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    EDMONTON -- Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish feels optimistic about his teams future despite a last-place finish in the Western Conference standings. Wayne Gretzky Jersey . MacTavish gave his head coach a vote of confidence Tuesday and said while its hard to determine where the team is in its development stage, he feels most of the "heavy lifting" has been done. "Were closer to the end in my mind than we are to the beginning in terms of the development of this team," MacTavish said Tuesday at a season-ending media availability. Expectations were higher in Edmonton this season but the team struggled from the start and finished with a 29-44-9 record for 67 points, good for a 28th-place finish in the 30-team league. There were a few bright lights for the Oilers. Taylor Hall had a strong year with 80 points in 75 games and fellow forwards Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had productive campaigns. Defensive woes were a constant problem. The Oilers struggled on the blue-line and between the pipes, allowing a league-worst 270 goals. MacTavish has no plans to add anything "middle of the road" to the current defence core and feels the teams younger players can fill those positions. He does plan to target a high-end defenceman in the off-season. "We need a few pieces that can really move this thing along," said MacTavish. The GM added that Eakins -- who completed his first season as an NHL head coach -- has a bright future with the team. "Im convinced this guy is the right coach to lead us into much more successful times ... hes relentless," MacTavish said. Despite the foundation of young, talented offensive players, the Oilers managed only 203 goals. The goaltending situation was unsettled throughout the season as netminder Devan Dubnyk struggled in the starters role. Dubnyk was dealt to Nashville at the trade deadline and the Oilers acquired Ben Scrivens from Los Angeles. Scrivens and fellow mid-season acquisition Viktor Fasth posted decent numbers as Edmonton finished with a 14-13-3 mark over its last 30 games. MacTavish said there is plenty of work ahead and admitted the team did not live up to expectations. But he likes the young core and is confident improvement can be made. "Were building our team around this group," he said. "And you have to have pieces in that locker-room that you view as guys that are going to develop into winners and guys that are going to develop into superstars. "I feel strongly that we have a number of those pieces in there and those are the guys were going to build that team around. I want them to feel the ownership, I want them to feel the loyalty from myself and the coaching staff that we have the confidence in them to drive this team forward." Jeff Carter Jersey . Cleveland released the troubled wide receiver on Wednesday, an expected ending after Bess was arrested in January for assaulting a law enforcement officer at an airport and other bizarre behaviour. Trevor Lewis Jersey .com) - Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh called Joe Flacco the NFLs best quarterback last week.MIAMI -- Shane Battier called it one of the biggest honours of his life. The Miami Heat forward was announced Saturday as the winner of the leagues Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award, which recognizes selfless play, leadership, work as a role model to other players and commitment. The NBA will make a $25,000 donation to The Battier Take Charge Foundation, which raises money to help provide children with educational and leadership opportunities. Battier received 67 first-place votes and appeared on 209 ballots cast by NBA players in all, finishing as a runaway winner of the award. Charlottes Al Jefferson was second and Dallas Dirk Nowitzki was third in the balloting, in which players could not vote for a current teammate. "Although the guys in the locker room couldnt cast any votes for me, Id like to think they wouldve voted for me if they could," Battier said. "I hope they know that I love them and I appreciate them and everything I do I try to make that locker room better and this team better." Battier was second to Chauncey Billups in voting for the teammate award last season, when it was presented for the first time. Battier is in his 13th and presumably final season. A two-time NBA champion and a two--time member of the leagues All-Defensive team, he has been one of the divisional winners for the leagues sportsmanship award five times. Adrian Kempe Jersey. "I think everybody would agree that you could make a case for a lot of guys in the locker room, but Shane, hes the ultimate teammate," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Selfless. Hell do whatever it takes. Hes a leader. Hes playing for his brothers, his teammates, and you can feel it. So its a great award." The award is named for Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, both members of the Basketball Hall of Fame who were forever linked by what happened in the final game of the 1957-58 regular season, when Stokes suffered a brain injury. Stokes was paralyzed, and Twyman supported him for the remainder of his life -- even becoming his legal guardian and advocate. "Its an amazing story of brotherhood and being the ultimate teammate," Battier said. In order of finish behind Battier, Jefferson and Nowitzki, the other nominees on this years teammate ballot were Chris Paul, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Channing Frye, Andre Iguodala, Jameer Nelson, Elton Brand, David West and Mike Dunleavy -- who happens to be Battiers best friend. 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