See how T.O. avoided jail time

821891.jpg

See how T.O. avoided jail time

From Comcast SportsNet
ATLANTA (AP) -- Former NFL star Terrell Owens has made child support payments that he owed to the mother of his 7-year-old daughter, avoiding the threat of jail time. Owens appeared in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta Thursday, after failing to appear for a court date in the case last week. His lawyer and a lawyer for Melanie Smith had come to an agreement before the hearing and signed it in front of the judge. Owens made the back payments he owed to Smith and agreed to pay her legal fees, according to court documents. "We're pleased. It's too bad it took this long," Smith's lawyer Randy Kessler said after the agreement was signed. "If he's not going to be there physically, he needs to be there financially." Owens left the court without speaking to reporters. A lawyer for Owens didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment. A previous agreement requires Owens to pay Smith 5,000 a month. This was the third case Smith has brought against Owens for non-payment of child support, Kessler said. In previous instances, Owens has settled and paid up right before the cases were to go to court but then failed to make subsequent payments, Kessler said. Smith, who lives in northwest Georgia, is glad to have the signed agreement, but would really like for Owens to be more involved in their daughter's life, Kessler said. "What she really wants is for him to have a relationship with his child," Kessler said. Smith, who was also present in court Thursday, said her daughter has seen Owens about eight to 10 times. Owens has raised the possibility of lowering his monthly child support payments since he's no longer drawing an NFL salary, and Smith is willing to discuss that, Kessler said. The 38-year-old wide receiver who's known as T.O. played 15 years in the NFL, most recently for the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2010 season. Before his single season with the Bengals, Owens played one season with the Buffalo Bills, three with the Dallas Cowboys, two with the Philadelphia Eagles and eight with the San Francisco 49ers.

Fast Break Morning Update: Bulls trade Gibson, McDermott; Blackhawks beat Coyotes

Fast Break Morning Update: Bulls trade Gibson, McDermott; Blackhawks beat Coyotes

CSN to carry live coverage of Class 1A-4A IHSA Girls Basketball State Championships

CSN Chicago expands regional broadcast plans for Fire

Patrick Kane nets hat trick as Blackhawks cruise past Coyotes

NBA Trade Deadline: Bulls deal Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott to Thunder

White Sox will retire Mark Buehrle's number in June

Why Joe Maddon sees Kyle Schwarber as the leadoff guy in Cubs lineup

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Coyotes: Nick Schmaltz shines on 21st birthday

NBA Buzz: In wake of trade deadline, Bulls again caught in the middle

Braves Way: How Cubs are still focused on next wave of young talent

What the Bulls are getting in point guard Cameron Payne

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Coyotes: Nick Schmaltz shines on 21st birthday

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Coyotes: Nick Schmaltz shines on 21st birthday

The Blackhawks were finally getting healthy and now may be missing a key player once again. That depends on how Niklas Hjalmarsson feels after suffering an upper-body injury against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

It was certainly the toughest part of the Blackhawks' victory, a 6-3 triumph that has the Blackhawks closing in on the Wild. We'll see what the Hjalmarsson update is over the weekend. Until then, let's look at the notables from this one.

What Worked: The offense. We'll give an honorable mention to the penalty kill, which snuffed out all of the Coyotes' chances including a double minor that overlapped the second and third periods. But the offense was just buzzing again. Here's another shocker: the top line is still working just fine. The trio got things started with Nick Schmaltz's goal just 37 seconds into the game (Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik assisted). And much like in their meeting with the Coyotes earlier this month, the Blackhawks needed just about every bit of that offense. While we're on this topic...

What Didn't Work: The first-period defense. The Blackhawks looked like they were in good shape up 3-1 but then they gave up two goals within a minute late in the period. Michal Rozsival had a rough start in his first game since Jan. 15, but overall, the Blackhawks' defense through that first period looked discombobulated. Obviously, it didn't help that the Blackhawks lost Hjalmarsson during the first, either.

[RELATED: Patrick Kane nets hat trick as Blackhawks cruise past Coyotes]

Star of the game: Patrick Kane. One game after Jonathan Toews recorded a hat trick Kane did the same, scoring his 21st, 22nd and 23rd goals of the season. On a night in which the Blackhawks dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen, Kane got a little extra playing time. His first goal came on a first-period shift with Ryan Hartman and Tanner Kero, the second off a long pass from Brent Seabrook and the third with his usual line mates.

He Said It: "I didn't play much before I got hurt, then I missed four weeks with my injury. It wasn't easy but definitely the way the team's playing now, it made it easier for me. It felt like the first game of the season for me but glad we got the victory and glad I was back playing. I enjoyed it." — Michal Rozsival on returning to the Blackhawks' lineup. 

By the Numbers: 

6 – Number of times, in their last eight games, the Blackhawks have scored five or more goals.

342 – Assists for Jonathan Toews, who tied Dennis Hull for 12th all-time in franchise history in that category.

35 – Combined points for the Blackhawks' top liners Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik in their nine games together. The breakdown in those nine games: Toews has 16 points, Panik 10 and Schmaltz nine.

1997 – The last time the Blackhawks had hat tricks in back-to-back regular-season games. Alexei Zhamnov and Eric Daze had them on April 11 and April 13, 1997, respectively.