Morning Skate: Tuesday, January 15

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Morning Skate: Tuesday, January 15

Gary Lawless from the Winnipeg Sun says that, like him or hate him, the NHL is in good hands with commissioner Gary Bettman. That kind of opinion is certainly open to interpretation but the knives have been put away now that hockey is back.

An interesting behind-the-scenes look by Chris Botta at the business of being the New Jersey Devils.
A good piece by Michael Grange on NHLPA lead voice Chris Campoli currently still looking for work after being very outspoken in the negotiations with NHL owners and league officials.
Bob McKenzie gives a season preview of the Boston Bruins for NHL Network and leaves Tuukka Rask as the single-biggest factor that the season could hinge upon.
Pierre Lebrun with an interesting piece about relations between the KHL and NHL as some Russian players have been threatening to remain back in Russia at the end of the lockout.
Dave Bolland is getting a look at an expanded role with the Chicago Blackhawks in abbreviated training camp.
Cory Schneider is ready to jump at the opportunity in net with the Vancouver Canucks, though it must be weird that Roberto Luongo is there with him to begin NHL training camp this week.
Former Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart is ready for more responsibility in Winnipeg as injuries have hit their blueline corps.
According to Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney, All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle is not going to be available in a trade after he was the subject of several Bruins rumors this offseason.
For something completely different: a breakdown of the Golden Globe awards including an attempt to decipher exactly what the hell Jodie Foster was talking about in her acceptance speech.

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”