June 26, 2011 in Sports

In brief: 3 Chiefs selected in final day of NHL draft


Hockey: Three Spokane Chiefs – defenseman Brenden Kichton, center Dominik Uher and winger Darren Kramer – were selected Saturday as the National Hockey League draft concluded in St. Paul, Minn.

Kichton became the first Chief picked – 127th overall – when he went in the fifth round to the New York Islanders. Uher went 17 spots later in the same round to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kramer, who began his 19-year-old year in the Alberta Major Junior Hockey League before being listed by the Chiefs, was a sixth-round selection – 156th overall – of the Ottawa Senators, which two years ago made Spokane’s Jared Cowen their No. 1 pick.

“The family was watching the TV downstairs, but I couldn’t take the pressure,” said Kramer, who led the Western Hockey League with 306 penalty minutes. “I went upstairs to the computer and it was a little behind so I learned I was drafted by everyone screaming downstairs, but I needed to believe it with my own eyes.”

A total of 33 WHL players were selected, including four in the first two rounds from the Western Division-champion Portland Winterhawks.

Related story, C3

First CNN sports anchor dies

Broadcasting: Nick Charles, a former taxi driver who became CNN’s first sports anchor, died Saturday after a two-year struggle with bladder cancer, the cable network reported.

He died at his New Mexico home, his wife, Cory, told the network. He was 64.

Charles began at Atlanta-based CNN on the network’s first day in 1980.

He made his name before a national audience teaming with Fred Hickman for almost 20 years on “Sports Tonight,” a daily highlight show that battled with ESPN for viewers. Charles became such a popular TV personality that Topps put his face on a trading card, CNN reported.

“We just clicked from the very beginning,” Hickman told CNN. “Nick and I have always had a tremendous relationship.”

In an interview in March, he told the network his message was to “never give up on life.”

“People won’t remember who you are or what you said. It’s really about: Are you going to be remembered as a good person?” he said. “That’s victory to me. That’s success.”

Associated Press

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