Schoolchildren filled the arena by the busload on a few recent mornings. They got a kick out of watching Canadas world junior hockey team practise.Every once in a while, a few would start chanting, Mc-Da-vid! Of all the players on the ice, 17-year-old phenom Connor McDavid was the No. 1 star.But when the tournament opens Friday, McDavid wont be shouldering the burden of lifting Canada to its first world junior gold medal since 2009. Hockeys Next One badly wants to be a difference-maker, but on a team that also includes NHLers Curtis Lazar and Anthony Duclair and a handful of other returning players, he doesnt have to be.Connor is one of the 22 players who is going to be part of this team, and he is going to be an important piece, coach Benoit Groulx said. I dont feel myself as a coach that he has got to make the difference. I think Connor has got to be Connor, he has got to be himself, he has to play, he has to have fun, he has to compete, he has to challenge himself. ...I expect the team to find a way to make a difference.On the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, McDavid is the straw that stirs the drink. Even though he hasnt played since breaking a bone in his hand Nov. 11, the Newmarket, Ont., native has 16 goals and 35 assists in 18 games.In Erie, McDavid has Dylan Strome behind him on the depth chart and Alex DeBrincat as a linemate. In Montreal and Toronto at the world junior championship, he could be the No. 2 centre behind Sam Reinhart and skate with the likes of Lazar and Robby Fabbri.McDavid is expected to be the top pick in the NHL draft in June and is considered a franchise-changing, once-in-a-generation talent. But Hockey Canadas Ryan Jankowski believes Connor could buy into any role, and McDavid hopes he can do what Sidney Crosby and others did for gold in Sochi.This is a great group of talent, everyone plays big minutes on their own team, McDavid said. You look at the Olympics: Why were they successful? Its because guys were willing to accept roles that werent necessarily the most flattering roles, but thats what wins championships. I think everyone here is willing to do that.None of this is to say McDavid wants to play second banana to Reinhart, Lazar, Duclair or anyone else. He had a goal and three assists in this tournament last year despite being just 16.And despite what Groulx said about making a difference, McDavid takes the responsibility on himself.You want to be a difference-maker every time youre on the ice, McDavid said.McDavid may be just that. New Years Eve at the Bell Centre is being billed as McDavid vs. U.S. star Jack Eichel, and its undoubtedly the tournaments matchup to watch.The McDavid/Eichel storyline tires for the prospective top two draft picks, who have never met. McDavid said he feels like he knows Eichel just from being asked about him so much.Its a little bit annoying, I guess, McDavid said. Ive never even spoken to him.McDavid answers the questions about Eichel and everything else because hes the centre of attention, at least from the outside. But McDavid doesnt big-time his teammates in the process.Hes really good about it, said Fabbri, who has played with or against McDavid since the two were seven and eight years old, respectively. Nothing gets to his head. We have some laughs about it, but other than that everyones cool.Erie Otters assistant coach and former NHL defenceman Jay McKee raves about McDavids humility, which he said rivals Crosbys. McDavid said the key is surrounding himself with good people, including his parents and agents at the Orr Group.All my friends and teammates and all that, they do a good job of keeping me grounded, he said. Just making sure youre never get too high and just treating you like a normal guy.McDavid is one of seven returning players on Canadas world junior team, along with Reinhart, Lazar, Nic Petan, Frederik Gauthier, defenceman Josh Morrissey and goaltender Zach Fucale. Because of that, Groulx and his staff could count on McDavid to be part of the leadership group, even though he wont have the C on his chest.Im still one of the youngest guys in the room, if not the youngest, said McDavid, who is captain of the Otters. But I am a returning guy. I have a little bit of experience in this tournament and Ive been there before. Maybe Im a little bit of a leader, maybe not, Im not sure. I guess thats kind of up to the other guys to decide.Chants from young fans aside, in a room full of teenage hockey players, McDavid is one of the guys. Reinhart isnt at all worried about McDavid hype overshadowing the team.I think its pretty easy in the room, Reinhart said. Hes the first