Robert Griffin III ‘ready to go’ for Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III ‘ready to go’ for Washington Redskins

Dec 21

Robert Griffin III fully practiced Wednesday, with NFL.com’s Albert Breer reporting the rookie quarterback was expected to play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan cautioned that the team would see how Griffin responded Thursday before getting too optimistic. It’s safe to be optimistic now.

Griffin fully practiced again, and Shanahan confirmed there were no problems. Griffin hasn’t been officially “cleared” yet, but Shanahan expects the quarterback to start.

“If there’s no setback, doctors feel he’ll be ready to go,” Shanahan said.

RG3 will be given the choice to wear a knee brace against the modestly improving Eagles defense.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

Angelu DeLeon Alexis Bledel

Kim Kardashian — Instagram’s New Policy Could DESTROY My Career

Kim Kardashian — Instagram’s New Policy Could DESTROY My Career

Dec 21

Kim Kardashian
Instagram’s New Policy
Could DESTROY My Career

EXCLUSIVE

122012_kim_kardashian_launch
Kim Kardashian
is afraid Instagram’s new policies will torpedo the million-dollar empire she’s spent years building — and THAT’S why she’s threatening to drop the photo-sharing app … Kim tells TMZ.

Kim was out in L.A. yesterday when we asked about her tentative plans to bail on Instagram following a controversial change in the company’s terms of service — which seems to give the company power to sell user photos to outside companies without compensating the user.

Kim responded, “I just don’t think they should have the right to sell [our photos] to advertising companies on our behalf. What if we don’t want to advertise what they want?”

Kim’s concern is pretty obvious — she doesn’t want her face promoting products that could damage her brand … and if Instagram’s got the power to use her face as it wishes, she wants no part of it.

She added, “I just hope they revise it.”

Melissa Gilbert Tonya Harding

Jesse Ronson guns for UFC contract following weekend win over Ryan Healy

Jesse Ronson guns for UFC contract following weekend win over Ryan Healy

Dec 21

Sore hands and feet are Jesse Ronson’s only career roadblocks at this moment.

Ronson believes a recent victory over fellow lightweight Ryan Healy proves he’s capable of joining his well-known teammates in the UFC.

“I would like for this fight to put me on the next level, but we’ll see how it goes,” he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

Ronson (12-2) dominated Healy (23-12) over three rounds to earn a unanimous-decision win at this past Friday’s Score Fighting Series 7 event, which took place at Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The event’s main card, including Ronson’s feet, aired on AXS TV.

One judge scored the lopsided fight 30-25 in favor of Ronson, a native of nearby London, Ontario. The crowd, including 75 of his friends and family, chanted “UFC” during the action.

Ronson, though, snickered at the thought of a UFC offer on his desk.

“I didn’t know they came that soon,” he joked. “Was I supposed to get it on Saturday?”

The 26-year-old has had far more time to win over his training partners at London’s Adrenaline Training Center, which Sam Stout, Chris Horodecki and Mark Hominick founded. An endorsement from the Canadian MMA stars won him the representation of agent Rob Roveta.

“They’re pulling for me,” Ronson said. “We’ll see if I get that call.”

The resources at Ronson’s disposal were considerably smaller in his early career. He trained at a kickboxing academy in London and had few grappling partners.

“I would do jiu-jitsu with the guys that were there,” he said, “with guys that didn’t know what jiu-jitsu was, and I was fighting MMA.”

That changed when Ronson joined Adrenaline in September 2010. Although he went 1-2 in his next three outings, including an eye-opening loss to the well-rounded Mike Ricci of “The Ultimate Fighter 16″ fame, he has won his past seven fights.

And Healy, who’s brother is current Strikeforce contender Pat Healy, couldn’t keep the fight on the mat to ground and pound him.

Although satisfied with his win, Ronson expressed frustration at being unable to finish his opponent, who took no fewer than three head kicks in the waining minute of the third and final round.

“I was just upset because I think I landed six or seven clean ones with my power leg and two or three with my lead leg, and I was like, ‘This guy has to go down from one of these,’” Ronson said. “So I threw the one and he wobbled, so I’m like, ‘One more and he’s going down.’ I hit him with the second one, and he didn’t go down. The more he didn’t go down, the more I wanted to hurt him and try to knock him out.”

