Morning Skate 110: Marchand tells all

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Morning Skate 110: Marchand tells all

There's a lot going on in NHL news today. Walk with me.
Somebody called the Boston Sports Company has come out with a Bruins-themed rap about the Bru-Tang Clan name that Brad Marchand would like to use for his line with Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron. Pretty funny including the Tim Thomas AKA Old Dirty Bruin line, and nice work by @marlowilliams.
Brad Marchand spills his guts in his ESPN.com diary and says that hes not going to bite into the harsh words being tossed out there by the Vancouver Canucks. Thats entering Wes Welker territory with the foot jokes.

Eric Engels has some info on Jaroslav Halak returning to Montreal as a member of the St. Louis Blues.
Dustin Penner is having a terrible season and now hes injured his back chowing down on his wife delicious pancakes. It sounds like all he needs is elastic band sweatpants and hell officially be giving up on life.
The 10 most surprising players of the seasons first half including Tyler Seguin, who has really turned it on in the second half of the year.
Elliotte Friedman has his 30 thoughts including the reasoning behind the NHLPA tossing out the realignment plan, and some extra leftovers from the CanucksBruins game last weekend.
For something completely different: a New England staple called Friendlys Restaurant is becoming an endangered species due to bankruptcy. Its a major bummer because it means no more Strawberry Fribbles when theyre all gone.

Farrell: Price to make first Red Sox start of year Monday in Chicago

Farrell: Price to make first Red Sox start of year Monday in Chicago

David Price may have allowed six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings Wednesday night during his second rehab start in Triple-A, but the Red Sox apparently liked what they saw.

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Manager John Farrell announced moments ago that Price will rejoin the Red Sox Monday and start that day's game in Chicago against the White Sox. Farrell said the Sox were more concerned with how Price felt physically after his rehab start, not the results, and they're satisfied he's ready to return.

More to come . . . 

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."