It "started" with a seemingly bogus report from CBS 4's Steve Burton in Boston:
— WBZ Boston Sports (@wbzsports) December 3, 2012
Despite Bill Daly refuting the report rather quickly, here we sit two days later with assorted shreds of optimism that the NHL Lockout may be coming to an end.
Whether or not Burton truly has the inside track regarding the progression of talks is beyond me, but I'm not really here to delve into it either. The possibility exists that we may see NHL hockey before Christmas, and that's what matters.
Having said that, as you check your Twitter feed and watch the combined 44 seconds of ESPN SportsCenter coverage tomorrow during their six live hours of Tebow/RG III bullshit, remember that the lockout isn't over… yet.
Part of me is asking where the this effort was in September when the CBA was about to expire. I also wonder why Gary Bettman and the owners opened negotiations with such a lowball offer sending pessimism running through the veins of the hockey community. And then I read this piece from the Edmonton Journal's David Staples, pointing to a strategy reportedly executed by the NHL during negotiations:
“Apparently Gary is ready to get a deal done,” [Nick] Kypreos said. “He wants this thing done Friday. Friday!”
On Sportsnet’s Hockey Central show, Kypreos debated the issues withtwo other NHL insiders, former NHL GM Doug MacLean and sportscaster Daren Millard.
MacLean said that six weeks ago, he heard the NHL’s position, that “it is knock ‘em down, drag ‘em out until December 1st, and then at December 1st we’re getting a deal done.”
Fucking terrific. It was absolutely worth losing three months of hockey and thousands and thousands of fans. That's not even considering the cash cow that is the Winter Classic. All-Star Weekend in Columbus is also a goner, but hey, it's December 1st, the NHL is ready to negotiate!
Ironic is the fact that the most progress has been made without Bettman and the NHL Players Association's Donald Fehr. In addition to 18 current players and six of the league's owners, the aformentioned Daly sat in for the NHL while Donald's brother Steve represented the players. The move could prove to be a blessing considering the widespread resentment that the players have for Bettman.
What may be the most painfully odd factor for Flyers fans in all of this is the reported impact that Pittsburgh Penguins dickbag Sidney Crosby is having in all of this. He and Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle flew into New York City together, were present in yesterday's meetings that lasted more than eight hours, and are both participating in tonight's activities.
Rob Rossi of the Pittburgh Tribune-Review even went as far to write that "Burkle and Crosby were described by participants in the five-hour talks as voices of reason.
So, where are we? Well…
The Players Association delivered an offer to the owners this afternoon, and the owners came back with a counter quickly. What's different about these proposals is that we actually know nothing about them. Nothing has leaked or been made public by either side. Although we're obviously curious, the lack of information available to us is probably a good thing and means that both sides are taking this latest round of negotiations seriously.
Meanwhile, Tim Panaccio is reporting the Board of Governors discussed a season that would feature anywhere from 50 to 60 games if the lockout ends. Ren Lavoie of RDS in Canada mentioned this:
NHL talked yesterday about the possibility of having a 10 year deal for the next CBA.
— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) December 5, 2012
So, if you've been paying attention, that would mean the NHL's next lockout will begin in September 2023.
As of this writing, the owners have just left the negotiating room, and there is no indication if talks have finished for the night or if they will continue. The NHL has set up a podium in the past hour, so we are expecting some sort of announcement, but there's no guarantee it's coming anytime soon.
You can follow Ryan Gillon on Twitter @RyanGillon47
Sports Betting Updates
After an emotional 24-21 victory over Wisconsin to close out the regular season, Penn State Head Coach Bill O' Brien let the world know exactly what he thought of his team.
Enjoy your weekend, fuckers.
h/t Blake and mykemusser
No, not that kind of job.
Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb could be hired soon, but it wouldn't be a football team doing the hiring.
Via Sports Business Journal's Liz Mullen:
SBJ: Veteran #NFL QB Donovan McNabb has signed with agent Mark Lepselter for broadcast work & is close to agreeing to a network job.
— Liz Mullen (@SBJLizMullen) September 3, 2012
McNabb said earlier this summer on NBC SportsTalk that he had "about three teams that I'm looking at", but no team at any point identified themselves as a team interested in McNabb…
…and we're still waiting.
The Inquirer's Peter Mucha makes an interesting observation that could mean McNabb is headed to the NFL Network.
Indeed, MAXX Sports & Entertainment, founded by Lepselter, not only lists McNabb as a client under "broadcasters" but IDs him as "Analyst – NFL Network."
McNabb does have a background in communications from Syracuse and has appeared multiple times as a guest analyst on assorted television shows. Perhaps his most notable appearance occurred on ESPN's First Take earlier this year. Fast forward to the 3:30 mark for an instant classic.
No word on how much Donovan would talk about himself if he actually does get a television gig.
He will be missed.
Jon Morosi from FOX Sports is reporting that Juan Pierre has cleared waivers.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 31, 2012
Why is midnight tonight relevant? Pierre will be able to play in the postseason if he's traded by then. Because he's useful to a potential contender, there's a decent chance he'll be dealt.
