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 Post subject: for the Sabres
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:13 pm 
TORONTO - As the country celebrated Canada Day two years ago the Raptors sent a small army to Manhattan, led by then general manager Bryan Colangelo, in an effort to recruit the most coveted free agent point guard on the market. The Raptors contingent - which included Dwane Casey, Jay Triano and Larry Tanenbaum - pulled out all the stops trying to sell Canadas own Steve Nash on a move to Toronto. After a two-hour meeting, highlighted by a video presentation featuring hockey icon Wayne Gretzky, the Raptors left Nash with a generous offer. Days later he turned them down, opting for less money and a better shot at a championship in Los Angeles. Colangelo went forward with his Plan B, a trade for Rockets point guard Kyle Lowry. Now the Raptors find themselves in a similar predicament, only this time the approach couldnt have been more dissimilar. They didnt send a front office mob, there was no video cameo made by The Great One. This time they left the kitchen sink in Toronto. Instead, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and head coach Dwane Casey had a quiet sit down with Lowry in his hometown of Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon. True to form Ujiri and his coach exuded confidence. Calm, cool and collected, the Raptors brass did not find it necessary to camp out on Lowrys front porch at 12:01 AM, the time in which teams were able to officially commence negotiation with free agents. Their sales pitch centred on a simple premise, one that the team had already been preaching publicly for months - they want him back. What they didnt say, and would be reluctant to admit, is that they need him back. Rightly or wrongly, the perception that players dont want to come to or stay in Canada has dogged the Raptors since their inception. After all, Nash wasnt the first player to spurn the Raptors. Theres a long history of it in fact. Damon Stoudamire was the first star to want out, followed by Vince Carter - the franchises best player - seven years later. Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh each bolted via free agency, while both Kenny Anderson and Alonzo Morning refused to even put on the jersey. The new regime intends to snuff that stigma once and for all. Along with MLSE boss Tim Leiweke and global ambassador extraordinaire Drake, Ujiri has helped empower a fan base that had lost hope prior to their arrival a year ago. "Why cant I change it," Ujiri said, challenging that perception as he was introduced as the Raptors new GM last June. "Its our job to make it better, its our job to make it good, its our job to create a winning environment and thats why Im here." With the embattled franchise finally on the precipice of turning the page and changing a culture that has beset them for the better part of the last 20 years, the stakes are much higher now than they were in 2012 when they struck out on Nash. For all the progress the Raptors made in 2014, turning heads as a result of their breakout campaign, spirited playoff run and We The North campaign, the wind could be taken out of their sails in a hurry should Lowry fly the coop, especially if he leaves for Houston or Miami. This is their first big test, one they dont intend to - and cant afford to - fail. Lowry is Torontos No. 1 priority, theyve made no secret of that. "Were going to go full force," Ujiri promised last week. And they have. The Raptors initial offer to Lowry was substantial, said to be in the $11-$12 million range annually over a four or potentially five-year term. A salary in that range would make Lowry the seventh highest paid point guard in 2014-15, not including Kyrie Irving whose max extension wont take into effect until the following season. Of course, theres more to Ujiris pursuit of Lowry than just pride. The Raptors GM would happily show Lowry, or any other player the door if he felt theyre not worth their price tag. Like any other investment, Lowry is a calculated risk but the Raptors are betting the 2013-14 version will be more of the norm than an anomaly going forward. Its because hes a player worthy of the money that Ujiri has done - and will continue to do - everything in his power to keep Lowry in a Raptors uniform. Still, the decision belongs to Lowry. The 28-year-old will take a few days to weigh his options with his family and agent Andy Miller as Raptors fans hold their collects breath. With Torontos 20th year anniversary season around the corner, keeping Lowry would go a long way in the continued saga to rewrite the franchises troubled history. Achat Air Max Pas Cher . As each game passes (each has played close with the exception of last night) it becomes clearer just how evenly matched these two teams are and how one mistake, or one bad inning, is likely to sway the result. Chaussure Air Max Pas Cher . The team made the announcement after Saturdays 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. RHP Kenny Giles will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill Adams spot on the roster. http://www.airmaxpascherfrance.fr/ . Austin Watson, Scott Ford, Filip Forsberg and Mark Van Guilder had the other goals for the Admirals (30-21-12). Scott Darling made 30 saves for his 10th win of the season. Site Air Max Pas Cher . Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter also scored for the Americans, who avoided a repeat of Finlands upset at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., in November. Finnish goalie Noora Raty made 58 saves in that one, but the three-time Olympian could stop just 40 of 43 U. Air Max Pas Cher Livraison Rapide .The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia.Letestu had three goals and two assists in nine games before being injured in late October.The 29-year-old has 54 goals and 65 assists in 273 career NHL games, including 39 goals and 51 assists in 188 games with the Blue Jackets.Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Miller faced his former team for the first time and his 20 saves helped the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Miller played against the team he won a Vezina Trophy with for the first time since being traded to St. Louis last February. He had a chance to play them late last season while with the Blues, but opted to sit out. His strong game saw his former team drop its 14th straight game, all in regulation, as the team is suffering through a franchise-record losing streak. Bo Horvat, Radim Vrbata, Chris Higgins, Nick Bonino and Yannick Weber all scored for the Canucks, who had lost two straight coming in. Chris Stewart had both the goals for the Sabres, who have also lost 14 straight games on the road. Matt Hackett allowed four goals on 37 shots in the loss. Buffalo took the initial lead in this game on the power play as Stewart stuffed in a rebound four minutes in, but Vancouver tied the game late in the first when Horvat jammed the puck in during a melee in front. The Canucks went on top in the second on a pair of power-play goals, wiith the first coming at 1:43 on Webers wrister on the fly from the right circle.dddddddddddd Less than three minutes later, it was a 3-1 game as Vancouver had the puck down low and Bonino swatted it in out of mid-air for his 11th of the year. It seemed once we got those (goals), then we started to play better, said Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins. Buffalo got another power-play goal from Stewart as he attempted a pass from the left side that hit off a Canuck in front and went in at 14:16 of the second. Vancouver took a 4-2 lead at 5:31 of the third off a crisp play that saw Dan Hamhuis fire a pass from the left point to the slot where Christopher Tanev handed it over to the low right side and Higgins one-timed it home. Vrbatas empty-netter in the final minute accounted for the final score. Game Notes Vancouver hosts Minnesota on Sunday ... Buffalo, which last won a game on Dec. 27 at home against the Islanders, and last won a road game on Nov. 29 at Montreal, plays in Montreal on Tuesday ... Vancouver was 2-for-4 on the power play, while Buffalo went 2-for-6. 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