Mottau signs with AHL's San Antonio Rampage

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Mottau signs with AHL's San Antonio Rampage

Mike Mottau had been a regular participant in the informal NHL skates in Boston over the last three months, and continues to hope that a slot will open up for him once the lockout is over. The 34-year-old Mottau had some offers to play in Europe over the summer if he committed to the entire season, but the veteran defenseman held out hope on a couple of things: the NHL work stoppage wouldnt be a long one and that perhaps there would be a chance to re-sign with the Bruins.

But neither of those things appear realistic now with the lockout rolling right into December, and Mottau confirmed to CSNNE.com that he signed a veteran tryout agreement with the AHLs San Antonio Rampage. The former Hobey Baker Award winner at Boston College signed with the Florida Panthers farm team in the hopes of getting in game shape once the lockout is over.

Perhaps that will be soon, and perhaps it wont. But Mottau left for San Antonio on Wednesday and will start playing in games after skating with Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and others for weeks in the Boston area.

I think I would be more valuable to a team if Im in game shape once the lockout gets settled, said Mottau.

That makes a lot of sense for the former Devils, Islanders and Bruins defenseman after he finished with a pair of assists and finished with a minus-11 rating in 36 games for the Isles and Bs last season. There should be room on an NHL roster for a dependable defenseman like Mottau, particularly if a lowered salary cap becomes an issue that teams are grappling with courtesy of any future CBA.

That would be the best outcome for a veteran like Mottau that was caught in a tough spot by the timing of the NHL lockout, but still has plenty to offer the right NHL team as a bottom-pairing defenseman at an affordable price.

Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

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Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room. 

"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."

Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.

During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday. 

As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.

PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

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PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court. 

After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

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