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  1. French forward Sekou Doumbouya has submitted paperwork to the league office to make himself eligible for the 2019 NBA draft, his agent, Bouna Ndiaye of Comsport, told ESPN. View the full article on ESPN NBA
  2. Sheffield United beat 10-man Nottingham Forest to keep the pressure on Championship rivals Leeds in the automatic promotion race. View the full article from BBC Sport
  3. LOS ANGELES -- Kevin Durant had to remind everyone that he���s still Kevin Durant just in case y���all forgot he was Kevin Durant, so Kevin Durant dropped a performance Thursday that few players other than Kevin Durant can deliver. View the full article on NBA
  4. Last month, news broke that police had taken reports of child abuse and neglect involving Tyreek Hill. Now, there are reports that his son has been removed from his custody. The Kansas City Star is reporting that the three-year-old son of Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill has been removed from the custody of Hill and […] Report: Tyreek Hill’s son has been removed from his custody - FanSided - FanSided - Sports News, Entertainment, Lifestyle & Technology - 300+ Sites View the full article
  5. Leicester face a battle to keep hold of Youri Tielemans this summer, plus more from Friday's regional papers. View the full article on SkySports
  6. The latest updates ahead of the weekend’s action Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend Email Ben here, or tweet him @BenFisherJ. 2.39pm BST Surely a first for fifth-tier football matches ... such is the interest in Leyton Orient’s bid to return to the Football League, the club say they are aware of false tickets being sold for their crunch Easter Monday match-up with Solihull Moors on the black market. A brief Orient statement said: “We have received reports that fraudulent tickets for Solihull Moors on Monday are being sold on the Leyton High Street. These tickets are fake. Please don’t purchase tickets from unofficial sources.” National League leaders Orient, who have three games to play, host Harrogate Town this afternoon. 2.32pm BST A couple more nuggets of team news: a big boost for Aston Villa as Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings return to the starting XI at Bolton, Leeds are unchanged at home to Wigan, while there is no Jack Butland for Stoke against Rotherham, with the England goalkeeper absent following the birth of his son, George. Congratulations and best wishes to the Butland clan! Continue reading...View the full article on Guardian Football
  7. Improving Reading pick up another big away point as they hold Championship play-off contenders Bristol City at Ashton Gate. View the full article from BBC Sport
  8. BOSTON — Mike Babcock’s frustration didn’t stem from the Boston Bruins scoring on the power play — it was how the sequence unfolded. The Maple Leafs had gone over their opponent’s lethal man advantage earlier in the day, pointing out the Bruins’ ability to suck penalty killers in before striking. So when Charlie McAvoy snapped a shot past Frederik Andersen to finish off a crisp three-way setup, giving Boston a 1-0 lead early over Toronto in an eventual 6-4 victory that evened the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal 2-2, Babcock had reason to be annoyed. The post Maple Leafs’ Attention to Detail Is Critical for Game 5 appeared first on The Hockey Writers. View the full article
  9. Sheffield United piled the pressure back on Leeds in the race for automatic promotion, as they rallied to beat 10-man Nottingham Forest 2-0 at Bramall Lane. View the full article on SkySports
  10. PITTSBURGH — Jim Rutherford’s question was rhetorical. The answer — whenever the architect the Pittsburgh Penguins general manager arrives at it — will determine how the franchise emerges from the rubble of a first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the New York Islanders. “Are guys too content with where they’re at in their careers because they’ve won a couple of Stanley Cups?” Rutherford wondered aloud Thursday as his team packed up for its longest off-season in 13 years. Penguins at a Crossroads Just 22 months removed from becoming the first team in a generation to win consecutive championships , captain Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Penguins are at a crossroads. “It’s disappointing to have this long of an off-season,” said Crosby, who posted the sixth 100-point season of his career but managed just one against the Islanders. “It’s been a while since we’ve had this much time really.” Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) Failing to three-peat by losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champions in six hotly contested games against an archrival — as Pittsburgh did last spring when it lost to Washington in the second round — is one thing. Scoring just six goals while getting outskated, outplayed and outworked by a team with a new coach, a journeyman goaltender and little playoff success over the last quarter century is quite another. “(The Islanders) played the right way and they were eager to win,” Rutherford said. “They were determined and the Penguins weren’t.” Not the Penguins of the Past Maybe the end shouldn’t have been so stunning. Though the Penguins extended their playoff streak to 13 years and counting, they only sporadically played the kind of intelligent and responsible hockey coach Mike Sullivan has tried