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NHL free agency: Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau gamble clear win-now move

Patrick Marleau is old. Not quite Jaromir Jagr old, but in an NHL that is increasingly young, age is important.

That’s why it was so shocking Sunday when the Maple Leafs said they had convinced the 37-year-old Marleau, after 19 seasons with the Sharks, to ditch the Bay Area and finish his Hall of Fame career with a franchise that has won one playoff series since 2004. He doesn’t need them and they don’t really need him. Auston Matthews was 14 days old when Marleau made his NHL debut Oct. 1, 1997, and the Leafs’ ascent was already well underway without him.

On the surface, committing $6.25 million annually over the next three seasons to a graybeard seems counterintuitive and a risk not worth taking.

I think I’ve worn out a few carpets pacing around the house trying to make this decision over the last couple of days, Marleau said on a brief conference call with reporters after the deal was announced.

The Vancouver Canucks wasted no time adding free-agent talent Saturday, reportedly reaching deals with center Sam Gagner, defenseman Michael Del Zotto and goaltender Anders Nilsson. TSN reports Gagner and the Canucks have agreed to a three-year deal worth $3.15 million annually. The center tied a career high with 18 goals and scored 50 points last season for the Blue Jackets. Del Zotto’s deal is reportedly for two years at $3 million per year. He scored 18 points in 51 games with the Flyers last season. The 27-year-old Nilsson, who posted a 10-10-4 record with the Buffalo Sabres last season with a 2.67 goals against average, has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $2.5 million per year deal.

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In appreciation of Marian Hossa, whether this is the end of his career or not

If this is the end for Marian Hossa potentially cut down at the end of his career by an unfortunate skin disorder that will at least force him to miss the 2017-18 season ‘ it’s impossible to imagine a more ill-befitting way for him to go out.

But this isn’t a story about that. Salary cap experts far more ingrained with knowledge of the minutiae of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement can explain the fallout from an organizational perspective better. Rather, this is about the player, and what is shaping up to be an incredibly disheartening end of what is an undeniably Hall of Fame career. The phrase progressive skin disorder with side effects due to medication couldn’t contrast more with the elegant style of his game if it tried.

The play that stands out above all others as quintessential Hossa took place on Oct. 24, 2008 against his old team, Atlanta. Like many times before, Hossa, then a Detroit Red Wing, read a play at center-ice, and this time saw Thrashers’ defenseman Zach Bogosian confronted by Tomas Holmstrom. The Red Wings forward eventually got a piece of the puck and gently nudged it to Hossa, who was taking off at full speed down the ice.

P.K. Subban in his first Cup Final one year after his acrimonious trade out of Montreal. Peter Laviolette becoming the fourth coach in NHL history to lead three teams into the Final following runs with the 2005-06 Hurricanes (won Cup) and 2009-10 Flyers (lost Cup). Long-suffering veterans Pekka Rinne, Mike Fisher and Vernon Fiddler with a chance to finally hoist the Cup.

For now, though, Nashville has some planning to do. The land of honky tonks and country music is about to become the center of the hockey world.

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Madison Square Garden to forgo music, video, in-game entertainment for first half of Warriors-Knicks

There aren’t a ton of reasons to catch a game at Madison Square Garden, but Sunday provided an alibi to do so.

Not only were the league’s best team, the Golden State Warriors in town, but the 25-37 Knicks decided to dial back the clock for a bit.

For the first half of the game, Madison Square Garden would not play any music, video on the scoreboard, or provide any in-game entertainment.

One interpretation of this could be that it’s just a gimmick to get some positive attention after months of negative publicity this year. But, ever the optimist, I’d like to think the intentions of the Knicks were noble, that they actually want younger fans to take in a game the same way people used to in the earlier days of the NBA.

Plus, without any of that extraneous sound, it’ll be easier to hear the fans in the upper deck complaining about Carmelo Anthony’s shot selection.

“I’m not worried at all,” Lue told reporters . “To be able to hold down the fort like we have and we’re still the No. 1 seed with a two- or three-game lead, I feel great and confident with where we’re at. Our guys are starting to get healthy and are starting to come back, and we’re going to take off.”

Carmelo Anthony, who has made headlines for all the wrong reasons Cheap Jerseys Bing lately, looked like the Melo of old Tuesday against the Pacers, scoring 22 and hauling in 13 rebounds. Fifteen of those Cheap Jerseys 90 points came in the fourth quarter as the Knicks rallied to win 87-81.

The Lakers could have the space and an opportunity to keep Griffin in Los Angeles.

