Peverley could return 'sooner rather than later'

591410.jpg

Peverley could return 'sooner rather than later'

SAN JOSE, Calif. While Rich Peverley moved a lot closer to a return to the Bs lineup after taking some contact for the first time on Wednesday, the versatile winger wont be playing against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

Bruins coach Claude Julien ruled out Peverley for the first game of the three-game road trip through California, but said the winger is day-to-day while attempting to return from a sprained right knee. Julien also wouldnt rule out Peverley potentially returning at some point during the three games, and it does appear that the Sunday finale in Anaheim could become a chance to play the forward depending on what happens in the first two games of the trip.

Whether Peverley plays on the trip or not, it appears he should back in the lineup by the time the Bruins return to Boston next week and thats good news for a Black and Gold club looking to finish strong as they push for the playoffs.

Hes a day-to-day situation. We keep giving him more all the time-to-time. My prediction is that well be seeing him sooner rather than later, said Julien.

Thats not to say that well see him on this trip. If he plays then hell have progressed to that point. But we brought him on this trip to let him practice with the team, and see where he can get to.

Peverley skated with Benoit Pouliot, Chris Kelly and Brian Rolston as a part of the Bs red-hot third line at Wednesdays practice, and it would appear that would be his landing spot when he does jump back into the fray. It should be interesting to watch the urgency in Pouliots game in the next couple of games with the knowledge that Peverley could displace him in the postseason hes not firing on all cylinders.

More than anything else, Peverly's return will give Julien options with 10 games left in the regular season and the playoffs rapidly approaching. Peverley has missed 22 games with an assortment of lower body injuries and hasnt played a game since knocking knees with Habs defenseman Hal Gill on Feb. 15 at the Bell Centre.

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England. 

Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.

"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.

"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."

Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.

Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he  posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.

Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.