Blackhawks aren't discouraged by negative negotiations


Blackhawks aren't discouraged by negative negotiations

As the weekend begins, this much is known: the NHL and NHLPAs talks Thursday ended in acrimonious fashion, and there will be no hockey through Nov. 1.

Even with all that, players remain optimistic a deal can be done.

The league canceled another round of games on Friday, this time through Nov. 1. Yes, it was another round of tough news, but hardly unexpected. There was no way there would have been a new collective bargaining agreement in place soon enough to play games Oct. 25 through the first of November. The league stopped short of that Nov. 2 date they were hoping, at least as of earlier this week, would be the start of a salvaged 82-game season.

And while there will be no hockey through the rest of October, players hope talks will resume soon.

As players, were trying to stay positive and not overreact to the lack of progress yesterday, Jonathan Toews said after practice on Friday. Were still confident the proposals we came up with were very positive and effective for both sides. Well go with that and see what happens next week. As long as were talking, somethings going to happen.

The league proposed its 50-50 deal on Tuesday; and on Thursday the players association responded with three proposals of their own all of which got to 50-50 at some point during the proposal term. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said the groups third option began immediately at 50-50, as long as owners honored players existing contracts. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly later disputed the NHLPAs claims on its third proposal, saying it was most likely a 56- to 57-percent deal, not 50-50.

Talks stalled quickly, and the dour tones of both commissioner Gary Bettman and Fehr snuffed out any developed optimism.

Its to be expected. Its not going to be one of those things where, after an offer, were going to lay down or after our proposal theyre going to lay down, Patrick Kane said. But you still have to look at the positive. Somethings out there; somethings being worked on to be negotiated. You cant get too up and down in this process.

Kane was just about set to sign with a European team earlier this week, changing his mind when it looked like talks could lead to something. Kane is still planning on playing in the Champs for Charity game, which former Blackhawks teammate Adam Burish helped organize, on Oct. 26. After that game, and depending on whats happening between the league and NHLPA, Kane may revisit his European options.

So the players will practice on while the league and NHLPA brass, hopefully, keep trying to work something out. Being ready, especially physically, wont be an issue for most of the players; theyve been skating on a regular basis here.

It all comes down to when things are worked out off the ice.

We know (Thursday) wasnt the best day, said Toews, who was in those meetings in Toronto. It doesnt mean we dont keep moving forward and keep working toward trying to get where we want to go.

Gophers tight end Brandon Lingen could miss rest of season with injury


Gophers tight end Brandon Lingen could miss rest of season with injury

Minnesota tight end Brandon Lingen has struggled to stay on the field this season, and now he might be off it for the rest of the year.

Gophers head coach Tracy Claeys wouldn't comment Tuesday on whether Lingen would be done for the year with his latest injury, but he didn't deny it either. Lingen is listed as out for Saturday's game at Illinois.

"I don’t know that for a fact, so I’m not going to comment any more than that," Claeys said, his quotes published by the Star Tribune.

Lingen has played in just one full game this season. The junior missed the season-opener before breaking his clavicle in the second game of the year and sitting out the next three games. He played the entirety of Minnesota's game against Maryland but suffered a foot injury last weekend.

Lingen started a total of 11 games in his first two seasons and last season proved an effective weapon in the passing game with 33 receptions for 428 yards and three touchdowns. This season, he has three catches for 28 yards.

Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is college football's highest-paid coach, per USA Today's updated database


Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is college football's highest-paid coach, per USA Today's updated database

The highest-paid coach in college football?

It's no longer Nick Saban.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is the highest-paid college football coach, according to USA Today's salaries list, the always-useful tool which was updated for the 2016 season on Wednesday.

According to the list, Harbaugh will make $9.004 million this year, an increase of $2 million from the last time the list was updated.

Saban, who's led Alabama to four national championships since arriving ahead of the 2007 season, gets paid $6,939,395 this year.

Why is Harbaugh's pay so much higher than the next highest-paid coach? You might remember Harbaugh's renegotiated contract from earlier this season. If you don't, USA Today provided a helpful explanation of that somewhat-confusing deal.

School pay includes two in what are essentially a series of $2 million interest-free loans that Harbaugh will receive. He received the first of these loans on June 3, 2016; he will receive the second only if he remains head coach on Dec. 6, 2016. The compensation actually is in the form of an annual life insurance premium payment by the university, which is entitled to reimbursement from the policy's death benefits.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer came in at No. 3 on the list with his $6.0948 million in 2016. Three other Big Ten coaches ranked in the top 15: Penn State's James Franklin at No. 10 ($4.5 million), Iowa's Kirk Ferentz ($4.5 million) and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio ($4.3 million).

The Big Ten has the second highest median coach's salary among the college football conference at $3,540,788. The median SEC coach's salary is significantly higher at $4,172,500.

Here's where all the Big Ten coaches landed on USA Today's list.

1. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan: $9,004,000
3. Urban Meyer, Ohio State: $6,094,800
10. James Franklin, Penn State: $4,500,000
11. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: $4,500,000
14. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State: $4,300,000
28. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: $3,350,638
42. Mike Riley, Nebraska: $2,800,000
43. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin: $2,706,200
46. DJ Durkin, Maryland: $2,412,000
50. Kevin Wilson, Indiana: $2,320,000
53. Darrell Hazell, Purdue: $2,190,000
57. Chris Ash, Rutgers: $2,000,000
60. Lovie Smith, Illinois: $1,809,179
68. Tracy Claeys, Minnesota: $1,400,000