Michael Strahan: Odell Beckham's 'head is where it needs to be

“Everybody gives him a hard time #69 Cody Wichmann Womens Jersey about missing a little OTAs. Hell, I didn’t go to those things, so I’m the wrong person to be sympathetic for people who are giving him a hard time.” Beckham, 24, attended the Giants’ mandatory minicamp earlier this month. The team complimented his physical conditioning. Beckham is expected to report to training camp with the rest of his teammates on July 27. At his football camp http://www.authenticramsofficialshop.com/Nike-Cody-Wichmann-Jersey.html last weekend, Beckham said he’s never been more ready for a season. "I don't think so," he said at the Citi Odell Beckham Jr. Football ProCamp at Kean University, which attracted close to 600 campers on June 18. "I think this might be the most [I've been ready] in my lifetime. In every which way, I just feel it there. ... I've really been training and to have these next six weeks to get another opportunity to train. It's going to be great. "Just like you said -- mentally, physically, spiritually, everything. I don't think I've been as ready as I am now." Beckham has made three Pro Bowls in his first three professional seasons. He is tied for the most catches in the first three years of a career with 288. He’s the only player in history with at least 90 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. Strahan spent his entire 15-year career with the Giants. He set the single-season sack record with 22.5 during the 2001 season and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. Because, yeah, you could say Carr merely fell #69 Cody Wichmann Youth Jersey into the Raiders' lap when he slipped to them three picks later in that 2014 draft. Then again, some of the best draft moves are the ones that are not made. A year earlier, the Raiders were zeroing in on USC quarterback Matt Barkley early in the fourth round, where they held the No. 100 overall selection. Finally, as the script played over and over, again and again, the Raiders would find their franchise quarterback in the draft. It was an odyssey that would have made Homer blush. Consider: Since Rich Gannon literally broke his neck on Sept. 26, 2004 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 15 men had started under center for the Raiders, with nary a one tasting the success Gannon, the 2002 NFL MVP, had in Oakland. There was Kerry Collins, who went 7-21 from 2004-05, and Marques Tuiasosopo, who was 0-1 in 2005. Aaron Brooks was 0-8 in 2006 and Andrew Walter (2006 and 2008) and Josh McCown (2007) were both 2-7. Daunte Culpepper, who was supposed to tutor JaMarcus Russell, went 2-4 in 2007 and Russell, the biggest bust in NFL history as the No. 1 pick of the 2007 draft, went 7-18 from 2007-09. Bruce Gradkowski was 3-5 in 2009 and 2010, and Charlie Frye was 1-2 in 2009. At least Jason Campbell had a winning http://www.authenticramsofficialshop.com/Nike-Cody-Wichmann-Jersey.html record, going 11-7 in 2010 and 2011, before a headfirst slide that broke his collarbone ended his run, and Kyle Boller lost his lone start, in 2011. That ushered in the star-crossed eras of Carson Palmer (8-16 in 2011 and 2012) and Terrelle Pryor (3-7 in 2012 and 2013). Then came Matt Flynn, who was supposed to be the savior but went 0-1 in 2013, and Matt McGloin, who was 1-5 that same season. Barkley? The Philadelphia Eagles traded two picks in front of the Raiders to draft him and Oakland responded by trading back and taking Arkansas' Tyler Wilson at 112, and he never took a regular-season snap. Barkley never started a game in Philadelphia, spent time on the Arizona Cardinals' roster and started six games, going 1-5, for the Chicago Bears last season. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers this offseason. So as free agency in 2014 dawned, after a Raiders wish list of veterans went like this, (1) Matt Schaub, (2) Mark Sanchez, (3) Michael Vick, the Raiders picked up Schaub from the Texans in a trade and then-coach Dennis Allen immediately anointed Schaub the starter. A month later, Carr fell into their laps, and the future was realized with Oakland finally getting its franchise quarterback. "I'll tell you what, from J.J. Watt Authentic Jersey the outset when we drafted him, before he got here, we were extremely excited that he was still sitting there at 36," McKenzie said. "Let's put that out there right now. The rookie minicamp, I think my son could have figured that one out, 'Man, he can throw, daddy.' "It was easy to see early. We knew the type of person we were getting in the draft process. Put it together and it was pretty [clear] early. Very early." Carr essentially won the job with a standout preseason performance against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, and Schaub never started a game for Oakland. Rather, he has played for four teams in the past four seasons. And despite starting his career 0-10, Carr has owned the Raiders locker room from the day he walked in and settled the constant upheaval that wreaked havoc through the organization since Gannon called his last play. Carr's value to the team was painfully obvious last winter when he was lost with http://www.houstontexansjerseystore.com/Jj_Watt_Jersey_Cheapa broken right fibula in Week 16 and -- with McGloin and Connor Cook starting in Carr's place -- the Raiders fell in Denver and then in Houston in the team's first playoff appearance since Gannon helped lead Oakland to the Super Bowl after the 2002 season. Keep in mind, despite missing the regular-season finale, Carr finished tied for third in NFL MVP voting. He passed for 3,937 yards with 28 TD passes, six interceptions and set an NFL record with five winning touchdown passes in the fourth quarter or overtime last season. Oh, and he broke the pinkie finger on his passing hand in Week 12. The Raiders were outscored by a combined 62-20 after Carr went down with the broken leg.

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Teemu Selanne headlines 2017 Hall of Fame class

On his first shot at the Hockey Hall #76 Donovan Smith Womens Jersey of Fame, Teemu Selanne has scored, not surprising for someone who tallied 684 NHL goals. The 46-year-old headlined the class announced Monday. Joining the 10-time All-Star in Toronto are Selanne's longtime teammate Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, Danielle Goyette, and in the builders category Clare Drake and Jeremy Jacobs. Selanne, nicknamed the Finnish Flash, was http://www.authenticbuccaneersofficial.com/Nike-Donovan-Smith-Jersey.html the 10th overall pick of the Winnipeg Jets in the 1988 draft. In 1993, he won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie after he scored a league-leading 76 goals and added 56 assists. He holds NHL records for most goals and points by a rookie. Selanne never matched that goal total again, but he did lead the league in goals two more times. Selanne was a fan favorite of the Anaheim franchise, playing for the team from 1996-2001 and again from 2005 until his retirement in 2014. In 2006-07 at the age of 36, he led the Ducks in goals (48) and points (94) on the way to a Stanley Cup title. Anaheim retired his No. 8 in 2015. "I'm lucky to have played with great people wherever I went in hockey," Selanne said. "The game is a team effort and I have a long list of those who helped me." These days, Selanne owns a restaurant in Laguna Beach, California. He has two sons who play competitive hockey. Kariya, 42, played alongside Selanne for parts of six seasons with the Ducks, helping hockey grow in Southern California in the 1990s, and then another with Colorado. He is a seven-time All-Star whose career was cut short because Authentic Wesley Matthews #23 Womens jersey of concussions. In 15 seasons with the Mighty Ducks, Avalanche, Predators and Blues he scored 402 goals and had 989 points. "I didn't retire willingly," said Kariya, who won an Olympic gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Olympics. "I would've loved to have kept playing. If there was any way of waving a magic wand and getting the opportunity to live through my entire career, the good and the bad, I would do it again in a heartbeat." He won a gold medal with Canada in 2002 and was a two-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy. "What a tremendous day for our franchise to have two players named 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees!" Ducks http://www.officialmavericksproshop.com/authentic-23-wesley-matthews-jersey.html owners Henry and Susan Samueli said in a statement. "Both Teemu and Paul now rightfully take their place among legendary players in the history of the sport. The relationship Teemu has with our fans is unparalleled in professional sports. Paul was the first true face of our franchise and helped put the organization on the map. Congratulations to both!" Recchi, 49, was the only retired player with at least 500 goals and 1,500 points who was not in the Hall. This was his fourth attempt. He is also 12th all-time in scoring, and every other retired player from 1-28 on the list had already been inducted. "You can only do so much, and you've got to let your numbers and your play dictate where it gets you," Recchi Roger Clemens #21 Womens jersey said. "It was just something where you hope it's good enough at some point." He played 22 seasons for the Penguins, Flyers, Canadiens, Hurricanes, Thrashers, Lightning and Bruins. The seven-time All-Star won Stanley Cups with the Penguins (1991), Hurricanes (2006) and Bruins (2011). "It's an incredible feeling and the icing on the cake after 22 years of playing the game," Recchi said. Andreychuk, 53, played 23 seasons for the Sabres, Maple Leafs, Devils, Bruins, Avalanche and Lightning. He scored 30 or more goals nine times. At 40 in 2004, he finally won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning. He scored 21 goals and added 18 assists that year. The two-time All-Star was in his ninth year of eligibility for the Hall. "The years that I have waited make no difference to me," Andreychuk said. "When I started (in Buffalo) in '82, I got the privilege of watching Gilbert Perreault http://www.officialauthenticredsox.com/authentic-21-roger-clemens-jersey.html score 500 goals and to think that I went by him, it's mind-boggling." Goyette played internationally for Canada. She won gold medals in 2002 and 2006 and silver in 1998. She had 113 goals and 105 assists in 171 international games. Growing up in Quebec, she was asked why she played a men's sport and said, "When you love something that much, it doesn't matter what people say: You just do what you love." Drake, who has been called the "dean of coaching," was head coach of the University of Alberta for 28 years. He has the most victories of any Canadian college coach and has influenced the likes of Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock and Barry Trotz. He has received the Order of Hockey in Canada. Hitchcock said he was relieved Drake is being honored at age 88 and said of his mentor, "There's never been a person that's done more for hockey and more for coaches and more for his players than Clare." Babcock called Drake the John Wooden of Canadian hockey. "You're a great man, you did things right, treated people right, won championships and made an impact," Babcock said. "What more can you ask?"

