Flyers trade for Kurri, then send him to KingsJari Kurri...

Sports briefly

May 31, 1991

Flyers trade for Kurri, then send him to Kings

Jari Kurri signed a contract with the Los Angeles Kings yesterday, reuniting the high-scoring forward with ex-linemate Wayne Gretzky.

Kurri, 31, whose rights were traded earlier yesterday from the Edmonton Oilers to the Philadelphia Flyers, went to the Kings with defenseman Jeff Chychrun for center Steve Kasper, defenseman Steve Duchesne and a fourth-round pick in next month's draft.

Kurri will be paid $800,000 next season, $950,000 in 1992-93 and $1 million in 1993-94. The option year of the contract also is worth $1 million.

"We thought we had to make this move to go the next step in the playoffs," said Kings owner Bruce McNall, who in August 1988 got Gretzky from Edmonton.

Kurri played for the Milan Devils of the Italian League last season after his option year with the Oilers ended in 1990. He is the second-leading scorer in NHL playoff history behind Gretzky.

Kurri, whose most productive season came in 1984-85, when he had 71 goals and 64 assists, had hoped to rejoin Gretzky in Los Angeles.

Duchesne, 25, was the Kings' top-scoring defensemen in each of his five seasons with them.

Golf

Chris Johnson took a one-shot lead by shooting 5-under-par 67 at the Locust Hill Country Club in the first round of the $400,000 LPGA Rochester (N.Y.) International.

Johnson birdied four holes on the front side and three on the homeward nine to offset two bogeys.

* Seve Ballesteros and Colin Montgomerie shot 6-under-par 66s to share a one-stroke lead after the first round of the British Masters in Woburn, England. The two were one stroke ahead of Tony Johnstone of Zimbabwe.

College basketball

A Nevada-Las Vegas official said the flap over photos showing three former Runnin' Rebels players with a convicted gambler is not enough to cost coach Jerry Tarkanian his job.

A clause in Tarkanian's contract calls for automatic dismissal only in the event of a link between him and a major NCAA violation.

Interim athletic director Dennis Finfrock said that though school officials don't like what has happened, they hope there will be no further problems. He said the contact with the players and Richard "The Fixer" Perry is being investigated.

Track and field

Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis looked flat in separate 100-meter races in Seville, Spain, a month before their scheduled rematch in France.

Lewis finished second in his race, clocking 10.30 seconds. Fellow American Dennis Mitchell won in 10.15 despite a strong headwind.

Johnson finished fifth in his heat, in a very modest 10.69. He started well out of the blocks but faded. American Mark Witherspoon won in 10.37.

* Mount St. Mary's senior Peter Rono finished second in his qualifying heat in the 1,500-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., to qualify for tomorrow's championship race. Rono finished in 3 minutes, 48.65 seconds, .18 of a second behind Washington State's Samuel Kibiri, like Rono a native of Kenya.

"If the weather is good, we're capable of running 3:35 or 3:36 on Saturday," said Rono, who has been training at high altitude in New Mexico.

Georgetown's Steve Holman won the other qualifying heat in 3:42.06.

Boxing

Luis Mendoza (31-2-2) unleashed a slashing left hand with 32 seconds left in the seventh round to knock out Joao Cardoso de Oliveira (18-1-0) and retain the World Boxing Association junior featherweight title in Madrid, Spain.

Auto racing

Indy car driver Kevin Cogan began physical therapy to help him recover from injuries suffered at the Indianapolis 500.

Cogan suffered fractures of his right arm, right forearm and right leg Sunday when his car collided with one driven by Roberto Guerrero. Cogan is in good condition, Methodist Hospital spokesman Jon White said.

Bowling

Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Harry Sullins moved into the lead after four rounds in the PBA's $142,500 Beaumont (Texas) Doubles Classic. They lead Norm Duke and Chris Warren, 12,540 pins to 12,481.

Rowing

Navy's heavyweight crews advanced three boats directly into the grand finals at the 103rd Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships, the oldest collegiate championship regatta, in time trials held on Lake Onondaga in Liverpool, N.Y.

The Midshipmen's second varsity boat won its heat in a course-record time of 5 minutes, 48.9 seconds, advancing directly to tomorrow's finals along with the University of Pennsylvania's second varsity, which also broke the course record. Also winning heats for Navy were the open four with coxswain (6:53.1) and the varsity four with coxswain (6:42.2).

Sumo wrestling

Recently retired grand champion Chiyonofuji has been hospitalized with a high fever and may have to cancel his trip to the United States and Britain.

Chiyonofuji was to receive the Academy of Victor Award in Las Vegas tomorrow.

Pro basketball

Tim Leiweke, Minnesota Timberwolves executive vice president of sales and marketing, is a top candidate in the Denver Nuggets' search for a replacement for president Carl Scheer, a published report says.

Although Scheer has not been fired by the Nuggets, team co-owner Bob Wussler told The Denver Post on Wednesday that he intends to hire an executive within the week.

Under Leiweke's guidance, the expansion Timberwolves drew 1,072,572 fans, an NBA record, in their first season a year ago.

Cycling

Eric Boyer of France won the fourth stage of the Tour of Italy cycling race in Sorrento, Italy, and took the overall lead. He completed the 102-mile leg in 4 hours, 23 minutes, 50 seconds.

His victory put him ahead of the field by eight seconds, with Franco Chioccioli slipping to second place.

Breakfast of champions

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