In Brief | Nation and World
Bruins trade suspended goalie Tim Thomas to Islanders
NEW YORK — Veteran goalie Tim Thomas, who has said he won’t play this season, was traded by the Boston Bruins to the New York Islanders on Thursday for a conditional second-round draft choice either next year or in 2015.
Thomas chose to take this season off following the NHL lockout and was suspended by the Bruins after he didn’t report to training camp last month. The 38-year-old goalie is in the final season of a four-year deal that counts for $5 million against the salary cap.
The Islanders have plenty of room to fit Thomas’ salary on their cap, and this deal provides financial flexibility for the Bruins. Boston was up against the upper salary limit of $70.2 million, with Thomas’ salary factored in, and New York is only marginally above the minimum payroll.
NHL teams must be in full compliance of the salary cap by Friday, the 20th day of the league season.
Thomas is unlikely to play for the Islanders this season or in the future. The draft pick conditions are expected to center around whether or not he suits up for New York.
Thomas, a two-time Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goalie, has played in 378 regular-season games — all with the Bruins. He also has a 29-21 mark in the postseason with a 2.07 GAA and six shutouts. Thomas won the Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
NFL reinstates Gregg Williams, Titans add him to staff
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The NFL has reinstated Gregg Williams after suspending him for his role in the New Orleans’ bounty scandal, and the Titans have added him to their coaching staff.
The NFL ended Williams’ indefinite suspension Thursday and approved the Titans’ contract hiring Williams. Tennessee also announced in the same release that Williams had been hired as a senior assistant coach for its defense.
The league issued a statement saying that Commissioner Roger Goodell cited several reasons for reinstating Williams including that Williams accepted responsibility for his role in the bounty program, his commitment to never be involved in any pay for performance system and pledging to teach safe play and respect for the rules.
“The commissioner emphasized that Williams must fully conform to league rules and will be subject to periodic monitoring to confirm his compliance,” the NFL said in its statement.
Williams, suspended indefinitely last March, is the last person involved in the scandal to be reinstated by league. New Orleans coach Sean Payton had his suspension lifted on Jan. 22.
New York Giants re-sign DT Shaun Rogers
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have re-signed veteran defensive tackle Shaun Rogers.
The Giants announced the move on Thursday, just a day after releasing running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty, and two days after cutting linebacker Michael Boley.
Rogers missed last season after developing a blood clot in his leg following a preseason game against Jacksonville. He had been signed as a free agent in April.
Rogers has played with Detroit, Cleveland and New Orleans, recording 602 tackles, 37½ sacks, 27 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and an interception return for a touchdown. He has also blocked 14 field-goal attempts.
Nadal reaches doubles semifinals at VTR Open in Chile
VINA DEL MAR, Chile — Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco reached the doubles semifinals at the VTR Open with a 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory over Guillaume Ruffin and Filippo Volandri on Thursday.
It was Nadal’s third match in three days after being away from the tour for just over seven months with an inflamed left ankle and a stomach virus.
Nadal faces fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the singles quarterfinals on Friday.
The former No. 1-ranked Nadal moved easily around the court, showing no signs his left knee was bothering him.
“He is worrying about his knees, he’s worried about his health. He’s worried about getting back to a good competitive level,” his spokesman Benito Perez-Barbadillo said.
Raines, Bell lead Canadian Hall class of 2013
TORONTO — Former Montreal Expos outfielder Tim Raines was selected for induction Thursday into the Canadian Baseball of Fame. Also included in the class of 2013 are former outfielders George Bell and Rob Ducey as well as former announcer Tom Cheek and longtime minor league owner Nat Bailey.
The 53-year-old Raines played left field for six major league teams from 1979-02 and is best known for his time in Montreal (1979-90). Raines was a seven-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion as a player, and added a third title in 2005 as a Chicago White Sox coach. He retired with a career .294 average, 2,605 hits, 170 homers and 808 stolen bases.
Bell, 53, spent 12 seasons in the majors with Toronto, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox and enjoyed his best success with the Blue Jays. He was a three-time All-Star and won the AL MVP award with the Jays in 1987.
Lewis not interested in return to Ravens as coach
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ray Lewis doesn’t want to make the transition from player to coach — not yet anyway.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Thursday that Lewis, who retired after the Super Bowl, “has not expressed an interest to coach.”
Harbaugh expects Lewis to do “many amazing and powerful things” in retirement following a 17-year run as Baltimore’s middle linebacker. Lewis earned his second Super Bowl ring Sunday, helping the Ravens beat San Francisco 34-31.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti says the team is considering installing a statue of Lewis around M&T Bank Stadium in the near future.
Bisciotti says of Lewis, “I think he set himself apart in Baltimore sports history.” The owner says he wouldn’t be surprised if the statue was in place “in the next year or two.”
Wallace and famed car Midnight headed into Hall
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Rusty Wallace will headline the fourth class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and his famed car “Midnight” will be part of his induction.
Wallace, winner of 55 races and the 1989 Cup championship will be inducted Friday night along with champions Buck Baker and Herb Thomas; championship car owner Cotton Owens; and innovative crew chief, mechanic and engine builder Leonard Wood.
Part of Wallace’s display in the Hall of Fame will be the car he dubbed Midnight and drove to 13 victories from 1992-94. Wallace led for more than 5,000 laps in the car, which was raced as both a Pontiac Grand Prix and a Ford Thunderbird out of Penske Racing South.
“Back then, it was Dale Earnhardt and I racing for the win all the time,” Wallace said. “I remember every week when we got to the track, he’d come up and ask me, “What car you got? It’s not that darn Midnight is it?” If it was, he knew he had his work cut out for him.”
Wallace drove Midnight in 38 races, notching 30 top-fives with the car. He led nearly one-third of all possible laps in the events he raced with the car, and Midnight’s 13 wins comprise nearly 20 percent of Penske Racing total.
Four Frenchmen advance to Montpellier quarters
MONTPELLIER, France — Llodra of France had 13 aces and did not concede a break point, beating second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3, 7-6 (4) Thursday to reach the Open Sud de France quarterfinals.
Three other Frenchmen also advanced to the quarters: third-seeded Richard Gasquet, fourth-seeded Gilles Simon and sixth-seeded Julien Benneteau.
Simon had 12 aces in a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win against qualifier Arnau Brugues-Davi. Simon next faces eighth-seeded Benoit Paire in an all-French match. Llodra plays Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic, who led 6-0, 4-2 against seventh-seeded Viktor Troicki when the Serb retired.
Gasquet will meet Benneteau in another all-French match after coming back from an error-strewn second set to beat compatriot Gael Monfils 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Benneteau defeated Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-4, 6-4.
Top-seeded Cilic reaches quarters in Croatia
ZAGREB, Croatia — Top-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia moved a step closer to a third title in his home event, beating Grega Zemlja 6-3, 6-2 Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Zagreb Indoors.
Cilic won this tournament in 2009 and 2010 and improved his record at the event to 14-4. He had 11 aces and broke his opponent three times.
“I am very pleased with the way I played,” Cilic said. “I felt he was nervous in the beginning and it helped me gain an early advantage.”
Cilic will face another Slovenian, Blaz Kavcic, who upset sixth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 and reach his third career quarterfinal. Baghdatis, the 2007 champion, failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, and pulled out of the doubles because of a foot injury.
From wire sources