Laperriere missed the last two seasons due to a head injury - Mixonline

Laperriere missed the last two seasons due to a head injury

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The first five days of action at EURO 2012 have produced plenty of talking points and some fantastic storylines as we have witnessed surprises, star performances and a lot of top quality action. Frank Gore Jersey . Here are a few thoughts from the tournament so far: A Show From Sheva It was an incredible story. My highlight of the first five days was seeing a vintage performance from Andriy Shevchenko. The 35-year-old rolled back the years to score two goals in Ukraines opening match against Sweden, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. On our EURO Tonight broadcast following the match, Darren Anderton said "class is permanent" when talking about Shevchenkos performance. The veteran may have lost a little bit physically in the latter stages of his career, but he still has the ability to produce in front of goal when the pressure on. The movement from Shevchenko for both goals was superb, as was his execution. In the first half, Shevchenko missed a couple of excellent opportunities, but as an experienced striker, he kept his composure and didnt let the misses affect him. The scenes at the end of the match were something that will live long in the memory for fans and players alike as Shevchenko received the adulation of a grateful nation. Shevchenko has won the Champions League, Serie A, five Ukranian titles, and been named his countrys Player of the Year six times, but this was a night he will never forget. It was a fantastic sight to see. Pressure on Poland After Polands opening day draw with Greece, their coach Franciszek Smuda said his side were unable to deal with the psychological pressure of playing in the opening match as a host nation. Taking a point from the opening match of the tournament is not a bad result, but after starting in such a positive fashion, it was alarming to see how Poland were unable to build on their early lead. Robert Lewandowski gave the co-host a deserved 17th minute lead as they caused Greece all sorts of problems attacking from wide positions. But Poland couldnt add to their advantage and had to settle for a point after succumbing to a comeback from Greece in the second half. Greece actually played better with 10 men, but it will have been frustrating for Poland not to make the man advantage count. That was their opportunity to open the tournament with a bang, and they wasted it. They did, however, manage to earn a point in their second match against Russia, thanks to a stunning strike from their captain Jakub Blaszczykowski. It was an impressive comeback from the co-hosts after Russia had taken a first half lead. It leaves Polands fate in their own hands. If they can win against Czech Republic in their final group game, they will advance to the guarter-finals. Best Game So Far? In terms of the quality of play on show, Spain against Italy is the stand-out match of the tournament so far for me. The players involved in that match are some of the best in the world, and it showed. Seeing the way a player such as Andres Iniesta is able to influence the game was a joy to watch. His control, passing, speed of play was superb to see – and there were many others who lived up to that same standard. The Italian performance was impressive. They are solid defensively as expected, but under Cesare Prandelli, they also have an attacking mindset. The 3-5-2 formation was a surprise to see, but it worked well against Spain. The Spaniards themselves sprung a surprise when they played with Cesc Fabregas as their main forward, despite having more natural attacking options such as Fernando Torres on the bench. Heading into the tournament, the absence of David Villa was the main reason why I didnt pick them to repeat as champions, and that seems to be a major issue for them after watching their first match. Taking Villas goals out of the Spanish team is difficult for them to deal with. It will be interesting to see if Vincente Del Bosque changes things up for their second match against Ireland on Thursday and decides to go with Torres from the start. A Knockout Blow The biggest shock of the tournament so far was seeing Denmark beat the Netherlands in Group B. That result blew the toughest group in the tournament wide open. The Dutch were the better side but couldnt finish their chances and were made to pay for it. It now means they need to avoid defeat against Germany on Wednesday in Kharkiv in their second game of the group stage, which is an extremely difficult task. The Germans were quietly effective in their win over Portugal and look the favourites to win the group. They were my favourites heading into the tournament, and Ive not seen anything from the opening few days of action in Poland and Ukraine to make me change my mind. Trent Cole Jersey . The eighth-seeded native of Blainville, Que., defeated Australian Samantha Stosur 7-5, 6-3 in the quarter-finals. London Fletcher Jersey . The all-star shortstop is headed to the Miami Marlins without ever receiving a formal offer from the team he originally signed with at 16 years old. Michael Turner Womens Jersey . Jonathan Toews, Viktor Stalberg, Michael Frolik and Bryan Bickell also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who ripped off their eighth straight win -- the first time thats happened since November 9-25, 2009. Mark Ingram Womens Jersey . However, unlike years past, the question surrounding the No. 1 pick is not: "who should the Oilers take?" Its, "should the Oilers keep the pick at all?" TSN Scout Craig Button released his April draft ranking on Monday and Nail Yakupov remains a No. Tony Romo Jersey .J. -- LeBron James swears he wasnt trying to send a message, though his coach couldnt help but notice. PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers named Terry Murray coach of their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, on Friday. Murray, 61, was fired in December by the Los Angeles Kings, who went on to win the Stanley Cup under the direction of Darryl Sutter. Murray was coach of the Flyers from 1994-1997, leading Philadelphia to the Stanley Cup final in the latter. He was 118-64-30 in 212 games for the Flyers. "I got a call from (Flyers general manager) Paul Holmgren before the draft. We made a commitment over the phone to do this," Murray said. "There wasnt a lot of stuff coming in from the NHL teams after I got fired. The phone rings for about four or five days and then it goes silent, and there was nothing up until Homer called me. "I took some time to think about it, and ... Im a hockey coach, I love to coach." The Kings, who went 16-4 in the post-season, will still give Murray a championship ring, and Sutter rented Murrays house in Manhattan Beach after taking the job. "We feel very fortunate to be able to bring Terry back to the Flyers organization," Holmgren said. "Terry brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, is an excellent teacher and a strong believer in the development process of young players." Murray was also coach of the Florida Panthers (1998-2001) and the Washington Capitals (1989-1994). "I feel I build good teams and get tthe right attitude and right chemistry together," Murray said, "and let them go play the game. Jordy Nelson Womens Jersey. " The Flyers also named Ian Laperriere the director of player development. Laperriere, 38, recently announced his retirement following a career that featured 1,083 games across 16 NHL seasons. "Its a job that suits me well," Laperriere said. "Its one of those jobs that you need a relationship with the young guys and you need to have some experience, and I think I have both. Ive always been able to relate well with anybody, from 18-year-old kids to 40-year-old veterans. "Its always been one of my strengths, so Im going to use that." Laperriere missed the last two seasons due to a head injury. Last season, Laperriere won the Masterton Memorial Trophy for his perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. "Hes a player I have a great deal of respect for, going back to my time of coaching and scouting in the league and being an assistant coach," Murray said of Laperriere. "Hes one of the most competitive players that you could possibly face in any given night, and I have a lot of respect for the kind of game that he showed. I know that hes very intense, hes going to work very hard, he has a great deal of experience in the game, and hes going to do a tremendous job with his developmental role." ' ' '