Kraft: Progress is made, but much work remains

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Kraft: Progress is made, but much work remains

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. So it's gotta be something if the owners and players are summitting privately as opposed to standing back-to-back with their arms folded over their chests. That was the point Patriots owner Robert Kraft made Thursday while meeting with media at Gillette Stadium following an event honoring community volunteers from around New England. Asked if the two sides are closer to resolving their differences now than March 11 when the lockout began, Kraft said, "I think so because we're talking now. We're making progress. But you know there's a lot of work to be done. This is a very hard deal with all the different variables . . . Sitting down and talking about the problems is a positive thing. But there's a lot of hard work still to be done. But the good news is, we're talking."Kraft at first smiled when asked how theinitially clandestine meetingsheld in Chicagolast week andLong Island this week had gone, "There were secret meetings?" he smirked.He then acknowledged, "We've been fortunate that we've had two rounds of talks and anytime principals are talking in any deal that's complicated or has some potential problems, I think that's a big plus. I'm happy that we're talking principal-to-principal. "We have the greatest game in America and a lot of people depending on this game, not just people working in this building -- service people, support people," Kraft added."I think on Sundays, it's part of Americana. People plan their day and we have to be very careful that we continue to enhance it. The fact we're continuing to talk is a very positive sign."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Rajon Rondo suspended by Bulls for 'heated exchange'

Rajon Rondo suspended by Bulls for 'heated exchange'

Former Celtics and current Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo is up to his old tricks, apparently.

The Bulls have suspended Rondo for Monday’s game due to conduct detrimental to the team, with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical saying that the suspension is the result of a “heated exchange” the 30-year-old had with a Bulls assistant during or after the team’s 107-82 loss to the Mavericks Saturday. 

Rondo clashing with others is nothing new. He once shattered a television on which the Celtics were showing him game footage to critique him and had to be carried out kicking and screaming by Kevin Garnett. Chris Sheridan reported in 2013 that Doc Rivers had an “intense dislike” for Rondo and that the two almost fought.

After being traded out of Boston, Rondo was suspended for a game by the Mavericks after a shouting match with Rick Carlisle. Last December, he was suspended for calling referee Bill Kennedy a homophobic slur, leading to Kennedy coming out as gay. 

Interestingly enough, there's something of a pattern of Rondo's bigger infractions occuring in games against former teams. The Kennedy incident came in a game against the Celtics, while this recent one was against Dallas. 

This is the first season of a two-year, $28 million Rondo signed with the Bulls in the offseason. He is averaging 8.2 points per game, 7.2 assists per game and 6.7 rebounds a night. 

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- There were both expected and unexpected absences from Bruins morning skate on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of tonight’s game at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Matt Beleskey was the expected absence after getting knocked out of Saturday’s game with a lower body injury caused by a Tyler Fedun check to his right leg, and Torey Krug was also missing from the ice after pulling workhorse duty over the last handful of games in the absence of Zdeno Chara.

Following practice Claude Julien confirmed that Chara was “probable” to return for tonight’s game vs. the Florida Panthers after missing the last six games, and that Krug is expected to play after succumbing to the same illness that felled Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Beleskey was being checked by doctors on Monday, and it sounds like his absence might be a bit longer term than simply a “day-to-day” lower body injury. 

Noel Acciari took part in practice, and it appears they both could be closing in on a return to the lineup. Frank Vatrano also shot the puck around a bit at the very beginning of Monday’s skate, but came off the ice as the team began their preparations for tonight’s game. 

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Florida based on the morning skate with Beleskey and Krug both absent:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Schaller-Krejci-Backes

Spooner-Nash-Czarnik

Blidh-Moore-Hayes/Acciari

Chara-Carlo

Morrow-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

Rask

Khudobin