CALGARY - It didnt take long for "the Canadian way" to become a mantra at Hockey Canadas massive under-17 mens hockey camp. Wholesale Shoes Website . The slogan is on the back of every red T-shirt worn by the 108 players circulating through the Markin MacPhail Centre on Calgarys west side. The phrase is drilled into their heads on and off the ice by their coaches and Hockey Canada staff. "They use that term almost in every sentence," Toronto defenceman Jakob Chychrun said Wednesday. "They really teach us all to be young men. "They talk about professionalism, respect and even the little things like cleaning the table up after lunch." Part of the revamp of the national under-17 program was summoning this vast group of players born in 1998 to learn early what Hockey Canada expects and wants from players who wear the Maple Leaf. The nine-day camp ends Tuesday. "Weve had a lot of lectures on the Canadian way and what that means to us and how we have to respect it," defenceman Sean Day said. "Thats one of the most used words Ive heard in the last two days is respect. Just having pride in your nation and respecting everyone who is involved and respecting your opponents." Their days have been filled with fitness and hockey skills testing as well as classroom seminars on nutrition, mental training and media relations. Theyre learning how to warm up and cool down properly for workouts and games in order to avoid injury and perform their best. Players from Duncan, B.C., to Mount Pearl, N.L., have been divided into six teams with their own coaches and support staff. They start playing games against each other Thursday. "The message to them is theres a way we do things here," said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canadas vice-president of hockey operations. "What were trying to teach them in the different areas, were going to have a better chance to win. "We want them leaving here knowing what the Canadian way is, that theyre going to play hard, theyre committed players, theyre character players, they accept their roles. The Canadian way was really borne out of the Olympic team and the performance that they had in Sochi, everything from how that team performed to how they prepared. "Its playing hard, its playing with character and when other teams push, we push back harder. Those are the messages were trying to give every day, all day. The Markin MacPhail Centre will bulge with Canadian hockey prospects when another 44 arrive Friday for the under-18 mens selection camp. A team of the best 22 players born in 1997 will be chosen to play for Canada at the annual Ivan Hlinka international tournament Aug. 11-16 in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Canada has won the tournament six consecutive years. The presence of the under-18 players is another way of driving home the message to the under-17 players whats required to play for Canada. "We want those kids to see the next level for them," Salmond said. The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge has traditionally been held in late December during its 22 years, but the event will be played Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 this year in Sarnia, Ont. Instead of five regional teams representing Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, West and Pacific, Canada will enter three teams mixing players from different regions. So Canadians will now play in the under-17 tournament under the banner of their country, and not their geographical region. There will be more competition to play in the tournament as 66 players from across the country will be named to those three squads. Torontos Chychrun and Day played for Ontario at the most recent under-17 tournament held in Sydney, N.S., under the old format. Forward Mitchell Balmas of Sydney represented Team Atlantic and Edmonton forward Tyler Benson played for Team Pacific. Chychrun was the first overall pick in this years Ontario Hockey League draft by the Sarnia Sting. Benson went first in last years Western Hockey League draft to the Vancouver Giants. Day is the only player invited to this under-17 camp who played major junior hockey last season. He was an underage defenceman for the OHLs Mississauga Steelheads. Balmas was a first-round pick of the QMJHLs Charlottetown Islanders this year. This is his first trip to Western Canada and his camp roommates are from Ontario and Quebec. Mixing the players pushes them out of their comfort zone. Where once they compared themselves to players from within their own province, they now measure themselves against their counterparts in the rest of the country. "You see how you rank with the other guys all across Canada and what you need to work on," Balmas said. "You kind of have to bring all your stuff because you dont know who youre playing against or who youre playing with. You have to learn and adapt." Air Force 1 Sale ." Argos general manager Jim Barker uttered those words during an interview with TSN 1050 radio just prior to the CFLs annual free agent frenzy. Under Armour Shoes Sale . 1 player in the world. So Duval gutted it out Thursday at the Byron Nelson Championship despite the pain from a muscle issue in his right elbow, a day after his stepson had to drive him because he couldnt even use that arm.Oklahoma City Thunder• Western Conference #2 seed | Season record: 59-23BACKDROP: As my buddy Jezmund refers to him, Kevin Durant is my business card. He is the face of the Thunder and has been since they made the move from Seattle six seasons ago. When I first glimpsed Kevin Durant play for the Texas Longhorns, I, and others blessed with the gift of sight, knew he was a superstar. He was to become my new Dominique Wilkins, AKA The Guy I Pinned My Hopes On. While on my stag in Las Vegas, I met Kevin in a library (picture attached). At the same literary function, Lebron James, just a few days removed from The Decision, had dined at the table next to mine, and was now watching an underpaid busboy zipline above the, oh, lets say microfiche, in a freshly minted Miami #6 jersey, while Durant roamed the room without entourage, looking like the worlds tallest Abercrombie salesman. I felt comfortable in my choice of next generation icons.CURRENT TEAM: Durant, the newly crowned MVP of the league, is unquestionably the face of the franchise according to everyone not named Russell Westbrook. Born without a brake pedal or a conscience, Russell likes to shoot the rock. These two alpha dogs have had difficulty meshing when it counts most, suffering five game dispatches the past three seasons, including 2012s Finals loss to Miami. Unlike the ongoing question which arises every postseason— "Why isnt the ball in KDs hands?"