NHLPA votes 'overwhelmingly' to potentially dissolve union


NHLPA votes 'overwhelmingly' to potentially dissolve union

As expected the NHLPA voted with overwhelming support to give the unions executive board permission to dissolve the union should they see that as necessary during CBA lockout negotiations.

The five-day electric vote ended on Friday and included more than 700 members of the NHLPA an impressive show of support from such a large group of hockey players with disparate interests, desires and backgrounds. The NHL filed a class action complaint in federal court and an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Board Advisory at the end of last week stemming from the news that the NHLPA would vote on a disclaimer of interest.

Earlier this week a number of NHL players confirmed with CSNNE.com that they were voting in support of allowing the NHLPA Executive Board to file a disclaimer of interest that would allow individual players to file anti-trust lawsuits against the league. The players union has also put a Jan. 2 deadline to decide whether or not they will blow up the union, and potentially change the course of negotiations that have been on the wrong foot from the very beginning.

Its important to note that negotiations can continue throughout this period of deliberation among the union.

The disclaimer of interest is essentially a faster, easier way for the NHLPA to decertify, and its expected that the players would form a less formal trade association while continuing negotiations with the NHL. While all of these actions would seem to indicate that a battle in the court system is brewing, both the NHL and NHLPA are both motivated to simply get a deal done before they let control slip out of their hands into the federal court system.

There was no contact between the NHL and NHLPA on Friday, but it would be surprising if theres no last-ditch effort before or after Christmas to find middle ground on a new CBA. The NHL has tacitly indicated Jan. 15 could be a drop-dead date for the season if the two sides dont have a deal executed, but its also important to remember the NHL started a 48-game schedule on Jan. 22 during the strike-shortened 1994-95 hockey season.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable


Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:


WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)


TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.