FOXBORO -- During the offseason, the Patriots seemed to ignore a glaring need. A pure pass-rusher. In a draft stocked with them, they passed. And when the lockout ended, they took a flier on some veterans. One of them was Andre Carter, to whom they gave a one-year deal. He was immense, rolling up 10 sacks in 14 games before a quad injury at Denver ended his season. On Wednesday, Carter -- who had surgery on his leg last month -- was crutching through the plaza at Patriot Place. Eleven seasons and 163 games in the NFL and when the team he's on finally makes it to the playoffs, he can't go. Brutal. But Carter, who impressed this season with his professionalism and approachability, resisted the urge to lament. "To a certain extent it's just a little bit (difficult to be watching)," he admitted. "But at the end of the day, I can hold my head up high because I just know when it came to playing the games I was involved in I just gave it my all. "That's just something that you hold yourself accountable for and I'm just very proud to be a part of such a great team and very blessed to see my teammates have made it here to the AFC Championship."Carter said the fan interaction he's had on Twitter (@mr_carter93) has buoyed him. "I do get a lot of feedback from fans just saying, 'If it wasn't for you, there's no telling where we'd be.' That means a lot coming from them. From what I've gone through -- from the beginning to now with being out -- the love here and definitely the respect from fans has been tremendous," said Carter. Carter, who'll be 32 in May, says he doesn't want to play anywhere else. "I'll say this, it's just a fun place to play so why not come back and hopefully finish my career as a Patriot," he asked.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while locking the name Urho Vaakenainen into my Microsoft World spellcheck.
*The New Jersey Devils got a No. 1 overall pick that isn’t going to be a generational player, but he’s going to be one heck of a player.
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has fired Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett indicating that he needed a change after a long run in the desert.
*The Edmonton Oilers cleared cap space by dealing Jordan Eberle and immediately filled it up with a four-year commitment to Kris Russell. Peter Chiarelli must make sure he doesn’t paint himself into a salary cap corner like he did in Boston with signings like this one. Word is that Connor McDavid is going to command a massive contract, and that could make contracts like the Russell one tough to manage in Edmonton.
*Old friend Claude Julien is only a spectator at the NHL Draft, but he’s already juggling the Habs roster in his mind as it goes through changes. Both Julien and Shawn Thornton came over to shoot the breeze with the Boston media on Friday night as the first round approached, and showed once again why both men are on the All-Class team.
*The Winnipeg Jets took a guy that I thought made a lot of sense for the Bruins, big Finnish power forward Kristian Vesalainen. He was available for the Bruins at the 18th pick when they opted to go defense instead.
*The Washington Capitals decided not to let winger TJ Oshie get to free agency, and locked him up with an eight-year contract.
*Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is in the middle of the storm right now as he blows up his team and begins to build it the way he wants to.
For something completely different: Everything you always wanted to know about Sammy Hagar but were afraid to ask.
0:41 - Michael Holley, Kayce Smith and Tom Giles recap their thoughts on drafting Jayson Tatum and trade rumors involving the Celtics.
6:21 - Ian Thomsen joins BST to discuss if it would be worth trading for Paul George as a one-year rental and if there would be a chance he could still around long-term if traded to Boston.
11:13 - Evan Drellich joins BST to talk about Rick Porcello’s outing, the Red Sox offense coming to life, and Doug Fister being claimed by the Red Sox.
15:10 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely look back at the Celtics/Nets trade, what the assets have turned into, and if Danny Ainge has done a good job turning those assets into players.