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Thursday's Sports in Brief

Thursday's Sports in Brief

NEW YORK (AP) The next round of NHL cuts could be the deepest yet.

With no deal in sight and no negotiations planned, the NHL chopped another two weeks off the schedule and moved closer to canceling the entire hockey season.

No drop-dead date has been announced, but it is clear the sides are running out of time to reach a deal. The NHL said Thursday that all games through Jan. 14 have been canceled. More than 50 percent of the schedule has been lost, and the rest is now in danger, too.


Three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton says she coped with depression and a troubled marriage by turning to a life of prostitution.

In a series of posts to her Twitter account, Favor Hamilton acknowledged working as an escort following a report on The Smoking Gun website about her double life.

``I do not expect people to understand,'' Favor Hamilton tweeted. ``But the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression.''

The Smoking Gun said the 44-year-old athlete has been working for the last year for a Las Vegas escort service that booked her for dates there, as well as in Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago. The website said she charged $600 an hour for her services.

One of the country's best-ever middle-distance runners, Favor Hamilton competed for the U.S. at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics without winning a medal. She won seven U.S. national titles. She lives in Madison, Wis., where, The Smoking Gun reported, she and her husband, Mark, live in a $600,000 home and appear to be in no financial distress based on the website's review of court and municipal records.

Favor Hamilton told the website that only her husband was aware of her escort work, but that, ``He tried, he tried to get me to stop. He wasn't supportive of this at all.''


ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Robert Griffin III looks good to go.

The Washington Redskins rookie had a full practice for the second straight day as the team prepares for this week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

``I like what I see,'' coach Mike Shanahan said. ``If there is no setback, he should be ready to go.''

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Mark Sanchez is no longer the face of the New York Jets. He could soon be a former member of the team.

And Tim Tebow might beat him out the door.

A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that the Jets will consider all of their options regarding the two quarterbacks during the offseason. That means both Sanchez and Tebow are in limbo and trades cannot be ruled out.

The person, who requested anonymity because the team's personnel plans are private, told the AP that the Jets have not made any determinations involving Sanchez or Tebow.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Chris Johnson first wrote the names of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims on his cleats. Now the Titans running back has sent gifts to the family of Grace McDonnell after speaking with them by telephone.

He had the names on his cleats for Monday night's game against the New York Jets, and he scored on a franchise-record 94-yard touchdown run. The family reached out to Johnson through the Titans, and the running back spoke Tuesday with the McDonnells and Grace's older brother, Jack.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Colts head coach Chuck Pagano can resume coaching whenever he's ready.

Dr. Larry Cripe told The Associated Press that Pagano had been cleared to return and that it was up to the coach and the Colts to determine when that will happen and how much Pagano will do. Pagano's physician is not imposing any restrictions, either.

Pagano is expected to return to the team complex as soon as Monday.


CHICAGO (AP) - Jabari Parker had just about everyone guessing until he pulled out that blue T-shirt with a white ``D.''

The prized prospect from Chicago's Simeon Career Academy, one of the most highly touted recruits in years, is headed to Duke to play for Mike Krzyzewski. Parker made the announcement in front of a national TV audience, in his high school gym.

A 6-foot-8 forward with the ability to nail jumpers from just about any spot when he's not throwing down vicious dunks, Parker can't sign his letter of intent until April 17. But he made his intentions clear the highly anticipated oral commitment.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Several schools tried to lure Gary Andersen away from Utah State.

Wisconsin finally got him.

Andersen was officially hired as the Badgers' new coach and will be formally introduced at a news conference Friday morning. He replaces Bret Bielema, who left the Badgers for Arkansas this month.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah State promoted offensive coordinator Matt Wells to head coach, replacing Wisconsin-bound Gary Andersen.

Andersen took the Wisconsin job, taking over for Bret Bielema, who left to take the Arkansas job.

