Training Camp at Lehigh? Fugetaboutit Updated

Training Camp at Lehigh? Fugetaboutit Updated

Update: Another article in today's Morning Call would suggest the university will accommodate the Eagles even on short notice. "If there's an ideal time," Sterrett said, "then, yes, we'd like to know
by mid-June if we're going to provide the same quality setup as before.
But is there a drop-dead date we have to know by? No." Still, further delays reduce the prospects of holding camp at Lehigh. The team would likely abandon the idea if it became a headache, and regardless, it needs to conclude before students return. Hat tip to Lehigh Chris.**

One of the Eagles' great traditions could soon become another casualty of the lockout. Lehigh University, which has played host to training camp since 1996, and the Birds' organization will reach a decision on whether they will hold the event on campus or not by mid-June. Camp typically opens later in July.

The sad realization we've come to though is this announcement was probably just a formality. With only one more major court date remaining on June 3, it appears litigation won't resolve any labor issues, and the players and owners have made no defined progress since the lockout began. In fact, they aren't even in mediation right now. Barring a miracle ruling, or a very sudden about-face in negotiations, there is virtually no way this thing is over in time to save camp, at least it's highly unlikely.

And certainly a shame, as training camp at Lehigh has been one thing everybody can agree the franchise has gotten right. Each year, tens of thousands of fans attend the practices, with no price of admission. It's an easy thing to take for granted, but less than half the league still holds camps that are open to public.

You can't blame either side for taking a position on cancelling. It's not something the university just whips together. A lot of work goes into preparing the campus for the influx of visitors. When it's over, they have to tear it all down and get ready for the school year. The Eagles have to be honest with themselves, too. Even if the lockout ends before the date they would have opened camp, is there even enough time to coordinate the trip?

Of course, first it's training camp, then it's the preseason, and finally... games?

Before this thing started, I didn't think there was any way the NFL would risk losing games to a work stoppage. While talking some Birds the other day, I realized now I am starting to believe it's inevitable.

When will something happen? After the appeals court reaches their decision on June 3? July? At the last possible minute in August? And what is "the last possible minute?" Regardless of where it's held, teams need some kind of formal training camp, at least a couple of weeks I would imagine, and maybe a preseason game or two. Hell, they haven't even had free agency yet, or signed rookies. They can't just notarize a deal one day and be playing football the next.

Unless a collective bargaining agreement comes soon after, the official cancellation of training camp will be a very bad day not just for Eagles fans, but perhaps all fans of the sport. These folks are reaching a point of no return soon, and while they probably wouldn't allow the entire season to go under no matter what the cost, even one missed or delayed regular season game is one too many.

>> Lehigh is still holding space for Eagles [Morning Call]
>> Lehigh, Birds agree to decide on camp around mid-June [Daily News]

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Chris Kunitz beat Craig Anderson 5:09 into the second overtime to give the defending champions a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.

Kunitz scored twice, his first two of the playoffs. Justin Schultz added the other in his return from an upper-body injury, and Matt Murray stopped 28 shots on his 23rd birthday.

The Penguins are trying to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998 to win back-to-back titles. They will host Western Conference champion Nashville in Game 1 on Monday night.

Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa. The Senators rallied twice to tie it, with Dzingel making it 2-2 with 5:19 left in regulation.

Craig Anderson made 39 saves, but couldn't get a handle on Kunitz's shot from just outside the left circle. The Senators are 0-6 in Game 7s in franchise history.

The Senators forced a return trip to Pittsburgh -- where they lost 7-0 loss in Game 5 on Sunday -- by leaning heavily on Anderson in a 2-1 Game 6 victory, putting both teams at odds with history.

Ottawa came in 0-for-25 years in winner-take-all games, while the Penguins were 0-7 in Game 7s at home in series in which they also dropped Game 6.

Ottawa coach Guy Boucher told his resilient team to not get caught up in the big picture but instead focus on the small ones, a recipe that carried the Senators throughout a bumpy transition under their first-year head coach to the brink of the franchise's second Cup appearance.

The Penguins, trying to become the first defending champion to return to the finals since Detroit in 2009, came in confident they would advance if they could replicate their dominant Game 6, when they were undone only by Anderson's brilliance.

Pittsburgh has been nearly unflappable in the face of adversity under Mike Sullivan, going 12-2 in playoff games following a loss over the last two springs. He encouraged his team to "just play," code for fighting through Ottawa's neutral zone-clogging style and the bumping, grabbing and pulling that comes along with it.

A chance to play for their sport's ultimate prize on the line, the sheets of open ice the Penguins found so easily in Games 4-6 closed up. For most of the first 30 minutes, loose pucks hopped over sticks to spoil some scoring opportunities while Anderson and Murray gobbled up the rest.

Kunitz, relegated to the fourth line since returning from injury in the second round, picked up his first postseason goal in a calendar year when he completed a two-on-one with Conor Sheary -- a healthy scratch in Games 5 and 6 -- by slipping the puck by Anderson 9:55 into the second period.

The momentum lasted all of 20 seconds. Ottawa responded immediately with Stone -- who stretched his left skate to stay onside -- fired a wrist shot that handcuffed Murray.

Pittsburgh kept coming. Schultz, returning after missing four games with an upper-body injury, zipped a shot from the point through Kunitz's screen and into the net with 8:16 left in the third.

Once again, the Penguins could not hold the lead. Dzingel set up at the right post and banged home a rebound off Erik Karlsson's shot that hit the left post and caromed off Murray's back right to Dzingel's stick.

Notes
The home team is 21-20 in overtime Game 7s in NHL playoff history. ... Pittsburgh F Patric Hornqvist skated during warmups, but was held out of the lineup for a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Karlsson had 16 assists in the playoffs to set a team record. ... The Penguins are 10-7 in Game 7s. ... It was the fifth one-goal game of the series.

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Both times Kendrick was plunked in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the beginning of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).