Bettman: This Process Is Over, NHL Prepared to Martyr Itself

Bettman: This Process Is Over, NHL Prepared to Martyr Itself

NHL labor negotiations once again hit a snag on Thursday, to
the surprise of nobody – although I’m not sure anybody was quite prepared for
what happened next. To be blunt, what followed the latest break in talks could
only be described as a complete and utter meltdown, with commissioner Gary
Bettman taking center stage for this tragic theater.

To make a long story short, the reported cause of the latest rift is the NHL
owners made a take-it-or-leave-it offer to the players, who in turn responded
with what is commonly referred to as a counteroffer. Apparently unhappy with any
response that deviated from, “Yes,” the owners took their puck and went home.

That in itself isn’t a big deal – extremely frustrating,
but not end-of-the-world stuff. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr delivered
a pointed press conference explaining the union’s positions in some of the
discussions over the past week, then calmly took questions. The sides sounded
close. He even used the word “close.”

Then Bettman spoke. He always does that!

Visibly upset, Bettman raged for nine minutes, then he and
deputy commissioner Bill Daly uncomfortably answered questions for what seemed
like an eternity. Video below, but here are a few of the highlights:

  • • “The owners … said they don’t know what happened, but this
    process is over.”
  • • “Anything we put on the table this week is off the table.”
  • • “[Five-year max length on player contracts are] the hill we’ll
    die on.”

So as far as rhetoric goes, we are to understand that the
owners are done talking for right now, they are actually moving backwards on several
key positions, and a human being could be martyred over one of these
issues in particular. Because those are all perfectly reasonable attitudes to take.

Obviously, there is so much more to this story, and we have
some great links to go with the Bettman videos, but here is what you need to
know – that is if you still care of course. All is not lost just yet. There is –
well, there was anyway – a framework for a CBA that had people on both sides optimistic. If discussions pick back up
next week, the frost could thaw, and hockey may yet ring in the New Year.

Worst case scenario: this lockout is the hill the NHL will
die on. Such a shame, because its future looked so bright.

Read More:

>> NHL rejects union's offer as talks break down [CSN]
>> Four owners release statement, express 'disillusionment' [Puck Daddy]
>> You have got to be kidding me [ESPN]

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Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president


Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president

A zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States of America are both nightmare scenarios for many people. But Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is prepared in the case of either.

At least that's what he says.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a bye this week, so Jenkins found the time to post the below video to Twitter, teaching us a little bit about his quirks.

"Something you might not know about me is that I'm a half-hearted doomsday prepper. For the last two or three years I've been silently preparing myself for a zombie apocalypse... or Donald Trump becoming President, whichever comes first. Communications, food, protection, everything, I've been stockpiling. I took a zombie survival course a couple of years ago," Jenkins said.

"Hopefully I won't have to use my skills."


Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tommy Joseph, who has been missing from the lineup lately, starts at first base and bats fourth tonight.

Joseph will most likely be making his final start of the season with Ryan Howard expected to start the final games of the season. Joseph is batting just .235 against the Braves this season, but does have two home runs. The rookie first baseman has 21 home runs and 15 doubles in 104 games during his first season in the majors. 

Howard will be playing what are almost definitely his final games in a Phillies uniform this weekend vs. the Mets.

Maikel Franco bats fifth and plays third base. Franco, who has been hot lately, has three home runs and is batting .320 over his last 25 at-bats. He will look to continue his success against the Braves, as five of his 25 home runs this season have come against them.

Cameron Rupp gets a day off behind the plate and will be replaced by veteran catcher A.J. Ellis. Ellis has exceeded expectations in a short sample since coming over in the Carlos Ruiz trade last month. Ellis is 8 for 28 with a home run and nine RBIs in 10 games with the Phils. He's batting .285, which is astronomically better than his paltry .194 mark with the Dodgers. 

Part of the reason for Ellis' start could be his history against Braves starter Josh Collmenter. He is 4 for 11 with two home runs and four walks against the former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher.

Here is tonight's lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Cody Asche, LF
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jeremy Hellickson, P

And for the Braves:

1. Mallex Smith, CF
2. Dansby Swanson, SS
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Nick Markakis, RF
6. Anthony Recker, C
7. Jace Peterson, 2B
8. Rio Ruiz, 3B
9. Josh Collmenter, P