s fate will ultimately define this draf

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s fate will ultimately define this draf

Messagepar lw789 » 18 Déc 2017, 02:13

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins have insisted during their extensive front office overhaul that the on-ice product doesnt need to change much for the franchise to return to the NHLs elite. Small tweaks, not big ones, are required. Mike Johnstons job is to figure out which ones to make and -- perhaps even more importantly -- how to make them work. The Penguins hired the well-travelled Johnston to replace Dan Bylsma on Wednesday, charging the hockey lifer with creating the right system for stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to thrive in both the regular season and beyond. Considering the talent at his disposal, the 57-year-old Johnston likes his chances. After spending the last six years with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League preaching an uptempo attack, Johnston welcomes the opportunity to work with one of the most explosive offences in the NHL. "The core group is exactly where I want it," Johnston said. Good, because theyre not going anywhere. Instead, its everything around Malkin and Crosby -- who earned his second Hart Trophy as the NHLs Most Valuable Player on Tuesday -- that is changing. Johnstons hiring ends a tumultuous six weeks in which the Penguins were bounced from the Eastern Conference semifinals by the New York Rangers after blowing a 3-1 lead, fired Bylsma and general manager Ray Shero, and brought in longtime Carolina Hurricanes executive Jim Rutherford to clean up the mess. Rutherford settled on Johnston after a lengthy interview process that included an ill-fated run at Willie Desjardins, who opted to take the vacant job in Vancouver. Regardless of the path taken, Rutherford is confident he ended up at the right destination. "I feel very strongly that weve got the right coach," Rutherford said. One whose success will depend on his ability to take Pittsburgh on extended playoff runs. Bylsma won more games than any coach in club history but was fired on June 6 after going just 4-5 in post-season series since leading the Penguins to the 2009 Stanley Cup title. Johnston understands the onus to win on a given night, but stressed the focus will be on preparing Pittsburgh for the challenges of hockey in May and June, not October or November. "The bottom-line expectation for me is that, from training camp through the first part of the season, everything we do is setting the table for the playoffs," Johnston said. "The score is relevant but its not as relevant as the habits that we are going to have to make us successful in the playoffs." Pittsburgh is Johnstons first NHL head coaching job, though he spent two previous stints as an assistant with Vancouver and the Los Angeles Kings. He said he has a bit to learn about the challenges of an 82-game NHL season, which is one of the reasons the Penguins also brought in Rick Tocchet to serve as Johnstons top assistant. Tocchet played 18 years in the NHL, including two seasons in Pittsburgh, where the four-time All-Star helped the Penguins win their second Stanley Cup championship in 1992. The 50-year-old Tocchet also spent more than a season as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2008-10. While Tocchet said that his old team has underachieved in recent springs, he doesnt see that as a stumbling block. "There are teams that wish they had (Pittsburghs) problems," Tocchet said. "The way Mike is going to coach this team, the way these guys play is high tempo. Its something guys are going to enjoy." Tocchet replaces Todd Reirden and Tony Granato, holdovers from Bylsmas staff who were let go on Wednesday. The Penguins retained goaltending coach Mike Bales and video co-ordinator Andy Saucier. Assistant coach Jacques Martin will also remain with the team in an undetermined capacity. Johnston is hardly a novice when it comes to dealing with pressure or highly skilled players. He was a part of Canadas coaching staff at the 1998 Winter Olympics, the first Games in which NHL players were allowed to compete. It led to nearly a decade as an assistant with Vancouver (1999-2006) and the Kings (2006-08) before he landed in Portland, where he spent six years helping young players navigate the choppy waters of professional life. The seas will be only more tumultuous in one of the NHLs most high-profile jobs. Johnston is OK with the pressure. With the 26-year-old Crosby and the 27-year-old Malkin in the midst of their primes, there are worst places to start. "This group wants to win," he said. "Theyve won the Stanley Cup, and I believe they want to do it again." AShawn Robinson Jersey .com) - Longtime Senators star Daniel Alfredsson returned to Ottawa on Thursday to officially announce his retirement. Kerry Hyder Jersey . Radulov scored the lone goal in the shootout, and the Predators edged the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Tuesday night to reach 100 points for the second time in three seasons and fourth in seven. http://www.authenticnfllionslockroom.co ... te-Jersey/. The league-leading New York Rangers outhit and outmuscled the Maple Leafs during a 3-0 victory on Saturday. Backup goalie Martin Biron stopped all 20 shots he faced to complete a nice workmanlike effort by the visitors. Tavon Wilson Jersey . Rinehart joins safety Darrell Stuckey and linebacker Donald Butler as potential unrestricted free agents who are remaining with the team. Barry Sanders Jersey . Wheeler said Kane was just making a joke that was misunderstood and misinterpreted by "Winnipeg folks" and the media once