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Chiefs cautiously optimistic about young wide receivers

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens were Men's Nike New York Giants #15 Brandon Marshall Elite Red Alternate NFL Jersey able to get an impact wide receiver without using up a chunk of their limited salary-cap space. Jeremy Maclin will only count $3.5 million against Baltimore's 2017 cap, according to ESPN's roster management system. That ranks 45th among wide receivers this season, just one spot ahead of the underpaid Odell http://www.authenticnikegiantshop.com/Lawrence-Taylor-Jersey Beckham Jr. Maclin signed a two-year, $11 million contract on June 13, but the Ravens structured it where there isn't much of a hit in the first year. In 2017, he will make $1 million in base salary along with a $5 million signing bonus (which is prorated over two years). Maclin's cap hit jumps to $7.5 million in the second and final year of his deal. In addition to his $4 million Tyler Kroft Youth Jersey in base salary in 2018 ($2 million of which is guaranteed for injury), he is due a $1 million roster bonus in 2018 that the Ravens have to exercise on the third day of the league year. This is very similar to the contract that Baltimore gave wide receiver Mike Wallace a year ago. The Ravens, who ranked among NFL teams with the least amount of salary-cap space entering the offseason, created a little over $6 million this month by releasing tight end Dennis Pitta ($2.5 million) and cornerback Kyle Arrington ($2.1 million), in addition reducing the salary of tight http://www.bengalsshopfootball.com/bengals+tyler+kroft+jersey end Benjamin Watson ($1.75 million). Maclin brings a level of consistency that the Ravens needed in the passing game after Pitta re-injured his right hip, Steve Smith Sr. retired and Kamar Aiken left in free agency. In Maclin's seven NFL seasons, he has averaged 67 catches, 913 yards receiving and six touchdown catches. KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two weeks of offseason practice without Jeremy Maclin left the Kansas City Chiefs in the same place with regard to their receivers that they were on the day their most accomplished player at the position was released. They're hopeful their current cast of receivers can get the job done. But they're counting heavily on players who are young and inexperienced, so they're still unsure. "We're going to be OK," coach Andy Reid said. "I'm happy with the improvement that they've made over this camp and even last year. Do we have work to do? Absolutely. We've got to get this training camp in. We've got to put the pads on and do it there. "But for that to take place, we've got to have confidence in the guys we have here. We've got to keep working, though. We've got a ways to go." Since releasing Maclin, 29, the Chiefs have no receiver older than 24. Every other team in the NFL will go to training camp with a receiver who's at least 26. Without Maclin, Chiefs wide receivers have 251 career NFL catches, led by Albert Wilson with 82. Their total is slightly more than half of Maclin's 474 career receptions. Only the wide receivers for the New York Jets will enter the season with fewer all-time catches. The Chiefs won't have a first-round draft pick Tom Rathman Youth Jersey among their wide receivers for the first time in a decade. Among the six wideouts who figure to make the team, only Chris Conley was drafted as high as the third round. De'Anthony Thomas, Demarcus Robinson and Jehu Chesson were fourth-round picks, and Tyreek Hill was picked in the fifth round. Wilson was undrafted. So there's plenty of mystery here. The one receiver the Chiefs can count on is Hill, who scored 12 touchdowns in a spectacular rookie season last year. He will take Maclin's spot in the starting lineup, though between lining up occasionally as a running back and his duties as a punt returner, he won't be available as a wideout for every offensive snap. For the Maclin release to work in the Chiefs' favor, they have to get more production than in the past from some of their other receivers and not just Hill. Conley, the other starter, is the most likely http://www.officialauthenticnfl49ersshop.com/authentic-tom-rathman-jersey.html candidate. But Conley dropped 4.5 percent of his passes last season, a higher percentage than any of Kansas City's other main receivers. Conley was also targeted on just 12.9 percent of the pass routes he ran, a lower percentage than all but one of the other 13 receivers who caught at least one pass last season. So he evidently wasn't doing well enough in getting open. Wilson and Thomas are the only other receivers who have caught a pass in an NFL game. Wilson, with his 82 career catches and four touchdowns, has had some shining moments. Thomas hasn't played a lot but hasn't provided much even when he has. The Chiefs also have expectations for Robinson, who played only five snaps as a rookie last season. But his development in the offseason was one reason the Chiefs felt comfortable in releasing Maclin. Chesson, a fourth-round pick this year, will also probably make the regular-season roster, though he may be inactive on game days. Those are the six probable receivers, though injuries could leave an opening for someone else. The most likely candidate is Seantavius Jones, a 6-3, 200-pound receiver who spent time on the practice squad last year.

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What if Cody Bellinger is going to hit 763 home runs and we just don't know it yet?

One of the great inefficiencies of history Glenn Hubbard Womens jersey is that most of it happens before we're paying close attention. Someday, somebody will hit 763 home runs in a career and pass Barry Bonds. We will definitely pay attention to that home run, and to at least the few dozen or so that precede it, knowing that each one is 1/763rd of an unprecedented achievement. But most of those 763 will occur in the dull everyday. You will not http://www.authenticoaklandathletics.com/Glenn-Hubbard-Jersey be able to recall them, let alone describe them in full color for your grandchildren. That's the price we pay for being realistic. Cody Bellinger set some records this week, I guess. He is the only rookie to hit 10 homers in 10 games. He has more multihomer games in his first 52 games than anybody else. He is the fastest ever to hit 22 home runs in a career. He's now in the Big Book Of Records, right after the guy who has hit the most multihomer games in his first 51 games (whomever that is) and right before the guy who is the fastest ever to hit 23 home Alex Cobb Authentic jersey runs in a career (whomever that is). These are cute. I'm ready to think bigger. I'm ready to invest in something unrealistic and watch Cody Bellinger with one thing in mind: He might be hitting 763 home runs, right now in the present tense, and I plan to enjoy the significance of every single one of them. Or he's not. Let's consider the ways of thinking about it. Obviously, he will not: There Is 0 percent likelihood Cody Bellinger will hit 763 home runs. Nobody has ever hit 763 home runs, so it's probably impossible. Now, many things that have never been done are physically possible and eventually get done. Nobody had ever invented a polio vaccine, and then somebody did. Nobody had ever hit 762 home runs, and then somebody did. There are trillions of examples of things that have never been done and never will be done. The vast majority of things that have never been done, then, will never be done, and the most likely conclusion is that something that hasn't been done won't ever be done. Hitting 763 home runs is probably impossible, and if Bellinger tries, his lungs will collapse and his head will explode. The guy who had previously been the fastest to 22 home runs was Wally Berger. I bet if you offered Berger's career to Bellinger right http://www.authentictampabayrays.com/Alex-Cobb-Jersey now, "Let's Make a Deal" style, he'd, a) have never heard of Berger, and b), accept your offer upon reviewing Berger's career. Berger spent most of the 1930s as one of the game's best players. He received MVP votes five years in a row, led the league in homers and RBIs one year and was sort of historically relevant for almost 80 years, until Bellinger came around and took his record -- or whatever we're calling it. If Bellinger had Berger's career right now, he'd probably make more than $200 million before retirement. Berger did not hit 763 home runs. He hit 242 home runs. The gap between a good Bellinger outcome and the career home run record is the difference between how many times you've heard Berger's name and how many times you've heard Hank Aaron's. Dan Szymborski ran ZiPS projections for Bellinger's next forever, and the results are awfully fun. For instance, Bellinger has more projected future value (by WAR) than any other existent first baseman or left fielder. He just passed Anthony Rizzo. Two months ago, ZiPS projected Bellinger to produce 33 career WAR, but it has since flipped for him -- just like the rest of us -- and now projects him for 42 more career WAR. That means that, at 21 years old, with every imaginable landmine between him and retirement, Bellinger's average career is already as good as Don Mattingly's or Darryl Strawberry's. (Speaking of every imaginable landmine.) Berger's WAR, incidentally, was 41.9. But we don't care about WAR. We care about dingers, and these are the chances that ZiPS puts on him reaching certain career home run milestones: Let's pause here: If we believe ZiPS -- an educated weighting of Bellinger's statistical performance thus far, layered atop the Authentic Michael Jordan Youth jersey demonstrated trajectories of historical baseball careers -- Bellinger is most likely going to join a club that has only 27 members. He is most likely one of the 28 greatest home run hitters who has ever lived. If you are buying any of this, you're excited. If you're not buying it, it's fun for me to imagine the look on your face as you stare at me with pity and disgust. So it's quite likely that ZiPS has included some phenomenally incorrect assumptions about Bellinger's career, which will certainly not follow the demonstrated trajectories of historical baseball careers. Like, ZiPS probably hasn't factored in Bellinger playing in Coors Field for nine seasons, which he would do if he signed with the Rockies when he hits free agency. It also hasn't factored in Bellinger dealing with chronic back pain after falling off a patio in 2023 while celebrating his new $400 million contract with the Rockies, supposing that happens. Or, more simply, it doesn't really know whether Bellinger made some adjustment in the past three months that makes him truly the http://www.authenticchicagowhitesox.com/Michael-Jordan-Jersey greatest hitter ever, or whether pitchers will make some adjustment in the next month that will bother him for the rest of his career. ZiPS attempts to factor in the small likelihood of all these things at once; but most of them won't happen, and the one or two that do happen will throw Bellinger's trajectory fantastically off course in one direction or another. So we know the 0.3 percent figure is almost certainly wrong. It might be too low, or it might be too high. But there's a lot more room for it to be wrong on the low end than on the high end, so the uncertainty theoretically favors Bellinger's chances. How much does it favor them? No way of knowing. That's the nature of unknown unknowns. I wrote 24 percent so you'd read these paragraphs.

