Former Bruins D-man Mottau to sign one-year deal with Leafs


Former Bruins D-man Mottau to sign one-year deal with Leafs

After skating for most of the NHL lockout around Boston with other regulars like Shawn Thornton and then getting into game shape during a month-long stint with the AHLs San Antonio Rampage, a source indicated to that former Bruins defenseman Mike Mottau will ink a one-year, two-way deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs as soon as the new CBA is in effect.

The 34-year-old Mottau had some offers to play in Europe over the summer if he committed to the entire season, but the veteran defenseman held out hope on a couple of things: the NHL work stoppage wouldnt be a long one and that perhaps there would be a chance for the South Shore native to re-sign with his hometown Bruins.

Neither of those things happened as the lockout didnt get solved until January, and Mottau finally signed a veteran tryout agreement with San Antonio in December. The former Boston College Hobey Baker Award winner had a training camp invitation lined up with the Florida Panthers this week, but upgraded to the one-year contract with the Leafs when the offer presented itself.

The free agent deal with Toronto closes the book on his time in Boston after finishing last season with a pair of assists and a minus-11 rating in 36 games for both the Isles and Bruins. There was a thought that perhaps Mottau would be invited back with Adam McQuaid a physical question mark to begin the season, but instead one of Bostons Northeast Division rivals took a shot on the heady defenseman.

Mottau was caught in a tough spot by the timing of the NHL lockout, but its good that a very competent sixthseventh defenseman that still has plenty to offer will get a chance to reestablish himself in Toronto. Expect a flood of two-way deals and short term veteran signings like the Mottau deal to be announced by all of the NHL clubs once the NHL CBA memorandum of understanding is signed by both sides as soon as Saturday night.

Wright-Phillips scores 16th goal, Red Bulls beat Revs 1-0

Wright-Phillips scores 16th goal, Red Bulls beat Revs 1-0

HARRISON, N.J. - Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 16th goal of the season in the 55th minute and the New York Red Bulls beat the New England Revolution 1-0 on Sunday.

Revs goalkeeper Brad Knighton saved Alex Muyl's shot and Wright-Phillips put back the deflection with a half-volley into the right corner. Wright-Phillips has 61 goals in 100 career MLS games.

The Red Bulls (11-9-7) extended their undefeated streak to nine games and moved into a third-place tie in the East with the Philadelphia Union. The Revolution (6-12-9) are winless in their last six.

Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

FOXBORO – Talked to Jacoby Brissett on Sunday. His session with the media was as efficient and frills-free as his Friday night performance against the Carolina Panthers.

Brissett, the third-rounder From NC State, keeps improving. From 7-for-13 for 63 yards in the first game of the preseason to 9-for-13 for 87 yards Week 2 to a 9-for-9, 85-yard, one touchdown performance against Carolina.

He’s completed all manner of passes – inside, outside, checkdowns, tight windows – and looked preternaturally comfortable doing so.

Maybe I have a little recency bias working, but I don’t recall a drafted quarterback looking as poised and in command in his rookie preseason as Brissett has so far. Jimmy Garoppolo may have had more impressive game-by-game numbers, but Brissett oozes composure that that I don’t think Garoppolo matched.

Encircled by a media horde Sunday, Brissett was pleasant and perfunctory when asked about his performance.

“Definitely it was progress,” he said, adding that he’s, "still learning. I’m sure I’ll be learning until I leave here."

 Even though he was 9-for-9, Brissett said that watching film he could see “things you messed up on and could have done better.”

Asked for an example, Brissett talk about speed. At the line of scrimmage, going through progressions and delivering the ball, Brissett said all of it can improve.

The interesting question the Patriots face now is whether they are prepared to allow Brissett to be the lone backup to the still relatively green Garoppolo. Or does the team need an experienced backup to call on if Jimmy melts down?

Thursday night could be a telling evening for that. With Garoppolo unlikely to play a ton so the team can make sure he’s good to go for the opener, it comes down to who benefits more from reps against the Giants, Tom Brady or Brissett?

It shouldn’t be close. Brissett needs the reps.

Meanwhile, we made mention of Brissett’s relationship with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells after he was drafted and I figured revisiting that on Sunday wouldn’t hurt.

Brissett said he’s circled up with Parcells “here and there” but smiled knowingly and said, “He’s not the head coach here so you kinda need to listen to what your coach here is saying.”