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TORONTO – It was early December and Morgan Rielly was pretty sure hed soon be traveling to Sweden for the World Junior Championships. The 19-year-old, who had been scratched in four straight games, had plans to fly back to B.C. over the three-day Christmas break, but sensing the increasing likelihood of a stint for Team Canada, he told his father Andy he might have to cancel those plans. "When we made the decision to not send him to the World Juniors that in our minds was when he proved to us that he had to play," said Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, "and so weve been committed to the kid." It was the latest in a series of hurdles Rielly has gracefully overcome for the Maple Leafs this season. There was the lofty challenge of cracking the NHL roster out of training camp, sticking around beyond the 10-game mark and finally doing enough to convince those within the organization that his development was best served in North America rather than with the Canadian juniors in Malmo this holiday season. Now for the first time all year, Rielly is standing on solid ground in Toronto. The clouds of those earlier distractions have cleared and his sole focus can be on the ice. "It is a bit of a change," he told the Leaf Report, "but I think its a change in a good way. Im happy that I dont really have any worries right now. Im just trying to keep playing well and just trying to keep in the lineup." Rielly has not left the lineup since that four-game stint in early December. And with each passing game he offers growing glimpses of the potential which made him the fifth overall selection in the 2012 Draft. Those daring drives up the ice, with puck in tow, are becoming increasingly frequent, too emphatic to miss and a glaring reminder of why the Leafs decided to keep him in lieu of a trip back to Moose Jaw or a stint with the junior team. "He continues to grow," Carlyle said of Rielly, tied for fifth among rookie defenders with 11 points. "He makes mistakes as young players do – and old players do also. But we think theres a lot more potential in Morgan Rielly and you see glimpses of it now; his skating ability; his ability to move the puck; his ability to get up on the rush; his ability to read the game. Its all improving. And thats a great sign." Much of it, Carlyle says, is an increasing sense of comfort and confidence. And if theres one piece of advice Rielly has garnered above all others in his acclimation to the NHL, its to play with confidence. That was the wisdom passed along from Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf, who, in addition to 26-year-old Cody Franson, has been the most influential voice for the rookie defender. "I could be back in junior or you know over in Sweden, but Im not so [I] just try to have confidence and play like I can," said Rielly, averaging exactly 18 minutes nightly this season. "And thats all been Dion. Hes been great with that. Hes been really trying to help me with that." Still just a teenager, Rielly and fellow rookie Jerry DAmigo were fit with shovels as the official portion of practice wrapped on a quiet Saturday afternoon. They were called upon to clean the ice of snow for shootout work, the Leafs heading to the skills aspect of extra time in each of the past four games. It was the predictable grunt work of a first-year player trying to earn his keep. And it was exactly where he wanted to be. Edgar Castillo Jersey . The outdoor event will be played on Dec. 31 between alumni of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Aron Johannsson Jersey . However, Jim Popp isnt sure how long hell be able to admire wide receiver Duron Carter. http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/perry ... sa-jersey/. Although taking two of three from the Baltimore Orioles wasnt nearly as uplifting as winning the World Series, it still felt pretty darn good. Felix Doubront and four relievers combined kept Baltimores potent lineup in check, and David Ortiz had three of Bostons 12 hits off Wei-Yin Chen in a 4-3 victory Thursday night. Brad Guzan Jersey . Vonn punctuated her near-perfect season in perfect fashion Friday, earning her fourth overall World Cup title with a dominating giant slalom victory. Chris Wondolowski Jersey .com) - Joe Pavelski scored twice to lead the San Jose Sharks in a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers to split a home-and-home set.AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- For the first time in nearly three decades, Joe Dumars wont play a major role in shaping the future of the Detroit Pistons. Dumars stepped down as Detroits president of basketball operations Monday, a day after the Pistons lost their home finale and fell to 29-52 with one game remaining in the season. Detroit will miss the post-season for a fifth consecutive year. "Its time to turn the page on a wonderful chapter and begin writing a new one," Dumars said in a statement. "Ive had the pleasure of working with some great people throughout the last 29 years as both a player and executive, and Im proud of our accomplishments. Tom Gores and ownership is committed to winning and they will continue to move the franchise forward." Gores took over as owner in 2011, with the team clearly in a rebuilding mode, but expectations were higher this season after the Pistons signed Josh Smith and traded for Brandon Jennings. The new-look roster flopped, and now somebody else will be in charge of the next effort to bring Detroit back to the post-season. "Joe Dumars is a great champion who has meant so much to this franchise and this community," Gores said. "We are turning the page with great respect for what he has accomplished not only as a player and a front office executive, but as a person who has represented this team and the NBA with extraordinary dignity." A message was left with Dumars seeking additional comment. Dumars will remain an adviser to the ownership team, but this is the end of an era. Drafted by the Pistons in 1985, Dumars spent his entire 14-year playing career with the franchise, winning NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. He was Detroits vice-president of player personnel during the 1999-2000 season before being promoted to president of basketball operations. Dumars was named the NBAs 2003 executive of the year, and the Pistons won another title the following season. For the first half of his tenure as team president, Dumars Pistons were a model of consistency, even as players and coaches came and went. Detroit reached the Eastern Conference finals every year from 2003-08, but after the team slid back into mediocrity, some of Dumars most aggressive moves backfired.dddddddddddd In 2008, Dumars traded Chauncey Billups in a deal that brought Allen Iverson to the Pistons. That didnt work out well, and neither did the decision to sign Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to big contracts during the 2009 off-season. Dumars had another chance to turn Detroits fortunes around last off-season. When he acquired Smith and Jennings, the Pistons looked like they could become a playoff team, but the new lineup never really meshed, and this ended up being another frustrating season. Coach Maurice Cheeks did not even make it through his first season as Detroits coach. He was fired in February, and the team fell well out of post-season contention under interim coach John Loyer. "Its been tough, guard Rodney Stuckey said after Sundays loss. "From Day One, our mindset was making the playoffs, and unfortunately we didnt do that. We underachieved, and now were going home. Theres always next year. ... To be honest, I really dont know what we need. Thats not my decision." Stuckey might not be back with the Pistons next season. Hes set to become a free agent. "Its going to be a lot of changes here," Stuckey said. "Im going to sit around and see what happens, and once July comes Ill make my decision." Detroit does have one of the games top young big men in Andre Drummond, but the Pistons have struggled to draw fans, and this uninspiring season did little to help in that regard. After taking over the Pistons, Gores ended up giving Dumars three more seasons as general manager, but now the pressure is on ownership to find someone who can put together a roster -- and identify a coach -- that can help the Pistons at least become relevant again. "We know that we can move in the right direction if theres the right moves being made and the attitudes are good in the locker room," forward Kyle Singler said. "My message is: Well be better." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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