Lucic, Thornton exit CBA meetings in New York City


Lucic, Thornton exit CBA meetings in New York City

While the NHL and NHLPA continue to hammer things at the negotiating table in New York City, Bruins forwards Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic have returned to Boston after taking part for two days.

Both rugged Bs players were on hand for the nearly 13 hours of discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday, but couldnt remain in the Big Apple as they things to attend to back at home. That was in no way a reflection on the direction of CBA talks, however. Instead David Backes, Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Ron Hainsey, Johan Hedberg, Manny Malhotra and Kevin Westgarth were the seven NHL players to attend the meetings.

The NHL was planning on unrolling their changes to the make whole provision on Thursday in perhaps the biggest pivot moment of the week for discussions, but neither was on hand to for the big moment in discussions. Thornton wouldnt characterize where he thought discussions were headed, but said that its just good that theyre talking.

The Thursday meetings in New York City began around 1 p.m. and were expected to include some NHL reaction to several offers made by the NHLPA during two separate Wednesday sessions.

According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, the players made an offer that would increase the revenue sharing collected into an Industry Growth Fund, retain player contract rights (free agency, term limits etc.) at their current levels and also include a guarantee of last seasons players share plus a small growth rate of 1.75 percent until that number reached 50 percent of HRR. This "make whole" provision would reduce the players share of HRR to 50.3 percent in Year 3 of the deal assuming only 6.1 percent HRR growth.

Essentially their offer would get to the 5050 HRR split in the 2014-15 season.

The NHLPA entered today waiting for Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and the NHL owners to unroll their adjustments to the make whole provision as well any supposed flexibility on player contract rights and revenue sharing. According to the same source the league hadn't given much feedback on any part of the players' proposal entering Thursday's meeting.

The reaction from both sides could be very telling once the meetings have concluded for the day: either they find common ground or both sides might take the weekend to rethink their compromises while aiming to start the season on Dec. 1.

First half Patriots observations: Brady and Long up, Garoppolo and Solder down


First half Patriots observations: Brady and Long up, Garoppolo and Solder down

The Patriots had their share of good and bad in the first half of their preseason game with the Panthers on Friday. Here's who we saw as some of the team's top performers, as well as some of the players who may have to make some corrections in the second half. 

* Tom Brady was only 3-for-9 in his four series, but he completed his passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown pass to Chris Hogan might have been the best throw of the preseason for any Patriots quarterback as he hit Hogan in stride, over the shoulder, for a 33-yard gain. Brady was close to having a second touchdown pass, but it glanced off the out-stretched hands tight end Martellus Bennett in the back of the end zone. Brady was nearly picked on his final drive, again trying to hit Bennett. He was sacked on his final play of the half.

* Jimmy Garoppolo had a difficult time early in this one. He was 5-for-9 for 37 yards, and he picked up an intentional grounding penalty. Garoppolo also was strip-sacked by Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, but James White recovered. 

* Chris Long had a standout half with two pressures, a pass-breakup that led to a Devin McCourty pick, and he drew a hold. The veteran defensive end has shown a good motor and a knack for getting to the quarterback in each of New England's first three preseason games. 

* Logan Ryan also had a strong first half in his preseason debut. His first five targets in coverage resulted in no completions, an offensive pass interference penalty and an interception. His former college teammate Duron Harmon also had a pick of Panthers backup Derek Anderson.

* Nate Solder allowed the pressure that eventually led to the sack of Brady by Kony Ealy. He also was flagged for a false start. Being that it's the third preseason game -- when starters typically go deep into the game -- he'll likely have a chance to redeem himself in the second half.