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Sidney Crosby is the face of the NHL and hockey in Canada, so its only natural that hell be the countrys captain at next months Sochi Olympics. The Pittsburgh Penguins captain, who scored the gold-medal-winning overtime goal against the United States in Vancouver four years ago, got the nod to wear the "C" this time around. Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators were named alternate captains, Hockey Canada announced Sunday morning. "Sidney, Jonathan and Shea have been leaders on the international stage in the past, as well as with their NHL teams," coach Mike Babcock said in a statement. "These three players will be at the forefront of our efforts in Sochi, but we are confident we have 25 players on our roster that will lead in their own way and allow our team to be successful." There will be no shortage of leadership in Sochi given the presence of six NHL captains, but it starts with Crosby. "Playing for Team Canada, playing in the Olympics is a great opportunity," Crosby told reporters at Penguins practice. "But being able to be named the captain is definitely an honour." Crosby was made the youngest captain in NHL history when he got the "C" for the Pittsburgh Penguins six and a half years ago. In 2009 he raised the Stanley Cup as captain. At the 2010 Olympics, Crosby was an alternate along with defenceman Chris Pronger and winger Jarome Iginla. The 26-year-old Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native doesnt expect his mind-set to change much. Veteran defenceman Scott Niedermayer captained that team and said before his Hockey Hall of Fame induction in November that he had no doubt Crosby is ready to assume that role. "Hes very mature," Niedermayer said. "He was probably ready when he was 16. He was probably ready in 2010, and the thinking was hes going to have enough pressure on him just from who he is and things like that that he doesnt need one more thing to worry about, give it to some old guy thats just trying to figure things out out there. Im sure he would do very well." Toews seemed like the only other logical option, based on performing in 2010 and leading the Blackhawks to two Stanley Cups. Last week he acknowledged the possibility of being named captain. "Im ready for any role," Toews said in Montreal. "Last time, I played five, six, maybe seven minutes at the start of the tournament in Vancouver. By the end of it, the coaches had more confidence in me. They put me in more defensive situations. This time around wont be different. Whether Im captain -- or not -- whatever. Im going to Russia to win a gold medal like everyone else." This will be the second Olympics for most of the core, including the leadership group. "Honestly, it doesnt get old," Crosby said in Vancouver of just making the team. "That feeling doesnt get old. The appreciation and being proud to represent your country, its the same for everybody." Asked if he preferred "Captain Canada" over his current nickname of "Sid the Kid," Crosby said: "Ill let you guys worry about that." Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers has that moniker, and Crosby expects it to stick with the Hockey Canada mainstay despite this announcement. Russia already named Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings as captain. Its Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins for Slovakia and Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens for the Czech Republic. The United States has yet to name its captain, though general manager David Poile singled out Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan and David Backes as the U.S. leadership group. The mens ice hockey tournament in Sochi begins Feb. 12. Canada opens against Norway on Feb. 13. Caroline Ouellette was named captain of Canadas womens team. Haley Wickenheiser will be a permanent alternate, while Jayna Hefford and Catherine Ward will rotate the second "A." "There is a tremendous amount of experience in our dressing room, and there is no shortage of qualified candidates to wear a letter," womens coach Kevin Dineen said in a statement. "The players we have selected as captain and alternates in Sochi have shown their dedication and commitment to the team and its end goal throughout a long season, and we feel they are the ideal choices to lead our team through the Olympic experience." Canadas womens team opens play Feb. 8 against Switzerland. Greg Westlake was named captain of Canadas sledge hockey team. Brad Bowden and Adam Dixon are the alternates. "This is the leadership team we have had in place since 2011, and we have the utmost confidence in them leading our team into Sochi," sledge team coach Mike Mondin said in a statement. "Greg, Brad and Adam have worn the Team Canada jersey with pride every time they have put it on, and have earned the right to wear a letter on the games biggest stage." -- With files from Kelsey Patterson in Montreal and Joshua Clipperton in Vancouver. Adidas Evgeny Kuznetsov Jersey . -- The Atlanta Braves are facing the possibility of losing another pitcher for the season after general manager Frank Wren said Saturday that Cory Gearrin has a serious injury to his right elbow. Cheap Adidas Capitals Jerseys . 