steady mix of defensive par

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steady mix of defensive par
Posted on 9:25pm Sep 28, 2017
OTTAWA -- Eugene Melnyk expects to make the playoffs every year, and when his team misses out he plans to make sure it doesnt happen again. Travis Frederick Jersey . The Ottawa Senators owner voiced his disappointment over the teams performance this season in a conference call with media Tuesday, and said changes could be coming. Melnyk said he and general manager Bryan Murray are "in the process of evaluating everything, our players, our prospects and our coaching staff." "Definitely not a wholesale change, we just need to show up more often," Melnyk added. "I think we need leadership. I think we need accountability from top to bottom and thats more of a mindset and it could also reflect the maturity of the team and as they mature, dont kid yourself, because I did some exit interviews and these are not happy campers." While there had been speculation that head coach Paul MacLean could be relieved of his duties, that doesnt appear to be the case. "I think its pretty certain, well I can assure you Pauls our coach," said Melnyk. "And hes going to be our coach going into next year, but were evaluating everything within the hockey operations, but as far as the leadership is concerned thats staying put." Thats not to say management was overly impressed with MacLeans performance this past season. "They should have done better," said Murray of the coaching staff. "Unless you win a championship I think you can say that about everybody. I think there were some stages in the year where maybe a different decision could have been made." On Monday MacLean admitted that he went into the season with the belief that he needed to be more demanding of his players, and Murray said it probably wasnt the wisest strategy. "My note to him today was the players like the old Paul," Murray said. "They like the guy that sat and talked to them, treated them in a more easy-going fashion, that taught, not confronted. "There were some mistakes made obviously. You dont go to some of your better players and confront them early in the year and expect change. The change is usually in the negative form. I think what Paul did two years leading up to this was a real strong indication of the type of coach he is. I think as you go through your career you learn lots of things and I think its a stage that hell be much better because of it." Murrays biggest decision in the off-season could be whether or not to move captain Jason Spezza. Spezza has one more year remaining on a contract that has a cap hit of US$7 million, but a salary of $4 million. Speculation of Spezza being traded surfaced at the trade deadline and one has to wonder if the Senators feel now is the time to make a significant change. "I think Jason understands what his role was and is," said Melnyk. "Hes a professional. He understands youre here today, could be gone tomorrow. "Its very dependent on what other pieces we have to put together and I think at the end of the day hes just one of 20 plus players that participated this year and we just didnt get it done. " Murray said Spezza was one of five players going into the final year of a contract and that all five, in addition to this years three unrestricted free agents, would be evaluated. "Im not sure why Jason is the single guy here being evaluated," Murray said. "Number one I guess maybe he wore the C and thats part of it, but we, I believe, have five guys going into their last year and decisions have to be made and they will be made at the right time." The Senators actually have six players entering the final year of their contract including Spezza. Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur, Erik Condra, Marc Methot and Craig Anderson will all be looking for new contracts next season. At this point it seems Ryan could be the first to re-sign as both parties seem eager to come to terms on a new agreement. Milan Michalek, Ales Hemsky and Matt Kassian are all unrestricted free agents this season and it appears Michalek could be the only one returning. Murray said Kassian isnt in his plans and he didnt believe the Senators were in Kassians plans. As for Hemsky, it doesnt appear he will return. Michalek has expressed an interest in returning and its likely term and money will play a factor. The Senators have a number of young players who will be pushing for playing time and they want to ensure theres room. Murray said Mark Stone, who played 19 games this season and had eight points (4 goals, 4 assists), now looks like an NHL player and was impressed with Jean-Gabriel Pageaus play late in the season. He also mentioned that Curtis Lazar looks to be NHL ready and will be pushing for a roster spot as well as a few others who are currently playing in Binghamton. In addition, Murray said the Senators would like to find a tougher forward. The Senators have three restricted free agents, Mike Hoffman, Eric Gryba and Robin Lehner, that Murray will need to make decisions on. Lehner, 22, will likely be the priority, considering Anderson will be heading into the final year of his contract. "I still think to be a good team in the league you need two goaltenders," Murray said. "You need both that can win games for you. I think Robins very close (to being a number one goalie). I think if we gave him the stick and said go in the net and play every night I think he could win a lot of hockey games for us." Financially the Senators are in good shape, but they dont anticipate significantly increasing their salary structure. "Its very, very easy to increase payroll, any idiot can do it and a lot of idiots do and they overspend and they go to the cap and Ive done it twice and both times it didnt make an impact," Melnyk said. The Senators owner says he prefers to spend money on various resources that can be used in the development of players on the roster and in the minors. Notes: Much was made last Saturday when Kassian didnt dress for the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Murray said a decision had been made earlier in the day when a call between he and Toronto GM Dave Nonis took place. Nonis wanted to call up a young player, but was concerned that if Kassian was in the lineup things could get physical and so Murray assured Nonis he wouldnt play Kassian. Anthony Brown Jersey . Dr. James Andrews is to operate next week on the 