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playing the puck behind his own
With the NHL Draft coming up on June 27 and free agency opening on July 1, discussions between NHL general managers are already heating up towards a busy off-season. Each day, provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat. Keeping The Captain? Brian Giontas agent Steve Bartlett told La Presse on Tuesday that the Montreal Canadiens want to keep their captain - an unrestricted free agent on July 1 - in the fold, while sources tell the paper that the two sides will start talks this week. "Well probably make progress in our discussions over the next few days," Bartlett told Richard Labbe of La Presse. "We havent really discussed an amount or length of contract, weve only had a few discussions in very general terms, nothing precise. "But I know that the Canadiens want to bring him back and I must now talk about this possibility with my player." Bartlett added that Gionta is open to signing a new deal with the Habs, a team hes played with for the last five seasons. "He loves Montreal and he loves the team, but needs to know where he fits with their plan of direction -  what would be his role," said Bartlett. Gionta, 35, signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Canadiens in 2009 and tallied 173 points in 303 games. Still Happy In San Jose Joe Thorntons agent and brother John Thornton told the San Jose Mercury News that his client would consider waiving his no-movement clause if he felt the fans in San Jose didnt want him back. "If he felt the fans didnt want him in San Jose, he might re-think things," Thornton explained to Mercury News writer David Pollak.  John Thornton added that his Joe is very happy in San Jose and wants to stay and help the team win a championship. "He wants to stay there and win the Cup," he said. "He believes they still have enough talent." A New Face In Winnipeg? Gary Lawless of TSN Radio 1290 and The Winnipeg Free Press suggests that Mike Richards - if hes bought out at the end of the season by the Los Angeles Kings - would be a great fit with the Jets. "For the Jets, its a no-brainer," Lawless wrote. "Richards would set a standard of competition in the Jets dressing room and on the ice. Itll be easy from the perspective of the coaching staff and management to see who matches up and who doesnt. "The Jets need a player willing to grab the rest of the team by the throat." No Jokin Around Lawless adds that no talks have taken place between the Jets and soon-to-be-free agent Olli Jokinens camp. Jokinen, 35, made $4.5 million last season and tallied 18 goals and 25 assists.  "We havent heard a thing from the Jets," Jokinens agent, Ian Pulver told Lawless. "I understood we would talk. But it hasnt transpired. Well see where it goes. I dont know Winnipegs plans." Busy Summer In Pittsburgh? Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch breaks down the Pittsburgh Penguins off-season possibilities and suggests that winger James Neal could be a trade candidate this summer. Neal, 26, will make $20 million over the next four years. Gordon adds that new GM Jim Rutherford might retain former Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen, while Martin Brodeur might be a good addition in net alongside Marc-Andre Fleury. Also, Gordon writes that the Blues or Anaheim Ducks could be a good fit for Jason Spezza, with the Ottawa Senators reportedly wanting a prospect, a player and a first-round pick in return. Gordon adds that salary cap concerns could force the Boston Bruins to deal forward Brad Marchand, who has three years and $13.5 million left on his contract and could feee up room to re-sign Jarome Iginla. Soccer Jerseys China . The match, billed as a "next-gen" encounter between two of the sports rising stars, lasted two and a half hours. The loss kept Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., from reaching a third fourth-round spot in Melbourne over the past four years. Stitched Soccer Jerseys . Still, Encarnacion felt a sense of relief. He felt a pop just before crumpling to the ground after running out a groundball in the first inning of Saturdays game. It could have been worse. “Its going to take maybe two weeks,” said Encarnacion. “It depends how Im going to be and how Im going to be day after day, feeling better or not. -- C.J. Wilson parked his car and laughed while signing autographs for faceless fans who handed bats, balls and cards to the pitcher from the other side of a brick wall. Authentic Soccer Jerseys . Terrance Broadway threw for 227 yards and Hunter Stover kicked three field goals as the Ragin Cajuns won an unprecedented fourth straight New Orleans Bowl with a 16-3 triumph over Nevada. Custom Soccer Jerseys . The 30-year-old Texas native was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round of the 2001 amateur draft. Duke spent six years in Pittsburgh and also had stints with Arizona, Washington and Cincinnati.WINNIPEG - Its certainly not the way Bryan Little or the Winnipeg Jets would like to win hockey games.After blowing a two-goal lead to the Coyotes in the third period, the Jets had to claw and scrape for two points— eventually pulling away with a 4-3 shootout victory against Arizona.We didnt make it easy on ourselves, getting into some penalty trouble at the end, said Little, who scored the games first goal in regulation and then fired home the shootout winner.The Jets (25-4-8) made amends for their third period collapse, improving their win streak to four games while earning at least a point in six straight contests dating back to Jan. 10 against the Los Angeles Kings.Tonight we let it slip a little bit. Still, it still feels good to get both points, said Little. Wed rather not win that way and give up leads, but at the same time we are still managing to get wins and we are still managing to stick with it and come away (with points).It was a really good ending… a really, really good ending, added Jets head coach Paul Maurice, when asked to characterize the hockey game.The Jets also saw goals from Michael Frolik and Dustin Byfuglien.Ondrej Pavelec made 28 saves and for the Jets. Mike Smith stopped 27 shots for the Coyotes.The Coyotes (16-24-5), meanwhile, were left to lick their wounds after watching a heroic comeback eventually end in ruin— and their winless streak extend to five games.Obviously, you lose a game and there is not a lot to take out of it, said captain Shane Doan, who picked up two assists on the night after returning from injury.But youre down 3-1 on the road, on a back-to-back night, thats a big point to get. To find a way to come back and find a way back into the game, its huge. As a team, you have to grow and learn and hopefully be better for the next game.The Coyotes tied the game three and a half minutes after Little opened the scoring as Oliver Ekman-Larsson found twine for his 12th of the year. It was the first shhot Arizona registered on goal.ddddddddddddoan, who missed two games due to his lower-body injury, assisted on Ekman-Larssons goal— although he admitted he found it tough to get going.I didnt have very good legs, he said. You get an assist early and all of the sudden everything feels a little bit better and you feel like youre involved in the game, but your legs arent as good as you want them to be.Frolik scored his 10th on a gaffe by the Coyotes with 1:39 gone in the second period to give the Jets a 2-1 lead.Smith, playing the puck behind his own net, passed it to Connor Murphy, who lost the handle on it. The puck found its way in front of the Coyotes net and onto the stick of Frolik, who made no mistake with the net still vacated.I think we are on a roll and we want to keep going, Frolik said. I dont really look to the standings much but obviously we feel pretty good about ourselves. We just need to keep going, keep rolling, dont change must and just try to get better.Smith kept his team within one goal with just moments left on the clock in the second period as he slid from post-to-post to rob Little of his second of the game.Smith would later make multiple game-saving stops with seconds left on the clock in overtime.Huge. (Smith) played great for us all night and made some key saves at key times, said Coyotes defenceman Keith Yandle.Byfuglien would extend the Jets lead to 3-1 as he wired a wrist shot above a helpless Smith at 9:36 mark of the third after Scheifele found him on a two-on-one break.But Lauri Korpikoski cut the lead in half with under 10 minutes to go and moments later Tobias Rieder completed the comeback with his sixth on the year at 16:10 of the third to secure a point for the Coyotes.I think it is (a morale booster), said Yandle on the comeback. Its a tough building to play in. To tie it up in the third and to get points shows a lot of will and fight in our team and I think we did a good job tonight. ' ' '

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