to instil from the moment he took over in December 2015. Injuries to stars like Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang didn’t help. Neither did a significant amount of roster turnover. Yet Pittsburgh’s best stretch came during a 10-3-3 sprint through March , one the Penguins made with Malkin and Letang available only occasionally. Sullivan pointed to an increased “co-operative effort” by the group with Malkin and Letang missing, a key ingredient in “what it takes to win.” When they returned full time for the playoffs, the cohesion vanished. Malkin ended a wildly uneven year by struggling to find the dominance that once came so easily. Letang, whose play over the first four-plus months helped the Penguins rebound from a decidedly sluggish start, had a handful of miscues against the Islanders that led immediately to pucks in the back of the Pittsburgh net. Pittsburgh Penguins Defenseman Kris Letang (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) The question going forward is whether Letang, Malkin and forwards Patric Hornqvist and Phil Kessel — all of whom will be 32 or older when next seasons open — can make the necessary adjustments to their respective games over the next six months to make sure they stick around for the rest of a championship window Rutherford insists remains open. All four have had highly successful careers and were integral parts of the core group that raised two Stanley Cup banners to the rafters at PPG Paints Arena. All four, however, also have a penchant for taking risks, gambles they could afford to make because their talent often helped them recover when those gambles went awry. That wiggle room is gone. The evidence came during a series in which the Penguins led for less than five minutes. To Change or Not to Change…That Is the Penguins Question Crosby — who will be in the conversation for the Selke Trophy given annually to the league’s top defensive forward — insists his longtime teammates can adapt. Letang isn’t really sure he has to. Asked if he will take a more defensive-oriented approach heading into his 14th season, he bristled. “At the end of the day, yeah, I wish I could have done something else at different times, but I don’t think the question is to change my whole game,” Letang said. “I’m not going to change three plays in my whole year for the type of game I play.” And there’s the dilemma for the front office. The Penguins have to decide whether they need to adjust their style or their personnel — or both. Whether they can find takers for veterans with their names on the Cup multiple times but also multiple years left on lucrative contracts will play a factor. Either way, Sullivan believes there needs to be a renewed focus when his team — however it is constituted — returns in September. Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan and assistant Sergei Gonchar stand behind their bench (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) “The challenge is to make sure that there’s 100 per cent buy-in throughout the lineup,” Sullivan said. “I think the area of our identity that we lost a little bit is the hard-to-play-against aspect.” Not So Thin Blue Line Rutherford defended the play of his defenders, Erik Gudbranson and Jack Johnson specifically. Both are big bodies not known for their skating. Gudbranson was solid after arriving in a trade with Vancouver while Johnson played all 82 games before being a curious healthy scratch for Game 1 against the Islanders. “I think our defence is probably the best that’s it has been since I’ve been here as a group,” Rutherford said. See Ya Dad? Matt Cullen had seven goals and 13 assists and remained a faceoff wizard — particularly in the defensive zone — in his 21st season. The 42-year-old, however, seems headed for retirement to spend more time with his wife and three boys. His leadership and character will be difficult to replace. “I think just he’s such a pro in the way he approached every day, the way he led by example, the way he treated guys,” Crosby said. “He can still play.” ___ More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Will Graves, The Associated Press The post Penguins Face Crucial Offseason After Flameout appeared first on The Hockey Writers. View the full article
  11. • US magazine puts Liverpool striker among 100 ‘most influential’ • ‘He’s a role model in so many different things,’ says manager Jürgen Klopp has welcomed Time magazine’s recognition of Mohamed Salah as an important step in confronting the prejudice that has given rise to Islamophobia. The Liverpool striker was this week named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by the American publication and featured as one of its six front-cover stars. The comedian and TV host John Oliver, a Liverpool fan, wrote the accompanying tribute to Salah in which he praised the 26-year-old as an iconic figure for “Egyptians, Scousers and Muslims the world over”. Continue reading...View the full article on Guardian Football
  12. Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City's dramatic Champions League defeat to Tottenham will "hurt" for some time. View the full article on SkySports