Miami would need to officially get out from Chris Bosh’s contract to have space for Griffin. Never dismiss the opportunity for Pat Riley to sell a young star on spending his winter winning games in South Beach, especially given the Heat’s historic upswing since January.

The Lakers could have the space and an opportunity to keep Griffin in Los Angeles. The cost to Griffin would be winning. He’d have a chance to be the star the Lakers so desperately want in the post-Kobe era, but L.A.’s first team isn’t ready to win big.

Griffin, Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and maybe a top-three pick in this draft is a potential playoff team, not a contender. After tasting success with the Clips, is Griffin prepared to start from the bottom again? Remember, Griffin also experienced the bottom at the beginning of his career. It’s hard to believe he liked it.

Other teams like the Suns, Celtics, Nuggets, and Mavericks will chase. We will have an unwieldy supply of Carmelo Anthony-for-Blake Griffin sign-and-trade rumors.

That’s not what happened. It was an exercise in absurdity to highlight just how inequitable baseball’s unwritten rules are. We’ve had a batter attack another player with a bat, and we’re still Cheap Softball Jerseys For Men talking about it 52 years later. The suspension (10 games) for Juan Marichal was hilariously weak in retrospect, but there was a widespread belief that the incident kept him out of the Hall of Fame for two years. Don’t hit players with bats. Seems like one of the more obvious of unwritten rules.

For a more recent example, Delmon Young was suspended 50 games for throwing his bat at an umpire:

And in a completely applicable exampl

e, Machado was once suspended five games for using his bat as something between a weapon and a demonstration of his displeasure.

The Raptors can still beat the Bucks, but it sure doesn’t feel like it

We could have had three blowouts and a boring Thursday evening of playoff games if not for LeBron James. He had to go out and do something about that, didn’t he?

It has now been five years and 20 straight games since James has lost in the first round, a streak he continued by leading a 26-point comeback against the Pacers in Game 3. Cleveland now leads 3-0 in the series, and their mercurial roster has once again turned in a passing performance despite the entire paper being marked up in red ink.

What I’m genuinely curious about is whether we are seeing a new age unfold. Brad Stevens will be in Boston for as long as he wants. Brett Brown seems entrenched in Philly. Mike Budenholzer has all the power. We already mentioned Cliff — no offense to Kemba Walker, but Clifford’s the face of the franchise. Guys like Erik Spoelstra and Rick Carlisle are institutions at this point. Might we be looking at the era of the legacy coach?

We do seem to be stacking up more coaches as institutions than we have in recent memory. But institutions fall. I’m not convinced Clifford can outlast another losing season, and I think the bill will come due on Brett Brown if there isn’t additional progress next season. Carlisle is interesting Cheap Vintage Hockey Jerseys to me because he’s so well-regarded and the Mavericks are usually better than they have reason to be. But he’s not winning too many playoff games, you know?

There’s a piece of this narrative I am morally obligated to mention here: Diversity in NBA coaching is still bad. There are currently nine head coaches of color in a league that is 80 percent black. Spoelstra and Tyronn Lue are becoming institutions. David Fizdale is set for at least Cheap USA Hockey Jerseys a few years. Doc Rivers is his own boss. Nate McMillan goes into next year on fairly thin ice.

While Boston’s track record with the top pick

Now, eight years and one league later, the Breakers are again the owners of the No. 1 draft pick, though this time it came from last year’s last place finish, Boston’s second time at the bottom of the table in as many seasons. With that top pick at the 2017 college draft, Boston again went for a promising young talent with some time with the USWNT under her belt. On a January day in Los Angeles, Rose Lavelle became a Boston Breaker.

In the context of Rodriguez — like if you’re reading this while still in Cautionary Tale circa 2009 — Boston picking up Lavelle is a terrifying prospect. It’s almost enough to make you wish someone else got her. Also, if you are still in 2009, don’t get attached to WPS; it gets super sad toward the end.

While Boston’s track record with the top pick — and just in general — may not be that great, it’s also maybe not quite fair to compare Lavelle to what happened to A-Rod nearly a decade ago. Though the two share the distinction of going first and getting a boost from the USWNT hype train, that’s about where the similarities end.

Carter initially chose the fledgling USFL over the NFL, which explains how low he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. Carter, however, joined the Vikings in 1985 and enjoyed a productive career during which he compiled 7,733 yards and 73 TDs in 11 years.

Kenn spent his entire career with the Atlanta Falcons and was a solid tackle through Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale that 17-year run. Kenn made the Pro Bowl five times and was a three-time All-Pro Cheap Old Basketball Jerseys selection. He played in all 16 games in 10 of those seasons.