into Brazil and the boxing category, duBoef said. Theyre huge fans of MMA, b from q123's blog

SUNRISE, Fla. Cheap NFL Jerseys . -- Heres an example of how far Florida has come: At a game late last season, the Panthers were penalized twice because their home fans were overly exuberant.That wasnt possible a couple years ago.The Panthers were one of the NHLs surprises last year, winning the Atlantic Division -- only two years after finishing a staggering 51 points back in the division race -- and putting together the best regular season in franchise history. Now they have the look of a full-fledged contender, with expectations higher than theyve been in two decades.We achieved a lot of goals, Panthers forward Reilly Smith said. Making the playoffs was a big goal for us. Finishing first in our division was another big goal. Theres still that big one at the end of the tunnel that we didnt come close enough to, but wed like to get back there and we definitely have enough skill in our dressing room to get us back to that point.The Panthers expect to have a lot of that skill in Florida colors for years to come.Florida has no fewer than 10 players under contract for at least the next four seasons, including its young core -- Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjugstad, Vincent Trocheck and Smith. The Panthers also added defenseman Keith Yandle in the offseason, part of some big changes on the blue line, and got goaltender Roberto Luongo a very strong backup in James Reimer.And of course, the Panthers still have Jaromir Jagr.He led the team in scoring last season, at the age of 44. He enters this season 20 points away from passing Mark Messier for No. 2 on the NHLs all-time list -- behind only Wayne Gretzky, who is still about 1,000 points ahead of anyone else.Jagr thinks it was a very positive sign for the Panthers to keep their core intact, and thinks the chemistry in Floridas dressing room is a big reason why success should be expected this season.Its not about three forwards and two defense, Jagr said. Its about five guys just working together. Forwards have to play defense, defense has to play forward. Thats just the style of hockey now. Everyone has to know how to play everything. Defense has to help the forwards and the other way around.Heres some things to know about the Panthers going into this season:STREAKY CATSThe Panthers were streaky last season, both good and bad. Florida had a 12-game winning streak, two five-game win streaks and one other stretch of four wins in a row. There also were losing streaks of four and five games. The roller-coaster ride worked out, though the Panthers believe theres too much talent for a reprise of any long droughts this season.CATS ARE COMINGThere were two games in November last year when Florida failed to draw even 11,000 people into its building, a common problem over the last couple decades. But as the playoffs neared, the Panthers were a big ticket -- their last eight regular-season games all drew more than 15,000, with four of those getting crowds of over 18,000. And the game against New Jersey on March 31 was the one where Florida fans got their team penalized twice by throwing toy rats onto the ice in the third period.PLAYOFF STINGTrocheck got tripped with 68 seconds left in Game 6 of Floridas first-round series with the New York Islanders, on a play where he had an empty net and a golden chance of wrapping up a trip to a Game 7 at home. Instead, the Islanders tied the game seconds later, then prevailed in double overtime to end Floridas season. Still hurts, Smith said.SPECIAL TEAMSAn area where Florida can improve this season is special teams. Floridas power play ranked 23rd in the 30-team NHL last season, and its penalty kill unit was 24th.ODDS WATCHThree years ago, sportsbooks in Las Vegas listed the Panthers as a 150-1 shot to win the Stanley Cup -- by far the longest in the league at that time. Entering this season, theyre listed at 20-1. NFL Jerseys Wholesale . -- Josh Sterk scored once and set up two more as the Oshawa Generals edged the visiting Belleville Bulls 3-2 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. Cheap Jerseys From China . Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee? Green had bounced around the NBA when he wasnt playing overseas. The Pacers gave up on Plumlee after just one season. Now Green and Plumlee are key cogs in the Suns surprising breakout season. . But now that hes in the NHL, the Calgary Flames centre showed big improvement in that department by scoring the winner in the eighth round of a 5-4 shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. Robson Conceicao, who thrilled the home fans by becoming the first Brazilian boxer in history to win an Olympic gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last month, has signed a professional contract with American promotional giant Top Rank.Conceicao signed a five-year deal, Top Rank president Todd duBoef told on Friday night. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.Conceicao, who won the lightweight gold medal (132 pounds in the amateur ranks), will make his professional debut on the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas undercard on Nov. 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, duBoef said.As talented as the 27-year-old Conceicao is -- he was also an Olympian in 2012 and 2008 -- duBoef sees him as a fighter with a built-in fan base at home who can become a major box-office star.The most important thing to me was the incredible connection he has to those fans in Brazil, duBoef said. That was A, No. 1. The fighting style, his speed, his power, what he does with his right hand or his left hand -- I will leave that to my matchmakers. But his marketability is sensational, absolutely over the top.DuBoef said that Top Rank matchmaker Brad Abdul Goodman, who attended the Olympics, was blown away by the reaction he saw from the Brazilian fans when Conceicao boxed.He said he had never seen anything across the board in terms of enthusiasm in the arena as Conceicao progressed in the Olympics, and especially when he won the gold medal, duBoef said. Obviously, his skills at that level speak for themselves, but the marketability and coming from Brazil, which is a massive country that supports its sports stars, make this the perfect combination for us.DuBoef said he will be in Rio de Janeiro to make a formal announcement of the signing at a news conference on Sept. 9.Conceicao, who has solid power, fluid movement and good defensive skills, won the gold medal by unanimous decision against Frances Sofiane Oumiha as the home crowd went wild.Afterward, Conceicao said, It was an incredible feeling to represent the whole of Brazil and also [the state of] Bahia. I continued to fight because of them. They gave me the strength when I was fighting, so it was an incredible feeling. Itts because of them that I got this medal.dddddddddddduBoef said because of Conceicaos considerable amateur background and age that he will forgo four-round bouts and make his pro debut in a scheduled six-rounder.Hes mature, and hes going to jump right into six-rounders and maybe into eight-rounders after two fights, duBoef said. We may see quicker transitions to the pros than we have after previous Olympics because of the new rules in Rio.For the Rio Olympics, male boxers fought without head gear in matches that were supposed to be scored like professional bouts using the 10-point must system rather than wearing head gear and having computerized scoring, as had been the case in several previous Olympics.His trainer [Luiz Dorea, who has worked with MMA star Anderson Silva] feels the development into a professional will be very smooth and quick, duBoef said.Besides his gold medal and three Olympic appearances, Conceicao claimed a silver medal at the 2013 World Amateur Championships and a bronze medal at the 2015 World Amateurs. He took silver at the 2011 Pan American Games.At the 2011 World Amateurs, he lost a 19-18 decision to eventual winner Vasyl Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, a former professional featherweight world titleholder and a reigning junior lightweight world titleholder. Top Rank also promotes Lomachenko, and perhaps a pro rematch with Conceicao looms in the future.Conceicaos signing is the second major Brazilian one for Top Rank. Following the 2012 Olympics, it signed middleweight Esquiva Falcao, the countrys first-ever boxing silver medalist. Falcao (14-0, 11 KOs), 26, is one of Top Ranks top prospects.This is step No. 2 of our long-term investment into Brazil and the boxing category, duBoef said. Theyre huge fans of MMA, but its also a fertile place for boxing.Top Rank has a strong history of developing Olympians from their pro start into professional world champions and star attractions, having done so with fighters such as Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Lomachenko, to name several. ' ' '

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