Sullinger reminds Garnett of former C's center Perkins

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Sullinger reminds Garnett of former C's center Perkins

WALTHAM Although Kendrick Perkins didn't put up big numbers while with the Boston Celtics, he brought something to the floor that the C's definitely needed.

Rookie Jared Sullinger isn't the same kind of player, but he too has shown the potential to have a similarly important, but stealth-like impact this season.

"He reminds me of Perk," said Boston's Kevin Garnett. "He's not obviously the defensive player that Perk was, but as far as IQ, moving the ball and being unselfish, he's a great teammate."

Perkins, who was the starting center on Boston's 2008 title squad, was traded to Oklahoma City in 2010.

When told about Garnett's comparing him to Perkins, Sullinger responded, "Kevin doesn't give anybody praise; it means he likes you, I guess."

There's a lot to like about Sullinger, who continues to prove that him slipping to No. 21 in last June's NBA draft will be remembered as a gaffe on the part of several GMs.

Coming off his first start of the season at Washington, Sullinger will likely get the starting nod again when the C's host the Wizards on Wednesday.

On Saturday against Washington, the 6-foot-9 burly forward had four points, seven rebounds and a blocked shot.

But like Perkins, numbers don't do justice to the impact that his mere presence had as a positive for the Celtics.

"Jared understands what we're doing. He's a no-nonsense guy," Garnett said. "The young fella comes in, does his job, does what you tell him."

And the message for Sullinger these days is two-fold: rebound and defend.

Rebounding hasn't been much of an issue, especially on the offensive glass where he has already distinguished himself as the best player the C's have in that category.

Although he's eighth on the team in minutes played this season, Sullinger ranks second (five) in offensive rebounds, and eighth overall among rookies.

But like most first-year players, his defense is very much a work in progress.

And work is what he appears to be all about these days, evident by him being among the last players off the floor after most practices.

Sullinger seems to understand that for him to be the kind of player he envisions himself developing into, he must continue to work on his game.

"I feel really good," Sullinger told CSNNE.com. "Just have to understand my role, and that's rebounding. Scoring is going to be there at times, but right now everything has to go through Paul (Pierce), (Rajon) Rondo and Kevin (Garnett)."

Looking at the talent that's around him, Sullinger has no problem being a role player.

"Every basketball team, you have your superstars and then you have your role players who really came into their own," he said. "You just have to know who you are playing with."

The C's certainly know who they are playing with in Sullinger - a rookie who is wise beyond his years.

Morning Skate: Pronger on his way to a GM job?

Morning Skate: Pronger on his way to a GM job?

*Chris Pronger takes a job in the front office of the Florida Panthers and wants to be a GM in the NHL someday.

*It sounds like Alex Radulov is playing contract chicken with the Montreal Canadiens while demanding pretty massive term and salary demands.

*Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has a top-nine winger on his wish list after dealing away Jonathan Drouin to the Habs.

*A good look from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jon Rosen into what the draft outlook is for the Los Angeles Kings entering this weekend.

*Ryan Strome is ecstatic about moving on from the New York Islanders and heading to the Edmonton Oilers where he’ll get a chance to fully utilize the skills that went under the radar in Brooklyn.

*Even without a high pick, the Buffalo Sabres and Jason Botterill will be making some moves at the NHL Draft.

*You want some talk about the Bruins prospects and their potential draft targets for the Black and Gold this weekend. Here’s FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke on with a podcast up in Maine called the Bruins Diehards talking all of that good stuff just a couple of days ago.

*Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall is going searching for another goalie after once again deciding that Philly needs more help between the pipes. This seems to be a perpetual situation for this group, doesn’t it?

*Jeff Marek has his final 2017 NHL Mock Draft up and running, and he has St. Cloud State forward Ryan Poehling headed to Boston with the No. 18 pick.

*Apparently Linda Cohn wants to push out Gary Bettman and take over as NHL Commissioner when her contract is up with ESPN. Well, okay then.

*It was a little emotional and totally uplifting to see Denna Laing getting saluted at the NHL Awards ceremony. I’m so glad that my daughter has strong role models like Denna that show young women what courage and character are all about.

*The rumor mill is getting worked up at NHL Draft weekend, and it sounds like the Minnesota Wild are going to be busy potentially dealing Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella or Jason Pominville in the next week or two. Certainly, the Bruins have been front and center in those discussions, but it remains to be seen if something gets done.

*For something completely different: The glowing reviews are coming in for the new Netflix series, GLOW, and it doesn’t sound like a fun concept.

 

Report: Bruins among several teams interested in Wild's Scandella

Report: Bruins among several teams interested in Wild's Scandella

CHICAGO – The Bruins missed out on the first flurry of defensemen traded on Friday morning, but they may be in on the second wave of quality D-men expected to be made available around the NHL Draft.

The Bruins are one of several teams actively in discussions with the Minnesota Wild about defenseman Marco Scandella, who fits the profile of what the B's are looking for to fill a top-four role. TVA’s Ren Lavoie was the first to report the latest interest but the Bruins have long been watching the Minnesota back-end situation waiting for one of their defenders to become available.

Scandella, 27, is big, at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, he’s got a few years of NHL experience, he’s a left-handed shot and he’s already proven he can be a top-four defenseman in the NHL. Scandella is coming off a so-so season with the Wild where he posted four goals and 13 points along with a minus-2 rating in 71 games. and for the first time in three seasons, he averaged under 20 minutes of ice time for the first time in the past three seasons.

RELATED: Haggerty's Mock Draft 4.0: Expect a frenzy of pre-draft trades 

Scandella would be a good potential fit on the left side in a top-four role playing in a pairing with Charlie McAvoy as the B's look for a good, mobile partner that can play at both ends of the ice. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they are clearly not the only team in the running for the Montreal-born Scandella. One of those teams is his hometown Montreal Canadiens, who are hungry for a few D-men after losing several in the past couple of weeks.

There are other names filtering out of Chicago as the draft gets underway tonight. One of the more interesting D-names is Massachusetts native Noah Hanifin. The former Boston College standout is rumored to be available as the Carolina Hurricanes look to bring some star power in at the forward position. He was the player Boston initially wanted in the draft a couple of years ago before standing pat and selecting Jakub Zboril as one of three consecutive first-round picks.

There doesn’t seem to be a match for Hanifin with David Pastrnak as the only realistic option to be going to Carolina in return and that’s not something the Bruins are going to entertain with one of their cornerstone roster pieces. Still, it’s encouraging that so many quality D-man names are emerging on the trade market with Don Sweeney and the Bruins looking to get down to business this weekend.