Morning Skate: Friday, January 4, 2013

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Morning Skate: Friday, January 4, 2013

Michael Grange is kicking the crap out of this NHL lockout, and does it again with a great piece on the salary cap floor and the disagreement between the two sides.

Stu Hackel from the Red Light blog says that the mistrust between the two sides is bedeviling the CBA talks.

Teemu Selanne predicts that the end of the NHL lockout will be coming at the beginning of next week. If Selanne says it then Ill believe it for now.

My good buddy Tim Panaccio in Philadelphia says that expectations are low for today when it comes to CBA talks, and the current sessions going on with a federal mediator.

Great piece by Elliotte Friedman, who says that the bitterness is growing during an NHL labor waiting game thats trying the patience of even those that love and worship the game.

A nice piece on a Boston Herald interns recent visit to Comcast SportsNet New Englands Burlington studios on a night when I was co-hosting Sports Tonight.

Gary Lawless says that a source is claiming Gary Bettman will pull the plunger on the season if a deal isnt close to completion late next week.

For something completely different: an Oral History of Good Will Hunting in Boston Magazine thats probably the most interesting thing youll read this week.

Report: Patriots fill open roster spot with former Browns DL Hughes

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Report: Patriots fill open roster spot with former Browns DL Hughes

The Patriots opened a roster spot by waiving defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, but they won't be adding a quarterback to take his place. 

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the team has swapped one defensive tackle for another by adding former Browns big man John Hughes, a 6-foot-2, 320-pounder who played under former assistant to the Patriots coaching staff Mike Lombardi when Lombardi was Cleveland's general manager in 2013. 

Hughes was released last week after spending just over four years with the team that drafted him in the third round in 2012. He signed a four-year extension with the Browns last season that was worth $12.8 million. 

With the Patriots, Hughes figures to work in as part of the rotation on the interior of the defensive line along with Malcom Brown, Alan Branch and rookie third-round pick Vincent Valentine. Unlike Johnson, who was more of a penetrating pass-rusher, Hughes should factor in as more of a space-eating type. He has 5.5 career sacks in 53 games. 

Johnson is the latest in a long line of Browns who played under Lombardi to end up in New England. The two most notable Patriots who spent 2013 in Cleveland are defensive end Jabaal Sheard and running back Dion Lewis. Linebacker Barkevious Mingo, who arrived in New England in a trade this summer, was drafted by Lombardi's front office as the No. 6 overall pick in 2013.

Isaiah Thomas: 'I didn't think Boston would be this cool when I came'

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Isaiah Thomas: 'I didn't think Boston would be this cool when I came'

Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine sit-down with Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas to talk about the high expectations for the season, the addition of Al Horford, and getting married this offseason.

Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about Thomas, including his very team friendly deal will ever become an issue.

Look for new podcast versions of our media day interviews in the coming days, plus videos and other content as the Celtics get ready for the season.