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Poinsettia Bowl was ponderous, even boring, until Brigham Young linebacker Kyle Van Noy took over.

Van Noy scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone and then on an interception return to lead Brigham Young to a 23-6 victory over San Diego State.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Oregon football coach Chip Kelly said the Ducks have cooperated with the NCAA investigation into the school's use of recruiting services, and he isn't particularly surprised that the process has taken so long.

``They (the NCAA) have a process and a review that they go through and until they make their findings public, we can't really comment on it. But we've cooperated fully,'' he said.

He said no potential recruits have mentioned the probe.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - J.J. Barea ended Oklahoma City's 12-game winning streak almost all by himself.

Playing with the tenacity that made him so important to the Mavericks' run to the title two years ago, Barea scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 99-93 victory over the Thunder.

Kevin Durant had 33 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Thunder, who had not lost a game since Nov. 23 at Boston.


CHICAGO (AP) - A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract with right-hander Edwin Jackson.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. Several outlets had previously reported the agreement.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Mike Adams chose setting up for Jonathan Papelbon over a chance to make more money as a closer somewhere else.

Adams finalized a $12 million, two-year contract with Philadelphia, giving the Phillies a premier eighth-inning reliever. The 34-year-old right-hander was 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA last season for the Texas Rangers.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Recovering right-hander Mike Pelfrey and the Minnesota Twins finalized a $4 million, one-year contract, filling another hole in a thin rotation.


NYON, Switzerland (AP) - Real Madrid will face Manchester United in the second round of the European Champions League, a matchup that sends Cristiano Ronaldo back to the stadium where he made his reputation and Jose Mourinho to the club many believe he wants to coach.

The draw also paired favorite Barcelona and Lionel Messi against seven-time winner AC Milan.


ARE, Sweden (AP) - Mikaela Shiffrin showed that the American ski team can live without Lindsey Vonn, at least for a little while.

In the first World Cup race since Vonn said she was taking a break from the circuit, the 17-year-old Shiffrin picked up the slack quite nicely, edging Sweden's Frida Hansdotter in a night slalom for her first World Cup victory.

Shiffrin has been touted as the next American ski star, and she performed like one under the floodlights on Are's Olympia course. An outstanding second run gave her a combined time of 1 minute, 45.36 seconds.

``This is huge,'' Shiffrin said. ``I think the best part besides the skiing was the ceremony. It made me cry a little bit when I heard the American anthem.''

John Carlson gets the better of John Klingberg in duel of top defensemen


John Carlson gets the better of John Klingberg in duel of top defensemen

One week ago, the hockey world was captivated by the matchup of Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, two players battling for the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer. Tuesday's matchup between the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars once again pitted two competitors locked in a point battle together in John Carlson and John Klingberg.

Carlson and Klingberg entered Tuesday's games with 59 points each, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. In a 4-3 win for Washington, both defensemen delivered phenomenal performances as each recorded two points, two assists for Klingberg and a goal and an assist for Carlson.

Tuesday's game was the latest example this season of Carlson rising to the occasion. He has been at his best when he has been needed the most such as when he was averaging 27:46 of ice time a night while Matt Niskanen was out injured.


Carlson's ability to deliver has not gone unnoticed by his teammates.

"John's having just a whale of a year, obviously," Niskanen said. "Monster year. Production, been carrying the load all year. He's been just a stalwart back there for us. He leads the way."

"The numbers don't lie, he's been having an unreal season," T.J. Oshie said. "Definitely on the points side of things, but maybe some parts that don't get talked about, the defensive side of things. He rarely loses a battle. It's very encouraging, it gets the bench going when he plays like that."

After the game, Carlson tried to downplay the notion that he elevated his game in response to playing against Klingberg.

"No," Carlson said when asked if he was motivated by the points race. "I think the guys do a good job of pumping that up in the locker room. I just want to go out there and win. I think we played a good game tonight so that's most important."

But while his words were subdued, his play was anything but.