—now the team has a more desperate problem. Third banana, Serge Ibaka, a superstar in his own right as a two time 1st Team All Defender is out for the remainder of the playoffs. Expect gritty play from Steven Adams and Nick Collison, but it will be hard sledding against Tim Duncan to overcome losing the best shot blocker in the game.WHY ROOT FOR THEM: Beyond the sky-high likeability factor of Durantula, you may not want to root against a team that seems to have this years lucky streak on its side. Despite Ibakas injury, a ton has gone right for OKC in surprising ways this postseason, and perhaps after years of being labeled with the "next great team" status, the lords of basketball have decided for the breaks to go to tornado country. The Thunder were handed a gift when Zach Randolph was suspended for the final game of the Memphis series (a terrible decision by the league—if this was 1990, he may not have even been called for a foul). Then there was the bizarrely botched officiating at the end of Game 5 versus the Clippers, which effectively handed the game to OKC, and shifted the tide in the series. Do you really want to bet against the team with the best sixth man since James Harden? (That sixth man being the officiating crew.)Indiana Pacers• Eastern Conference #1 seed | Season record: 56-26BACKDROP: The state of Indiana is synonymous with basketball, even if the pro team has never won a title. Gene Hackman and his Hoosiers. Bobby Knight and his temper. Larry Bird and his hair. But the Pacers havent had a compelling national brand since Reggie Miller exchanged pleasantries with a courtside Spike Lee. Last year, for the first time without Reggie on the roster, the Pacers emerged under Paul George as a genuine force, making the Eastern Conference Finals, where they would lose to Miami in a slug-it-out seven game affair. They knew they were young and they were close. By mid-January of this year, they were the best team on the planet. Then something happened...CURRENT TEAM: The Trade. Before Larry Legend swapped the once face of the fraanchise, Danny Granger, for the overrated Evan Turner, the Pacers had the leagues best record at 42-13. Air Jordan 1 Sale. After the trade, 14-13. They acquired Turner because bench play was the teams undoing in 2013 and making moves to strengthen it were necessary and advised. But whether it was the fault of Turner or other personalities in the locker room, the team unraveled (Turner and fellow Pacer, and known irritant, Lance "Born Ready" Stephenson, engaged in a fist fight last month, marking a nadir in the teams descent). Defence, the hallmark of the team, suddenly faltered. The offence stalled. Only recently has David West emerged as the emotional leader, and the team has clawed its way against lesser Eastern Conference opponents to the third round. Cue the rematch.(Sidenote: Top picks Lebron James, Tim Duncan, and near top picks Durant, Westbrook, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, etc., havent been the signature of these Pacers. Indiana hasnt selected above the #10 spot since George McCloud in 1989. Evan Turner, selected second overall by the 76ers, was the teams first foray into the top of the draft in many years. Paul George was taken at 10, Hibbert at 17. West, 18. Stephenson, 40. Scola, 56. I havent worked out this theory entirely, but I think Turners draft slot impacted the Pacers internal harmony.)WHY ROOT FOR THEM: Because you want to join me in rooting for the current member of "Team 29". You may never tack a picture of David West up on your wall, but you can still look yourself in the mirror with pride after rooting for him. The same cannot be said for Dwyane Wade.Miami Heat• Eastern Conference #2 seed | Season record: 54-28BACKDROP: Sadly, it is possible that one day we will argue over whether The King, blessed be He, correctly predicted winning seven or eight titles. Ugh. The Heat. Two-time defending champs. Three-time finalists. All time cocky bastards. The road team, but still heavy favourites to win the series. Further proof that the city of Miami is the Cosmo Kramer of the sports world—falling ass backwards into success. The fans ignore their losing teams, barely support their winning teams, and they still win championships (even the Florida Panthers have played for a Stanley Cup more recently than the Maple Leafs).CURRENT TEAM: Lebron James and fourteen other people paid to play (and often witness) basketball near Lebron James. As the lone quasi-big market team left among the final four, Im certain Adam Silver and the NBA brass (read: broadcasters) want to see the Heat in the Finals (read into that however you like, scholars of NBA officiating). This Heat team isnt as deep as seasons past, but in the final year of guaranteed contracts for the infamous Big 3, they still have plenty of firepower, as their solitary playoff loss attests.WHY ROOT FOR THEM: When you watch Die Hard, you root for Hans Gruber to get back his detonators. If an elderly man slips into a silt-soaked puddle, you chuckle. While others cheer for the upstart Rocky Balboa, you find yourself more of an Apollo Creed booster. You are reading this on a Samsung Galaxy. You thought Bambis mother had it coming. Welcome to your Miami Heat years.Gallays Poll #10Q: Who will you be rooting for?(A) San Antonio. Because a fifth championship would cement them for all time.(B) Oklahoma City. Because Kevin Durant was the MVP for a reason.(C) Indiana. Because Larry Legend is due for a return to the winners podium.(D) Miami. Because I need something to do when Im not kicking kittens. ' ' '
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