Even more bad news for hockey fans

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Even more bad news for hockey fans

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- What seemed inevitable for the NHL has become reality. The league canceled the first two weeks of the regular season on Thursday, the second time games have been lost because of a lockout in seven years.The announcement was made in a two-paragraph statement. It isn't clear if those games will be made up, allowing for a complete 82-game regular season, if a deal can be struck soon with the locked-out players.Unable to work out how to split up 3 billion in hockey-related revenues with the players' association, the NHL wiped out 82 games from Oct. 11-24 -- beginning with four next Thursday, which would have been the league's opening night."We were extremely disappointed to have to make today's announcement," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "The game deserves better, the fans deserve better, and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better."We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams, and good for our fans. This is not about winning' or losing' a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the league and the game. We are committed to getting this done."The union countered Thursday by saying the NHL forced the lockout onto the players instead of letting the season go on as planned."The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners," NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said in a statement. "If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue."A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort," he added. "For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions. Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides. We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner."Although there have been negotiations between the league and players in recent days -- unlike a three-month break at the start of the 2004-05 lockout that forced the cancellation of the entire season -- the two sides haven't gotten any closer to a deal on core economic issues."Obviously, (cancellations) might have been expected but it's also disappointing because we set out to negotiate," New York Rangers goalie Martin Biron said in a telephone interview. "We wanted to get a deal and wanted to avoid a work stoppage or any cancellations."We're still working hard to find a solution and find a way to get the core economic stuff figured out with the league and getting a deal that is fair for everybody and lasts."In the previous lockout, the NHL and the union didn't get together between early September and early December.Back then, the key words in the negotiations were salary cap, linkage and cost certainty. Commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners were committed to getting a deal that linked team costs to revenues, so each club would know exactly how much it had to spend on payroll and what number it couldn't exceed.Thus a salary cap was born for the first time in NHL history. The league produced record revenue during the seven years of that deal, which turned out much better for the players than expected.There are no major philosophical issues this time as there were with the salary cap fight, but the sides are far apart in financial figures. Players received 57 percent of hockey-related revenue in the deal that expired Sept. 15, and the NHL wants to bring that number below 50 percent -- perhaps as low as 47 percent.The players' association, led by Fehr -- the former baseball union chief -- has rejected that idea."The leadership that we have with Don and his team is really trying to look at the big picture and not just a number," Biron said. "We understand that there is some tweaking and some things that have to be fixed in our proposal, but it seems that the owners are on a one-way mission to cut salaries."The NHL claims the union hasn't done near enough to try to get closer to the league's proposal and appears willing to wait for the NHLPA to come around.Daly said the league had already lost 100 million in revenues from canceled preseason games. The players will begin feeling the real sting when they don't get their first paychecks of the season on Oct. 15.During the last lockout, Bettman followed through on his vow to cancel the season if a deal wasn't reached by a February deadline. A new collective bargaining agreement wasn't completed until July, long after major damage had been done. It marked the first time a North American professional sport lost an entire season to a labor dispute.In 2004, Daly announced Sept. 29 that there wouldn't be any hockey in October. New proposals and negotiations in December and January did little to push the sides toward a settlement, and Bettman announced Feb. 16 that the season had been lost. It marked the first time since a flu epidemic in 1919 that the Stanley Cup wasn't awarded.Earlier this week, U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey sent a letter to Bettman and Fehr, urging them to consider the economic impact on their state if the dispute isn't resolved.The letter warned that the absence of New Jersey Devils' games in Newark could mean millions of dollars in lost economic activity and jobs in especially tough economic times. The Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup finals last season, creating a financial boost to the city just five months ago.Now, the lockout comes on the heels of the NBA's Nets moving from Newark to Brooklyn, N.Y.Lautenberg renewed his call for a settlement after the games were called off Thursday."This cancellation of regular-season hockey games is a blow to businesses and workers in Newark and in hockey towns across the country," he said in a statement. "Local jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity are being placed at risk every day that this dispute continues."The NHL should keep in mind communities, workers, and families that are being hurt by its decision to pursue a lockout and cancel these games. Owners and players must find a way to start the season before the economies in Newark and other communities are further damaged."Fehr responded in a letter Tuesday, and offered to meet with the senators in New Jersey."As you observed, far too many people in Newark and other NHL cities will suffer as a result of this decision, including players," Fehr said in his letter, regarding the lockout. "We are currently working with players to identify small business owners who will be affected to see what we can do during this period."Unfortunately, the lockout was no surprise. Months ago, the owners made public their intention to lock out the players, and they did so the first chance they legally could. There was nothing the players could have done to prevent it -- other than to agree to the enormous concessions the owners demand."