Despite both players getting two points, Carlson got the better of his counterpart by scoring the game-winning goal in the third period, a one-timer slap shot to beat goalie Kari Lehtnonen, to lead Washington to the win.


Carlson may say he was not motivated by Klingberg, but his play certainly seemed to suggest otherwise.

"I think they both know, they know the stats," Barry Trotz said. "They know who they're lined up  [against]. They're proud athletes. You're in a business where there's a lot of alpha males. That's what it is."

Of course, Carlson may not need a matchup with Klingberg to motivate him.

In the final year of his contract, Carlson has picked a good time to set new career highs in goals, assist and points. With a cap hit of just under $4 million, the 28-year-old blueliner will be due a significant raise in the offseason. That price tag continues to climb with every good performance as Carlson continues to cement himself among the league's top defensemen.

"Obviously he's very motivated," Trotz said. "He's in the last year of his contract. He'll be motivated. He's putting out points. He's gotten better and better. He's more poised every year. When he's intense and detailed in his game, he's a top defenseman in the league and he shows it."

Quick Links

Need to Know: Redskins player quick hitters—Offensive starters

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Need to Know: Redskins player quick hitters—Offensive starters

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 21, 36 days before the NFL draft.  

Redskins starters quick hitters—offense

The last couple of days here I looked at how the depth charts are shaping up with a little bit of commentary (offense, defense). Today and tomorrow I’ll take a closer look at the starters with some quick hitters about each one, starting today with the offense.

QB Alex Smith—The deal is done, and the Redskins have their man for five years at $22.2 million per year or, if they prefer, three years at $23.7 million per. It seems like most fans are behind him but there will have to be a few more wins than losses this fall for that to become permanent.

RB Samaje Perine—He got better as the year went on, averaging nearly a half yard per carry more in the last seven games compared to the first nine. But the 3.4 average per carry certainly did not stop both Doug Williams and Jay Gruden from talking about drafting a running back early.

TE Jordan Reed—According to reports, he is rehabbing well from the hamstring and toe injuries that severely limited him last year. Still, expect him to be kept in bubble wrap until training camp and even then, his action may be limited.

WR Josh Doctson—Did Kirk Cousins look away from Doctson too often, lacking the confidence in him to let him go get the 50-50 balls? Will Smith have more confidence in Doctson? The answers to those questions may determine if the third-year receiver breaks out in 2018 or he continues to tease with flashes of ability.

WR Paul Richardson—He’s capable of the acrobatic catch, which should be fun to watch. Richardson was good with Russell Wilson on the off-schedule plays, maybe he can do the same with Smith.

WR Jamison Crowder—I guess it’s fair to say he had an off year in 2017 but his receiving yardage only dropped by 60 yards from 2016. It will be interesting to see if they keep him in as the punt returner after he averaged 6.3 yards per return (23rd of 25 qualifiers) last year.

LT Trent Williams—The six-time Pro Bowler is still in the relatively early stages of recovering from surgery to the knee that kept him from practicing from about Week 6 on. Don’t look for him until training camp and even then, the early workload is likely to be light.

LG Arie Kouandjio—This is the one offensive position that remains up in the air. Kouandjio has shown some grit as a spot starter but I don’t think the organization views him as a 16-game starter.

C Chase Roullier—Shortly after Roullier got the starting job when Spencer Long went out injured, Jay Gruden said that Roullier would be the Redskins’ center “for a long time”. There is no reason to doubt that at this point in time.

RG Brandon Scherff—His concern no longer is trying to live up to having been the fifth pick of the draft. Scherff has to play well enough to justify his 2019 option-year salary, which will be in the vicinity of $13 million.

RT Morgan Moses—He had surgery to repair his ankles, which were an issue most of last season. Still, he didn’t miss a start. Like Williams, even if he’s ready for training camp, don’t expect to see a whole lot of him.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 27
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 129
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 173

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