Morning Skate: Thursday, November 29

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Morning Skate: Thursday, November 29

Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo! Sports comes to the rescue with a plan for federal mediators to help solve the NHL lockout. Its all nicely and neatly laid out as the mythic middle ground.

Joe Corvo says its like 2004 all over again with the feelings the players are having about the current lockout. Thats not what anybody is looking for as the work stoppage slowly rolls toward December. The Bruins are just

Michael Russo has the sad story of NHL goaltender Josh Harding being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and his determination to overcome adversity.
 

The NHL might be nearing a deal, but the Detroit News makes the argument that it wont be a lasting one. The potential 48-game season to start in January is something Ive heard as well, but it doesnt seem like even that is anywhere close to happening as the NHL and NHLPA continue to disagree with each other.

Claude Giroux is not concussed. That is the good news and CSNPhilly.com writer Tim Panaccio has the inside scoop on it.
 

Dave Stubbs has the first of a two-part interview with Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban as he tries to remain busy during the NHL lockout. Subban has become a lighting rod for boos from Bruins fans because of the MontrealBoston rivalry, but its really difficult not to like the kid away from the ice.

Chris Johnston with an update on collective bargaining talks after the first day of separate federal mediation hearings with both sides.

For something completely different: Boston Magazine sits down for a Q&A with Boston Globe football writer Greg Bedard as he breaks down his weekly process of evaluating Patriots games. Its really interesting stuff.

Report: Patriots, Gronkowski restructure contract for 2017 season

Report: Patriots, Gronkowski restructure contract for 2017 season

The Patriots and Rob Gronkowski have restructured the tight end’s contract for the coming season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. 

The reworked deal can bump Gronkowski’s salary for the 2017 season from $5.25 million to $10.75 million, according to Schefter. 

Gronkowski was limited by injury to just eight games last season. He had 25 receptions for 540 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were career lows. 

The 28-year-old is entering his eighth NFL season since being selected by the Pats in the second round of the 2010 draft. He has played played in at least 15 regular-season games in four of his first seven season, though he’s twice played fewer than 10. 

Brandin Cooks ready to bring back arrow celebration after NFL rule change

Brandin Cooks ready to bring back arrow celebration after NFL rule change

Tuesday’s announcement from Roger Goodell that the NFL is “relaxing” its rules on celebrations is good news for at least one Patriot. 

That would be Brandin Cooks, who began celebrating the rule change on Twitter not long after the league made its announcement. 

Cooks, whom the Patriots acquired from the Saints this offseason in a trade that sent first and third-round picks to New Orleans, lost his favorite celebration last season when it was made clear that miming archery was off-limits. Josh Norman was fined $10,000 last season for such a celebration. 

Following Norman’s fine, Cooks lamented the league’s decision to punish what Cooks had previously done in reference to a Bible verse (Psalms 144:6). 

"Send forth lightning and scatter your enemy, and shoot your arrows and rout them," Cooks told the New Orleans Advocate. "I just remember it sticking with me for such a long time, I remember thinking, maybe I can do something with this."

Added Cooks: ”I’ve been doing it for three years now, and there was never a complaint about it. Now, all of a sudden, there is. It just reminds me that, it's almost as if they try to take so much away from us, but for something like this, that means so much to someone that has nothing to do with violence, it's frustrating. I'll definitely continue to speak my opinion about it, and if they have a problem with it, so be it."

When Tuesday’s news emerged, Cooks and former Saints teammate Mark Ingram were quick to react.