Red Sox

Rask out 4-6 weeks with strain, Bruins sign Marty Turco

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Rask out 4-6 weeks with strain, Bruins sign Marty Turco

TORONTO The Bruins have made their moves with the goaltending situation after Tuukka Rask went down with injury last weekend.

First the Bruins announced that Rask will miss 4-6 weeks with a strained groinstrained abdomen suffered in the second period of Saturdays loss to the Islanders, and that puts into question his availability for the rest of the postseason.

But Rask avoided any potential knee injuries and wont need surgery for his legmidsection woes to heal properly.

Then the Bruins knocked down their second domino: they signed veteran netminder Marty Turco to a one-year contract for the remainder of this season. The 36-year-old Turco last played in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010-11 season, and played 10 games for EC Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Hockey League earlierthis season mixed in with some television analysis for the NHL Network and TSN in Canada.

Turco will have to clear through waivers a la Evgeni Nabokov last season who was scooped up by the New York Islanders when the Detroit Red Wings were desperate to sign him -- and would join the Bruins on Wednesday if the rest of the NHL takes a pass on the veteran goaltender Boston desperately needs to land.

The big question will be what kind of game shape Turco is in when he arrives in Boston hoping to give Thomas ample rest with 18 games remaining in the regular season for the Bs. The pairing of the 36-year-old Turco and the soon-to-be 38-year-old Thomas also gives the Bruins one of the oldest goaltending tandems in franchise history.

The veteran netminder will not be eligible for the Stanley Cup playoff roster since he was signed following the NHL All-Star break. Turco won a Stanley Cup title with the Dallas Stars and is 273-65-43 in 538 career games for Dallas and Chicago with a .910 save percentage and a 2.35 goals against average. Turco put up an 11-11-3 record with a 3.02 GAA and an .897 save percentage in his final NHL season with the Blackhawks.

Its anticipated that Rask could be back by the end of the regular season to serve as Tim Thomas backup once the playoffs start, but its also expected that Thomas will be making every start for the Black and Gold in the postseason.

Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

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Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Don’t confuse the goal of a normal spring training with the likelihood one will follow.

Tyler Thornburg’s time with the Red Sox has been an ordeal. He’s optimistic he can have a regular spring training after undergoing surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in June, a surgery that included the removal of a rib which is now on display at his parents’ house. 

He said Saturday, in fact, there’s a “very good chance” of a normal spring. But there’s also a chance his build up to regular-season form runs unevenly. And that would be OK.

“I started throwing Oct. 2, that’s when they kind of gave me the go-ahead to go tossing,” Thornburg said Saturday at Winter Weekend. “So I’ve been building up slowly since then, just trying to make sure we don’t have any setbacks or things like that, and ramp it up at a good pace. I’m throwing at 120-140 feet, so it’s about the pace I’d normally be on, granted I’d know 100 percent before where I was [under normal circumstances]. So things could be a little different."

Consider a few other things Thornburg said Saturday at Foxwoods.

“I don’t really think any of us really know how quick I’m going to bounce back necessarily as far as how quickly the recovery’s going to go in spring training after an outing,” Thornburg said. “But hopefully I mean it’s fantastic, and we can kind of just keep going.”

A bit of natural uncertainty. He missed an entire season, and the reason he missed an entire season is had a lot going on medically. 

What appeared to be a shoulder injury was far from your usual, say, rotator cuff matter. His was a nerve issue.

“Two of the neck muscles were incredibly hypertrophied, like overgrown, and they just started squeezing on the brachial plexus, where all the nerves run down,” Thornburg said. “I’d be sitting there watching a game and just a nerve thing would hit me and I’d almost get knocked over by it. As well as the first rib was getting pulled up and my hand would just turn red some days if I was just standing there, cutting off the blood circulation. Then all the scar tissue and buildup along the nerves they had to go and dissect all that off there.”

So the injury wasn’t simple, and now, the recovery process is really a whole body matter. 

"There’s a lot off things your arm has to get used to between using different muscles, as well as my arm was kind of working through a scenario where it was trying to overcompensate for this and [trying] to relieve that,” Thornburg said. “So just worked a different way. Now your body has to remember how to actually properly work again. It’s a lot of neuromuscular stuff.”

Thornburg noted the possibility too he could be ready to go to start the season but not really ready to go back to back yet. Would the Sox then carry him on the big league roster, or continue to build him up elsewhere? 

Velocity won’t be there right away for Thornburg, he said: “But I mean that’s what spring training is for for most guys anyway.”

There’s a lot of optimism, but naturally, there’s a lot to be seen. 

“The rehab process, it's been a massive rollercoaster,” Thornburg said. “It really has. But I mean, I've been trying to take it week to week which has been a lot easier. There's the good days and bad days, just different kinds.”

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Former Patriot Mike Vrabel named head coach of the Tennessee Titans

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Former Patriot Mike Vrabel named head coach of the Tennessee Titans

The Titans job was rumored to be the first pick of Josh McDaniels, but as details have come to light, that is not the case.

The Tennessee Titans have agreed to hire former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel as their Head Coach tonight.

The team publicly announced the hire tonight across all of their social media platforms.

Vrabel won the Super Bowl with the Patriots three times in the early years of the New England dynasty. 

Despite having limited experience as a coach, he has attracted much attention in this past offseason for openings across the NFL. He has just one season's experience as a coordinator. 

Vrabel steps in to fill the role of Mike Mularkey, who was fired just one night after many believed he was receiving an extension. Despite the rumor of the extension, Mularkey and the Titans agreed to part ways just one day later.

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