  13. The New Jersey Devils have more than a few players headed for restricted free agency this summer, with the most notable being Will Butcher and Pavel Zacha. The decision to re-sign them should be easy enough, but that won’t be the case for some of their other pending RFAs. Which players will general manager Ray Shero choose to re-sign? And which should he let go to unrestricted free agency? The Devils’ Biggest RFAs Pavel Zacha Zacha got off to a horrible start this season, with no points in his first 10 games played, and it wasn’t like he was getting unlucky, either. He only had 10 shots on goal in those 10 games, which is not close to enough for someone in a top-six role. It eventually forced the Devils’ hand as they sent him to the AHL to try and help him turn things around. Even after Zacha returned to the NHL, it took him a while to get things going. He had four points in his next 18 games, and it was starting to look like his season would be another lost cause. But he started to pick up his play to close the season, with 20 points in his final 30 games, including nine in his last nine games of the season. However, some of that was due to his 15.7 shooting percentage, which was well above his career average of 9.8 percent. Pavel Zacha #37, October 20, 2018 Philadelphia Flyers versus the New Jersey Devils. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers) Zacha may have had some better luck to close out the season, but he did look like a more confident player down the stretch. Unless he’s traded, he’ll be back in a Devils’ uniform next season. So should they be willing to go long term? Or should they go for a shorter-term contract? Bridge deals aren’t as common as they used to be, but that’s what the Devils’ end game should be with Zacha. I’m skeptical about his close to the season, and I think the Devils should be, too. A contract for around 2-3 years seems like the right way to go, and it shouldn’t cost more than a couple of million per season. Even though his offense is limited, he’s still a valuable defensive forward and is one of the team’s best penalty killers. Stefan Noesen Noesen was one of the Devils’ most surprising forwards in 2017-18, but he took a big step back this season. After finishing with 27 points a season ago, he finished with eight in 41 games played this season. Part of that was due to injuries, but Noesen’s underlying stats fell dramatically at five-on-five. His Corsi for percentage (CF%) dropped from 51.62 percent last season to 45.65 percent this season. His expected goals for percentage (xGF%) also dropped from 53.49 percent to 49.40 percent. And to top it off, he had a goals above replacement (GAR) of minus-5.2 in all situations (via Evolving Hockey), which is way off from the 6.8 GAR he posted last season. Devils right wing Stefan Noesen (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) It’s pretty clear it was not a good season for Noesen. And with the Devils needing to free up roster space for their young players and any further additions they make, it looks like his time with the organization is drawing to an end. He played a significant part in them making the playoffs last season, and we’ll probably look back on his time with the Devils fondly. He’s still more than capable of playing in the NHL, but it seems it’ll have to be with another team. John Quenneville Quenneville is in a weird spot with the organization. He was the team’s first-round pick in 2014 but has yet to crack the NHL as a regular. He finished this season with one point in 19 games but did produce in the AHL, finishing with 39 points in 37 games. That hasn’t translated to the NHL, and he’ll be 23 years old by the start of next season. So what should the Devils do? Related – Devils’ Pending UFAs: Who Stays and Who Goes? I think a fresh start elsewhere is in Quenneville’s best interest, and there are a couple of ways that can happen. The first and simplest route is not tendering him a qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. He can then choose to sign with any team, but that may not be the Devils’ best option. It’s easier said than done, but if Shero can find a trade partner willing to take on Quenneville — most likely in a trade package — it would benefit everyone. They’d get something back for him, while he gets to hit reset on his NHL career with a new team. Will Butcher Butcher is the Devils’ most prominent RFA this summer, and he’s probably going to get the most money, too. His numbers fell from his rookie season — both his counting totals and underlying stats — but it’s not like he played poorly, which is something I’ve seen mentioned a bit by fans on social media. Will Butcher #8, New Jersey Devils (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers) He finished the season with a 49.87 CF%, ranked third on the team, and had an xGF% of 52.24 percent, ranked fifth on the team. Butcher also finished with a GAR of 9.8, which was better than Rasmus Dahlin, Miro Heiskanen, and Jacob Trouba. It’s also the exact GAR he finished with as a rookie in 2017-18, so the notion that he didn’t play well seems overblown. His production may have taken a step back, from 44 points to 30 points, but it’s not indicative of his play. Butcher also played against tougher competition and saw fewer offensive zone starts. I think he’s a capable second-pair defenseman, and the Devils should pay him like one, but it shouldn’t be a bridge deal. He’s already 24 years old, and I think Shero would be smart to give him a long-term deal that eats up some UFA years. A contract similar to Damon Severson’s six-year, $25 million deal would make sense. Who Else is Left? Defensemen Mirco Mueller, Connor Carrick, and goalie Cam Johnson are the Devils’ remaining RFAs. They acquired Carrick in a trade that sent Ben Lovejoy to the Dallas Stars in February, and he showed some promise. His underlying numbers weren’t great (44.35 CF%, 47.27 xGF%), but he can move the puck a bit and adds some offense. He’s a solid depth defenseman, so I imagine the Devils bring him back on a short-term contract. Related: All-Time Best Player From Every NHL Team Mueller’s play won’t wow anyone, but he was decent in the minutes he logged. He finished the season with 11 points in 53 games and posted good numbers on the penalty kill. He doesn’t provide much offense, and he’s not great at transitioning the puck. Ty Smith and the recently signed Jeremy Davies are also breathing down his neck for playing time as left-handed defensemen, so that could push Mueller out. I’d be OK with him returning on a short-term deal, but I can also see the Devils moving on to free up space for Davies or Smith. Mirco Mueller, New Jersey Devils, Oct. 20, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers) Johnson spent a majority of this season in the AHL, and his numbers were not good. He finished with a .872 save percentage, ranked 47th in the league for qualified goalies. The Devils just signed 2017 fifth-round pick Gilles Senn to an entry-level contract, and they have Evan Cormier signed, too. Senn is already 23 years old, and he’s as good as a lock to play in the AHL with Cormier sharing the net. That makes Johnson the odd man out, so I don’t expect him to return for 2019-20. * * * Advanced stats from Natural Stat Trick, GAR from Evolving Hockey The post Devils’ Pending RFAs: Crucial Decisions to Be Made appeared first on The Hockey Writers. View the full article
  14. For the New York Rangers and Chris Kreider, decision time has just about arrived. General manager Jeff Gorton and the front office have at long last reached that point, the one at which they’ll need to decide on how to proceed with their uber-talented forward whose promise has proved impossible to give up on, but who hasn’t shown nearly enough of it in seven years on Broadway to have already been locked up with a long-term extension. The Blueshirts can’t wait any longer. With one year at a below-market $4.625 million remaining on his contract, the club has little choice but to decide on a course of action or have several of them at the ready going into 2019-20. None of those options, of course, are letting the soon-to-be 28-year-old Kreider play out the 2019-20 season and hoping to re-sign him as a free agent. New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider in March 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers) While it’s possible management has made up its mind on how to proceed, Kreider’s enigmatic nature has more likely rendered the decision as murky as it’s been over the past few seasons. There’s going to be at least a partial leap of faith involved here, one that will naturally invoke abundant second-guessing amongst fans and general managers around the NHL. Amid a rebuild that’s led to wholesale personnel changes since the beginning of the process last February and will continue into this offseason, the fate of one of the longest-tenured Rangers will be front and center for Gorton and co. with the draft approaching. There are three roads the Rangers can go down with the big forward: Trade Kreider for More Future Assets This was probably considered the least likely approach Feb. 24, when Kreider scored his 26th goal of the season in the Rangers’ 62nd game of 2018-19, a 6-5 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals. The first 30-goal effort of Kreider’s seven-year career seemed all but assured – and a clear sign that the player who has tantalized the Rangers with his (occasional) ability to dominate a game with power, size and speed was finally ready to take the next step toward stardom. Instead, Kreider scored two goals over the final 20 games, managing only to tie his career-best, set in 2016-17. He revealed later that he suffered a hamstring injury against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 27 that he said lingered over the final quarter of the season. Every player gets injured, of course. For the 19th-overall pick in the 2009 Draft, though, the timing couldn’t have been worse. It’s difficult to completely discount the notion that while the injury might have played a factor, the late-season disappearance wasn’t anything different than similar stretches of near-anonymity on ice that have plagued Kreider in the past. Throughout his Rangers career, Kreider has delivered breathtaking efforts in which he’s looked unstoppable, too strong and fast and skilled through the middle and down low in the offensive zone for him to become anything but a franchise forward. Chris Kreider with now-departed teammate Mats Zuccarello in April 2016. Is Kreider the next Ranger to go? (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Those stretches have always been followed by longer ones in which his name is hardly called, at times as if he’s not in the lineup. The reasons for it remain mostly a mystery, even seven years in. So is this when the Rangers finally pull the plug? Trade a still-tantalizing, still-youngish talent, perhaps paired with one of their first-round picks, to the Winnipeg Jets for desperately needed right-side defenseman Jacob Trouba? Kreider’s value may never be higher, and it certainly won’t be if he regresses next season. If a trade happens, there’s a good chance it occurs at