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Hall, Devils to continue contract negotiations, GM says

Taylor Hall will continue to negotiate a contract with the New Jersey Devils during training camp, general manager Ray Shero said Monday.

“Sometime later in training camp we’ll sit down,” Shero said. “From Taylor’s standpoint, I think he’s dialed in on himself right now in terms of his game and getting back on the ice after only playing 33 games last year. I look forward to seeing him at training camp. Nothing has really changed since the end of the season in terms of how this is playing out.”

The 27-year-old left wing has one season remaining on a seven-year, $42 million contract he signed with the Edmonton Oilers on Aug. 22, 2012, and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2020. Hall, who was acquired by New Jersey in a trade with Edmonton for defenseman Adam Larsson on Jun 29, 2016, can sign an extension of up to eight years with the Devils at any time.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Hall had 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) last season before missing the final 47 games after having arthroscopic surgery in February to remove fragments from his left knee. In 2017-18, he won the Hart Trophy as the NHL most valuable player after getting an NHL career-high 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) in 76 games and helping the Devils qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in six seasons.6

“He’s been working out, skating, and we’ll kind of see where we go with the exhibition games,” Shero said. “Maybe he’ll play later on in the exhibition, but I’ll leave that up to [coach John Hynes] and our medical staff. But everything is good to go coming into camp. I’m looking forward to it and we’ll kind of see how he’s doing and then get him game ready maybe for the last few games of exhibition, but we’ll see.”

The Devils have a seven-game preseason schedule consisting of three home games and four on the road. New Jersey opens the preseason with a split-squad game against the Boston Bruins and at the Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 16.

The Devils will host the Winnipeg Jets in their season opener at Prudential Center on Oct. 4.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“There are different stages of negotiation and at some point, [Hall’s] going to play for us and then we’ll sort it out,” Shero said. “Whether he’s signed, we’ll see. I look forward to sitting down with him and seeing him back on the ice with us, which will be great. I know he’s looking forward to that, too. Ideally, we wanted to give him space this summer anyway, training wise. We’ve made some additions to try and improve our hockey team and hopefully Taylor will be a big part of this in the future.”

New Jersey, which went 31-41-10 last season, 26 points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference, has been among the most active teams during the offseason. The Devils selected center Jack Hughes with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on June 21 and acquired defenseman P.K. Subban in a trade with the Nashville Predators the next day. They also signed forward Wayne Simmonds to a one year, $5 million contract July 1 and acquired forward Nikita Gusev in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights on July 29 before signing him to a two-year, $9 million contract the same day.

Tavares says next captain of Maple Leafs will be ‘great one’

John Tavares said the chance to be Toronto Maple Leafs captain would be an honor but noted whoever is selected will have a strong leadership group in place to help him.

“No question being a Maple Leaf and the history, what it means, the tradition, the connection to the fan base and city, it’s a big deal but at the same time you don’t want to let it change you,” Tavares said Monday after skating with teammates. “You just want to be yourself and play your game but whatever happens, I know we’re going to have a great one, whoever it is. We want to all support whoever it is.”

Toronto has not had a captain since defenseman Dion Phaneuf was traded to the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 9, 2016; and general manager Kyle Dubas has said naming a captain is a significant decision because of the responsibility it carries for an Original Six team.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Tavares, who signed a seven-year contract with Toronto as an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2018, was captain of the New York Islanders for five seasons (2013-18) and is one of two Maple Leafs along with Jason Spezza, who was captain of the Ottawa Senators for one season (2013-14), to have been a captain in the NHL.5

“I know from my time being a captain, you realize how important the people are around you, that you don’t have all the answers and that you have to lean on your teammates,” Tavares said. “When you have so many great players, great people, guys who can lead and could wear the C here and be that guy, you realize just how much you can lean on everyone else because you’ve got all those guys around you to lift you up and help you when things aren’t going well.”

Tavares, who had an NHL career-high 88 points (47 goals, 41 assists) in 82 games last season, mentioned several of his teammates he feels worthy of the honor.

Defenseman Morgan Rielly.

“Morgan being here as long as he has (six seasons) and his maturity level, you can see it in his game and how he carries himself off the ice, just very level headed especially as a defenseman which is a very tough position to play with the amount of load he carries,” Tavares said.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Forward Mitchell Marner, who remains a restricted free agent.

“[Marner] has an incredible energy about him, just brings the room to life and the way he impacts the game in so many different areas, the way he plays it is so unique,” Tavares said.

Cubs’ Javy Baez Thumb Injury Diagnosed as Fracture; Likely Out Rest of September

The Chicago Cubs will likely be without shortstop Javier Baez for the rest of the regular season.

According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, Baez is “unlikely” to play in September after suffering a fractured thumb. Wittenmyer noted a specialist confirmed the injury but discovered there was no ligament damage.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

The hope is he can play in October should the Cubs advance to the playoffs.6

Baez, 26, is slashing .281/.316/.532 with 29 home runs and 85 RBI in 133 games this season. He was also Chicago’s best player last year when he slashed .290/.326/.554 with 34 home runs and 111 RBI as a National League MVP candidate who helped carry the team into the playoffs.nfl cheap nike jerseys

Addison Russell would typically be the next shortstop with Baez sidelined, but he is under concussion protocol, per Zach Zaidman of the Cubs Radio Network. That leaves highly regarded prospect Nico Hoerner, who is in the starting lineup for Monday’s game against the San Diego Padres.

Yankees News: Mike Tauchman to Miss 6-8 Weeks with Calf Injury

The New York Yankees have battled injuries throughout the season and will be without another key piece down the stretch.

According to Yankees reporter Bryan Hoch, outfielder Mike Tauchman will miss six to eight weeks with a Grade 2 calf strain.

“I’m bummed out for him,” manager Aaron Boone said, per Hoch. “We’ve got to keep moving.”nfl nike jerseys cheap china5

Tauchman has appeared in 87 games for the Bronx Bombers this season and is slashing .277/.361/.504 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI. The numbers are a significant turnaround from last year when he was largely a nonfactor for the Colorado Rockies and finished with an .094 batting average in 21 games.

His presence in the lineup has helped make up for injuries to Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks and Greg Bird, among others, throughout the season.

Even with the attrition, New York is 94-50 and 8.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. It has fought through injuries all year and remains on the short list of World Series contenders and will have to continue doing the same following this setback.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Hoch noted Boone pointed to Cameron Maybin, Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade as candidates to see more playing time while Tauchman is out.

Tom Brady Says Antonio Brown Has ‘A Lot to Learn’ After Joining Patriots

Tom Brady is understandably excited about the New England Patriots’ signing of Antonio Brown, but he acknowledged there is work to be done for the seven-time Pro Bowler to get acclimated.

“There was a lot of positive emotion when it happened,” Brady told NBC Sports’ Peter King, “but you know, everybody says, ‘Whoa, this is what it can be, and what potential they have.’ But you know, the teams I’ve been on, they go to work.”

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“The NFL’s a competitive place. Lots of moving parts. Lots of adjustment, constantly. Week to week, a guy gets hurts, a guy gets picked up you don’t know, you’re constantly manipulating your team. We lost our right tackle [Marcus Cannon, with a shoulder injury] tonight for who knows how long. Like, oh s–t, that’s a big deal. Now we’ll add Antonio, and he’s got to … there’s a lot to learn. … The point is, it’s one thing to talk about; it’s another thing to go do it. Let’s go do it. That’s what my attitude is.”8

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said on the Sunday Night Football broadcast that Brady is already going all out to get his teammate acclimated to New England, offering to allow Brown to stay with him while he gets settled.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft told NBC’s Al Michaels that Brady is “a million percent in” on the Brown signing.

