Growing up, every young Canadian hockey player dreams of one day playing in the National Hockey League and scoring a game-winner in overtime. And just days away from his 25th birthday, Kitchener, Ontarios Mike Hoffman is living that dream. And in Game 42 of his NHL career on Thursday night, Hoffman delivered the decisive blow 2:39 into OT in a 4-3 Ottawa Senators win over the Edmonton Oilers, ending the night in chilly Edmonton the way it started - with Hoffmans first of two in the game to spark the Sens to a much-needed victory. It was the second two-goal game of the year for Hoffman, who according to Elias, is just one of two rookies in the NHL with a pair of multi-goal games (LAs Tanner Pearson - another Kitchener native - being the other). Pearson and Hoffman share another piece of history - one that isnt that kind to their hometown OHL team the Kitchener Rangers. Their crystal ball must have been cloudy when deciding that neither Pearson, Hoffman, nor Winnipegs Mark Scheifele (another Kitchener kid who slipped past many in the 2009 OHL Draft before being claimed by Saginaw in the seventh round, 134th overall) had good OHL upside. Just a year earlier, the Barrie Colts took a chance on Pearson - a former Rangers stick boy - and selected him in the 14th round. Hoffman wasnt drafted by an OHL team and was considered a Kitchener call-up during the 2006-2007 season before finally getting waived by the league. That freed him to jump to the QMJHL, where his game started to take shape. He was guided with quality coaching from Gatineaus Benoit Groulx, Drummondvilles Guy Boucher and Saint Johns Gerard Gallant during his time in the Q, which included being named the leagues most valuable player as a 20- year-old and finished his junior career as the Sea Dogs top scorer in 2009-2010. Gallant, now head coach of the Florida Panthers, tells The Dreger Report he isnt surprised by Hoffmans NHL success. He could always shoot and score, he explained. He just had to feel comfortable in the league and like most players, playing in the minors never hurts. As they say, stuff happens and the OHLs Rangers - like so many other major junior teams - are careful with local kids, recognizing sometimes its best to pass them over rather than potentially burn relationships if things dont work out. But it appears to be working out for all three players. With six goals in his last five NHL games, Hoffman is making the most of an opportunity and isnt worrying about days gone by. Hes described as strong and wiry with explosive speed, a high level of skill and a dangerous one-timer. And thats part of the reason hes getting a role on Ottawas second power play unit. Like all inexperienced players, Hoffman has flaws. The scouting report says he can get too cute at times, trying to make plays with his hands rather than his speed and there was a point not long ago when Sens brass had serious conversations over whether or not he had a long-term place in the organization. The one question that was repeatedly asked: Can he do it at the NHL level? And 13 games into the season, Hoffmans seven goals, eight points and undeniable chemistry with Mark Stone and Curtis Lazar on Ottawas Kid Line may make it time to stop asking that question. Methot On The Mend Staying on the topic of the Senators, Ottawa defenceman Marc Methot appears to be getting closer to returning to play. Methot, who has been plagued by back and hip problems, saw a specialist last week who confirmed his injury is soft-tissue based. Thats Good news. Early next week, the Senators are hoping to have a better sense as to when the veteran blueliner will be healthy enough to return. Meanwhile, theres been no progress made on his contract negotiations with the Senators - and virtually no discussions over the past three weeks - which continues to fuel trade speculation. The Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers are believed to be among the teams interested. GM Meeting Next Week NHL general managers will meet on Tuesday in Toronto, traditionally setting up the March meetings where the executives decide on rule changes or amendments. While NHL executive vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell is closely guarding the meetings agenda, the laundry list of items - and early season observations - will most certainly include a lengthy debate on overtime. Based on the success of 3-on-3 in the American Hockey League and the growing number of believers outside of the NHL Commissioners office, GMs are confident the leagues current overtime format - as compared to the AHL experiment - will be a primary focus next week. While the shootout is still considered a valued piece of entertainment, some of the leagues decision makers say its lost its novelty and think its unfair to dismiss 3-on-3 until its been tested at the NHL level. While no decisions are expected to emerge from Tuesdays meeting, it will be interesting to get a read on how views have changed on 3-on-3 given the evidence supplied by the AHL. Look for a complete breakdown on Tuesday during Insider Trading on SportsCentre and on TSN.ca. Charlotte Hornets Jerseys
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. -- Cam Newton pranced into the end zone, placed his hands over his chest and did his familiar Superman pose.ATLANTA -- The Cleveland Indians released pitcher Brett Myers on Thursday, cutting ties with a huge free-agent bust. The right-hander signed a $7 million, one-year contract in January but battled injuries and departed the Indians without winning a game. He went 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance before going on the disabled list April 20 with a strained tendon in his elbow. He didnt pitch again for Cleveland. The Indians, who began Thursday four games back in the AL wild-card race, announced before facing the Atlanta Braves that Myers had been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and released from his contract, which included an $8 million club option for 2014 the team had no intention of picking up. He is now a free agent and can sign with any team. "To his credit, boy, he plugged away," manager Terry Francona said. "He could have shut it down multiple times. He never did. He was getting antsy because he felt like he was getting ready to help us. And because hed had such a long layoff, we wanted to see him pitch some more." That wasnt going to happen with the Indians contending for their first playoff appearance since 2007. So, not wanting to risk losing someone off the 40-man roster if Myers was activated, general manager Chris Antonetti decided to let the pitcher go. The timing gives him a few days to pursue other opportunities before teams are alllowed to expand their big league rosters for the final month of the regular season.dddddddddddd "Maybe he can find a spot in the big leagues, as opposed to waiting until after teams call people up," Francona said. "I think that shows a lot of class on Chriss part." Clearly hurting, Myers struggled mightily during his brief time on the Cleveland staff. He gave up 29 hits -- including 10 homers -- in 21 1-3 innings. "He could have gone home any time. We would have never questioned it. But he kept plugging," Francona said. "It just wasnt coming out to the point where (there was a spot available). Were going to have some call-ups and if we end up taking some kid off the roster or losing some kid we dont want to lose, thats tricky. I didnt really know how we were going to find the innings to see how he was pitching, you know what I mean? Its kind of hard." Myers spent the majority of his career as a starter before pitching in relief for Houston and the Chicago White Sox in 2012. He signed with the Indians largely because they offered a chance to start again, penciling him in their rotation behind Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez. The 33-year-old Myers has reached double digits in wins six times and pitched at least 200 innings three times, most recently in 2011 when he won 14 games. Over a 12-year career, he is 97-96 with 40 saves and a 4.25 ERA. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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