The knockout didn’t come, but Ronson certainly made a statement about his abilities.

If the UFC comes calling, he said he’d like to fight in February. But in reality, any time will do.

“If they call me and say, ‘Do you want to fight this guy,’ I’m not going to say no,” Ronson said.

For more on Score Fighting Series 7, stay tuned to the MMA Events section of the site.

Jeri Ryan Carla Bonner

Champ Rockhold calls Larkin attack ‘pretty amateur,’ eyes early 2013 for return

Champ Rockhold calls Larkin attack ‘pretty amateur,’ eyes early 2013 for return

Dec 20

Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he never signed a bout agreement to fight Lorenz Larkin and never intended to fight at the promotion’s final event.

When officials announced the Jan. 12 event in early November, Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 9-0 SF) said he informed officials that a wrist injury lingered and that he was unable to fight.

That’s why he’s particularly irritated by a series of verbal attacks from Lorenz Larkin (13-0 MMA, 4-0 SF) regarding his willingness to compete.

“He was obviously misinformed to some extent,” Rockhold said. “I’ve been in that situation, but just to lash out at me, that’s pretty amateur.”

Larkin, who today addressed his grievances with MMAjunkie.com Radio, was twice scheduled to vie for the title before injuries interceded.

“I just feel like guys are acting like they haven’t paved any way for them to go to the UFC and a catastrophe could happen on Jan. 12, where [UFC President Dana White is] going to be like, ‘No. I didn’t like the way you fought, and you’re not going to come over,’” Larkin said.

Rockhold, however, said the UFC wasn’t a part of his decision. He noticed his injury eight weeks prior to a fight scheduled for a Nov. 3 event and announced his withdrawal two weeks later.

“Every time I would grip something, it would be a sharp pain,” he said. “I’d punch wrong, and it would make me want to cry.”

Rockhold saw multiple doctors and had several MRIs done on his wrist. Training never completely resumed.

Four weeks ago, he underwent a blood therapy called PRP (platelet-rich plasma) to speed the healing process on what was diagnosed as a tear to his triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) and ligament sprain. He also spent three weeks in a hard cast, which was removed this past week.

“I don’t take steroids, so I don’t know if I can heal as fast as some of these guys,” Rockhold said. “I do things the way I know how.”

Strikeforce and broadcast partner Showtime dually announced the Jan. 12 event with three title fights: lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy, Rockhold vs. Larkin, and welterweight champ Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine.

Melendez earlier this month withdrew from the event, later titled “Strikeforce: Champions,” citing a nagging shoulder injury. News of Rockhold’s withdrawal became public over the weekend.

Rockhold believes the confusion over his status may stem from a conversation with Strikeforce officials following his first injury in which he gave a timeline for his readiness to fight.

“They never really got back to me, and they just thought I’d be ready, and I wasn’t able to get on it,” he said. “I don’t really know. I don’t really want to get into it, to tell you the truth. I wasn’t able to train.

“They announced the fight, and I immediately called and told them how I felt and now here we are. They wanted to make a date happen, and I know they want to get done with this thing probably as much as anybody else, and for some reason they have to put on a last card. Pushing this card hard, it seems like. I just wasn’t able to make the date at that time.”

Relations between Strikeforce parent Zuffa and Showtime steadily have deteriorated since a March meeting between UFC President Dana White and Showtime officials. White said he was “hands-off” with Strikeforce after his input on the look of the event was nixed.

Two Strikeforce events have been canceled due to high-profile injury withdrawals that prompted Showtime to decline low-wattage events.

With the promotion’s final event slated for January, Rockhold won’t defend the belt he won with a September 2011 decision over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. But he stressed that he didn’t withdraw from the event because he had designs on starting anew in the UFC once Strikeforce folded.

“That was not any part of my thought process,” Rockhold said. “I’m injured. I want to get paid. I want to shut Lorenz’s mouth. I’m not waiting in any shape or form for the UFC. You can never count on that happening. I’ve heard that in the past, and I’m not going to wait for that to happen.

“I have a lot of things I want to do in my life. This has set me back. I was going to buy a house, and now it looks like I’m going to wait until I’m more financially stable. I want to fight, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter who. Except at this point, after the talk, obviously I’m partial to fighting Lorenz.”

The feeling isn’t mutual for Larkin, who said he wants to move on.

Rockhold doesn’t hold that against the middleweight contender. He estimated he’ll be ready to return in three to four months after completely healing his wrist. He is unconcerned with the location of the next bout.

“I’d be completely happy with the UFC, but I just want to fight and get paid,” he said. “I want to be best in the world. Eventually, whether it’s here or there, I want those fights.”

For more on “Strikeforce: Champions,” stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Kim Cooper Nicole Richie

Greg Jennings unsure about Green Bay Packers future

Greg Jennings unsure about Green Bay Packers future

Dec 20

Greg Jennings keeps being asked about re-signing with the Green Bay Packers as an unrestricted free agent after the season. He keeps answering honestly.

The Packers’ two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver told reporters Wednesday he understands these could be his final regular-season games in Green and Gold.

“Sometimes you look on the wall and you see a lot of writing,” said Jennings, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And it’s hard to ignore that writing as a player because you never want to get caught off guard.

“The writing’s on the wall. I’m not going to walk by it and act like it’s not there.”

Jennings agreed the franchise tag would be a slap in the face.

“Yes. Nothing good about it,” Jennings said. “You don’t see Wes Welker smiling about it.

“You want your job to have some sense of sustainability, some type of foundation where you can just sit your family and know that you’ll be somewhere for a certain amount of time. Well, franchise tags give you one year. So it’s like, we have one year. I’ll be right back in this same position talking about contract situations. I’s just not in the best interest of the player to be in that position.”

Rapoport: Week 16 game rankings

Jennings called the lack of contract talks “disappointing” but “not hard.”

“You put everything into it, and at the end of the day the only thing the organization really owes you is a paycheck. That’s it,” Jennings said. “That is absolutely it. When you get raw and uncut about it, the only thing they really owe you is a paycheck. And they can stop that if they wanted to.

“It’s a sensitive subject, a sensitive topic to talk about, but the reality is we’re going to have to cross that bridge at some point.”

That bridge is quickly approaching and it doesn’t look like Jennings and the Packers will cross it together.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

Winona Ryder Jeri Ryan

TMZ Live: ‘This is 40′ — Bad Timing for Child Murder Jokes?

TMZ Live: ‘This is 40′ — Bad Timing for Child Murder Jokes?

Dec 20

TMZ Live
‘This is 40′ … Bad Timing
for Child Murder Jokes?

TMZ Live

1219-NEW-TMZ-LIVE-FINAL-LARGE

In the new movie “This is 40″ an adult pretends to kill kids — with a water hose. The whole scene would be a totally innocent joke, but after the Newtown tragedy … it’s a different story. So is it okay that Judd Apatow is leaving the scene as is? We’ll explain why we think it’s alright.

Plus, President Obama really did it this time — his speech about new gun control measures sparked a huge debate in the newsroom between Harvey and … well, just watch.

Also … “Loveline” co-host “Psycho” Mike joins to talk about the crazy death threats he’s getting … just because he married soccer superstar Landon Donovan‘s ex!

0:00Judd Apatow’s new comedy ‘This Is 40′ pokes fun at children and violence, but is connecting it to Newtown a stretch?
5:41Lindsay Lohan finds herself in a crappy situation on the set of ‘Scary Movie 5.’
10:07 – ‘Twilight’ star Bronson Pelletier plays it cool amid a series of wild allegations… Maybe a little too cool.
14:15Ke$ha can’t decide whether or not she stands by her own music.
18:08“Psycho” Mike Catherwood got married this weekend– so why are a nation (well, maybe a few dozen) of angry soccer fans on the rampage?!
24:44President Obama puts his foot down and vows to make changes to gun control. We might need his help here in the office when he’s done.
33:19Ben Affleck joins the ranks of celebs campaigning for a good cause in Washington.
36:12Conrad Murray is doing everything he can to get out of jail. (Not killing Michael Jackson might’ve been a good start.)
38:33 – We take your questions and comments!

Denise Van Outen Betty White

Victor Cruz: Meeting Jack Pinto family was ‘toughest’

Victor Cruz: Meeting Jack Pinto family was ‘toughest’

Dec 19

As Victor Cruz faced reporters Wednesday, he struggled to recount his meeting one day earlier with the family of a 6-year-old boy killed in last week’s Connecticut school shootings.