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Ezekiel Elliott, Julian Edelman among 23 athletes featured in Body Issue

Ezekiel Elliott, Julian Edelman and Josh Gorges Womens Jersey Javier Baez are among the 23 athletes featured in ESPN The Magazine's annual Body Issue, which begins its rollout this week on SportsCenter and ESPN.com, and is on newsstands July 7. The ninth annual Body Issue celebrates and showcases the athletic form. Its release will include photos, interviews and videos with some of the http://www.officialbuffalosabres.com/Adidas-Josh-Gorges-Jersey biggest names in sports. Joining Elliott, Edelman and Baez is two-time NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics, San Jose Sharks teammates Brent Burns and Joe Thornton, Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and his wife, Julie Ertz, of the U.S. women's soccer team, 2016 WNBA most valuable player Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks, and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Also featured are Brianna Decker, Kacey Bellamy, Meghan Duggan, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Alex Rigsby of the U.S. women's hockey team. Other athletes include pro Pierre-Luc Duboi Womens Jersey softball player A.J. Andrews, New Zealand All Blacks center Malakai Fekitoa, Olympic freestyle skiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy, Olympic bronze-medal-winning figure skater Ashley Wagner, MMA fighter Michelle Waterson, adaptive snowboarder/mountaineer and retired Marine Corps sergeant Kirstie Ennis, and four-time Olympic track and field medalist Novlene Williams-Mills of Jamaica, who is the first breast cancer survivor to appear in the issue. Additional video content will appear all this week on SportsCenter. Photos, personal interviews and videos of all the Body Issue athletes will debut on ESPN.com on July 5, followed by the release of the magazine two days later. ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Patrick Eaves felt http://www.officialcolumbusbluejackets.com/Adidas-Pierre-Luc-Dubois-Jersey comfortable from the moment he stepped into the Anaheim Ducks' dressing room as a late-season rental player. He decided to stick around a whole lot longer. Eaves, a goal-scoring forward, agreed to a three-year, $9.45 million contract with the Ducks on Friday, choosing a long-term future with a Stanley Cup contender over a dip into unrestricted free agency. "I spoke to my agent to tell him, 'This is where I want to be,'" Eaves said in a phone interview. "My agent knew that Anaheim, it meant something to me, and I wanted to be a part of everything that they're doing. Today, it all came to a head. I'm so excited to be there." Eaves will return in the same important role that he played down the stretch and in the postseason for the Ducks before a sprained right ankle scuttled his 32-goal season before Anaheim reached the Western Conference finals. The Ducks gave up a first-round pick to grab Eaves from the Dallas Stars in late February for the playoff push. Eaves fit right in with Anaheim on the ice, scoring 11 goals in 20 regular-season games alongside captain Ryan Getzlaf. Eaves also enjoyed the competitive vibe around the Ducks, the five-time defending Pacific Division champions. Anaheim has the core of a perennial winner, and the 33-year-old Eaves wasn't interested in taking more money from a non-contender. "Being in that locker room is something special," Eaves Authentic Tommy Wingels Womens Jersey said. "I noticed that on day one. That was a big deal for me, for signing for three years. It was just something that I completely wanted to be a part of." The contract also includes a no-movement clause of some sort for the duration, allowing Eaves to put his children in school in Orange County without worrying about another move. Eaves' 32 combined goals for the Stars and Ducks were the most of his 12-year NHL career. He was a phenomenon on the power play, racking up 13 goals and five assists with the man advantage between Dallas and Anaheim. Eaves then scored two goals in seven playoff games for the Ducks, but he severely sprained his right ankle and missed the Ducks' final 10 postseason contests. Anaheim advanced to the conference finals for the second time in three years, but ran out of offense with Eaves and Rickard Rakell sidelined by sprained ankles. Eaves said his ankle should be fully healthy long before training camp in September. Eaves also has suited up for Ottawa, Carolina, Detroit and Nashville. He reached the deal with Anaheim on an already special day: His parents celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary on Friday as well. CHICAGO -- Cody Glass played in a youth hockey tournament in Las Vegas http://www.officialsanjosesharks.com/Adidas-Tommy-Wingels-Jersey when he was 10. His Junior Steelers team finished a disappointing second. He is looking forward to many more games in Sin City. Glass was selected by the expansion Vegas Golden Knights with their first-ever pick Friday night, going No. 6 overall as part of a parade of forwards at the top of the NHL draft. The 18-year-old Canadian center had 32 goals and 62 assists in 69 games last season for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. "I didn't really see that as a hockey place when I went there, but now, with the new team and the fans and season tickets sold out, I think hockey will be unbelievable," Glass said. "Just being there and walking down the Strip, it's something that's really nice. You don't see too much of that in Winnipeg." The first NHL draft in Chicago began with another 18-year-old forward, with Swiss center Nico Hischier going No. 1 overall to the New Jersey Devils. The Philadelphia Flyers then grabbed Nolan Patrick at No. 2. Ten of the top 13 picks were listed as centers. Defensemen Miro Heiskanen (No. 3 overall to Dallas) and Cale Makar (No. 4 to Colorado) and right wing Owen Tippett (No. 10 to Florida) were the lone exceptions. Vegas also opted for another forward prospect with its second of three picks in the first round, taking Nick Suzuki at No. 12 before selecting Swedish defenseman Erik Brannstrom with the 15th pick. "The forward group is real strong,'' New Jersey general manager Ray Shero said. After a symphony of boos for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and most of Chicago's rivals across the league, the crowd cheered when the Blackhawks finally got on the clock at No. 26. But they promptly moved back three spots in a deal with Dallas in the first of three trades announced during the first round.

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Thomas: 'If people don't believe in me, I make them believers'

