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LEEInks list: Athletes who left Boston for foreign lands

08.27.10 at 8:10 am ET
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We usually consider playing professional sports in the United States the pinnacle of competition. Though kids in America don’€™t grow up dreaming of playing on foreign soil, often it is the only option for athletes who hit a lull in their careers.

Sometimes, playing in a lesser league in another country marks the end of a professional career in the United States. Other times, the athletes return to America and resume playing in their respective leagues.

With the recent news that Celtics captain Paul Pierce plans on playing in Europe after his career is over in the NBA, we’ve come up with a list of 10 athletes who bolted Boston for a chance to continue their career in a foreign league.

10. Dino Radja

The 6-foot-11 Croatian forward came to Boston in 1993 after starring in his native country and Italy. Radja spent four productive seasons with the Celtics, averaging 16.7 points and 8.4 rebounds, but the teams weren’t very good. Following their 15-win season in 1996-97, the C’s decided to move on without Radja and traded him to the 76ers. However, he failed his physical and was returned to Boston. Seeing the writing on the wall, Radja returned to Europe, playing in Greece and Croatia before retiring in 2003 by winning the Croatian title with his first professional team, KK Split.

9. Dmitri Kvartalnov

Though the majority of Kvartalnov’€™s playing days came in Europe, he was able to contribute on the ice in his short time with the Bruins. The winger came to Boston in 1992 from the IHL after being drafted 16th overall and recorded a point in his first 14 NHL games. The streak stood as the record for the longest point streak from the beginning of a career until Evgeni Malkin broke it in 2007. Following the 1993-94 season with the Providence Bruins, he went back overseas and played the rest of his career in Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Austria and Russia before retiring in 2008.

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Read More: Brian Shaw, Dominique Wilkins, Doug Flutie,

Friday’s Morning Mashup

08.27.10 at 7:22 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’€™s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

SATURDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
MLS: Union at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

SUNDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 8 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ On Thursday at Yankee Stadium, Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner talked to the media for the first time since his father’s death in July. In addition to reminiscing about the late Yankees owner, Hank offered a comment that might provide some bulletin-board material in Boston: “We’d like to win the division, but I think we can be rest assured we’re going to get to the playoffs.” The Yankees are tied with the Rays for first in the AL East and are 5½ games ahead of the Red Sox in the wild card race.

‘™¦ Controversial columnist Jay Mariotti was suspended by AOL Thursday following his weekend arrest on domestic violence charges. In The New York Times, Richard Sandomir looks at the “gleeful” reaction around the nation to Mariotti’s downfall.

‘™¦ Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo!Sports.com has an update on the Carmelo Anthony situation in Denver. Wojnarowski explains that the Nuggets have agreed to trade the star forward, but only after owner Stan Kroenke stood up to Anthony’s representatives, William Wesley and CAA’s Leon Rose, and made them stop trying to control the whole process. And in The Denver Post, Mark Kiszla writes that Anthony’s apparent desire to be a movie star won’t help the Nuggets get value in return.

‘™¦ Former MLB union boss Don Fehr is set to take over the NHL Players Association. In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin looks at the effect Fehr likely will have on hockey.

‘™¦ Women’s hockey officials said they have had preliminary discussions with the NHL about forming an NHL-supported women’s league. similar to the WNBA.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 27, 1970, which individual who ended his playing career with the Bruins and went on to coach the team was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “In a game of no defense, we played less.” ‘€” Bill Belichick, after the Patriots’ 36-35 preseason loss to the Rams Thursday night

STAT OF THE DAY: 47 ‘€” Major leaguers with 400 career home runs, after Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols joined the list Thursday

‘NET RESULTS: Fantastic soccer goal.

An unsuspecting soccer reporter takes a ball off the back of her head.

A bodybuilding contest in Mexico turns ugly when one of the contestants gets upset about not winning and gets into a fight with one of the judges.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Tom Johnson, who starred for the Canadiens before finishing with the Bruins in 1963-64 and 1964-65, and then coached the B’s to their last Stanley Cup title in 1972

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Daryl Dragon of The Captain and Tennille is 68 today,

Guerin won’t re-sign with Penguins

08.26.10 at 12:45 pm ET
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Bill Guerin said Penguins general manager Ray Shero told him the team will not resign the 39-year-old forward. Guerin, a Bay State native and Boston College product who has played 17 NHL seasons, including two with the Bruins, has said he wants to play one more season. There were rumors earlier this offseason that the Bruins might be interested.

