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WEEI » This Just In
12/26/2011 - 5:27pm
Patriots release Ventrone and McKinley

The Patriots announced Monday that defensive back Ross Ventrone has been released from the active roster and defensive lineman Cedric McKinley from the practice squad.

Ventrone, 25, has spent time on both the practice squad and 53-man roster this season, playing in eight games. Ventrone, 5-foot-8, 190 pounds, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Villanova on April 29, 2010. He spent the majority of his rookie season in 2010 on the New England practice squad.

McKinley, 24, joined the New England practice squad on Dec. 20. He was originally signed by the Minnesota Vikings as a rookie free agent out of Minnesota on May 4, 2010 but was released prior to the start of training camp. McKinley, 6-foot-6, 286 pounds, was re-signed by Minnesota on July 31 and has spent part of the 2011 season on the Vikings’ practice squad.

For more Patriots news, check out...

12/26/2011 - 1:12pm
Marchand named first star of week
By: DJ Bean

Bruins forward Brad Marchand was named the NHL's first star for the week ending Dec. 25 after the youngster turned in dominant performances in a pair of games last week. 

Marchand had six points (four goals and two assists) and recorded his first career hat trick in Friday's win over the Panthers. His other goal during the week, a third period tally against the Canadiens on Monday, proved to be the game-winning goal in that contest. The 23-year-old leads the Bruins with 15 goals this season. 

New York forward Marian Gaborik and Colorado goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere were named the second and third stars, respectively. 

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins


12/26/2011 - 12:57pm
Pietrus expected to make debut Friday

According to multiple reports, newly-signed swingman Mickael Pietrus isn't expected to play for Celtics until Friday's home opener against the Pistons at TD Garden. He will not be joining the team during its current three-game road trip, which includes stops in Miami and New Orleans, Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Pietrus, who inked a one-year deal worth $1.3 million with the Celts, is scheduled to undergo a physical Monday. The 29-year-old is coming off an offseason in which he underwent surgery on his right knee. The ailment forced Pietrus to miss the last 12 games of the Phoenix Suns' 2010-11 regular season and led the Toronto Raptors to call off a deal for the eight-year veteran earlier this month. The Suns ultimately worked out a buyout for Pietrus, allowing for the signing by the Celtics.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters Friday that acquisitions, such as the 6-foot-6 Pietrus, might not be eased into action as if it was a...

12/26/2011 - 10:25am
Brady: Playoff opponent doesn't matter

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, in his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, said that while he and other members of the Patriots are aware of potential playoff opponents, it's not a topic with which they concern themselves. With a 12-3 record, the Patriots have locked up a first-round bye and another win could give them home-field advantage, but Brady underscored that those are less pressing concerns than producing strong efforts on a weekly basis, something that will allow the team to achieve goals such as the top seed in the AFC.

"It’s hard to not be aware of [playoff scenarios]," said Brady. "[But] we definitely don’t sit there in team meeting rooms and say these are all the scenarios that can play out.

"Whoever we play in the playoffs is going to be a damn good team," he added. "It doesn’t matter who it is. We’re going to need to play our best game of the year....

12/26/2011 - 9:06am
Mashup: No fine for Jets' Ryan after incident

The NFL will not investigate the on-field incident after Saturday's game between the Jets and Giants, in which Rex Ryan exchanged some words with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.

Ryan, who was fined $75,000 for swearing at a fan who mocked him at halftime of the Jets' loss to the Patriots earlier this season, met Jacobs at midfield after the Giants' 29-14 victory.

Said Jacobs: "He told me, 'Shut the [expletive] up, wait until we win the Super Bowl.' I told him I would punch him in the face. I told him that out of all these Giants on this football team, you're talking to the wrong one."

Jacobs also reportedly said to Ryan: "Time to shut up, fat boy."

Read more about that story and others, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Monday's Morning Mashup.


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