Offensive line changes

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Offensive line changes

As Tom E. Curran reported yesterday, Dan Koppen's scheduled to visit the Titans this week, a move that only adds to the speculation that Koppen won't return to the Pats next season.

This, combined with rumors that Matt Light and Brian Waters are both considering retirement, leaves the Pats with some pretty serious turnover on the offensive line. And at a time when you'd hope for a little more stability for your all-time, Hall of Fame QB.

If Light and Waters both walk away, and Koppen presumably heads elsewhere, that's three starters from the Pats Week 1 line-up, and while Koppen barely played at all, it's still an interesting number.

But even more interesting than that? The fact that somehow, this isn't a major problem. That we're not sitting here all winter freaking out about what's going to become of this offensive line, and fearing for Tom Brady's life. That's a testament to Bill Belichick and his scouting department.

Over the last seven years, the Pats have drafted only three offensive lineman in the first two rounds of the draft, and they're three for three: Logan Mankins, Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder. All three figure to anchor what will still be a very effective in reliable O-line next season. Throw in the rescue of centerkick return extraordinaire Dan Connolly off the scrap heap from Jacksonville, and a could-be, 5th round steal in RG Marcus Cannon, and the Pats are still looking all right, no matter what happens with some of today's question marks.

Not sure how many teams would be prepared to deal with that kind of turnover, but not surpsied that Bill Belichick was.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Report: Celtics expected to part ways with Kelly Olynyk

Report: Celtics expected to part ways with Kelly Olynyk

With the Celtics clearing the way to make a run at big names such as Paul George and Gordon Hayward, there will inevitably be salary-cap casualties.

But we'll always have Game 7 against the Wizards, Kelly Olynyk.

Olynyk, 26, averaged nine points and 4.8 rebounds last season, and will forever be remembered for his astonishing 10-for-14 shooting performance off the bench when he scored 26 points in the second-round series clincher over Washington at TD Garden.

After four seasons in Boston, the 7-footer and former first-round pick from Gonzaga is currently a restricted free agent and would surely turn down a Celtics' qualifying offer of a little more than $4 million. Until the C's renounce his rights, he counts for $7.7 million against the cap. 

That's money the Boston will need in its pursuit of George and Hayward. So, it's so long, Kelly O. 


 


 

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while wishing that Gordon Hayward and Paul George were already in Boston, like, yesterday.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Freidman gives his 30 thoughts for the week, including the trade value of a first-round pick right now.

*It could that non-unrestricted free agents steal all of the thunder on July 1 with massive contract extensions a la Connor McDavid.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Detroit Red Wings taking potential fliers on a number of veteran D-men that are out on the free market.

*With free agency right around the corner, the legendary Stan Fischler details the sad end to Bobby Orr’s career in Boston, where he was lied to about the offer extended to him and ended up playing things out with the Chicago Blackhawks in a way that it shouldn’t have gone. The sight of Orr in a Blackhawks sweater is one of the real all-time NHL oddities out there.

*The NCAA is eying college hockey expansion in NHL markets, including the University of Illinois and Pitt, and, from what I’ve been told, perhaps UNLV and maybe even Vanderbilt. This is a great thing for amateur hockey players and anybody that can’t get enough of the game.  

*Ex-Senators defenseman Marc Methot holds no ill will toward the Sens after being dealt from Vegas to the Dallas Stars following his selection in the expansion draft.

*Josh Ho-Sang shares his wisdom to Islanders prospects as a 21-year-old somebody that’s gone through the ups and downs of being in their shoes.

*As we referenced above, Connor McDavid is closing in on a massive contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers that will probably make him the highest paid player in the NHL.

*For something completely different: My heart goes out to this Roslindale family fighting through a situation with a child who has a life-threatening disorder. They have a Go-Fund-Me page, so please give if you can.