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12/14/2012 - 3:06pm
NHLPA authorizes disclaimer of interest vote
By: DJ Bean

According to TSN, the executive board of the NHL players association voted unanimously on Thursday to give the players a vote on whether to go through with a disclaimer of interest. 

The report states that it isn't known when or if the players will vote on it, but if the vote goes through, the NHLPA could terminate its right to represent NHL players, thus allowing the players to individually file lawsuits against the owners. According to TSN, players could have the owners triple their lost salary if they win their cases. 

A disclaimer of interest has been used in the past as a bargaining tool to pressure owners, as NBA players used the tactic last season with a new CBA being agreed to 12 days later. 

For more on the NHL lockout and the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins


12/14/2012 - 2:32pm
Passan on D&C: Victorino an 'absurd' signing

Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan joined Dennis & Callahan to talk about the Red Sox' offseason, the Angels' signing of Josh Hamilton and other baseball offseason news.

The Red Sox have acquired Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Ryan Dempster this offseason (assuming the Napoli and Dempster deals are made official), and Passan gives the team mixed grades for the moves.

"Napoli I get. Napoli makes sense," he said. "I'd prefer to pay a guy $13 million a year if he was going to catch more. But I think that he had a down year last year. And I'm not saying he's more like 2011 Napoli than 2012, but I think he's a comfortable in-between, and he's got a swing that was built for that ballpark, and he's got a personality that fits there. I didn't mind Napoli very much.

"Victorino was absurd. Shane Victorino might be a good fourth outfielder these days. Look, he can catch the ball a little bit, but they're paying him center field...

12/14/2012 - 2:29pm
Belichick: Smith talk 'doesn't really matter'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick was asked Friday morning about the comments of San Francisco star linebacker Aldon Smith made Thursday, when the NFL sack leader said the Patriots offense "can be stopped." 

Smith not only leads the NFL with 19.5 sacks, he is part of a defense that has allowed a league-low 14.2 points per game. 

"Look, they have a good defense, I'm sure they expect well," Belichick said. "We have a good team. We expect to play well. It doesn't really matter. It doesn't put any points on the board. It doesn't make any blocks, tackles or yards or anything else. It'll come down to how the teams perform on Sunday night, and that's really what's it about. The rest of it is just good for [media] to work with."

On Thursday, Smith told reporters that this wouldn't be the first time San Francisco's defense has faced a potent team. "Yeah. We’ve played good offenses before," Smith said...

12/14/2012 - 2:26pm
King on M&M: Home field 'vastly overrated'

Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss Sunday night's Patriots-49ers showdown and talk about other news from around the NFL.

The Patriots are coming off a rout of the AFC-leading Texans that moved them into position to take over the No. 1 seed, but King said there'e too much emphasis on home-field advantage.

"Home field has become vastly overrated in January in the NFL," he said. "You look at the Giants in '07, winning three games on the road and then going to win the Super Bowl against New England. They did it again with two wins on the road last year. The year before was the Packers, who were on the road the whole time. It is all about who is playing well at this time of year and who has the quarterback that is playing the best. And there is no team playing as well and there's no quarterback playing better than Tom Brady and the Patriots right now....

12/14/2012 - 12:14pm
Gronkowski returns to Pats practice

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski returned to practice on Friday as the Patriots worked out in sweats and shells inside Gillette Stadium on the main field. 

Gronkowski broke his left forearm blocking on the final extra point in New England's 59-28 win over the Colts on Nov. 18. He had surgery the next day and has missed the last three games. Gronkowski was wearing blue long sleeves with no apparent extra padding on the left arm. He was spotted squeezing his left hand during sprints at the start of practice in an apparent test of strength in the arm. 

The Boston Globe reported earlier this week that Gronkowski was hopeful to return to practice this week and be available to play Sunday night when the Patriots host the 49ers at Gillette Stadium. 

Gronkowski had missed the first two practices this week before taking the field with the team for the first time since breaking his forearm. The Patriots had perfect attendance at practice on...

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