CHARLOTTE, N. Lonnie Johnson Youth Jersey .C. - The Panthers say theyd like to find a replacement for longtime No. 1 wide receiver Steve Smith in this years NFL draft. The big question is when theyll do it. The Panthers have the 28th overall pick, but the NFC South champions have a variety of needs after getting hit hard in free agency, and could go in a number of directions with their first-round choice. General manager Dave Gettleman said recently that wide receiver, offensive tackle and cornerback are among the teams top needs, but qualified that statement by adding he wont got out of his way to land one. "When you reach for a position of need youre in trouble," he said. Gettleman said he has some reservations about drafting a receiver in the first round because it often takes them longer to adjust to the NFL game than those who play other positions. "History tells you that its a very difficult position to assimilate into (the NFL), especially with the current game being played at the college level," Gettleman said. Gettleman called it a "wide receiver heavy" draft that includes several players whove put up big numbers. He said the trick is finding guys who can easily make the transition to the next level. "Ill look at a guy and hes caught 90 balls ... but of those 45 were flash screens," Gettleman said. "The other 45 he caught, he ran to three spots. So, do they understand coverage? Theyre going to have to learn the whole route tree. How long is it going to take them to assimilate? Its an issue. Its a problem." Smith was released in a salary cap move earlier this off-season. Replacing his toughness and production wont be easy. He caught 836 passes for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns for the Panthers in 13 seasons. However, after averaging 76 receptions for 1,284 yards receiving and 5.5 touchdowns in his first two seasons playing with quarterback Cam Newton, Smiths numbers fell off in 2013. He caught 64 passes for 745 yards and four TDs. The Panthers signed free agents Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood, but none is expected to become the next No. 1 receiver in Carolina. Five things to watch from the Panthers in the draft: ON THE FRONT BURNER: Jordan Gross retired this off-season, leaving a huge hole at left tackle — one the Panthers potentially could address in Round 1. Gettleman said there are some tackles in the draft dont have "left tackle feet," but said that doesnt necessarily matter. "There are only so many elite tackles," he said. "There are plenty of guys playing left tackle in this league that dont have classic left tackle feet." Finding a left tackle might take on added importance given Newton is coming off ankle surgery this off-season. FIRST ROUND SUCCESS: The Panthers have had tremendous success with their first-round picks the last three seasons. They grabbed defensive tackle Star Lotulelei from Utah at No. 14 in 2013, and he looks like hes going to be around the league for quite a while. They drafted linebacker Luke Kuechly at No. 11 in 2012 and quarterback Cam Newton first overall the year before that. Kuechly was the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, while Newton was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2011. BLUE GOOSE: Last year, Gettleman said the Panthers needed to add some "hog mollies," or big linemen. This year, the Boston native switched gears, saying if there is a "blue goose" pass rusher available at No. 28 he wouldnt pass on him. Tough to know what a blue-winged bird native to Ethiopia has to do with building a football team, though. CORNERBACK ON RADAR: The Panthers lost starting cornerback Captain Munnerlyn to Minnesota in free agency. While they signed free agent Antoine Cason, dont rule out cornerback as an option with one of the teams top three picks. The Panthers have one pick in each of the seven rounds. DONT BE REACHING: The Panthers are determined not to reach for picks at positions of need. They followed that plan last year and took defensive tackle Kawaan Short from Purdue in the second round — even after selecting Lotulelei in the first. "Last year, K.K. (Short) was obviously the best value in that second-round pick," Gettleman said. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFLJ.J. Watt Youth Jersey .Cameron sustained his third concussion in three seasons last week on a hit by Oakland safety Brandion Ross, who was fined $22,050 by the NFL for the helmet-to-helmet blow. Cullen Gillaspia Womens Jersey . Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks were proof of that on Wednesday night. ST. LOUIS -- Missouri coach Frank Haith has been suspended for five games by the NCAA, which found he inadequately monitored his former assistants interactions with a disgraced Miami booster and then tried to cover up a five-figure hush money payment to keep potential violations hidden. The NCAA released the findings of its two-year investigation into convicted felon Nevin Shapiros relationship with Miami athletics on Tuesday and said that Haith, the former Hurricanes basketball coach, failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance with its rules. The investigation found that Haith and Miami assistant coach Jake Morton provided Shapiro $10,000 after he threatened to expose previous improper contact with high school recruits and amateur coaches, as well as other unflattering details involving a booster now serving a 20-year prison