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BerichtGeplaatst: ma okt 08, 2018 10:52 am 

Geregistreerd: vr jul 27, 2018 11:19 am
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NASHVILLE Sam Huff Jersey , Tenn. (AP) — Predators captain Roman Josi heard about San Jose trading for Erik Karlsson just before talking with reporters at the start of Nashville’s training camp.

Yep, the Predators haven’t even raised the banner yet for winning the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s best team in the regular season, and it’s already ancient history — at least in the arms’ race that is the Western Conference.

Even with all the trades last season and more deals and signings during the offseason, the pace has only quickened as NHL teams prepared to open training camps. First, Vegas added Max Pacioretty from Montreal on Monday, and the Sharks tried to top that by picking up two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson from Ottawa.

“Those are two great players, and yeah it’s definitely a tough conference and we’re in a tough division too,” Josi said. “The whole season is tough. I mean your first goal is to make it into the playoffs, and it’s not an easy thing in our conference, in our division. You’ve got to be ready for it. It’s going to be a battle all year.”

The Predators essentially stood pat this offseason after posting 117 points to win their first Central Division title and Presidents’ Trophy. Their biggest move was signing defenseman Ryan Ellis to an extension before the season started and extending some other players. General manager David Poile did his best work during the season with a three-way trade bringing Kyle Turris to Nashville in November and adding Ryan Hartman at the deadline.

Nashville wound up losing in the Western Conference semifinals in seven games to Winnipeg. Still, the standard had been raised.

“It’s very competitive …,” San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said. “When teams go out and get better, it forces other people to get better.”

That’s exactly what everyone in the West has been trying to do.

Paul Stastny went from St. Louis to Winnipeg at the trade deadline last season http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/jason-croom-jersey , then he went to the Vegas Golden Knights this offseason as a free agent. The Sharks added Evander Kane last season and re-signed him to keep him around. This offseason, St. Louis acquired Ryan O’Reilly from Buffalo . Calgary signed forward James Neal after he spent a season with Vegas, and the Los Angeles Kings signed Ilya Kovalchuk .

“The West is like loaded right now,” Poile said. “It feels like anybody could not only make the playoffs, there’s going to be some unbelievable top teams that don’t make the playoffs this year. It should be fun and exciting for the fans and the players. It’s probably going to be nerve-wracking for us. If you’re going to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best, and I think the West certainly has more than its share of top teams.”

Turris can sympathize with what Karlsson will go through being traded. At least Karlsson will make the move during the preseason, but Turris said all the trades makes every game feel like a playoff game because of the competition.

“You got to bring you’re A-game every night,” Turris said. “Every team feels they have a shot, and (the conference), it’s just really tough.”

Defenseman P.K. Subban was involved in one of those big trades himself on June 30, 2016, when Montreal sent him to Nashville for another All-Star defenseman in Shea Weber. Subban said it’s a little different game going from the East to the West Womens Jason Demers Jersey , but he cautions against thinking the West absolutely is the conference to beat when it matters.

“Everybody had a Western Conference team pegged to win the whole thing, and Washington ends up winning,” Subban said.

“So I think as the season goes on, I think the body of work and through the games and with the amount of games that we play and the parity in the league, we see it. It’s tough every night, and it’s probably more clear who the top teams are. But once you get in the playoffs, it doesn’t really matter. Anything can happen.”

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) Norv Turner easily could have opted to keep traveling the world with his wife, writing country music songs and playing with his grandchildren.

At 66, who would have blamed him?

Instead, Turner decided to return for a 33rd season of NFL coaching as offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers.

Turner, who won two Super Bowls as a coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1990s, wasn’t necessarily looking to return to coaching after sitting out last season. But when approached about the Panthers’ job opening Mitch Unrein Jersey , Turner couldn’t resist the chance to reunite with head coach Ron Rivera – Turner’s assistant for four seasons when he was head coach of the San Diego Chargers.

He’s also joining his son, Panthers quarterbacks coach Scott Turner, and has the opportunity to coach a ”talented group” of players that includes 2015 league MVP quarterback Cam Newton.

”It’s a unique situation,” Turner said.

Turner joins a team that has his fingerprints all over it.

When Rivera was hired by the Panthers in 2011 – also Newton’s rookie season – he brought in Turner understudy Rob Chudzinski as his offensive coordinator. And when Mike Shula took over when Chudzinski left to coach the Cleveland Browns, many of Turner’s play calls remained. So it’s not like Turner is starting anew.

But he does have some new ideas.

”We are trying to build a complete offense and that will include things they have done here and it will include things they haven’t done here,” said Turner without elaborating on specifics.

Newton said the onus has been on Turner ”to take what we have done good and expand on it, rather than just ripping the sheets of paper up and having a this-is-my-way-or-the-highway mentality.”

So far the two say they’ve bonded well.

Turner was familiar with Newton because Scott worked with him during his first two seasons with the Panthers in his first stint as quarterbacks coach.

Turner said he likes the way Newton sees the entire field, but that his goal is to improve the quarterback’s decision-making skills.

”We want to make sure we get all of our eligible receivers involved,” Turner said.

Turner also wants to see Newton’s career 58.1 completion percentage increase significantly, something Newton has already said he’s eager to work on.

”That has to be my mentality,” Newton said . ”We have a lot of guys who can take two yards and turn it into 20 yards, or more. But it starts with me and I have to trust those guys and get the ball to them.”

The Panthers talked last season about limiting the wear and tear on Newton’s body after undergoing rotator cuff surgery in March 2017 by cutting down on his running.

Newton is 29 and entering his eighth NFL season.

But Turner put no restrictions on Newton, Carolina’s leading rusher last season and the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns rushing by a quarterback Robbie Gould Jersey , when he spoke after practice Thursday.

”Every game is different and all of sudden you are in a game where they are pressuring and he puts the ball down and runs three or four times, and then you have three or four runs called. … so there are games where he is going to carry the ball,” Turner said. ”And there are games where he is not going to carry the ball. A lot depends on how people defend us. A lot depends on how well we are playing, too.”

Turner did reiterate Rivera’s point that Christian McCaffrey will be a focal point of the offense, saying that 20-25 touches per game is not out of the question for the second-year running back.

The man who co-wrote a country music song called “Things I’ve Never Done,” with Stephen Ray, the son of former San Francisco 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci, is clearly enjoying the idea of doing what he’s done for more than three decades.

It is, after all, a unique situation for him.

”I am very comfortable with coach Rivera and the things he likes to do,” Turner said. ”We were together for four years, so nothing is a shock to me.”

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