Sports News

Blackhawks' Kane has surgery for broken left clavicleExternal Link

CHICAGO (AP) Blackhawks star Patrick Kane had surgery Wednesday to repair a broken left collarbone, likely sidelining the dynamic forward for the rest of the season unless Chicago makes another deep run in the playoffs.

Team physician Dr. Michael Terry and Dr. Bradley Merk performed the surgery, and Terry said a full recovery will take "approximately 12 weeks."

Kane, who leads Chicago with 27 goals and 37 assists, lost his balance and crashed into the boards after he was cross-checked by Florida defenseman Alex Petrovic with 12:11 left in the first period of Tuesday night's 3-2 shootout victory over the Panthers.

He stayed down on the ice for a short time and was hunched over as he skated to the bench and went straight to the locker room.

The three-month timeline means Kane would be out until the Western Conference finals. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and lost to eventual champion Los Angeles in the conference finals a year ago, but it will be quite difficult to make a similar run without Kane, who was working on one of his best seasons.

"You miss a valuable guy, a buddy," coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday night. "He's having one of those years that are very noticeable. But the guys still got to stick with it. Playing the right way will be emphasized as we go along."

The 26-year-old Kane led Chicago with 20 points in last year's postseason. He had the winning goal against Philadelphia when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP when they won the title again two years ago.

"I don't think you replace the things that he does with the puck, the attention he gets," teammate Patrick Sharp said. "But one of the strengths of our organization is depth. When a player goes down, you try to collectively try to fill in for him. But you know, as well, as you can't replace Kaner."

The Blackhawks began preparing for the rest of the season when they placed Kane on long-term injured reserve Wednesday and recalled forward Teuvo Teravainen from Rockford of the American Hockey League. The 20-year-old Teravainen, who has two goals and two assists in 15 games with Chicago, is regarded as one of the NHL's top prospects.

The Blackhawks also assigned Trevor van Riemsdyk to their top minor league affiliate. The rookie defenseman, who had left knee surgery in November, likely will return after a conditioning stint with the IceHogs.

Kane's move to long-term injured reserve also creates some room with the salary cap ahead of Monday's trade deadline. But a couple of possible targets for the Blackhawks were on the move on Wednesday, and it's unclear what direction general manager Stan Bowman will take after the massive loss.

Chicago visits Florida on Thursday and Tampa Bay on Friday, and then returns to for a three-game homestand beginning Monday against Carolina.

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Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap


MSNBC.com | Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:49:00 +0000
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Angels' Hamilton meeting with MLB about disciplinary issueExternal Link

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is meeting with Major League Baseball officials about a disciplinary issue.

Angels spokesman Tim Mead confirmed the Los Angeles Times' initial report Wednesday that Hamilton went to New York to meet with baseball officials. The team declined to give any more specific information.

Hamilton hasn't reported to spring training in Arizona after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder earlier this month. He is expected to be out until after the regular season begins.

The 2010 AL MVP is entering the third season of a five-year, $125 million contract. Hamilton has been a disappointment for the Angels, batting just .255 with 31 homers and 123 RBIs in two seasons.

Hamilton also has a well-chronicled history of drug addiction and alcohol abuse, leading to previous suspensions.

MLB declined comment on Hamilton.


MSNBC.com | Wed, 25 Feb 2015 23:27:00 +0000
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AP source: Manning, Broncos talking about reworking contractExternal Link

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) It looks as if it's going to come down to money.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations confirms the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning's representatives are discussing ways to revise his contract and give the team more flexibility in free agency.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

Manning, who has made more money than any player in pro football history, is due to make another $19 million in both 2015 and `16, and his salary cap number for next season is $21.2 million.

John Elway has traditionally been one of the more aggressive general managers in the NFL when it comes to free agency, and he has plenty of problems to fix again this offseason.

Last year he lured DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and Emmanuel Sanders, Pro Bowlers all, and he wants to make another run at a Super Bowl title with Manning, who turns 39 next month.

Redoing Manning's deal would give Elway more maneuverability as he addresses Denver's offseason needs, including retooling the offensive line that figures to have up to three new members next season.

Following Denver's playoff loss to his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, last month, Manning was non-committal about playing next season, which would be his 18th in the NFL. Elway asked him the next morning not to make a rash decision.

Manning flew to Denver on Feb. 12 to meet with Elway and new coach Gary Kubiak, both of whom said at the NFL scouting combine last week that they expected Manning to be their quarterback next season.

Manning must also pass a physical by March 5 where doctors check to see if there's any degeneration in his surgically repaired neck, but both the five-time MVP and Elway have said they consider that a mere formality.

The Broncos figure to have about $27 million to work with under the projected $148 million salary cap in 2015, but a franchise tag for star receiver Demaryius Thomas next week would eat up about half of that figure. Placing the franchise tag on Thomas would buy them some time to negotiate a long-term deal. They did that with kicker Matt Prater and blindside protector Ryan Clady.