Read More: Bill Guerin, Ray Shero,

Favre to make up to $20 million for 2010 season

08.26.10 at 11:38 am ET
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Brett Favre signed his new contract with the Vikings on Monday, and details have been leaking out. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the new contract will be $20 million in total, but the way it breaks down is different than previously reported. Favre reduced his base salary from $13 million to $11.6 million and received a $4.4 million signing bonus along with it. With the addition of $4 million in incentives, Favre reaches the $20 million mark.

Florio also mentions that Favre will make an additional $4 million this year and another $4 million next year, both in deferred 2009 salary; he already made $4 million last season. Favre will take over $30 million from the Vikings for his two years of service.

Read More: brett favre, Vikings,

Report: Fehr named NHLPA boss

08.26.10 at 11:28 am ET
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According to a report from Sports Business Daily, Don Fehr is the new boss of the NHL Players Association. The 63-year-old Fehr, who headed baseball’s players union from 1983 through 2009, replaces Paul Kelly, who was fired last August. The union went without a full-time chief the past year.

Fehr’s appointment requires confirmation by the executive board, made up of representatives from all 30 teams, and that could take several weeks.

Read More: Don Fehr, Paul Kelly,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup

08.26.10 at 7:35 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’€™s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Rams at Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Forbes magazine compiled a ranking of NFL teams by their value, and the Patriots are third at $1.4 billion, behind only the top-ranked Cowboys ($1.8 billion) and the Redskins ($1.6 billion). The report breaks down the each team’s financial situation, and it indicates that the Patriots’ revenue is $318 million, operating income is $66.5 million, player expenses are $133 million and gate receipts are $90 million. The magazine praises the Pats as one of the best-run teams on and off the field, and notes that team sponsorship revenues are up again this season.

‘™¦ Giants punter Jeff Feagles told SportsIllustrated.com that Plaxico Burress and agent Drew Rosenhaus never paid him as promised when Feagles gave up jersey No. 17 to the receiver in 2005. Burress, now serving a prison sentence after shooting himself at a nightclub, had agreed to finance Feagles’ outdoor kitchen, according to the punter. At least Feagles has since reclaimed the number ‘€” although he insists it doesn’t mean much to him.

‘™¦ NFL owners met in Atlanta and agreed to move forward on an expanded, 18-game season. But, as FoxSports.com‘s Len Pasquarelli reports, the players aren’t yet convinced.

‘™¦ The leak of the Marlins’ financial reports was not good news for owner Jeffrey Loria, who had convinced Miami to foot most of the bill for the team’s new stadium. His claims of financial struggles are not backed up by the documents. Jeff Passan at Yahoo!Sports.com calls out Loria for his “scheming” ways. Meanwhile, Darren Rovell at CNBC.com writes that the leaks could have a big effect on baseball’s future.

‘™¦ Nevada police ruled the May 9 death of 25-year-old golfer Erica Blasberg a suicide, and the doctor who had refused to cooperate with authorities now claims that he hid prescription drugs and a suicide note in an effort to protect the family.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 26, 1994, the Bruins traded which defenseman to the Hartford Whalers for three first-round draft picks?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “For me and my safety, staying healthy is priority over anything. The mound got beat up for nine innings with rain, so I’€™m not going to go out there and put myself in a situation where I’€™m going to slip and get hurt.” ‘€” Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, explaining his reaction to umpire Joe West‘s request to take less time between pitches during Wednesday’s early game

STAT OF THE DAY: 243 ‘€” Consecutive games with at least one strikeout for Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, the longest active streak in Major League Baseball to start a career

‘NET RESULTS: Dwyane Wade goes undercover at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store to promote Gatorade.

The mayor of Winnipeg got a yellow card for kicking an opponent in the face during a soccer game. His opponent was an immigrant boy invited to play in the charity game.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Glen Wesley

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Bob Cowsill of the Cowsills turns 61 today.

Read More: erica blasberg, Jeff Feagles, Jeffrey Loria, Plaxico Burress

Vikings acquire Camarillo from Dolphins

08.25.10 at 1:44 pm ET
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After losing Sidney Rice for half the season to a hip surgery, the Vikings have traded with the Dolphins for Greg Camarillo, reports Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald via Twitter.

