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  • December 8, 2018
    TORONTO - When Michael Del Zotto broke into the NHL in 2009-2010 with the Rangers, the game seemed to come easy for him. [b]Rangers Jurickson Profar Jersey[/b] . He led the New York that season in scoring among defenseman and finished second among all rookie defenseman, including ahead of Erik Karlsson. But its been an up and down ride in the four years since for Del Zotto, a journey that included a demotion to the AHL in his second season, falling out of favour with the Rangers as a healthy scratch, and ?finally a trade to the Nashville Predators where he would play just 25 games before becoming a free agent. Coach Barry Trotz suggested in March that “(Del Zottos) game had slipped” and he was again relegated to the press box. When the season ended, Del Zotto did not receive a qualifying offer, leading the 24-year-old to unrestricted free agency after just five NHL seasons. It took until August 5 before he finally caught on with another team, signing with the Flyers on a one-year, $1.3 million deal – a pay cut of $1.25 million on his annual salary the past two seasons. “Yeah, it was a different summer for me,” Del Zotto admitted after day two of ?the BioSteel camp in Toronto on Tuesday. “Last season didnt go as well as I would have liked but its been a very humbling summer but a very motivating summer.” Del Zotto denied that he had taken for granted the success that he experienced early in his career. “No I dont think so,” he said. “Its a tough league to play in. I had a couple good years and obviously last year didnt go as well as I would have liked but its in the past. I dont really want to reflect on that.” Now with 317 NHL games under his belt, the older, wiser – but still young – Del Zotto acknowledged the last year was a reality check for him and now hes determined to turn his career back in the right direction. “Ive never worked this hard, I feel very good mentally and physically with Matty Nichol (of BioSteel) here helping me out. I just cant wait for the season to start and prove a lot of people wrong.” The biggest thing hes learned so far from his five NHL seasons? Making sure good outings are not one-offs and that long-term success at the NHL level requires consistency. “The biggest thing you learn is you have to bring consistency to your game,” Del Zotto explained. “You could have one good game but you need to follow it up with another one. Its not about having one here or one there, its a long season and obviously with playoffs too, you have to keep it consistent throughout that whole time.” Recently, players similar to Del Zotto, but with less experience – Jake Gardiner and Justin Faulk – signed lucrative long term extensions. It would be easy for the Stouffville, ON native to wonder where he went wrong in his career but said theres little use in comparing himself to others right now. “I dont like to really compare myself to any other players around the league,” he said. “I just want to be my own player and not reflect on that side of it.” Del Zottos opportunity came when Kimmo Timonen was diagnosed with blood clots in his right leg and both lungs in early August, leaving him out indefinitely and possibly putting his career in jeopardy. The loss left the Flyers with a need for a puck moving defenseman who can play on the power play, thus opening the door for Del Zotto. “I know what I can bring to the Philadelphia Flyers and what I can do to help them out,” he said. “Im confident in myself and confident I can get back to where I used to be.” [b]Cheap Throwback Rangers Jerseys[/b] . According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, the Maple Leafs have trade offers on the table for the 26-year-old, but none have been deemed acceptable by the team. [b]Rangers Robinson Chirinos Jersey[/b] . The Brazilian heads into Saturday afternoons race coming off a close runner-up finish to Ryan Hunter-Reay in the Indianapolis 500. ATLANTA -- Hank Aaron is still the home run king to many. Even baseball commissioner Bud Selig has a difficult time seeing it any other way. Aaron was honoured before the Braves game against the New York Mets on Tuesday night with a ceremony commemorating the 40th anniversary of his 715th home run, the one that pushed him past Babe Ruth and gave him the major league record. Aaron finished with 755 home runs, but was eventually passed on the career list by Barry Bonds, whose career was tarnished by steroids allegations. Bonds has 762 homers, but many baseball fans dont accept that number and stand by Aaron as the true record-holder. Speaking with reporters after the ceremony, Selig was asked about Aaron being called the true home run king. "Im always in a sensitive spot there, but Ive said that myself and Ill just leave it at that," Selig said. During the ceremony Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said Aaron "set the home-run record the old-fashioned way" and added "You will always be the home run king of all time." Retired Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren earned a big ovation when he said Aaron is "still recognized as baseballs true home run king." Aaron, 80, was given a standing ovation in the ceremony before the game. Aaron broke Ruths record with his homer on April 8, 1974, off the Dodgers Al Downing. Downing attended the ceremony and threw out the first pitch. Some of Aarons 1974 teammates returned, including Dusty Baker, who was on-deck when the record-breaking homer was hit, Ralph Garr, Phil Niekro, Ron Reed, Marty Perez and Tom House, who caught the homer in the bullpen. Aaron thankedd fans "for all your kindness all these many years. [b]Rangers Ferguson Jenkins Jersey[/b]. " Aaron, recovering from recent hip-replacement surgery, used a walker. "The game of baseball was a way that I relaxed myself each year that I went on the field for 23 years," Aaron said. "I gave baseball everything that I had, everything, every ounce of my ability to play the game I tried to play to make you the fans appreciate me more. Thank you." Selig, Aarons longtime friend, established the Hank Aaron Award in 1999 to honour the top hitter in each league. He called Aarons 715th homer "the most famous and treasured record in American sports." Selig said Aaron was a worthy successor to Ruth as home-run king "because he is the living embodiment of the American spirit. ... Baseball is forever our national pastime because of people like Henry Aaron." The Braves wore their 1970s era white-and-blue uniforms, complete with small "a" caps, in tribute to Aaron. The Braves are wearing an Aaron 40th anniversary patch on their uniform sleeves this season. The numbers "715" were painted on the outfield grass, stretching from left-centre to right-centre. The Braves unveiled Aaron jerseys from other college and professional teams in the Atlanta area. Falcons owner Arthur Blank, former Georgia coach and athletic director Vince Dooley and former Georgia Tech coach Bill Curry were among those who stood with their teams jerseys adorned with Aarons name and No. 44. The outfield was filled with fans, each wearing blue 44 Braves jerseys and each holding baseball-shaped signs bearing numbers from 1 to 715. cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseyscheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '