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01.04.2020 05:02
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BUFFALO, N. China Jerseys Wholesale .Y. -- First, Ryan Miller. Now, Pat LaFontaine. A day after trading their star goalie to St. Louis, the Buffalo Sabres lost another face of their franchise after LaFontaine abruptly resigned as president of hockey operations on Saturday a little more than three months after being brought in to provide a new direction to the NHLs last-place team. The Sabres announced the decision in a news release issued after speculation had been raised of a potential front-office shake-up involving LaFontaine. "I would like to thank Pat for all he has done for the organization," Sabres owner Terry Pegula said in the release. "Pat joined us at a very difficult time, and helped transition the organization down a new path." The Sabres said LaFontaine would be returning to his previous role working with the National Hockey League. LaFontaine had been working with the league on player safety issues before being hired by the Sabres in mid-November. The former Sabres captains arrival was hailed as a major turning point for a struggling team. LaFontaine took over following a change in the front office during which general manager Darcy Regier and coach Ron Rolston were dismissed following the Sabres 4-15-1 start. LaFontaines first move was hiring former Sabres coach Ted Nolan to take over as coach on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. LaFontaines next step came in January, when he hired Tim Murray as general manager. "Terry Pegula hired me in November, and my primary objective was to lead the Sabres organization through a time of transition," LaFontaine said in the Sabres release. "Im proud of what weve been able to accomplish in a short period of time, and want to thank Terry and Kim Pegula for the opportunity and their support during my time with the Sabres." LaFontaines resignation still comes as a major surprise. In January, LaFontaine talked openly about how he would use his connections to USA Hockey in a bid to lure national and international events to Buffalo. He leaves a day after Murray made his first big splash by trading star goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues. In exchange, the Sabres acquired goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick and a conditional 2016 third-round pick in a deal reached in advance of the NHL trade deadline on Wednesday. The Sabres (18-34-8) had the day off on Saturday, and return to practice on Sunday before travelling to play at Dallas on Monday. They remain in last place, but are enjoying their first three-game winning streak following a 4-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Friday. This is not the first time LaFontaine has abruptly stepped down as an NHL team executive. In July 2006, LaFontaine quit the New York Islanders a little over a month after being brought in to serve as senior adviser to owner Charles Wang. In Buffalo, LaFontaines absence was notable this week once the team returned to the ice following the leagues Olympic break. He was not spotted in the press box during the Sabres three-game homestand that began with a 3-2 win over Carolina on Tuesday. That was unusual because LaFontaine had previously spent time watching games from the press-box level in Pegulas box, alongside Murray and several of the owners associates. LaFontaine also missed the teams "Power Play Luncheon" for fans on Friday, when he was scheduled to speak along with fellow former Sabres greats Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert and Danny Gare. The crowd was informed LaFontaine had the flu. The Sabres have become a top-heavy organization since Regiers dismissal. Pegula created the position of president of hockey operations to hire LaFontaine. And Pegula did so only after LaFontaine declined a chance to become the GM by saying he didnt think he had enough experience for that job. Along with hiring Murray, the Sabres also brought in Hockey Hall of Fame member and long-time executive Craig Patrick to serve as a special adviser. LaFontaine backed the hiring of Murray and Patrick, by referring to both as his "wingers." He also discussed how important it was for him to be building a front-office team that could work together in rebuilding a team that has missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, and not won a playoff round since reaching the 2007 Eastern Conference finals. Its not clear what effect LaFontaines departure will have on the teams short-term future, including Nolans status. Murray said this week hes already had discussions with Nolan about extending his contract beyond this season. Cheap Jerseys . The Cottagers last victory came in a 2-1 home win over West Ham when Rene Meulensteen was still in charge. Since then, a miserable run of seven defeats and two draws has seen the club part with the Dutch coach and replace him with German Felix Magath. China Jerseys Cheap . a€“ All signs point to the Maple Leafs having their top offseason acquisition in the lineup on opening night. .com) - The Carolina Panthers won for the first time in seven games last week, were without Cam Newton due to a car accident this week, but somehow sit atop the much-maligned NFC South.Philadelphia, PA ( - Addition by subtraction is a time- honored theory in team improvement. A team gets rid of someone who is either, hurting the team with his attitude, or is standing in the way of someone else, normally younger, and said team thrives. That appears to be the case with the Detroit Pistons. They have gone 7-0 since the shocking release of Josh Smith, a player who has infuriated coaches in the past, but also a player with about $25 million left on his contract. To take such a drastic step as to waive Smith showed how little the Pistons wanted him. Hes mercurial. Truthfully, very little is said about him negatively in terms of being a teammate, or a pain in the posterior. Smiths rap is bad because of his propensity to take too many 3-pointers. Hes a power forward who has played out of position, out of necessity, for both the Pistons and Atlanta Hawks. Smith is an elite athlete and has buckets of talent, but its never truly materialized. And lets be clear, seven consecutive wins since cutting Smith is a reflection on Smith. If the Pistons had won say four games in a row after cutting him, thats not necessarily a true representation of Smith. We could attribute that to the newness of the situation. But, seven? Thats two weeks of perfection. There has to be a reason. How this has all happened, I really dont know, Stan Van Gundy told Van Gundy is not only the coach of the Pistons, but also the president of basketball operations. It was his call to send Smith packing, although, in Tim McMahons piece on