One of the NHL's all-time greats skates away


One of the NHL's all-time greats skates away

From Comcast SportsNet
DETROIT (AP) -- Swedish defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom retired after 20 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, ending one of the best careers in NHL history on Thursday. The four-time Stanley Cup champion and seven-time Norris Trophy winner as the league's best defenseman fought back tears as he made the announcement. "My drive and motivation are not where they need to be to play at this level," Lidstrom said. The 42-year-old set an NHL record by playing 1,564 games with a single team. He had put retirement on hold in each of the previous two years by signing one-year contracts. "I've been dreading this day since I became manager in 1997," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. Lidstrom had 264 career goals with 1,142 points. After being incredibly durable for 19 seasons, he missed a career-high 11 games with a bruised right ankle and was out for another game with the flu. "That didn't sway me one way or another," Lidstrom said. "A couple of weeks after the season is over, you start working out. Once I started doing that I didn't have the push I need and I can't cheat myself." He plans to move his family to Sweden and hopes to have an off-ice role with the Red Wings. "Retiring today allows me to walk away with pride, rather than have the game walk away from me," said Lidstrom, whose oldest of four sons went to Sweden two years ago to attend school and play ice hockey. Lidstrom was named the NHL's best defenseman last year for a seventh time, matching Doug Harvey's total and trailing Bobby Orr's record by one. When Lidstrom won his final Norris Trophy last summer, he was a finalist for the 11th time in 13 seasons. Defenseman Brad Stuart, who was his teammate for the past four-plus seasons, said he was amazed at Lidstrom's ability to make the right play on almost every shift game after game. "I've played with great players who made mistakes, but I can't think of one game when I thought, Nick just didn't have it tonight,'" Stuart said during this year's one-series postseason. "He's that same, steady, amazing defenseman every night. I think I've seen him out of breath maybe three or four times in a few years because he's so smart, he gets himself in the right position to make a play." The four-time Olympian also scored the gold-medal winning goal for Sweden over Finland in 2006. He became the first European-born captain to win a Stanley Cup in 2008, six years after being the first from Europe to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP. He has a chiseled body thanks to a year-round workout that includes exercise before practice and after games along with a sensible diet that includes only occasional slices of pizza and fast food. Lidstrom's teammates call him "The Perfect Human," in part because he's as humble as he is successful on the ice. "It's one of the most emotional days in Red Wings history with Nick retiring and all you people showing your respect for such a high-quality individual," Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch said at a packed news conference that included a slew of team employees wearing Lidstrom's No. 5 red jersey with a winged wheel.

DeAngelo Hall to be inducted into Virginia Tech Hall of Fame

DeAngelo Hall to be inducted into Virginia Tech Hall of Fame

Former Virginia Tech standout and current Washington Redskins safety DeAngelo Hall will be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, the school has announced.

Hall played for the Hokies from 2001 to 2003, catching an interception as a true freshman in the very first game of his collegiate career. He was a dynamic player for Virginia Tech on defense, offense and special teams, scoring touchdowns in all three phases of the game. Hall remains the only player in school history to return two punts for touchdowns in the same game which he did in 2003 against Syracuse. He also played a major role in one of the biggest wins in program history, a 31-7 win over No. 2 Miami in 2003 in which Hall scored a touchdown on a strip and return.

The Chesapeake, Va. native was named an All-American after the 2003 season. He left Virginia Tech after three years and was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2004 NFL Draft. He is now in his eighth season in Washington.

Kerri Gardin, Kevin Jones, Spyridon Jullien, Ashlee Lee and Jim Weaver will also be inducted with Hall. The ceremony will take place on Sept. 16 and all six will be introduced the following day during halftime of Virginia Tech's game against Boston College.


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Ubaldo Jimenez back with Orioles Tuesday, being considered for start

Ubaldo Jimenez back with Orioles Tuesday, being considered for start

BALTIMORE—Ubaldo Jimenez will return from the paternity list on Tuesday. A player must be subtracted from the roster when Jimenez, who has been mentioned as part of a rumored deal with San Diego Padres, returns. 

Manager Buck Showalter said he is “contemplating” who is going to start in the makeup game in Minnesota on Thursday night. 

The Orioles are making up the rained out game of May 9 at Target Field. They’ll travel to Toronto for three games after that. 

Showalter said he doesn’t know if the Orioles “will stay in turn or move some things around” for Thursday. He’s looking forward to the team’s first off-day since the All-Star break, a week from now. 

“We’re going to have to wait and see how we get through the next couple of days before we commit to Thursday and see where Ubaldo fits in when he gets back tomorrow,” Showalter said. 

“We’ve been looking at a lot of stuff, matchup wise, ballpark, different things, trying to see if there’s a good way to go forward. We’re trying to accomplish some things with a couple of young pitchers, give them an extra day.” 

It would be Kevin Gausman’s turn to pitch on Thursday. Gausman is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in four starts against the Twins and has a 9.31 ERA in two starts at Target Field.

Jimenez is 5-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 10 games against the Twins and is 4-1 with a 1.82 ERA in six starts in Minnesota.

He hasn’t pitched since July 8, but Showalter isn’t worried about a layoff for Jimenez, who overall is 5-9 with a 7.38 ERA. 

“It might actually be good for him. Who knows? There are two ways of looking at it. It might be a nice little freshen up, get away from things,” Showalter said. 

Showalter says that Jimenez has thrown after games with pitching coach Dave Wallace. 

“We’ll see if he’s a candidate for a start here shortly,” Showalter said. 

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Wieters returns to lineup a week after bruised foot

Wieters returns to lineup a week after bruised foot

BALTIMORE—A week ago, Matt Wieters was bruised on the right foot when the New York Yankees’ Ivan Nova hit him with a pitch. After the game, Wieters’ foot was x-rayed, and he hadn’t played since. 

That is, until Monday night, when Wieters will return to the lineup.

“It’s gotten better each day. Moving around is no problem now,” Wieters said. “We were waiting to walk around without any kind of hindrance and that’s all gone now, so it feels good to get back out there.” 

He’s not surprised it took this long to return. 

“The foot’s a sensitive area. You never want to miss any time. When it first happened, I knew it was a little bit more than just a bruise. I thought it was going to take a little bit of time, but I was hoping it wasn’t going to be this long,” Wieters said. 

Wieters said the time off won’t necessarily help him. He had already played three straight games. 

“I think we were getting there before we were hit in the foot,” Wieters said. “We were getting more and more games. The arm was feeling better and better. I don’t really want seven days of rest.” 

Manager Buck Showalter has said for the past few days that Wieters could have been used in an emergency. 

“I think we waited the right amount of time,” Showalter said.