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.
Chinese pair Liang Wenbo and Li Hang on Tuesday received lifetime bans from snooker for match-fixing after a “heart-breaking” corruption scandal rocked the sport. In total, 10 Chinese players were handed bans of varying lengths by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA). Lu Ning, Zhao Xintong, Yan Bingtao, Chen Zifan, Zhang Jiankang, Bai Langning, Zhao Jianbo and Chang Bingyu were the other players suspended. Yan, the 2021 Masters champion, has been banned until December 2027 after his initial seven-and-a-half-year suspension was reduced following his early admissions and guilty plea. Former UK Championship winner Zhao Xintong is to serve a 20-month suspension, reduced
Iga Swiatek on Saturday said it would be “disrespectful” to her vanquished opponents to talk about her propensity for winning bagel sets after thrashing Wang Xinyu without losing a game at the French Open. The world No. 1 won 6-0, 6-0 in just 51 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier to reach the last 16. Across 57 matches in 17 Grand Slam appearances in her young career, Swiatek has already won 19 sets to love. Yet she knows how it feels to be on the wrong end of a bagel, having lost three sets at majors 6-0 herself, although all of those came across
Although basketball fans in Taiwan are looking forward to seeing Dwight Howard play next season, the former NBA superstar said that could be “difficult” due to the pay cut the Taoyuan Leopards have proposed in contract negotiations. TVBS on Wednesday reported that the eight-time NBA All-Star and the Leopards, the franchise he played for in the T1 League last season, have reached an impasse over salary, which reduces the chance local fans would get to see the star next season. “I was offered a contract which was 65 percent less than they gave me the first time I came to Taiwan, and
SEMI-FINAL SHOWDOWN: Djokovic said that he is looking forward to facing off against Alcaraz after the Spaniard beat Tsitsipas, saying it should be his biggest challenge so far Beatriz Haddad Maia yesterday became the first Brazilian woman to make a Grand Slam semi-final in 55 years after beating Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur at Roland Garros. World No. 14 Haddad Maia came through against seventh-ranked Jabeur 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1. The 27-year-old left-hander follows in the footsteps of seven-time major winner Maria Bueno who was the last Brazilian woman in the semi-finals of a major at the US Open 55 years ago. Bueno, who passed away in 2018, made the last four in Paris in 1966 before the advent of the Open era. “Ons is not easy to play against, you have to be