Canucks beef up offense
The Vancouver Canucks beefed up their offense by signing Swedish right winger Mikael Samuelsson on a three-year deal on Friday. Free agent Samuelsson, 32, has spent the last four seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, winning the Stanley Cup last year and reaching the finals again this year. In other acquisitions, the Los Angeles Kings signed veteran left wing Ryan Smyth in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche, the Kings announced on their Web site on Friday. The Kings sent defensemen Kyle Quincey, Tom Preissing and a 2010 draft pick in exchange for the 14-year player. Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets have signed captain Rick Nash to an eight-year contract extension, the team said on Friday. The contract begins in 2010-2011, extending through the 2017-2018 season. Terms were not disclosed.
Dutch want 2028 Games
The Dutch government is already looking into the possibility of bidding to host the Olympics in 2028 — exactly a century after Amsterdam last staged the games. “It would be fantastic if we could experience the games in our own country again after 100 years,” Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said on Friday after his government’s weekly Cabinet meeting. Balkenende said the government would support a possible bid by the country’s Olympic Committee, and also backed a plan by the committee to raise the overall standard of sport in the country.
Theo Bos suspended
Dutch rider Theo Bos has been suspended for one month for sending South African Daryl Impey crashing into a security barrier during a Tour of Turkey stage in April, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Friday. Rabobank’s Bos, five times a track cycling world champion, grabbed race leader Impey of the Barloworld team by the shoulder and pushed him into a barrier some 2km before the finish line of the final stage. The suspension will run from Aug. 15.
ISU bans Pechstein
Olympic champion Claudia Pechstein has been banned for two years after testing positive for blood doping and will miss next year’s Vancouver Games, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Friday. The ISU said the German’s blood profile had included abnormal values in a series of tests, in particular during February’s world all-round championships. The sport’s governing body imposed the ban, back-dated to Feb. 9 this year, after a two-day hearing in Berne. The 37-year-old Pechstein, who has won five Olympic gold medals, was hoping next year to compete at her sixth successive Winter Games. She has 21 days to appeal against the ban. “The decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.” the ISU said on its Web site.
Kwan back in public eye
Michelle Kwan will skate before an audience for the first time in three years when she joins world champion Kim Yu-na in Ice All-Stars 2009 in Seoul next month. The five-time world champion has been practicing and working out for most of this year. Her performance in Seoul could be an indication that competitive skating is still a possibility with the Vancouver Olympics looming. Kwan’s agent announced her plans on Friday. Kwan, who recently graduated from Denver University, has not been in a competitive environment since a foot injury in 2006.
Prunea suspended by FRF