Tomlinson to retire with the Chargers


Tomlinson to retire with the Chargers

LaDainian Tomlinson's time in the NFL is up. One week away from his 33rd birthday, the free-agent running back has not found any suitors to play the 2012 season and he will now sign with the San Diego Chargers on a one-day contract to officially retire with the team that drafted him.

The Chargers will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. on Monday to announce Tomlinson's retirement.

It won't be a teary goodbye to LT here in New England. Over the course of his 11-year career -- nine with the Bolts and two with the Jets -- Tomlinson has been one of the Patriots' greatest rivals. Here's a rundown of how LT's relationship with the Pats has shaken out:

Patriots beat Tomlinson's Chargers in the 2007 Divisional round, 24-21. LT became so angry that he had to be restrained when he saw Patriots players dancing on the Chargers' midfield logo. The dance was done to mock then-Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman's "Lights Out" dance.

"I would never react in that way. I was very upset," Tomlinson said after the game. "That is disrespectful. They showed no class and maybe that comes from the head coach."

In 2008, New England beat LT and the Bolts, 21-12, to advance to their fourth Super Bowl in seven years. Tomlinson was injured for the game and carried the ball just twice. He famously hung on the sidelines wearing a parka and a helmet for most of the game.

In 2011, Tomlinson got some measure of redemption. He caught a touchdown from Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez as New York came into Foxboro to win the Divisional Playoff game with the Pats, 28-21.

Tomlinson visited the Dan Patrick Show in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLVI and was asked if he still hates the Patriots.

"I don't hate them," Tomlinson said. "When we were between those lines, they were the team that always kept my teams from getting to where we wanted to go and win a championship."

Hypothetically, could he ever put aside the hate to sign a deal with the Patriots?

"I think that would be ... uh ... that would be ... obviously I would be tempted because Tom Brady's there and I would love to play with him," Tomlinson told Patrick. "I just think probably at this point it would be a stretch."

Tomlinson leaves the NFL as one of the greatest backs in the history of the game and very likely a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He's fifth all time in rushing yards, second in rushing touchdowns and he set the single-season record for rushing TDs with 28 in 2006.

The only thing missing from his long list of achievements in the league is a Super Bowl title. For that, in part, he has the Patriots to thank.

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.