Hockey: Spokane Chiefs star defenseman Jared Cowen got his first real taste of professional hockey Friday night when the Ottawa Senators put their first-round draft pick, ninth overall, in the lineup for an exhibition game against the Montreal Canadiens.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound 18-year-old has been rehabbing from a knee injury suffered while playing with the Chiefs in January.
“I think the plan is for me to play in a preseason game before I go back,” Cowen said in a story on the Senators’ Web site. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I think it’s pretty close now.
“Playing any game right now would be exciting for me, but playing in the NHL would be very exciting.”
Cowen could be back in Spokane for its home opener next Saturday against the Tri-City Americans.
Seahawks’ Jones may play Sunday
NFL: Walter Jones could play Sunday for the Seahawks at San Francisco, one month to the day after knee surgery.
Seattle’s nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle had his most extensive practice on Friday since his second knee surgery in eight months. Jones, 35, did some team drills and is listed as questionable.
Coach Jim Mora said Jones has progressed more than expected. He’s waiting for Jones to say he’s ready, but Mora cautioned against playing the star too soon.
Top wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh practiced for the first time this week following back spasms. He is listed as probable and said he will start.
Deion Branch is less likely to play. He missed another day with a strained hamstring.
League will train replacement refs
NBA: The NBA will begin training replacement referees next week after discussions broke down with its referee union over a new contract.
The NBA did not say in a statement where the training camp would be conducted or who will be invited. It also did not say whether the NBA planned to resume contract discussions.
The contract between the NBA and its officials expired Sept. 1.