term for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme. Shapiro, who had basketball season tickets with a courtside seat, initially demanded a large loan from Haith after he experienced financial trouble or the return a $50,000 donation from a benefit bowling tournament he had hosted. The coach refused. Morton, who joined Western Kentucky as an assistant coach in 2011 but resigned in April as its director of basketball operations, then loaned Shapiro at least $6,000, which he later repaid. The NCAA also said that Haith helped Morton and two other assistants pay $10,000 to Shapiros mother and "attempted to cover up the boosters threats to disclose incriminating information." Missouri plays four of its first give games this season at Mizzou Arena, starting with Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 8. Haith will also miss home games against Southern Illinois, Gardner-Webb and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, as well as a Nov. 16 game against Hawaii at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. He also must attend an NCAA rules seminar next summer. Haith has 15 days to appeal the Committee on Infractions penalties, which dont affect Missouri as an institution. School officials did not respond to several requests for comment, though Haith, who came to Columbia in 2011 after seven years at Miami, was scheduled to meet with reporters later Tuesday. His Florida-based attorney did not immediately respond to an interview request. While much of the 102-page report focuses on the far more successful Miami football program, the NCAA inquiry also opens a rare public window into the seamier side of cultivating big-money boosters -- even those, like Shapiro, with substantial baggage. Max Scharping Youth Jersey. Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports that he steered a $10,000 payment to secure recruit DeQuan Jones commitment to Miami in 2008 with Haiths knowledge. The NCAA said it found no evidence to support that claim. The report also said an associate athletics director in charge of fundraising guided Shapiro toward the Miami mens basketball program after the booster became disenchanted with the football teams losing 2007 season under first-year coach Randy Shannon. Haith and Morton told NCAA investigators they shared several meals with Shapiro, attended a concert together and visited a strip club "to create donor relationships." The report found that Haith provided inconsistent answers during multiple interviews with NCAA investigators, including conflicting accounts of when he reported Shapiros shakedown attempt to athletic director Paul Dee. "Because of the many inconsistencies the former head mens basketball coach reported during his interviews with the enforcement staff and the institutions, the committee does not find his version of events to be credible," the report concludes. Infractions Committee Chairman Britton Banowsky, who is also Conference USA commissioner, reiterated those concerns. "It was difficult for the committee, and maybe even the members of the enforcement staff, to know precisely what really was going on in the program, given all the conflicting information," he said. In Haiths three interviews with NCAA investigators between October 2011 and September 2012, he provided three different explanations as to why he paid his assistants $3,200 advances that they normally would have had to wait to receive from summer basketball camps. Haith requested the third interview soon after his second sit-down, citing concerns that he had given "inaccurate" information and was "confused about the timing of what (he) knew and when (he) knew it." Beyond Haiths penalties, Miamis football team will lose a total of nine scholarships and the Hurricanes mens basketball team will lose three over a three-year period starting in 2014. The school will also serve three years of probation. Two former Miami football assistants and one ex-basketball assistant received two-year show-cause bans, which effectively keep the penalized parties out of the college coaching ranks. ' ' '
ERIE, Pa. Jonathan dos Santos Mexico Jersey . - Otters goaltender Devin Williams made 28 saves to pick up his fourth shutout of the season as Erie blanked the visiting Saginaw Spirit 3-0 in Ontario Hockey League action on Thursday. Dylan Strome and Dane Fox each scored for the Otters (40-10-2), while Brendan Gaunce added a short-handed goal with 1:02 remaining in the game. Connor Brown picked up two assists. Jake Paterson stopped 21 of 23 shots for Saginaw (25-22-5) in the losing effort. --- STORM 8 STEELHEADS 0 GUELPH, Ont. — Robby Fabbri and Jason Dickinson each scored twice and added an assist as the Storm dominated Mississauga. Matt Finn scored a goal and helped on three others, Zac Leslie had a goal and an assist, Zack Mitchell had a goal and two assists, and Brock McGinn also scored for the Western Conference-leading Storm (40-9-3) to pull his tally to 33 on the season. Chase Marchand started in net for the Steelheads (20-29-4), but was pulled after giving up five goals on 28 shots through 40 minutes. Spencer Martin stopped 10 of 13 shots in relief. Guelph outshot Mississauga 41-24, holding the Steelheads to six shots in the second period. --- BATTALION 2 WOLVES 0 NORTH BAY, Ont. — Jake Smith turned away all 25 shots he faced as the Battalion edged Sudbury. After a scoreless first period, Barclay Goodrow scored his 24th of the season at 