“Kraft also told me that when he broke the news to Tom Brady yesterday, Brady initially said, ‘I’m a hundred percent in.’ Two minutes later, Brady came back and said to Kraft, ‘I’m a thousand percent in.’ Then he came back two minutes later and said, ”I’m a million percent in,'” Michaels said on the broadcast.

Brady told reporters that he and Kraft had a “private conversation” and expressed excitement about adding “great football players.” King described Brady as not being “giddy, or overly bubbly” at the prospect of playing with Brown but would “describe him as pleased that the Patriots went out on a limb and invested millions” in the talented wideout.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

While many have questioned Brown’s antics in recent months, his on-field production isn’t a concern. He’s the first player in NFL history to post six straight 100-reception seasons; he also had 121 more receptions than any other receiver between 2013 and 2018.

Brown is the best receiver Brady has played with since Randy Moss from 2007 to 2010. Provided Brown is able to fit into the “Patriot way,” this should be a seamless fit that gives the Patriots their best receiving corps since their undefeated 2007 season.

Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott on Win vs. Giants: ‘Obviously, I Was a Little Rusty’

Some rust was to be expected for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott after he held out for all of training camp and the preseason, and that is exactly what he said happened during Sunday’s 35-17 season-opening win over the New York Giants.

“I felt about the same. Obviously, I was a little rusty,” Elliott said, per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. “I didn’t play the best game. I have a lot I can improve on. But that’s going to take time, and it’s about getting more reps and being out there longer.”nfl cheap jerseys nike

The Ohio State product finished with 13 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown, and he added one catch for 10 yards.

Williams noted the Cowboys intentionally limited his workload against the Giants in an effort to avoid soft-tissue injuries upon his return.5

The strategy paid off thanks to quarterback Dak Prescott, who finished 25-of-32 for 405 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Dallas receivers consistently found themselves open in the Giants secondary, and Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup each eclipsed the century mark for yardage.

While Dallas didn’t need Elliott at his best to defeat New York, Sunday made clear it will need him as the season progresses. Tony Pollard impressed at times in the preseason, but he struggled on his way to 13 carries for 24 yards in Sunday’s contest.

There was a clear talent dropoff at the position when Elliott was sidelined.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Fortunately for the Cowboys, Elliott’s track record suggests plenty of production is to come. He has been in the league three years and has already reached two Pro Bowls and led the league in rushing yards two times. One of those times was last season when he finished with 1,434 yards on the ground.

He was still solid even while rusty in Week 1 and only figures to improve as the season continues.

X-rays negative after Harper plunked, exits game

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper exited Friday night’s game against the New York Mets with a right-hand contusion after he was hit on the right hand by a pitch from Mets starter Steven Matz in the third inning.

X-rays were negative, but Harper said after the game that he could not grip a bat, and he was uncertain whether he could Saturday.

“I don’t know yet. See tomorrow how I feel,” he said. “Of course, we’re in the stretch right now so if I can be in there, I’m gonna be in there. But gotta be careful too.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Harper, batting with one out and a runner on third, was ahead in the count 1-0 when Matz’s 93 mph fastball sailed up and in on him. Harper recoiled and the ball ricocheted off his hand.7

The 26-year-old fell to his knees and gripped his hand in pain before getting to his feet and walking back to the plate, where Mets catcher Wilson Ramos appeared to ask Harper how he was doing. Harper put his head on Ramos’ shoulder before Ramos, a former teammate with the Washington Nationals, patted him on the shoulder.

After a brief visit from a trainer and manager Gabe Kapler, Harper trotted to first base. He was retired at second on an inning-ending double play by Rhys Hoskins, after which Sean Rodriguez trotted out to replace Harper in right field.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Any time it squares you up a little bit, it’s scary,” Harper said. “Definitely wanted to get on first and keep the game going. But yeah, it wasn’t good.”

Harper’s plunking might be the latest chapter in what has become a volatile rivalry this season. The Mets have been hit by a pitch 14 times in 16 games against the Phillies, who have been hit by a New York pitcher eight times.

