From Comcast SportsNet Thursday, September 15, 2011
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- John Tavares is sticking with the New York Islanders, agreeing to terms on a long-term deal that will kick in following the upcoming season after the forward's entry-level contract expires. Tavares is receiving a six-year, 33 million extension that will keep the 20-year-old center under contract through the 2017-18 season, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced by the team. His new contract will carry an annual salary cap charge of 5.5 million. The Islanders scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon to "make an announcement regarding the future of John Tavares." Tavares, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, has led New York in points in each of his two seasons. He topped his rookie numbers last season, recording 29 goals and 67 points in 79 games. Overall, Tavares has 53 goals and 121 points in 161 NHL games.
BRIGHTON, Mass. – The Bruins welcomed back Tuukka Rask to the Warrior Ice Arena practice sheet on Friday morning after he took more than a week off the ice after re-aggravating his lower body injury in last week’s win over the Devils.
Rask took part in 3-on-3 battle drills for a large chunk of the practice while backups Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban, both still with the team, practiced at the other end of the ice for most of the session.
It remains to be seen if Rask can go against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, while troubled early in the season by the reported hamstring/groin issues, but the Finnish netminder was clearly practicing like he was going to play in Motown.
It’s just as clear they desperately need him back given the shaky state of their defense after allowing a ghoulish 11 goals in their past two losses to the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers.
David Backes was still missing from the practice ice while recovering from his elbow procedure, so Claude Julien was again mixing and matching the lines amid a three-game losing streak.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings from practice:
FOXBORO - Dion Lewis was on the practice field for the first time on Thursday afternoon. The running back, who tore his ACL last season then sustained a patella stress fracture over the summer, will now have a maximum of three weeks to work out with the team before the Patriots decide whether to activate him or put him on injured reserve.
Predictably, Bill Belichick was not particularly revealing when asked about Lewis' re-entry.
"Well, he's been out there doing things with the training staff for a long time, so now it's on to the next step," Belichick explained, adding, "Dion works really hard. No one works harder than Dion."
It's a 53-man tie for the title of "Patriot Who Works Hardest" between Lewis and every other player on the roster who's been described as having nobody ahead of him in the "Works Harder" category.
Anyway, Lewis will not be listed on the injury report until he's activated and that would seem an extreme longshot for this week, though the team would have until Saturday to make that move.