#1 recent Grand Slam title von shushu 22.02.2019 04:26

TORONTO -- After taking a sip of water at the start of his news conference, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis made sure to thank the players who were around last season and left on the first day of free agency. "I just wanted to thank them for what they attempted to do over the last 12 months and wish them all the best going forward," Nonis said. Attempted might be the most important word after the Leafs went from being almost surely playoff bound to collapsing with an eight-game losing streak. Gone from that group are centres Dave Bolland and Mason Raymond, who signed elsewhere Tuesday. In come defenceman Stephane Robidas, signed to a US$9-million, three-year deal, and forward Leo Komarov, signed to an $11.8-million, four-year deal, along with forward Matt Frattin, re-acquired in a trade that sent winger Jerry DAmigo to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Its Noniss hope that those players change the Leafs mix back to more of what it was like in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, when they made the playoffs. "The compete level that we had two years ago, I think was at or near the top of the league," Nonis said. "We got more out of our players, the coaches did, the players themselves did in terms of pushing each other, than we did last year -- no question about it. Some of the players that were talking about either were here and will help us get that back or have a history of doing that. That was a focus for us." Robidas at 37 brings 885 games of experience to Toronto, along with a right-handed shot. He broke his leg while playing in the playoffs for the Anaheim Ducks but started skating last week and expects to be ready for Day 1 of training camp. Komarov returns from the 2013 Leafs after a year with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. He had four goals and five assists in 42 games that season, but the 27-year-old Finn is expected to have a much bigger role this time around. "Leo offers a lot more than I think even we got out of him two years ago," said Nonis, who met with Komarov in Finland and "laid that out so that he knew that he wasnt just a fourth-line guy that was playing six minutes a night, that we feel that he can do more." Komarovs return could help fill the void left by the departure of Bolland, who signed for five years and $27.5 million with the Florida Panthers. Bolland said on a conference call with local media that the Leafs were close to bringing him back. "We were getting there," the 28-year-old Toronto native said. "We were just a little bit apart." Nonis did not begrudge Bolland for taking the more lucrative deal with the Panthers. "We feel our offer was very fair, very strong, it reflected his value to us," he said. "He chose to go somewhere else, thats his right. Hell be a good player for them ... The only way to prevent that from happening was to spend more than we felt was appropriate, and I dont think thats something we wanted to get into." Raymond also got more money than the Leafs were willing to pay: three years and $9.5 million from the Calgary Flames. Being closer to home was part of the Cochrane, Alta., natives decision to go there. Even before signing in Calgary, Raymond expected changes around the Leafs under new president Brendan Shanahan and after the teams late-season collapse. "I think we all wouldve loved to finish a lot better," Raymond said in a phone interview. "When you have new management or different changes within the organization, that (roster moves are) susceptible to happen." What Bolland and Raymond have in common is they werent around for the Leafs somewhat-expected 2013 season that Nonis seems to want to replicate. Komarov and Frattin, who was sent to Los Angeles a year ago in the deal that brought goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Leafs, were. "We talked a little about the chemistry that we had two years ago and the work ethic and i think players playing outside their comfort zone," Nonis said. "Those are two players that played a big part in it." Notes -- Nonis said if a trade for restricted-free-agent goaltender James Reimer was there and made sense, the Leafs would make it. Otherwise, he reiterated, Reimer could be back next season. ... The process of hiring assistant coaches is still ongoing with no resolution as of Tuesday. Stan Smith Outlet Italia . The 19-year-old from Westmount, Que., was edged 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-3 by third-seeded Alize Cornet of France. Cornet broke Bouchard twice in the last set and saved six break points in the three-hour match. Stan Smith Offerta .J. - Percy Harvin is ready to go, and theres no question in his mind hell be playing Sunday. http://www.stansmithscontate.it/ . The victory strengthened Liverpools position in the top four after Tottenham lost 1-0 at Norwich in the days late kickoff, cutting the north London club six