EAST RUTHERFORD - High drama at the Meadowlands. Goose eggs everywhere after the first quarter. Some notes after one quarter of the Patriots-Giants dress rehearsal. Ryan Mallett got the start at quarterback. He nearly got picked throwing late to the sideline on the Patriots first drive, a throw better not made. Also, he threw a screen to Jesse Holley that was aimed directly at Holley's right hip as the play flowed left. Not that solid. Other offensive starters were all backups (oxymoron?). Sebastian Vollmer did get his first preseason action starting at right tackle and was just fine over there in place of The Marcus Cannon Experience. Darrion Weems and Vollmer were the tackles, Derek Dennis and Jeremiah Warren were the guards. Ryan Wendell started at center. Holley and Jeremy Ebert were the wideouts. Eric Kettani started at fullback and Brandon Bolden was the running back. Daniel Fells was the tight end. Vollmer and Wendell came out after two series. Cannon and Dan Koppen entered. Koppen played just one series before Dan Connolly took over. Jermaine Cunningham split a double team and came up with a sack. He started at defensive end. The other end was Trevor Scott. Brandon Deaderick and Ron Brace were the defensive tackles. The linebackers were Bobby Carpenter, Niko Koutouvides and Mike Rivera. Rookies Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner started at safety. Alfonzo Dennard and Ras-I Dowling were the corners. Marquice Cole got the night off, a signal he's probably going to make the team which is sensible. Jeff Demps returned kicks in the first quarter.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while there’s a beautiful day going on outside in Buffalo.
*D-man Jakob Chychrun says that he wasn’t stressing dropping into the middle of the first round before the Arizona Coyotes picked him.
*It’s a great piece of video from Friday night’s first round as Tyson Jost’s grandpa became a sobbing, proud man when his grandson was taken early in the first round of the NHL Draft.
*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin believing that Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning crossed the line by publicly expressing interest in P.K. Subban.
*Evander Kane is being investigated on a couple of harassment claims in the Buffalo area, a tough development during NHL Draft weekend there.
*The Blue Jackets had the biggest surprise of the first round by drafting Pierre-Luc Dubois with the third overall pick in the first round. They must think he’s going to be a center long term.
*The Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild are talking trade for a D-man, but none of the defensemen names moved on Friday night.
*For something completely different: Adam Kaufman gives his take on the draft night for the Celtics.
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.