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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: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Three-Rivers-Classic-tickets/artist/1783558

♦ 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: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3137327-74/penguins-players-hospital#axzz2FLMw3Bkc

♦ 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.

http://www.keithrichards.com/

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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhFXJDkfcaw

Got-ta roll me,

Rossi

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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