points adrift of fourth place and the final Champions League slot for next season. Stan Smith Italia . Griffin scored 13 of his 31 points in the final 7:05 and Dudley got 11 of his 20 points in the third quarter, leading the defending Pacific Division champions to a 112-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night. "Dud is a shooter. Stan Smith Uomo Saldi . - Dolphins safety Louis Delmas has been carted off the field with a right knee injury against the Ravens.LONDON -- Novak Djokovics large lead in the rollicking Wimbledon final was slipping away, due in no small part to Roger Federers regal presence and resurgent play. No man has won tennis oldest major tournament more often than Federer, and he was not about to let it go easily. Djokovic went from being a point from victory in the fourth set to suddenly caught in the crucible of a fifth, and knew all too well that he had come up short in recent Grand Slam title matches. Steeling himself when he so desperately needed to, Serbias Djokovic held on for a 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 victory after nearly four hours of momentum shifts Sunday to win Wimbledon for the second time -- and deny Switzerlands Federer what would have been a record eighth championship at the All England Club. "I could have easily lost my concentration in the fifth and just handed him the win. But I didnt, and thats why this win has a special importance to me, mentally," Djokovic said. "I managed to not just win against my opponent, but win against myself, as well, and find that inner strength." Cradling his trophy during the post-match ceremony, Djokovic addressed Federer directly, saying: "I respect your career and everything you have done. And thank you for letting me win today." Even Federer had to smile at that line. Truth is, Djokovic deserved plenty of credit for figuring out a way to raise his Grand Slam total to seven titles and allows him to overtake Rafael Nadal at No. 1 in the rankings. "Novak deserved it at the end, clearly," said Federer, who hadnt been to a Grand Slam final since winning his 17th major at Wimbledon in 2012, "but it was extremely close." Federer, who turns 33 next month, won 88 of 89 service games through the semifinals and produced 29 aces in the final, but Djokovic broke him four times. Federer went to the net aggressively, only to see Djokovic zoom more than a dozen passing shots past him. And with most of the Centre Court crowd of about 15,000 raucously cheering for Federer, the 27-year-old Djokovic kept believing in himself. That part might have been the most difficult, given that Djokovic lost his past three major finals, and five of his past six, including against Andy Murray at Wimbledon last year, and aagainst Nadal at the French Open last month.dddddddddddd "Started doubting, of course, a little bit," Djokovic said. "I needed this win a lot." Boris Becker, the three-time Wimbledon champion who began coaching Djokovic this season, called the new champion "the biggest competitor" and praised "his sense of not giving up, giving it always another try." "It couldve gone either way in the fifth set," said Becker, whose former rival as a player, Stefan Edberg, coaches Federer. "Novak finds another way. He digs deep and finds another way." Djokovic built a 5-2 lead in the fourth set and served for the championship at 5-3. But Federer broke there for the first time all afternoon, smacking a forehand winner as Djokovic slipped and fell on a patch of brown dirt. Djokovic took a nastier tumble in the second set, hurting his left leg and prompting the first of two medical timeouts; he got his right calf massaged by a trainer in the fifth. With Federer serving at 5-4 in the fourth, he double-faulted to 30-all, then netted a backhand for 30-40 -- handing Djokovic a match point. Federer hit a 118 mph (190 kph) serve that was called out, but he challenged the ruling, and the replay showed the ball touched a line for an ace. That was part of Federers five-game run to force a fifth set. It would be another 42 minutes until Djokovic again stood so close to triumph. "Cant believe I made it to five," Federer said. "Wasnt looking good there for a while." In truth, after so much drama, the ending was anticlimactic. Trailing 5-4 but serving, Federer missed four groundstrokes, pushing a backhand into the net on Djokovics second match point. Victory his, Djokovic knelt on the most hallowed tennis court in the world, plucked a blade of grass and shoved it in his mouth, just as he did after his 2011 Wimbledon title. He dedicated this victory to his pregnant fiancee "and our future baby," and to Jelena Gencic, his first tennis coach, who died last year. "This is the best tournament in the world, the most valuable one," Djokovic said. "The first tennis match that I ever (saw) in my life, when I was 5 years old, was Wimbledon, and that image stuck (in) my mind." ' ' '

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