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AFC North: Terrelle Pryor says Browns can win out, DeAngelo Williams shuts him down

AFC North: Terrelle Pryor says Browns can win out, DeAngelo Williams shuts him down

BY ERIC GARLAND, CSNMidatlantic.com 

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor’s Week 3 performance, where he racked up 144 receiving yards and one rushing touchdown, might have gotten him a little too excited for the rest of the season. 

Why, you might ask? According to an NFL.com article, he claimed the Browns can win out the rest of the season.

That’s a pretty tough task, and Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams didn’t hesitate to rib Pryor for the claim. 

“Maybe he was talking about Ohio State,” Williams tweeted. 

Ouch, burn. 

Pryor, of course, played quarterback for a dominant Ohio State team before converting to wide receiver in the NFL. During his time as a Buckeye, he lead the team to two Big Ten championships and a Rose Bowl championship in 2010. 

Williams’ tweet is only added insult, as the Browns are currently winless heading into Week 4 and have suffered an array of injuries to key players, including Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown and Corey Coleman.

Pryor’s positivity is certainly the attitude needed to start getting some wins in Cleveland, but Williams certainly isn’t buying it. 

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Fantasy Football: Week 4 position rankings

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Fantasy Football: Week 4 position rankings

Week 4 of the fantasy football season is here as are my positional rankings. Check back later in the week for updates as news shifts some players up, down or out.

For those seeking free agent help, check out the Week 4 Waiver Wire column, which includes options for those dealing with running back injuries and bye weeks.

