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Panthers hire Giants' David Gettleman as new GM

Panthers hire Giants' David Gettleman as new GM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Panthers hired New York Giants senior pro personnel analyst David Gettleman as their new general manager to end their lengthy search to fill the position.

The team announced the decision Wednesday afternoon after interviewing Gettleman earlier in the day.

Gettleman, 61, spent 13 seasons with the Giants as their director of pro personnel prior to taking over last year as the senior pro personnel analyst.

He's been a part of six Super Bowl teams, including three championship squads. He was with Buffalo in 1990 and 1991, Denver in 1997 and the Giants in 2000, 2007 and 2011. The '97 Broncos and the `07 and `11 Giants won championships.

Gettleman replaces longtime Panthers GM Marty Hurney, who was fired after Carolina's 1-5 start.

``I was very impressed with Dave's experience and think he will be a very good fit for our organization,'' Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said in a statement. ``He has an extensive background in personnel and comes from an organization in the New York Giants that I hold in high regard and he played an instrumental role in their success.''

Gettleman is expected to be introduced in a press conference next week, according to team spokesman Charlie Dayton.

``I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work in the Panthers organization,'' Gettleman said in a release. ``It is similar to the Giants organization in which I have had the privilege of working the last 15 years and has a lot of pieces in place for success. I am excited about getting started.''

The Panthers hired former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi as the lead consultant in the search.

A person familiar with the situation said the Panthers also interviewed Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson on Wednesday. The person said the Panthers Tuesday interviewed Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp for the position. The person spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the Panthers did not announce who they interviewed for the position.

``Dave is extremely qualified to be the general manager of the Panthers and will do a terrific job,'' Giants GM Jerry Reese said. ``I'm thankful for all of his hard work and friendship while here with the Giants. The Panthers interviewed two of the top personnel executives in the NFL in Dave Gettleman and Marc Ross, and couldn't go wrong either way, in my humble opinion.''

Giants co-owner John Mara said, ``I have mixed emotions about this. Dave certainly deserves to be a general manager, but I am very sorry to lose him. He has been instrumental to the success we have had.''

Gettleman will have his work cut out for him in Carolina.

He inherits a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2008 and hasn't won a playoff game since 2005. The Panthers are already $16 million over the projected 2013 NFL salary cap, meaning he likely won't be able to add many big names in free agency.

Still, Gettleman has experienced success in the NFL.

Along with the six Super Bowls, he's been associated with 13 playoff teams during in his NFL career which has spanned more than 25 years.

He entered the NFL in 1986 as a scouting department intern for the Buffalo Bills. He became a full-time scout for Buffalo after the 1987 draft.

Following a year as an area scout, Gettleman was assigned as the Bills' representative to the BLESTO scouting combine and continued in that capacity through the 1992 draft as the Northeast area scout.

Former Bills GM Bill Polian first lured Gettleman to Buffalo.

At the time Gettleman was a head football coach at Kingston (N.Y.) High School.

Polian said Gettleman would lock himself in his office for hours, just watching tape and trying to find up and coming players who might have slipped through the cracks. He said that type of work ethic has been instrumental in his rise to the top.

``He's bright and extremely hard working and loves the game,'' Polian said. ``He really cares about the people he works with and he's as sound of a football man as you can find.''

Although Gettleman is quite familiar working with Super Bowl teams, Polian said he's never been one to seek the spotlight.

``The Giants have been tremendously successful, but he's never one that beats his own drum,'' said Polian, who spent three seasons as Carolina's GM from 1995-97. ``He's very good at what he does and he's been at it a long time. He is as well prepared for (a GM position) as anyone that has been hired in recent years.''

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Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

Defenseman Jakub Jerabek is really happy about the opportunity to play with the Washington Capitals, but it could have come at a better time. The trade came with his parents already on their way from the Czech Republic to visit him.

“It was crazy days past three days because I had my parents on the way to Montreal and they didn't know so it was a big surprise for them,” Jerabek told reporters Saturday after his first skate with the team.

A native of the Czech Republic, Jerabek signed his first NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens in May 2017. After spending some time in the AHL and struggling to consistently earn a spot in the Canadiens’ lineup, he knew a trade was possible.

“My family, maybe we expected some trade. When its come with Caps and it was Washington, I was really happy.”

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Jerabek said he came into the NHL with no expectations and was simply happy for the opportunity, but it is fair to wonder if he was not just the least bit frustrated with how he was utilized by Montreal.

For a player with experience playing for the national team, the Czech league and the KHL, getting only 25 games with a bad Montreal team seems a bit low.

“In first two weeks, I didn't know what's going on because the coaches just told me that I played well, but we just make some competition between the [defensemen] and that I have to wait for my next chance,” Jerabek said. “It was hard, but now I'm happy down here.”

Washington now offers a very different opportunity. In need of help on the blue line, Jeraebek has the chance to earn consistent playing time for a team on pace to reach the postseason.

Jerabek will not play in Saturday’s game against Buffalo, but he was hopeful he would be in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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For now, Jerabek and head coach Barry Trotz are unclear as to what his ultimate role on the team will be. With eight defensemen now on the roster, Trotz cautioned any lineup decision could not be rushed because of the trickle-down effect it will have on the other players.

“You always look at chemistry and all that with your group depending how high that player goes up the lineup, it affects different people,” Trotz said. “In a forward group, if you get a guy that you all of a sudden stick on the first line, there's four other guys that are bumped down and one guy's bumped out.”

The addition of Jerabek, however, offers the Caps another defenseman who can quickly move the puck out of the defensive zone, something the team has struggled with immensely throughout the season. Though he shoots left, he also said he is comfortable playing on the right said and has played there regularly over the past few years. That provides the lineup with some flexibility on the third pair behind Matt Niskanen and John Carlson.

As for Jerabek’s parents, they will be arriving in Washington on Saturday.

“I tried to figure out the situation with them to get them to here and they will come today,” he said. “So I'm really happy.”

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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