Bruins send Warsofsky back to Providence, recall Johnson


Bruins send Warsofsky back to Providence, recall Johnson

BOSTON -- It was quickly back to work for the Bruins, as they took the ice for a brief practice on Sunday morning at TD Garden with an audience of high school cheerleaders, students and curious onlookers that were allowed admittance after donating blood at the TD Gardens Red Cross Blood Drive.

The Bruins announced that Marshfield native David Warsofsky was assigned back to Providence, and the Bs had recalled veteran Aaron Johnson after hed played in a couple of AHL games for the P-Bruins over the weekend to quickly get into game shape.

It wasnt anything against Warsofsky said coach Claude Julien. Aaron was sent on a conditioning stint in the AHL over the weekend, but hes an NHL-caliber defenseman. Thats why we signed him,. It was a decision that upper management made after last nights game.

Warsofsky, a former BU defenseman, was part of the pregame team introductions . . . a dream scenario for the South Shore native who was a giant Bruins fan as a youngster. While his team in the NHL with Boston was brief, the Bruins still want him to stay sharp in Providence in case hes needed as injuries mount in the 48-game shortened season.

We like Warsofsky. We like him a lot, said Julien. Hes a good defenseman that moves the puck well and skates extremely well. Hes actually an important player for the Providence team. Weve got seven defensemen here and what you dont like doing is sitting those young guys.

They are so close by in Providence that, if need be, its a lot easier to call them up when theyre needed, so they can keep playing. That way they can have much more of an impact when they do play.

During practice, the spirited Black-and-Gold members went through some power play work, and this time stressed the 5-on-3 man advantage units rather than the PP teams everybody witnessed go 0-for-7 against the Rangers. The two 5-on-3 units were: Chara-Seidenberg-Krejci-Marchand-Lucic and Hamilton-Peverley-Seguin-Bergeron-Bourque.

Were working 5-on-3 because we want to see some different options, said Julien. What I took out of last night was that the power play had some chances and didnt take away any momentum. Those are the kinds of things that are positive things. We still want to score, and want to make that happen.

Patriots reportedly deal Derby to Broncos for fifth-round pick


Patriots reportedly deal Derby to Broncos for fifth-round pick

The Patriots pulled off a rare deal with a rival on Tuesday. 

According to ESPN, they've sent tight end AJ Derby to the Broncos in exchange for a fifth-round pick. 

Derby played in 33 offensive snaps over four games this season for the Patriots. A sixth-round draft choice in 2015 out of Arkansas, Derby spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve. 

One of the stars of the preseason for the Patriots, Derby caught 15 passes for 189 yards in four exhibition games. A former college quarterback for Iowa and Arkansas, Derby was named a practice player of the week by the Patriots when they were hurting for healthy signal-callers early in the season during Tom Brady's suspension.

The deal leaves the Patriots somewhat thin at the tight end position. They now have now true tight ends behind Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. They do, however, have fullback James Develin, who meets with tight ends on a daily basis. On the practice squad, the Patriots have another fullback in Glenn Gronkowski. 

In Denver, Derby will compete with tight ends Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman and John Phillips for time.

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf


Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”