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of next weeks quarterfinal return
01-11-2019, 01:53 AM
Post: #1
of next weeks quarterfinal return
In some ways, it feels like the Ottawa Senators have cornered the market on messy departures. Discount New Balance Shoes . Or at least the awkward ones. First there was Alexei Yashin sulking his way out of town in the summer of 2001. Then just prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, Marian Hossa signed a contract extension with the team - only to be dealt hours later to the Atlanta Thrashers (In hindsight, perhaps Hossa should have been suspicious of John Mucklers evil laugh as his pen hit the paper). The next summer, Zdeno Chara up and left as a free agent, not leaving an ounce of return for his massive 6-foot-9 frame. There was also the buyout of Ray Emery just 12 months after he backstopped the club to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in modern franchise history. Dany Heatleys departure the following summer was easily the most contentious and controversial in franchise history. But that exit may have been trumped when Daniel Alfredsson abruptly left town in the summer of 2013 after contract talks reached a stalemate. So, all of this brings us to Jason Spezzas decision to ask for a trade last spring. On the surface, its easy to lump Spezza in with some of the other controversial exits from this city. After all, he was the captain of the team for less than a calendar year when he asked Bryan Murray to be traded to another organization. However, with Spezza returning to Ottawa tonight, there isnt that sense of pent-up frustration and anger from the fan base that we saw when Heatley came back to town. Or even the swirling mixed emotions when Alfredsson rolled back in wearing a Red Wings jersey for the first time. Those departures were sudden and shocking - like a cold slap in the face. But with Spezza, we could all see the writing on the wall for months - if not years. And so, were all sort of looking at each other with the same question: Whats the reception going to be for Spezza tonight? The reason why there might be an emotional disconnect is that the Spezza departure actually felt like a mutual decision. As Gwyneth Paltrow might say, there was a conscious uncoupling between the two parties. Even Spezzas most faithful supporters would agree that it was probably best for both parties for him to move on. He spent more than a decade with this organization and as he pointed out to us Wednesday, when you are the No. 1 centre on a team for that long and you dont win a Stanley Cup, there are going to be questions. In the case of his other linemates - Heatley and Alfredsson - we were left unfulfilled with the public explanations for their departures. So conspiracy theories started to pop up at every corner. Most of these were so ridiculous that they could not be published on a reputable website, but in the absence of a definitive explanation, these rumours ruled the day. Thankfully, we were spared that same script of gossip and innuendo with Spezza because his reasons for wanting to leave town actually seemed believable. And it also felt like it was in the clubs best interests to move on from him as well. There will be some people who boo Jason Spezza tonight because they felt like he turned his back on the organization and the city while he was the captain of the team. But as Spezza explained to me Wednesday, he understood that asking for a trade while wearing the captains C was going to create a stir. Its something I took very seriously, being the captain - especially on a Canadian team and somewhere I had been for a long time. So I was disappointed with how my one year as captain went, but thats hockey and you learn from it. I didnt just wake up one day and decided I wanted to ask for a trade. It was something I felt was necessary to move on in my career and kind of start another chapter. It definitely wasnt an easy decision, Spezza said. Perhaps the easier decision for Spezza would have been to keep his mouth shut and stay in Ottawa until his contract ran out at the end of this 2014-15 season. But then he would have been painted as the villain who left town and gave his organization nothing in return for him. At least by taking this route, Spezza allowed the organization to get a pair of prospects including one - Nick Paul - who projects out to be an NHL player in the future and a second-round draft pick. That return is certainly better than the alternative of Spezza simply walking away as a free agent this summer. And Spezza is also well aware of the narrative going around that he couldnt stand the heat of playing in a Canadian market. He shrugged off that suggestion Wednesday, saying that he never felt like the constant media scrutiny was the catalyst for his decision to leave town. Everybody is going to have their opinion and spin it however they want. But everybody who knows me and has been around me knows thats not why I asked to be moved, Spezza said. I think too much gets made that I just wanted to get out of the spotlight because my whole life Ive been in it. But I