Chiarelli: McQuaid will be ready to start season

591590.jpg

Chiarelli: McQuaid will be ready to start season

BOSTON -- There was some question as to whether rugged Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid would be ready to start the NHL season after undergoing blood clot surgery four months ago. But general manager Peter Chiarelli said Sunday morning that McQuaid should play, provided the Bruins training staff doesnt raise any warning flags.

It was originally thought McQuaid might not be ready for full-time duty and could be pushed back until February. But that doesnt seem to be the case.

McQuaid wasnt on the ice until Dec. 19 after getting a blood thinner regimen that doctors had prescribed for him after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, and its clear the rangy 6-foot-3 defenseman has some weight and muscle to gain back. McQuaid couldnt really work out or skate until he was taken off the blood thinners, but hes been steadily improving over the last month.

So in Chiarellis mind it will be simply come down to McQuaids performance during the week-long camp rather than the medical staff holding him back.

Hes been cleared to play now. I dont what level of contact he can take, but I think hes been cleared to play, said Chiarelli, who indicated McQuaid should be in the opening night lineup on Jan. 19 unless he stinks out there during training camp.

That leaves 19-year-old rookie Dougie Hamilton and incoming free agent signee Aaron Johnson competing for the sixth defenseman spot, along with Providence Bruins camp invites Matt Bartkowski and David Warsofsky.

It remains to be seen if a slimmer, leaner McQuaid will be a little hesitant to drop the gloves after gaining a reputation as a tough customer over the last couple of seasons. The 26-year-old McQuaid finished with 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in 72 games with a plus-16 rating.

Sox hope to bring David Ortiz back to Boston for new role

Sox hope to bring David Ortiz back to Boston for new role

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- David Oritz’s time in Boston as a player is over. He continues to say there’s no Brett Favre-type comeback, no matter how many people ask him.

However, that doesn’t mean his time with the Red Sox is over.

Sam Kennedy, Tom Werner and Dave Dombrowski are heading down to the Dominican Republic to tour the team’s academy on the island to see what changes, if any, need to be made.

Ortiz will join them on those tours.

“He’s just a good guy to go to the Dominican with,” Kennedy said. “We thought it’d be great to catch up. Haven’t seen him since before the holidays.”

But the front office members intend to exchange more than just pleasantries and stories from the holiday season. One goal on the trip is to bring Ortiz back to the organization as an employee.

“Yeah that’s something on the agenda,” Kennedy said. “We’re gonna talk about what he may or may not want to do. He did say after the season let’s just talk in January. He was so overwhelmed and tired so it’s a good time to start those conversations.

“I know he has a lot of plans, broadcasting, a lot of businesses he’s involved with and we’ll see what he’s up to. But we hope to cement something so he’s a part of the organization.”

What role that is yet to be determined. Assuming he doesn’t pursue a broadcasting career.

“I truly don’t know what’s on his mind,” Kennedy said. “He’ll obviously be good at whatever he decides to do, but I would hope that we could create a role where he has influence in the baseball operations side, he has influence in marketing, as an ambassador. A lot of our alums we’ve found really enjoy working with young players. Pedro [Martinez] is a perfect example of that.

“So we’ll see what he’s interested in doing, but I have heard him talk about broadcasting in the past and I think he’d be great at it if he decides to do it.”

Swihart, Wright fully recovered for Red Sox' spring training

Swihart, Wright fully recovered for Red Sox' spring training

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Dave Dombrowski told reporters at the Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods both Steven Wright and Blake Swihart are ready to go for spring training.

Wright suffered a shoulder injury from sliding back into second as a pinch runner against the Dodgers in August, ending his All-Star season far too soon. The knuckleballer went 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts last season.

“His shoulder has been feeling good,” Dombrowski said of Wright, who was not at the event due to a prior engagement. “He’s out there throwing, so he feels good.”

Swihart saw his season end even sooner than Wright, after spraining his left ankle June 4 tracking down a foul ball in left field near the wall at Fenway Park. He played in only 19 games last season. 

“[Swihart] said he feels great,” Dombrowski said. “He’s going right from here down to Florida and he said he’s ready to go.”

Swihart will move back to the catcher position for spring training, with his goal of winning the job over Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez. The ankle might’ve been a cause for concern had the Red Sox handled the situation differently, but by all accounts he’s OK to catch again.

“They tell me [there’s no reason for concern],” Dombrowski said. “I guess I’m really not knowledgeable to say that, but the doctors and trainers have told me no.

"That’s why they went and had the surgery because they felt the way the tendon kept slipping that [there was a] possibility it would bother him more. But after the surgery now, they feel there will not be any problems in that regard.”