9 Baylor Bears just needed some time to get on track in their first game after the Christmas break. http://www.cheapwashingtoncapitalsjerse ... lov-jersey. "Yes, Id like to get them in," Detroits rookie manager said. "Mother Natures going to have a say in that." Sure enough, the Tigers had their game against the Kansas City Royals postponed because of rain on Thursday. Adidas Nicklas Backstrom Jersey . Here is a look at all the moves through the first week of NHL Free Agency. The most significant deals will get the full Numbers Game column treatment, like these:Briere-for-Parenteau trade. Adidas Alex Ovechkin Jersey . It was the most lopsided loss in Lakers history. Darren Collison had a team-high 24 points while starting at shooting guard for the injured Jamal Crawford. Chris Paul added 13 points and 11 assists for the Clippers, who apparently are trying to make up for decades of humiliation at the hands of the Lakers all in one season; theyve won the last two meetings by a combined 84 points. BOSTON -- Jacoby Ellsbury went to the New York Yankees. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is gone, too. The Boston Red Sox began rebuilding for their World Series title defence Wednesday when they signed free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year contract. "Its not every day you get a chance to play for the defending World Series champions. Looking at what they have coming back, theres definitely a chance to do it again," Pierzynski said in a conference call with reporters. "It was a place that you always want to go to because they win and they try to win every year. When they called, it was hard to say no." A two-time All-Star, Pierzynski will take over for the switch-hitting Saltalamacchia, who agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday at about the same time the Yankees pried Ellsbury away from their rivals with a seven-year, $153 million contract. "We wish Jacoby well," general manager Ben Cherington said. "He was obviously a real good player here. He was a big part of two World Series teams and we would have loved to keep him. But we felt that there was an area or range that we were willing to go to, and the market just went past that." The best candidate to replace Ellsbury in the Red Sox system is Jackie Bradley Jr., who batted .189 in 37 games in the majors last year and .275 with 10 homers in 80 games at Triple-A Pawtucket. Cherington said it was too early to say whether there would be other candidates brought in through free agency or trade. "We feel good about some of the in-house alternatives, and one of those is certainly Jackie Bradley," Cherington said. "We feel fortunate that Jackie is in our organization, and we will feel good that he is playing centre field, if thats the way it works out." Pierzynski, who has played for four teams over parts of 16 seasons, said he talked to several former teammates who were on the Red Sox this year, including David Ortiz, Matt Thornton and Jake Peavy. He also bumped into Mark Kotsay while on vacation in Hawaii. "They all said, If you get an opportunity to come, youve got to take it," Pierzynski said. "Every person I talked to has had a positive experience there. I was grateful that Ben reached out and gave me an opportunity." Saltalamacchia had been a solid catcher in Boston. But his last play in a Red Sox uniform was the ill-advised throw to third base that led to the obstruction call against Will Middlebrooks, which gave the St. LLouis Cardinals a victory in Game 3 of the World Series.dddddddddddd David Ross took over, and the Red Sox went on to win the Series in six games -- their third title in 10 years. Both catchers were also a big part of the clubhouse chemistry that was helped erase the stigma of the fried chicken and beer collapse of 2011. Pierzynski has a mixed reputation in baseball -- including a conflict with Peavy that the two say is long behind them -- but his own teammates usually defend him. "(He has) the reputation across the field of not being the best guy," Boston manager John Farrell said on WEEI-AM. "But there are guys you get that feel from across the field and then when they get in your dugout, you love him. He was on board with everything. The bottom line is he wants to do nothing more than one thing: win." Pierzynski, a left-handed hitter, and Ross, a righty, will both be 37 next season. The Red Sox have two catching prospects in the minor leagues, Christian Vazquez in Triple-A and Blake Swihart in Single-A. "What were looking at is a short-term situation that really points toward Vazquez and Swihart, that are coming," Farrell said. "That doesnt mean that in 2015 Vazquez is a starter, but it gives us the flexibility that if he makes another good step in the minors the next year, its the potential that a guy could step in." Cherington also said his goal was to make the 2014 team stronger without hindering flexibility in the future, an outlook that made a one-year deal for a veteran catcher more attractive than the three years Saltalamacchia got. "We really appreciate everything he did," Cherington said. "If reports are accurate, were happy for him that he gets a good deal. We wish him well, but we feel like A.J. is the right fit for us right now." Pierzynski batted .272 with 17 homers and 70 RBIs last season with Texas -- the 13th season in a row in which hes caught at least 110 games. In his career with the Twins, Giants, White Sox and Rangers, Pierzynski is a .283 hitter with 172 homers and 800 RBIs, with a .322 average in 33 games at Fenway Park. "The combination of A.J. and Ross will allow that to be a position of strength for us, as it was this year," Cherington said. Pierzynski has caught two no-hitters, including Philip Humbers perfect game April 21, 2012. He made the All-Star Game in 2002 and 06 and won the World Series with the White Sox in 2005. He has a .300 career average with five homers and 17 RBIs in the post-season. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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