Morning sports update: Patriots reportedly create more cap space by reworking Stephon Gilmore’s contract

Also: Some Patriots movie trivia.

Stephon Gilmore Patriots
Stephon Gilmore makes an interception in Super Bowl LIII. –AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

The Bruins dismantled the Devils on Thursday night, 5-1. David Pastrnak scored his first goal since returning from injury.

All three New England teams were sent packing on the opening day of the NCAA Tournament, with Northeastern, Vermont and Yale falling in the round of 64.

The Patriots created some short-term cap space: After a recently discussed crisis in cap space, the Patriots have responded by freeing up some more money for the immediate payroll. New England converted $8.5 million of cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s salary into a signing bonus, as ESPN’s Field Yates reported:

This helps with the short term of signing draft picks and any other free agents, but it also increases Gilmore’s cap number in future seasons as Mike Reiss pointed out. Still, with the team currently trying to re-sign kicker Stephen Gostkowski, the additional available cap space will help keep a key player.

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Trivia: In the 2003 comedy “Stuck on You” starring Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made a very brief cameo as “Computer Geek #1.” Which Patriots player was “Computer Geek #2”? (Answer is at the bottom).

Hint: By the time of the film’s release in December, 2003, he had been cut by the Patriots.

More from Boston.com:

The last great Red Sox outfield comments on its successor: The Andrew Benintendi-Jackie Bradley Jr.-Mookie Betts outfield that regularly makes electrifying plays in the field and smashes big hits at the plate isn’t the first that Boston’s had the pleasure to watch.

An earlier iteration of Red Sox outfield greatness occurred several decades ago, when Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, and Dwight Evans dazzled fans at Fenway. Recently, the old crew spoke about the new guys. [The Boston Globe]

YES network analyst thinks the Yankees have closed the gap: Ken Singleton, an analyst for the YES Network, was recently asked by the New York Post what he thinks of the 2019 Red Sox-Yankees battle, and if New York has “closed the gap” with the World Series champions.

“Yeah,” said Singleton. “The Red Sox are not quite as good as they have been. Offensively, they are. They have some of the best hitters in baseball. Their bullpen is weaker, though. If you subtract [Craig] Kimbrel and Joe Kelly, who was great in the postseason, those are two major arms out of the bullpen. To me, that’s where their weakness lies. When you’re losing games, blowing the lead in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning — those are the ones that hurt. Those are the ones that linger a little bit.”

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The top picks to win the men’s NCAA Tournament:

New England ski areas happily prepare for another snowstorm:

On this day: In 1896, one of the first modern marathons was held in Greece prior to the 1896 Olympics. Charilaos Vasilakos won, with a crowd of 40,000 turning out to watch Vasilakos’s time of three hours and 18 seconds. Interestingly, the race only went 25 miles, as the “official” length of a marathon (26.2 miles) hadn’t been established yet.

Also, in 1979, the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association announced a merger agreement. In the deal, the NHL would absorb four WHA teams: the New England Whalers, Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, and Winnipeg Jets. The Bruins were one of three NHL teams that opposed the merger in the 14-3 vote.

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“We’re still very much opposed to this merger,” Bruins president Paul Mooney told the Globe. The Whalers’ presence in what the Bruins viewed as their market (New England) eventually forced the Connecticut-based team to change its name. Upon entering the NHL, they became the Hartford Whalers.

Also, in 1998, Ronaldo scored a “grandissimo” goal in the Milan derby:

Daily highlight: The Bruins’ top line remains elite.

Trivia answer: Lawyer Milloy