This is an online exclusive Authentic Chris Baker Womens Jersey story from ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue 2017. Subscribe today! You might have heard that Isaiah Thomas is only 5-9. It's kind of his thing -- the same that way putting up jaw-dropping numbers is his thing. This past season the formerly overlooked Boston point guard, 28, saw the highest of highs -- an MVP-worthy season and Eastern Conference finals run -- and lowest of lows, most notably the tragichttp://www.tampabaybuccaneersauthorizedstore.com/chris-baker-jersey-elite death of his sister in a car accident during the playoffs. Though a hip injury ended Thomas' season early, he found one last way to make a splash: with a photo shoot for ESPN's ninth edition of the Body Issue, where he talked to us about his Mighty Mouse tattoo, studying Bruce Lee's moves and how he rose above the doubters. Here's Thomas' story in his own words: Nobody's tall in my family. My father is 5-7, so I knew at a young age I wouldn't be that tall. But when I was younger, I always wanted to be taller. There was a pullup bar in my mom's basement, and I would do a lot of pullups down there. My mom will tell you that I'd be on there all the time trying to stretch myself out. I always was in the weight room. My dad was a big bodybuilder and somebody who always was lifting weights and working out. He always told me, "Don't back down from anybody." I've always played with my heart, and I've always felt like I was better than the next guy. When I was young -- 10, 11, 12 years old -- my dad would take me to the gym, and Authentic Daryl Smith Youth Jersey I was able to play open gym basketball with grown men. Some of them would want to fight me afterward because I talk mess -- and I back it up. First off, you don't want to be showed up by someone smaller than you, and then on top of that someone younger than you. I grew up in the Gary Payton era. He was arguably the best trash-talker there was. And I watched all his games and I read all the stories about him talking trash, so I kind of wanted to be like him when I was younger. To this day, I like to talk trash, but I'm not just talking out there; I'm backing it up. And I'm not as small as you may think -- I'm stronger than most guys. I think by being strong and being as compact as I am, it's helped me take my http://www.tampabaybuccaneersauthorizedstore.com/daryl-smith-jersey-elite game to another level. I mean, the things that I'm doing -- if I were 6-5 or 6-6, it would be magnified even more, talked about even more. And that's how it's been my whole career -- my whole life. I've never been given a fair shake, even to this day. I always say nothing's been given to me; I always took what I believe is mine, and I always took advantage of the opportunity that I've got. And not to put anything against the bigger guys, but for the most part, they're handed a lot. Us little guys in the gutter, we're not handed anything. We're not given the benefit of the doubt. They always overlook us. If I were taller, the season I had would be getting even more attention. For sure. There's no doubt about that. People always try to find something that I don't do well, or that the small guy doesn't do well, and put it against him. For instance, when you're smaller they always say you're a defensive liability. If somebody scores on a 6-5 guy, it's like, "Oh, that's good offense." If somebody scores on a 5-9 guy, it's like, "Oh, he's a liability; he's too small." It's always something. If I were 6-3 or 6-5, I'd be the best player in the world. No doubt about it. And that's not just me thinking that; I mean, the world would think that. People always wanted me to be somebody I wasn't, whether it be a pass-first point guard or a typical point guard, and I'm not that. I think Authentic Darren Sproles Youth Jersey people are just starting to accept who I am. And that's a good thing. Damon Stoudamire was one of my favorite players growing up; he was 5-10 and a left-handed guy like me, and I definitely tried to pattern my game after him. He's someone I definitely looked up to. When I was younger, my teammates and my coach called me Mighty Mouse after him. I got a Mighty Mouse tattoo because of him. My mental edge is being counted out, being doubted. If you've ever been doubted in your life, you want to prove people wrong. So that's what I always wanted to do. I've been doubted every step of the way. I use every little bit of negativity as motivation to keep getting better and to show people what I'm capable of doing. Being the last pick of the draft [in 2011] doesn't cross my mind anymore. But during my first few years, I was like, "Man, I'm about to kill this team" because I was holding it against them. Now I find other things that motivate me. That happened six years ago, but it definitely makes the story that much better in the end and something that I had to overcome. And that's just the definition of my story; the definition of my life. Being counted out, being picked last http://www.philadelphiaeaglesauthorizedstore.com/darren-sproles-jersey-elite and overcoming those obstacles. A few summers ago, I studied Bruce Lee -- read all his quotes, read his books and just tried to figure out how he got so sharp mentally. He was the best at what he did. Mentally, he went to a level that nobody can reach, and he's someone who didn't really make too many mistakes at what he was doing. His quote "Be shapeless. Be formless. Be like water," that was one of the quotes that stuck with me. Be able to adapt to anything that comes your way -- whether it be in life, in basketball. You've got to adapt to everything on the fly, and don't be just put in a box. I don't like when people just try to put you in a certain box. "Is he a point guard? Is he a shooting guard?" No, I'm a guard that makes plays and is effective on the court. Don't try to put me in no certain box, because I'm not that.

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100 facts for the 2017 fantasy football season

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Signing defensive Men's Andrei Vasilevskiy Authentic Royal Blue Reebok Jersey: NHL Tampa Bay Lightning #88 Home end Devin Taylor could turn out to be a monumental bargain for the New York Giants. Or the former Detroit Lion could fail to make their roster this season. Given what Taylor’s contract dictates, it could go either way. He signed a minimum salary benefit one-year deal on May 25 that has a cash value of $855,000. Taylor received only $40,000 guaranteed, and could earn another $40,000 between workout and roster bonuses, a source told ESPN. In NFL terms, this is not a major financial commitment, especially for a player who has recorded 11.5 sacks over the past two seasons. The http://www.officiallightningproshop.com/Brian_Boyle_Jersey Giants paid $40 million guaranteed earlier this offseason to re-sign defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who had 8.0 sacks in the 2015-16 seasons. The signing of Taylor has potential -- and many around the league support this view. One source even termed it a “great signing” because the deal could very well yield tremendous bang for the buck. Taylor could be a rotational defensive end (or starter if Pierre-Paul or Olivier Vernon suffer injuries) who occasionally moves inside in pass-rush situations. At the very least, the Giants are contemplating using Taylor as an interior rusher on passing downs. It’s a spot they must fill before the coming season. “He’s a proven veteran in this league,” defensive line coach Patrick Graham said. “He has to prove himself again but I think as a defensive end, he’s shown some great flexibility in the past. It’s a good piece to have and we will see how the competition plays out.” The Authentic Julius Erving Youth Jersey Giants currently have Vernon and Pierre-Paul as starters at defensive end. They also have youngsters Romeo Okwara -- who posted a strong rookie season and spring -- and fifth-round pick Avery Moss. Finally, New York might be fielding 2015 third-round pick Owa Odighizuwa, who has been dealing with personal issues this spring. Undrafted free agent Evan Schwan, Taylor and Jordan Williams are also part of the mix. A competition will take place this summer for spots on the final 53-man roster. While it was somewhat surprising that Taylor didn’t attract more interest around the league, his lack of offers illustrates what most teams seem to think of the veteran lineman. An NFC team executive said that franchises tend to view Taylor http://www.authenticnetstore.com/Julius_Erving_Jersey as a different type of cat. And different rarely plays well in the NFL, particular when it concerns less than elite talent. A different NFC source described Taylor as “just a guy” with average athleticism and football ability. His team viewed the lineman as a potential rotational/depth guy. If Taylor makes the Giants' roster, his role will likely be the same as what that NFC source envisioned. But spending a minimum salary on an experienced veteran seems like a low-risk, high-upside signing. Taylor, 27, spent the first four years of his career with the Detroit Lions. He started 18 games (including all 16 last season) and had 15.0 sacks in 92 contests. His most productive season Joakim Noah Womens Jersey came in 2015, when he compiled 7.0 sacks despite not starting a single game. If the Giants can get anywhere close to that level of production for less than $1 million, Taylor will amount to one of their best offseason signings. "Player A" is coming off a breakout season in which, for the second half of it, he was a top-five fantasy wide receiver on a points-per-game basis and 12th in total points despite missing Week 17. Yes, the scoring was huge, but even more impressive was the consistency in that scoring. You couldn't keep this guy out of the end zone. He had a touchdown in six of his final eight games. He was a big play waiting to happen, with one of every seven receptions he had last season going for at least 30 yards. And that part wasn't just the second half. He finished the season seventh among NFL wide receivers in yards per reception, fourth in yards before first contact per http://www.knicksstoreonline.com/Joakim_Noah_Jersey reception, and first in yards after the catch per reception. It's easy to see why his QB targeted him so much: He was one of only five qualified wide receivers (at least 30 receptions) to have zero drops last season. He scored 2.51 fantasy points per target, better than the 2.13 fantasy points per target Antonio Brown scored in his best season, 2014. Player A set career highs in touchdowns, fantasy points, receptions per game, total yards per game and first downs per game (QBs always like those guys who move the chains, don'tcha know). At age 26, entering his fourth NFL season, Player A is primed for another huge year. Meanwhile, "Player B" can't stay healthy and can't score. "But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how'd you enjoy the play?" Jokes aside, this wide receiver has played all 16 games only twice in his six-year NFL career, one of which was 2012. Player B is trending Brian Boyle Youth Jersey in the wrong direction. He actually had seven more CATCHES in 2015 than he had targets in 2016. Yeesh. He managed to play in 14 games last season, but not only did he tie a career low in touchdowns per game, there were 51 (51!) "flex" players who scored more touchdowns. And it wasn't just the scoring that was down, he had three-year lows in receptions, receiving yards, yards after the catch, receiving yards after contact, drop percentage, receiving first downs, routes run and, of course, fantasy points for both PPR and non-PPR. He just killed you in six games last season, including four games in which he had less than 40 receiving yards plus the two games he missed ... but if it makes you feel any better, it wasn't just fantasy teams he was hurting. He caught just 64 percent of his targets last season, compared with 71.3 percent for the rest of his NFL team. With so many stats at three-year lows and the fact that brittle body isn't getting any younger, let him be someone else's headache this year.

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Andrew Brandt: "There was truly no understanding of the game in Barcelona; logistics were challenging to say the least.

Elephants carrying in the championship Authentic Josh Sitton Womens Jersey trophy, hot tubs in the end zone, gallons of beer. Even 10 years after it ceased operations, the NFL Europe still brings a smile to the faces of those who left their mark on the league. What http://www.bearsnflofficialproshop.com/josh-sitton-jersey-for-sale-c-32.html started in 1991 as the World League of American Football -- a plan hatched by two NFL commissioners and a handful of owners and executives -- would become the NFL Europe and, in its final season, NFL Europa. The developmental league was a springboard for some of the best performers to step foot on NFL fields. Among its alumni were three Super Bowl quarterbacks -- Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki #51 Womens jersey Kurt Warner, Brad Johnson and Jake Delhomme; and two special-teamers on the NFL All-Decade team of the 2000s -- kicker Adam Vinatieri and punt returner Dante Hall. Although the league generated talent for NFL teams, which had the opportunity to allocate players in need of seasoning, ultimately it did not yield the revenues owners wanted. But until its final game on June 23, 2007, the NFL Europe was a fun, wacky, wild experiment remembered fondly by those along for the ride.By the late-1980s, the NFL had supplanted baseball as America's pastime, and there already had been efforts to expand the game internationally. When the league began its American Bowl initiative in 1986, NFL and AFL teams had by then played http://www.officialmarinersonline.com/authentic-51-ichiro-suzuki-jersey.html in more than a dozen international games. The American Bowl solidified the NFL's interest in broadening its market, and Wembley Stadium in London, the Tokyo Dome in Japan and Olympic Stadium in Montreal soon played host to massive crowds for preseason NFL games. It was in that environment that the World League of American Football was born, the brainchild of outgoing NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, incoming commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former Dallas Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm and a group of like-minded owners and executives that included Kansas City's Lamar Hunt, Minnesota's Mike Lynn and San Francisco's Bill Walsh. In 1989, league owners voted to form the developmental league and set a goal for its debut of 1991, with three European teams -- the London Monarchs, Frankfurt Galaxy and Barcelona Dragons -- six in the United States and one in Canada. Former NFL quarterback-turned-lawyer Oliver Luck was named general manager of the Galaxy at the age of 30. Andrew Brandt of the Dragons was an even-younger 30, the youngest general manager Authentic Harmon Killebrew #3 Womens in professional sports at the time. Billy Hicks, a former Cowboys executive, was named GM of the Monarchs. They would be charged with essentially creating franchises from scratch. Oliver Luck (Frankfurt's first GM; later helped launch the Rhein Fire and became league president from 1995-99; now a high-ranking NCAA executive): "In December of 1990, I get a phone call from Joe Bailey, one of the lieutenants of Tex Schramm of the Cowboys. Tex was deputized to figure it out, and Joe called and said my slot was going to be as GM of the Frankfurt franchise. I'll never forget: Joe called up and said, 'I understand you were born in Germany?' And I said, 'No I was born in Cleveland, but my mother's German.' Joe said, 'You married a German girl?' 'Nope. But I speak the language, been over there a lot.' They got the facts wrong but the direction right." Andrew Brandt (Barcelona's first GM and later a vice president for the Green Bay Packers; former ESPN sports business analyst who remains in sports media and is a lecturer at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania): "I was an agent representing NFL and NBA players for ProServ, working under David Falk. I negotiated a contract for Chris Doleman with Vikings GM/owner Mike Lynn, who was quite a character. He looked me up and down after we finished the contract, took a long puff on his ubiquitous http://www.authentictwinshop.com/authentic-3-harmon-killebrew-jersey.html cigarette, and said, 'Do you speak Barcelonan?' I thought it a curious question and responded, 'Is that Spanish?' He said it was. I later found out it wasn't. He then asked me to become the first general manager of the Barcelona Dragons, explaining that the NFL was introducing football around the globe and that this would be bigger than the NFL one day." Oliver Luck: "I can't emphasize how little had been done to prepare to launch a pro sports franchise. I first set foot in Germany in late-December, Christmastime, and they wired $50,000 over. There was no stadium deal, not one employee. No local staff, marketing, PR. Nor was there any football staff. It was a true truncated startup. Our first game was March 25. We had all of three months."

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Devils make Nico Hischier top pick; Nolan Patrick goes 2nd to Flyers

Over the course of a 20-year career, David Authentic Adam Jones Youth jersey Ortiz became one of the best-known and most-beloved baseball players of both his era and of all time. The Dominican Republic native and former Red Sox slugger had a farewell tour in 2016 that capped one of the sport's most visible careers. By the end, he had 10 All-Star Game appearances, nine postseason appearances, three World Series rings and some $6 million in endorsements. And http://www.authenticbaltimoreorioles.com/Adam-Jones-Jersey even in retirement, he maintains an impressive social media following. So with the Red Sox retiring his No. 34, we pondered a new question: Who's the next Ortiz? Who can eventually reach that level of fame -- or even surpass it? For the ESPN World Fame 100, ESPN director of analytics Ben Alamar devised a statistical method to quantify fame by analyzing social media following, endorsements and Google scores. So we asked him to put that equation to work to create the Papi Index. We started with 128 of the top-performing MLB players based on wins above replacement and added in off-field visibility, social media popularity and marketability. Then we projected forward, seeing who might reach or pass the Shamar Stephen Authentic Jersey Papi Line. And who might never get there. Here is a sampling of those players. The New Jersey Devils have selected center Nico Hischier as the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft. Hischier led Quebec Major Junior Hockey League rookies with 38 goals and 86 points for the Halifax Mooseheads. He spent the previous two seasons in the Swiss pro league, where he was coached by current Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher. His selection is the highest for a Swiss-born player. He scored three goals and seven points in five games for Switzerland at the 2017 World Juniors. Nolan Patrick went second to the Philadelphia Flyers. Patrick, who played for the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings, has battled sports hernia injuries that limited his playing time to 33 regular-season games and four postseason games during the 2016-17 campaign. Patrick scored 92 goals and 205 points in 163 career games with Brandon. The No. 3 and No. 4 picks were defensemen with Dallas Stars selecting Miro Heiskanan and the Colorado Avalanche taking Cale Makar, respectively. The Vancouver Canucks took forward Elias Pettersson to round out the top-five. The Vegas Golden Knights took center Cody Glass as the franchise's first-ever pick in an Entry Draft at the No. 6 spot. The New York Rangers took center Lias Andersson with the 7th overall pick. The Buffalo Sabres, with the No. 8 pick, made Minnesota high schooler Casey Mittelstadt http://www.nflvikingsofficialstore.com/authentic-shamar-stephen-jersey.html the first American player taken in the first round. Hischier, 18, will have big expectations as the top pick won the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) in three of the last four seasons. Hischier fits in nicely with general manager Ray Shero's desire to put a faster team on the ice. New Jersey is coming off its worst season in nearly three decades, finishing with a 28-40-14 record. The Terrell Owens Womens Jersey Devils franchise hasn't picked first since 1979, when they were the Colorado Rockies and took Rob Ramage at No. 1 overall. The last two times that the Devils picked a player in the top three, they selected a Hall of Famer -- Scott Niedermayer (1991) and Brendan Shanahan (1987). The 6-foot-2 Patrick has hockey in his blood as both sides of his family have produced NHL players. His father Steve Patrick played in 250 NHL games, as well as his uncles James Patrick (1,280 games) and Rich Chernomaz (51 games). Patrick also held the top spot in the NHL Central Scouting Department's final rankings in April. ESPN's Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report. It's time to have smarter http://www.officialauthenticnfl49ersshop.com/authentic-terrell-owens-jersey.html conversations about NFL contracts. Professional football deals are unique among American sports in that they're mostly non-guaranteed, leading to all kinds of confusion and manipulation. Fans and media members alike will often quote the maximum possible terms a contract can offer, which is naive. More skeptical folks look for the guarantees -- and those can be equally misleading. The reality is, even the number fully guaranteed at signing, often the most conservative mark, is too short. Let's fix that. Let's get a stronger grip on where the QB market actually stands and clear up who really has the best contract in football. The initial reports surrounding the five-year, $125 million extension Derek Carr finalized with the Raiders on Thursday suggested the Oakland quarterback had reset the bar for quarterbacks at $25 million per year, just ahead of the five-year, $123 million pact Andrew Luck signed last June. My colleague Dan Graziano Women's Replica Majestic Adam Jones Grey Road Jersey - #10 MLB Baltimore Orioles Cool Base correctly noted how the new Carr contract does nothing of the sort. Luck's deal is actually a six-year, $139.1 million pact. Here's what each quarterback will take home in actual cash over the course of their respective deals on a year-by-year basis, with Carr's 2021 and 2022 salaries estimated to fit the announced $125 million term:

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Blackhawks unsure how they'll address Marian Hossa's absence

