The sluggish talks between the NFL and its officials association over a new contract for the latter has the league announcing now that it will hedge its risk by beginning to hire replacement officials for the 2012 season.
This puts the NFL Players Association in an interesting spot.
The NFLPA is working at strengthening its imagestanding as a union. The bounty situation with New Orleans players, criticism of the collective bargaining agreement reached last year the association is playing a little more defense than it would like.
So if the players association union is looking for support, what does it instruct its members to do if the league brings in scab officials? Do they cross any picket lines? Do they boycott the usual rules meetings and briefings held in training camp?
Best guess is that an agreement is reached. But if it isnt?
From June 10-20, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile one top prospect per day — 11 total — leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks prepare to pick third overall.
Weight: 170 pounds
Scouting report from NHL.com draft expert Adam Kimelman:
The most talented player in the draft should be the first one selected. The 18-year-old has a package of skating, passing, vision and hockey sense that's reminiscent of Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane."
NHL player comparable: Connor McDavid/Patrick Kane
Fit for Blackhawks:
Listen, we know. Hughes isn't going to be on the board at No. 3. But let's dream just for one minute because when the Blackhawks jumped into the top-three on lottery night, the thought crept into everyone's minds.
Hughes is one of the most talented players to ever come out of the United States National Development Program, and is the most pro-ready out of any prospect in this year's draft. He could step onto an NHL team tomorrow and play in a top-six role seamlessly.
Stylistically, Hughes' game is reminiscent of McDavid and Kane: A playmaker, goal scorer, smooth skater, unreal vision, high hockey IQ. He is the complete package. And just wait until he adds some muscle to his frame under the care of an NHL organization.
If the Blackhawks landed the No. 1 overall pick, their center depth for the next 7-8 years could've consisted of Hughes, Dylan Strome and Jonathan Toews. Alright, now back to reality.
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Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki check in from Wrigley Field after the Cubs split the first leg of the Crosstown Classic with the White Sox.
Kelly and Tony discuss the breaking news of top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay's promotion to the big leagues and what his role could be with the Cubs (2:15), and assess where the Cubs stand as they continue their long homestand, including the recent offensive downturn and Yu Darvish taking a step forward (7:30).
Cubs Talk Podcast