Neely: 'Everybody would like to see the puck dropped'

752982.jpg

Neely: 'Everybody would like to see the puck dropped'

One Bruins figure thats been conspicuously silent during the two month NHL lockout: Bs President Cam Neely. The Bruins Hall of Fame is in an awkward spot as a former Hall of Fame player and dues payer for the NHLPA in his past hockey life, and a current top executive working for a team owner identified by many as one of the lead architects of the current work stoppage.

Neely broke that silence on Friday afternoon while hosting a lunch for a group of Wounded Warrior Alumni at TD Garden before giving the armed forces veterans a tour of the newly reconstructed Bs dressing room a locker room that the Bruins players themselves havent even seen yet. The Bruins executive was understandably anxious to get things moving amid some pretty stagnant albeit consistent CBA talks this week. He also very clearly illustrated his unique stance having walked a mile in the shoes of both the players and management.

Everybody would like to see the puck being dropped and the game back on the ice, said Neely. I feel for the fans. I feel for both parties that are going through this. Its difficult. But from everything that I know and understand, its a process that hopefully gets done soon but has to get done.

Is Neely at all optimistic given that the NHL and NHLPA have spoken on and off for more than 20 hours this week in New York City in the heaviest stream of CBA talks within the process?

Ive been optimistic since the end of the season, said Neely. Im usually a glass half-full kind of guy and I still remain that way. Its just my nature.

The problem: many of the ticket-purchasing Bruins fans arent glass half-full types of people, and the natives are getting restless with two months of the NHL regular season cancelled along with the Winter Classic. The clock is now ticking on a potential Dec. 1 start to the regular season that would have netted around 64 games, and real progress needs to start taking the place of high hopes.

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply skating my lane today.

*A terrific piece on Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell getting on with his life after an MS diagnosis, and pushing to see if he can return to the ice.

*If the New York Islanders botch the hirings for people guiding the franchise, then John Tavares could be one of the next figures gone from Brooklyn.

*It’s been a rough go of it for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen over the past few weeks and that continued on Thursday night.

*Top NHL Draft prospect Nolan Patrick’s value comes from his two-way play, and that’s what teams are focused on rather than the injury issues.

*Mike Babcock talks a wide range of subjects with James Duthie during a 1-on-1 with the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach.

*In his never-ending odyssey on the fringes of the NHL, Seth Griffith has been claimed by the Maple Leafs on waivers for the second time.

*Veteran forward Clarke MacArthur won’t be playing this season for the Ottawa Senators amid his concussion issues.

*For something completely different: Bill Belichick just being Bill Belichick at his press conference on Friday and that’s something we can all be reassured about.

 

Patriots have perfect attendance at final practice of AFC Championship week

Patriots have perfect attendance at final practice of AFC Championship week

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had perfect attendance at Friday's practice, meaning they had all 53 players on their active roster present and accounted for at all three practices this week. 

Contrast that with how things have gone for the Steelers this week, and there is a stark difference. Star running back Le'Veon Bell missed each of his team's first two on-the-field workouts this week, and several Steelers players are dealing with a bug that seems to have circulated the locker room. 

The Patriots could have an interesting game-day roster decision to make should Chris Hogan (thigh), Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Danny Amendola (ankle) both be healthy enough to play on Sunday. They have not entered a game with five receivers in uniform this season but could potentially dress Mitchell, Amendola, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Michael Floyd.

Other players listed as limited participants in practice this week are Brandon Bolden (knee), Martellus Bennett (knee), Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) and Jabaal Sheard (knee).