24-year-old pitcher, who made the AL All-Star team last year. Moore will be the first Rays pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery since Jason Isringhausen in June 2009. Michael Irvin Jersey . Its been two seasons in one for both parties and neither will look back on the first 18 games fondly. "I think I took the fall for a lot of things," said Gay, reflecting on his short time in Toronto ahead of Wednesdays game against his former club.TORONTO – In each of the past two offseasons Cody Franson and the Maple Leafs disagreed on the worth of the now 26-year-old defender. Contract disputes lingered for days, weeks and months in the winter of 2012 and once more in summer of 2013 before the two sides finally compromised on an unhappy middle with a pair of one-year contracts. Franson, not surprisingly, feels he has something to prove in his third season in Toronto. "Definitely," he said in conversation with the Leaf Report on Tuesday afternoon. "Thats the way my dad raised me was live by proving people wrong, have that motivation and drive to make people that say youre not eat their words." Franson believed that hed established himself as a viable top-4 defender last season, when he broke out with 29 points in 45 games, but Dave Nonis and the Leafs management group wanted to see more. They werent sure what the Sicamous, B.C. native was (the half-season sample size undoubtedly a factor) and balked at committing the sizeable term and dollars he desired in free agency (hence the one-year deal worth $2 million). Soon to be a restricted agent once more in the summer of 2014, Franson is out to prove that hes worthy of such an investment. Entrenched with the significant role and responsibility he always wanted upon landing with the Leafs via trade from Nashville, Franson is only half-satisfied with the season hes had to date. "Its going okay, but I can do more," said Franson, who will assume top pairing duty in the absence of suspended captain Dion Phaneuf. "I feel like I can do more. I feel I can help produce more. I can be a bigger part in our group turning things around." The Leafs have stumbled into December, struggling to generate offence and adequately defend amid a stretch which has seen them win just twice in regulation in 17 games. Now without their captain and leading minute-eater for the next two games – against top teams from Los Angeles and St. Louis no less – theyll need others, Franson most prominently, to step up their game. "The challenges are bountiful as we go forward into the season," said Randy Carlyle of a year thats seen an increasing number of injuries and suspensions, "but somebody else now gets an opportunity to fill those minutes." Be it offensively or defensively, Franson feels his game could stand to rise on a number of different fronts. The scoring leader of the Toronto defence once again this season – he has 14 points – Franson is nonetheless concerned by his inability to find the back of the net. He had four goals on 70 shots in 2013, but has yet score on any of the 40 attempts hes fired so far this year. Directing more pucks on net, thus creating not only goals but rebound opportunities for teammates, will aid in the teams struggling offensive attack – the Leafs have just 23 even-strength goals during this lasting 17-game run. "Obviously not having scored a goal is in my head," he said, noting a desire to increase hiss overall offensive production. Bob Lilly Jersey. "Its been a tough year to try and get shots through to the net and really help our forwards in that sense. Thats bothering me a bit." Amongst the best at his position in producing offence at even-strength last season – he had 16 points, tied for 12th most among NHL defenders – Franson has just three such points this season, the majority of his production coming on one of the leagues top power-plays. Because the Leafs have struggled to move the puck effectively for the better part of the opening two-plus months theyve been ineffective with a forecheck from which theyd like to initiate offence. One of their better puck-movers, Franson can help in that regard with some measure of improvement. "I havent got enough of those this year," said Franson of even-strength points, 11 of his 14 assists coming with the man advantage. "Thats something Ive been trying to focus on in getting better at and try to help our team win." Already second in ice-time among Leaf defenders – 21 minutes per game –Franson is poised to peg, if not more minutes, than more difficult minutes with Phaneuf suspended for tough tests against the Kings and Blues. He was paired with Carl Gunnarsson on the top pairing of Tuesdays practice. Though hes made strides in the right direction in Toronto, Franson remains a work in progress in the defensive zone. Part of that growth lies in his assertiveness and physicality. The 6-foot-5 defender has always been prodded to employ the requisite physical game his size is said to demand. Under the direction of Carlyle he has improved considerably. Franson actually leads all NHL defenders with 98 hits (entering Tuesdays action), quite a shift for a player who had 55 in his first 61 NHL games with Nashville. "Ive gotten better," said Franson, "but theres always room for improvement. Ive watched the video clips of myself after a lot of games and I see spots where I know I couldve at least bumped a guy there or a guy takes a shot and I was more worried about the rebound than finishing [him] into the wall. Just some things that I need to get back into the habit of doing and itll help me." Habit has also been forced to change with a steady mix of defensive partners. Unlike last season, when he played with Mark Fraser almost exclusively, Franson has shifted from partner to partner amid the teams struggles on the back-end. Gunnarsson will be the fifth partner hes been paired with already this season. The adjustment is as subtle as thinking versus reacting instinctually. "t makes you think a little more and sometimes Im thinking too much and its making me read things a little slower than I should be and in turn making me not quite as aggressive as Id like to be," said Franson. "Ive got to get that down a little quicker and itll help." Such improvements will go a long ways toward proving the "naysayers" wrong while helping the Leafs turn a much-needed corner. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' ' 
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