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MessagePosté le: Jeu 17 Mai - 04:37 (2018)    Sujet du message: a valuable trade chip as the deadline appro Répondre en citant

TORONTO -- After taking a sip of water at the start of his news conference, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis made sure to thank the players who were around last season and left on the first day of free agency. "I just wanted to thank them for what they attempted to do over the last 12 months and wish them all the best going forward," Nonis said. Attempted might be the most important word after the Leafs went from being almost surely playoff bound to collapsing with an eight-game losing streak. Gone from that group are centres Dave Bolland and Mason Raymond, who signed elsewhere Tuesday. In come defenceman Stephane Robidas, signed to a US$9-million, three-year deal, and forward Leo Komarov, signed to an $11.8-million, four-year deal, along with forward Matt Frattin, re-acquired in a trade that sent winger Jerry DAmigo to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Its Noniss hope that those players change the Leafs mix back to more of what it was like in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, when they made the playoffs. "The compete level that we had two years ago, I think was at or near the top of the league," Nonis said. "We got more out of our players, the coaches did, the players themselves did in terms of pushing each other, than we did last year -- no question about it. Some of the players that were talking about either were here and will help us get that back or have a history of doing that. That was a focus for us." Robidas at 37 brings 885 games of experience to Toronto, along with a right-handed shot. He broke his leg while playing in the playoffs for the Anaheim Ducks but started skating last week and expects to be ready for Day 1 of training camp. Komarov returns from the 2013 Leafs after a year with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. He had four goals and five assists in 42 games that season, but the 27-year-old Finn is expected to have a much bigger role this time around. "Leo offers a lot more than I think even we got out of him two years ago," said Nonis, who met with Komarov in Finland and "laid that out so that he knew that he wasnt just a fourth-line guy that was playing six minutes a night, that we feel that he can do more." Komarovs return could help fill the void left by the departure of Bolland, who signed for five years and $27.5 million with the Florida Panthers. Bolland said on a conference call with local media that the Leafs were close to bringing him back. "We were getting there," the 28-year-old Toronto native said. "We were just a little bit apart." Nonis did not begrudge Bolland for taking the more lucrative deal with the Panthers. "We feel our offer was very fair, very strong, it reflected his value to us," he said. "He chose to go somewhere else, thats his right. Hell be a good player for them ... The only way to prevent that from happening was to spend more than we felt was appropriate, and I dont think thats something we wanted to get into." Raymond also got more money than the Leafs were willing to pay: three years and $9.5 million from the Calgary Flames. Being closer to home was part of the Cochrane, Alta., natives decision to go there. Even before signing in Calgary, Raymond expected changes around the Leafs under new president Brendan Shanahan and after the teams late-season collapse. "I think we all wouldve loved to finish a lot better," Raymond said in a phone interview. "When you have new management or different changes within the organization, that (roster moves are) susceptible to happen." What Bolland and Raymond have in common is they werent around for the Leafs somewhat-expected 2013 season that Nonis seems to want to replicate. Komarov and Frattin, who was sent to Los Angeles a year ago in the deal that brought goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Leafs, were. "We talked a little about the chemistry that we had two years ago and the work ethic and i think players playing outside their comfort zone," Nonis said. "Those are two players that played a big part in it." Notes -- Nonis said if a trade for restricted-free-agent goaltender James Reimer was there and made sense, the Leafs would make it. Otherwise, he reiterated, Reimer could be back next season. ... The process of hiring assistant coaches is still ongoing with no resolution as of Tuesday. Chad Henne Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Jalen Ramsey Jersey . Vincent Lamar Carter is no longer the lean, athletic dynamo who dazzled Raptors fans with eye-popping dunks that posterized even the leagues best defenders. http://www.shopthejaguarsonline.com/Elite-Mychal-Rivera-Jaguars-Jersey/. -- Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes Thursday for a 7-under 63 to take the lead after one round of the Honda Classic. Justin Blackmon Jersey . The Incheon-based tea, of the Korea Baseball Organization said the deal for the 35-year-old Scott included a $50,000 signing bonus. Scott reached the major leagues with Houston in 2005 and hit 23 homers or more for Baltimore each year from 2008-10. A. J. Cann Jersey . Louis Cardinals, the team will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the opening of the SkyDome. Jays legends Jimmy Key and Ernie Whitt, members of playoff and World Series-winning teams of the past, will be on hand