#1 had a team-high seven turnovers. Th von carrie201918 22.04.2019 03:16

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Centre Saku Koivu and goalie Jonas Hiller are done with the Anaheim Ducks. Koivu, Hiller and forward Daniel Winnik wont be offered contracts by the Ducks for next season, general manager Bob Murray confirmed Thursday. The Pacific Division champion Ducks are cutting ties with several dependable veterans after the best regular season in franchise history and a second-round playoff exit. Along with Teemu Selannes retirement, the departures of Koivu and Hiller will allow the Ducks young talent to assume bigger roles next season. Anaheim also is in the trade market for an elite centre. "Weve got younger players coming along that we had to move into the lineup," Murray said. "I thought it was best for this organization that we move forward a little bit. It was just time." The 39-year-old Koivu became a fan favourite during five seasons with the Ducks, even while his scoring production dwindled. The four-time Finnish Olympian was the longtime captain of the Montreal Canadiens. Murray said the Ducks decision on Koivu was "the hardest of the three. He had a great career." Murray isnt certain what Koivu will do next, but wouldnt be surprised if he decides to play in Finland. Koivu said last month he was contemplating retirement. The Ducks decision to part ways with Hiller means theyll head into next season with a new starting goalie for the first time since 2009. Hiller made an All-Star team, won a playoff series and consistently backstopped the Ducks through several seasons of frequently terrible defensive play in front of him, going 162-110-32 over seven years. But the Swiss netminder lost his starting job late in the regular season to Danish backup Frederik Andersen, and he played infrequently in the post-season while the Ducks went with Andersen and 20-year-old John Gibson, widely considered the top goaltending prospect in hockey. "Jonas did so much for us," Murray said. "But weve got pretty good kids there, so the writing was kind of on the wall." The 32-year-old Hiller had hoped to stay in Anaheim, but he joins Ryan Miller as the top goalies available in free agency. Anaheim signed the undrafted Hiller out of Switzerlands top league in May 2007. He beat out Ilya Bryzgalov for a roster spot and swiftly seized the starting job from Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the Stanley Cup-winning starter and franchises winningest goalie. "Its funny how it comes full circle," Murray said. Hiller won 14 consecutive decisions during his final season with the Ducks, and he shut out the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium in January. Andersen and Gibson both struggled at times in the playoffs, but confirmed he wasnt in the Ducks plans when he got just two post-season starts even after Andersen struggled and eventually got injured. Gibson was mediocre in the Ducks final two losses to the Kings, but Anaheim stuck with its youth over Hillers experience. Winnik spent the past two years with the Ducks, scoring 30 points in 76 games last season. Murray emerged from his post-season meetings eager to retool the Ducks, who finished atop the Western Conference and won their second straight division title at 54-20-8. Anaheim beat Dallas in the first round of the post-season, but blew a 3-2 lead in the second round against the rival Kings, losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champions in seven games. The Ducks also are in the market for a veteran centre after failing to land Vancouvers Ryan Kesler at last springs trade deadline. Anaheim has been linked in discussions for Kesler, Ottawas Jason Spezza and San Joses Joe Thornton. Anaheim has a wealth of assets for a deal, including four draft picks in the first two rounds and an impressive collection of prospects in one of the NHLs best farm systems. "I think were in good shape if the right deal is there," Murray said. 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Vladimir Konstantinov Jersey .500 ball against teams with winning records, so they needed a huge lift from somebody Tuesday night in a matchup of division leaders.ORLANDO, Fla. -- Its not always pretty with Louisville. And sometimes, its ugly by design. The defending national champions shrugged off poor shooting, 19 turnovers and a subpar performance by star Russ Smith and still won handily Saturday to get back to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the third straight year. "Everythings not going to be sweet or pretty," Smith said after a 66-51 victory over Saint Louis. "Were just getting the job done." Luke Hancock scored 21 points and the battled-tested Cardinals (31-5) won with defence. Saint Louis (27-7) missed all 15 of their 3-point shots and turned the ball over 18 times in losing in the third round for the third consecutive year. "These guys have had a lot of wins under their belt, a lot of great tournament experiences," said coach Rick Pitino, who huddled with the Cardinals after watching Florida wear down Pittsburgh in Orlando earlier in the day. "I said, Guys, thats the exact game youre going to be in," Pitino said. "And youre going to have to be the prettiest team in an ugly game because thats the way its going to be. ... We grinded out a win, and thats what the NCAA tournament is all about." The fourth-seeded Cardinals, who are looking for a third straight trip to the Final Four, move on the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis against either No. 1 seed Wichita State or Kentucky. "Obvious, theyve got a chance to repeat," Saint Louis coach Jim Crews said of Louisvilles chances of winning it all again. Dwayne Evans led Saint Louis, which has never been to the Sweet 16, with 16 points. Atlantic 10 player of the year Jordair Jett finished with 15. Chris Jones made a couple of huge shots and scored 11 points for Louisville. Montrezl Harrell put a punctuation mark on the victory with a dunk that gavve him 10 points and 11 rebounds.dddddddddddd Pitino improved to 50-16 in the NCAA tournament, including a 16-0 mark in the round of 16. The Cardinals are in the regional semifinals for the 20th time, matching Kansas and trailing only North Carolina (25), Kentucky (24) and Duke (23). Smith struggled shooting the ball for the second straight game, missing his first four attempts and going scoreless until his 3-pointer put the Cardinals up 25-14 in the final minute of the opening half. Saint Louis starts five seniors, and their experience and cohesion showed in weathering a slow start and methodically working its way back into the game after falling down by 11. The Billikens began the second half with a 13-2 run, holding Louisville without a field goal for nearly 7 minutes to take a 29-27 lead. But Smith hit a floater in the lane, then made two free throws to restore order for the Cardinals, who limited Saint Louis to 39.6 per cent shooting. Louisville rebuilt their lead to 13 over the next 9 minutes, with Hancock making two 3-pointers and Smith finishing a 23-8 surge with a driving layup that put his team up 50-37. Smith finished 3 of 10 from the field and had a team-high seven turnovers. The senior led the Cardinals with seven assists. "Russ Smith has grown so much as a basketball player, but he still has one thing left, and I tried to explain this to him at halftime," Pitino said, adding that Smith has to learn to recognize how other coaches are game-planning to slow him down. "All the great ones from Michael Jordan to Kobe, they dont try to score 20 points in the first quarter. They get everybody else the ball and they let the game come to me, the other team fatigues and things open up. So his last lesson is to play like he did in the second half. .. . Hes our Michael, our Kobe." ' ' '

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