December 15, 2008

Stars breaking up with embattled Avery


Whenever Sean Avery is ready to return to the NHL, it won't be with the Dallas Stars. The combative forward was eligible to return from a six-game suspension yesterday, but the Stars instead announced that Avery will not rejoin the team - ever. "You have to do what's right for both parties, and that's what we're really trying to do," co-general manager Brett Hull said. Avery was only 23 games into a four-year, $15.5 million deal when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman suspended him for a crude remark about ex-girlfriends dating other hockey players. Simmering tension between Avery and his teammates and his coach boiled over in the aftermath, with the dressing room united in its stance against him ever wearing a Stars sweater again. Details of Avery's departure still must be worked out. The team won't try voiding his contract on grounds he has violated the conduct clause. He's at an undisclosed location seeking treatment through a program set up by the NHL players association. When he was suspended, Avery told the Stars he needed help dealing with anger issues.

ET CETERA:: The Stars acquired center Brian Sutherby from the Anaheim Ducks for center David McIntyre and a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2010. ... Center Jeremy Roenick will likely be out for three weeks for the NHL-leading San Jose Sharks after he injured a shoulder in Thursday's win over Anaheim. Tests revealed torn cartilage, Roenick said.

Inspired Kenyans excel at Honolulu Marathon


Barack Obama's sister gave the Kenyans extra motivation for the Honolulu Marathon, and the president-elect's ancestral homeland responded with a top-five sweep. "It encouraged us a lot," said Patrick Ivuti, who finished in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 35 seconds for his first victory since the 2007 Chicago Marathon. Japan also had its share of star power, with Kiyoko Shimahara and Kaori Yoshida finishing 1-2 in the women's race, and Boston Red Sox pitcher Hideki Okajima barely cracking the top 7,000, finishing in 6:08:35. The Kenyans, who have won the race 18 times since 1985, had extra encouragement with Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, cheering them on; Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., who died in 1982, was a member of the Luo tribe of Kenya.

Sorenstam ends career with birdie at Dubai


It ended with a birdie, a standing ovation and a seventh-place finish for Annika Sorenstam, leaving the Hall of Fame golfer with no regrets after the final stroke of her career. The Swede shot a 1-under-par 71 at the Dubai Ladies Masters in the United Arab Emirates, finishing six shots behind winner Anja Monke of Germany after an 8-foot birdie at No. 18 drew a standing ovation from the packed gallery. "I felt at peace. I really felt very content," she said. Sorenstam, who is retiring to focus on family and business interests, led the tournament after the second round, but shot a 75 on Saturday to torpedo her hopes for a third straight title at the season-ending tournament on the Ladies European Tour. Monke shot a 68 to protect her overnight lead, finishing at 13-under 275.

Reports: Ball St.'s Hoke to coach at San Diego St.

et cetera

Brady Hoke, who has coached Ball State to a 12-1 record this season, will take over the coaching vacancy at San Diego State, according to multiple media reports. Hoke, who was also a candidate for the Auburn job, will replace Chuck Long, who was fired after three seasons and the Aztecs' first 10-loss season. and The Star Press of Muncie, Ind., did not say whether Hoke will coach the Cardinals next month in the GMAC Bowl against Tulsa.

Horse racing: : Peppers Pride extended her North American thoroughbred record for consecutive wins with her 19th victory in as many starts in the $125,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park. Racing as the 4-5 favorite, Peppers Pride won by more than five lengths in the six-furlong stakes race for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares. Under jockey Carlos Madeira, the victor finished in 1 minute, 9.54 seconds and earned $75,000 to push her earnings to $1,066,085.

NHL: : Cristobal Huet made 31 saves, and Martin Havlat scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period to lead the host Chicago Blackhawks to their fourth straight victory, 3-1 over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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