Ducks re-sign Saku Koivu
Center Saku Koivu has re-signed with the Anaheim Ducks, agreeing to a one-year deal worth US$3 million to return for his 17th NHL season. The Ducks announced the deal on Wednesday on Twitter. The 37-year-old Finn scored 38 points in 74 games for the Ducks last season, his third in Anaheim. The former captain of the Montreal Canadiens is a valuable two-way player for the Ducks, while centering a line with Teemu Selanne, his friend and long-time teammate with the Finnish national team. Koivu spent his first 13 NHL seasons in Montreal before joining the Ducks as a free agent.
Granada defender banned
Granada’s hopes of avoiding relegation on the last day of the season were dealt a blow on Wednesday when winger Dani Benitez was suspended for three months for throwing a bottle at the referee of last weekend’s La Liga clash with Real Madrid. Benitez hurled the bottle at referee Clos Gomez at the end of the 2-1 defeat by Real and was found guilty of an “isolated aggressive incident without serious consequences.” He received the lower end of the possible ban — it could have been six months — because the Spanish Football Federation Committee took into account his public apology delivered on Tuesday.
Stars to speak for Seau
Former San Diego Chargers stars Dan Fouts, Rodney Harrison and LaDainian Tomlinson are scheduled to speak at a memorial service for Junior Seau on Friday evening at Qualcomm Stadium. Also scheduled to speak are former Chargers coach Bobby Ross and former NFL safety John Lynch. Seau committed suicide on May 2 at his home in suburban Oceanside, California. He played 20 seasons in the NFL, the first 13 with the Chargers. Harrison and Tomlinson were teammates of Seau’s with the Chargers, while Ross coached Seau from 1992 to 1996. The master of ceremonies will be Miles McPherson, a former Chargers safety who’s now the senior pastor at the Rock Church in San Diego.
Chiefs star ends big week
Reneilwe Letsholonyane completed a memorable week by scoring the opening goal in Johannesburg on Wednesday as Kaizer Chiefs cruised to a 2-0 triumph over Ajax Cape Town in the South African Premiership. The 29-year-old dreadlocked midfielder was voted man-of-the-match on Wednesday last week in a victory against Mamelodi Sundowns when he returned to action as a substitute after a lengthy knee-injury layoff. A couple of days later, his wife gave birth to a son and he took just seven minutes to score against Ajax at Peter Mokaba Stadium in northern city Polokwane as he started a game for the first time since mid-season.
Adler switches to Hamburg
Former Germany international goalkeeper Rene Adler signed for Hamburg SV from Bundesliga rivals Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Wednesday on a free transfer. The 27-year-old was out of contract at Leverkusen and had fallen down the pecking order after a knee operation in July last year had been followed by the astonishing success of 19-year-old Bernd Leno. The young goalkeeper came from VfB Stuttgart to fill in while Adler was recovering from the operation, but in the end he was rewarded with a five-year contract at the end of the season.