The New York Giants receiver fought back tears describing his hour-long visit with Jack Pinto’s parents and siblings.

“When you visit a family that’s going through so much and facing so much turmoil in their lives; you meet the family, you see people and the things they’re going through, it helps you look at life through a different lens, like I said,” Cruz said. “It really changes your view and the way you used to look at things. It changes your view of it.”

Cruz etched Jack’s name onto on his cleats and gloves before New York’s 34-0 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and gave those items to the boy’s family during his voyage to Newtown, Conn.

“It was an emotional time,” Cruz said. “I spent a little bit of time with them and we got to smile a little bit, which was good for them. It was a time where I just wanted to be a positive voice, a positive light in a time where it can be very negative. It was a good time. They’re a great family and they are really united right now at this time. It was good to see.”

Pinto was one of 20 first-graders and six adults killed in the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. He adored the Giants and Cruz most of all, and will be buried in the wideout’s No. 80 jersey. Cruz first found out about Pinto on Twitter and felt compelled to act. Not something he had to do, but something he chose to do.

Cruz said he was reminded “just how short life can be, how much you have to cherish every moment, how much you have to cherish every opportunity, every chance you get with your family. Never take anything for granted because just a day at school can change all that.”

“(I’m) incredibly proud of what he’s done,” Tom Coughlin told reporters Wednesday. “That family will remember that all their days. And hopefully some of their grief might at least temporarily be spent in being able to embrace Victor Cruz. The fact that he went and did that speaks volumes about what he has inside.”

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Emma Watson Valeria Golino

Sports in 2012: The good

Sports in 2012: The good

Dec 19

Here’s a look at some of the praiseworthy and positive sports stories of 2012, the type that by and large couldn’t be predicted and which didn’t necessarily appear on the stat sheet or scoreboard.

Olympian efforts

Seeing as it was an Olympic year, let’s start with London. IOC president Jacques Rogge called them the “happy and glorious Games.” If such an event can be called normal, then London can, following as it did the sad legacy of the Athens Games (drug scandals, facilities in disrepair) and the over-the-top, efficient Beijing Olympics. And with no publicly known security scares for the Games that were awarded to the city the day before twin transit bombings in 2005.

Oscar Pistorius was one of the bigger stories in London, becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in able-bodied Olympics. The gold winner in that 400-metre event, Grenadian teen Kirani James, was inspired enough by “The Blade Runner” to ask the South African to swap bibs.

Wheelchair basketball star Patrick Anderson of Fergus, Ont., came out of retirement after three years to score 34 points in the Paralympics’ gold-medal final win over Australia. Canada avenged a 2008 final loss to the Aussies in the process, and the result gave Anderson a career total of three gold and a silver after wins in 2000 and 2004.

“It feels like the first medal I’ve ever won somehow,” said Anderson, now up for a prestigious award to be determined in February 2013. “I’m not sure exactly why just yet.”

Then there was Esther Vergeer of Belgium, the wheelchair tennis player who added Olympic gold medals six and seven while also winning both Grand Slam events. That helped run her modest winning streak to 470 straight matches, dating back to January 2003.

Manteo Mitchell was entered in the able-bodied Games but ran most of his leg of the 4×400-metre relay with a broken fibula.

The Olympic hosts revelled in a stunning trio of gold medals from Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford in rapid succession at Olympic Stadium on Aug. 4, prompting singer Billy Bragg to tweet: “Tonight, our society was wonderfully represented by a ginger bloke, an immigrant named Mohammed and a mixed race woman. #proudtobeBritish”

It was Rod Stewart who sang, “Make the best out of the bad, just laugh it off,” in Every Picture Tells a Story. U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney did just that in quite possibly the most forwarded sports photo of the year thanks to countless internet memes. Her scowl on the podium while wearing a mere silver medal around her neck from the vault competition initially made her seem like a bratty teenager, but she quickly recovered to poke fun at herself in the weeks to come, all the way to David Letterman’s guest chair and The White House.

The Canadian women’s soccer team showed pluck on the field in winning a bronze model and then embraced their enhanced profile, appearing across the country at events to sign autographs and pose for pictures for appreciative young girls and other fans.