Quarterbacks

1. Philip Rivers, SD
 
2.  Cam Newton, CAR
 
3.  Drew Brees, NO
 
4.  Andrew Luck, IND
 
5.  Matthew Stafford, DET
 
6.  Kirk Cousins, WAS
 
7.  Andy Dalton, CIN
 
8.  Carson Palmer, ARI
 
9.  Blake Bortles, JAC
 
10.  Derek Carr, OAK
 
11.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
 
12.  Joe Flacco, BAL
 
13.  Matt Ryan, ATL
 
14.  Russell Wilson, SEA
 
15.  Dak Prescott, DAL
 
16.  Trevor Siemian, DEN
 
17.  Eli Manning, NYG
 
18.  Tyrod Taylor, BUF
 
19.  Sam Bradford, MIN
 
20.  Ryan Tannehill, MIA
 
21.  Jameis Winston, TB
 
22.  Jimmy Garoppolo, NE
 
23.  Brian Hoyer, CHI
 
24.  Alex Smith, KC
 
25.  Brock Osweiler, HOU

Running Backs

1.  David Johnson, ARI
 
2.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT
 
3.  Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
 
4.  C.J. Anderson, DEN
 
5.  Melvin Gordon, SD
 
6.  Lamar Miller, HOU
 
7.  LeGarrette Blount, NE
 
8.  Mark Ingram, NO
 
9.  LeSean McCoy, BUF
 
10.  Todd Gurley, LA
 
11.  Carlos Hyde, SF
 
12.  DeMarco Murray, TEN
 
13.  Christine Michael, SEA
 
14.  Jeremy Hill, CIN
 
15.  Frank Gore, IND
 
16.  Spencer Ware, KC
 
17.  Charles Sims, TB
 
18.  Devonta Freeman, ATL
 
19.  Matt Jones, WAS
 
20.  Jordan Howard, CHI
 
21.  Latavius Murray, OAK
 
22.  Isaiah Crowell, CLE
 
23.  Matt Forte, NYJ
 
24.  Theo Riddick, DET
 
25.  Jerick McKinnon, MIN
 
26.  Tevin Coleman, ATL
 
27.  Giovani Bernard, CIN
 
28.  Orleans Darkwa, NYG
 
29.  Dwayne Washington, DET
 
30.  Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR
 
31.  Chris Ivory, JAC
 
32.  Terrance West, BAL
 
33.  T.J. Yeldon, JAC
 
34.  Kenyan Drake, MIA
 
35.  Duke Johnson, CLE
 
36.  Justin Forsett, BAL
 
37.  Matt Asiata, MIN
 
38.  Fozzy Whittaker, CAR
 
39.  DeAngelo Williams, PIT
 
40.  Derrick Henry, TEN
 
41.  Jay Ajayi, MIA
 
42.  Jamaal Charles, KC
 
43.  James White, NE
 
44.  Travaris Cadet, NO
 
45.  Chris Thompson, WAS
 
46.  Alfred Morris, DAL
 
47.  Robert Kelley, WAS
 
48.  Bilal Powell, NYJ
 
49.  Charcandrick West, KC
 
50.  Rashad Jennings, NYG

Wide Receivers

1.  Antonio Brown, PIT
 
2.  A.J. Green, CIN
 
3.  Julio Jones, ATL
 
4.  Odell Beckham Jr., NYG
 
5.  Allen Robinson, JAC
 
6.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
 
7.  Marvin Jones, DET
 
8.  Alshon Jeffery, CHI
 
9.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
 
10.  Travis Benjamin, SD
 
11.  T.Y. Hilton, IND
 
12.  Amari Cooper, OAK
 
13.  Kelvin Benjamin, CAR
 
14.  Dez Bryant, DAL
 
15.  Brandin Cooks, NO
 
16.  Mike Evans, TB
 
17.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN
 
18.  Jarvis Landry, MIAQ
 
19.  DeSean Jackson, WAS
 
20.  Julian Edelman, NE
 
21.  Stefon Diggs, MIN
 
22.  Doug Baldwin, SEA
 
23.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
 
24.  Jeremy Maclin, KC
 
25.  Michael Crabtree, OAK
 
26.  Willie Snead, NO
 
27.  Tyrell Williams, SD
 
28.  Sterling Shepard, NYG
 
29.  Eric Decker, NYJ
 
30.  Brandon Marshall, NYJ
 
31.  Terrelle Pryor, CLE
 
32.  Steve Smith, BAL
 
33.  Devante Parker, MIAQ
 
34.  Will Fuller, HOU
 
35.  Mike Wallace, BAL
 
36.  Michael Floyd, ARI
 
37.  Allen Hurns, JAC
 
38.  Jamison Crowder, WAS
 
39.  Sammy Watkins, BUF
 
40.  Golden Tate, DET
 
41.  Tavon Austin, LA
 
42.  Tajae Sharpe, TEN
 
43.  Tyler Lockett, SEA
 
44.  Cole Beasley, DAL
 
45.  Phillip Dorsett, IND
 
46.  Michael Thomas, NO
 
47.  Torrey Smith, SF
 
48.  Mohamed Sanu, ATL
 
49.  Victor Cruz, NYG
 
50.  Pierre Garcon, WAS

Tight Ends

1.  Greg Olsen, CAR
 
2.  Jordan Reed, WAS
 
3.  Rob Gronkowski, NE
 
4.  Travis Kelce, KC
 
5.  Eric Ebron, DET
 
6.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN
 
7.  Coby Fleener, NO
 
8.  Dennis Pitta, BAL
 
9.  Jason Witten, DAL
 
10.  Zach Miller, CHI
 
11.  Delanie Walker, TEN
 
12.  Dwayne Allen, IND
 
13.  Julius Thomas, JAC
 
14.  Jimmy Graham, SEA
 
15.  Gary Barnidge, CLE
 
16.  Jacob Tamme, ATL
 
17.  Hunter Henry, SD
 
18.  Martellus Bennett, NE
 
19.  Jack Doyle, IND
 
20.  Antonio Gates, SD
 
21.  Charles Clay, BUF
 
22.  Cameron Brate, TB
 
23.  Clive Walford, OAK
 
24.  Tyler Eifert, CIND
 
25.  Jesse James, PIT

Kickers

1.  Stephen Gostkowski, NE
 
2.  Adam Vinatieri, IND
 
3.  Chandler Catanzaro, ARI
 
4.  Justin Tucker, BAL
 
5.  Dan Bailey, DAL
 
6.  Steven Hauschka, SEA
 
7.  Graham Gano, CAR
 
8.  Josh Lambo, SD
 
9.  Brandon McManus, DEN
 
10.  Dustin Hopkins, WAS
 
11.  Matt Prater, DET
 
12.  Will Lutz, NO
 
13.  Chris Boswell, PIT
 
14.  Nick Novak, HOU
 
15.  Josh Brown, NYG
 
16.  Blair Walsh, MIN
 
17.  Matt Bryant, ATL
 
18.  Cairo Santos, KC
 
19.  Mike Nugent, CINQ
 
20.  Sebastian Janikowski, OAK

Defenses

1.  Arizona Cardinals, ARI
 
2.  Denver Broncos, DEN
 
3.  Seattle Seahawks, SEA
 
4.  Houston Texans, HOU
 
5.  New England Patriots, NE
 
6.  Minnesota Vikings, MIN
 
7.  Carolina Panthers, CAR
 
8.  Cincinnati Bengals, CIN
 
9.  New York Jets, NYJ
 
10.  Washington Redskins, WAS
 
11.  Kansas City Chiefs, KC
 
12.  Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT
 
13.  Los Angeles Rams, LA
 
14.  New York Giants, NYG
 
15.  Buffalo Bills, BUF
 
16.  Detroit Lions, DET
 
17.  Baltimore Ravens, BAL
 
18.  Miami Dolphins, MIA
 
19.  Indianapolis Colts, IND
 
20.  Dallas Cowboys, DAL