FOXBORO - Asante Samuel's gotten rich in Philadelphia. The former Patriot corner fled there as a free agent in 2008 for a massive deal and while he's often been scrutinized and criticized during his time with the Eagles, he's still a big play waiting to happen. "He makes a lot of plays," Tom Brady said Wednesday. "He always has made a lot of plays. He's a great player and I always loved playing against him because I really thought he brought the best out of our receivers and our passing game. He's always a threat to intercept the ball. As a quarterback, you're always paying attention to those guys."Samuel is just a brilliant player when the ball is in the air. He may not be the stiffest tackler. He may get caught out of position or being over-aggressive. But when he gets his hands on a ball, it usually sticks (final drive ofSuper Bowl 42 notwithstanding . . . gulp). "Asante does it as well as anybody I've ever played against," Brady said when asked about Samuel's ability to ballhawk. Samuel, now 30, has 42 career interceptions and two this season. Heis one of the few Patriots to go somewhere else and be even better than he was here. He's been named All-Pro each of the last two years. With Samuel on one side and the former Raider Nnamdi Asomugha on the other, the Patriots will be facing two of the most talented corners in the league. They haven't played to their resumes this year - Philly's allowed 18 touchdown passes - but their ability is unmistakeable. And the Philly defense plays fast. "They really have threats everywhere," said Brady. "They rush as well as anybody that we face. They got two of the best corners in the league in intercepting passes. They force you to throw it quick and then they're on you quick . . . They're a really dangerous group and we really have to go out and execute well, as well as we've executed all year."
One of the Bruins' defenseman trade targets is off the market.
Dmitry Kulikov was traded from Florida Panthers to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. He was on Boston's list of usual suspects for D-men.
Buffalo traded defenseman Mark Pysyk and the 38th and 89th pick to Florida for the 25-year old Kulikov and pick No. 33.
Dmitry Kulikov traded from Panthers to the Sabres. He was on Boston's list of usual suspects for D-man trade targets— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) June 25, 2016
The Bruins had discussed a Kulikov deal with the Panthers last week.
BUFFALO – The Bruins might not quite be finished with the Chris Kelly era in Boston.
After the gritty, seasoned and defensive-minded forward played only 11 games last season due to a left femur fracture suffered in November, there was some question about his future with his contract up on July 1. The B’s have maintained a consistent interest in potentially bringing back the team leader if Kelly proved he was healthy enough to contribute and of course if the price was right for the 35-year-old.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that Kelly now has a full bill of health seven months after the injury and that Sweeney planned to speak with the fourth-liner’s agent in the near future.
“I’m actually going to speak with Chris Kelly’s representative,” said Sweeney. “We had great news that he was physically and medically cleared, so we’re going to have a discussion with them in short order.”
While Kelly’s days of scoring 20 goals or playing big minutes as a third-line center might be behind him, he’s still a respected leader and gritty, tough penalty killer that sets a great example for the young players in the B’s dressing room. If Kelly is willing to sign for short term and something in the neighborhood of $1 million, he could be an acceptable fit as a fourth liner/13th forward on a Bruins team gearing more toward speed and youth with each passing month.
If not, then Kelly is more than likely one of those veteran players who might have to win an NHL job in training camp, given that he’s coming off a pretty major leg injury, and that the league is skewing more toward entry level contract players as fourth line/extra forwards.
Kevin O'Connor and Marc Bertrand discuss Jaylen Brown's strengths and why he'll be better than Boston Celtics fans think.
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