NHL confirms 'substantive' call with players


NHL confirms 'substantive' call with players

It may be just a sliver of sunshine behind an impending cloud of doom, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed Wednesday night that he had a “substantive” conversation with NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr that could bring the league’s owners and players back to the bargaining table.

In an email to Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Daly wrote, “Steve and I had a substantive call [Tuesday]. Don’t yet know what, if anything, will come of it.”

At a time when rhetoric surrounding negotiations has been nothing but negative, Daly’s use of the word “substantive” could be a breakthrough in talks between the owners and players as they try to bridge the gap preventing them negotiating a new CBA.
Clearly, the clock is ticking.

With all October games in the rear view mirror and all November games already canceled, the NHL has painted a bull’s eye on the Jan. 1 Winter Classic scheduled for Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, with a kill date of Friday.

The NHL has already paid a non-refundable fee of $100,000 to the University of Michigan and another $250,000 installment is due on Friday.
Given the fact construction on an outdoor rink is not scheduled until Dec. 1, the NHL still would have time to salvage the Winter Classic if Tuesday’s “substantive” talks lead to substantial movement from the owners and/or players.

The NHL and its players have not had formal discussions since Oct. 18 when the league rejected the players’ three counter proposals to an Oct. 16 offer to equally divide the league’s estimated $3.3 billion in annual revenue.

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Steve Smith Sr. blasts Giants kicker Josh Brown over domestic violence report

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Steve Smith Sr. blasts Giants kicker Josh Brown over domestic violence report

Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. is passionate about many things, including the prevention of domestic violence. His mother was a victim of domestic violence. So when it was revealed that Giants kicker Josh Brown admitted to abusing his ex-wife when they were married in police documents that came to light this week, Smith blasted Brown on Twitter.

“You know what if your ex-wife was my daughter yo ASS would be on IR…What a shame NFL acts like it cares,” Smith wrote Thursday.

Smith also blasted ex-NFL defensive lineman Greg Hardy earlier this year, when photographs emerged of Hardy’s ex-girlfriend displaying multiple bruises after an alleged domestic violence incident.

“So I guess she Tripped on the carpet or something…my mom is a survivor #DV and I am an advocate against #DV,” Smith wrote about Hardy’s claim of innocence.

Speaking his mind has never been an issue for Smith. When it comes to having no tolerance for domestic violence, he has made his feelings crystal clear.

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Redskins' Josh Norman planning celebration that puts NFL in awkward spot

Redskins' Josh Norman planning celebration that puts NFL in awkward spot

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman is already an All-Pro antagonist, but according to a Thursday report from For The Win, his best work is yet to come. 

Norman was forced to abandon his favorite bow and arrow celebration after getting fined by the NFL. But he has divised a clever replacement that sets the league up to look hypocritical. 

"Since they sell beer on TV while kids are watching it, I’m thinking I might open a keg on the field, and I’m going to drink it on the field," Norman told Charlotte Wilder of FTW after Thursday's practice. "And I don’t see that being on the rule book.”

Of course, his bow and arrow gesture wasn't explicitly banned in the rule book, neither was tight end Vernon Davis' jump shot celebration, but both got penalized anyway. 

Except this time, the outspoken corner thinks he has the NFL, well, cornered. If encouraging people to drink beer in commercial breaks is cool, then pretending to drink beer on the field must be cool too, right?

“I mean, you’re selling ads on TV, so why can’t my celebration be legal? It’s a catch-22, man. These guys are serious.”

There's only one snag in Norman's plan: it's not exactly clear what he's doing in the celebration he demonstated. He pantomimed opening a keg, tapping it and hoisting it above his head to drink from it. 

But what if people don't get it? He'll just explain afterward, he assured Wilder. 

Norman might consider pretending to pop the tab on a can of beer and drink it on the field. Seems more straight forward, but then again, I'm not the master troll here. 

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