Morning Skate 113: Pens get impatient, Habs get cheaper

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Morning Skate 113: Pens get impatient, Habs get cheaper

Ladies and gentlemen, your morning links:

Are some Penguins players getting impatient for the return of Sidney Crosby? Seriously?
A high school hockey teams season is over after the players went to a function wearing womens underwear. You cant make this stuff up.

The Pro Hockey Talk boys have new Buffalo owner Terry Pegula setting the land-speed record for making excuses for an underperforming team. It might be time to check under the hood because it seems like theres a lot more wrong with the Sabres.

Montreal gets bigger and cheaper with Rene Bourque. If that doesnt sound like a ringing endorsement from the Montreal Gazette then I dont know what does.

Classy Mikko Koivu gets his first All-Star berth with the Minnesota Wild in a case of a deserving player getting his due. When will it be Patrice Bergerons turn?

Andy Strickland rips into Alex Burrows for the infamous diving routine that played into the Canucks game against the St. Louis Blues last night.

Eric Engels gets Pierre Gauthier in his sights and fires away after another bizarre Habs move in dealing Mike Cammalleri away in the middle of the game.

For something completely different: Grantland.com offers some repairs for the Peoples Choice Awards... if you are up in arms about these things.

Red Sox recall Sam Travis, send Velázquez back to Pawtucket

Red Sox recall Sam Travis, send Velázquez back to Pawtucket

BOSTON -- On the list of Red Sox problems, finding a platoon partner for Mitch Moreland at first base isn't high on the list. But the others -- third base, fifth starter -- aren't solvable at the moment, so the Sox turned to one they think they can solve.

Today they recalled Sam Travis from Pawtucket, most likely to provide relief for Moreland against left-handed pitching. Travis' path to the majors was delayed by a knee injury that cost him a good chunk of the 2016 season -- otherwise, odds are good he'd have been here by now -- but he signaled his readiness by recovering from a 5-for-36 start with a sizzling .344 average in 90 at-bats since April 22 that includes six doubles and three home runs. His OPS in that span is .909.

Most importantly, Travis crushes left-handed pitching. He's hit .358 (93-for-260) against them in his professional career, and is .414 (12-for-29) against them this year. 

Hector Velázquez was sent back to the PawSox to make room for Travis, ensuring another roster move later this week. After Kyle Kendrick's failed attempt to take control of the fifth spot in the starting rotation, Velázquez was called up and given a shot in Oakland last Thursday night. He allowed six earned runs over five innings, failing the test. And thus the search for a fifth starter -- at least until David Price returns -- continues.

Price will make a rehab start in Pawtucket tomorrow and could return to Boston after that, but the Sox will need a pitcher for Saturday's game against Seattle. Even if Price is cleared to return to Boston, he won't be able to pitch Saturday on two days' rest.

Now-and-again Fun League? NFL lightens up on touchdown celebrations

Now-and-again Fun League? NFL lightens up on touchdown celebrations

Roger Goodell announced on Tuesday that the NFL would ease off its restrictions on touchdown celebrations going forward. 

"Just as NFL teams use the offseason to get better, at the league we use this time to listen to players, coaches, officials and fans about how we can continue to improve our great game.," he said in a statement. " . . . Today, we are excited to tell you about another change that comes after conversations with more than 80 current and former players: we are relaxing our rules on celebrations to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays."

Using the football as a prop, celebrating on the ground and group celebrations will all be allowed after scores under the new policy.

"Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent, will still be penalized," Goodell explained.