Turgeon: Wells transfer official

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Turgeon: Wells transfer official

By Steve Roney
CSNbaltimore.com

The University of Maryland has officially admitted former Xavier forward Dezmine Wells, mens basketball coach Mark Turgeon confirmed Friday. Last years Sporting News Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year signed financial-aid paperwork today, completing his transfer and upgrading coach Turgeons front court.

Wells is no stranger to the Terps coaching staff, who know exactly what theyre getting in the 65 sophomore.

I have followed Dez for the past three years and I know he will be a good student-athlete and teammate, said Turgeon in a press release. Assistant coach Bino Ranson was very active in his recruitment at Xavier and has also built a strong relationship with Dez over the past several years. This is a new beginning and a fresh start for Dez at Maryland and were looking forward to him joining us on campus.

Wells saw significant action for the Musketeers last season, shooting 50.4 from the field and 37.7 from beyond the arc in 32 starts. Averaging 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, Wells played a key role in Xaviers Sweet Sixteen showing in the NCAA Tournament, recording a double-double against Notre Dame in the tournaments second round.

As a player, he is an athletic and powerful wing who can score in a variety of ways. He is also an excellent individual and team defender, said Turgeon in the release. Dez has experience playing in the postseason, which will help show our young players what it takes to reach that level of success.

Wells will enroll in classes immediately and have three years of eligibility remaining.

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Brooks Laich placed on waivers after saying he wants to play for contender

Brooks Laich placed on waivers after saying he wants to play for contender

Brooks Laich thinks he has more to offer, but it seems the Toronto Maple Leafs disagree. Just one day after an interview in which he said he wanted to play for a contender, the Leafs have placed the former Captial on waivers.

“You don’t win a Stanley Cup playing in the American League," Laich told Joshua Kloke of The Athletic. "If the Leafs don’t have a plan for me with them then I would like to pursue a Stanley Cup somewhere else."

Well, it looks like Toronto is calling his bluff.

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Laich was not placed on unconditional waivers, a precursor to the team terminating his contract, he was placed on regular waivers. As he is already in the AHL, placing Laich on waivers simply exposes his contract to the rest of the league allowing other teams to claim him.

In other words, the Leafs appear to be saying, "You think you can still play for a contender? They can have you."

With an overall cap hit of $4.5 million, it seems doubtful any serious contender would claim him.

Laich, 33, was traded by the Capitals to Toronto last season. He was sent to the Leaf's AHL affiliate at the start of the 2016-17 season and that is where he has stayed. Laich has played in only 22 games for the Toronto Marlies, tallying one goal and five assists.

None of that is encouraging. Sadly, however, Laich does not seem to realize the direction his career his going.

“Listen, I’m 33. I’m not 45. I still feel incredibly young. Physically and mentally, I feel as youthful and as energetic as any kid that walks in the door. I feel like I’m younger than the 20-year-old kids. I have passion for the game. You might call me crazy, but I still feel like my best days of hockey are ahead of me.

“I’m not here just to be a mentor and be a good guy. That comes by being a teammate and having experience. But that’s not my job here. My job here is to play hockey and play as well as I can. I still feel I have many, many years left to play.”

Laich's career was derailed by a groin injury he suffered while playing overseas during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Since then, he has never been able to play more than 66 games in a season and has never really looked the same.

The idea that his best days are still ahead of him at this point for a player that can't stay healthy, can't crack the NHL lineup of the Maple Leafs and isn't producing in the AHL is simply delusional. This is not the way we all hoped it would end for a player who was a big part of the Capitals' organization for 12 seasons.

MORE CAPITALS: Grubauer again states case as NHL's best backup

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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras