NHL, union might try not talking in search of deal
NEW YORK — If the NHL and the players’ association have run out of things to talk about, how can they ever find a way to make a deal to save the hockey season?
It is a question both sides seem to have trouble answering, and not because they are being guarded or coy. The lockout is in its third month, and there is no obvious path to progress.
There was a hint of optimism after the league and locked-out players met a few times, but the view quickly became bleak. After a one-day break, the sides met Sunday and that brief return to the table also turned badly quickly. They haven’t met — and have barely talked — since then.
Now NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has suggested to players’ association chief Donald Fehr that they take a two-week break from each other. If talking doesn’t work, is it possible that not talking will?
Frustration and a hint of anger have entered the equation. So perhaps a cooling-off period would make some sense before the sides agree to get together again.
“I think what you have seen is disappointment with where we find ourselves in the process,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Friday in an email to The Associated Press. “I don’t think it’s a case of personal animosity.”
AP source: Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays reach deal
NEW YORK — The busy Toronto Blue Jays struck again Friday with their latest big deal: All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera is set to join them in his return from a drug suspension.
A person familiar with the negotiations said the free agent outfielder and the Blue Jays have reached agreement on a two-year contract worth $16 million. The deal is pending a physical, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.
ESPN Deportes first reported the agreement Friday.
Earlier this week, the Blue Jays got All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle from the Miami Marlins in a blockbuster trade that could involve a dozen players.
Toronto has not reached the playoffs since winning its second straight World Series in 1993, and has often been stuck behind big spenders in the AL East. After going 73-89 this year, the Blue Jays have made quite a splash in the offseason.
Tennessee receives two-year probation extension
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The NCAA has extended Tennessee’s probation by two years as part of additional penalties handed down Friday following the ruling that former football assistant coach Willie Mack Garza provided impermissible travel and lodging to a former prospect.
Penalties include a public reprimand and censure plus a reduction in official visits, evaluation days and complimentary tickets to recruits on unofficial visits. This extends a probationary period that started in August 2011 and now runs through Aug. 23, 2015.
Garza, who worked at Tennessee on former coach Lane Kiffin’s staff, received a three-year show-cause order. The show-cause penalty means that any school that hires him must prove to the NCAA that it is rules compliant. Garza resigned as USC’s secondary coach two days before the Trojans started their 2011 season.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook captured in bronze
LOS ANGELES — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook has been captured in bronze for future generations of basketball fans.
Staples Center unveiled a nearly 16-foot-tall statue of the top scorer in NBA history Friday night, immortalizing Jabbar’s famed hook shot alongside statues of fellow Los Angeles Lakers greats Magic Johnson and Jerry West.
The 65-year-old Abdul-Jabbar pronounced himself humbled and grateful during a ceremony attended by numerous NBA greats ranging from Johnson and West to Pat Riley and Elgin Baylor — and even Lakers superfan Jack Nicholson.
Abdul-Jabbar is depicted in his signature goggles, wristbands and the standard 1980s short-shorts below his No. 33 jersey. The 7-foot-2 center pulled a braided cord to drop a curtain revealing the statue to hundreds of cheering fans, who gathered under threatening clouds for the ceremony.
Czech Republic, Spain tied 1-1 in Davis Cup
PRAGUE — Tomas Berdych beat Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3 to give the Czech Republic a 1-1 tie with Spain after the opening singles matches Friday in the Davis Cup final.
Earlier, Spain’s David Ferrer topped Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The fifth-ranked Ferrer has won a tour-best seven titles this season.
The Czech Republic is trying to win its first Davis Cup title as an independent nation since the former Czechoslovakia split in 1993. Spain, playing without injured star Rafael Nadal, is bidding to win its fourth title in five years.
Bond set for ex-WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw
ATLANTA — A judge in Atlanta on Friday set bond at $100,000 for ex-WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw, who was in jail on assault and weapons charges.
She is accused of firing a shot into a car belonging to 29-year-old Jennifer Lacy, who plays for the Tulsa Shock. Police say the 35-year-old Holdsclaw also used a bat to smash the car’s windows. Holdsclaw was in custody at the Fulton County Jail.
No one was injured in the assault. Lacy told police that Holdsclaw was an ex-girlfriend and they were Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009. Holdsclaw was ordered to wear a monitoring device and have no contact with Lacy.
She was ordered back to a Fulton County court Nov. 30 to face charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. A message to her attorney was not immediately returned.
By wire sources