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NEWSWIRE

Jacques Lemaire returns as coach of New Jersey Devils

Lemaire reunites with General Manager and President Lou Lamoriello and goaltender Martin Brodeur, the combination that turned the Devils from a Stanley Cup contender to a champion in 1995.

July 14, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

After six years without a Stanley Cup title, the New Jersey Devils are handing over the team to the coach who led them to their first NHL title.

Jacques Lemaire, who coached the Devils for five seasons in the mid-1990s and led them to the Cup in 1995, is New Jersey's coach again. He was hired Monday, five weeks after Brent Sutter resigned and eventually took over as coach of the Calgary Flames.

"I never thought I would be back," the 63-year-old Lemaire said in a conference call. "I said at that time when I was leaving after five years, and it was five great years, I wanted to cherish this for the rest of my life and the rest of my career, but I never thought one day I would come back."

The deal reunites Lemaire with General Manager and President Lou Lamoriello and goaltender Martin Brodeur, the combination that turned the Devils from a contender to a champion in 1995.

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PRO BASKETBALL

Magic matches offer to center Gortat

The Orlando Magic has retained backup center Marcin Gortat, matching the $34-million, five-year deal offered by the Dallas Mavericks to the restricted free agent.

Gortat averaged 3.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in about 12 minutes per game last season as a solid backup to Dwight Howard. Dallas was targeting Gortat as a backup to Erick Dampier or possibly his eventual replacement because of Dampier's expiring contract.

The Phoenix Suns have reached a contract agreement with free-agent center Channing Frye.

The team scheduled a news conference today to introduce the former Arizona star.

Frye agreed to a two-year contract with the second year at his option. He will earn about $2 million next season. He averaged 4.2 points a game last season with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Atlanta Hawks announced they have re-signed unrestricted free agents Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia. . . . The Denver Nuggets acquired Arron Afflalo and Walter Sharpe from Detroit in exchange for a future second-round draft pick. The Nuggets also received cash in the deal. The Pistons freed up close to $1.8 million in salary cap space.

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JURISPRUDENCE

Ex-NFL lineman pleads guilty

Reed Diehl, a former Tennessee Titans offensive lineman and Santa Ana Mater Dei High assistant football coach, pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges related to a $5-million Ponzi scheme.

Diehl, 30, an Irvine resident, admitted in his plea agreement that he falsely represented himself as a banker who made hard money loans and that he fraudulently collected deposits for lines of credit on behalf of investors seeking financing for construction and development projects in Mexico.

Diehl is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 28. He faces a maximum 20 years in federal prison for each of three counts of wire fraud and 10 years for money laundering.

Police investigating the death of former boxing champion Arturo Gatti are working on the assumption his wife strangled him with her purse strap while he drunkenly slept. The woman's lawyer, however, insists she is innocent and was too "fragile" to kill a boxer.

Lead investigator Moises Teixeira told the Associated Press nothing is being ruled out but he is certain the woman acted by herself.

Gatti's 23-year-old Brazilian wife, Amanda Rodrigues, told investigators she awoke Saturday about 6 a.m. to find her husband's body in the apartment they rented in Porto de Galinhas, a seaside resort in northeastern Pernambuco state.

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ETC.

Chicago Cubs might file for bankruptcy

The corporate owner of the Chicago Cubs is considering having the baseball team file for bankruptcy protection as a legal step to hasten its long-awaited sale, according to two people with knowledge of the process.

Tribune Co., which also owns the Los Angeles Times and itself filed for bankruptcy protection in December, intends for the Cubs' own stay in Chapter 11 to be as short as a day or two.

If pursued, the filing would be done to give the team's next owners as "clean" a title to the Cubs as possible -- to protect them from possible future claims by Tribune creditors.

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason told sports website jocklife.com he's retiring from the NFL.

Mason played eight seasons with the Tennessee Titans and four years with the Ravens. Last season he became the 31st player in NFL history to reach 10,000 yards receiving in his career.

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PASSINGS

Former Pac-10 leader Hallock, 91

Former Pacific 10 Conference commissioner Wiles Hallock, who oversaw the league's expansion from eight to 10 teams, died at his home Monday. He was 91.

The Pac-10 announced Hallock's death in a news release. No cause of death was given. Story, Section A.

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