Matthew Tkachuk

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"That was the same year another local kid, Scott McCrory, led the OHL with 150 points playing for the Oshawa Generals, then scored 37 points
in 24 playoff games, leading the Generals to two seven-game triumphs
over the North Bay Centennials, the first in a Super Series to decide
which team would host the Memorial Cup and again in the OHL final.
McCrory's father, Gerry, basically ran minor hockey in Sudbury for years
and now has an arena named after him.
One of the great things about bad junior teams is there is a constantly
changing cast of characters Anthony Davis Kentucky Jersey, some of whom are running out of chances. Late that season, the Wolves
picked up a veteran goalie by the name of Dan Gatenby, who wore the
rather odd No. 13 for his first couple of games with the team. When I
asked him why, he responded completely deadpan, “That's how old my
girlfriend is.” Times were much, much different then.
After that season, on my way to the OHL draft in Toronto where the
Wolves were taking their newest savior, John Uniac, with the first
overall pick, I totalled my Hyundai Pony on Highway 400 when I hit a log
in the middle of the road, landed in the opposite lane and sideswiped
an oncoming car. I needed a ride home and jumped in with Doug Bonhomme, a
regional scout with the league's Central Scouting Bureau who grew up on
an adjacent street and with whose brother I played playground hockey.
Doug, who also worked with my sister at the Workers' Compensation Board,
would later have a daughter named Tessa. You've probably heard of her.
But it was the next season, my last in Sudbury Carmelo Anthony Syracuse Jersey, that would be so pivotal to my future, particularly pertaining to The
Hockey News. The first incident came early in the season when Marc
LaForge, who went on to amass more than 3,000 PIM in professional
hockey, went on a one-man rampage against the Guelph Platers late in a
game. As players were tied up in a line brawl, LaForge went from
altercation to altercation sucker punching opponents. He was banned for
life from the league by commissioner David Branch and when I asked
LaForge several days later what he would tell young players who emulated
him he said, “I'd probably tell them to go the Betty Ford Clinic.” I
just happened to be hanging over the boards with my camera and got
pictures of the incident, which I sold to THN and forged a relationship
with the staff there.
The other came in the form of Wolves coach John Wallin, who had come to
Sudbury from Kent State University. In a piece that appeared in THN, he
told about how he had served in Vietnam and some of the horrors he
witnessed there. The only problem is the entire thing was a lie. I
didn't write the story, but I did take pictures for it that were used by
THN and helped with some reporting in the aftermath. By the time I came
to Toronto for my interview with THN in the summer of 1988, I already
knew the legendary editor-in-chief Bob McKenzie. The first thing he said
after looking at my portfolio was, “Looks like you work pretty hard
Yeah, I did. And I would not trade a minute of it for anything. For my
work at Northern Life, and I suppose after at THN and The Toronto Star, I
was lucky enough to be inducted into the media wing of the Sudbury
Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. It remains one of the biggest honors of my
career and life. Meanwhile, I still have a T-shirt commemorating the
25th anniversary of the Northern Life. I think I'll go and put it on."
"As the season draws closer to its conclusion Ja Morant Murray State Jersey, the Washington Capitals have moved into top spot in the hunt for the
Presidents' Trophy. Or, more accurately, they remain atop the standings.
As helpful reader Paul DeWeerd pointed out Thursday, a gaffe was made in
our accounting of who was leading the league following Wednesday's
games. While the Tampa Bay Lightning had indeed pulled ahead of the
Boston Bruins for top spot in the Atlantic Division, Washington actually
owned the top record based on points percentage. But any possible
confusion about that was cleared up Thursday when the Capitals held off
the New York Rangers on the strength of a pair of Tom Wilson goals and
an excellent shutout performance from goaltender Ilya Samsonov.
With the victory, the Capitals not only moved into top spot in the NHL,
but also kept five points between themselves and the Philadelphia
Flyers, who exited action Thursday with two points of their own.
