Morning Skate: Saturday, November 3

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Morning Skate: Saturday, November 3

Interesting piece from Chris Botta about the backing that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is getting from the NHL owners. Its a good point, but its also something that can change very quickly if things go awfully wrong in negotiations.

The NHL labor negotiations and Art of War. There are more similarities than you might think.

Matt Cooke was injured during a players practice in the Pittsburgh area earlier this week. Lets all cry a river for the poor guy.

Young Carolina Hurricanes stars Jamie McBain and Jeff Skinner are leaving their southern home, and hoping to back soon when theres a new CBA in place.

Brad Marchand went trick-or-treating on Halloween dressed as super-hero Thor in the Boston area. This is not a joke.

Adam Proteau from the Hockey News says that the cancellation of the Winter Classic represents a new low for the NHL. Thats as much about it being an unnecessary cancellation as anything else.

For something completely different: Mark Hamill talks about Disney purchasing LucasFilm, and his potential involvement in new Star Wars movies.

For something completely different II: Bill Simmons gets his 90210 on while sitting down with Brian Austin Green for a podcast.

Hurley: Why the rush to clear Manning's name?

Hurley: Why the rush to clear Manning's name?

Michael Hurley discusses the NFL's investigation into Peyton Manning's alleged PED use with Toucher and Rich. Hurley wonders why their was such a rush to clear a retired player and continue the probe into still-active players.
 

Solder, Blount, Harmon take part in Patriots on-the-field work

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Solder, Blount, Harmon take part in Patriots on-the-field work

The Patriots had a handful of veterans who missed spring practices back on the field Monday.

The team's website posted video of a training camp "sneak preview," featuring clips from a practice held three days before the official start of camp. In the video were shown offensive tackle Nate Solder, running back LeGarrette Blount and safety Duron Harmon getting in some work after all three were absent from OTA practices open to the media. 

Solder suffered a biceps injury last season that landed him on season-ending injured reserve, which helped throw the Patriots protection in front of Tom Brady into a state of flux for much of the remainder of the season. Should Solder be able to participate in camp practices, as it appears will be the case, the team will have a stabilizing presence on the left side of the line as it prepares for the regular season.

Blount also landed on IR last season after having suffered a hip injury late in the year. He hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent this offseason and eventually signed a one-year deal to remain in New England. If healthy, Blount figures to have the edge in claiming the "big back" role that he's filled for the Patriots at different points over the course of the last three seasons.

Harmon sported a red non-contact jersey during Monday's workout, indicating that he may still need some time before he's ready for any kind of tackling drills this summer. The fourth-year safety explained earlier this month that he was "ready to go" for camp after "just trying to clean up some things physically" during the spring.