NHL confirms 'substantive' call with players

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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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Bryce Harper charges mound, throws punches after Hunter Strickland hits him with pitch

Bryce Harper charges mound, throws punches after Hunter Strickland hits him with pitch

In their two previous meetings, Bryce Harper took Hunter Strickland deep. Very deep, in fact.

So in their third encounter, Strickland made sure that Harper wouldn't have the chance to do it again. 

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In the top of the eighth inning of Monday's Nationals-Giants game, the San Francisco reliever went after Washington's best player on the first pitch and hit him in the thigh with a 98 MPH fastball.

Harper — without hesitation — responded by charging the mound and throwing his helmet at Strickland, and the two then squared off and exchanged punches.

Here is the wild video of the whole sequence:

Harper and Strickland were, of course, ejected after initiating one of the best MLB fights in recent memory. This was the pair's first time facing each other since Harper's two home runs in the 2014 NLDS, meaning Strickland's had a long time to get over No. 34's blasts but simply couldn't do it.

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Orioles' seven-game losing streak ends Monday largely thanks to Dylan Bundy

Orioles' seven-game losing streak ends Monday largely thanks to Dylan Bundy

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Dylan Bundy allowed two runs over seven innings in another strong start at Camden Yards, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 3-2 Monday to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Jonathan Schoop had two RBIs to help the Orioles end their longest skid since a nine-game drought in 2011. Baltimore took a 3-1 lead with two unearned runs in the third inning and held on to improve the AL's best home record to 16-7.

Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 17th home run for the first-place Yankees in this AL East matchup.

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Bundy (6-3) gave up seven hits, struck out three and walked one. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA in six home starts this season.

Darren O'Day worked a perfect eighth and Brad Brach got three straight outs for his 10th save in 13 tries.

Yankees rookie Jordan Montgomery (2-4) allowed three runs, one earned, in 4 1-3 innings.