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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Rangers sign centers Gomez and Drury

The Spokesman-Review

The New York Rangers solved their problems at center on Sunday, signing Scott Gomez and Chris Drury away from Eastern Conference rivals on the first day of free agency.

The Rangers landed the two biggest available centers – plucking Gomez from New Jersey and Drury from the Buffalo Sabres. Gomez signed a seven-year deal with the Rangers worth $51.5 million. Drury inked a five-year contract for $35.25 million.

•Former Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere signed an eight-year, $52 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.

•Sharks forward Joe Thornton signed a three-year, $21.6 million contract extension that keeps him with San Jose through 2011.

•The Anaheim Ducks found a potential replacement in the event captain Scott Niedermayer retires, signing defenseman Mathieu Schneider to a two-year, $11.25 million contract. Detroit quickly made up for Schneider’s loss by signing top-tier defenseman Brian Rafalski to a five-year, $30 million contract.

•Minnesota traded goalie Manny Fernandez to the Boston Bruins for prospect forward Petr Kalus and a midround draft pick.

Auto racing

Raikkonen wins

Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa gave Ferrari a sweep of the top two places at the French Grand Prix in Magny Cours, France, ending McLaren’s winning streak at three Formula One races.

Raikkonen, who also captured the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, won his second race this year – and the 11th of his career – after starting third on the grid. The Finn finished the 2.74-mile circuit in 1 hour, 30 minutes, 54.200 seconds. Massa, a Brazilian, was nearly 2 1/2 seconds behind.

Lewis Hamilton was third for McLaren, 32 seconds behind the winner. Hamilton now has eight straight top-three finishes in his rookie F1 season.

•Rookie Robert Doornbos drove to his first career win at the inaugural Champ Car Mont-Tremblant in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, giving him four top-three finishes in six races.

Sebastien Bourdais, Champ Car’s three-time defending champion, finished second.


Carter deal in place

Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets have the framework in place for a four-year contract that guarantees the All-Star more than $60 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

•Champion marathoner Alberto Salazar remained hospitalized in serious condition after collapsing Saturday at the Nike campus in Portland, Ore. Doctors were conducting tests to learn the cause of the 48-year-old runner’s “heart event.”

•The seventh and possibly series-clinching race of the America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain, was postponed because of light and unsteady wind, and will be held Tuesday instead.

•Takefumi Sakata of Japan won the WBA flyweight title with a unanimous decision over Roberto Vasquez in Tokyo.

•Dave Villwock drove Miss Ellstrom Elam Plus to victory in the Thunder on the Ohio unlimited hydroplane race in Evansville, Ind.

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