From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- So much for a two-week break. Just over a week since the last set of failed negotiations, the NHL and the locked-out players' association will return to the bargaining table Monday.Conversations that restarted Friday between NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr produced enough positive movement Saturday to set up another face-to-face meeting that the sides hope will lead to an agreement to save the hockey season.NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested to union executive director Donald Fehr this week that the sides take two weeks off from negotiations. The union maintained its desire to keep talking, and now bargaining is back on."We can confirm that we have tentatively agreed to get back together on Monday, either late in the afternoon or early evening," Daly said. "The meeting was requested by the union and it's their agenda. We will see what they have to tell us."Owners and players met for several consecutive days last week in New York, but made little progress. Negotiations ended in an angry exchange last Friday, but bargaining resumed two days later only to break off again in just over an hour.Staying apart never appeared to be a good option, and the NHL now seems to agree.All games through Nov. 30 have already been taken off the schedule, more cancellations are likely within a week, the Winter Classic has been wiped out, the All-Star game is the next big event in jeopardy, and the whole season could be lost, too, in the blink of an eye if a new deal can't be hammered out.The players have stuck to their position that negotiations are the only way to work out differences, and that they are willing to meet any time the NHL wants to.The NHL contends that the union has submitted the same proposal multiple times without moving in the league's direction. The union says it has agreed to come down from receiving 57 percent of hockey-related revenues to a 50-50 split. The league wants that to go into effect in the first year of the agreement, while the union wants to get there gradually.Seven years ago, after the entire 2004-05 season was lost to a lockout, the players' association accepted a salary-cap system for the first time. The union feels it shouldn't have to bear the brunt of the concessions now after league revenues reached a record high of over 3 billion last season.This 63-day lockout has claimed 327 regular-season games, and hope of a new deal and the start of the already-shortened season -- likely of 68 games per team -- on Dec. 1 has started to wane.It is more than just finances preventing a deal. The disagreements over player contract terms have emerged as just as big an impasse.The NHL wants to limit contracts to five years, make rules to prohibit back-diving contracts the league feels circumvent the salary cap, keep players ineligible for unrestricted free agency until they are 28 or have eight years of professional service time, cut entry-level deals to two years, and make salary arbitration after five years.Once those issues are settled, the sides will then have to figure out who will cover the financial damage the lockout will ultimately do to this season.Players missed their third pay day of the season Thursday, and the clock is ticking toward more losses. The 2004-05 season was canceled in February. A lockout in 1995 ended in January, leading to a 48-game schedule.
David Ortiz was a late scratch from Sunday's lineup because his left foot is sore after getting hit by a pitch Saturday. Travis Shaw moves up to the fourth spot in the order at first base, Hanley Ramirez becomes the DH and Josh Rutledge will bat seventh at third base.
After extending his streak to 21 games Saturday, Xander Bogaerts faces a familiar foe in R.A. Dickey. So far the matchup has been favorable for the shortstop, batting .364 through 35 at-bats against the knuckleballer.
Dickey, on the other hand, has been on the wrong side of matchups against Boston since joining the Blue Jays. In 2016 alone, he's allowed eight runs in 9.2 innings in his two starts against the Red Sox. He faces a lineup that has five players who are hitting .275 or better against him through at least 10 career plate appearances against the righty. Shaw leads that charge, going 4-10 so far off Dickey with a homerun and two doubles. Rutledge is the lone Red Sox hitter yet to face Dickey.
Jose Bautisa RF
Josh Donaldson 3B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Devon Travis 2B
Darwin Barney SS
Kevin Pillar CF
Ezquiel Carrera LF
Josh Thole C
R.A. Dickey P
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Travis Shaw 1B
Hanley Ramirez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Blake Swihart LF
David Price P
David Price has a chance for his first “ace” moment to show Boston he’s truly the pitcher they paid for.
The bullpen is spent after giving up the game late Saturday, to go with the team dealing with a three game skid -- the longest since their three-game losing streak from April 17th – April 19th.
On top of the Sox not having lost four-straight yet in 2016, Price is back at the Rogers Centre for the first time since his playoff run with the Blue Jays last year.
So this game should have a playoff feel to it -- as much as one can in late May -- especially with the Toronto picking up steam.
And lastly for Price, he’s started to figure things out since making a mechanical adjustment following his atrocious 4.2 inning start against the Yankees earlier in the month.
But he hasn’t had to throw against a top of the line offense yet.
The lefty dominated Houston, much like everyone has this year and also did well against Colorado.
In between those two he did face a strong opponent in Kansas City, but the Royals still haven’t completely gotten things together (although they did mount a ridiculous comeback Saturday against the White Sox).
Toronto’s scored over seven runs in three of their last four, winning all four of those games and seven of the last 10 contests -- putting them four games behind Boston in the AL East standings.
Price does have a few things going for him entering Sunday’s contest.
He threw well against his old team earlier this year -- seven innings, two earned runs, nine strikeouts and zero walks -- when his mechanics weren’t where he wanted them.
Also after being traded to Detroit from Tampa Bay in 2014, Price was dominant in his returning start at Tropicana Field.
Although he took the loss 1-0, the lefty dealt, chucking a one-hitter over eight innings, striking out nine without walking a batter -- and the one run off of him was unearned.
Price has yet to pitch at Comerica Park since leaving the Tigers, so that’s something Boston may deal with later in the year, too.
Now Price has to block all of this from his mind and execute pitches, in what is his biggest test this point in the season.
A lot for him to ignore in what could’ve easily been a regular start had Boston’s bullpen done its job Sunday -- but then again, this is a part of the price of being an ace.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like I was watching the Heart of a Champion in that Golden State/Oklahoma City game last night. That Klay Thompson is something else.
*PHT writer James O’Brien wonders what the next step is for Troy Brouwer now that he’s ready to hit free agency, and the ride has finally come to an for the Blues this season.
*Excellent piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Paul Dupont on the sad story of Kevin Stevens, and the drug addiction demons that have had him in their clutches for a long time. I’ve known about Stevens troubles for a while, and it’s too bad because he really is a gregarious guy when you get to know him.
*Allan Muir speculates on the future of Steve Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning now that the offseason has begun for both of them.
*P.K. Subban doesn’t sound like he’s got any hard feelings about being left off Team Canada for the World Cup of Hockey, and said he’ll still be rooting them along.
*Pat Hickey mentions the Subban snub, but is incredulous that Habs center Alex Galchenyuk was left off Team North America.
*Larry Brooks breaks down how exactly former Bruins head coach and New York Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan was able to emerge from John Tortorella’s shadow some 10 years later.
*For something completely different: sad story all around in Cincinnati where they had to had to shoot an endangered gorilla dead when a four year old child fell into his enclosure.