O'Donnell likely won't return to Hawks, but still wants to play in NHL

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O'Donnell likely won't return to Hawks, but still wants to play in NHL

Its unlikely that Sean ODonnell will wear a Chicago Blackhawks uniform in 2012-13. But the veteran defenseman would still like to play somewhere next season.

ODonnell played in a diminished role for the Blackhawks last season, something he figured would likely happen when he signed with them last summer. And while it appears his time is done in Chicago, ODonnell, who will turn 41 in October, is still hoping to play his 20th NHL season somewhere.

I would like to play; I think I showed I can still play in the right circumstance, ODonnell said on Sunday. Maybe Im not even an 82-game guy or a 20-minute guy. But the right fit, a good system hopefully I can play.

Playing a lot of games was never a problem for ODonnell; prior to last season he played in 70 or more games every season since 2002-03. But ODonnell suited up for just 51 games with the Blackhawks, his lowest games played since his 1996-97 season with Los Angeles (55 games). He had no goals and seven assists, and finished minus-6, in those 51 games.

The Blackhawks are always looking for depth at defenseman, and theyll also look to adding size along the blue line next season. Theyve already re-signed Johnny Oduya to a three-year extension, and Dylan Olsen made good strides in his rookie season. But its unlikely ODonnell is part of the plans moving forward.

There are no hard feelings, but I think its one and done, ODonnell said of his time here. I saw a situation where I thought I could help the Blackhawks. It didnt quite work.

Like other players, ODonnell will be waiting to see what happens with the CBA talks, and if it affects the length of the 2012-13 season. But if there is hockey to be played, ODonnell would like to be a part of it.

July 1 is going to roll around, and maybe something will happen, he said.

Bears reportedly won't franchise tag Alshon Jeffery, so what's next?

Bears reportedly won't franchise tag Alshon Jeffery, so what's next?

NFL.com's Insider Ian Rapoport dropped a news bomb in the middle of the night, Tweeting in the wee hours of Monday morning that the Bears will not sign receiver Alshon Jeffery to a franchise tag:

Jeffery played under the franchise tag in 2016, when he earned roughly $14.6 million. 

The Bears could still re-sign Jeffery to a longer deal in free agency, but the market on the 27-year-old receiver may climb out of their desired range.

The $17 million franchise tag was an awful lot of salary cap to spend on a guy who has missed 11 games over the last two seasons to injury and a PED suspension that stretched to four games in 2016.

When he was on the field last year, Jeffery turned in his worst stat line since his rookie season, catching only 52 balls for 821 yards and 2 TDs.

Still, his departure would leave a gaping hole in the Bears receiving corps as Cameron Meredith and Kevin White would emerge as the leaders of the group.

Meredith went undrafted out of Illinois State, but he has impressed in his two pro seasons, leading the Bears in receptions (66), targets (96), yards (888) and TDs (4) in 2016.

White was the Bears' first-round pick in 2015 (7th overall) but has played in just four games due to leg issues and has only 19 catches for 187 yards and 0 TDs under his belt.

David Kaplan believes if Jeffery does depart Chicago, it sends a bigger message about the state of the Bears:

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Sunday:

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

What if… Cubs GM Jed Hoyer’s takeaways from epic World Series Game 7

Quick hits: Blackhawks start strong in win over Blues

Illini keep NCAA tournament hopes afloat with dominant win over Nebraska

White Sox: Happy with progress, Brett Lawrie tries to clear final hurdles

How Indians regrouped and reloaded after losing unforgettable Game 7 to Cubs

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

Kurt Busch steals a monster of a win in Daytona 500

Michigan State gets big win to boost tourney hopes, while Wisconsin loses for fourth time in five games