15:46 of the second to brake the stalemate for the Battalion (28-18-6). Vincent Praplan added his 16th of the year at 3:08 of the third to extend North Bays lead to 2-0. Franky Palazzese made 29 saves for Sudbury (27-16-8). --- PETES 4 GENERALS 3 (SO) PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — Josh MacDonald scored in regulation time and again in a shootout to lift the Petes over Oshawa in a penalty-filled affair which resulted in six game misconducts. Steven Varga and Connor Boland also scored for the Petes (24-23-4), who racked up 51 penalty minutes on 19 infractions. Oshawa (32-15-5), which took 23 penalties totalling 55 minutes, got power-play goals from Mitchell Vande Sompel and Dylan Smoskowitz, while Bradley Latour added a short-handed goal. Daniel Altshuller started in net for the Generals, making all 18 saves before being handed a game misconduct penalty. Ken Appleby stopped 23-of-26 shots in relief. Peterborough goaltender Andrew DAgostino also got a game misconduct. He stopped 14 of 15 shots and Jason Da Silva made 19 saves on 21 shots in relief. --- SPITFIRES 4 GREYHOUNDS 3 WINDSOR, Ont. — Slater Koekkoek scored a power-play goal at 11:16 of the third period to lift the Spitfires over the Greyhounds. Remy Giftopoulos had a goal and two assists for Windsor (32-17-2), while Ben Johnson, and Steven Janes added the other Spitfire goals. Jared McCann, Patrick Watling and Tyler Gaudet replied for Sault Ste. Marie (35-13-5). Jean Dupuy chipped in with two assists. Spitfires goalie Dalen Kuchmey made 39 saves for the win, while Sault Ste. Maries Matt Murray turned aside 30 shots in the loss. --- FRONTENACS 10 COLTS 6 BARRIE, Ont. — Darcy Greenaway and Spence Watson each had two goals and one assist as the visiting Frontenacs toppled the Colts. Henri Ikonen had a goal and two assists and Ryan Verbeek scored a goal and helped on another for Kingston (28-19-4). Mikko Vainonen, Samuel Schutt, Warren Steele and Conor McGlynn also scored and Matt Mahalak made 23 saves for the win. Zach Hall scored a hat trick and added an assist for the Colts (25-22-3) while Andreas Athanasiou scored twice. Kevin Labanc added the other Barrie goal. Mackenzie Blackwood started in net for Barrie, but was pulled after he allowed seven goals on 31 shots through the first two periods. Daniel Gibl stopped 12 of 14 shots in relief. Miguel Layun Jersey . You can see all the action on TSN2 beginning at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. Chicago won two of three games during its stay at the United Center. The club began the homestand with a 5-1 win over Pittsburgh on March 1 and fell to Colorado on Tuesday before posting another blowout win in Thursdays tilt against Columbus. Carlos Salcedo Jersey . Wayne and Cindy Tuck of Ilderton, Ont., closed out round-robin play earlier in the day with a 7-3 win over Finland but needed a win over Austria to reach the final eight.Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Behind 21 points and six assists from Michael Carter-Williams, the Philadelphia 76ers started a seven-game road trip with a 96-88 win over the Orlando Magic. Five players reached double figures for Philadelphia as it ended a five-game losing streak. Nerlens Noel posted 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Henry Sims and Robert Covington joined Noel by posting double-doubles as well. Sims had 12 points and 12 boards, with Covington recording 11 points and 10 rebounds. Victor Oladipo led all scorers with 23 points for the Magic, who have lost four straight and six of their last seven. Despite getting 19 points and 17 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic, Orlando was outrebounded by Philadelphia 52-43. Orlando extended its lead to as much as 11 in the third quarter but it would last just one possession. After a 76ers timeout, JaKarr Sampson hit a 3 that started a 7-0 burst to make their deficit a more manageable four points. The Sixers scored the last eight points of the period to lead 64-60 after three. That run continued into the fourth quarter and after seven straight points in the first 2 1/2 minutes, Philadelphia led by 11. Sims capped the 15-0 run with a layup and emphatic slam dunk. Evan Fournier scored four straight points to cut Orlandos deficit down to seven points, but Carter-Williams wrapped up a 6-0 run with a 3-pointer to extend the Sixers lead to a game-high 14 points. Hector Moreno Jersey . Philadelphia did not make a shot from the floor in the final 3 1/2 minutes of the game, but it held Orlando off to come away with the victory. Neither team led by more than five points in a back-and-forth first quarter. A late 8-0 run with four points from both Covington and Sims helped give the Sixers a 23-20 lead after 12 minutes. A 9-0 Magic run halfway through the second period gave them a lead they would only briefly relinquish in the second period. Kyle OQuinns triple started the spurt and he ended it with a layup after grabbing an offensive board. Tobias Harris scored the final five points of the quarter to give Orlando a 42-37 lead at the break. Game Notes Vucevic has 100 career double-doubles ... The 76ers have committed 17 or more turnovers in nine straight games ... Philadelphia snapped a six-game losing streak at Orlando ... The three-game season series between these teams concludes on Feb. 22 in Orlando ... Philadelphia heads south to Miami to continue its trip Tuesday while the Magic host Boston. ' ' '