Ference in New York for NHL CBA discussions


Ference in New York for NHL CBA discussions

Andrew Ference has always been a strong voice when it comes to NHLPA issues, and things concerning players in the NHL workplace. Because of his passion, the Bruins defenseman has found himself in the middle of some hot button events and conversations over the last few years. But it also means Ference is a welcomed players voice of reason when it comes to things like the NHL lockout.

So its a very good thing the 33-year-old Ference has been present in New York City for the last two days of face-to-face negotiations with the NHL as part of the NHLPAs negotiating committee. Ference was also present for discussions at the very beginning of the lockout in September, but had been in the Czech Republic playing hockey for the bulk of the last three months.

Ferences stint in Europe ended right around Christmas, and the Bs defenseman has been back on the East Coast for the last week. He even skated with the Noble and Greenough hockey team several days ago according to his twitter account, and took the short commute to New York City for a pivotal round of CBA negotiations. Joining Ference among the NHL players at the negotiating table are: Craig Adams, Brad Boyes, Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Rich DiPietro, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Jamal Mayers, George Parros, Marty St. Louis and Kevin Westgarth.

Thats a nice mix of superstars, blue collar players and veterans that have the respect of the entire NHLPA membership. NHLPA and NHL officials are meeting for a second straight day after trading CBA offers prior to a midnight deadline for the players association to decide if theyre willing to go through with a disclaimer of interest to potentially dissolve the union. That would potentially lead to the players filing anti-trust lawsuits against the NHL, and thats a path that neither side really wants to walk down if at all possible.

Meanwhile both sides have closed the gap on a number of issues, and are still in discussions on significant issues like pension and cap numbers in subsequent seasons before they can sign off on a workable CBA document. The two sides are getting closer and working toward a hopeful Jan. 19 start to the NHL season that would yield a 48-game shortened regular season.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics in control, but Nets within striking distance


Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics in control, but Nets within striking distance

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics were in control most of the first half, but the Brooklyn Nets managed to stay within striking distance most of the first half which ended with the Celtics ahead, 64-58.

It was a high-scoring first half, the kind that one of the league’s top defenses shouldn’t experience.

But it is the first game of the season and the Celtics clearly have some kinks defensively to work out.

The Celtics led by as many as 13 points in the first half with contributions coming from several players in the starting unit as well as off the bench.

Boston has spent a good chunk of the preseason preaching the importance of good ball movement.

It was indeed on full display as Boston had 19 assists in the first half on 23 made baskets.

As for the Nets, Bogan Bogdanovic kept Brooklyn within striking distance most of the first half as he tallied 10 points through the first two quarters of play. Brooklyn also got a nice lift from Justin Hamilton who had 14 first-half points off the Brooklyn bench.

Here are our halftime Stars, Studs and Duds



Isaiah Thomas

Thomas was a more assertive player in the second quarter and it paid off for the him and the Celtics. He finished the half with a team-high 11 points in addition to doling out a game-high seven assists.

Jae Crowder

Boston displayed some crisp ball movement in the first half, and Crowder seemed to benefit from this more than any other Celtic. Through two quarters of play, Crowder has a team-high 10 points which included him making his first four shots from the floor.



Sean Kilpatrick

The Nets only have five players on their roster from last season’s disastrous 21-win club, and Kilpatrick showed why he’s one of the few holdovers. At the half, he had nine points off the bench to go with three rebounds.



Brook Lopez

He’s supposed to be the Nets’ best player, but you would not have known this by his play in the first half, The 7-foot Lopez was a non-factor through the first two quarters of lay, missing four of his five field goal attempts to go into the half with just three points.

Quick Slants Podcast: Bills puffing out chests; Lewis on horizon?; trade deadline


Quick Slants Podcast: Bills puffing out chests; Lewis on horizon?; trade deadline

Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss the Bills marking their territory in pre game warm ups with Matt Fairburn of NewYorkUpstate.com. Curran and Perry also discuss Dion Lewis’s possible return from a knee injury. Plus, the number histories of Chris Long, Dont’a Hightower, Malcom Brown, Barkevious Mingo, and Ryan Allen in the much ballyhooed segment “Hey, what’s ya number?”

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