During his three seasons with Miami, the wide receiver caught 113 passes for 1,325 yards. His fourth career catch was an overtime touchdown against the Ravens to give the Dolphins their only win of the 2007 season.

Read More: Greg Camarillo, Minnesota Vikings,

NFL approves new ownership for Rams

08.25.10 at 1:29 pm ET
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The NFL unanimously approved a proposal for Stan Kroenke to become the majority owner of the St. Louis Rams, though Kroenke will need to turn control of his NBA and NHL teams to his son.

Kroenke — who already owns 40 percent of the Rams — has exercised his option to purchase the remaining 60 percent of the team from the Rosenbloom family for a reported $750 million.

The NFL, however, does not allow cross-ownership of pro sports teams in other cities with NFL teams. Kroenke, who owns the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, must give up his majority ownership in those teams by December 2014. It is believed his son Josh will take over for both organizations.

Read More: St. Louis Rams, Stan Kroenke,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup

08.25.10 at 7:48 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’€™s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Mariners at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez offered only compliments when asked about Tom Brady‘s comments from Monday that the Patriots star hates the Jets. After calling the question a “setup,” Sanchez smiled and said: “I love the Patriots. I love Tom.” Added Sanchez: ‘€œ[Brady'€™s comment] doesn’€™t matter. It’€™s neither here nor there. We respect the heck out of them. I think he’€™s a great quarterback, it’€™s a great franchise, and we need to bring our best when we play them ‘€” every time.’€

‘™¦ Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb did an interview with GQ magazine in which he came up with excuses or passed the blame for some of his famous mistakes with the Eagles, including his failure to show a sense of urgency in the final drive against the Patriots in Super Bowl 39. In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bob Ford lets McNabb have it, writing: McNabb said some things in the article that were dumb. He said some things that were insulting. And he said some things that were downright bonkers. This is not a particular surprise. McNabb was good for any of the three on a given day during his time as quarterback of the Eagles.

‘™¦ Despite Brett Favre‘s return, there’s a dark cloud hanging over the Vikings, writes Tom Powers in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. The writer’s concerns start with the receiving corps, which has been stung by injuries. He also notes there’s a different feeling around Favre’s return this season, and it’s much less positive.

‘™¦ Commissioner Bud Selig received a statue outside Milwaukee’s Miller Park. Mike Bauman at MLB.com explains why Selig is deserving of the honor, despite his many critics.

‘™¦ Ann Killion at SportsIllustrated.com writes that the Warriors’ new owners need to clean house, starting with the removal of coach Don Nelson.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 25, 1965, Bill Russell signed a contract with the Celtics that paid him a dollar more than which rival player?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m not surprised because he’s in a situation where he’s happy and if he’s happy, why not stay? If he’s not happy, obviously he would have left.” ‘€” Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, on Johnny Damon‘s decision to stay with the Tigers

STAT OF THE DAY: 16 ‘€” Innings the Astros and Phillies played Tuesday night in Philadelphia, where Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt had to play left field due to a shortage of position players

‘NET RESULTS: Lavelle Hawkins of the Titans makes an impressive leap over a Cardinals defender.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Wilt Chamberlain

SOOTHING SOUNDS: On Aug. 25, 1975, Bruce Springsteen released his “Born to Run” album.

Read More: brett favre, Donovan McNabb, Mark Sanchez, Tom Brady

Death of LPGA’s Blasberg ruled a suicide

08.24.10 at 8:07 pm ET
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LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg’s death has been ruled a suicide.

The Clark County (Nev.) coroner’s office announced Tueeday that Blasberg died of asphyxia coupled with the presence of toxic levels of prescription medication — including prescription headache, cough, pain and anti-anxiety medications — in her system.

‘€œWhile asphyxia was the primary cause of death, the presence of prescription drugs in Ms. Blasberg’s system was a significant factor,’€ said coroner Michael Murphy.

Blasberg’s body was found on May 9 in at her Henderson, Nev. home. Foul play has been ruled out, but an arrest warrant was issued Tuesday Dr. Thomas Hess on misdemeanor obstruction of justice charges. Hess called 911 from Blasberg’s home on the day of her death but was not there was the police arrived. It is believed that Hess hid a suicide note and prescription medications in his car.

A two-time All-American at the University of Arizona, Blasberg earned $332,416 on the LPGA Tour over parts of eight seasons (2003-10).

Read More: erica blasberg,