NHL cancels games through Dec. 14, along with All-Star Weekend

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NHL cancels games through Dec. 14, along with All-Star Weekend

The expected announcement finally came on Friday afternoon,as all negative press releases normally do: the NHL has cancelled theirschedule through Dec. 14 and also whacked the NHL All-Star Game set to takeplace in Columbusat the end of January.

For the Bruins it means 29 total scheduled games have been wiped off the ledger, including 17 games at TD Garden. The first remaining game on the schedule for Boston is a Dec. 15 home tilt against the Florida Panthers.

The cancellations are due to the NHL lockout between the NHLand NHLPA thats been ongoing since Sept. 16, and once again spurred on anapologetic statement from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

The reality of losing more regular-season games as well asthe 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbusis extremely disappointing, said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. We feelbadly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus,and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return theNHL All-Star events to Columbusand their fans as quickly as possible.

The NHL has now cancelled 422 regular season games, or 34.3percent of the regular season schedule. The cancellations would also lead up tothe fifth paycheck cycle for the NHL players and would put them close to 30percent of their 2012-13 salaries lost due to the labor stoppage.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr also released his own statement wondering about the NHL's math concerning money lost to the lockout.

"On Wednesday the players presented a comprehensive proposal , once again moving in the owners' direction in order to get the game back on the ice. The gap that remains on the core economic issues is 182 million," said Fehr. "On Wednesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league is losing 18-20 million per day during the lockout, therefore two more weeks of cancelled games far exceeds the current economic gap.

"It makes the NHL's announcement of further game cancellations, including the 2013 All-Star Weekend, all the more unnecessary, and disappointing for all hockey fans -- especially those in Columbus. The players remain ready to negotiate, but we require a willing negotiating partner."

The NHLPA submitted a full proposal to the NHL on Wednesdaythat the league admitted was movement in the leagues direction, but theleague opted to reject the offer without much in the way of a counter-proposal.NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr mentioned on Team 590 sports radio in Toronto on Fridayafternoon that the players wouldnt be making any more offers anytime soonafter the league took roughly an hour to shoot down their last proposal.

Fehr wouldnt reveal much about potential uniondecertification, but its expected that any move to decertify the NHLPA would bedrastic action: it would effectively break up the union and allow individualplayers to craft anti-trust lawsuits while seeking damages for last wages. Afull decertification would also essentially bust up the NHL as its currentlybuilt, and would wipe away the entry draft, the salary cap and the essentialstructure of the league as its been built by the owners.

The NBA players association threatened decertification lastyear during their lockout, and shortly afterward a December deal was reachedfollowed by a Christmas Day start to the season.

"Somebody wise once told me that labor relations islike domestic relations except there's no divorce, said Fehr during the20-minute radio interview that followed a similar radio spot for Daly.

The two sides spoke for 10 minutes over the phone on Friday,and indicated theyd both regroup over the weekend before possibly touchingbase again next week.

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster. 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.