They also have to allot at least $6 million for their bevy of draft picks that's expected to include multiple compensatory selections for all the free agents they lost last year.

Manning owns most of the significant QB records and is a half-season's worth of yards - 2,148 - shy of breaking Brett Favre's yardage record of 71,838.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton


MSNBC.com | Thu, 26 Feb 2015 02:15:00 +0000
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Cop: Shell casings in Hernandez car, at scene from same gunExternal Link

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) A shell casing found in a car rented by ex-New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez and at the scene of a killing near his home were fired from the same weapon, a state police sergeant testified Wednesday.

Five shell casings were found near where Odin Lloyd was shot to death June 17, 2013, in an industrial park not far from the Hernandez home in North Attleborough. An employee of a rental car business has previously testified that she found one shell casing under the driver's seat of Hernandez's rented Nissan Altima, which he returned the day of the killing.

Police later found that shell casing in a trash bin at the business.

Sgt. Stephen Walsh testified Wednesday that his examination determined all six .45-caliber casings were fired by the same gun. He said they were consistent with having been fired from a Glock.

The murder weapon has never been found.

During cross-examination, the defense went after Walsh for not looking more thoroughly for ways to match the bullets, such as by contacting the manufacturer or by checking a national database for comparing bullets.


MSNBC.com | Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:16:00 +0000
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Mavs suspend Rondo for game after exchange with CarlisleExternal Link

ATLANTA (AP) The Dallas Mavericks suspended Rajon Rondo for their game Wednesday night in Atlanta for conduct detrimental to the team, a day after the point guard had a heated exchange on the court with coach Rick Carlisle and was benched.

Carlisle said he must communicate better with Rondo.

"The incident last night was born in large part from poor communication between him and I," Carlisle said before Dallas' 104-87 loss. "That's on both of us. We had a long talk about the situation today and we both agreed we need to communicate more frequently and we need to work on the solution of making his stint as a Dallas Maverick the most successful one possible."

Rondo came out with 8:10 left in the third quarter of Dallas' 99-92 home victory over Toronto. He was bringing the ball up the court when Carlisle angrily shouted for a timeout and exchanged words with Rondo from several feet away as the player headed to the bench.

The Mavericks were trailing by nine when Rondo was pulled and rallied with backups Devin Harris and J.J. Barea running the offense along with leading scorer Monta Ellis, who sometimes handles the ball.

Carlisle said Rondo will return as a starter for the Mavericks' next game against Brooklyn on Saturday.

"It's one game. He'll serve it tonight," Carlisle said. "We'll be off tomorrow. He'll practice Friday and he'll be back in the starting lineup on Saturday. The events of last night are now in the past and we've got to move forward.

"I need to say this very clearly: He's an extremely important part of our team. Our efforts to get to the highest possible level largely hinge on ... playing well with him. He needs to play well with us and we need to play well with him. It's a two-way street."

Carlisle said the suspension was "an organizational decision."

The suspension left the Mavericks with only 11 players against the Hawks. Center Tyson Chandler was held out with a hip contusion and forward Amare Stoudemire was rested with the team playing on back-to-back days. Forward Chandler Parsons was held out with a left ankle injury.

Acquired in a trade with Boston in December to try to improve the playoff outlook for the Mavericks in the difficult Western Conference, Rondo hasn't had an easy transition.

The four-time All-Star who won a title with the Celtics in 2008 was on the bench in the final minutes of a four-point loss to Chicago about a month after the trade and said afterward he didn't have a problem with Carlisle's decision. Dallas' offense has sunk from the top of the league to fourth in points per game since he arrived.

"For us to get where we want to get ... his abilities have to be utilized by us the best possible way," Carlisle said. "That's in large part my responsibility and I do not dodge that. And a lot of that starts with great communication with him. I'm always working on being a better communicator and we talked about it today. He admitted that he's got to do the same. So that's where we are and we'll go forward from here."

Also brought in to improve the Mavericks' perimeter defense with a long list of strong guards in the West, Rondo had some success against Houston's James Harden and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook before breaking a bone near his left eye at Orlando and missing six games.

In his first game back after the All-Star break, Rondo couldn't slow Westbrook in a blowout loss to the Thunder. He bounced back with a solid outing in a win over Harden and the Rockets.

The Mavericks made the move for Rondo after offseason pickup Jameer Nelson struggled at the point. Dallas gave up Nelson, swingman Jae Crowder, forward Brandan Wright and two draft picks for Rondo and forward Dwight Powell, who has played sparingly.

The win over Toronto gave the Mavericks a sweep of a three-game homestand and pulled them within half a game of Houston for third place in the tightly packed West. There are four teams separated by just a game and a half in the battle for two spots with home-court advantage in the first round.

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AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas contributed to this report.


MSNBC.com | Thu, 26 Feb 2015 04:06:00 +0000
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