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Labor log: Vibe not great at Pens practice.


Some Monday thoughts, dear readers:

♦ Just a completely depressing vibe at the players’ organized workout at Southpointe. Nobody wants to chat about the latest in the NHL/NHLPA labor war, and perhaps with good reason. It is not as though the players are in an enviable spot here. Craig Adams is part of an NHL legal complaint against the union, and guys like Matt Cooke and Brooks Orpik are smart enough to know the league has references newspaper reports that were built around other players’ public comments.

This blog author struggles with what the NHL will look like upon its return, if there is a return to play a season. There seemingly cannot be a hug-it-out moment. Not now, not with potential disbanding of the union and legal acts. It seems the NHL is headed for an NFL-like life whenever this labor war ends: Two sides, hardly considering one another partners, fighting for every inch even after the dispute over money is settled.

 That should be fun, eh?

♦ Could not help but notice how social media reaction to the latest NHL stuff was almost non-existent this weekend. Guessing that has a little to do with people not caring any more, which is a problem for the NHL and its players, and is mostly because of the tragedy in Connecticut.

No words.

 Only prayers for all those families who lost loved ones.

♦ On a brighter note, there is some actual hockey to anticipate. The Three Rivers Classic runs from Dec. 28-29 at Consol Energy Center, and it is worth the price of admission just to see local programs Robert Morris and Penn State battle it out on the big stage. That said, neither Ohio State nor Miami (Ohio) are slouches on the college hockey scene.

Wonder if Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers will make represent to show support for Miami (Ohio)?

Actually, maybe a better question is how many Penguins players attend the event? The guess is a guy like Orpik, who loves talking college hockey, would want a seat. If only he had a teammate with his own luxury suite…

Ticket info here:

♦ In case yinz missed it, PROOF that not all is bad in this locked out world we’re living in. A story about charity work being done by the Penguins and their players despite the lockout challenges:

♦ No bargaining sessions are planned between the NHL and NHLPA, per deputy commissioner Bill Daly. In other breaking developments, Christmas is fast approaching.

Speaking of Christmas; sounds as though most Penguins players will not be spending it in the ’Burgh, so consider that with your latter-week Southpointe planning.

♦ A day early, but somebody celebrates a 69th birthday Tuesday.

Speaking of Keef, he brought it big time Saturday at Prudential Center for the Rolling Stones’ last show of their brief 50th anniversary tour. If that was the last time – and for the first time in his life this Tattoo You’d life of blog author thinks it might have been The Last Time (maybe, I don’t know) – then at least it ended with the boys in fine form.

There was this bit of massive awesomeness:

Got-ta roll me,





Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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