the June 21-22 draft. And it should hardly come as a shock. Commit to Kreider Long-Term A 28-goal effort in a season in which he played the last 20 games with a leg injury? That’s the glass half-full viewpoint, and it’s not necessarily built on hope and delusion. Remember 2017-18, when Kreider returned in late February from a two-month absence after surgery to alleviate a blood clot in his arm and fix two fused ribs that had contributed to its formation. His health improved, weight lowered and perspective on life and hockey changed, he delivered five goals and 10 assists in the final 21 games that featured a number of eye-opening performances. That of course extended into this season, as he was on his way to a career effort before the final 20 contests. Is it folly for team management to disregard that extended run of production because of a now-revealed injury? If the answer club officials arrive at is yes, Gorton had better be sure. Going all-in on Kreider could mean a six-year contract at $6-7 million per that will take him into his mid-30s. Are the Rangers reasonably certain he’ll continue to trend upward? There are no guarantees. Again, the injury timing for Kreider this season couldn’t have been worse given his career pattern. Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) “Maybe you and I look at it differently, but I look at this as a guy trying to gut it out through an injury, which is part of being a professional hockey player,” Kreider said last month. “I didn’t do as well or contribute as much as I thought I could and while I don’t think I hurt the team, I didn’t help, either, so I probably shouldn’t have played. “So as far as management’s evaluation, I’m honestly not worried about this stretch. Plus, it’s a whole season, right?” This possibility is another one that could be resolved by draft day, and almost certainly won’t bleed into next season. Which brings us to Option No. 3 … Keep Kreider into 2019-20, Trade Him at the Deadline This seems the least likely course of action. While the reward could be a good one in the form of at least another first-round pick should Kreider turn in a season equal to or better to this one, the Rangers might also be left second-guessing themselves for not signing him to an extension before Kreider would have the leverage due to his impending unrestricted free agency. If he doesn’t perform as well as this past season, the Rangers will have lost leverage on the trade market, having failed to deal him this offseason when his value would have been ostensibly higher. Bet on the Rangers choosing Options 1 or 2, and soon. Either way, it’s certain to be a difficult call. Memories such as his four-point, runaway-freight-train performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins in March 2018 remain fresh – as do the myriad stretches of invisibility in which it seems Kreider will never fully figure it out. With 10 draft picks in June, more talented young forwards set to arrive next season and the possibility of signing star free agent Artemi Panarin on July 1, change continues to swirl around the Rangers. Will Kreider prove to be an anchor through it all, with management cementing his status as a core long-term Blueshirt? Or will he go the way of so many of his now-departed teammates, players from a recently concluded era of playoff contention that weren’t seen as part of the future? In all likelihood, we’re on the verge of finally having that answer. The post Rangers Must Finally Decide on Kreider appeared first on The Hockey Writers. View the full article
  15. Heading into the 2018-19 season, the Ottawa Senators’ goalie of the future looked to be Filip Gustavsson. Oh, what a season can change. Playing with the Belleville Senators, the Swedish goaltender lost the starting job to Marcus Hogberg, who ran away with the job. Kevin Mandolese put together a stellar campaign in the QMJHL. But, the most surprising and impressive season goes to Joey Daccord. The “Goaltender of the Future” title appears to be up for debate now. Playing with the Arizona State University (ASU) Sun Devils, Daccord had a sensational season, making history on numerous occasions in the NCAA. His performance earned a visit from Senators’ general manager Pierre Dorion, resulting in a two-year contract for the goaltender. With history made and Daccord’s stock on the rise, let’s take a look back at how he got to this point in his career. Daccord’s Journey: 7th-Round Pick to Elite NCAA Goaltender Daccord was the Senators; 199th selection overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Prior to being drafted, the North Handover, Massachusetts native put together an impressive record with Cushing Academy in the United States High School Preparatory league, spending three seasons there and was even named captain in his final year. His stats over that time speak for themselves: Season Games Goals Against Average (GAA) Save Percentage (SV%) 2012-13 12 1.96 .926 2013-14 32 2.57 .923 2014-15 16 1.80 .933 His save percentage, in particular, stands out. That final season also saw Daccord play in the United States Premier Hockey League with the Boston Jr. Bruins, putting up an impressive 1.51 GAA in 11 games. He spent the 2015-16 season in the United States Hockey League with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, playing in 48 games. In the most games he had played in a season, Daccord recorded a 3.10 GAA and a .904 SV% before heading to Arizona State in 