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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fast Break


Seahawks sign wide receiver

T.J. Houshmandzadeh signed with the Seattle Seahawks after a stressful weekend during which the top free-agent wide receiver weighed an offer from Minnesota and dismissed his former Cincinnati Bengals.

“I never had stress in my life – until this weekend. I was waking up in the middle of the night,” said the 31-year-old Houshmandzadeh, who caught 204 passes in the past two seasons in Cincinnati.

Seahawks president and general manager Tim Ruskell called it “quite an ordeal.”

Seattle’s top wide receiver last year was Bobby Engram with just 47 catches. The Seahawks had seven injuries at the position last season and slid from NFC West champions to 4-12.

Houshmandzadeh has had three consecutive seasons with at least 90 catches, including a league co-leading 112 in 2007, when he made his first Pro Bowl.

Seattle has had just one 90-catch season in franchise history, in 2007 when Engram had 94.

Ruskell said the team hasn’t ruled out retaining Engram, but it seems unlikely. Engram is 36 and a free agent.

Multiple reports say Houshmandzadeh’s contract is for five years and $40 million, with $15 million in guarantees.

Houshmandzadeh will team with Deion Branch and Nate Burleson, both of whom were injured last season, in three wide-receiver sets for new Seahawks coach Jim Mora.


Letts suspended for 10 games

Spokane Chiefs forward Ryan Letts has been suspended 10 games by the Western Hockey League for his part in Saturday’s brawl-filled game against the Tri-City Americans at the Arena.

Letts will miss the team’s final eight regular-season games and two playoff games.

Tri-City’s Mitch McColm was suspended for two games.

College basketball

Please leave Wooden alone

The family of John Wooden has a request for his many fans: Please stop sending items for the 98-year-old coaching great to autograph.

Wooden, who coached UCLA to 10 national titles, is recovering from pneumonia that put him in the hospital.

Wooden’s daughter said the family appreciates the support and respect of fans across the country, but certain steps need to be taken.

“The amount of mail Dad receives on a daily basis is just overwhelming, and that doesn’t include the items sent to the basketball office at UCLA,” Nan Muehlhausen said in a statement.

“Dad would try to sign every item if he could, but the number of items he is receiving has increased greatly in the last few months.

“Dad is 98 years old and we believe that signing his name for hours on end on a daily basis is not in his best interest.”

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