November 15, 2011 in Sports

Nieuwendyk, Belfour, Howe, Gilmour in Hall

Associated Press photo

Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour, pose with their rings after being presented with them during ceremonies on Monday in Toronto.
(Full-size photo)

Hockey: As Joe Nieuwendyk, Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour and Mark Howe took their place in the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, they reflected on careers that had them standing together on the sport’s grandest stage.

“It’s what makes it such a special place,” Nieuwendyk said.

“It doesn’t discriminate. I think the common bond with a lot of these faces that I see on the walls, especially the recent ones that I have some history with, is a real genuine passion and a love for the game and high competitive spirit in all of us.”

Nieuwendyk attended Cornell at a time when the NCAA route was far less traveled and went on to an NHL career that included three Stanley Cups with three different teams.

Belfour was considered eccentric – even for a goaltender – but managed to compile the third-most victories in NHL history despite never being drafted.

Gilmour was passed over by just about everyone before being selected in the seventh round in 1982 and wound up playing almost 1,500 career NHL games with a heart-and-soul style that belied his modest size.

Howe grew up in the shadow of his legendary father Gordie and began his pro career as a winger in the World Hockey Association before later becoming one of the best defenseman in the NHL.

Howe endured the longest wait among the inductees. He’d been passed over every year since 1998 before finally getting the call to join his father.

Gordie Howe attended the induction ceremony and said it was a bigger moment for him than when he entered back in 1972.

On the ice: Brad Boyes and Thomas Vanek scored in a shootout to help visiting Buffalo beat Montreal 3-2. Jhonas Enroth made 25 saves in place of injured starter Ryan Miller to improve to 6-0 this season. … Claude Giroux had two goals and an assist to lead surging Philadelphia over host Carolina 5-3. Matt Read had a goal and an assist, and Maxime Talbot and Wayne Simmonds scored the other goals for Philadelphia, which got three assists from Chris Pronger. … Evander Kane, Tim Stapleton and Dustin Byfuglien each had a goal and an assist as Winnipeg ended a five-game winless skid with a 5-2 victory over visiting Tampa Bay.

MLB players, owners close in on deal

Baseball: Players and owners have moved closer to an agreement on a five-year labor contract that would institute new restraints on what teams can pay amateur draft picks.

The sides met Monday and still had some details remaining to reach an agreement, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press.

The agreement, which would replace the one expiring Dec. 11, would add thresholds for spending by a team each year on selections in the June amateur draft, as well make changes to the luxury tax and revenue sharing.

There would be progressive penalties for teams whose total spending on draft picks exceed the threshold, similar to the luxury-tax concept on high payrolls that has been part of baseball’s labor contracts since the 2003 season.

UConn extends streak

College basketball: Shabazz Napier scored 21 points and No. 4 Connecticut extended Division I’s longest winning streak to 13 games with a 78-66 victory over Wagner. Jeremy Lamb added 20 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies (2-0).

In other Top 25 men’s games: Dion Waiters had 17 points, and Kris Joseph and James Southerland each had 15 to lead Syracuse to a 92-56 win over Manhattan in the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-Off. … Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 15 points, and Michigan started the game on a 21-0 run and beat visiting Townson handily, 64-47.

Pro skier dead after Utah avalanche

Skiing: A world record-holding professional skier who once famously jumped off a 255-foot cliff died in a weekend avalanche in Utah while on a steep slope.

Jamie Pierre, 38, was swept over a cliff Sunday at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in the Wasatch mountains about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

Pierre was snowboarding one of Snowbird’s steepest slopes with a friend when he was sent cartwheeling over a cliff after he triggered the late afternoon slide, the Utah Avalanche Center reported.

It was the season’s first avalanche fatality in the U.S., authorities said.

Will Power in car for first time since crash

Auto racing: Will Power was back in a race car for the first time since breaking his back in the IndyCar Series finale last month at Las Vegas.

Power ran 115 laps at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, and said he felt fine and had no soreness in his back. He was scheduled to test again today.

“Physically, I felt absolutely fine, great, no soreness at all where I hurt my back,” Power said. “I felt bloody good.”

Power had been sidelined since sustaining two compression fractures in his thoracic vertebrae in the Oct. 16 race at Las Vegas. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed in the 15-car accident.

Beckham voted MLS comeback player

Soccer: David Beckham has been voted Major League Soccer’s comeback player of the year and Bruce Arena has earned coach of the year as the Los Angeles Galaxy swept both awards.

After missing most of the 2010 season because of a torn Achilles tendon, Beckham had 15 assists as the Galaxy finished with the league’s best regular-season record. He received 59.76 percent of voting by media, players and club officials.

DC United forward Charlie Davies, joining MLS after serious injuries in an October 2009 car crash, was second with 57.81.

Arena became the first three-time winner of the coach award, following 1997 with D.C. United and 2009 with the Galaxy.

Seattle’s Sigi Schmid and Kansas City’s Peter Vermes trailed Arena.

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