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The one thing about this team

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  • Начата 2 мес. назад officialsbaseball
  1. OTTAWA — The most anticipated game of the season at Canadian Tire Centre arrives Saturday afternoon when the Ottawa Senators host the San Jose Sharks.It will mark the first return of former Senators captain Erik Karlsson [url=http://www.officialhockeypanthersshop.com/authentic-adidas-hoodie]Florida Panthers Hoodies Authentic[/url] , a two-time Norris Trophy winner and the most talented player in franchise history. He was traded to the Sharks in September, almost 10 months before he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. The Senators couldn’t risk allowing him to walk and get nothing in return.“I feel fairly calm, a little anxious, and obviously it feels a little different,” Karlsson, the Senators’ first-round draft choice in 2008, said after the Sharks practiced at the University of Ottawa on Friday. “I’m going to try to enjoy it. I’ve had nothing but great memories here and I’m looking forward to creating more. Saturday afternoon is going to be another one of those great memories.”Article continues below ...Despite the controversial divorce between the team and its superstar defenseman, Senators players expect Karlsson will get the loudest cheers of the afternoon.“Ultimately, he’s a friend of ours and one of the best players to every play here,” Ottawa’s Mark Stone said. “The things he did in my time here were nothing short of spectacular. You remember the good times we had and the playoff run that he carried us on. Those are the things he should get remembered for.”Karlsson hype aside, the Senators (11-12-3) will be trying to match a season-high three-game winning streak. Owners of the worst defensive numbers in the league, they’ll be coming off a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers that not only marked Craig Anderson’s first shutout since December but also tied a season low in shots allowed with 27.“Arguably, it was one of our best games, if not our best all year, top to bottom [url=http://www.officialhockeypanthersshop.com/authentic-adidas-hats]Florida Panthers Hats Authentic[/url] ,” said center Matt Duchene, who had 21 points in 15 November games. “(Anderson) has seen more rubber than the Michelin Man this year. He deserved this one.”Thus far, at least, the Sharks (12-9-5) are not living up to the high expectations placed on them after the Karlsson trade. Three games into a five-stop road trip, they are 0-2-1 and coming off a 5-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs that came with some stark realisms. Namely, that they are not yet at the same level as the best teams in the league.“In my personal opinion, I don’t think we’re close,” center Logan Couture told the San Jose Mercury News. “We show spurts and signs that we’re capable of it, but we haven’t put it together against a top quality team. We’ve got to figure it out soon.”Coach Pete DeBoer can use the 2015-16 season as an example of how things can come together quickly. That season, the Sharks were .500 as late as January, and they went on to reach the Stanley Cup final.“I’m a believer that it takes time,” DeBoer told the Mercury News. “I’m a believer that it doesn’t take 26 games.”The Sharks are expected to be without winger Timo Meier, who is dealing with an upper-body injury. Senators rookie defenseman Max Lajoie is doubtful with an undisclosed injury. SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Evander Kane knew San Jose was a good fit when Joe Thornton showed up for a late-night airport pickup following a trade deadline deal.That comfort was only reinforced over the next 10 weeks on the ice and in the dressing room. It left Kane with an easy choice as he headed toward free agency.Kane bypassed a chance at the open market by signing a seven-year deal Thursday worth $49 million to stay with the Sharks for the long term.”It’s good to be wanted and I wanted them just as much as they wanted me,” Kane said. ”The fact that we were able to work out a deal so quickly reflects that. Obviously [url=http://www.officialhockeypanthersshop.com/authentic-adidas-customized]Custom Florida Panthers Jerseys[/url] , when you’re a free agent you have the option to do what you want and I made it clear to them that I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”Kane will be paid $9 million the first year of the deal, followed by salaries of $8 million, $6 million, $7 million, $7 million and two years at $6 million, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because terms were not released. He also has a limited no-trade clause.Kane, who turns 27 in August, was acquired from Buffalo at the trade deadline in February and became a key part of San Jose’s team down the stretch and in the playoffs.Under the terms of that trade, the Sabres will get a first-round pick in 2019 instead of a second-rounder because Kane signed with San Jose. The selection is lottery-protected, so it could be moved to 2020.The Sharks aren’t concerned about that price.”You don’t find guys like this unless you’re picking in the top three, four guys in the draft, and no one wants to be there,” coach Peter DeBoer said.”When you’re signing free agents, especially elite players and guys that are going to play huge roles for you, you really want to know about them as much as possible. And you really don’t know a player until you stand behind the bench and are around them every day. So that was a nice luxury to have. I think we all felt comfortable that this was a guy that could help us win.”Kane’s status was one of the biggest questions heading into this offseason for the Sharks [url=http://www.officialkings.com]www.officialkings.com[/url] , who were knocked out of the playoffs in six games in the second round against eventual Western Conference champion Vegas.Thornton is the other prominent potential free agent on the team. But he’s said he’s willing to come back on a reduced one-year deal.The Sharks still have salary cap flexibility to make more moves, which will be easier now that Kane’s deal is done and he can be slotted in on a top line.”He plays with great speed and fits with not only our game but where the league is trending,” general manager Doug Wilson said.”To get him in place and secured was very important to us. Top-six forwards like that, there aren’t many out there and when you get one you want to make sure that he’s secured. It fills in our roster.”Kane stepped right onto the top line with captain Joe Pavelski after arriving in San Jose and helped ease the loss of Thornton, who went down with a season-ending knee injury in January. Kane used speed and physical play to deliver nine goals and five assists in 17 games and helped San Jose make the playoffs, giving him a first taste of the postseason.Kane shined in the first round with three goals and an assist during a sweep against Anaheim. But he struggled a bit against the Golden Knights, slowed by injuries to his knee and shoulder that lingered from the end of the regular season.He had one goal and a minus-5 rating in five games against Vegas. He missed Game 2 of that series when he was suspended for cross-checking Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.Kane finished last season with 29 goals and 25 assists, his second-most productive season to his 30-goal, 27-assist run for the Jets in 2011-12. Kane has 186 goals and 168 assists in 574 games since entering the NHL as the fourth overall pick by Atlanta in 2009.Despite his credentials, there was not a robust trade market for Kane back in February in part because he had issues off the ice with some teammates during his stints with Winnipeg and Buffalo.Kane also had legal run-ins.In March 2016, prosecutors announced after a three-month investigation that Kane would not face a sexual assault charge. In June 2016, he was arrested for allegedly grabbing three women by the hair and neck during an altercation at a Buffalo bar. The charges were eventually dismissed on condition Kane stayed out of trouble as part of a plea agreement.Also that year, the Sabres suspended Kane for one game for missing practice a day after pictures surfaced on social media of the player celebrating in Toronto after attending the NBA All-Star Game.There haven’t been issues in his brief time with the Sharks.”We really started things off on the right note and it just carried on from there,” Kane said. ”The one thing about this team and this group and this organization is that they allow you to be yourself. They embrace you for that. It’s a very unselfish group that makes it super easy to come into and mesh well with.”—AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report—

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