Report: Campbell considers joining Ference in Czech Republic

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Report: Campbell considers joining Ference in Czech Republic

Gregory Campbell might be joining up with Bruins alternate captain Andrew Ference in the Czech Republic to sharpen up his hockey skills while the NHL lockout enters a critical stage.

The fourth line center has been skating in Boston with a small group of Bruins skaters and Boston NHL locals over the last few months while waiting for a labor agreement to be worked out. But Campbell remained very non-committal about playing in Europe until recently, and that might be something worth noting.

He told the Boston Globe that hes mulling a chance to join the HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice team thats employed Ference since early October, and could join a second wave of NHL players that have been headed to Europe over the last week. Some are taking the mass exodus of players to Europe as a troubling sign, but perhaps this is the most encouraging harbinger yet that the NHL players believe an abridged training camp could be only a few weeks away. The games in Europe could allow players like Campbell to sharpen things up before the NHL regular season could begin on Dec. 1.

Ference went to Europe early because hes entering the walk year of his contract in Boston, and felt he needed to be in the best possible condition when the puck is finally dropped in North America.

Campbell has spent his free time in the Boston area skating five days a week, taking ride-a-longs with the Boston Police in a profession that might have been a reality had he not made it in pro hockey and biding his time like every other NHL follower. When the season does finally get going, however, Campbell will be starting the first season of a three-year, 4.8 million contract signed this summer.

Both of Campbells fourth line mates, Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille, continue to skate in the Boston area as well, but perhaps the recent European signings of Campbell and Chris Kelly could portend more to come. Campbell would be the 11th Bruins player to sign in Europe, tops among any of the 30 NHL teams.

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.”