25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to be televised LIVE on CSN Thursday, Jan. 24

25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to be televised LIVE on CSN Thursday, Jan. 24

25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to be Televised Live
on Comcast SportsNet on Thursday, January 24th at 7:30 PM CT (Pre-Show Special airs at 7 PM)

(Chicago December 17, 2012) -- Many of Chicago's most popular past and present professional athletes will take center stage to receive honors at the 25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to benefit the March of Dimes. The silver anniversary reception, dinner & ceremony will be held on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 from 5:00-9:00 PM CT at the Hilton Chicago & Towers, 720 S. Michigan Avenue. Over the past 24 years, the Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards has raised close to 9 million for the March of Dimes.

The honorees chosen are top athletes from Chicago's professional teams who have made considerable contributions to their teams, as well as the Chicago community. Special to the 25th anniversary of this event: both a current player and a legend from each professional Chicago sports team will be honored. This year's Player of the Year and Team Legend honorees include RICHARD RIP HAMILTON (Bull of the Year), BOB LOVE (Bulls Legend) -- EDDIE OLCZYK (Blackhawks Legend) -- DARWIN BARNEY (Cub of the Year), ERNIE BANKS (Cubs Legend) -- CHRIS SALE (White Sox of the Year), FRANK THOMAS (White Sox Legend) -- PATRICK NYARKO (Fire of the Year), FRANK KLOPAS (Fire Legend). Honorees from the Chicago Bears will be announced shortly. For the pinnacle moment of the evening, this years March of Dimes Inspirational Athlete award winner is 13-year-old CONNOR McHUGH from St. Michael Parish School in Wheaton, IL. Connor has persevered as both a standout athlete, coach and student, despite being born with a birth defect.

The 1000 expected attendees for the 25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards will also be able to participate in a silent auction featuring Chicago sports packages and Dream Day tickets, vacation packages including airfare, autographed jerseys of star athletes, tickets for Chicago sports events, golf outings, spa packages, dinner packages, hotel stays and much more. For more information, fans are urged to visit CSNChicago.comsportsawards25.

William T. Barry, Senior Vice President of Draper & Kramer is the events Chairman and James J. Corno is the President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The Honorary Chairmen are Cary D. McMillan, CEO, True Partners Consulting, LLC and Ron Boire, President, Sears and Kmart Formats, Sears Holdings Corporation.

Event sponsors include Comcast SportsNet, True Partners, Quaker, Draper & Kramer, Equity Residential, KPMG, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and PricewaterHouse Coopers.

The event will begin with a reception at 5:00 PM, followed by dinner at 6:30 PM. The awards ceremony, which will be carried live on Comcast SportsNet in HD, starts at 7:30 PM with a special half-hour preview show set to air at 7:00 PM. Tickets are 400 per person and sponsorships are available. To purchase tickets or to make a donation to the 25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards, please contact Shannon McCahill at 312-596-4716 (smccahill@marchofdimes.com) or visit CSNChicago.comsportsawards25.

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: