NHL and the players’ union to sit at the table Friday
TORONTO – The NHL and its players’ union are to resume bargaining Friday for the first time since the lockout began, although the talks will concentrate on secondary economic issues.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHL Players’ Association special counsel Steve Fehr met Tuesday in Toronto and set up the session, which will be in New York. These will be the first formal negotiations since Sept. 12, when the players and owners exchanged proposals.
The lockout started Sept. 16, when training camps were set to open, and the entire slate of preseason games was the first casualty. This is the third lockout since Gary Bettman became commissioner in 1993. The last lockout wiped out the 2004-05 season and ended when players accepted a salary cap.
Seattle City Council approves new NBA/NHL arena deal
SEATTLE – A wealthy hedge-fund manager won approval Monday for his plan to bring professional men’s basketball and hockey back to Seattle, with initially skeptical City Council members agreeing to put up $200 million for a new arena after he promised to personally guarantee the city’s debt.
Council members voted 6-2 to approve Chris Hansen’s plan for a $490-million arena near the Seahawks and Mariners stadiums south of downtown.
Notre Dame opts out of its Michigan playing contract
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Notre Dame is opting out of its series with Michigan, meaning the last scheduled game between college football’s winningest programs will take place in 2014.
The Fighting Irish recently decided to move to the Atlantic Coast Conference in every sport except football and hockey, though the football team will play five games a year against ACC opponents, starting no later than 2015.
The Irish beat the Wolverines 13-6 over the weekend in the latest game of a storied series that dates to 1887. They’ve played every year since 2002 and regularly since 1978 after not meeting from 1944-77 or 1910-41. Michigan and Notre Dame were scheduled to take a hiatus during the 2018-19 seasons.
The Wolverines have an NCAA-best .735 winning percentage in football, and the Irish (.732) are second. Michigan leads all-time series 23-16-1.
Rockies’ Talking Stick fields to host World Classic games
SAN FRANCISCO – Japan will host first and second rounds of pool play at two sites in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which is expanding from 16 to 28 teams with the winner being named world champion for the first time.
The WBC announced its venues and pools Tuesday outside the Giants’ AT&T Park, which will host the semifinals and championship game in the event’s third run.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, will host games for the third time at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Those games will be played March 7-10 featuring Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and a qualifier.
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field and the club’s shared Scottsdale spring training facility with the Colorado Rockies – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick – will host Pool D games between the U.S., Italy, Mexico and a qualifier.
Nadal’s maligned knee injury might keep him from a major
LONDON – Rafael Nadal still has no timetable for his return from a knee injury, and the 11-time Grand Slam champion isn’t sure if he’ll play the Australian Open in January.
The Spaniard hasn’t played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June to little-known Lukas Rosol. Nadal is recovering from a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee.
Nadal could miss the ATP World Tour Finals on Nov. 5-12 in London and Spain’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic on Nov. 16-18.