One Bruins figure thats been conspicuously silent during the two month NHL lockout: Bs President Cam Neely. The Bruins Hall of Fame is in an awkward spot as a former Hall of Fame player and dues payer for the NHLPA in his past hockey life, and a current top executive working for a team owner identified by many as one of the lead architects of the current work stoppage.
Neely broke that silence on Friday afternoon while hosting a lunch for a group of Wounded Warrior Alumni at TD Garden before giving the armed forces veterans a tour of the newly reconstructed Bs dressing room a locker room that the Bruins players themselves havent even seen yet. The Bruins executive was understandably anxious to get things moving amid some pretty stagnant albeit consistent CBA talks this week. He also very clearly illustrated his unique stance having walked a mile in the shoes of both the players and management.
Everybody would like to see the puck being dropped and the game back on the ice, said Neely. I feel for the fans. I feel for both parties that are going through this. Its difficult. But from everything that I know and understand, its a process that hopefully gets done soon but has to get done.
Is Neely at all optimistic given that the NHL and NHLPA have spoken on and off for more than 20 hours this week in New York City in the heaviest stream of CBA talks within the process?
Ive been optimistic since the end of the season, said Neely. Im usually a glass half-full kind of guy and I still remain that way. Its just my nature.
The problem: many of the ticket-purchasing Bruins fans arent glass half-full types of people, and the natives are getting restless with two months of the NHL regular season cancelled along with the Winter Classic. The clock is now ticking on a potential Dec. 1 start to the regular season that would have netted around 64 games, and real progress needs to start taking the place of high hopes.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said today on WEEI's Dale and Holley Show that he has not apologized to Dennis Eckersley for the recent incident on a team flight in which David Price ripped into the Hall of Fame pitcher -- to the applause of some teammates -- for being too critical in his role as a team broadcaster.
“Yeah, that’s a no,” Farrell responded when asked specifically if he had apologized to Eck.
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According to Brooks Sutherland's story on WEEI.com, Farrell said he has spoken to Eckersley since the incident and has a "positive in a professional way" relationship with Eck.
Sutherland quoted Farrell as saying: “I’ve had interactions with Eck, yes. I have, yeah. Whether it’s been at the hotel, or whether it’s been at the ballpark, there’s been interactions there, yes . . . At the time when we did meet, which was down in Texas, as I mentioned, and then again in the ballpark there. I’m aware that people reached out to him the morning after the incident when we were headed in to Toronto. So, knowing that that was in place, you know, I followed with my conversations with Eck as I’ve always done. They’ve been cordial, there’s been professional respect on both side and I think my relationship with him is positive in a professional way.”
Farrell said he heard Price yelling at Price on the plane.
“You know at the time when it did happen,you heard some loud talk,” he said. “but I can’t say that that’s . . . you know there’s banter that goes back-and-forth that’s relatively calm, and I would say this was a different situation. I can’t say that the banter is in this nature. After it did take place, I know Eck came up to the front of the plane to talk to Dave Dombrowski and myself. Obviously outlined what took place and that’s why we met with David the next day in Toronto."
What about the games?
You know. The games that are played between the lines. The controversial calls, the second-guessing of strategy, the why-the-hell-did-he-shoot-that?
This all came to me today. The games have become secondary. The main theme of what we do is drama.
Yep, we have done it. David Price being a complete asshat. Does Belichick really love Jimmy Garoppolo more? (Bill does have a history of trading for a younger model.) Should the Celtics do whatever it takes to trade for Kyrie Irving?
We have become a soap industry. It’s all about the gossip, the in-fighting, the free agent offseason.
And you know what?
I LOVE IT!