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A few weeks ago I had an extended conversation with Eugene Melnyk in the loading dock area at Canadian Tire Centre prior to a Se

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01:04, Apr 20 2018

A few weeks ago I had an extended conversation with Eugene Melnyk in the loading dock area at Canadian Tire Centre prior to a Senators home game. Cairo Santos Jersey . The Senators owner has always been extremely gracious with his time, always willing to chat with me for a few minutes about his hockey team. On this night, he was in a particularly good mood since his club was off to a terrific start and he was willing to talk about a myriad of topics involving the Senators. As the conversation was ending, I figured I would slip in one final question. If Alfredsson does retire here in the next couple of weeks, are you guys going to do anything special for him? If I told you the answer to that, I would have to kill you, he said with a wry smile. You will just have to wait and see. But the implication was pretty clear that a thawing of relations between Alfredsson and the Ottawa Senators organization had started. For the previous calendar year, there had been a deep freeze between the two sides, stemming directly from a botched contract negotiation in the final week of June in 2013. There were tense e-mails, text messages and voice mails exchanged between the parties involved that summer - ultimately ending with a messy and nasty public divorce. Both sides tried their best to do PR damage control in the days and weeks that followed, but the spin didnt matter to Senators fans. Their hero and demigod had left town and there was plenty of blame to go around. And now, as word trickles out that Alfredsson is set to announce his retirement, a new PR campaign is about to be launched - one that both sides hope will result in the former captain being able to return home without any of the residue from the messy break-up. There is a growing sense that Alfredssons retirement announcement will happen here in Ottawa -- where his career started and where it was always meant to end. Melnyk and the key stakeholders with the Senators were well aware that if Daniel Alfredsson is going to announce his retirement, their organization should be involved. There is too much at stake here for this announcement not to happen in Ottawa. This is the first legacy player for the Senators and considering the franchise is still in its infancy, this is a significant moment. Sure Patrick Roy and the Canadiens took almost 13 years to patch things up after their nasty split, but the Habs are one of the most storied franchises in North American sports. So if it took a little while to put the No. 33 in the rafters at the Bell Centre that was acceptable because there were so many other jerseys to stare at in awe. But in Ottawa, this is all we have. There are no modern-day jerseys for us to look up to with any reverence. In the absence of a rich history, you need to make sure you take care of what little you have to celebrate. Alfredsson defined the first two decades of this franchises existence. His goal to put the Senators in the Cup Final in 2007. His hit on Darcy Tucker followed by his game-winning goal against the Leafs in Game 5 in 2002. Playing on one leg in the playoffs in 2008. The Alfie, Alfie! chant at the 11:11 mark of every period. Alfredsson was the first true hockey hero in this town. Somewhere along the way, the line got blurred and some irate fans painted him with the same brush they use for villains like Alexei Yashin and Dany Heatley. But Alfredsson never demanded a trade while he had a signed contract; he simply exercised his right to walk away as an unrestricted free agent. But Ottawa fans felt like they owned a piece of Alfredsson, so when he chose to walk away, it was like the most hurtful slap in the face. It was easy to paint Yashin and Heatley as greedy and selfish, but Alfredsson? That was simply counterintuitive to all of us. If they bridge the gap in the next few days, there is a chance Alfredsson could sign one of those one-day contracts with the team so that history will say that he retired as a member of the Senators. Some will complain that if he does something like that, it will be a symbolic, but empty gesture. The most vocal fans will complain he should have signed on the dotted line in the summer of 2013. But we cannot go back and re-write history; all we can do is start to open the door for Alfredsson to return to Ottawa with the welcome he deserves. And yes, in the book of Daniel Alfredsson, there will be a chapter about how he left town under a black cloud, fleeing on a one-year contract to Detroit. But that will be a small chapter - almost a footnote - if you choose to focus on the positives that Alfredsson brought to this organization. The benefits of welcoming Alfredsson back with open arms - imagine him working in the front office - far outweigh the consequences of him being an awkward pariah for the next few years. Egos, money and pride may have gotten in the way of the contract talks in the summer of 2013, but those emotions should be well in the rear-view mirror now. They will likely be replaced with reconciliation, respect and fondness in the days to come. And hopefully the two sides will do something now that they probably should have done 18 months ago; make Daniel Alfredsson a Senator for life. Tony Gonzalez Jersey .com) - The NBA will be on display overseas Thursday with the New York Knicks taking on the Milwaukee Bucks at O2 Arena in London. Joe Montana Jersey . 31-Feb. 2. While organizers havent decided if itll be red or green clay, they feel their choice of surface will give the Americans an advantage over Britain, which is expected to be led by defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. http://www.authoritychiefsshop.com/eric-berry-chiefs-jersey-c-16/ . -- Catriona Matthew remained atop the Airbus LPGA Classic leaderboard Friday, birdieing four of the last seven holes to take a one-stroke advantage over Charley Hull into the weekend.CHICAGO -- Even the Chicago White Sox relievers dont know who will get the ball in the ninth inning. Zach Putnam has had the last two chances, and made the most of them. Putnam earned his third save and second in two nights, striking out Jason Castro swinging to end the game with two on and give the White Sox a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. "Its interesting, and theres definitely an element of fun to it," Putnam said. "We dont know from game to game who is going to have that ninth if its a save opportunity." The White Sox have had no steady closer after Nate Jones and Matt Lindstrom were injured, and Ronald Belisario struggled in the role. They have been closing games by committee, and four relievers combined to throw three scoreless innings Saturday. White Sox manager Robin Ventura turned to Putnam to record the final out after Jake Petricka allowed a walk and infield hit in the ninth. "Unfortunately, I dont have a guy that youre just going to leave out there, saying thats your closer," Ventura said. "I like Puts swing-and-missability with some lefties, and thats the reason." Tyler Flowers had three hits and drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth for the White Sox, who have won two straight against the Astros to open the second half. George Springer hit his 20th home run, a solo shot, and Jose Altuve had a two-run double for the Astros. Flowers RBI double snapped a 3-all tie after Alejandro De Aza tripled. Flowers, who also drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the seventh of Fridays 3-2 victory, had his first three-hit game since April 24. "I dont know where he went over the break, but you can come back with renewed energy," Ventura said. "Catchings a tough thing to do. I think you dont find too many catchers that are going to hit all year long. Its a tough position, and people that do it are special. With him getting some rest, maybe it kind of gets him going in the right direction." Flowers is 6 for 9 in his last three games after going 10 for 112 in his previous 34. Mitch Morse Jersey. "I dont know if Im quite locked in yet," Flowers said. "Its good to put some quality at-bats together." White Sox starter Hector Noesi (4-7) gave up three runs in six innings and has lowered his ERA from 11.74 to 5.21 since joining the rotation. "Im getting prepared for the second half to be tough," Noesi said. "So, Im more aggressive when I go to the mound." Dallas Keuchel (9-6) allowed four runs and 12 hits in five innings. He was 7-2 with a 3.13 ERA in his previous 10 road starts. "When you look at the amount of trouble he was in, to minimize it to four runs -- and only three were earned -- he did a nice job of battling," Astros manager Bo Porter said. The White Sox went ahead 1-0 in the second after three singles and an error. Conor Gillaspie extended the lead to 2-0 with an RBI single in the third. Flowers was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in another run. Springers homer cut it to 3-1 in the fourth. He is one home run shy of tying Lance Berkmans club rookie home run record, set in 2000. Altuves double tied it at 3 in the fifth. The game featured three challenged calls and replay reviews totalling 5 minutes, 39 seconds. All were overturned. In the third, Gordon Beckham appeared to be hit by a pitch, loading the bases. The Astros challenged the call, and review confirmed Beckham was not hit. He returned to the plate and struck out. In the fourth, the White Soxs Alexei Ramirez was called out on a grounder to third, but replay confirmed he was safe at first. Later in the inning, Jose Abreu was called safe at second on a fielders choice. The Astros challenged the call, and Abreu was ruled out. NOTES: The White Sox optioned INF Carlos Sanchez to Triple-A Charlotte and will make a corresponding move on Sunday. .Abreu, who was leading the majors with 29 homers, is expected to play far more games than he did in Cuba, where he said teams play 96 games. He said he doesnt expect fatigue to be an issue. Ventura noted Abreu can sometimes DH to allow for rest. China Jerseys China Jerseys Jerseys NFL Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping ' ' '

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