Word on the Street: Walker to return to Sox?

Word on the Street: Walker to return to Sox?

Friday, Nov. 12, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Walker to return to Sox?

Greg Walker, the hitting coach for the White Sox since 2003, is strongly leaning toward returning to the club for the 2011 season. His contract expires after the '11 season and with players like Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski in doubt about their return, Walker may have been on the outs as well.

Things still aren't for sure, but Walker sounds pretty sure.

"There is still a lot of winter left, but I always anticipate I'm coming back," he said Friday. "Right now, I anticipate coming back." (MLB.com)

Harry Caray statue damaged

The big Harry Caray statue that sits outside Wrigley Field was damaged during the week of Oct. 25 when a vehicle involved in the construction going on at the ballpark accidentally nicked the statue and created a long Y-shaped crack. (CSNChicago.com)

Bears look to be on track to stay in Bourbonnais

When the Bears broke camp from Olivet Nazarane University in Bourbonnais in August, the only thing was certain was that they would be back in 2011. Now, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the team may be close to signing a two-year deal that would pit the team at ONU through the 2013 season. (Chicago Tribune)

Six Hawks on ballot for All-Star game

The defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks have an NHL-high six players on the All-Star ballots that were released Friday. Jonathan Toews leads the way, with teammates Brian Campbell, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith joining the fun. Voting starts Nov. 15. (NHL.com)

Harvin looks in line to play Sunday

Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin practiced Friday and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Bears. The speedy, play-making receiver and return man previously missed Wednesday's and Thursday's practices with migraines, something he struggled with in preseason and training camp. Sidney Rice, another dynamic Minnesota receiver, may also suit up, but an announcement has not been officially made on his status for Sunday. (Yahoo! Sports)
Sox prospect tearing up Arizona Fall League

White Sox prospect Eduardo Escobar currently leads the Arizona Fall League with 55 total bases and is tied for the league lead with 31 hits and four triples. The 21-year-old shortstop has six games on the schedule, but hit .348 in the first 22 games of the season. (Chicago Tribune)

What a flat salary cap in 2017-18 could mean for Blackhawks

What a flat salary cap in 2017-18 could mean for Blackhawks

For the first time since the 2009-10 season, the NHL's salary cap could stay flat next year, reports ESPN's Craig Custance.

Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed at the latest NHL's Board of Governors meeting that the projected ceiling for the 2017-18 campaign could be an increase between zero and $2 million, which isn't exactly encouraging considering the projection at this time of year is normally an optimistic one.

That means the salary cap may be closer to — or at — the $73 million it's at right now.

In the last four years, the cap has increased by $4.3 million in 2013-14, $4.7 million in 2014-15, $2.4 million in 2015-16 and $1.6 million in 2016-17. The number continues to descend, and it affects big-budget teams like the Blackhawks the most.

It makes it especially difficult for the Blackhawks to navigate because they own two of the highest paid players in the league in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of whom carry a $10.5 million cap hit through 2022-23. It's a great problem to have, though.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

According to capfriendly.com, Chicago currently has $60.6 million tied up to 14 players — eight forwards, five defensemen and one goaltender — next season. If the cap stays the same, that means the Blackhawks must fill out the rest of their roster with fewer than $13 million to work with and still have to sign Artemi Panarin to a long-term extension.

And they may need to move salary to do it, with the potential cap overages crunching things even more.

On the open market, Panarin would probably be able to earn Vladimir Tarasenko money — a seven-year deal that carries a $7.5 million cap hit — but if he prefers to remain in Chicago, the contract would likely be in the range of Johnny Gaudreau's six-year deal with an annual average value of $6.75 million.

With the expansion draft looming, the Blackhawks know they're going to lose a player to Las Vegas in the offseason. The two likely candidates, as it stands, are Marcus Kruger and Trevor van Riemsdyk, and the former would free up $3 million in cap space while the latter $825,000.

If that won't get the job done, the Blackhawks may be forced to part ways with a core player such as Brent Seabrook and his eight-year, $55 million contract, although he has a full no-movement clause until 2021-22 and it would be very hard to imagine since you're trying to maximize your current championship window.

Anything is possible, however, after seeing promising young guys like Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw shipped out of Chicago due to a tight budget.

It's a challenge general manager Stan Bowman has certainly already been thinking about, and a stagnant salary cap doesn't make things any easier.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Toews still out, Bulls pull out win over Spurs

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Toews still out, Bulls pull out win over Spurs

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Mark Grote (670 The Score) and Mark Carman (WGN Radio) join Kap on the panel. Jonathan Toews is still not back at practice. Is it time to panic?

Meanwhile, the Bulls beat the Spurs. And Rajon Rondo compliments the coaches? Is all well in Bulls-town?

Plus, Dexter Fowler is Cardinal. Should Cubs fans be angry?

And finally, is it good idea for Jordan Howard to get the ball less for the rest of the season?

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below: