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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 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. Lindros and his father-agent, Carl, said that contrary to media reports that a new deal was imminent, they weren't sure when negotiations would be concluded.

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.

Auto Racing

Former driver Emerson Fittipaldi, who broke a vertebra in his lower back when his small plane crashed Sunday in a swamp in Brazil, will have surgery in Miami.

Fittipaldi was piloting an ultralight aircraft from his family citrus farm when it crashed 220 miles northwest of Sao Paulo. His 6-year-old son, Luca, was with him but suffered only scratches.

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.

The Vancouver Grizzlies signed free-agent guard Marcus Brown, who played 21 games as a rookie with the Portland Trail Blazers last season, to a two-year contract.

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.

Miscellany

Evelyn Ashford and Renaldo Nehemiah head the list of 11 candidates for election to the national Track and Field Hall of Fame. The others: Arnie Robinson, Jack Davis, Craig Dixon, Maren Seidler, Evie Dennis, Henry Carr, Henry Laskau, Oliver Jackson, and the late Lucile Godbold. . . . Canadian sprinter Derek Dueck has been banned from competition for four years after testing positive for steroids, Athletics Canada announced. Dueck denied taking banned substances and said the abnormal levels of testosterone were caused by a legal drug he was taking for medical purposes.

Ballroom dancing, rugby and surfing moved another step closer to becoming Olympic sports after receiving formal recognition from the International Olympic Committee. They were put on a list of two dozen other sports awaiting possible inclusion in the Games.

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 spokesperson 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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