Pierce ready for debut

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Pierce ready for debut

BOSTON Paul Pierce tweeted earlier this week that he was "very close" to returning to the floor for the Boston Celtics.

"Close" has been replaced by "now," with Celtics coach Doc Rivers confirming that Pierce would be in the starting lineup tonight against the Detroit Pistons.

Pierce has missed the first three games with a right heel bruise injury suffered shortly before training camp started.

His return means that Sasha Pavlovic, who started the first three games, will be back to the bench where he will fight for minutes with Marquis Daniels.

The backup wing position will get even deeper in the coming weeks when Mickael Pietrus (knee) is healthy enough to resume playing.

"He's healthy, which is good," Rivers said. "He just has to get his knee stronger. But it's good to see him. He looks in great shape, which is good."

Pietrus acknowledged that even before he was waived by the Phoenix Suns, he already had his mind made up that he wanted to sign with the Celtics.

And while he wants to get on the court as soon as possible, he understands that his value to the C's is greatest later, rather than sooner.

"I am going to listen to my body," Pietrus told CSNNE.com. "Around here, you play to be healthy in June. That's why they got 17 banners."

Morning Skate: Blackhawks get band back together

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Morning Skate: Blackhawks get band back together

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while knowing that nobody will ever forget the courage and zest for life that 5-year-old Red Sox fan Ari Schultz showed in his far too short life. Rest in peace, little guy.  

 *PHT writer James O’Brien has the Chicago Blackhawks adjusting to the returns of both Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp after their short stints away from the fold. It will be really interesting to see if the Blackhawks can recreate their magic by bringing some of the past Cup pieces to the scene after last year’s disappointing end.

*Ilya Kovalchuk is primed for a return to the NHL in 2018-19 after playing one more season, an Olympic season no less, in the KHL.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Arpon Basu chronicling the day with the Cup in Montreal for Marc-Andre Fleury.

*Speaking of the Blackhawks, it sounds like Jonathan Toews is going to scale back on the “Captain Serious” approach to his hockey career this upcoming season.

*Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee is pleased with the state of his expansion team after looking at some of the pieces, and doing a little wheeling and dealing after the fact. I mean, you have to wheel and deal if you’re a hockey team in Vegas, right?

*Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar is relieved his new contract with the Winged Wheels will allow him to avoid arbitration.

*For something completely different: It remains to be seen whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but we’re completely in a culture where media entities are writing full stories about posters. Okay, I think this is a bad thing and my mind is already made up.