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om his fans in Montreal, Edmonton Oilers

Michael Saunders grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, which is less than 100 miles from Seattle, home of the Mariners. Air Max 90 Print Pas Cher . Naturally, he rooted for the Blue Jays, who were 2,700 miles and three time zones away in Toronto.For me and my family, it was all Blue Jays, and for the friends I grew up with going to school, it was all Blue Jays too, the Toronto outfielder said. And obviously, the excitement during those two World Series was through the roof.Those two World Series were in 1992 and 1993, and the Blue Jays won each -- the first against Atlanta on Dave Winfields Game 6 11th-inning double, and the second against Philadelphia on Joe Carters Game 6 walk-off/dance-off home run. Their popularity went not only through the roof but also through the stratosphere. The Blue Jays led the league in attendance six years in a row, including 1993, when they averaged 50,000 fans per game.And then the team went into a sudden and surprising decline. After 11 consecutive winning seasons and almost constant contention, the Blue Jays began piling up losing seasons in 1994 and went 21 years without reaching a single postseason. Average attendance plummeted to as low as 19,173 by 2010. From 2008 to 13, they finished no higher than fourth in their division.Ive been here four years, and winning wasnt something that was synonymous with the Blue Jays, Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar said. We were kind of the doormat of the AL East.And then things changed. After finishing last in 2013 and third in 2014, the Blue Jays won the division last year. This year, after beating Baltimore in the wild-card game and Texas in an AL Division Series, they will be playing for the AL pennant against Cleveland.Theyre also massively popular again, leading the league in attendance with an average of close to 42,000 per game. And that isnt counting the many fans who filled the stadium in Seattle for a series against the Mariners in September. Its almost like a West Coast Canadian holiday, Saunders said of the Blue Jays crowds in Seattle.As when Hall of Fame general manager Pat Gillicks Blue Jays added Roberto Alomar in 1991, Jack Morris in 1992 and Paul Molitor in 1993, acquiring new players has been a big factor in Torontos resurgence. As Pillar said, We went out and got some really, really good players and ultracompetitive guys, and that kind of changed the culture.One of those really, really good players was third baseman Josh Donaldson, whom the Blue Jays acquired via an offseason trade after the 2014 season. He was a significant boost for Toronto and immediately won the 2015 AL MVP. Signing catcher and Canada native Russell Martin that same offseason was also important.For one thing, they brought some toughness to us, manager John Gibbons said. The previous couple of years, I didnt think we had enough of that. Id seen Josh from afar playing in Oakland, and I knew what he was about. We got him and it rubbed off on our guys. ... And Id seen Russ a little bit, but his reputation was the same way, a hard-nosed guy. And Russ is the backbone of this team.The two played key roles in completing the Jays division series sweep of the Rangers on Sunday, with Donaldson scoring the winning run from second base on Martins grounder. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, whom Toronto acquired in 2015, played a huge role as well, driving in five runs in the series.Tulowitzki is the same type of guy, Gibbons said. They made a big difference because you can have a ton of talent, but if you dont have some toughness, some gamers and some guys who are really motivated every day to win, you come up empty.Obviously, veterans Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista have been crucial, with Encarnacion hitting 42 home runs in the regular season and three this postseason, including his wild card-winning three-run blast.Torontos pitching also has been very good all season -- the Blue Jays had the leagues lowest ERA at 3.78 -- and the offense has been powerful, with 221 home runs. There was a slump in September, though, when the Jays averaged the fewest runs per game in the majors and nearly missed the playoffs.We rely on that home run ball. And when you run into a little drought, you come up empty a lot of nights, Gibbons said. It was a tough September. We battled. We really picked it up at the end just to get in, and since the month has turned over into October, it kind of looks like the old team.Indeed. The Jays homered eight times and scored 22 runs in the division series. They have hit 10 home runs in their four postseason games.Were pitching well, and were playing good defense, and right now, weve been able to hit the homer. And thats big, a big positive for our offense, Donaldson said. Because there are times when we rely on that, because we dont have a lot of guys in our lineup who are speed-oriented and that are going to take advantage of extra bases. Thats not how were built. Were built to hit the long ball.We definitely feel good where we are at right now.And their fans are feeling good as well, in Victoria and beyond. Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Homme Pas Cher . LOUIS -- Valtteri Filppula assisted on three of Tampa Bays four goals, and the Lightning beat the St. Air Max 90 Bordeaux Homme . Clarke was injured while practicing on the Doha Golf Club range after the pro-am on Tuesday. The Northern Irishman arrived at the course on Wednesday hoping to start, but after hitting a few balls on the practice putting green Clarke advised officials he was not fit to play. . Speaking Thursday on TSN 1050 Thursday, the Leafs GM also touched on the questions surrounding the teams leadership and the struggles of his big-name free-agent signing. “Its not from lack of effort from the coaching staff. So, how does a general manager just randomly get a Shea Weber-P.K. Subban trade discussion going, I asked David Poile.The veteran Nashville Predators GM said he figured, what the heck -- given all the trade rumors bandied about in the media on Subban recently, why not just walk over to Montreal Canadiens counterpart Marc Bergevin at the draft and simply ask?I had been reading about [Subban] for the last two weeks, so I just asked him at the draft, Is there any truth to this? Poile said Wednesday night. And he said, Well, Im fielding calls ... At some point in the conversation, Shea Webers name got brought up. I think that caused us both to pause a little bit. You knew we had hit on a hot button when his name got mentioned. I think both sides left the draft not sure if we wanted to do this or not. I cant speak for him, but I knew I had to think about it.Weve had more meetings with our staff the last few days about one player than I can ever remember. Thats how important Shea was to our franchise.And in fact, Poile was surprised when apprised of the outrage from Habs fans via social media and the harsh criticism for Bergevin of this trade.Dont get the Predators GM wrong, hes beyond excited to get Subban and feels mighty good about it, but he also feels this is a very close trade.This is the hardest trade I have ever made, Poile said. Its not like you go about thinking youre going to trade Shea Weber. Hes been here for three quarters of the time weve been here as a franchise.He grew up here. I call him a foundation piece. Hes probably had the most influence and impact on our franchise of any player. He was our captain. Its one thing to trade a player, but somebody thats been with you 12-13 years, you dont stay that long without having an impact on the franchise. This was not a normal trade. From ownership to coaches to all of us in hockey ops, this was not an easy decision. It was a hard one.But with the way the game is headed with the pace as fast as ever, and Subban being three and a half years younger than Weber, the more the Predators brass debated it, the more it believed this was the right move.Theres also this, a theory I put to Poile: For many years this franchise has done things right, made the playoffs consistently, played the game the right way, drafted and developed, etc. But never has it been an NHL team that fuels watercooler talk.The addition of the electric Subban, a presence both on and off the ice, helps change that.I agree, said Poile. Hey, Im a general manager, but Im a fan, too. Were in the entertainment business. Weve got some exciting players. I love our goalie and how acrobatic he is, I love Roman Josi rushing the puck or Ryan Ellis rushing the puck, I like the swagger of James Neal, the goal-scoring ability of Filip Forsberg, I like the potential of Ryan Johansen, and now you can add in P.K. Subban -- arguably one of the most energetic and most dynamic players in the National Hockey League.As for the Canadiens, this will be Bergevins legacy trade, for better or for worse, as Habs GM. And make no mistake, the five-year contract extension Bergevin got last year emboldened him to make this kind of gutsy decision.We had heard Subbans name out there for the past couple of weeks. The talk had died down late last week after the Habs had listened to offers but didnt like what they were hearing. At that point they really thought they werent going to trade him. But once Webers name entered the picture, that changed everything.Montreal is getting a huge leadership boost in that dressing room, and I think they needed that, is how one Western Conference hockey executive reacted to the deal.Im just happy my team doesnt have to play Weber anymore, said another Western Conference exec in what was a common refrain in the conference.It suggests that the admiration and respect from some hockey people ouutweighs the way the analytics community and many media members feel about a deal that they feel is clearly in Nashvilles favor. Air Max 90 Mesh Homme. To me, the Predators win this trade if for no other reason than that Subban is a younger player with more peak years left in him. Simple as that. But I also dont think its nearly as bad a deal as Bergevins harshest critics suggest.I also think we need to wait until Fridays opening of free agency to see what else Bergevin does to have a complete picture of how this team improves itself.As for the other blockbuster:If Bergevin thought he was getting it hard from his fans in Montreal, Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli might have it worse, given the reaction of fans over his dealing of Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Adam Larsson.Which is why its interesting when I got this reaction from a Western Conference hockey exec about the Oilers making that move: Guys want a fixed cost moving forward, I dont blame them.That fixed cost is Larsson being signed for five more years at a $4.16 million cap hit. Thats a great contract as long as Larsson actually lives up to being a top-end blueliner.I think this is a solid acquisition by Chiarelli. La