The 2017 NHL draft class is without the fanfare Men's Replica Majestic Carlos Rodon Black Alternate Jersey - #55 MLB Chicago White Sox Cool Base of the prior two seasons, due to the lack of bona fide elite prospects at the very top of the class. That doesn't mean the class is devoid of talent, but everything gets shifted downward without a player such as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews available for the taking. Without a true top talent or two, players who http://www.authenticchicagowhitesox.com/Carlos-Rodon-Jersey would usually be selected Nos. 3-6 go at the top, players who would normally go in the teens are in the discussion in the top 10, and so on throughout the first round. The result is a draft class that is projected to be below average. Although discussions with many sources in the industry take place to gather information, the rankings, profiles and analysis are completely my own Logan Forsythe Authentic JERSEY and reflect my opinion of who I believe the top prospects in the draft class are. These might differ from the industry -- at times in a significant manner. This is not a projection of what will transpire on draft day in Chicago; for that, be sure to check out my forthcoming mock draft. This is a forward-heavy draft class. My board contains four defensemen in the top 20, but I know of some NHL teams with just two or three in that range. If that ends up being the case on draft night, it would be one of the most severe forward-to-defensemen ratios of the past few decades. It could also mean teams that want to pick a rearguard may have to be aggressive to nab one of the few dynamic talents. In terms of a breakdown by nations, after several very strong years by USA Hockey, including the first overall pick last season, this looks to be a softer crop for America. While Canada is http://www.authentictampabayrays.com/Logan-Forsythe-Jersey heavily represented at the top of the board, this is also a mild down year by their standards. What is particularly noteworthy is that for a second straight season, Canada has not produced a true elite prospect. Finland has its second consecutive impressive prospect group. It's not of the Patrik Laine-Jesse Puljujarvi-Olli Juolevi caliber like last season, but this has been a great recent cycle for Finnish hockey. In terms of professional sports teams, Las Vegas had might as well be the new frontier as of late. The Vegas Golden Knights pave the way with their first season upcoming, while the Oakland Raiders will head to Nevada in a few years. Looking ahead to the future, the Raiders wrote a personal message to the Golden Knights wishing them the best ahead of Wednesday's expansion draft, and furthermore, expressing their excitement to work alongside the franchise down the road. CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa has been a key performer for the Chicago Blackhawks for a long time. They aren't exactly sure what they are going to do without him. Hossa plans to sit out next season because of severe side effects from medication to treat a progressive skin disorder, and it's unclear if he will be able to play again. The decision creates all sorts of questions for the Blackhawks, ranging from how they might go about replacing the rugged forward to what they might do with any cap space created by his absence. "Everybody's got a different style, so we don't want to say we're going to go look for a Marian Hossa," coach Joel Quenneville said Thursday ahead of this weekend's NHL draft. "I think that recipe, we're very fortunate the way we did acquire him and how he's played when we did have him. So, it's tough to say, but I don't think you're going to find him unfortunately." Hossa, who signed a $63.3 million, 12-year deal with Chicago in July 2009, played a crucial role in the Blackhawks going from promising young team to a run of three Stanley Cup titles in six seasons. The Slovak winger, long one of the NHL's best Mark McGwire Authentic jersey defensive forwards, had 19 goals and 26 assists last season. The challenge of replacing Hossa will take on increased significance when the Blackhawks report to training camp in September. In the meantime, all eyes are on general manager Stan Bowman and the NHL's tricky long-term injured reserve. Hossa's contract with Chicago was front-loaded, and he's owed just $1 million in each of the next four seasons. His salary-cap hit for the Blackhawks is $5.275 million each year, potentially creating some valuable space if he goes on that long-term list at some point, as expected. But it's a much more complicated situation than just spending the money created by his absence. "You can use offseason LTI and in-season LTI and there's drawbacks to both, and there's limitations the way that the league handles those things," Bowman said. "It's not as simple as people might think that we just have this http://www.authenticoaklandathletics.com/Mark-Mcgwire-Jersey ability to suddenly replace Marian with another player. It's way more involved than that. We're going to do our work and we'll figure out a solution to it in time." Bowman has been balancing the Blackhawks' high-priced roster against the salary cap practically since he was promoted to GM in 2009. He also has plenty of experience with the long-term injured list, including when star winger Patrick Kane missed the last part of the 2015 season, but returned in time to help Chicago win the Stanley Cup. Free agency begins on July 1, but signing a player at or near Hossa's salary would present its own issues for the Blackhawks."If you did that you would be essentially starting the year with an inability to make any transactions," Bowman said. "And that's why it's a harder discussion to have because you've got to kind of give you examples of if this happens. But it just doesn't work that way. I wish it were that simple, but it's not. It's a much more complicated provision than people think." Hossa was selected by Ottawa in the first round of the 1997 draft and made his NHL debut that same year with the Senators. He has 525 goals and 609 assists in 1,390 regular-season games, also playing for Atlanta, Detroit and Pittsburgh. He has 149 points in 205 playoff games and has appeared in the Stanley Cup Final five times.

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The legend of Kyle Schwarber is making a pit stop in Iowa

MIAMI -- From World Series hero to Authentic Jason Kasdorf Youth Jersey minor league player. That’s now the journey of Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber. His demotion to Triple-A Iowa -- shocking to even think about in April -- can’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched him at the plate most of this season. He ranked last in baseball among qualified hitters with a .171 batting average before being sent down on Thursday. “We reached http://www.officialbuffalosabres.com/Adidas-Jason-Kasdorf-Jersey a point recently where the fundamental side, it was really tough,” Cubs president Theo Epstein told the team’s flagship radio station Thursday afternoon. “You reach a point where you’re just trying to survive. “It’s not atypical for players to change their environment to rediscover who they are.” Only in baseball can a player nearly win World Series MVP honors in the fall and then get sent to the minors the next season. Schwarber hit .412 with a .500 on-base percentage during the Fall Classic and became a hero for his quick return from knee surgery, but that production never showed up this year. Some may think asking him to lead off was the beginning of his downfall --and Epstein didn’t rule that out -- but even after Nick Foligno Authentic Jersey being moved down in the order Schwarber could not get in a groove. His 12 home runs accounted for almost one-third of his 38 total hits, which Epstein recognized as numbers a pure slugger would put up. The Cubs have never viewed Schwarber as just that though, hence his leadoff role -- and so the criteria for his return is simple: “Come back as a hitter, not just as a slugger,” Epstein said. Being able to combine the two traits is what made Schwarber so dangerous before this season. He worked the count like a leadoff hitter but could slug with the best cleanup men. His World Series at-bats against tough lefty Andrew Miller were Schwarber at his best. Pick many of his at-bats this season -- especially against lefties -- for evidence of him at his worst. He hit .143 against lefties but did manage a .311 on-base percentage. There were some signs of progress but they usually came only via walks. Uncharacteristically, Schwarber began chasing pitches -- at a 25.9 percent clip that ranks 72nd in the majors, which is no place for a leadoff hitter. As Schwarber heads to the minors to fix these issues, Epstein stressed that many big-name players return better for it. Last year, New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto had a .727 OPS before being sent down. Since coming back he has produced a .929 mark. Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino had a minuscule .486 OPS before an early-May demotion but has http://www.officialcolumbusbluejackets.com/Adidas-Nick-Foligno-Jersey produced a 1.065 mark since returning. The Cubs will see Marcell Ozuna of the Miami Marlins this week, another player who benefited from a demotion. The Marlins outfielder posted just a .313 OPS before being sent down in early July 2015. After returning in August, he finished the season with a .789 OPS. The bottom line? A demotion can actually help a player find himself again. Epstein indicated to the flagship station that the same qualities that enabled Schwarber to return early from a devastating knee injury are the same ones that will pull him out of his season-long slump. The Cubs figure they’re helping him by allowing him to do it away from the limelight of the major league club. The Cubs may end up needing the old Schwarber just as badly this season as they did when he became a World Series hero in Chicago last fall. With injuries to veterans Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and Kyle Hendricks, combined Tomas Hertl Youth Jersey with a .500-ish record, they could use all the help they can get. But first Schwarber has to help himself. It feels too early to be watching the scoreboard, but that’s how fun the NL West is right now. You want to see how the top three teams fared each night. The Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks all have a winning percentage above .600, and that’s rarified company. Since divisional play began in 1969, one league has had three .600 teams only three times (2002 AL, 1998 NL and 1977 AL), and the 1977 AL East was the only division to feature three .600 teams, when the Yankees, Orioles and Red Sox accomplished it. The 2015 NL Central came close, with the Cardinals and Pirates above .600 and the Cubs finishing at .599. Because all three teams are playing so well, there is a good change that the division winner will be joined by two NL West wild-card teams in the http://www.officialsanjosesharks.com/Adidas-Tomas-Hertl-Jersey poststeason field, leaving the NL East and Central as one-team races the remainder of the season. But how will the race for the West play out? Despite the close race, the projection systems still see the Dodgers as huge favorites. FanGraphs gives them an 86.7 percent chance of winning the division (compared to 8.5 percent for the Rockies and 4.8 percent for the Diamondbacks). Baseball Prospectus sees it as Dodgers at 77.2 percent, Rockies at 13.8 percent and Diamondbacks at 9.0 percent. In other words, the computers, taking into account past performance and making adjustments for what’s happened so far in 2017, aren’t buying the hot starts of the Rockies and Diamondbacks. FanGraphs, for example, projects the Rockies to be .498 the rest of the way and the Diamondbacks to be .501. It’s easy to understand why this is the case. The Dodgers have won four straight division titles, winning 91-plus games each season. The Rockies haven’t finished above .500 since 2010 and the Diamondbacks since 2011. It’s not like either of those franchises brought in Willie Mays and Hank Aaron in the offseason.

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A tanking guide to the NFL, and a warning

Approximately half of the CFL Authentic Chuck Bednarik Womens Jersey comprises "international" players. In most cases, that means Americans, which usually refers to former college stars and a few who drank a cup of coffee or two in the NFL. As the CFL regular season kicks off Thursday (Saskatchewan at Montreal, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNEWS), let's highlight 10 players U.S.-based fans would recognize. Some of them will overlap with this http://www.philadelphiaeaglesauthorizedstore.com/chuck-bednarik-jersey-elite story naming some of the CFL's top NFL prospects. Vernon Adams Jr., QB, Montreal Alouettes You know him because: He was one of college football's top players while at Oregon in 2015. Adams, 24, turned to the CFL last summer after two failed tryouts with NFL teams. He signed with the BC Lions, then was traded to the Alouettes and started their final three games. That made it logical to presume Adams would enter the 2017 season as the starter, but the Alouettes' new regime instead acquired veteran Darian Durant and installed him as starter. Unless Durant falters or is injured, Adams will spend this season as a backup. You know him because: He scored a then-FBS-record 150 total TDs as Central Michigan's QB and was the Chicago Bears' sixth-round pick in 2010. ou know him because: He was the starter at Notre Dame for two seasons (2012 and 2014) and for one at Florida State (2015). Golson was a backup to Tiger-Cats starter Zach Collaros in 2016 and did not throw a pass. He's in the same Authentic Clinton McDonald Womens Jersey spot this season for a team that has Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick on its negotiation list. LeFevour has spent time on the rosters of four other NFL teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the most part, however, he has bounced around the CFL since 2012. He played in four games last season for Toronto, and in 2017, he will back up Winnipeg starter Matt Nichols. With Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders locking up a five-year, $125 million extension, let's take a look at how much every starting quarterback makes. The following tables are sorted by total guaranteed money for injury (according to ESPN's roster management system) and http://www.tampabaybuccaneersauthorizedstore.com/clinton-mcdonald-jersey-elite also include each player's average annual salary (in the case of extensions, the APY figure is based on the extension, not the entire contract). Joe Flacco's contract pays him the sixth-most guaranteed money of any NFL quarterback, but he went 8-8 last year with a 58.6 QBR, which ranked 19th in the league. Cam Newton is the only quarterback in this group who ranked lower. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan seem like a steal at their prices: They ranked first and second respectively in passing touchdowns last season. As the NBA draft approaches, the word that repeatedly comes into play for the teams at the top of the draft is "tanking." NBA organizations with little hope of competing for a playoff spot (let alone a championship) have Authentic Bilal Powell Youth Jersey made an art form of paring their rosters in an attempt to amass draft picks and shots at true franchise-changing players over the past few years, with the Philadelphia 76ers serving as the highest-profile culprits. Baseball teams like the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs have bottomed out before rebuilding, with the latter organization riding its tank all the way to a World Series It's not a surprise, then, that the Cleveland Browns hired a quantitatively inclined executive away from another sport -- former Dodgers general manager and "Moneyball" character Paul DePodesta -- and subsequently followed the blueprint of how an NFL team might tank to a T. Along the way, they emulated the philosophies exhibited by some of the best organizations in football past and present, but the Browns still incurred some criticism after an ugly 1-15 campaign in 2016. They still seem closer to the Sixers v http://www.jetsshopnfl.com/bilal-powell-jersey_c-434.html than they do the Astros or Cubs, albeit after only one season of calculated losses. If the Browns succeed with their gambit, more teams will try to emulate their path to competency. Should they? It's a question worth exploring. Tanking in professional football isn't entirely different than it is in baseball or basketball, but it's not the same, and it's problematic enough that I doubt it's ever widespread. Let's consider those arguments and try to figure out whether giving up and aiming for the first overall draft pick is a coherent strategy in the NFL.

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Marian Hossa reveals skin disorder, to miss season

As Gary Bettman likes to Matthew Spencer Authentic Jersey say, "Vegas Golden Knights, you're on the clock." These days, Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, 58, is the most popular man in the NHL.From his team's war room in the Knights' training facility in Summerlin, Nevada -- about a 15-minute drive west of the Las Vegas Strip -- McPhee will guide a hockey ops team that includes assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon, director of player development Wil Nichol, senior http://www.officiallightningproshop.com/Matthew_Spencer_Jersey vice president Murray Craven and head coach Gerard Gallant in the selection of the first NHL expansion team since 2000, when the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild entered the league. On Sunday morning, the Knights were given a list of 673 players made available by the NHL's 30 other teams. McPhee can take one player from each of those teams to complete a roster that must have at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders, with a minimum of 20 players under contract for next season. McPhee told reporters he will have no problem spending the required 60 percent ($45 million) of the league's new $75 million salary cap for the 2017-18 season and plans on being active in the trade and free-agent markets as he looks to Authentic #93 Gerald McCoy Youth Jersey feast on what he calls "a harvest of assets." McPhee said he might wait until Wednesday's 10 a.m. ET deadline to wring as much as he can out of other general managers, but here's an early look at the Knights' potential game plan and some of the side deals McPhee might have up his sleeve: New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow was the only GM in the league to protect five defensemen from the expansion draft and that leaves talented forwards Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome free for the taking, along with defenseman Calvin de Haan. That has led to speculation that Snow has agreed to send the Knights the Islanders' first-round pick (15th overall) in the June draft to select someone other than Nelson, Strome or de Haan. That could mean forward Josh Bailey will be on the Knights' roster on Wednesday. A severe reaction to medication for a skin disorder has put Chicago Blackhawkshttp://www.authenticbuccaneersofficial.com/Nike-Gerald-Mccoy-Jersey.html winger Marian Hossa's career in doubt. Hossa stunned the NHL on Wednesday by announcing he won't play next season because of a severe side effect from medication to treat a progressive disorder he has been dealing with for years. At 38, the veteran might have played his last NHL game in a career that many believe will land him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. "Playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season,'' Hossa said. "While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice.'' Sportsnet.ca reported on Tuesday that Hossa's career could be over because of a severe allergic reaction caused by his hockey equipment. Hossa has been a major part of the Blackhawks' core during their run of three Stanley Cup titles in six seasons and is considered one of the best defensive forwards of his generation. The Slovak had 19 goals and 26 assists for 45 points last season. He is still a very effective player for his age. Not having him healthy and able to play could have a significant impact on the franchise, given his contract situation. Hossa has four years remaining at a salary-cap hit of $5.275 million, though if placed on long-term injured reserve, cap-strapped Chicago would face less of a roster crunch. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the NHL still had to determine if the Blackhawks could place Hossa on LTIR. It is a method that other teams have used with injured players, including Chris Pronger and Marc Savard, whose careers ended because of concussion problems. Hossa's case is controversial because the Jose Juan Barea #5 Youth jersey $63.3 million, 12-year deal he signed with the Blackhawks was front-loaded, and he's owed just $1 million in each of the next four seasons. Commissioner Gary Bettman said he didn't believe the Blackhawks were engaging in cap circumvention with Hossa. "I certainly am more concerned about Marian Hossa's medical condition,'' Bettman said after the league's board of governors meeting in Las Vegas. "I don't think he has got a medical condition so that he and the Blackhawks can deal with the cap. I assume he would play hockey if he could, so unless we have a reason other than sheer speculation to think something is amiss, I'm not even thinking in those terms.'' Hossa said he has been privately undergoing treatment http://www.officialmavericksproshop.com/authentic-5-jose-juan-barea-jersey.html for the past few years under the supervision of the Blackhawks' medical staff. Dr. Michael Terry said the team supports Hossa's decision not to play and that the skin disorder, which the team did not disclose, is "becoming more and more difficult to treat and control with conventional medications while he plays hockey.'' "We feel in the most certain terms this is the appropriate approach for Marian in order to keep him functional and healthy in the short term and throughout his life,'' Terry said. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman called Hossa's absence a significant loss. The 19-year NHL veteran has missed only 46 games over the past six seasons.