Pierre, 35, is batting .300 for the Phillies with 32 stolen bases and 22 RBI, but's his .343 on-base percentage that likely makes him attractive to other teams.
(Courtesy: Reading Eagle)
And he did it with a monster August.
Coming into the month, Reading Phillies slugger Darin Ruf had 18 homers spanning April to July.
Last night, he hit his 20th home run in the month of August alone, which was what he needed to surpass Ryan Howard's record in a Reading uniform. With 38 homers in total, Ruf is Reading's new home run king.
Even before he broke the record, he caught the eye of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.
Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
“Ruf’s had a big year,” said Manuel, who has always had a thing for hitters. “He’s had an extraordinary year. Ruf is something that pops out at you. He’s trying to hit his way to the big leagues. That’s the way it used to be. You had to do something to get to the big leagues. Evidentally, Ruf is an old throwback.”
“I want to see him whether it’s at the end of the year or spring training. I’m looking forward to seeing him. I saw him on TV and it looked like he’s got a good swing. He’s strong.
He may just get a chance to get to the big leagues in September with this news from yesterday.
INF Hector Luna was outrighted off the Phillies 40-man roster and elected free agency. The Phillies are now at 39 players on the 40-man.
— Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) August 30, 2012
Ruf has already been named the MVP of the Eastern League and their rookie of the year. As Corey Seidman of CSN Philly mentions, it's worth noting that Ruf is also fighting for the Triple Crown with 38 homers, 102 RBI, and .321 batting average. The Reading Phillies have four games left in the regular season.
A Thursday recap and a Friday preview:
Jeffrey Lurie said that Andy Reid's job is on the line this year. I think he's full of shit.
Jimmy Rollins was benched yesterday for not hustling. No one anywhere blinked.
The NHL dickishly released their National TV schedule for the… upcoming… season.
The Eagles will cut 22 players from their roster by 9:00 pm tonight.
My Temple Owls will play Kyle's Villanova Wildcats in the Mayor's Cup tonight at Lincoln Financial Field tonight. Spoiler Alert: Temple wins.
Drinker's West is having an NHL '12 tournament on Tuesday, September 11th at 8:00 pm. And to answer some questions, you do have to be 21 and you're playing solo.
Happy Friday, folks! More to come.
Andy Reid is signed on to be the Eagles coach through 2013, but if there is anything that came out of Jeff Lurie's State of the Team Address today, it's that Andy Reid isn't a lock to be the Head Coach of the Eagles in 2013.
Simply, Lurie implied that it all depends on how his 2012 shakes out.
When asked by reporters about Andy Reid's status, Lurie made it clear that nothing is guaranteed after this upcoming season, even in light of the tragic events in Reid's personal life.
"This is a business, and you're there to win and win big… so all the emphasis will be on Andy Reid the coach," Lurie said.
Everyone knew the question was coming, and Lurie needed a stern response in light of the comments Reid's agent Bob LaMonte made three weeks ago.
Via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Lurie "has stated again and again, any time that I’ve been with him, that was as long as he’s the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid would be his coach," LaMonte said. "And I’d say the proof of the pie is in the pudding. He’s been here 14 years.”
“This man has earned the right to decide what he wants to do, and he may well decide he doesn’t want to coach and Jeffrey may decide he doesn’t want to hire him, but I can just tell you Jeffrey Lurie has told me on any occasion I’ve ever been with him, as long as he’s the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy will be his coach," LaMonte said once again. "Now, if you know something else, tell me, because I should probably know."
Lurie continued by saying that last year's 8-8 record was unacceptable and if the same result happened this season, Reid would be dismissed. Reporters continued to prod and Lurie admitted that there are always exceptions, but "you just have to make the best decisions you can after the season," but that "it'll be very clear."
Whether you believe Lurie or not is up to you. I think he's partially full of shit because I'm a firm believer that if Reid was going to get fired, it was going to be at the end of last season. Why? Because as Lurie said, there are always exceptions.
If Mike Vick goes down for a few weeks at any point in the season and Nick Foles is behind center? That's an exception. If there is any injury to a big name player at any point in the season, that's an exception. There are always exceptions.
Lurie had to say what he did, partially because of what Reid's agent foolishly said, but I do think he would have said something along those lines anyway. He had to follow up on his comments at the end of last season.
It comes down to this; Lurie will only fire Reid if he truly wants to, or if this season is a complete disaster. I don't think that Lurie wants to fire Andy Reid, and I don't think he will at the end of this season.
Hopefully, we won't have to find out.
There may not be a season starting anytime soon, but that won't stop EA Sports from releasing NHL '13.
And you can win a copy of the game!
Drinker's West will be home to an NHL '12 tournament on Tuesday, September 11th at 8:00 pm. The winner of the tournament will receive a copy of the 2013 version of the game, which will be released that same morning.
All you have to do is show up beforehand to sign up. See you on the 11th!