Blackhawks re-sign Sharp
The Chicago Blackhawks re-signed Patrick Sharp to a five-year contract extension after the forward had one of his best offensive seasons, the National Hockey League (NHL) team said on Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but local media reports said the Blackhawks’ alternate captain would earn US$29.5 million over the length of the deal. Sharp finished eighth in league scoring last season with 34 goals, while adding 34 assists for a career-high 71 points in 74 regular-season games. The 29-year-old All-Star also recorded three goals and two assists in seven playoff games before being eliminated in the first round by the Vancouver Canucks. Sharp, a third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2001 NHL Entry draft, has 160 goals and 156 assists in 493 career games.
Actor Bubba Smith dies
Former NFL defensive star Bubba Smith, who found a successful second career as an actor, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles at age 66. Los Angeles County coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter said Smith was found dead at his Baldwin Hills home. Winter said he didn’t know the circumstances or cause of death. Police spokesman Richard French added that the death does not appear to be suspicious. The top overall pick in the 1967 draft, Smith spent five seasons with the Baltimore Colts and two seasons each with Oakland and Houston. He won the 1971 Super Bowl with the Colts. As an actor his most memorable role was playing Moses Hightower, the soft-spoken officer in the Police Academy series.
A-Rod in gambling hot water
Yankees star Alex Rodriguez will be interviewed by Major League Baseball (MLB) as part of its investigation of his alleged involvement in illegal poker games. Rodriguez also faced questions about his gambling habits in 2005, when the Daily News reported he attended games at an underground poker club in New York. The slugging third baseman later acknowledged “it wasn’t the right thing to do,” and checked with MLB before holding a charity poker tournament the following year. Now baseball wants to talk to him again. “We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation,” MLB said on Wednesday in a statement. “As part of the investigation, the commissioner’s office will interview Mr Rodriguez.” Rodriguez is on the disabled list and wasn’t with the team on Wednesday night in Chicago. “I don’t really have any comment on that,” manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees played the White Sox. “Let baseball handle those things.”
Porter no ‘plastic Brit’
Tiffany Porter said she was not running under a “flag of convenience” after switching allegiance from the US to the UK. The timing of the changes by the likes of Porter and fellow US-born 400m runner Shana Cox, with the Olympic Games in London next year, have led to accusations they are “plastic Brits” who have only changed nationalities because they have little or no prospect of competing for the US. However, 23-year-old sprint hurdler Porter was adamant on Wednesday that she was proud of her British heritage and that there was nothing cynical in her decision. “I’m very excited and very fired up to compete for GB [Great Britain] right now,” said Porter, who broke Angie Thorp’s 15-year British record in the 100m hurdles earlier this year — something Thorp says left her “absolutely distraught.”