Update on the latest sports

June 23, 2017 - 8:21 pm


Devils open draft by snaring Swiss center

CHICAGO (AP) — The New Jersey Devils have made Nico Hischier (HEE'-shee-ur) the highest-drafted Swiss player in NHL history.

The Devils used the top pick in tonight's draft to select the 18-year-old center, who had 38 goals and 86 points in 57 games for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec League last season. Before that, Hischier spent two seasons in the Swiss pro league, playing for current Ottawa Senators head coach Guy Boucher (boo-SHAY').

The Devils won the draft lottery after finishing 28-40-14, the team's worst record in nearly three decades.

The Flyers selected Brandon Wheat Kings center Nolan Patrick with the second pick. Patrick held the top spot in the NHL Central Scouting Department's final rankings in April after collecting 20 goals and 46 points in just 33 games for the WHL club last season.

Dallas chose Finnish defenseman Miro Heiskanen with the third pick, Colorado grabbed blueliner Cale Makar at No. 4 and center Elias Pettersson of Sweden was taken by Vancouver with the fifth selection.

The Vegas Golden Knights used their first-ever Entry Draft pick to get Portland Winter Hawks center Cody Glass.


Hawks drop Panarin and Hjalmarsson

UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have jettisoned two key members of their nucleus just hours before the start of the NHL draft.

Blackhawks have parted with forward Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH'-mee pah-NAH'-rihn) and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (CHAHL'-mur-suhn) in separate deals.

Panarin, Tyler Motte and Chicago's sixth-round selection in this weekend's draft were sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad (sahd), goaltender Anton Forsberg and a fifth-round draft pick next year. Saad played his first four NHL seasons with the Hawks before spending the last two with Columbus.

Panarin won the Calder Trophy in 2016 and finished with 31 goals, 43 assists and 74 points last season. He was usually skating on Chicago's top line.

Hjalmarsson was sent to Arizona for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin.

Also in the NHL:

— The Coyotes have acquired center Derek Stepan (STEH'-pahn) and goalie Antti Raanta (AN'-tee RAHN'-tah) from the Rangers for defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh overall pick in Friday's NHL draft. Stepan had 17 goals and 38 assists in 81 games last season, while Raanta went 16-8-2 with four shutouts and a 2.26 goals-against average in 30 games as Henrik Lundqvist's backup. DeAngelo provided five goals and nine assists in 39 games as a rookie last season.

— The Capitals have re-signed right winger T.J. Oshie (OH'-shee) to an eight-year, $46 million package. The 30-year-old forward tied Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH'-kihn) for the team lead with 33 goals last season.

— Anahaim and forward Patrick Eaves have worked out a three-year, $9.45 million deal that keeps him with the Ducks. Eaves scored 11 goals in 20 games for the Ducks last season after being acquired from Dallas.

— The Kings have bought out the final year of defenseman Matt Greene's contract.

— The Blue Jackets have acquired center Jordan Schroeder from the Wild for minor-league center Dante Salituro.


Twins add Gee, Hildenberger to pitching staff from Triple-A

UNDATED (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations says former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has joined the group led by businessman Tagg Romney that is trying to buy the Miami Marlins.

Bush and 14-time New York Yankees All-Star Derek Jeter led rival groups pursuing the Marlins earlier this year. They then joined forces, but Bush dropped out in May.

In other MLB news:

— The Royals have altered their bullpen by working out a one-year pact with Neftali Feliz (nehf-TAH'-lee feh-LEEZ') and designating Chris Young for assignment. Feliz was released by the Brewers earlier this week after going 1-5 with a 6.00 ERA and eight saves in 29 appearances. Young had a 7.50 ERA in two starts and 12 relief appearances this season.

— The Red Sox have claimed right hander Doug Fister off waivers as they try to deal with injuries to their rotation. Manager John Farrell said Fister is slated to make his first start in Sunday's series finale against the Angels.

— The Tigers have released Francisco Rodriguez, one day after the 35-year-old reliever allowed a grand slam to Robinson Cano. Rodriguez saved 44 games for the Tigers last season, but he is 2-5 with a 7.82 ERA this year.

— The Twins have recalled right-handers Dillon Gee and Trevor Hildenberger from Triple-A Rochester. Gee is expected to join the rotation after the Twins demoted rookie Nik Turley this week.


Griffin opts out of contract

UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers could be losing a key member of their team.

A person with direct knowledge of the decision says Blake Griffin has opted out of the final year of his contract and will test the free agent market.

The move was expected and gives Griffin the chance to either pursue a deal elsewhere or re-sign with the Clippers.

Griffin has spent his entire career with the Clippers, averaging 21.5 points and 9.4 rebounds on 52 percent shooting in seven seasons.

Also in the NBA:

— Arron Afflalo (af-LAH'-loh) has become a free agent after the Kings placed the guard on waivers. Afflalo averaged 8.4 points and 2 rebounds in 61 games this past season, his first with Sacramento. He was due $12.5 million next season.


Spieth leads by 1 midway through 2nd round at Travelers

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Jordan Spieth remains the leader at the midway point of the PGA's Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

Spieth followed Thursday's 63 with a 1-under 69 that puts him one shot ahead of Patrick Reed and Troy Merritt.

Fourth-ranked Jason Day missed the cut for the second straight week. Rory McIlroy earned a Saturday tee time a week after he and Day missed the cut at the U.S. Open.


Broadbent leads in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Paul Broadbent is the first-round leader at the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wisconsin.

Broadbent had an eagle and seven birdies in a 9-under 63 that puts him two strokes ahead of Brian Henninger in the PGA Champions event. Steve Stricker, Kenny Perry and Billy Andrade (AN'-drayd) are three shots back and one ahead of Fred Couples, Corey Pavin (PAY'-vihn) and five others.


APNewsBreak: NASCAR's Knaus missing race notes after theft

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — Seven-time champion crew chief Chad Knaus (kuh-NOWS') has had his laptop stolen from a rental car in San Francisco, leaving him without the notes for Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR race this weekend at Sonoma.

Knaus and his wife landed in San Francisco on Wednesday night and headed to Fisherman's Warf for dinner. Knaus told The Associated Press they parked at a meter in a bustling area and were gone approximately 90 minutes.

When the couple returned, the right side passenger rear window was smashed and their briefcases were gone. Their luggage was not stolen.


Sports doctor ordered to stand trial on assault charges

MASON, Mich. (AP) — A longtime sports doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics has been ordered to stand trial on charges alleging he sexually assaulted six young gymnasts while they sought treatment for injuries.

Judge Donald Allen Jr. made his decision Friday in Mason, Michigan, after hearing testimony from the gymnasts and watching a police interview of the doctor, Larry Nassar.


Appeals court refuses to block Texas track coach's lawsuit

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Supreme Court has refused to block a sex and race discrimination lawsuit filed against the University of Texas by former women's track coach Bev Kearney, who was forced out after the school learned of a romantic relationship with one of her athletes a decade earlier.

Kearney sued in 2014, arguing that as a black woman, she was held to a tougher standard than a white male coach or other school officials who she alleges were in relationships with subordinates. Shortly after Kearney resigned under pressure, Texas revealed that former football assistant Major Applewhite was reprimanded, but not fired, for a relationship with a female student trainer on a 2009 bowl trip. Applewhite is now the head coach at Houston.

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