It was a case of good timing for Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk.
The 28-year-old Bruins defenseman had decided to take a break from his stint in Austria playing for the Salzburg Red Bulls this weekend, and he arrived back in Boston on Saturday. Then Boychuk awoke to the news on Sunday that the NHL and NHLPA had reached a tentative agreement on a 10-year CBA that will effectively end the lockout and start the 2013 season within two weeks.
Boychuk replied to CSNNE.com that it was awesome when asked how it felt going back to work in Black and Gold, but also said he enjoyed his time playing in the Austrian Hockey League. Boychuk was one of the last Bruins players to head overseas after waiting things out with players like Daniel Paille, Greg Campbell, Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand.
It was really nice in Austria. Beautiful country, said Boychuk. The hockey was different, but it was still okay. Itll be nice to start the season here, though.
Boychuk finished with eight points in 15 games for the Red Bulls along with a plus-11 rating, and should be in excellent shape, ready to jump right into NHL action upon his return. Once the NHL begins its shortened schedule, Boychuk will be starting the first season of a three-year, 10.10 million contract that he signed during the 2012-13 season.
The Bruins have nearly a full defenseman corps (Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference, Dougie Hamilton and Boychuk) that has been playing hockey over the last three months, which is an overwhelming positive as the NHL season will start quickly.
Boychuk finished with 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 77 games along with a career-best plus-27 in the 2011-12 season.
In the hours leading up to the draft, the Knicks continue to talk to teams - including the Celtics - about a trade for Kristaps Porzingis but are seeking a "massive" return, according to multiple reports.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo's The Vertical reports that the Celtics are among several teams so far unwilling to meet the Knicks' price.
Knicks president Phil Jackson is said to covet Kansas forward Josh Jackson in the draft, who many have speculated the Celtics could take with the No. 3 pick. CSN Celtics Insider Sherrod Blakely, on the Toucher and Rich this morning, proposed a potential C's package of tonight's No. 3 pick, next year's Brooklyn pick, Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown as a potential haul for Porzingis.
Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe termed what New York is seeking as "massive" and Marc Stein of ESPN reports the Celtics "remain in pursuit."
Frank Isola of The New York Daily News says it's "the moon and two Brooklyn picks," i.e. the haul Blakely proposed - this year's No. 3 and the 2018 first-round pick from the Nets that the Celtics own from the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett deal, Brown and Crowder. Also, the Celtics taking on the remaining two years (at more than $18 million per) of Joakim Noah's contract from the Knicks could factor into the deal.
Second-year Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell already had a children's book published before he was drafted last year. Now he has a three-book deal with children's book publisher Scholastic.
The three books will include a newly-illustrated edition of his self-published first crack at the children's book genre, "The Magician Hat," according to the Associated Press. That will come out in May of next year and be followed up by two more original works.
Mitchell has been a children's literacy advocate since before joining the Patriots. That he joined a reading club -- made up mostly of women twice his age or more -- was quickly seized upon by multiple media outlets in the build-up to last year's draft as one of the feel-good stories in that year's class of prospects.
Mitchell has founded a youth literacy initiative called Read With Malcolm, and he's the Patriots "Summer Reading Ambassador," encouraging young students to read as much as possible during the summer months. He hosted reading rallies across New England that began in Roxbury, Mass. back in March and finished up last week at The Hall at Patriot Place.