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Nov 9, 2012 8:31pm
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

LOS ANGELES —The Stanley Cup barely had the Los Angeles Kings fingerprints on
it before Darryl Sutter suggested they should start preparing to win it again.
Ryan Tannehill Jersey . “The first thing you
think about as a coach, these guys are all young enough, theyve got to try it
again,” the coach said Monday night, mere moments after raising the Cup for the
first time himself. Thats just how a pragmatic farmer from Alberta thinks about
everything, and Sutter didnt allow his mental preparations for a sequel to stop
him from celebrating this irreplaceable moment with his players. The Kings
partied until well after midnight at a restaurant overlooking the Staples Center
ice, where Los Angeles completed its 16-4 rampage through the post-season to the
franchises first NHL title. After nearly 45 years without a Cup, after 4 1/2
decades with one division title and one conference crown to show for their
existence, and after eight straight years from 2002-10 without making the
playoffs, Los Angeles and its Kings had earned every minute of it. Music boomed
and drinks flowed for a few hundred friends, family members and Kings employees
hanging with the players. Everybody seemingly got a chance to raise the Cup
above their heads for triumphant photos, and a few unhappy toddlers were forced
to sit in the bowl. The Conn Smythe Trophy also attended, and plenty of people
borrowed Jonathan Quicks hardware long enough to chant “M-V-P!” for themselves.
The Kings werent thinking much about how they became the first eighth seed to
win a title, or how they won 10 straight road games this spring, or how they
made the second-fastest run in modern NHL history to the Stanley Cup. They
already knew. “Its got to come from the room, and guys have to make a decision
to work,” said Quick, the record-setting goalie who carried the Kings through
long stretches of the regular season. “I think we did that. You cant say enough
about this group and how hard they worked.” And then everybody danced, ate and
sang at a party 45 years in the making. Later, several players took the Cup to
one of their favourite pubs in Hermosa Beach, one of the beautiful South Bay
seaside towns where nearly all of the Kings live when they arent chasing hockey
hardware. This party will go on all week, too. The Cup and several Kings are
scheduled to make appearances on “The Tonight Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and
a parade down Figueroa Street is scheduled for Thursday, with thousands of
Southern Californias devoted hockey fans expected to turn out for their first
title celebration. Los Angeles is a hockey town right now, with everything from
downtown postgame celebrations to congratulatory billboards hung around the
city, including a greeting from Patron tequila on the iconic Sunset Strip.
Thousands of drivers are flying Kings colours on the citys much-mocked car
flags, and the parade should be a culmination of the best time in club history
since Wayne Gretzky ruled the Forum. Its good to be a King, whether youre rookie
surprise Dwight King or any King at all. And theyve got no reason to think next
year cant be just as exciting. The Kings surge actually began in the regular
season when a talented roster came together in the final 20 games or so.
Although they never even faced elimination in the post-season, it was a distinct
possibility during the regular season, when they didnt clinch a playoff spot
until right before their 81st game. Los Angeles was a changed team after a
high-risk trade of puck-moving defenceman Jack Johnson for power forward
Jeff Carter, who scored two goals—including what turned out to be the
game-winner—in the Kings 6-1 Cup-clinching victory over New Jersey in Game 6.
Everything changed for the NHLs lowest-scoring team around the time of that
trade, culminating in a fitting footnote: Los Angeles hadnt scored six goals in
any game this season until the cup clincher. The Kings got at least one goal
from 17 players in the post-season, with all four lines and three defensive
pairings making significant contributions. Los Angeles older players, including
elder statesman Willie Mitchell and tenacious forward Simon Gagne, played
seamlessly alongside youngsters Drew Doughty, who lived up to his lavish $56
million contract after a rocky start to the year, and King, who repeatedly
provided scoring punch and physical play. When Sutter and general manager Dean
Lombardi start looking toward next season, theyll know most of that roster is
already signed. The few free agents probably could be tied up if Los Angeles
brass wants the same players to attempt a repeat—assuming the NHL and the
players union resolve a potentially sticky labour dispute that could leave the
Kings with plenty of extra time to take the Cup home to friends and family. Los
Angeles top unrestricted free agents are forwards Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner
and Colin Fraser. Stoll was a steadying veteran influence and key special-teams
player all season, while Penner is an imposing physical presence on an
impressive playoff line with Carter and Mike Richards. Yet neither Stoll nor
Penner played particularly well during the regular season, giving the Kings
plenty of factors to weigh when deciding whether to enter the bidding for their
services. The entire defence is signed for next year, while forwards Carter,
Richards and first-liners Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams are all
signed for at least two seasons. Lombardi undoubtedly will need to find money to
do a long-term deal with goalie Jonathan Quick, who has one more season at $1.8
million left on his deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2013.