again. Wheeler repeated that he believes Kane is a player who has the ability to help the Jets get to the next level as they try once again to reach the playoffs in 2014. He made the comments initially in an interview, when asked how the Jets could compete in the Central Division with teams that have made some high-profile off-season signings.Chicago Bears 1 (14) - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech; 2 (51) - Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU; 3 (82) - Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State; 4 (117) - KaDeem Carey, RB, Arizona; 4 (131) - Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota; 6 (183) - David Fales, QB, San Jose State; 6 (191) - Pat ODonnell, P, Miami; 7 (246) - Charles Leno, Jr, OT, Boise State Top Picks Analysis: The Bears needed help on all three levels of their defense and ended up going for a cornerback, Virginia Techs Will Fuller, before bolstering the defensive line with back-to-back defensive tackles in Ego Ferguson of LSU and Will Sutton of Arizona State. Fuller isnt as fast as the drafts top corner, Oklahoma States Justin Gilbert, and not as physical as former Michigan State star Darqueze Dennard but he may have been the most NFL ready, at least according to draft analyst Mike Mayock. "I thought he was most NFL-ready cornerback I saw on tape," Mayock said. "In run support, he reminds me of (Kansas City Chiefs cornerback) Brandon Flowers when he came out of Virginia Tech. Fuller can play nickel corner on Day 1." GM Phil Emery then carpet-bombed his three-technique issues with the unrefined Ferguson and the athletic but often out-of-shape Sutton. Best Value Pick: Fourth-round safety Brock Vereen is a blazing fast, rangy free safety with the cover skills to make a difference at a position which is a big need in the Windy City. Hes also got the bloodlines as his father Henry was drafted by Tampa Bay before playing in the Canadian Football League, and his brother, Shane, is a running back for the Patriots. Questionable Calls: Yeah, Charles Tillman is aging but the bottom line is that the Bears still have "Peanut" and Tim Jennings on the outside while the far-less inspiring Ryan Mundy and Chris Conte are currently penciled in at safety. Taking Fuller while the drafts two top safeties -- Louisvilles Calvin Pryor and Alabamas HaSean Clinton-Dix -- were available is going to be put under a microscope in the Windy City, especially if Fuller struggles early. Summary: Its no surprise that all of Chicagos picks during the first two days were used on defense but the Bears needed more than a nickel back and competition for Jay Ratliff. Final Grade: C Undrafted rookie free agent signings: QB Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois; OT James Dunbar, TCU; DT Brandon Dunn, Louisville; LB Christian Jones, Florida State; LB Devekeyan Lattimore, South Florida; LB Tana Patrick, Alabama; DT Lee Pegues, East Carolina; TE Cody Booth, Temple; G Ryan Groy, Wisconsin Detroit Lions 1 (10) - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina; 2 (40) - Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU; 3 (76) - Travis Swanson, OC, Arkansas; 4 (133) - Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State; 4 (136) - Larry Webster, DE, Bloomsburg; 5 (158) - Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton; 6 (189) - T.J. Jones, WR, Notre Dame; 7 (229) - Nate Freese, K, Boston College Top Pick Analysis: The biggest need in Detroit was on the back end of the defense but the Lions stayed true to their board at No. 10 overall and added athletic North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron to a loaded list of offensive playmakers which already includes Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Reggie Bush and Brandon Pettigrew. Its going to be all about outscoring people in Motown this season. The Lions did add some defense in the second round with versatile BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who figures to solidify the SAM spot next to Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy. Detroit then brought in Arkansas center Travis Swanson as the heir apparent to the 35-year-old Dominic Raiola. Best Value Pick: The Lions are set at receiver with Johnson and Tate but sixth-round pick T.J. Jones is an accomplished playmaker on the college level who eventually could turn into a solid slot receiver. Questionable Call: Ebron seems like a luxury pick for a team with plenty of holes on the other side of the ball. Detroit may have been in no mans land when it comes to defensive talent at No. 10 but GM Martin Mayhew could have traded down, added a pick or two and gotten a better fit for his team. Summary: Whatever you believe, its going to be very difficult for opposing defenses to match up when Johnson, Ebron, Bush and Tate are on the field together. Meanwhile, Van Noy and Swanson figure to be solid contributors in time. FINAL GRADE: B Undrafted rookie free agent signings: QB James Franklin, Missouri; TE Jacob Maxwell, Louisiana-Lafayette; S Gabe Lynn, Oklahoma; OL D.J. Morrell, Old Dominion; S Jerome Couplin, William and Mary; WR Andrew Peacock, App State; OT Cornelius Lucas, Kansas State; FB Chad Abram, Florida State; OG Alex Bullard, Tennessee; OG A.J. Dalton, Robert Morris; DT Greg Hickman, Florida International; CB Mohammed Seisay, Nebraska Green Bay Packers 1 (21) - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama; 2 (53) - Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State; 3 (85) - Khyri Thornton, DT, Southern Miss; 3 (98) - Richard Rodgers; TE, California; 4 (121) - Carl Bradford, OLB, Arizona State; 5 (161) - Corey Linsley, OC, Ohio State; 5 (176) - Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin; 6 (197) - Demetri Goodson, CB, Baylor; 7 (236) - Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State Top Picks Analysis: Packers GMM Ted Thompson had four picks in the first three rounds and did some nice things with them, snaring perhaps the best safety in the draft, potential replacements for James Jones and Jermichael Finley, and help for the front seven on defense.dddddddddddd Alabamas Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the No. 21 overall pick, is a natural center fielder and will fit in nicely opposite Morgan Burnett as Green Bays last line of defense. Second-round WR Davante Adams is a big, physical wide receiver who should fit in nicely as Aaron Rodgers third option after Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, while third-round tight end Richard Rodgers has had some weight issues and is not going to be nearly as explosive as Finley but he will help fortify a need position. Finally, defensive tackle Khyri Thornton will bring high energy to a group that badly needs it. Best Value Pick: Fifth-round wide receiver Jared Abbrederis of Wisconsin is a NFL-ready route runner with a lot of blue-collar traits who could develop into a nice fourth for fifth receiver for Aaron Rodgers. Questionable Calls: Richard Rodgers has pedestrian speed and even shakier short-area quickness so its hard to imagine him developing into anything more than a Y in-line tight end. Summary: This was a mixed bag but it looks like the Packers hit it big at the top with Clinton-Dix and Adams before things got far shakier. FINAL GRADE: B Undrafted rookie free agent signings: LB Joe Thomas, South Carolina State; QB Chase Rettig, Boston College; G John Fullington, Washington State; CB Ryan White, Auburn; RB Rajion Neal, Tennessee; LB Jake Doughty, Utah State; DL Carlos Gray, North Carolina State; TE Justin Perillo, Maine; LB Jay Elliot, Toledo DT Mike Pennel, Colorado State-Pueblo; RB James Sims, Kansas; OL Jordan McCray, Central Florida; OL Bronson Irwin, Oklahoma; LB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama; S Tanner Miller, Iowa; DE Denico Autry, Mississippi State; DB Demetruce McNeal, Auburn Minnesota Vikings 1 (9) - Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA; 1 (32) - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville; 3 (72) Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State; 3 (96) - Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern; 5 (145) - David Yankey, OG, Stanford; 6 (182) - Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech; 6 (184) - Kendall James, CB, Maine; 7 (220) Stephen Shamar, DT, UConn; 7 (223) Brandon Watts, OLB, Georgia Tech; 7 (225) - Jabari Price, CB, North Carolina Top Pick Analysis: Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has been criticized a lot for missing so badly on Christian Ponder with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Now its time to give him credit for learning from his mistakes. Spielman has now amassed seven first-round picks in the last three NFL drafts -- Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith in 2012, Shariff Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and the explosive Cordarrelle Patterson from last year, and now Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater in 2014. Barr is raw, spending just two years on defense at UCLA after flipping from running back, but his athletic skills are off the charts and some look at him and think Jason Taylor. "Ive never had a linebacker, even thinking back to my Dallas days, that has the size and speed and all the things that this guy has," Vikings first- year head coach Mike Zimmer when talking about Barr. The key to the Vikings draft, though, will be Bridgewater because Minnesota needs the answer at the games most important position. That said, getting a player with the 32nd overall pick who was once considered a top-five-level prospect is a prudent gamble. "There is no pressure on this kid to come in and play," Spielman said. "Were very comfortable with Matt Cassel right now. Were very comfortable with Christian Ponder. Hell come in and compete and then the coaches will determine if hes even ready to play this year." Third-round defensive end Scott Crichton, meanwhile, is tailor-made for Zimmers rotational style of defense up front, and the insanely-gifted Jerick McKinnon will be given every opportunity to replace the departed Toby Gerhart as Adrian Petersons caddy. Best Value Pick: It remains to be seen if hes athletic enough but fifth-round offensive guard David Yankey is a physical, road-grader who could push Charlie Johnson at left guard for the Vikings Questionable Calls: McKinnon has frightening physical gifts but he is a very raw player and its going to be difficult to get him on the field except in very manufactured situations. Summary: Spielman had done a nice job adding talent, especially in the guts of the draft. Now, hes just got to get the quarterback position right and Bridgewaters fate will ultimately define this draft. FINAL GRADE: B Undrafted rookie free agent signings: WR Kain Colter, Northwestern; C Zac Kerin, Toledo; OL Austin Wentworth, Fresno State; TE A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State; DE Tyler Scott, Northwestern; OT Pierce Burton, Ole Miss; DE Jake Snyder, Virginia; RB Dominique Williams, Wagner; OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee; OT Matt Hall, Belhaven; WR Donte Foster, Ohio; DE Rakim Cox, Villanova; OL Austin Wentworth, Fresno State; OL Connor Bofeli, Iowa; WR Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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