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Lemieux Joins the Hall Swiftly

September 10, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

Mario Lemieux, who led the Pittsburgh Penguins to their only two Stanley Cup championships before retiring last season, was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday after the usual three-year waiting period following retirement was waived in recognition of his "outstanding preeminence and skill."

Bryan Trottier, Lemieux's teammate on the Penguins' title teams in 1990-91 and 1991-92 and a member of four Cup champions with the New York Islanders in the early '80s, also was elected. Edmonton Oiler General Manager Glen Sather was honored in the builders' category. All three will be inducted Nov. 17.

The Hall has inducted eight other players after waiving the normal waiting period, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, Terry Sawchuk, Red Kelly, Ted Lindsay, Maurice Richard and Dit Clapper.

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Eric Lindros reported to training camp, but both he and the Philadelphia Flyers said they did not have an agreement on a new contract. . . . The New York Rangers re-signed free agent right winger Alexei Kovalev. . . . The New Jersey Devils signed Michigan center Brendan Morrison, last season's winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the nation's top collegiate player, to a multiyear contract.

Tennis

Top-seeded Carlos Moya cruised through the first round, but Wimbledon runner-up Cedric Pioline lost at the Samsung Open in Bournemouth, England.

Moya scored a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Israel's Oren Motovassel. Pioline, seeded fourth, was beaten by Jacobo Diaz, 7-5, 6-3.

Boris Becker received a wild-card entry into the $6-million Grand Slam Cup, the world's richest tournament that invites the 16 players with the best records in the four Grand Slam events. It will be played Sept. 23-28 in Munich, Germany.

Adam Peterson of Orange defeated Nestor Bernabe on Tuesday to reach the final qualifying round of the men's open in the Mats Wilander Battle of the Beaches tennis tournament at Newport Beach Tennis Club.

Peterson, formerly of Mater Dei, defeated Bernabe of Long Beach, 6-3, 6-0, to advance. Peterson will play San Diego's Vo Chu today in the qualifying final.

Also advancing from the county was Woodbridge High junior David Lingman, who beat Toni Piccuta of San Luis Obispo, 6-4, 4-6, 3-0.

Basketball

Former Virginia basketball player Courtney Alexander, convicted of assaulting his girlfriend and sentenced to four days in jail last month, said he is transferring to Fresno State.

The 6-foot-6 forward led Virginia with a 14.8-point scoring average last season. He will be eligible to play for the Bulldogs in 1998-99 and will have two years' eligibility.

Sam Williams, 38, who played at Arizona State and with two NBA teams, has been named men's assistant coach at USC.

Ray Meyer, 83, has ended more than half a century at DePaul, deciding he no longer wants to be a fund-raiser for the school that fired his son Joey as coach five months ago.

Ray Meyer coached the Blue Demons to a 724-354 record from 1942-84. DePaul was 3-23 under Joey Meyer last season.

Funeral services will be held today in Cincinnati for longtime agent Ron Grinker, whose list of clients included players Danny Manning and Jim McIlvaine and prominent college coaches Bob Huggins and Rick Majerus. Grinker, 57, died of cancer.

Jurisprudence

Bob Nightengale, former Times sportswriter, filed suit against The Times. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges wrongful termination. It claims Nightengale was fired for writing articles about racism in baseball and further claims those articles upset Dodger personnel. Times spokeswoman Laura Morgan, responding to the suit, said, "These claims are incorrect."

A misdemeanor charge of domestic abuse filed last year against Sacramento King center Olden Polynice involving his then-fiancee was dismissed by the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office after prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to try the case. Polynice and the alleged victim, Rachel Taylor, have since married.

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