NHL star Lidstrom retires
Swedish defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom retired after 20 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, ending one of the best careers in NHL history on Thursday. The four-time Stanley Cup champion and seven-time Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenseman fought back tears as he made the announcement. The 42-year-old set an NHL record by playing 1,564 games with a single team. He had put retirement on hold in each of the previous two years by signing one-year contracts. Lidstrom had 264 career goals with 1,142 points. He plans to move his family to Sweden and hopes to have an off-ice role with the Red Wings. Lidstrom was named the NHL’s best defenseman last year for a seventh time. The four-time Olympian also scored the gold-medal winning goal for Sweden over Finland in 2006.
Mayweather due for jail
Free time has run out for Floyd Mayweather Jr, who was due to begin a three-month jail sentence yesterday in Las Vegas stemming from a hair-pulling, arm-twisting attack in September 2010 on the mother of three of his children. The unbeaten five-division champion’s legal and ring advisers were not immediately commenting on Thursday about Mayweather’s scheduled surrender before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa. The judge sentenced him on Dec. 22 for his guilty plea to reduced charges in the domestic battery case. Saragosa said when she sentenced Mayweather that she was particularly troubled that he threatened and hit ex-girlfriend Josie Harris while their two sons watched.
Hartley to coach Flames
Bob Hartley has returned to the NHL as coach of the Calgary Flames. He succeeds Brent Sutter, who left the team in April after three seasons. Hartley coached Colorado for five seasons and won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2001. He joined the Flames on Thursday following a championship season with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland. Hartley also spent parts of five seasons as coach of the Atlanta Thrashers. He agreed to a three-year deal with Calgary. The Flames had to secure his release from the Lions because he had a year remaining on a two-year contract. Calgary missed the playoffs under Sutter for three years in a row.
AEK out of Europa League
Greece’s AEK were kicked out of next season’s Europa League for financial irregularities by the Hellenic Football Federation on Thursday. “It is a black page in the history of AEK,” club president Andreas Dimitrelos told a press conference after the decision by the federation. “We have a debt of 35 million euros [US43.27 million] and 23 million euros of this is owed to the state. We are asking for help from AEK supporters. The next 15 days will be crucial for the future of the team.” PAE Asteras Tripolis will replace AEK in European action.
Wild sign Gustafsson
The Minnesota Wild have signed rookie goaltender Johan Gustafsson to a three-year, entry-level contract. The Wild announced the signing on Thursday, giving them five picks from the 2010 draft under contract. The 20-year-old Gustafsson had a 1.68 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in the Swedish Elite League this season. He also helped lead Sweden to the gold medal at this year’s world junior championship.
South Korea’s two-goal skipper Son Heung-min said that “not pleasant” comments from opponents China had fired him up to do the business in their FIFA World Cup qualifying clash. The Tottenham Hotspur forward scored twice and set up the third as Jurgen Klinsmann’s side won 3-0 on Tuesday to silence a sell-out home crowd of more than 40,000 in Shenzhen. South Korea have a perfect six points from their opening two qualifying matches for the 2026 World Cup in North America and have scored eight goals, conceding none. “Honestly, when I heard they [the China team and media] were saying they know how
HATS OFF: After Sinner became the first man to beat the Serbian in a singles match at the Davis Cup since 2011, Djokovic said all he could do was congratulate his opponent A “proud” Jannik Sinner on Saturday beat world No. 1 Novak Djokovic twice in one day to send Italy into the Davis Cup final with a 2-1 win over Serbia in Malaga. Italy, who won the trophy for the first and only time in 1976, was yesterday to face 28-time winners Australia. Sinner, who has triumphed three times in four clashes across 11 days against the usually unstoppable Djokovic, crucially kept Italy in the tie by beating the 24-time Grand Slam winner 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 in the second singles rubber. Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego then defeated Djokovic and Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-4 in
Tokyo’s well-kept streets might not be the most obvious place to do it, but competitive litter-hunters yesterday sifted through the Japanese capital in their first world championship. The Spogomi World Cup featured 21 countries battling it out to collect the most trash within a set time limit, scouring the streets in search of plastic, cigarette butts and other trash. Spogomi founder Kenichi Mamitsuka started to pick up litter on his morning runs and realized that setting targets could turn it into a fun activity. He organized his first competition 15 years ago, taking the title from the words “sport” and “gomi” — Japanese
David Benavidez on Saturday retained the interim world super middleweight belt by stopping Demetrius Andrade after the sixth round, while in Ireland, Katie Taylor avenged her only professional loss by beating Chantelle Cameron in a majority decision to become a two-weight undisputed champion. In what was billed as clash of styles that could go the distance between unbeaten 168-pounders (76.2kg), Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) looked more like a clinician with a dominating performance before Andrade’s corner requested the stoppage after the sixth round in Las Vegas. Andrade (32-1) suffered the first loss of his career. Benavidez is widely recognized as the world’s best