Offers exchanged as owners, players continue CBA discussion

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Offers exchanged as owners, players continue CBA discussion

The NHL and NHLPA might not get a CBA done on Wednesday, but theres no denying that cautious optimism abounds.
Phrases like cautiously optimistic and wait and see attitude best described NHL players contacted by CSNNE.com as they wait on the sidelines with close to 20 NHL players and a group of six owners hammering out a possible deal at the Westin Hotel in New York City.
All of this has taken place with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr removed from the negotiating process, but Bettman did issue a few quick words of enthusiasm about the current process.
Bettman said he was pleased with the process that is ongoing, and that out of respect for the process he had no further comment on negotiations between owners and players.
In other words, silence is golden while the owners and players hash out the concepts, and let the lawyers draw up the fine details.
According to multiple reports out of NYC, the players submitted a written offer of sorts to the group of owners that has continued discussion between the two parties in meetings that lasted into the evening on Wednesday. Its expected that the league is seeking a long term CBA somewhere in the range of a 10-year deal, but certainly wants more than the five that the NHLPA had most recently proposed.
Its expected the two sides are working to find common ground on the make whole provision and player contract rights, but a source indicated to CSNNE.com that both sides are still haggling over term limits on player contracts. The NHL wants to cap all contracts at five years, and the NHLPA has stood firmly against limitations for long term deals currently enjoyed by franchise players like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.
So as the two sides haggle over the small details and fine print, lets think about the potential finished product.
Its widely believed the NHL wants to produce a finished CBA on Friday with training camps set to start a few days later. That would allow the NHL to produce a 56-60 game schedule starting onaround Dec. 20 with a full round of Stanley Cup playoffs sure to soothe the savage, bitter hockey fan. Some NHL coaches and GMs were even overzealously contacting players in Europe and telling them to come home, according to Nick Kypreos, but that would seem to be a little premature at this point in time.
The two sides continue to exchange ideas, speak in separate groups and then return for more discussions as it appears, finally, that everybody involved isnt going to stop until they have a completed CBA.

Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week

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Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week

FOXBORO -- It's been an uncharacteristically erratic season for Stephen Gostkowski, but on Sunday the Patriots Pro Bowl kicker was dialed in. And his four field-goal performance against Los Angeles earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. It is the second time this season and the fifth time in his career that Gostkowski has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, having also won the award after the first game of the season at Arizona. 

Gostkowski's missed four field goals so far this season. He hasn't missed four in a year since 2012 when he missed six field goals. He's also missed three extra points. While the Patriots were a little downcast about the inability of their offense to close out drives against the Rams, an ancillary benefit was undoubtedly Gostkowski having a day that should boost his confidence going forward. 

Belichick shares Pearl Harbor thoughts on 75th anniversary of the attack

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Belichick shares Pearl Harbor thoughts on 75th anniversary of the attack

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick's connection to the Navy has been well-chronicled in this space and others, and so it comes as little surprise that he gladly took the opportunity to discuss Pearl Harbor and its aftermath when given the opportunity during a press conference Wednesday, the 75th anniversary of the attack. 

"Yeah, pretty big day in our history," Belichick said. "Certainly in Naval history. But for me, the lesson on Pearl Harbor, and for us as a team and individually, I'd say, is not what happened on Dec. 7 -- although there was a lesson there -- but the response.

"What the response was from our nation, from our military, from our civilians, from our population, to battle the world on two fronts and win both of them. Think of what this country did under [President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt's leadership, as well as multiple military leaders, and then go fight in Europe and go fight in Southeast Asia and Japan, the response to what happened on Dec. 7, 1941 is pretty impressive.

"I remember my dad talking a lot about that, when it happened, when he found out, then when he went to the Navy and went to Great Lakes, and then eventually went to Europe and eventually went to Okinawa. It was a tough time for this country, but it was a great example of the Patriotism of our citizens, men, women, fighting together, pulling together and being victorious in a lot of different ways.

"It's special. Special day . . . Tough day for the Navy, though, but they responded. They bounced back. Battle of Midway, that was really a huge turning point. Had it not gone on the way it did. I don't know, it probably would've been a longer fight." 

Before delving into his response, Belichick mentioned that documentary filmmaker and former WJAR sports reporter Tim Gray, who once covered the Patriots, has done a great deal of work on World War II. Gray's latest documentary, "Remember Pearl Harbor," will debut on 125 PBS stations throughout the country today.