Orr: 'Everybody lost' the NHL lockout

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Orr: 'Everybody lost' the NHL lockout

Bobby Orr had no words when first gauged for his reaction to the NHL lockout being over.
Instead, the all-time Bruins great and certified hockey rock star busted into one of his patented wide, joyful grins and raised his hands in the air over his head like hed just scored a game-winning goal in the Cup Finals.
The Greatest Hockey Played That Ever Lived had always kept a positive attitude throughout the 113-day NHL lockout. Orr consistently told anybody that would listen that a deal would eventually arrive for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
His faith in the owners, players and league leadership were rewarded last weekend when a 16-hour negotiating session finally hit pay dirt.
Im thrilled. For the players, the owners, the fans and the people that havent been working because of the lockout. Its better for everybody, so Im thrilled that hockey is getting back to work, said the Hall of Fame defenseman and two-time Cup winner with the Black and Gold. I was optimistic, but I just wish it had ended sooner. There were so many people hurt by the lockout.
Orr, of course, runs the Orr Hockey Group out of Charlestown, and has a keen interest in the NHL from a business perspective. Its Orrs company that represents Bruins forward Nathan Horton, in fact.
But like so many other former NHL players that have watched all of the work stoppages unfold over the last two decades, Orrs biggest concern was about protecting the NHL that hes loved since he was a shinny-playing youngster growing up in Ontario.
Idle conversations about winners and losers within the NHL lockout confound Orr, who didnt see any winners among the players, owners, league employees, fans, media, sponsors, advertisers or business owners that have so much at stake if NHL games are being played.
People talk about, who won? Well, nobody won, said Orr, who was at the W Hotel in Boston on Wednesday for the kickoff party for production Turk: The Movie based on teammate Derek Sandersons story of highs, lows and conquering his demons. How do you pick winners in something like this? You cant pick any winners and losers in something like this. Everybody lost.
No. 4 just hopes that the NHL players begin putting on a show starting Jan. 19, and keep giving fans the kind of electric on-ice product that allowed the league to rise up to 3.3 billion in revenues last season. If the 48-game regular season sprint and playoffs are compelling, hockey fans will come back in droves just as they did before the last four months of madness.
Now you just hope that the players get back to work and they play hard, said Orr. Im sure they will because its going to be a short season. If you get off to a bad start then youre in trouble. It should be really good hockey.
Youve got to play hard and give em good hockey. Hockey fans are very loyal and they missed the game, Im sure, just like I havelike so many people have. If its good, hard hockey and you give it to them consistently every night there will be some that will take their time coming back but hockey fans are very, very loyal. They will come back.
If Bobby Orr says that NHL fans will come back after the most embarrassing lockout in the history of pro sports, that should be good enough for anybody thats ever loved the game of hockey.

Report: Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Report: Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to ESPN's Cristian Moreno. Ventura was 25 years old.

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.


 

Patriots-Steelers game notes: Pats shooting for record ninth Super Bowl berth

Patriots-Steelers game notes: Pats shooting for record ninth Super Bowl berth

A quick look at the information you need to know about tonight's Patriots-Steelers game:

PATRIOTS-STEELERS PREGAME

TEAM RECORDS: Patriots 15-2, Steelers 13- 5

GAME TIME: 6:40 p.m. EST

TV: CBS

TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson

NATIONAL RADIO NETWORKS: Westwood One

NATIONAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts and Ross Tucker

LOCAL RADIO NETWORK: Anchored by WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)

LOCAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Bob Socci and Scott Zolak

ALL-TIME SERIES BETWEEN THE TEAMS: Steelers lead, 15-14

LAST MEETING: Patriots 27, Steelers 16 on Oct. 23, 2016 at Heinz Field

* * * *
QUICK FACTS
-- Bill Belichick is coaching in his NFL-record 11th conference championship game. Tom Brady is playing in his NFL-record 11th conference championship game.

-- The Patriots are 8-4 in AFC Championship Games, including 5-1 in games played in Foxboro and 4-1 at Gillette Stadium.

-- The Patriots are 30-19 in postseason games, including 19-4 at home (3-1 at Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium, 16-3 at Gillette).

-- The Patriots' 30 postseason victories are tied with the 49ers for fourth-most in NFL history, behind the Cowboys (34), Steelers (34) and Packers (32).

-- The Patriots' .612 winning percentage in postseason games is third-best in NFL history, behind the Ravens (15-8, .652) and Packers (34-21, .618).

* * * *
MILESTONES
-- If the Patriots win today they will qualify for their ninth Super Bowl, most in NFL history. They are currently tied with the Cowboys, Broncos and Steelers at eight.

-- If the Patriots win today, Robert Kraft will set an NFL record for most conference championships by an owner (8) in the Super Bowl era. He is currently tied with the Denver Broncos' Pat Bowler at seven.

-- If the Patriots win today, Bill Belichick will move into a tie with Bill Walsh for third place on the NFL list of best postseason coaching winning percentage. Belichick (who would be 25-10 with a victory) and Walsh (10-4) would have .714 winning percentage. Belichick is currently in fifth place, two percentage points behind Joe Gibbs (17-7, .708). Vince Lombardi (9-1, .900) is in first place and Tom Flores (8-3. .727) is second.

-- If the Patriots win today, Belichick will advance to his seventh Super Bowl as a head coach, which would be most in NFL history. He is currently tied with Don Shula at six.

-- Tom Brady (8) needs one more playoff game with three or more touchdown passes to tie Joe Montana (9) for most three-plus TD playoff games since the 1970 NFL merger.

-- Stephen Gostkowski (142) needs 11 points to tie Gary Anderson for third place on the NFL's all-time list of kicking points in the postseason. Adam Vinatieri (234) is first and David Akers (175) is second.

-- Julian Edelman (76) needs nine receptions to tie Andre Reed (85) for sixth place on the NFL's all-time list of postseason receptions. Michael Irvin is fifth at 88, and Hines Ward and Wes Welker are tied for third at 88.

* * * *
TONIGHT'S OFFICIALS
-- REFEREE: Terry McAulay. UMPIRE: Rich Hall. HEAD LINESMAN: Wayne Mackie. LINE JUDGE: Mark Perlman. FIELD JUDGE: Scott Edwards. SIDE JUDGE: Boris Cheek. BACK JUDGE: Tony Steratore. ALTERNATES: John Parry, Mark Steinkerchner, Rich Martinez. REPLAY OFFICIAL: Mike Wimmer. SUPERVISOR: Gary Slaughter.