Devils re-sign center Zajac
The New Jersey Devils re-signed center Travis Zajac to a long-term deal after he helped the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals last season, the National Hockey League team said on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Devils, but media reported it was an eight-year, US$46 million contract. Zajac missed all but 15 games of the 2011-2012 regular season, but returned in time to play a key role in the Devils’ playoff run, scoring 14 points in the team’s 24 post-season games. Zajac, who was selected by the Devils in the first round of the 2004 NHL Draft, missed most of last season with an Achilles injury, but was in stellar form for the post-season. With the Devils facing elimination in the opening round of last year’s playoffs, Zajac scored an overtime goal that forced a decisive seventh game against the Florida Panthers.
Shane Warne faces ban
Australian veteran Shane Warne is facing a new ban for an alleged breach of the spirit of the game in a domestic Twenty20 match, Cricket Australia (CA) said yesterday. The bowling great apologized last week after a foul-mouthed rant against West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels that earned him a ban and a fine in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL). However, in Wednesday night’s semi-final Warne, the official Melbourne Stars skipper, was not listed as captain for the match they lost against Perth Scorchers. Cricket Australia said it had recently sent a memo to BBL teams about the captaincy role. “If a team’s official captain is selected, but not named as captain, this will be considered against the spirit of cricket and may attract a code of behavior charge,” it said. “Warne has been reported for breaching CA’s code of behavior.”
Salleh to run for president
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Nadzmi Mohd Salleh has confirmed he will run for the top job at the sport’s world governing body at its May elections. Current Badminton World Federation (BWF) president Kang Young-joong of South Korea said last month he would step down from the role in May after eight years at the helm. China head coach Li Yongbo recently declared his support for Nadzmi, while Indonesian Justian Suhandinata has already made clear his intentions to run for the post. Badminton came under fire during the London Olympics in July last year, when four women’s doubles pairs from South Korea, China and Indonesia deliberately played to lose their matches to get a more favorable draw. The BWF disqualified all four pairings and banned them after the farcical scenes raised serious doubts about the game’s future inclusion in future Olympics.
Burger to captain Stormers
Springbok flanker Schalk Burger will captain the Western Stormers in this year’s Super 15 season after recovering from injury, coach Allister Coetzee confirmed on Wednesday. Burger, 29, suffered a knee injury in the opening round of last year’s southern hemisphere provincial championship that kept the forward sidelined all season. Springbok skipper and center Jean de Villiers replaced Burger as leader of the Stormers and now reverts to vice captain as the team seek a first title. The return of 2007 World Cup winner Burger heightens competition for Springbok back-row places, with the Bulls’ Pierre Spies also fit again and ready to challenge incumbents Francois Louw, Willem Alberts and Duane Vermeulen.