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Meet Brazil's Most Valuable Arm

This story is also posted in Spanish Nike Shawn Williams Women's Black Limited Jersey: #36 NFL Cincinnati Bengals 2016 Salute To Service and Portuguese. n the rolling hills of Ibiuna, high above the eucalyptus trees and about 50 miles west of downtown Sao Paulo, a major league scout stands behind home plate at the Yakult Academy stadium on a Sunday afternoon in April. From the darkness of the official scorer's booth, he points a radar gun at the mound, where 16-year-old right-hander Eric Pardinho is blowing away overmatched adolescents who have no earthly business stepping into the box against him. Nearby, another evaluator http://www.bengalsshopfootball.com/bengals+shawn+williams+jerseyraves about the young hurler's textbook technique. About how he rotates the lower half of his body to create leverage that someone who's generously listed at 5-foot-10 shouldn't be able to create. How his hands are in perfect position when his front foot strikes the ground. And that follow-through. "You sign guys and work with them for three years in the Authentic Steve Young Youth Jersey minor leagues to get them to do all that," the scout says. Last September, as a 15-year-old, Pardinho triggered a sensation when he served up mid-90s cheese to grown men at the World Baseball Classic qualifier in New York City. Nearly a year later, with MLB's international signing period set to begin on July 2, he's expected to ink the richest deal ever given to a prospect from his country. But not everyone is sold. Some MLB executives wonder about the kid's size and the lack of competition in Brazil, a soccer-crazed country that didn't produce its first big leaguer until 2012 and has sent a grand total of three players to the majors. So is he worth it? The answer lies in the pitch -- the sales pitch, that is. Up in the stands along the first-base line, Pardinho's father, Evandro, looks on intently. On Friday, as he often does, he drove 300 miles to watch his boy compete in a weekend http://www.officialauthenticnfl49ersshop.com/authentic-steve-young-jersey.html tournament. On Saturday, he damn near had a heart attack when his kid tried to score all the way from second on a wild pitch, sliding into home on a bang-bang play in which the late-arriving pitcher had to hurdle over Pardinho, narrowly avoiding a gruesome collision. Now it's Sunday, and even though it's the championship game, the new face of Brazilian baseball is on a pitch count. Instead of the normal five or six frames Pardinho would typically work, he'll throw just two innings. For what it's worth, his father -- whose relentless pursuit of getting his son to the majors resulted in Eric becoming the first Brazilian prospect ever to have an agent -- is on board with the kid-gloves approach. "My biggest fear is that he gets hurt," Evandro says. "I want to put him in a bubble." EVANDRO PARDINHO IS a salesman. The great-grandson of Italian immigrants, he wears designer glasses and designer button-down shirts. He has perfectly coiffed salt-and-pepper hair and shiny manicured fingernails. He makes his living peddling children's footwear for a Brazilian company called Kidy. But one of Evandro's most successful sales pitches ever was to his 6-year-old son. It was 2007, and Authentic Sam Bradford Womens Jersey the Pardinhos had just gotten back from a beach vacation in Parana, where Eric's Japanese uncle had been impressed with the hand-eye coordination his nephew showed playing paddleball one morning. Maybe he should give baseball a try, the uncle told his brother-in-law. Back at home in the rural town of Bastos, knowing full well Eric would resist, Evandro sold his son a bill of goods. He said he was taking him to play soccer, the child's first love. Instead, Evandro drove Eric straight to the local diamond for a blind date with baseball. "I didn't know what it was," Eric says. "But there were a lot of kids playing it, and I was curious. Kids like dirt and balls, so I had a lot of fun." Still, the best part of the day came once the bats and gloves -- and the pushy parents -- went away. "Afterwards, we all stuck around and played soccer." A decade later, the shoe salesman admits he had to work overtime when it came to hawking hardball to his son. "At first, there was resistance because he was in love with soccer," says Evandro, a former volleyball player who learned the American pastime alongside his son, even volunteering to coach Eric's youth team despite his lack of familiarity with the sport. "But with http://www.nflvikingsofficialstore.com/authentic-sam-bradford-jersey.html a lot of insisting, he ended up giving in and started going to baseball practice." For a father who knew absolutely nothing about the grand old game, getting his boy to buy into baseball might seem like an odd agenda -- until you consider the fabric of the farmland that surrounds him. Like many Asian immigrant colonies in Brazil, which boasts the largest Japanese population in the world outside of Japan, Bastos remains indelibly influenced by its ancestry. The main street is called Avenida Dezoito de Junho (June 18th Avenue), named after the date in 1908 when migrant Japanese farmers arrived in Brazil and burrowed their way inland, looking for work in the coffee and sugarcane fields. One block over is a community center where elderly women dressed in kimonos practice traditional dance and young students learn to complete seemingly impossible mathematical equations in a matter of seconds using an ancient abacus called a soroban.

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Sources: Raiders, QB Derek Carr close to massive deal

The Oakland Raiders Drew Smyly Womens jersey and quarterback Derek Carr are close to finalizing a deal that would pay Carr about $25 million per year. NFL Nation reporters weigh in on how Carr's new deal might impact negotiations with quarterbacks who could get new contracts in the very near future. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: The reigning MVP is one of 11 NFL QBs averaging more than $20 million per year and one of nine with $50 million-plus http://www.authentictampabayrays.com/Drew-Smyly-Jersey guaranteed in their contracts. With Carr on the verge of a deal that would top the one given to the Colts' Andrew Luck ($24.594 million), it will be interesting to see what's next for Ryan, 32, who is coming off his best season. Ryan has two years left on his current deal, and Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Ryan "needs to be compensated well, and he will be." -- Vaughn McClure Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: Carr's expected new deal puts Stafford in position to become the league's highest-paid player whenever he agrees to an extension. When I asked Lions president Rod Wood on Tuesday if he'd be comfortable making Stafford the league's highest-paid player, he told me he's "comfortable getting a deal done" with Stafford. He added that if Stafford is the highest-paid, that would be the case only until the next high-level QB is up for an extension. -- Michael Rothstein The Oakland Raiders and Derek Authentic Jeff Keppinger Youth jersey Carr are close to finalizing a deal expected to pay the star quarterback about $25 million per year, league sources told ESPN. The contract is expected to be done soon, well before the training camp deadline Carr had given the Raiders, according to sources. The sides still are finalizing language, but the deal could be announced as early as the end of this week. Once signed, Carr's new contract will make him the NFL's highest-paid player in terms of new money average, a source told ESPN's Dan Graziano. That new money in Carr's deal will average more per year than the amount given to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who currently tops the list at $24.6 million. Carson Palmer's average annual salary in Arizona is $24.35 million; Drew Brees' is $24.25 million for New Orleans; and Kirk Cousins' is $23.9 million. Cousins and the Washington Redskins http://www.authenticchicagowhitesox.com/Jeff-Keppinger-Jersey are trying to get a long-term deal done by the July 17 franchise deadline. Carr, 26, passed for 3,937 yards and 28 touchdowns with just six interceptions last season, helping lead the Raiders to their first postseason appearance since 2002. He suffered a broken fibula in Week 16 and missed Oakland's playoff loss to the Houston Texans, but he has been a full participant in the team's offseason activities. Carr, speaking last week at the Raiders' minicamp, said he was happy to be "just playing ball again." "The hardest part was taking the Adidas Authentic Joonas Korpisalo Youth Jersey first rep, because the last rep you remember was like, 'Oh snap, I broke this thing,'" Carr said. "But as soon as the ball was snapped, it was a blessing. It kind of all went away." Information from ESPN's Paul Gutierrez was used in this report. As the NBA draft approaches, the word that repeatedly comes into play for the teams at the top of the draft is "tanking." NBA organizations with little hope of competing for a playoff spot (let alone a championship) have made an art form of paring their rosters in an attempt to amass draft picks and shots at true franchise-changing players over the past few years, with the Philadelphia 76ers serving as the highest-profile culprits. Baseball teams like the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs have bottomed out before rebuilding, with the latter organization riding its tank all the way to a World Series. It's not a surprise, then, that http://www.authenticcolumbusbluejackets.com/authentic-joonas-korpisalo-jersey the Cleveland Browns hired a quantitatively inclined executive away from another sport -- former Dodgers general manager and "Moneyball" character Paul DePodesta -- and subsequently followed the blueprint of how an NFL team might tank to a T. Along the way, they emulated the philosophies exhibited by some of the best organizations in football past and present, but the Browns still incurred some criticism after an ugly 1-15 campaign in 2016. They still seem closer to the Sixers than they do the Astros or Cubs, albeit after only one season of calculated losses. If the Browns succeed with their gambit, more teams will try to emulate their path to competency. Should they? It's a question worth exploring. Tanking in professional football isn't entirely different than it is in baseball or basketball, but it's not the same, and it's problematic enough that I doubt it's ever widespread.

by lucky