Friday Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — NFL player representatives decided Friday to not vote on a new labor deal approved by team owners, and the union instead will meet with league negotiators at the scouting combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday.
Earlier Friday, the union’s executive committee voted 6-5 to recommend rejecting the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement that NFL owners approved Thursday.
Initially, the league hoped the players would rapidly match their acceptance of the negotiated terms. That did not happen, though the player reps and the full union membership could vote next week.
Objections to an expanded regular season are considered the main stumbling block for player approval.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns will sit out for at least two more weeks because of an injured left wrist that the team announced Friday is broken.
Towns first had an X-ray after hurting his wrist Jan. 25 against Oklahoma City, coach Ryan Saunders said. Towns played through discomfort in the next six games, posting 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in five of those, but he was ruled out of Minnesota’s last game before the All-Star break with the injury. Further evaluation by multiple medical specialists revealed the fracture, the Timberwolves said.
Towns will be re-evaluated in two weeks and his playing status reassessed, meaning his absence will total at least 10 games. Towns missed 15 games earlier this season with a left knee injury. He played in all 82 games in each of his first three seasons and 77 games last season.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers that was postponed following Kobe Bryant’s death has been rescheduled for April 9.
The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 28, two days after Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash.
The Lakers will play at home on three straight nights, with the NBA saying Friday that the game against Golden State scheduled for April 9 will be played April 7 and the game against Chicago set for April 7 will be played April 8. Chicago’s game at the Clippers scheduled for April 8 will be played April 6.
BOSTON (AP) — The NHL-leading Boston Bruins freed up salary cap space Friday by trading veteran forward David Backes and a first-round draft pick to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Ondrej Kase.
Anaheim also acquired 20-year-old prospect Axel Andersson, a defenseman, in the deal completed three days before the NHL’s trade deadline.
The Bruins benefit by trading the 35-year-old Backes, who has spent the past month playing in the minors. He is in the fourth year of a five-year, $30 million contract and had just one goal and two assists in 16 games with the Bruins before being demoted to AHL Providence last month.
Overall, the two-time Minnesota-born Olympian is a six-time 20-goal-scorer whose production has tailed off since spending his first 10 seasons with St. Louis. He had just 39 goals and 94 points in 217 games with Boston.
Kase is a secondary line player who has seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points in 49 games with the Ducks this season. Overall, he has 43 goals and 53 assists for 96 points in 198 career games over three-plus seasons in Anaheim.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — John Tonelli’s No. 27 has been raised to the rafters at Nassau Coliseum, joining some of his former teammates from the New York Islanders’ Stanley Cup dynasty.
Tonelli, known as a gritty player who worked to get the puck in the corners, became the seventh player to have his number retired by the team when he was honored before Friday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Tonelli is the first Islander to get his number retired since Bryan Trottier (19) in 2001. Dennis Potvin (5), Clark Gillies (9), Mike Bossy (22), Bobby Nystrom (23) and Billy Smith (31) had their numbers retired previously. They were all part of the teams that won four straight Stanley Cup championships from 1980-83.
Five of the six were in attendance for Tonelli’s big night. Bossy was unable to make it, but a congratulatory video message was played in the arena.
NEW YORK (AP) — Free agent pitcher Victor Alcántara was suspended for 80 games Friday under the major league drug program following a positive test for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol.
The 26-year-old right-hander was 3-2 with a 4.85 ERA last season in 46 relief appearances for the Detroit Tigers. He became a free agent last fall after he was assigned outright to Triple-A Toledo on Oct. 24.
Alcántara made his major league debut in September 2017 and was 4-3 with a 4.28 ERA in 79 games over three seasons with the Tigers.
He is the fourth player suspended this year under the big league program after Houston pitcher Francis Martes, Pittsburgh outfielder/infielder Pablo Reyes and Colorado pitcher Justin Lawrence.
Three players were banned 50 games each under the minor league drug program following positive tests for banned stimulants: Cincinnati catcher Edward Guzman, Seattle pitcher Kyle Hill and New York Mets outfielder Ryan Shinn. Guzman and Hill tested positive for Amphetamine and Shinn tested positive for Ritalinic acid.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Penn State and the family of the late head football coach Joe Paterno announced Friday they have resolved “outstanding issues” that had divided them, eight years after he was fired following Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation arrest.
The university issued a statement, read by the chairman of the university board at a meeting, that it had agreed to pay “certain of the Paterno family’s expenses” and wished to move forward. The amount was not disclosed.
“It is time to come together and devote our energies solely to education, research and the advancement of one of America’s great institutions of higher learning,” Paterno’s widow, Sue Paterno, said in a separate statement.
The deal ends a lawsuit against the university by the Paternos’ son Jay Paterno, who is currently a member of the Penn State board. Jay Paterno had claimed the university-commissioned report into the scandal had unfairly tarnished him and made him unable to find work as a football coach.