Grabovski iced for abuse
Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski was suspended for three games without pay by the NHL on Friday for abuse of an official. Late in the third period of Thursday’s 6-2 loss to Montreal, Grabovski was wrestled to the ice by linesman Scott Cherrey, who was trying to separate him from Canadiens left wing Sergei Kostitsyn. Grabovski shoved the official and kicked his own helmet before gesturing to fans as he departed the ice. Grabovski will be eligible to return to action on January 16, when the Maple Leafs face the Atlanta Thrashers.
Buemi wins Toro Rosso seat
Sebastien Buemi, a 20-year-old Swiss driver, has won a Formula One seat with the Toro Rosso team. Buemi, who competed in the GP2 series last year, is expected to be the youngest driver on the F1 grid this year. Buemi was also a reserve driver last year for Toro Rosso’s sister team, Red Bull Racing. He came up through Red Bull’s junior driver program. “Being a Formula One driver has always been my target, since I first started racing,” Buemi said. “This year, I will do all I can to bring home the best possible results and to show Red Bull that the confidence it has shown in me is justified.” Buemi’s first official track outing will be at the test session at the Portimao Circuit in Portugal later this month. Toro Rosso must still decide on its other driver for this year, including whether to retain Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais.
Bloomquist signs with KC
Versatile Willie Bloomquist agreed on Friday to a US$3.1 million, two-year contract with the Kansas City Royals. Kansas City also agreed to a US$1.3 million, one-year contract with right-handed pitcher Kyle Davies, who had been eligible for salary arbitration. The 31-year-old Bloomquist spent all seven of his big league seasons with the Seattle Mariners, playing every position except pitcher and catcher.
Cueto impresses Johnson
Sale winger Mark Cueto reinforced his Six Nations credentials in front of England coach Martin Johnson when he scored his team’s only try in a 14-8 win over Premiership leaders London Irish on Friday. Cueto, one of the forgotten men of the England set-up having been axed after the 2007 World Cup, scored in the 57th minute of a bruising Edgeley Park encounter after being released by another international outcast, fly-half Charlie Hodgson who teamed well with replacement Mathew Tait. It was Cueto’s fourth try in his last three games. London Irish had led 8-6 at the interval with Topsy Ojo scoring a try for the Exiles in the 30th minute after impressive approach work by Shane Geraghty and Seilala Mapusua.
Injury to sideline Grugger
Austrian skier Hans Grugger’s surgery on his right knee yesterday is expected to sideline him for six months. Grugger, a speed specialist, tore cruciate ligaments and damaged a meniscus during downhill training in Wengen, Switzerland, on Wednesday, the Austrian ski federation said on Friday. He had just recovered from a bacterial inflammation in his left knee, which had kept him out since November. Grugger also missed the second part of last season recovering from surgery after tearing cartilage and ligaments in the left knee. The 27-year-old Grugger has four career World Cup victories — two in downhill and two in super-G.