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by jinshuiqian0713 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:06 am

ST. Pierre-Luc Dubois Jersey . PAUL, Minn. - Thomas Vanek had Minnesota high on his list from the start. Hes not the first NHL free agent to do so, and the way the Wild have been progressing he probably wont be the last. Vanek agreed Tuesday to a three-year, $19.5 million contract, giving an improving lineup a potentially prolific scorer and allowing the Austrian-born left wing to settle in an area he has made his home since college. Two summers ago, the Wild turned heads by landing left wing Zach Parise and defenceman Ryan Suter. Now theyve added another top-market free agent in Vanek, whose 277 goals are the eighth-most in the NHL since his debut nine years ago. "What intrigued me the most was obviously with Zach signing here and Suter signing here, this team is getting really good and is very good," Vanek said, adding: "Im extremely thrilled to be a part of the Wild and of a group like this." According to a person with knowledge of the contract who spoke to on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce the value, Vanek will make $5.5 million this season, $6.5 million in 2014-15 and $7.5 million in 2015-16. Vanek lives with his family in Stillwater, an idyllic riverfront suburb a few miles from Xcel Energy Center. He played two seasons at the University of Minnesota before turning pro with Buffalo and called winning the national championship with the Gophers the "best thing" hes done in his hockey career. "To be a part of the Wild now and go after the big prize and having a chance to do it in Minnesota is beyond my wildest dreams," Vanek said. Vanek was the fifth overall pick by the Sabres in 2003. He had two 40-goal seasons for them, but last fall he was traded to the New York Islanders, who later dealt him to Montreal. He totalled 27 goals over 78 games with the three teams. In the playoffs with the Canadiens, he had five goals and five assists in 17 games. Vaneks production slipped at times this season, and he was even benched briefly during the post-season, but the Wild werent deterred. "It certainly wasnt my best one I can tell you that. But Ill take the blame for that," Vanek said. "Its not always easy moving around and being away from my family." Vanek will play on either the first or second line, with some combination of Parise, Jason Pominville, Charlie Coyle, Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund likely filling the other top five forward spots. Vaneks 113 power-play goals since his 2005-06 rookie season are the third-most in the NHL in that span. The 6-foot-2, 217-pound Vanek has the type of finishing ability around the net the Wild have lacked. "Theres no question that we do have some skill, but we dont score goals easily," coach Mike Yeo said. Vanek turned down seven-year offers, including from the Islanders. When Pominville was traded to the Wild last year, Vanek was the one who encouraged his long-time Sabres teammate. "He loved Buffalo a lot, which I did too," Vanek said. "But I told him, Youll like it there. Theres a lot of good fans. And after a week or so, he called me and said, You know what? Youre right. I do like it here a lot." Unlike in the other major pro sports, Minnesota can be a destination market in the NHL because of its hockey roots. The addition of Parise and Suter and the Wilds advancement to the Western Conference semifinals this spring were further steps toward NHL prominence. "People recognize the talent that you have. So were getting better. Were in a good place," general manager Chuck Fletcher said. Defenceman Clayton Stoner (Anaheim), left wing Matt Moulson (Buffalo) and centre Cody McCormick (Buffalo) departed the Wild as unrestricted free agents. Others in that category not expected back are left wing Dany Heatley and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Defenceman Nate Prosser could return for the right price. The Wild also signed defenceman Stu Bickel (one year) and centre Brett Sutter (two years) to two-way contracts, adding depth with players wholl likely bounce between AHL affiliate Iowa and the parent club. The 27-year-old Sutter, the son of Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter, has played in 54 career NHL games with Calgary and Carolina. Bickel, a native of Chanhassen who played one season for the Gophers, played in 67 games for the New York Rangers over a two-year span. He spent last season in the AHL. ___ AP Sports Writer John Wawrow in Buffalo, New York, contributed to this report. Boone Jenner Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Markus Nutivaara Jersey . -- The Washington Redskins coaching staff distanced itself from other coaches Thursday by siding with ownership -- and not the players -- in the NFLs labour dispute. http://www.bluejacketsshop.com/authentic-joonas-korpisalo-blue-jackets-jersey/ . In this space, I will be writing new and unique pieces about the team that you wont be able to find anywhere else. So naturally, in an attempt to come up with a fresh topic about the Ottawa Senators, I am going to start with a piece about their goaltending.TORONTO -- They called it a serious mistake that Jonas Valanciunas must learn from. But otherwise the Toronto Raptors players and staff are standing behind their starting centre after he was charged with drunk driving. The 21-year-old apologized to his teammates, and will play in Wednesdays game against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, but news of his arrest drew a large contingent of media to practice on Tuesday and negative attention to a team bound for the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. "(I was) disappointed a little bit," Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said of his reaction to the arrest. "As an organization, its not something we take lightly, its not something I feel we are just going to brush aside. (But) hes a young kid ... I look at all of you here and I wonder what we were all doing when we were 21, so there are mistakes that are made." Valanciunas was arrested early Monday morning in Wasaga Beach, Ont., a popular vacation destination for college students about 100 kilometres north of downtown Toronto, and charged with having more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. Police say they began investigating after a report that a vehicle went through a drive-thru with open beer bottles visible. The Lithuanian met with Ujiri for an hour on Monday, and had his "face in his hands," the GM said. He also met with Tim Leiweke, the president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. "I think he feels he let his teammates down, he let his fans down, the organization," Ujiri said. "Thats Jonas, hes a great kid. And I think he made some kind of a mistake, but I think the most important thing is its not going to happen again, and he understands that." Ujiri spoke to a media horde of more than 40-strong. There were nine television cameras. Valanciunas was not made available to reporters after what coach Dwane Casey said was a great practice by the sophomore centre, but issued a statement with an apology on Monday. "I hold myself to a high standard and take my role as a member of the Toronto Raptors very seriously," Valanciunas said. "I apologize to the organization, my teammates, my family and my fans, and regret any negativity this incident has brought upon them." Valanciunass first court appearance is scheduled for Collingwood, Ont., on April 22, which is a couple of days after the start of the playoffs. Valanciunas does not have to attend and so a lawyer will stand in for him. He still may face a suspension of a couple of games by the NBA, but that wouldnt come until the results of his trial which would likely be during the summer. The Raptors will decide on any further punishment such as a fine or suspension following the leagues ruling. Most of the Raptors and their families attended the Toronto Blue Jays game on a day off from practice Sunday. Ujiri said Valanciunas instead went to Wasaga Beach with his wife and some friends. Thhe seven-footer is averaging 11 points and 8. Seth Jones Blue Jackets Jersey. rebounds a game, and his growth this season is a big part of why the Raptors are in third in the Eastern Conference and poised to win the Atlantic Division title. Casey spoke of Valanciunas much like he would a son. "Like I told him, Im upset with him and disappointed, but hes mine so we love him," Casey said. "He made a mistake, but like any other young man has probably done before, or had the opportunity before. We dont condone it, the organization doesnt condone it, and its a tough time of year to do it. But its happened. ... "We all make mistakes, its what we do after it that is how were going to be judged." Kyle Lowry said the young teammate that he views as a little brother was "sick right now" over the mistake. "Hes really hurt by it, hes really embarrassed by it, very disappointed in himself. I can tell you that for sure," the veteran point guard said. "Its just a mistake that he made, its unfortunate that it happened to such a good kid in JV, but it happened, hes 21, hes going to learn from it. Im sure hell never make that mistake again," he added. Lowry said his advice was: "Just be more responsible. We have all the benefits of having drivers and taxis. Thats it, be more responsible." Raptors all-star DeMar DeRozan said the incident was a regrettable mistake, but added the players support for each other in any situation is part of what has made Toronto one of the best teams in the East this season. "At the end of the day, were all human. We can look at everybody in here and ask them: have they done something wrong, or made a mistake in life. Its part of life. Its something you learn from and grow from." "No matter what guys go through, were always there for them, family, whatever it may be, somebodys kid is sick ... its always something, and were always there for one another. Thats big because you dont get that with every team that you play for." The Raptors said the negative news wont be a distraction to the team that has won six of its last seven games. "Not at all," Lowry said. "We had a great practice today, really spirited, really competitive, really positive vibe in there." "Ive been coaching since 79 and Ive seen a little bit of everything," Casey added. "This is very serious, a very serious matter, but its not enough to distract the team and that type of thing. "His teammates were very supportive of him, and to them its a great lesson also, the focus and the discipline you have to have in your own life to go forward." The last Raptor to be charged with drunk driving while still a member of the team was Dee Brown, who was stopped by police in 1999 in Toronto and charged with impaired driving and later convicted. But a judge found he was a victim of racial profiling and overturned the conviction. ' ' '
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