guy thats going to let everyone know that. Hes good about it, everyones good about it.Groulx knows McDavid isnt just one of the 22 players on his roster, but thats how hes treating him. The coach of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey Leagues Gatineau Olympiques is in charge of more than just McDavids success.I dont think it is the Connor McDavid show, Groulx said. I think Connor is one of our good players, but he is still a young man and I think we have many returning guys on this team. Our goal is to build a team.McDavids goal is to win a gold medal. Roles could change from the opener against Slovakia through the knockout games, but he doesnt mind taking less to achieve more.Its fine, McDavid said. Theres some unbelievable players on this team and just to be on its an honour.---Follow @SWhyno on Twitter Danilo Gallinari Jersey
. - Nikita Jevpalovs scored 6:22 into the second overtime as the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada edged the visiting Rimouski Oceanic 2-1 on Tuesday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff action. Louis Williams Jersey
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. But defending champion Elena Vesnina of Russia held off a strong challenge to beat Shuai Peng of China 6-3, 6-4, and there was another hard-fought victory for 2012 runner-up Angelique Kerber of Germany, who defeated Alison Riske of the United States 7-6 (6), 6-4. Patrick Beverley Jersey
. "I had a pretty good year," the soft-spoken Granberg told TSN.ca with a grin from the teams annual rookie tournament in London. A fourth-round selection in 2010, Granberg is worth keeping an eye on with NHL training camps rolling around in less than a week. The six-foot-two, 200-pound defender may not possess the wow-inspiring theatrics of fellow prospect Morgan Rielly, but nonetheless has a chance to contribute with the Leafs when all is said and done this season. BEREA, Ohio -- Browns defensive end Desmond Bryants season has ended because of an irregular heartbeat that will require surgery. Bryant, who signed a five-year, $34 million contract as a free agent with Cleveland in March, reported symptoms on Monday morning, a team spokesman said. Bryant played in Sundays game against Jacksonville and was credited with four pressures on Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne. The Browns said Bryant will undergo "a minor heart procedure" this week. He is expected to make a full recovery and resume his playing career. Bryant was taken out of an Oct. 3 game against Buffalo in the third quarter complaining of shortness of breath. He was hospitalized overnight at The Cleveland Clinic with an irregular heartbeat. It was the second such episode for Bryant, who left a game last year with Oakland and was hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat. Both times Bryant returned to play in the next weeks game. "Its a pretty scary feeling," Bryant said after returning to practice in October. "Your heart wont calm down. Fortunately, weve got a great staff on hand and theyve got me doing the right thingss I need and Im now back to normal.ddddddddddddquot; Bryant indicated he had made some changes to guard against a recurrence. "Were doing some things to prevent it from happening again," he said. "I need to try to cut out anything that may start this up, as well as taking some medication to help prevent it." The 27-year-old Bryant started all 12 games this season for the Browns and made 45 tackles with 3 1-2 sacks. He had a career-high 10 tackles and two sacks in the season opener, but his production has steadily dropped and he has not had a sack in nine games. The Browns placed him on the reserve/non-football illness list. Bryant played the previous four seasons with the Raiders, who signed the 6-foot-6, 310-pounder as an undrafted free agent from Harvard in 2009. Bryant was not on the practice field Wednesday and coach Rob Chudzinski did not disclose why he would not be participating before the workout. To fill Bryants roster spot, the Browns promoted wide receiver Brian Tyms from the practice squad to the active roster. Also, the Browns the released linebacker Justin Staples from the practice squad. Cheap Canadiens Jerseys Cheap Predators Jerseys Cheap Devils Jerseys Cheap Islanders Jerseys Cheap Rangers Jerseys Cheap Senators Jerseys Cheap Flyers Jerseys Cheap Penguins Jerseys Cheap Sharks Jerseys Cheap Blues Jerseys Cheap Lightning Jerseys Cheap Maple Leafs Jerseys Cheap Canucks Jerseys Cheap Golden Knights Jerseys Cheap Capitals Jerseys Cheap Winnipeg Jets Jerseys
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