Newfoundland native Elijah Porter was golden without even competing. The 10-year-old boy raised the spirits of the Canadian men’s Olympic 4×100-metre relay team after it was disqualified from a bronze-medal finish in London by sending the team the only medal in his possession, earned playing soccer.

Relay team members Jared Connaughton and Seyi Smith paid a visit to Porter at his home in Paradise, N.L., to personally thank him.

Linsanity

Speaking of kids, the sports catchphrase of the year may have belonged to Jack Meyer. He’s the nine-year-old who greeted the megawatt Miami Heat team after a disappointing home playoff loss to the Boston Celtics with the hilariously incongruous “Good job, good effort!”

To the degree that the NBA was able to rid itself of the lockout stench, it was in no small part due to phenomenon Jeremy Lin. The Knicks guard had scored a total of 32 points in nine games of limited minutes as of Feb. 3. The next night he went off at Madison Square Garden against New Jersey, beginning a span of 10 consecutive games in which he averaged 24.6 points.

Linsanity reigned, the stickiest of a passel of somewhat politically incorrect puns based on his last name. Knicks superfan Spike Lee sought out his high school and university jerseys (Palo Alto High and Harvard, respectively), and many celebrated the still-too-rare examples of star status for a player of Asian descent in North American team sports. He couldn’t come to terms with New York in the off-season, cashing in on a deal with the Rockets.

Fighting for rights

Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke and son Patrick, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, were behind the “You Can Play” campaign launched to educate and eliminate homophobia in sports, with several NHLers lending their support in advertisements.

Baltimore player Brendon Ayanbadejo, a former CFLer, has been supporting the rights of gays to marry for a few years now, but for some bizarre reason, a Maryland legislater took umbrage this summer, telling the Ravens to do something about it. To its credit, the team didn’t, and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe fired off an impassioned and profane rebuttal to the politician.

Former Swift Current hockey players Theo Fleury, Sheldon Kennedy and Todd Holt continued fighting for the rights of victims of sex abuse and for greater punishment of offenders as the maddening Graham James case continued to wind through the legal system a quarter-century after the crimes. In the United States Cy Young Winner and new Toronto Blue Jay R.A. Dickey, Olympic judo gold medallist Kayla Harrison and Olympic boxer Queen Underwood told their stories of overcoming child sexual abuse.

Honouring the departed

The Miami Heat stood united after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. The so-called “Stand Your Ground” incident divided opinion in Florida, but it was undeniable that the Heat players clearly believed that in an earlier time, before they achieved fame, they were Martin.

Eli Manning and Victor Cruz were offensive stars as the New York Giants won another Super Bowl, and laudable off the field. Manning donated $25,000 US towards Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, as athletes and leagues pitched to help in that disaster. Victor Cruz dedicated a Dec. 16 game and adorned his sneakers in the memory of Jack Pinto, a six-year-old victim of the Newtown, Ct., school shooting massacre, who was buried the next day wearing the jersey of the Giants receiver, his favourite player.

Notre Dame linebacker Mant’i Teo was a Heisman Trophy finalist despite enduring the deaths hours apart in September of his grandmother and girlfriend, while Pat Neshek of the Oakland Athletics pitched impressively in a playoff appearance just days after his newborn son died.

The Canadian amateur sport community was rocked in a span of weeks by the deaths of freestyle skier Sarah Burke and skicross competitor Nik Zoricic. Friends and teammates tried to keep their memory close as they dealt with their grief. Foundations were established in both of their names to pursue causes consistent with their lives, while the Canadian skicross squad this season donned uniforms that were a tribute to Zoricic.

The Indianapolis Colts were “Chuckstrong”, seemingly gaining strength as their first-year coach Chuck Pagano battled leukemia.

Hanging it up

LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Ricky Williams, Shawn Johnson, Pudge Rodriguez and Owen Nolan are among the many athletes who should be saluted as they ended their competitive careers.

Michael Schumacher retired again. David Beckham didn’t, but effectively did for fans wanting to see him play on a North American pitch. Andy Roddick sometimes grated but was never dull, and will undoubtedly make an entertaining tennis commentator one day.