ESPN. com, the author clearly states Van Gundy had no problem with Smith off the court, nor his work ethic. What we anticipated was giving different guys opportunities, our young guys. Joshs a 10-year vet in a tough situation at 5-23, and I wanted to give other people opportunities, which was probably going to cut his minutes and take the ball out of his hands some, Van Gundy told I didnt really think it was fair in that regard. It was easier to do it this way, plus in the future we also get a cap-space benefit, so it helps us for the future. Lets put aside Smith, the personality, for a moment. On the court, this monstrous trio of Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe was an interesting idea that never worked. Smith and Monroe were both power forwards and Smith had to play small forward. It turned out to be a horrible fit, like me and anything with horizontal stripes. So, the easiest explanation is that re-inserting Monroe into the starting lineup, alongside Kyle Singler at the three spot, is a more natural fit all the way along. You cant emphasize the importance of everyone playing their natural positions. With Singler out there and Monroe on the block and playing like a legitimate force on the interior (15.4 ppg), its opened the floor for the Pistons. They are shooting 40.7 percent from 3-point range during their winning streak. Jodie Meeks return has helped, but his playing time has increased since Smith left. Another factor in stretching the floor has been Jonas Jerebko. Hes averaged 20-plus minutes a game since Smiths departure and is scoring a shade under 6.5 ppg. He is, however, 6-for-12 from beyond the arc. The other revelation has been Brandon Jennings. Hes averaging 19.2 ppg during the win streak, which is a tremendous output. As for Smiths personality, or mere presence, hampering the team, the proof is somewhat in the math. They are 7-0 and their average margin of victory has been 15 points. The wins have come on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who still had LeBron James, albeit a hobbled one, in the lineup. They beat San Antonio on a last-second basket and Dallas in back-to-back nights on the road. Thats extremely impressive. No one on the Pistons is saying anything about Smith, the person, or the teammate. But, it would be naive to ignore the on-court product without him. The Pistons sure seem crisper. Well, weve gotten better on both ends of the floor, Van Gundy said after the win over the Mavericks on Wednesday. The ball is going in the basket that helps quite a bit when the ball goes in. It not only helps obviously forr the reason that the ball goes in and you score a point, but I think it gets your energy up when things are going well. China Jerseys 2020. Weve also defended a lot better. Also our group, I dont know why, but started Dec. 22 we had three days of practice and from then on its just been different. Guys have worked harder, theyve been more attentive. A lot more together and again we dont have guys that are getting concerned about whos in the game or their playing time, or their shots, or anything else. They just want to win games. Thats not a shot at Smith. Van Gundy was commenting on the fact that, in those two wins in San Antonio and Dallas, different players were in the fourth-quarter lineup. You have guys, four guys that were in the game in a great win last night sitting on the bench on the sideline tonight and loving every minute of it, Van Gundy said. You know Greg Monroe didnt get in the game last night in the fourth quarter. Tonight Andre (Drummond) doesnt get in, in the fourth quarter there at the end of the game. Brandon doesnt get back in, KCP doesnt get back in and guys are into the game. Morale is clearly high and confidence means everything. This group is extraordinarily positive and the scenes from the sidelines as Jerebko, Monroe, Caron Butler, Meeks and D.J. Augustin played the entire fourth quarter, and out-scored the Mavs by seven, tell a tale. Theres a spring in the step of the Pistons right now. Its not a coincidence its happened with Smith in a Houston Rockets uniform. It wasnt a good fit. Now, Monroe and Drummond form the interior nucleus. Good 3-point shooters are taking 3-point shots. Its all fitting. Remember this, the Pistons are just 2 1/2 games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The playoffs are more than in reach, so while Smith may have been a decent guy, his good-bye has the Pistons firing. RANDOM THOUGHTS - At its surface, two first-round picks for Timofey Mozgov seems like a lot. But, both picks werent originally Clevelands so maybe the Cavs feel like its house money. They desperately need a center. Mozgov may not be an athletic, ideal fit, but hes better than nothing. Thats what you want from someone who goes for two first-rounders - hes better than nothing. - The East backcourt situation is tough for the All-Star game. John Wall and Dwyane Wade are going to start, which is not terrible. Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler are going. Two guards get selected as reserves, three frontcourt players, then two additional players at any position. Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets both deserve consideration and the backup frontcourt situation is ... shaky, so maybe one of the two has a chance. - Its no surprise the Memphis Grizzlies want Luol Deng or Jeff Green. Deng probably isnt available, but Green is incredibly available. He has a player option for $9.4 million, which Id imagine hell pick up for next season. What does Boston want? Do they make someone take Gerald Wallace and his $10 million contract for next season? - With the Baseball Hall of Fame on peoples minds, the only interesting first-ballot candidate worth discussing this year is Dikembe Mutombo. Four Defensive Player of the Year awards, eight All-Stars, three times on the All- NBA team makes him a pretty strong choice. Hes curried enough good favor in his lifetime that voters probably put him in this year. No beef from me. - Movie moment - Back to the Future is on peoples minds since 2015 was a year in the trilogy and we clearly arent flying to work via jet pack. But, what always cracked me up, and I love the original and hate the sequels, was how Marty had time to sing another song at the dance. To say his plan was predicated on timing was an understatement. His only chance at traveling TO THE FUTURE, mind you, was based on the exact timing of a lightning strike to a clock tower. Maybe he passes on the encore at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance to make sure everything is exactly where it needs to be for his intricate return home 30 years in the future. - TV moment - I will miss Parenthood. Its a really great show. I hope they dont kill Zeek. ' ' '

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