Lockout-Related Tweets Land Former Flyers Scottie Upshall and Matt Carle in NHL's Lawsuit

Lockout-Related Tweets Land Former Flyers Scottie Upshall and Matt Carle in NHL's Lawsuit

You've been told at least once for each and every one of your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter: Be careful what you write on social media.

Maybe it will get you turned down for a future job, maybe it will get you fired, or maybe it will get you sued you in a New York court.

The NHL on Friday named 36 players in a lawsuit intended to prove that the players' association had always intended to decertify — or, in this case, "declaim interest" in its union — in an effort to end the collective bargaining process as its been conducted and move the proceedings to court. In short, the NHL argues that the union is in breach of the "good faith" bargaining rules of the National Labor Relations Act.

Regardless of whether or not one buys such a claim after months of negotiation, the players have done themselves no favors. In fact, they've effectively built the owners' case with their use of Twitter.

Per the Ottawa Sun:

Not only were NHLPA representatives of all seven Canadian teams named in the filing, the league also included quotes from several players talking about the possibility of going the decertification route over the last couple of months.

Included in the evidence was tweets from San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture, Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Matt Carle and Florida Panthers forward Scottie Upshall supporting NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr's leadership to show a disclaimer doesn't have any weight.

Urelated to the suit but related to their Twitter accounts, Upshall and others have also been making use of the hashtag "#lockoutproblems," when taking pictures of golf courses, ocean-side hangouts and other locations. Even as someone who supports the players, it's kind of a turn-off.

Two quick bits of analysis here to close:

1. The lockout began on Sept. 15, meaning the players and owners conducted negotiations to end the lockout over a period of three months. There were negotiations to avoid the lockout altogether over the summer, so we're looking at a three-to-six-month period over which talks were conducted. There's naturally a good cause for the Labor Relations Act's "good faith" provision, but it stands to reason that the league would have filed its bad faith countersuit no matter when the players decertified. We've already seen similar circumstances in two other lockouts over the last two years. My questions in response to the league: How much time needs to go by before decertification ceases to be in bad faith? Does merely mentioning or even lobbying for decertification during the negotiation process necessarily constitute surface bargaining? These questions are naturally separate from the league's argument that their disclaimer doesn't hold weight because the players are still publicly supporting Fehr. In that regard, the players would do better quit talking altogether, as they're actively undermining their own interests.

2. It's strange to call Matt Carle a former Flyer since he's yet to play a game for any other team. I saw a story about Bruno Gervais signing in Switzerland and it took me a second to process why that was relevant. In case you've forgotten, the Flyers also brought back Ruslan Fedotenko. These kind of reminders are becoming necessary. It's been a while.

Penn State uses dominant second half to top No. 6 Wisconsin for Big Ten title

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Penn State uses dominant second half to top No. 6 Wisconsin for Big Ten title

INDIANAPOLIS — Penn State’s offense rewrote the Big Ten Championship’s offensive record book Saturday night but its 38-31 victory over Wisconsin wasn’t secure until the final minute.

And Linebacker U. got the game-saving play from the secondary.

Wisconsin, armed with a pair of timeouts and lining up for a fourth-and-1 play from the Nittany Lions’ 24, called on Corey Clement. Clement, who’d already racked up 166 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, got the ball but never got close to the marker.

Grant Haley made sure of it.

The junior cornerback wrapped up Clement’s legs and safety Marcus Allen kept Clement from leaning forward and the game was over. Penn State (11-2) has the 2016 Big Ten title and, at worst, will play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2009.

“They ran [a counter] early in the game and split it for a touchdown,” Haley said of the final play. “I saw them set the edge, so I got triggered really well and Marcus finished off the play.”

Haley and company watched the Badgers run wild in the first half; 164 yards and three touchdowns, including Clement’s 67-yard scamper. Wisconsin, one of the conference’s best rushing teams this season, managed less than half that total (77) in the second half.

“They really weren’t running that many plays,” Haley added. “We just came out in the second half and had a jolt. 

“We just had the energy going into the second half.”

Wisconsin got the ball twice in the fourth quarter but managed only 65 yards - 51 of which came on its final drive.

“Give credit to Penn State for coming out in the second half and making those adjustments and allowing those big plays to happen,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. 

Give plenty of credit, too, to the Nittany Lions’ offense. 

Quarterback Trace McSorley was named the game’s most valuable player after completing 17 of his 25 passes for 319 yards and four touchdowns - both championship game records. He helped Penn State complete the biggest comeback in the game’s six year history after his team fell behind 28-7 in the first half and also finished the regular season with 3,360 yards and 25 touchdown passes, both school records.

Saeed Blacknall had six catches for a Big Ten Championship-record 155 yards and two touchdowns and DaeShean Hamilton finished with 118 yards on eight grabs.

Tailback Saquon Barkley, injured in last weekend’s victory over Michigan State, returned with 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground and caught an 18-yard scoring pass from McSorley early in the fourth quarter to put the Nittany Lions ahead for good.

Penn State, in its first-ever trip to this game, is coming home from it with just its second outright Big Ten title. It’s on a nine-game winning streak that has seen it average 40 points per contest.

It also could present the College Football Playoff selection committee with a bit of quandary. The Nittany Lions, who were ranked seventh by the committee last week, topped the No. 6 Badgers and claimed a conference championship, something likely playoff teams Alabama, Clemson and Washington all boast.

On the flip side, Penn State’s last defeat was a lopsided 49-10 loss at Michigan, which sits at No. 5 in the rankings and likely won’t move into the top four after losing last week to No. 2 Ohio State.

Penn State coach James Franklin stated his team’s case after Saturday night’s win, but also made it clear he and his team won’t be moping their way to Pasadena, Calif., where the conference champion is slotted if it is not chosen for the playoff.

“We’ve got great options in front of us,” he said. “I hear people on TV talking about they feel like maybe the playoff has taken away from the bowls. 

“Are you kidding me? The Rose Bowl? It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.”

Report: Jordan Matthews (ankle) not expected to play vs. Bengals

Report: Jordan Matthews (ankle) not expected to play vs. Bengals

Jordan Matthews will not play Sunday against the Bengals after missing practice all week with an ankle sprain, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Matthews is the Eagles' leading receiver with 57 catches for 686 yards and three touchdowns. The team has called him a game-time decision.

Second-year receiver Nelson Agholor will reportedly be inserted back into the lineup. If Matthews doesn't play the Eagles will have only four healthy receivers active on Sunday: Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham and undrafted rookies Bryce Treggs and Paul Turner.