But if you were to pick one man and one woman as head of the “class,” with respect to newly retired athletes, you’d be hard pressed to top seven-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings and four-time Grand Slam tennis champion Kim Clijsters.

With files from The Canadian Press

Alyssa Milano Emma Watson

Jets’ Ron Hainsey anxious to resume NHL labour talks

Jets’ Ron Hainsey anxious to resume NHL labour talks

Dec 19

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey is getting antsy. Not only is he anxious to get back to the bargaining table with the NHL, he really wants to be on the ice with his teammates.

As part of the negotiating committee for the players’ association, Hainsey has kept busy during the lockout by taking part in the ongoing talks with the NHL. But ongoing is now a relative term, because nothing has been going on between the sides since talks broke down again last week, despite the presence of a federal mediator for two days in New Jersey.

“We’ve said it a number of times, but it’s worth repeating: It’s obviously very difficult to make a deal if you’re not meeting or negotiating,” Hainsey told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I’ve yet to see a way we can do it without sitting down across a table from each other.”

Two weeks ago, progress was made during several consecutive days of negotiations between players and owners in New York. The sides disagree on how close they might have moved toward a deal, but a major breakdown at the end wrecked any hope for a fast solution.

Since then, there’s been no collective bargaining agreement in sight and no talks were planned as of Tuesday afternoon.

“Nothing scheduled at this point,” Hainsey said. “We’ve always said we’re open to sit down and meet any time, and now we’re kind of in a situation where no one wants to make the first move. Maybe there is a way of doing it. Communication the past couple of days has been quiet. Maybe there is some way to get it started with something similar to what we had [in New York].”

Players’ association executive director Donald Fehr declared then that an agreement was in reach, a notion that was quickly knocked down by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman after the union declined to accept three non-negotiable points. When the offer wasn’t unconditionally accepted, the league turned down the union’s proposal and withdrew any offers it had made.

“We’ve had a few weeks where we worked all week leading up to Thursday and Friday, and it looks like we’re gathering momentum, and then had some setbacks,” the 31-year-old Hainsey said. “Those things make it a bit more difficult. On both sides you get a feeling that you’re making momentum and getting closer, and then you take a step backward. Then things quiet down for a couple of days, and someone has to pick up the phone and re-engage and figure out a forum.

“Personally, I would like to believe that this is not a personal thing or an anger thing. This is the business side of hockey. It’s not easy, I’ve learned that through doing it.”

Reaching Day 94

The lockout reached its 94th day Tuesday, and all games have been cancelled through Dec. 30. Bettman has said the league doesn’t want a season with fewer than 48 games per team, so play would likely have to get under way by mid-January for that to be possible.

“We would prefer that we were done already,” Hainsey said. “There is still time to get something done and salvage a reasonable number of games for a season. We’re not up against a hard deadline yet, but we are getting short on time.”

After talks ended last week, the focus suddenly shifted toward the courts when the NHL filed a federal class action suit Friday, seeking to establish that its lockout is legal. In a separate move, the NHL filed an unfair labour practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the players’ association has bargained in bad faith.

The NHL says the union’s executive board is seeking authorization to give up its collective bargaining rights, a necessary step before players could file an antitrust lawsuit. The union has declined comment, although a vote on the matter will reportedly be completed Thursday.

“Unfortunately the league filed suit against the players,” Hainsey said. “That’s never something you want to get to, obviously. It would be much more difficult to see a quick settlement through the courts than bargaining.”

Still optimistic

Hainsey maintains his optimism that if the sides can find their way back to the table they can figure out the path to a deal. The outlook is now somewhat cloudy because not only have the sides failed to work out an agreement, they appear to have lost some direction on how to get the process going again.

Federal mediation hasn’t helped much in two tries over a combined four days. The most success seemed to come in New York, when six owners joined about 18 players in talks without Bettman and Fehr in the room until the end of that process. Hainsey, who is in the final season of a five-year deal he signed with the former Atlanta Thrashers, is all for trying that again.

“Both [sides] were very respectful of each other,” he said. “They were good meetings, they were productive, we did make progress. We were very appreciative of the way we were treated in the meetings by the owners. … Maybe it’s something that is worth revisiting and worthwhile and could possibly bring us closer to a deal.”

see more Tammy Gretchen

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