Quick will command top dollar after his breakthrough season and newfound elite
status, and the Kings are aware how much of their success rests on his slight
shoulders. No matter what moves Lombardi makes, the Kings will defend their
first title with the knowledge theyve overcome every obstacle the NHL can throw
at them. Their spectacular playoff run was only possible because the Kings met
every challenge before it became critical, and their mellow summer of
celebration is the reward. “These guys, since March 1st, theyve lost about six
games,” Sutter said. “Theyve taken a lot of public negativity towards them. Look
what theyve just done. Pretty awesome. Tells you what type of players they are.”
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his right ankle, crumpled to the ground and limped off the court. Although he
returned in the second half, he did not make another basket and the Celtics held
on to beat the depleted Hawks 90-84 in overtime Friday night to take a 2-1 lead
in the best-of-seven series. Cameron Wake Jersey . But he says its
impossible to speak about it seriously until such a bid has been submitted.
Jacques Rogge made the remarks at the close of several days of IOC meetings in
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. Ty Lawson scored 32 points, fellow spark plug Corey Brewer added 18 and the
free-wheeling, too-young-to-scare Nuggets forced a Game 7 in their first-round
playoff series with a dominating 113-96 win Thursday night. Dan Marino Jersey . The fourth-ranked Federer
took time to find the rhythm in his ground strokes, and saved a break point at
5-all before winning the first-set tiebreaker comfortably. The 30-year-old Swiss
then broke the 54th-ranked Staraces serve in the opening game of the second. Karlos Dansby Jersey . The 37-year-old
Hernandez was 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA and one save—the first of his 17-year
career—with the Braves. He gave up seven hits and five runs in 1 2-3 innings
against Toronto in his last appearance Sunday.Pro football has failed twice
before in Ottawa, but Russ Jackson believes the CFL has got it right this time
around. On Tuesday, the CFL awarded a conditional expansion franchise to an
Ottawa-based ownership group headed up by respected junior hockey owner Jeff
Hunt. The condition is the ownership group securing a lease agreement at Frank
Clair Stadium, which has been earmarked for redevelopment after the southside
stands were condemned last fall. The ownership group certainly believes that
hurdle can be overcome. It committed to pay a C$7-million fee to the CFL for a
franchise thats not expected to play its first game until 2010, at the earliest.
This would mark the leagues third stint in the Canadian capital following the
folding of the Rough Riders in 96 and suspension of the Renegades franchise
prior to the 06 campaign. Both the Rough Riders and Renegades faltered while
being owned by American interests that neither called Ottawa home nor had close
ties to the city, its business community and, most importantly, its fans.
Jackson notes thats clearly not the case this time around, considering Hunts
prowess in making his Ottawa 67s OHL franchise successful in an NHL market.