Hoskins took offense to a pair of up-and-in pitches from Jacob Rhame on April 23 and punctuated his displeasure by taking a 35-second home run trot after going deep off Rhame the next night.

On July 6, Phillies right-hander Jake Arrieta hit three Mets batters. Todd Frazier, the second batter plunked by Arrieta, was ejected for arguing after home plate umpire Tripp Gibson warned both teams. Two batters later, Arrieta wasn’t ejected after hitting Amed Rosario with a changeup, though New York manager Mickey Callaway was tossed for arguing. After the game, Arrieta said if Frazier was unhappy about being hit, “he can come see me and I’ll put a dent in his skull.”

Cubs’ rotation problems piling up, putting their playoff hopes at risk

It’s the key unit of the Cubs’ roster that is supposed to lead them to the postseason, but Chicago’s high-priced starting rotation is as big a crapshoot as any part of its game right now. On Friday night, against the Brewers, left-hander Cole Hamels continued a disturbing trend for this rotation when he took his team out of the game way too early for anyone’s liking — especially his.

“Sometimes, it’s a battle and you’d rather it be a battle against the other team as opposed to internally, against yourself,” Hamels said after a 7-1 defeat.

In the first inning, Hamels walked the leadoff batter before getting in and out of a bases-loaded jam. He settled down but not for long. Things fell apart in the third, as he gave up nine hits overall in 3⅓ innings, including a three-run home run to Christian Yelich. The Brewers never looked back, as the Cubs saw a short-lived 1-0 lead evaporate.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

At his best, Hamels can place his fastball where he wants it and then put hitters away with his changeup. But he is far from that pitcher right now. The Brewers went 7-for-8 against his fastball and chased almost nothing out of the zone — only 17% of his pitches to that area Friday, Hamels’ lowest number of the season. Even at less than ideal, the veteran usually keeps his team in the game. That’s not happening.5

“Time is ticking and this is why I’m here,” a frustrated Hamels said. “It’s to get the job done and to continue to put good games out there for this team to give them an opportunity to win, and I’m not doing so.”

Since a months-long stay on the injured list for an oblique injury, Hamels has been throwing batting practice. That was understandable for his first few starts back off the IL, but the time to shake off the rust should be well behind him. Over his past seven starts, he has given up a whopping 47 hits in 30⅓ innings while compiling a 7.12 ERA. His manager says Hamels is healthy, so this is about execution.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“I thought he was throwing the ball well, then it all went south,” Joe Maddon said. “I didn’t see it coming. I thought he was in for a pretty good night.”

Hamels hasn’t had a good night in a long time, but the even bigger problem for the Cubs is that Hamels’ rotation mates are seemingly just as inconsistent. Kyle Hendricks can’t seem to pitch on the road. Jose Quintana has come back down to earth after a great stretch. Jon Lester is performing frequent escape-artist tricks; eventually, the traffic on the bases might catch up with him.

Which is why, on Saturday night, all eyes will be on Yu Darvish when he returns after skipping a start because of forearm stiffness. He has been excellent, but no one thought the Cubs would have to rely on him to lead the way at the most important time of the year. In March, a good season from Darvish was thought of as gravy. Now? He is as big a key as anyone on the team.

How the Boomers won a brutal chess game vs. Lithuania

Disregard an exhibition series against Team USA. Disregard a first-up, almost must-win game against Group rivals Canada. The test — the real test — for the Boomers’ medal credentials was always going to hinge on a confrontation with historical rivals, Lithuania.

Consider the stakes: actual tournament play, a grind-it-out style that would test the Australians, a surging opponent backed by a frenetic, roaring, travelling band of supporters (and their drums) and media alike. Both will travel to Nanjing — this was confirmed days ago — but the winner of this vaunted Group H clash would have more than just bragging rights within this storied rivalry.

“They’re great in their sets – they’ve got winks on blinks on counters,” said Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley, a few days ago. “They’ve got enough bigs to be a problem inside. They’ve got enough shooting. They’re just a very good basketball team — well organised, well disciplined, and they care a lot.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Obviously, got the bigs inside, big, physical bigs,” said Matthew Dellavedova. “But I think [they’re] a very even team — a lot of perimeter and wing scoring as well.”6

Boomers power forward David Barlow explained to ESPN that the level of detail has been astounding when it came to preparation for their bodies, their schemes, their opponents.

The Boomers have been fully aware of the potential permutations and competition mechanisms which have ensured that every game, every point, means so much in the this tournament.

Weaver described the challenges in-game adjustments, of reading and reacting to what Lithuania would throw at them, in the manner of a high-level chess game. To win, the Boomers would need to solve those puzzles deep in the trenches.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Shortcomings are amplified in the cauldron of a tournament, and within the company of elite competition. In Lithuania, the Boomers found a creditable puzzle to solve, as they survived a blistering second-half rally to win 87-82, and carry a precious one-game advantage into the second round of group play.

Allowing offensive rebounding, and the subsequent second-chance opportunities, was a sore spot for the Boomers against Senegal. The twin towers of Memphis Grizzlies big man Jonas Valanciunas and the Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis have been bulwarks in this tournament, bludgeoning their opponents on the glass. They would be an imposing frontline.

Lithuania averaged a staggering 15 o-boards (and 16 second-chance points) over their first two matches. A point of emphasis had to be to keep the likes of Valanciunas and Sabonis from beasting the offensive glass. In an amped up Aron Baynes, they met their beefy match, the Boomers centre barging his way to every defensive rebound available, setting the tone on the glass, particularly with Andrew Bogut plagued by foul trouble.

The Boomers and Lithuania: A rivalry forged over two decades

The intertwined histories of the Boomers and the Lithuanian national team in major tournaments is perhaps summed up with a nod and a smile.

Mark Bradtke, legendary Boomer (and now team manager), recalls sitting one row behind Lithuanian basketball royalty, the great Arvydas Sabonis, at the FIBA World Cup draw in Shenzhen, back on a Saturday evening in March.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Once it was confirmed that the Boomers would indeed be drawn with Lithuania in Group H, Sabonis would turn to Bradtke, and shake his head in tacit understanding: oh, we’re back at it again.

“They understand the significance as well as us,” says Bradtke. “It’s just another chapter in the history of Australia versus Lithuania.”

This rivalry, perhaps the Boomers’ greatest in international basketball, has been largely forged through the Summer Games.

“Unfortunately, most of my memories of Lithuania on the court are bad,” says Luc Longley.5

In their first Olympics since regaining independence, in Barcelona 1992, Lithuania defeated the Australians in their final group encounter, relegating the Boomers to third in their group, and a dreaded crossover quarter-final matchup with eventual silver medallists, Croatia. Croatia would ultimately bundle out the Australians.

Mitch Creek was 3 months old when Lithuania would advance through to the bronze medal game in Barcelona and win an historic medal.

“I didn’t get to see it when I was really young,” he says of the seemingly inevitable clashes between these two sides in three straight Olympics. “For me, it was more like the archives, watching the VHS tapes, watching footage online, and watching those battles play out.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Four years later at Atlanta, a surging Boomers team would encounter Lithuania once again, this time in the bronze medal game. In a tense and torrid affair, the Baltic Giants would once again prevail, behind the dominance of their Hall of Fame centre, Sabonis, to win a second consequence medal, and deny the Boomers their first.

“I know the year that I didn’t play, Atlanta, because I had an ankle clean-up, [Arvydas] Sabonis hurt them in the bronze game when they came fourth that year as well,” recalls Longley.

“He was slowing down a bit there, but extremely talented, would shoot the three-ball back then,” says Bradtke, who had the onerous task of playing against one of the greatest ever centres. “[He was] a really good passer, and they had awesome shooters around him as well. It was a tough cover for all teams. He was my biggest challenge in opponent and he got the better of me every single time.”