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Jan 8, 2013 7:48pm
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MONTREAL —Alexandre Despatie doesnt remember hitting his head on the diving
board during training, and says that may be a good thing going into London
Olympics. Deion Branch Jersey . The two-time Olympic
silver medallist, who suffered a concussion and nasty gash on his forehead
during practice June 12 in Spain, confirmed his participation at the 2012 Games
at a news conference Thursday. His Olympic future looked in doubt when he banged
his head while training for the Madrid Grand Prix. Despatie was admitted into
hospital and required surgery to close a 10-centimetre wound near his hairline.
“For sure, its a concern, but the good thing is that I dont remember what
happened,” Despatie said. “There was a four or five minute period where I dont
recall anything.” Initial neurological tests indicated the 27-year-old from
Laval, Que., hadnt suffered a concussion but a specialist in Canada confirmed
otherwise. Despatie says he is back in the pool training a few days ahead of
schedule, although he has yet to work on the dives he will use in competition.
He said that due to the concussion, getting back to Olympic form is a
step-by-step process that cannot be rushed, but he feels hes doing well. He will
leave with the team for Italy in a few days to begin the final stage of
preparation. “Its a big challenge with the adversity Ill face until the end of
this process,” he said. “But Im going to the Games to do my best.” There is
concern the injury may diminish his chances of claiming a medal in London, but
Despatie said he never focused on prizes even when at full health. “It was never
a question of medals or scores for me,” he said. “On the day of the competition,
I just want to have my best performance ever and get the best result possible.”
Despatie won silver in springboard at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens to become
the first Canadian male to earn an Olympic diving medal. Despite breaking his
foot a few weeks prior to the 2008 Games in Beijing, Despatie won silver again.
“Thank you to all the fans, the public that sent so many encouraging notes,”
Despatie said. “It means a lot to me. You have no idea. “It was a bit
overwhelming, but Im very happy that you guys are proud of me and Ill do
everything I can to make you proud still.” Brandon Lloyd Jersey . With the second half
getting under way later this week, there are many unanswered questions. Lets
APPEARANCE SINCE 1992? First-place Pittsburgh is undoubtedly the biggest
surprise team of the first half. Kyle Love Jersey . A three-run third inning
helped the Goldeyes beat the Sioux City Explorers 5-3 Tuesday night in front of
7,012 fans at Shaw Park. http://www.nflpatriotsgearshop.com/tom-brady-jersey/
. Jordan Lyles let them do just that, keeping the Reds hitless until the third
and going seven strong innings to lead the Astros to a 5-3 win over Cincinnati.
Justin Maxwell had a two-run homer to help the Astros snap a season-worst
eight-game skid. Elite Rob Gronkowski Jersey . —
Jeremy Guthrie delivered a quality start for the Kansas City Royals on Friday
night against the potent Texas Rangers offence. White Rob Gronkowski Jersey . Former Toronto
Maple Leaf Tie Domi told TSN Radio 1050 on Thursday that he and fellow team
alumnus Mats Sundin will likely play in Winter Classic Alumni game for the
Leafs.SUNRISE, Fla. – Scott Clemmensen watched the direction of the Florida
Panthers change with a roster overhaul last summer. And because he believes
better days are ahead, hes not leaving anytime soon. Clemmensen and Florida
agreed on a two-year extension, the first move the team announced Sunday when
the NHLs free agent window opened. The Panthers also announced two-year
contracts with defenceman Filip Kuba—a Florida draft pick in 1995—and
right wing George Parros, the enforcer who played for Anaheim when the Ducks won
the Stanley Cup in 2007. “I said it at the end of the year and it still holds
true today and last week and four months ago,” Clemmensen said. “I want to be a
Panther. Im just glad we were able to reach a deal and Im able to remain a
Panther. Im very excited about it.” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said
the team is still aiming to add offence, but was satisfied with Sundays work.
“They are hockey moves, solid hockey moves with guys that wanted to come here,”
Tallon said. “We solidified our goaltending and our defence and added some grit
and toughness to our front line and protected a couple of spots for some of our
young guys to come in and make our club. Were still not done. We still have a
few things in the fryer right now.” Clemmensen was 14-6-6 in 30 regular-season
appearances last season for the Southeast Division champions. He went 1-2 with a
2.35 goals-against average in the playoffs against New Jersey, essentially
splitting time in that series with Jose Theodore, who is under contract for one
more season but may not be back. Vancouver is willing to trade goaltender
Roberto Luongo—a former Panther who still has many ties to South Florida,
along with 10 years left on his contract. The Luongo-to-Florida buzz has been
growing steadily for weeks, although Clemmensen said Sunday that he enjoyed
working with Theodore this past season when the Panthers snapped a 12-year
post-season drought and won their first division title. “If things change, then
obviously you adjust accordingly,” Clemmensen said. “But ffrom my side, and my
point of view as of right now, Im not really going to worry about what trades or
signings might or might not happen. Black Rob Gronkowski Jersey. . You play the
hand that youre dealt and you play to the best of your ability and you go
forward from there.” Kuba was an eighth-round pick by the Panthers 17 years ago
and last played for the Panthers on Jan. 6, 2000. He was traded to Calgary in
March 2000, then claimed in the expansion draft by Minnesota three months later.
Kuba played five seasons with the Wild, two more with Tampa Bay and the last
four with Ottawa. He has 69 goals and 254 assists in 792 NHL games. “Filip is an
experienced player who adds further depth to our blue line,” Tallon said. “He is
a big, strong and responsible, shutdown defenceman.” Kubas signing indicated
that defenceman Jason Garrison, who had 16 goals and 17 assists for Florida last
season, would not be back with the Panthers. Hours later, that was confirmed
when Vancouver announced it signed Garrison, a British Columbia native, to a
six-year deal. Parros, former Princeton player, has 950 penalty minutes in 413
NHL games, all but 57 of those with the Ducks. Parros—probably best known for
his dark, distinctive moustache—wrote on Twitter that he leaves Anaheim with
“a heavy heart.” Parros said the Panthers return to the playoffs last season
made him and plenty of other players around the league see Florida differently.
“Florida impressed a lot of people and was on everyones radar,” Parros said. “I
think we all saw that. It seems like that theyve got a good young team
together.” Tallon said the reception hes been getting from free agents have been
positive for that reason. “People are starting to look at us and weve been
contacted by a lot of top players,” Tallon said. “Were excited about our
future.” Also Sunday, the Panthers announced one-year, two-way contracts with
centre Greg Rallo and goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris—who both played for
Floridas AHL club in San Antonio last season—as well as right wing Jon
Rheault. ’ ’ ’ 

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