Also, his football partners Roger Greenberg, William Shenkman and John Ruddy are
all prominent businessmen in the city. “The big difference, in my opinion, is
the fact theyre all local people,” Jackson said. “They are not out-of-towners,
so to speak. “I think if theyre going to have some success getting a franchise
back there and having a successful franchise that it had to be people from the
community that are known by the football fans and feel that its not another
fly-by-night situation that theyve had over the last decade.” Neil Lumsden, a
former CFL player and executive who helped the Ottawa Gee Gees win the 75 Vanier
Cup, agrees. “I dont think its necessary but its a good thing,” Lumsden said. “I
think they (new Ottawa owners) are approaching it in the right way . . . . there
isnt a hurry to make money and get this thing going because of a stable
ownership group. “At the same time, Robert Wettenhall (the Montreal Alouettes
American owner) isnt from Montreal. Hes around but I dont think he sticks his
nose in things because he has good people there and having the right people in
the right places is important.” The Rough Riders enjoyed a long and storied
120-year history in Ottawa, some of their best years coming during Jacksons
illustrious 12-year tenure at quarterback. Jackson, a Hamilton native, led the
Riders to three Grey Cup wins (1960, 68, 69) in four appearances, was named the
CFLs outstanding player three times (1963, 66, 69) and captured top Canadian
honours four times (59, 63, 66 and 69). Four years after retiring, Jackson was
named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and is also a member of the Order of
Canada. David Loeb became the Riders owner late in Jacksons career (1968, to be
exact) and operated the franchise 77 when he sold it to CHUM founder Allan
Waters. Under Loebs ownership, Ottawa won four East Division titles and four
Grey Cup crowns. But the franchise has reached only one Grey Cup since then (in
81 despite a 5-11-0 regular-season record) and staggered through several
ownership changes beforre folding in 1996.dddddddddddd. It was revived in 2002
under the Renegades name but lasted only three years before being suspended by
the CFL after co-owners Bernie Glieberman and Bill Smith wouldnt cover a
projected $6-million operation loss. Jackson believes Hunt and his partners are
not only connected to the community but have the sports marketing and business
acumen to succeed. “I think so,” he said. “I think the only criticism you might
hear from some people is you have three developers and are they here for
football or future reasons when Lansdowne Park gets developed? “I dont look at
it that way. I think theyre in it because they want football to be a success.
Jeff Hunt isnt going to be with a particular group thats not in there for the
right reasons.” Jackson and Lumsden both agree Ottawa football fans shouldnt be
blamed for the CFLs two prior failures there and fully expect spectators will
return once the new team begins play. “I think the fans were very supportive of
the team because they not only had some pretty poor ownership but some pretty
poor football teams on the field, too,” Jackson said. “Whenever they were called
on to step forward they were always there. You dont have to win a Grey Cup the
first couple of years but you have to be competitive.” Added Lumsden: “I dont
think you can ever blame the fan unless its a great stadium, youre 12-6 and
going to the playoffs every year and no one is showing up. Ive been (to Frank
Clair Stadium) many a time as a fan and its an awesome place to watch a game but
its not a pleasant place to be if  you want anything else other than sitting in
the stands. And still, theyve come. As long as the right people are put in the
right places its going to be successful. Theres no doubt in my mind.” And theres
no doubt in Lumsdens mind that Ottawa can become a football town. “Absolutely,”
he said. “They wondered if Ottawa was going to be a hockey town (when Senators
were re-born) . . . and until Eugene Melnyk stepped in I dont think people
believed it was truly a hockey centre and now I dont think anyone would debate
that. “Its not so much as where it is as how its done and who is doing it. Its
always about getting the right people, on or off the field.” Still, Jackson
admits the Ottawa ownership group face challenges outside of its stadium issue.
“No. 1, they have to get credibility with the people because there is a bit of a
new generation coming along that needs to support football,” Jackson said.
“Hopefully they can make inroads across the river in Quebec because football has
certainly jumped leaps and bounds in the province of Quebec. “I think A., 
theyve got to come up with a competitive team and B.,  theyre going to have to
look at the fact that some people have already spent their money in hockey
tickets and that wasnt the case in the past.” The new Ottawa franchise still
doesnt have a team name. Predictably, Jackson makes no bones about his first
choice. “For the history of the franchise I hope they go back to Rough Riders,”
he said. “It has been known as the Rough Riders, theres a 100-year history
related to the Ottawa Rough Riders.” ’ ’ ’ 

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