2016-17. Looking at Daccord’s numbers with the Sun Devils, he did exactly what the Senators hoped he would do, improve. In his three seasons, his numbers improved year after year, despite playing in more games each season. Season Games GAA SV% 2016-17 15 4.03 .892 2017-18 32 3.51 .909 2018-19 35 2.35 .926 In 2018-19, Daccord propelled himself into an elite goaltender for the Sun Devils, receiving national attention. What is most impressive for the young goaltender is that he did it on a team that has been playing in Division I hockey for just three seasons, never making the playoffs. “This year, Joey has put everything together,” head coach Greg Powers says. “He’s mentally tough. He is a leader, a guy players look up to, especially the freshmen. Most importantly, to match his personality, he has fun every day, he’s loose – and that approach and attitude has resonated throughout our entire group.” Prospect Joey Daccord looks promising for the Ottawa Senators (Photo by Sun Devil Athletics) His work this season earned him a nomination for the 2019 Hobey Baker Award and he was a finalist for the Mike Richter Award as the best goaltender in the NCAA. He was also awarded Second Team All-American, the first time a player from ASU received the honour. To top off Daccord’s impressive season, he was rewarded by a visit from Dorion and an NHL contract. Daccord Signs ASU’s First NHL Contract, Gets Call-Up Daccord’s contract adds to his historic legacy with ASU, as he is the first player to sign an NHL contract from the school. He didn’t get much time to celebrate though as he was brought up to face the Buffalo Sabres just a few days after signing the deal. While he didn’t get a win in his first game, he showed glimpses of what he is capable of in the 5-2 loss to the Sabres. He played the full games, facing 40 shots behind the Senators sub-par defence, earning an .875 SV%. While those numbers don’t stand out, considering the team playing in front of him, it could have been a lot worse. “I thought I played really well, especially under the circumstances, all the travelling. I think in seven days, I was on 10 different flights, cross country a few times,” Daccord said after his debut. ” On top of that, being a college kid and playing my first NHL game — really, I had one practice and one morning skate. So, in two short skates with the team, it was like, you just get dropped in a bucket, and it’s like, Hey, let’s see what you can do, kid. “All the guys on the team and the staff were supportive of me and really happy for me. They just told me to play my game, so once I got out there, I tried to do that, and I thought I played pretty well.” Looking back on his first NHL game, Daccord had a hard time taking it all in, “I almost don’t even feel like it happened, it was so surreal. In the blink of an eye, I go from being a college kid to being in the public eye. It all almost happened so fast that I haven’t really been able to process it yet.” The best part of the call-up is how well Daccord fit in with the team. While the team is still very much in rebuild mode and some may be gone before Daccord gets his next chance, it’s a good sign to see him slide right into the organization so well. Daccord made his Ottawa Senators debut on April 4, 2019 (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports) “It was really cool. My first morning, Bobby Ryan drove me to practice. You go from ASU and all of a sudden you’re in the car with an NHL All Star picking his brain. It’s pretty cool. They were all so welcoming and so nice to me. They really made me feel comfortable when I was there. It was a good experience. They were all really nice, and I can’t thank them enough for how well they took me in and treated me.” During the first game, Daccord accidentally fell, giving the team some fuel to heckle the rookie. “Last time I checked, ice is still slippery in any rink. Everyone falls, it’s just a little unfortunate it happened in my first game. After I fell and I got up, a couple of guys on the bench hopped up over the boards and were banging their stick and laughing. I just gave them a head nod and a laugh. Christian Wolanin came over and said, ‘Hey man, I wasn’t forechecking you, I’m on your team.’ We had a good laugh. It didn’t really affect me much.” What to Expect From Daccord Through his goaltending career, Daccord has shown strong technical skills, quick reflexes, great mobility and a stellar personality. If he works his way onto the NHL lineup, he should be a fan favourite. That’s even without talking about his puck handling, which the Senators haven’t really had in a goaltender in their history. Daccord should play for the Belleville Senators in 2019-20 (Photo by Sun Devil Athletics) Senators fans should definitely be excited about the youngster, but they will probably need to wait for him to earn a full-time NHL role. With Craig Anderson, Mike Condon and Gustavsson in the system, as well as pending free agents Anders Nilsson and Hogberg, Daccord will most likely find himself with Belleville next season in a backup role. It may still be a couple of seasons before he’s playing in Ottawa. For now, Daccord will be finishing his degree in Sports Business at ASU online, and getting ready for his first season of professional hockey in 2019-20. The post Senators’ Future in Net Looks Bright – Joey Daccord appeared first on The Hockey Writers. View the full article
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