just felt it was necessary to move on to another organization and try things a different way. My goal is to win the Cup and I have to try it a different way. People will perceive it however they want, but I dont think Ive ever been afraid to stand in front of a microphone and be accountable for my play. Spezza told me that hes going to miss skating on the canal here in Ottawa, something he made sure he did with his family each winter. On Wednesday, he was planning to drop by his favourite Italian restaurant - Capones - for a bite to eat. And he even went to his old barber downtown for a familiar haircut. In coming back to Ottawa, Jason Spezza didnt need to slink around town with his hat pulled down low. This wasnt a messy breakup or a divorce that has cast one side as the bad guy. Instead, this was a mutual decision to leave and by all accounts, both sides are happy. Cheap New Balance Sneakers . GQ Lundqvist quite well.Three rounds, and nearly two months later, will the Kings have the strength to reach the summit of the Empire State to claim the cup?Truer words have never been spoken. Cheap New Balance Wholesale .7 million, one-year contract, a raise of $2.2 million. Wieters had asked for $8.75 million and the Orioles had offered $6. . Ronaldo netted his 14th goal of the season in Europes top competition to give Madrid a clear advantage ahead of next weeks quarterfinal return leg in Germany. But it came at a price as the Portugal forward, who came into the first-leg nursing a sore left knee, came off in the 80th minute.KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Major league teams will each have at least five games this spring where managers can challenge plays as part of the major expansion of instant replay which begins this season. Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez is looking forward to getting acquainted with it. "Those five games that we have the actual television, Im challenging everything just to get a feel for it," he said. "Im sure that the umpires will appreciate that." Gonzalez, Houston manager Bo Porter, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Nationals manager Matt Williams met with MLB executives Joe Torre and Tony La Russa for almost three hours Friday to go over the replay rules. The new rules allow each manager to challenge one call a game. If he wins the first one, hell earn another challenge. The crew chief can request a review after the seventh inning if the manager has used his challenges. Baseball has been reluctant to use replay and became the last major professional sport in North America to implement it late in the 2008 season. But it was very narrowly used — only close home runs could be reviewed. Now almost every call can be contested, with the exception of ball-and-strikes and checked swings. They also wont allow reviews of what is known as the "neighbourhood play" at second base on potential double plays. Gonzalez and Porter both acknowledged that the meeting was rather long, but they didnt mind. "Its historic for our sport," Gonzalez said. "Its never been done so we want to do it right." Porter agreed and said he left the meeting feeling very comfortable with the rules. "It was necessary," he said. "I thought that they did a tremendous job of putting the information together and giving us scenarios. It was long, but it was vvery much needed and very beneficial at the same time. Cheap New Balance Shoes. " The reviews during the regular season will be done by current MLB umpires at the replay centre in MLB.coms office in New York. Gonzalez said there will be eight umpires who will each be responsible for two games at a time. And as for people who worry that this will further slow a game that some people complain already takes too long, Gonzalez doesnt believe that will be the case. "As soon as they see something going on, they can go right to that play," he said. "They feel like theyll have an answer when the umpire comes to the headphones ... and theres no delay." Concerns about managers using replay challenges to buy time to warm-up a pitcher are probably unwarranted, Ausmus said. "It doesnt sound like theres going to be a lot of time," he said. The manager or other team officials in the dugout can talk with someone in the clubhouse watching a live feed of the game with replays available to help determine if the manager should challenge a call. Porter said he and his staff will work on how theyll decide whether to challenge plays all spring, not just in the games where instant replay is used. "Its more of getting into the practice and getting into the language you want to have transmitted during a close play and I think we can simulate it this spring," he said. Though hes certainly going to prepare to use instant replay, Gonzalez is not too sure how much hell actually use it in the season. "If you believe the numbers that they throw at you, we may go four or five games without even throwing a challenge," he said. "I believe, without having any kind of numbers behind it that this is going to show how good our major league umpires are." 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