Chara never thought about staying in KHL


Chara never thought about staying in KHL

Zdeno Chara played in the KHL for the last three months, but was never propositioned with the idea of remaining behind to play in the Russian League when the NHL lockout finally ended.

The Bruins captain finished with 25 games under his belt for HC Lev Prague, and showed up in Boston on Wednesday for a skate with his Bs teammates after flying back from Europe on Tuesday.

There was some level of intrigue whether elite Russian superstars like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk would return from the KHL after reportedly being promised millions upon millions to remain in Mother Russia. But Ilya Kovalchuk is still in Russia while planning to play in the KHL All-Star game this week, and there is some question as to whether hell be returning to his job with the New Jersey Devils.

Even if he does return to New Jersey, it appears that participating in the KHL All-Star game will make Kovalchuk late for the start of training camp.

Chara didnt have much to say about the choices other players are making, and said its up to each individual.

Well have to wait and see. There is a lot of speculation about Russian players, said Chara. What can I say? They need to make comments for themselves.

But one thing was certain when it came to Chara and the KHL: He was headed to Boston as soon as the lockout was over. The 6-foot-9 Bruins defenseman made sure there was clear language in his contract allowing him to leave for North America once the new NHL CBA was settled.

We all knew Boston is where we wanted to be and this is where we wanted to play, said Chara, speaking for all 12 Bs players skating overseas. Europe was good in the short term for a lot of us, but this is where we all wanted to be.

It was pretty clear in my contract that once the NHL begins that I was leaving. It depends on how the guys feel and what they wanted to decide to do. I cant really tell you much about it.

Chara finished with 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 25 games for the Bruins and was a plus-4 after some early struggles shaking the rust off, and gave the KHL credit for its standing as one of the best hockey leagues in the world aside from the NHL.

There are some really, really skilled guys over there, said Chara. There are players that are very skilled as far as skating, handling the puck and making plays. I think its less physical, but skating-wise and skill-wise its a little bit different.

There were some very high-tempo games and some other games that was a little more laid back and defensive. There was also a lot of travel through different time zones, so all of those things can affect how you play.

The KHLs high skill level and challenging travel should have a conditioning fanatic like Chara ready to jump into NHL game action after participating in games through the early part of last weekend.

Patriots list nine as questionable, including Bennett, Edelman and Collins


Patriots list nine as questionable, including Bennett, Edelman and Collins

FOXBORO -- The Patriots listed nine players on their injury report after Friday's practice, deeming them all "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Steelers. 

The most notable names on the list are those of tight end Martellus Bennett, linebacker Jamie Collins and receiver Julian Edelman.

Bennett and Collins have been listed on the injury report since before last weekend's win over the Bengals. Bennett was able to play through his ankle issue, whereas Collins dealt with a hip injury that kept him out. Edelman, meanwhile, has been on the injury report since prior to New England's Week 5 win over Cleveland, but he has played in 81 percent of his team's offensive snaps over the last two weeks.

Patriots rookie linebacker Elandon Roberts, who has opened some eyes with his play over the course of the last two weeks, is also listed as questionable due to an ankle issue. Bill Belichick's club could be left thin at the linebacker level should both Roberts and Collins be at all limited, potentially leaving Barkevious Mingo, Rob Ninkovich and Shea McClellin to see more time next to Dont'a Hightower as off-the-line 'backers. 


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


T Marcus Gilbert (ankle)
DE Cameron Heyward (hamstring)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (left knee)
S Shamarko Thomas (groin)
C Cody Wallace (knee)
WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder)
RB DeAngelo Williams (knee)

Smart yet to be ruled out of Celtics’ opener


Smart yet to be ruled out of Celtics’ opener

WALTHAM, Mass. – Marcus Smart remains out with a left ankle sprain injury sustained earlier this week, but has yet to be ruled out for the season opener against Brooklyn next week.

An MRI came back negative on Smart’s ankle, which was good news.

But there’s still a high level of uncertainty as to whether Smart will heal in time for the team’s opener at home against Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

He sprained the left ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holiday.

Smart fell to the floor and was helped to his feet by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas in addition to the team’s head trainer Ed Lacerte.

The Celtics are indeed hopeful he will heal in time to play next week, but league sources indicate it’s doubtful due to the nature of the injury and Smart’s history with left ankle sprains.

He sustained one in his rookie season and it kept him out for several weeks and he has had a few minor ankle sprains since then.

Even if he shows signs of being healthy enough to play prior to the opener, the Celtics are likely to be overly cautious to best insure that when he does return he does not re-aggravate the ankle.

Smart appeared in all seven preseason games for the Celtics this season, averaging 8.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Smart shot 42 percent from the field, but struggled mightily from 3-point range while connecting on just 13.6 percent of his 3-point shot attempts.

If Smart is unable to play in the opener or potentially longer, look for the Celtics to lean heavily on Terry Rozier who has been the breakout performer for Boston in the summer and in camp.

“I’m just trying to do whatever they need me to do, to help us win games,” Rozier told “I’m feeling good, real good about where my game’s at now. Obviously we’re a better team in every way, with Marcus out there. But if he’s not ready to go, the next man up has to get the job done. If that’s me, it’s me. I’ll be ready.”