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12/06/2011 - 9:03am
Mashup: ESPN fires Barnaby after arrest

ESPN fired NHL analyst Matthew Barnaby after his second brush with the law this year. Early Monday morning, Barnaby was arrested in upstate New York after allegedly driving his Porsche Cayenne on its front rim while missing a tire, causing sparks. He failed several field sobriety tests and refused a breath test.

In May, he was accused of kicking a garage door at his estranged wife’s house in an attempt to enter. After pleading not guilty, he was ordered to complete 500 hours of community service, avoid “offensive” action against his wife and contact with her boyfriend, and attend anger management counseling to have the charges dropped.

Barnaby, 38, played in the NHL from 1992-2007 with the Sabres, Penguins, Lightning, Rangers, Avalanche, Blackhawks and Stars.

ESPN said it "terminated its contract with Barnaby, effective immediately." Barnaby, 38, had been with the network since 2008.

Also in the news,...

12/05/2011 - 11:33pm
Francona to join ESPN as analyst
By: DJ Bean

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona will serve as an analyst for ESPN, the outlet announced Monday night. 

Francona, who won two World Series with the Sox after joining them prior to the 2004 season, will be an analyst for Sunday Night Baseball, the Little League World Series, and other ESPN baseball programming. Ironically, Francona will be replacing Bobby Valentine, who replaced him as manager of the Sox after Francona was not brought back for a ninth season in Boston. 

“I’m excited to join ESPN and to be able to talk about my passion for baseball with fans who love the game as much as me,” Francona, who was an analyst for Fox Sports in the ALCS, said in a statement released by ESPN.  “In some ways, I’ll be a rookie all over again, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Francona's ESPN debut was scheduled for Monday night.

For more on the Red Sox, visit...

12/05/2011 - 11:01pm
NHL approves realignment, schedule change
By: DJ Bean

The NHL's Board of Governors approved a new, four-conference format for the league Monday, with the new conferences to be implemented at the start of next season. 

Realignment was deemed necessary when the Atlanta Thrashers, who played in the Southeast division, moved to Winnipeg. As a result, the Jets will play in the Central division with more mid-western teams. 

The four conferences (yet-to-be-named) will look like this:

Conference 1 (seven teams): Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto.

Conference 2 (seven teams): Carolina, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington.

Conference 3 (eight teams): Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg.

Conference 4 (eight teams): Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver.

One major change that accompanies the realignment is...

12/05/2011 - 10:43pm
Thomas, Bruins beat Penguins
By: DJ Bean

If anyone was wondering how the Bruins measured up to the first-place Penguins, a convincing answer was given Monday night when the B's beat the Penguins, 3-1, at CONSOL Energy Center. 

Gregory Campbell got the B's on the board in the second period with his second goal of the season, with Benoit Pouliot taking a feed from Rich Peverley and beating Marc-Andre Fleury to make it 2-0. Tyler Seguin scored 1:07 into the third period before Bruins nemesis Matt Cooke broke up Tim Thomas' shutout bid at 10:54 of the final period. 

The game featured two fights, with Brad Marchand taking on Matt Niskanen after the pesky B's forward slew-footed the Penguins defenseman in the second period. Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves with former Northeastern forward Joe Vitale in the third period after Vitale ran into Tim Thomas. 

Thomas finished the night with 45 saves. The B's now have points in 15 straight games (14-0-1), and have 35 points. A...

12/05/2011 - 9:43pm
Bard: No preference for starting, relieving

DALLAS -- Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard clarified to WEEI.com Monday evening that he still has no preferences when it comes to whether or not he remains a reliever, or makes the switch to the starting rotation for the 2012 season.

When talking about Bard during his meeting with the Boston media at the baseball winter meetings Monday, Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that the team still hadn't decided what role the righty would fill but that pitcher did express a desire when it come to a preferred role. Bard, who talked to new manager Bobby Valentine earlier Monday, said the team might have believed starting was his preference due to the larger scale changes that would have to take place.

"I really didn't give an actual preference," Bard said. "I did make it very clear to them that I have no reservations about moving to the rotation. I told them I'd take any role they choose to give me and run with it, whether that's starting or...

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