for the festivities to look back at what was the beginning of the Jays halcyon years.TORONTO - Masai Ujiri has officially taken the next step, a rather bold one at that, in the inevitable rebuild of his Toronto Raptors. The Raptors announced the completion of a seven-player swap Monday, officially sending rental star Rudy Gay to Sacramento along with the seldom used Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy in exchange for guard Greivis Vasquez, swingman John Salmons and forwards Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes, a deal first reported by Yahoo Sports Sunday evening. In just over six months on the job, the Raptors general manager has quickly made his presence felt, as expected after he inherited Bryan Colangelos roster back in May. It didnt take him long to jettison maligned forward Andrea Bargnani - the face of the Colangelo era - to New York and with Mondays transaction he bid farewell to Gay, his predecessors second marquee mistake. Ujiri has made his statement. This team is now his to build as he sees fit. How he plans to do that still remains unclear, despite adding a pair of necessary, albeit significant transactions to his already impressive resume. "I couldnt tell you where the team is going to go from here," Ujiri said, addressing the local media at the Air Canada Centre for the first time since the trade was made official late Monday afternoon. "Sometimes you have to make a change." "I know people speculate different things on the direction," he said, referring to the elephant in the room; the T-word (tank) that has been hovering over this team like a black cloud long before he accepted the gig in Toronto. "We made a move that creates certainty." Looking at Ujiris resume - his early returns at the helm of the Raptors and his time spent in Denver - theres an obvious trend that has defined his brief, yet mostly successful career as a lead NBA executive. The Raptors GM leaves as little to chance as humanly possible. Time and time again he has taken his teams fate out of the collective hands of his players and into his own. More than anything else he values flexibility. When it appeared Carmelo Anthony was destined to hold the Nuggets hostage in free agency Ujiri flipped the script, waiting patiently and parlaying Denvers best player into more manageable assets. On Sunday he did the same with Gay, a player attached to a contract - like Bargnani - that many believed could not be moved. Although Gay can opt out of the final year of his deal at the end of the season, it seems impossible to imagine him walking away from the $19.3 million hes owed in his option year while hes mired in the worst statistical campaign of his career. Naturally, the Raptors front office had safely just assumed the forward would be on ttheir books next year, eating up a sizeable portion of their payroll, hampering their ability to plan ahead.dddddddddddd "That option was tough on our part," Ujiri admitted, citing the uncertainty of Gays contract as a motivating factor behind the deal, it left them in limbo he said. "That option really put us in a tough position to plan." Therein lies Ujiris fundamental goal as he continues to dismantle a disjointed unit; attaining the roster and financial flexibility necessary to build on the fly. He executed it to perfection in Denver, remaining competitive and even improving as a team after the Anthony trade when many believed the Nuggets were poised to bottom out. Ujiri wont use the T-word. He detests the word and what it represents. But he also insists the organization wont "be stuck in no-mans land." He cant have it both ways, not unless he can pull off something remarkable and duplicate the award-winning magic he performed in Denver. Barring a complete tear down - which remains possible but still seems unlikely - the Raptors are still too good to bottom out, as many expect they will. Exchanging Gay and his contract for the Kings quartet was a stroke of genius. Toronto can save roughly $12 million next season if Salmons is bought out for $1 million and the team renounces its rights to Vasquez and Patterson. Still, the move gives us little-to-no indication on the direction Ujiri intends to take. Both trades - Gay and Bargnani - were about ridding the team of expendable pieces that just didnt fit, not dumping star players in an outward attempt to be bad. On the contrary. The absence of Gay, his high usage rates and his inefficiency could and likely will make them a better team. "It just didnt work out," Ujiri said of Gays 10-month tenure in Toronto. "I think it was just a chemistry [issue] with the team. I think everybody saw there was no sync there." So now we wait. We wait for Ujiris next move and the consensus around the team, around the league, is that it wont be long. Gay will not be the last domino to fall and the GMs subsequent moves should, in theory, tip his hand. Everyone on this roster is available, at the right price. Would Ujiri be willing to listen to offers for Jonas Valanciunas? Is DeMar DeRozan safe now that the similar Gay has been dealt, or do you sell high on what appears to be an emerging star at his position? Is Kyle Lowry the next to go, as most expect? And what of Amir Johnson, who should be a valuable trade chip as the deadline approaches? In moving Gay, and Bargnani, Ujiri has already done most of the heavy lifting. Now the Raptors GM has options, and he wouldnt have it any other way. 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