Posts Tagged ‘General Manager’

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway attempted to take responsibility for calling his players “soft.”

Elway told reporters last week that the team had gone “soft” during their losing streak and called the Broncos out for the manner in which they were competing.

He attempted to clarify his remarks Tuesday after many players balked at the implication.

“I was talking about everybody in the organization … when you’ve had success sometimes you get soft,” Elway said on Orange and Blue 760.

“I knew before I said it that some guys were not going to like that.”

The Broncos began the season 3-1, but have since lost their last six games and slumped to the bottom of the AFC West. Denver fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Monday.

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The Atlanta Braves introduced Alex Anthopoulos as executive vice president and general manager at a press conference Monday.

“The talent level and the work that’s been done here is tremendous and that’s certainly a credit to all the administrations that have been here before over the years,” Anthopoulos said, per FOX Sports.

The 40-year-old signed a four-year contract that runs through 2021. He will have complete control of baseball operations, and report directly to Braves chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk. In addition, the Braves announced that president of baseball operations John Hart – who had been serving as interim GM – will move into a new job as senior advisor “effective immediately,” and will have no “active involvement in baseball operations.”

Anthopoulos inherits a Braves team with an elite group of prospects highlighted by outfielder Ronald Acuna and pitchers Kolby Allard and Kyle Wright, though the Braves are expected to be hit with punishments from Major League Baseball over a scandal that forced his predecessor, John Coppolella, to resign in October.

During his six-year tenure (2009-2015) as Toronto Blue Jays‘ GM, Anthopoulos was credited with drafting and developing several key players, including starters Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, and Marcus Stroman, and signing international players such as Roberto Osuna and current Blue Jays top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Anthopoulos is also known for his bold trades that saw the Blue Jays acquire Josh Donaldson ahead of the 2015 season, while trading for Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, among others, around the 2015 trade deadline, leading to the organization’s first postseason berth since 1993.

“In terms of similarities to Toronto, at the time that I started there, we were going to do some work at the minor-league level, and the minor leagues right now (in Atlanta) is as good as you’re going to find anywhere in baseball, and to have a head start like that is outstanding,” Anthopoulos added.

After rejecting a five-year extension to remain with the Blue Jays at the end of the 2015 season, Anthopoulos joined the Los Angeles Dodgers as VP of player development – a position he held until joining the Braves.

The Vancouver Canucks hope to put pen to paper with the man in charge.

Through 16 games this season, the Canucks have an 8-6-2 record and 18 points, good for third place in the Pacific. That performance seems to sit well with owner Francesco Aquilini, and could mean rewarding general manager Jim Benning with a contract extension.

“I’m optimistic we’re going to come to an agreement with him,” Aquilini told Sportsnet 650, per Ed Willes of The Province.

Following a campaign in which the Canucks finished with the league’s second-worst showing – ahead of only the Colorado Avalanche – it’s been a year of renewal in Vancouver.

Rookie Brock Boeser leads the team in scoring, while the Canucks are also getting key contributions from offseason additions Thomas Vanek, Michael Del Zotto, and goaltender Anders Nilsson, among others.

As for Benning, who entered the season in the final year of his contract, he remains focused on the task at hand.

“I’m more concerned about trying to change the culture of the group. Since I took the job, we’ve been trying to rebuild the organization,” Benning said. “It’s something that doesn’t happen overnight. Kids take time.”

Benning was named Canucks GM in April 2014, following a seven-year run as assistant GM of the Boston Bruins.

While it’s been well documented that Matt Duchene has wanted out of Colorado for some time now, just how long he’s been waiting to be dealt has been kept on the down-low – until now.

Following the three-way trade that sent Duchene to the Ottawa Senators and Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic explained that Duchene formally asked to be traded last year.

“Matt, last Christmas, he asked me if I could move him just for a fresh start,” Sakic said, according to Stephen Whyno of The Assoicated Press. “I just told him: Be patient.”

Duchene told reporters in January that he was open to a trade, stating he understood that it was part of the business and something that could potentially happen. Evidently it appears he was more than open to a trade.

In all, it took just under 11 months for Duchene to get what he truly wanted. Sakic, however, noted that Duchene is “relieved” and “excited to go to Ottawa,” while reiterating the move was the best thing for the Avalanche.

Everyone can now move on.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman will be patient in determining if Teddy Bridgewater will be able to play this season.

Although many want Bridgewater to return to the field as soon as possible, the team won’t make their decision to activate him on whether he’s able to start.

“All we’re concerned about is where he is this week,” Spielman said to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “I know we’re evaluating him in practice every day. And then we’ll have to make a decision coming up next week — not if he’s going to start or not start, but if he’s going to come up to the 53. That’s the next step. And then, from there, the coaches will determine the rest of the way.”

Bridgewater suffered a devastating knee injury prior to the 2016 season and has fervently worked his way back into shape.

The Vikings are on their bye week, and will continue to start Case Keenum if neither Bridgewater nor Sam Bradford are ready to go in Week 10.

“I would say that right now we’re just focused on what we saw the first week he was out there and where he’s at as far as after today’s practice,” he said. “We’ll continue to evaluate that. We’ll come back and have him practice on Monday and see where everything is at. I know Sam [Bradford] is trying like heck to get himself back as quickly as he can, too. All those decisions will be made coming up next week. It will be a decision we make after speaking with his doctor, our medical staff, myself and coach Zim and then we’ll go from there.”

Face to face with a crisis in the crease, Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee isn’t willing to make a move out of desperation.

The expansion Knights have lost three goaltenders to injury, not even one full month into their inaugural season. Marc-Andre Fleury has a concussion, while Malcolm Subban and Oscar Dansk have each suffered lower-body injuries, forcing little-known rookie Maxime Lagace into a starting role.

Still, McPhee said Thursday he isn’t willing to broker a deal for additional help, according Steve Carp of The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“We’ll ride it out with who we have,” he said.

Despite the slew of injuries, Vegas’ goaltending has actually been a strong point so far, as the Golden Knights rank eighth in the NHL with a team save percentage of .929 at 5-on-5.

Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has had a busy week, with the disastrous minus-92-point scoring differential through his team’s first three games, the subsequent firing of head coach Earl Watson, and during all of it, the very public defection of veteran guard Eric Bledsoe.

“I was certainly surprised by it and disappointed by it,” McDonough said of Bledsoe’s recent comments, in an appearance on the Bickley & Marotta show on Arizona Sports 98.7. “I think Eric’s a good person and I think he’s unfortunately gotten some bad advice and is listening to the wrong people.”

In 224 career games with the Suns, Bledsoe has averaged 18.8 points, six assists, and 4.8 rebounds per appearance, though he has occasionally struggled to stay healthy, seeing both his 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons cut short due to injury.

Ironically, it wasn’t an injury that forced Bledsoe to miss the final 14 games of the 2016-17 campaign, but an executive order. McDonough was asked whether the decision to prematurely shut down a healthy Bledsoe last season contributed to the falling out between player and front office.

“He was certainly hurt by getting shut down last year and we understand that and respect that,” McDonough said. “At the same time, it’s a new year, he has multiple years left on his contract. I talked to Eric, met with him a couple of times before the season started, and he said he was excited about our group, excited to play with the young guys and thought we had a good thing going here. Just my opinion: the shift comes from contractual demands made from his representatives.”

McDonough’s comments were likely directed toward Bledsoe’s agent. The 27-year-old is represented by Rich Paul, whose Klutch Sports agency touts LeBron James, John Wall, and rookie phenom Ben Simmons among its star clients.

Including the remainder of the 2017-18 season, Bledsoe has $29.5 million over two years left on his current contract.