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Nov 15, 2012 12:15am
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MONTREAL - These are trying times for Michael Ryder. Ryan Fitzpatrick Youth Jersey . The Montreal
Canadiens winger, a 30-goal scorer the last two seasons, isnt sure from day to
day not only whether hell be in the lineup, but whether hell still be wearing
red, white and blue. The rumours grow louder as the NHLs Feb. 26 trading
deadline approaches. “You never know whats going to happen,” the Bonavista,
N.L., native said Thursday. “Im still part of this team. “If the plans for me
are elsewhere, I guess Ill just have to wait and see and do what I can here with
this team. I have to contribute as much as I can.” Ryder has played on one-year
contracts his first four seasons in the NHL and can be an unrestricted free
agent this summer. Most of the talk lately has been about a deal with the
Atlanta Thrashers involving star right-winger Marian Hossa. Reports – denied by
Atlanta coach and general manager Don Waddell – say the Thrashers have given
Montreal permission to talk contract with Hossas agent. As usual, many names
have been thrown around in the media, including Ryders slumping former linemate
Chris Higgins and highly regarded defence prospect Alexei Yemelin, now playing
in Russia. It may all be hogwash, but it is true that there has been a heavy
presence of Atlanta scouts at Montreal games of late, including a visit by
Waddell himself for a game against the New York Rangers on Sunday. Ryder gets to
hear about it every day. “I dont follow the rumours in the media, to be honest,”
he said. “I think it would be too much of a distraction if I did.” The six-foot,
185-pound winger has enough to worry about keeping his spot in the lineup,
although he said it helps that the team has been winning and his own lack of
production hasnt been a drag on the club. The Ryder-Higgins-Saku Koivu line was
Montreals best last season, particularly in the second half, but all three have
slumped of late and have been put onto different lines. The Tomas Plekanec-Alex
Kovalev-Andrei Kostitsyn trio has carried the team for most of the season. The
Canadiens asked Ryder to pick up his defensive play after going minus-25 last
season and he has done that – he was only minus-4 going into a game Thursday
night against Toronto. But it seems to have come at the expense of his best
asset – his ability to pot goals with regularity. After scoring only three times
in the first two months of the season, Ryder suffered the indignity of being
made a healthy scratch for a game Dec. 6 against Boston. Three games later, he
was in the pressbox again for a game in Philadelphia. After sitting out three
more in late December, he seemed to snap out of it, scoring three goals in a
four-game span, but more lethargy followed and he was back in street clothes for
two games this week. Coach Guy Carbonneau has tried bumping him to checking
lines, reuniting him with Higgins and Koivu, taking him on and off the power
play. Nothing has worked for long. “Obviously, his scoring is down and when you
dont score you have to be able to do something,” said Carbonneau. “Im not saying
his work ethic is not there, but weve given him chances. “I just want him to
show me a little more that he wants to stay in the lineup every game. But we
have other players that can do different kinds of stuff and right now theyre
playing well.” Many players over many years have been in Ryders position – not
playing well enough to earn ice time, but feeling they need more ice time to
play better. “Its tough when youre in and out of the lineup,” said Ryder, who
turns 28 on March 3. “Its hard to get into a rhythm. “Its not easy, thats for
sure, but I know I can score and that I will. Its just getting back into the
rhythm and getting more ice. I have to work hard and make sure I get that. “For
the last month and a half or whatever, Ive been trying to think more
defensively,” he added. “I havent been scoring, but Ive been playing well in the
role Ive been put in.” Fred Jackson Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Steve Johnson Womens Jersey . The cause of
the pain was not immediately clear. A Magic spokesman says Richardson is with
the team and in the arena, and indicated that the problem is not believed to be
serious. http://www.billsteamstore.com/bryan-scott-jerseys
. —Yankees closer Mariano Rivera threw his third consecutive scoreless inning
in New Yorks 6-3 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday. Ryan Fitzpatrick Womens Jersey . Wright sat
out games on Tuesday and Wednesday after learning he broke his finger diving
back to a base Monday night. He was examined by a hand specialist for the second
straight day Thursday. Steve Johnson Youth Jersey . —Chicago Bears
running back Matt Forte expects to play Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys
after missing a game because of a sprained right ankle.DALLAS—The Dallas
Morning News is reporting Rangers outfielder and recovering drug addict
Josh Hamilton had a relapse earlier this week when he drank alcohol at a bar.
The newspaper, citing unidentified “individuals familiar with the episode,”
reported Thursday night that Hamilton was drinking at a Dallas area bar Monday.
In a statement to the newspaper, the Rangers said they were “aware of a
situation, but we dont have further comment at this time.” Hamilton, 30, was
suspended for more than three years for drug and alcohol use while in the Tampa
Bay organization. He missed the entire 2004-05 seasons. He won the AL MVP in
2010. This was Hamiltons second alcohol-related relapse in three years. In
January, 2009, he drank to excess in a bar in Tempe, Ariz. Before that, Hamilton
said he hadnt taken a drink of alcohol since Oct. 6, 2005. When the Rangers
acquired the 28-year-old outfielder from the Cincinnati Reds on Dec. 21, 2007,
they were aware of Hamiltons off-the-field problems and came out with a “zero
tolerance” policy rregarding his drinking. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Jersey
. He is tested for drug use three times a week and has had an
accountability partner to support him in his recovery—though that job is now
vacant. The Rangers announced last month that Hamiltons father-in-law had been
hired as a staff special assistant to be the accountability partner for the
slugger. But Michael Dean Chadwick has since decided against accepting that
position due to “family considerations.” Hitting coach Johnny Narron filled that
role before he left in November for Milwaukee. Narron joined the Rangers when
Hamilton was acquired four years ago in a trade from Cincinnati. His primary
role was to support the former No. 1 overall draft pick, who rebounded from his
substance-abuse problems to become one of the top players in baseball. Hamilton
can become a free agent after this season, and has said he will not negotiate an
extension after he reports to spring training. He said he plans to leave for
spring training on Feb. 17, a full week before the full-squad reporting date in
Arizona. ’ ’ ’ 

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