Campbell won't go to Europe unless season is lost

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Campbell won't go to Europe unless season is lost

Gregory Campbell had a few offers to play in Europe, and there were some in-depth discussions between his agent and a few teams.

But the Bs fourth-line center isnt headed overseas anytime soon, and probably wont be going to the Czech Republic or Germany unless the entire NHL 2012-13 season gets called due to the lockout.

It was previously thought Campbell might join Ceske Budejovice HC and play with Andrew Ference in the Czech Republic, but that opportunity wasnt the right fit. There was also a chance for Campbell to play in Germany, but life at home has come into play this offseason.

"Its just not the right time for me to be playing in Europe at this point," said Campbell.

Campbell is newly married and was in Boston this week attending to a few errands after buying a residence in the Back Bay. But Campbell indicated hell be headed back to Ontario this weekend until something breaks for better or worse.

He has been skating with Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman and their former junior team, the Kitchener Rangers, in recent weeks, and that will be the plan until the season is saved or cancelled.

Its a good practice with some good intensity and a nice group of kids, and it gives you that good feeling going to the rink every day thats missing a little bit with the lockout, said Campbell, who skated with Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille at a Monday morning informal practice at a local arena.

"So Ill head back up to Ontario until something happens," he added. "You never know. I guess things might change a little later down the line and it would be beneficial to play in some games if things start to happen around here quickly. But as of right now Im staying in North America, and Ill just keep myself ready to play.

Campbell is starting the first year of a three-year, 4.8 million contract extension in Boston, and had 16 points in 77 games last year while averaging nearly 13 minutes of ice time per game. The 28-year-old Campbell also finished second on the Bruins behind Thornton with fighting majors last season.

With Campbell leaving Boston and the number of skaters at the involuntary workouts dwindling, its becoming more and more of a challenge for the players to keep themselves in the ready position.

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK - There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."

Blakely: Jae Crowder is more than 'just another guy' on Celtics

Blakely: Jae Crowder is more than 'just another guy' on Celtics

As the NBA trade deadline gets closer and closer, A. Sherrod Blakely helps shed some light as to why the Boston Celtics may be unwilling to part ways with Jae Crowder