Bruins prepare off-ice for Saturday's opener


Bruins prepare off-ice for Saturday's opener

WILMINGTON, MA -- The Bruins spent their final warm-up day getting ready for the 48-game regular season with a quick meeting and off-ice workout to keep the energy fresh for Saturday night against the Rangers.

The only Bruins players out on the ice were injured forward Jordan Caron and left wing Milan Lucic, who missed Thursday's practice for the birth of his daughter Valentina Lucic (8 pounds, 1 ounce) after 18 hours of labor for wife Brittany.

"It was good. It was a long day, but thankfully everything went well and smooth. Mother and baby are doing well, and I think I'm really thankful that it happened before the season started," said Lucic. "She started going into labor around 11 p.m. on the 16th and then finally she gave birth around 5:30 p.m. on January 17. I guess it was just meant to be."

So No. 17 for the Bruins' first child's birthday will be January 17. That's pretty perfect, actually.

Every other member of the Bruins team went through a workout and then headed off after five straight days of hard work at Boston's abbreviated training camp.

The excitement level is palpable for both the coaching staff and the players as they prepare for an Eastern Conference statement game against the Blueshirts.

I would have been extremely disappointed had we not gotten to the stage here where were at in giving our fans an exciting half-season. It wont be a long season of 82 games. But an exciting one at 48," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "Its going to be basically playoff hockey from the get-go. Its exciting for the fans. But its exciting for us too. If theres anything Im going to take from it, its going to be fun too.

With Ryan Spooner, Matt Bartkowski, Jamie Tardif and Aaron Johnson headed to Providence, it would appear the Bruins have the team they're looking to start the season with. That means defenseman David Warsofsky and tough guy winger Lane MacDermid have made Boston's rosters as extra players and Jay Pandolfo could be added as an extra forward for at least the beginning of the season.

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years


Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.