Elsewhere, the Predators' win vaulted Nashville into the second-wild
card spot in the Western Conference. Wins by the Florida Panthers and
Toronto Maple Leafs kept the two Atlantic Division combatants in a
sprint for the third spot in the Atlantic Division. The Boston Bruins
also moved two points up on the Lightning with a blanking of the Ottawa
Unfortunately James Harden Arizona State Jersey, this will be the penultimate installation of Simulating the Season.
Tomorrow, we'll wrap up the remainder of the regular season, get the
post-season matchups and complete the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs,
crowning a winner in the series finale.
This topped it all. By far, the hardest team to assemble to date. Three
of the nation's top forwards - Auston Matthews, Patrick Kane and Jack
Eichel - make at least $10 million, and investing $32 million in three
players just wasn't going to cut it without making cuts elsewhere. And
that was the biggest dilemma: do you sacrifice your team's depth to
ensure you have a select few players? It wasn't easy, but yes.
So that meant digging deep to find the best value around the league.
Sorry, Johnny Gaudreau and Brock Nelson, but roughly $6 million each
meant an early trip to the chopping block. J.T. Miller's $5.25-million
hit is tremendous value for Vancouver, but not on a team full of star
players. Defensemen Torey Krug and Zach Werenski would be dynamos on a
real national team, but with other inexpensive options available, they
were next to be cut. Other notables that would have made the team in a
proper tournament include Blake Wheeler, Jake Guentzel, Max Pacioretty,
Ryan Suter and Jaccob Slavin, but rules are rules. You can't bend the
salary cap.
But it wasn't just those players who needed to be left off the club. No,
if the Americans were going to fit under the cap, there was going to
need to be a drastic omission. In this case, Matthew Tkachuk. His $7
million cap hit suits him well in Calgary and he'd be a first-line
winger on the team in real life, but, again, that's the cost of doing
business. His younger brother, Brady, would have hit 50 points as a
sophomore on an entry-level contract, so he was an easy replacement.
Building the top six was easy, but finding the best value deeper in the
lineup was the next task. That's what made keeping the Matthews-Eichel
combination even more challenging - they're obviously vital to the team,
but would one actually have to go? There's a certain threshold where
you simply can't replace a high-value player for someone cheaper (Alex
Iafallo and his $2.43-million hit would have been a solid addition) and
shaving off a few millions along the way wasn't going to work, either.
Because of the cost-cutting up front Jimmy Butler Marquette Jersey, Krug's $5.25-million hit was replaced by John Marino's $925,000
entry-level contract - it's a good thing the Americans have an abundance
of talented, young defensemen. The emergence of Marino, Quinn Hughes
and Adam Fox this year is a sign of great things to come for the
Americans. In 2022, they'd all have a good shot at making the Olympic
team, if the NHL was to actually go. Seth Jones and John Carlson are the
pillars of this squad and were untouchable, but leaving off Werenski
was a tough pill to swallow.
Moving on to the goaltending situation, there was a blessing in
disguise. Connor Hellebuyck has been the NHL's best goaltender this
season and leaving him off borders on a travesty, but can you go wrong
with Ben Bishop? Bishop was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last year
and when he's at his best, few can match ‘Big Ben'. There's a
$1.25-million cap gap between Bishop and Hellebuyck, so while nickel and
diming elsewhere hasn't been effective, it worked in this situation.
Alex Stalock was an unheralded star in Minnestoa before the break and
Jack Campbell is a reliable backup goalie, so while it's not the best
goaltending trio out there, it's more than capable of stealing
The important thing here is that when you need to win, you need your
best players. Of the top 15 American forwards in league scoring, 10 of
them didn't make it. But that's the cost of keeping the best players.
It's a challenge having to devote such a large cap hit to just three
players, but Eichel or Kane will bring a team much more value than
Larkin or Miller. The former two are among the best players in the
league for a reason - you just can't leave them off. But it takes a toll
on the rest of the lineup - this is far from the best version of the
American national team, but the best under the cap-compliant
Posted 07 Sep 2020

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