Pàgina 1 de 1

expendable because

EntradaPublicat: dj. nov. 08, 2018 8:25 am
Autor: elaine95
Dan Bouchard can appreciate Womens Tomas Hertl Jersey , better than most, the Miracle in the Desert.He was a goalie for the expansion Atlanta Flames back in the 1970s, so he knows how difficult it is to build a competitive team from scratch.”It’s astonishing what they’ve done in Vegas,” said Bouchard, who still lives in the Atlanta area, when reached by phone this week. ”I think it’s the greatest thing to happen to hockey since the Miracle on Ice,” he added, referring to the seminal U.S. upset of the mighty Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics. ”It’s that good.”Indeed, Vegas has set a new norm for expansion teams in all sports. No longer will it be acceptable to enter a league with a squad full of dregs and take your lumps for a few years, all while fans willingly pay big-league prices to watch an inferior product.The Golden Knights have come up with a stunning new template for how this expansion thing can be done.They romped to the Pacific Division title with 51 wins. In the opening round of the playoffs, they finished off the Los Angeles Kings in four straight games , casting aside a franchise that has a pair of Stanley Cup titles this decade while becoming the first expansion team in NHL history to sweep a postseason series in its debut year.Imagine how storied franchises in Montreal and Detroit and Edmonton must be feeling right about now.They didn’t even make the playoffs.From Bouchard’s perspective, it’s all good. Vegas’ success right out of the starting gate will make everyone raise their game in the years to come.”This will wake up the teams that are sitting on $90 million budgets and not doing anything,” he said. ”People will say, `If Vegas can do it, we can do it.’ That’s a paradigm shift in the game.”When one considers how NHL expansion teams have fared over the years Alex Pietrangelo Jersey Kids , the Vegas story becomes even more compelling.The Golden Knights are the first new team in the NHL’s modern era to have a winning record in their inaugural season, a period that began in 1967 and encompasses 26 new franchises (including one, the ill-fated California Seals, who are no longer around).Only six other first-year teams have made the playoffs – and that includes four that were assured of postseason berths in the landmark 1967 expansion. You see, when the NHL finally broke out of its Original Six format, doubling in size to a dozen teams, it placed all the new franchises in the same division, with the top four getting postseason berths even with sub-.500 records.Until the Golden Knights came along, the Florida Panthers were the gold standard for NHL expansion. They finished one game below .500 in their first season (1993-94) and missed the playoffs by a single point. In Year 3, they had their first winning record and made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final, though they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche.That remains the closest the Panthers have come to winning a title.In Sin City, the wait for a championship figures to be much shorter. Heck, the Golden Knights might do it this year.They’re 12 wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup in a city that has always had a soft spot for long shots.”We’re still a few wins away from this being a great story,” said goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, a key contributor to the Golden Knights success.Even now, it seems like a bit of dream to coach Gerard Gallant Womens Alexander Steen Jersey , who thankfully will be remembered for something other than getting left at the curb to hail his own cab after being fired by the Panthers.”When this all started in October, we just wanted to compete,” Gallant said. ”Now we’re going to the second round of the playoffs. It’s unreal.”For sure, the Golden Knights wound up with a much more talented roster than most expansion teams – partly through astute planning, partly through getting access to better players as a reward for doling out a staggering $500 million expansion fee, which was a more than six-fold increase over the $80 million required of Minnesota and Columbus to enter the league in 2000.The expansion draft netted a top-line goalie in Fleury, who helped Pittsburgh win three Stanley Cups; center Jonathan Marchessault, a 30-goal scorer in Florida who was surprisingly left exposed by the Panthers; and winger James Neal, who had scored more than 20 goals in all nine of his NHL seasons. It also provided a solid group of defensemen: Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt, Deryk Engelland and Brayden McNabb.In addition, the Golden Knights wisely nabbed young Swedish center William Karlsson, who hadn’t done much in Columbus but became Vegas’ leading scorer with 43 goals and 35 assists.”They’ve got some top centers. They’ve got some real good defense. They’ve got good goaltending,” Bouchard observed. ”They went right down the middle. That’s how the built it. Then they complemented it with the fastest guys they could get their hands on. They went for speed.”Previous expansion teams didn’t have it nearly as good.Bouchard actually played on one of the better first-year teams when the Flames entered the league in 1972. They were in playoff contention much of the season and finished with more points than four other teams in the 16-team league, including the storied Toronto Maple Leafs.But that was a team that had to struggle for every win. The Flames had only three 20-goal scorers and were largely carried by their two young goalies, Bouchard and Phil Myre.”We didn’t have a bona fide 30-goal scorer http://www.stlouisbluesteamshops.com/authentic-brayden-schenn-jersey ,” Bouchard recalled. ”We had a lot of muckers.”That was then.The Golden Knights have shown how it should be done.If expansion teams are going to fork over enormous fees for the chance to play, they should have access to a much better pool of potential players.They should have a chance to win right away.That way, everyone wins.—Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at)ap.org or at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul newberry—AP Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this column.— BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Still stung by the Blues missing the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, general manager Doug Armstrong capped a major roster overhaul on the first day of the NHL’s free-agency period by acquiring center Ryan O’Reilly in a multiplayer trade with the Buffalo Sabres.Aside from landing a nine-year veteran in O’Reilly on Sunday, St. Louis committed $31 million in salary to sign forwards David Perron and center Tyler Bozak to multiyear contracts.”Once you miss the playoffs, change has to happen,” Armstrong said. ”We’re a non-playoff team for the first time in a number of years and it doesn’t sit well with the St. Louis Blues organization, and certainly the fan base.”Making drastic changes was also the theme in Buffalo, where general manager Jason Botterill continued shuffling the under-performing roster of a team that finished last in the standings for the third time in five years.”We had to change the dynamic,” Botterill said. ”The bottom line was there’s a lot of great people in that locker room, but when you finish 31st, you have to look to make changes.”The Sabres added experience to a young roster by acquiring veterans forwards Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund. They also acquired forward Tage Thompson, a 2016 first-round draft pick, who had three goals and six assists in 41 games as an NHL rookie this season last year. Buffalo rounded out its haul by adding a conditional first-round draft pick next year and a second-rounder in 2021.The Blues also agreed to pay O’Reilly the $7.5 million contract bonus he was due by the end of the day. Botterill said the price for O’Reilly would have gone up once the Sabres were put in a position to pay the bonus.Berglund, a former first-round draft pick Authentic Carl Gunnarsson Jersey , has 168 goals and 322 points in 694 games over a 10-year career in St. Louis. Sobotka is a defensive forward, who has 47 goals and 155 points in 463 career games over nine seasons.The trade continues a busy stretch in Botterill’s rebuilding plans.Aside from selecting 18-year-old Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 pick in the draft last month, he also acquired play-making forward Conor Sheary in a trade with Pittsburgh last week. The Sabres addressed their goaltending needs by signing former Blues backup Carter Hutton to a three-year, $8.25 million deal Sunday.Hutton will share the starting duties with Linus Ullmark, who is pegged to make the jump to Buffalo after three seasons in the minors.O’Reilly was expendable because he was one of the few assets the Sabres could trade. And he also caused a stir during an end-of-season availability by suggesting there were times he had lost the passion for hockey and that a losing culture had crept into the locker room.Armstrong is confident a change of scenery will help O’Reilly.”I’ve certainly been guilty of saying things I was thinking and wishing I didn’t say them. He probably would add that to the list of things he wishes he could’ve kept internal,” said Armstrong, who is familiar with O’Reilly during the time they’ve spent together as part of Canada’s national team at international tournaments.”He’s got great passion for the sport. He’s got great passion to compete and win,” he added. ”And hopefully, this gives him the boost that he feels is necessary that he can come in here. And quite honestly, we need that boost.”O’Reilly completed his third season in Buffalo since being acquired in a trade with Colorado, after which the Sabres signed him to a seven-year, $52.5 million contract. He’s one of the league’s most dependable two-way forwards, and set the NHL record by winning 1,273 faceoffs last year.Perron returns to St. Louis for the third time in his NHL career after signing for $16 million over four years. He spent last season in Las Vegas, where he set career highs with 50 assists and 66 points. Bozak, who signed a three-year Colton Parayko Jersey , $15 million deal with St. Louis, spent his first nine seasons in Toronto, where he scored 136 goals and 365 points in 594 games.”You bring in Ryan O’Reilly, and you bring in Perron and Bozak, experience players, I think it just makes you better,” Armstrong said.Notes: Buffalo signed goalie Scott Wedgewood, who is expected to take over the starting duties in the minors. … Forward Scott Wilson returned to Buffalo by signing a two-year, $2.1 million contract. … The Sabres also signed defenseman Brandon Hickey to a two-year entry-level contract. Hickey completed his senior season at Boston University, and was acquired by Buffalo in trade with Arizona last month.—