beautiful goal," Condo said of Turan. Fellow panelist Marco Monteverde of News Corp. Australia felt the result showed that Atletico will put up a fearsome defence of its league title. "For a team that got decimated in the off-season, Atletico have shown that they are not about to fall over in defending their La Liga title," Monteverde said. One of those players to leave Atletico in the summer was striker Diego Costa, and he tops the player poll this week after scoring a hat trick in Chelseas comeback 4-2 win over Swansea. "Diego Costa is an insatiable striker, with 14 shots on goal in the Premier League, and seven goals," Tito Puccetti of ESPN in Argentina said. Inter striker Mauro Icardi, who also scored three in a 7-0 rout of Sassuolo, finished behind Costa, with Neymar in third after his two goals led Barcelona to a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. "Neymmar and Messi should almost be a joint entry," Tom Timmermann of the St.dddddddddddd Louis Post-Dispatch in the United States said. "There will be a lot of Barcelona goals this season that both of them will figure prominently in." Elsewhere, Manchester Uniteds first victory under new manager Louis van Gaal, an aggressive 4-0 home rout over Queens Park Rangers, sees it poll fifth. Angel Di Maria, who opened the scoring in his first match at Old Trafford after joining from Real, was Uniteds most dangerous player in the game and enters this weeks poll in fourth. "This is what Manchester United in 2015 is supposed to be: a wonderful attacking team, with plenty of stars, some creativity, all driven by a strong feeling of revenge on the past year," Cedric Rouquette of Eurosport in France said. Aston Villa finished only one vote behind United after its surprise 1-0 win against Liverpool at Anfield. AC Milan is seventh, after an incredible 5-4 win against Parma on Sunday. Jeremy Menez scored the winner for Milan with a brilliant back-heeled flick, and is fifth in the player vote. Bayern Munich is eighth after winning 2-0 against Stuttgart, while a 2-0 win against Udinese sees Juventus poll ninth. In the player vote, Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere are ninth and tenth, respectively, after each scored in Arsenals 2-2 home draw with Premier League champion Manchester City. Shinji Kagawa is eighth after scoring on his return to Borussia Dortmund, who take on Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday. ' ' '
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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2019 04:44:33    Post subject: Adv





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