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Kings' Denis Gauthier is suspended for five games

The NHL suspends the defenseman as punishment for his nasty elbow to the head of Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges during Saturday's game.

February 03, 2009|Helene Elliott; James Wagner; Staff And Wire Reports

The NHL suspended Kings defenseman Denis Gauthier for five games as punishment for his nasty elbow to the head of Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges during the teams' game Saturday at Montreal.

Gauthier got a five-minute charging penalty and a game misconduct for the blow, which stunned Gorges and left him visibly wobbly.

Gorges returned and committed a mistake that led to a Kings goal but then did not play the third period.

Gauthier will lose $56,451.61 to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. He will be eligible to return Feb. 14 against Edmonton.

The Kings thought they had a tape that showed Gauthier hadn't left his feet when he struck Gorges, but that apparently didn't carry much weight in the face of the NHL's crackdown on hits to the head.

"We didn't think it was a penalty at all. It wasn't one where the guy jumps up, which is my understanding of what we're after," Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said. "He hits the guy with his shoulder and we felt there was no penalty.

"At least they thought about it. Usually, they call you right after [a hearing]. This time they called about four hours later."

-- Helene Elliott

Craig Hartsburg was fired as coach of the Ottawa Senators with the team on its way to not reaching the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.

He was dismissed after 48 games and replaced by Cory Clouston, who was promoted from the American Hockey League's Binghamton (N.Y.) Senators. Clouston is the team's fourth coach since Ottawa appeared in the 2007 Stanley Cup finals.

The Senators are 13th in the Eastern Conference and are 14 points out of the eighth spot to qualify for the playoffs.

GOLF

Johnson receives Sifford exemption

Vincent Johnson, a 22-year-old golfer from Portland, Ore., has been given the Northern Trust Open's Charlie Sifford exemption to play in the tournament Feb. 19-22 at Riviera Country Club.

The exemption, in its first year, is designed to give a player who represents the advancement of minorities in golf a place in the field.

Johnson is a graduate of Oregon State and turned professional over the summer. He is playing on the Gateway Tour, a mini-tour series in Arizona.

BASEBALL

Mets, Perez agree to three-year deal

Left-hander Oliver Perez and the New York Mets reached a preliminary agreement on a $36-million, three-year contract.

The deal is subject to the pitcher's passing a physical, two people familiar with the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement wasn't final.

Perez was 10-7 with a 4.22 earned-run average in 34 starts last year. Although he struck out 180, he walked 105 in 194 innings.

Former Angel Casey Kotchman and the Atlanta Braves avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $2,885,000.

Kotchman hit a combined .272 with 14 homers and 74 runs batted in last season for the Braves and the Angels. He was sent to Atlanta in the Mark Teixeira trade.

The Baltimore Orioles acquired left-hander Rich Hill from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named. . . . Right-hander Josh Fogg agreed to a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies.

ETC.

Ohio State's Boone is arrested

Ohio State offensive lineman Alex Boone was arrested after being subdued with a Taser during an alleged drunk tirade, authorities in Aliso Viejo said.

Boone, who was selected All-Big Ten Conference last season, could be selected in the NFL draft in April.

Boone, 21, was taken into custody late Sunday for investigation of resisting arrest after Orange County sheriff's deputies responded to a disturbance call outside a home.

The Denny's Dick Weber Open returns to Fountain Valley this week as part of the Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowling Assn. Tour. With qualifying through Thursday, the tournament at the Fountain Bowl will feature some of the top bowlers, including PBA points leader Wes Malott and Hall of Fame member Walter Ray Williams Jr.

The tournament is a throwback to the 1960s, with round-robin match play and a stepladder final. Match play among the top 24 bowlers begins Thursday night. The top five bowlers will advance to Sunday's final, which will be shown live at 10 a.m on ESPN.

-- James Wagner

Nancy Neville Adams, who co-owned the Tennessee Titans with her husband, Bud Adams, has died in Houston. She was 84. The Titans announced that she died Sunday night but did not release the cause.

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