Patriots re-sign Stallworth


Patriots re-sign Stallworth

The Patriots announced that they have re-signed receiver Donte' Stallworth. But just a few hours before the announcement, Patriots coach Bill Belichick wasn't willing to say a word about it.

"There's no announcement that's been made, so I don't really have any comment on that," he said on a Tuesday conference call.

Stallworth was released in late August when New England cut its roster to 75 players. The team's receiver depth now, is not what it once was.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski is out for the foreseeable future with a broken forearm. Julian Edelman has been placed on season-ending injured reserve with a broken foot.

Considering Stallworth's familiarity with the Patriots offense, and that Deion Branch is apparently still unavailable because of a hamstring injury, the 33-year-old could be a solid emergency replacement.

Belichick was asked if releasing the receiver this summer was difficult. Again, he avoided specifics.

"A lot of cuts in training camp are hard," Belichick said. "Guys come in and they work hard, they're competitive. There's a group of players that you have to release from your roster is always tough because everybody has something they can contribute, something they do well. And the guys that you keep -- they have things that they do well. But they've been competitive for a roster spot, too. There's a lot of good players out there and it's always tough."

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally


Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.