News Summaries from The Sports Network - Monday, June 29

Phillies tab MacPhail as next team president

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Phillies announced Monday that longtime MLB executive Andy MacPhail will succeed Pat Gillick as team president at the conclusion of this season.

MacPhail, 62, will serve as a special assistant to Gillick for the remainder of the season.

"I'm going to do everything I can to take advantage of the experience and intellect of the man on my left (Gillick), who is deservedly in the Hall of Fame," MacPhail said at an introductory press conference. "I'd be a fool if I were to ignore that advice."

Gillick will retire at season's end, leaving MacPhail to oversee the entire organization, both its business and baseball operations.

MacPhail was the general manager of the Minnesota Twins when they won World Series titles in 1987 and 1991. He served as president and CEO of the Chicago Cubs from 1994-2006, helping them reach the playoffs twice. He then spent five seasons (2007-2011) as the president of baseball operations for the Baltimore Orioles.

"I am very pleased to join the Phillies. I look forward to helping this organization bring championship caliber baseball back to Philadelphia. That is what the city and its terrific fans deserve," MacPhail said.

The Phillies have the worst record in the majors at 27-50 and are in the early stages of a rebuild.

They also are in need of a new manager.

Ryne Sandberg hinted at MacPhail's impending arrival and sounded like a guy who figured he wasn't going to be part of the future when he resigned as Phillies manager on Friday. Pete Mackanin has been serving as interim manager.

5 Royals in line to start All-Star Game

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Five players on the Kansas City Royals are in line to start the All-Star Game, down from seven last week and eight the week before.

Over the past week, Toronto's Josh Donaldson moved ahead of Kansas City's Mike Moustakas to lead American League third baseman with more than 11.73 million votes -- tops in all of baseball.

Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales also lost his voting lead, to Seattle's Nelson Cruz.

Kansas City second baseman Omar Infante, shortstop Alcides Escobar, catcher Salvador Perez and outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon are still in line to be starters.

Detroit's Miguel Cabrera kept his lead on Kansas City's Eric Hosmer among first basemen and Angels star Mike Trout continues to lead outfielders in voting.

For the first time, All-Star voting is being conducted exclusively online. Fans are allowed to vote up to 35 times from one email address through the end of balloting at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.

The game is scheduled for July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Yankees' Gardner named AL Player of the Week

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner was named the American League Player of the Week on Monday.

Gardner batted .500 with 13 hits, two home runs, four doubles, six RBI, nine runs, five walks and a .581 on-base percentage in 31 plate appearances last week.

He finished first in hits, runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage (.885) and total bases (23) in the AL, while tying for first in batting average, to claim the third weekly award of his career.

Rockies' Arenado named NL Player of the Week

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Colorado Rockies third baseman and major league RBI leader Nolan Arenado was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday.

Arenado batted .391 with an MLB-best seven home runs last week. He also led both leagues with 14 RBI, a 1.348 slugging percentage and 31 total bases in just six games.

It was the second career weekly award for the two-time Gold Glove winner.

Frazier pulls closer to Carpenter in NL voting

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - With just days remaining in voting for the National League All-Star starters, Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier has made things interesting at the hot corner.

Frazier pulled within 63,000 votes of St. Louis' Matt Carpenter for the lead among NL third basemen. Carpenter has 6,252,327 votes compared to 6,189,347 for Frazier.

This year's All-Star Game will take place July 14 in Frazier's home city of Cincinnati.

Nothing has changed at the other NL positions from last week's voting. Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper continues to lead all players with a record 11,363,949 votes. He is followed in outfield voting by the injured Giancarlo Stanton (6,062,318) of the Miami Marlins and the Cardinals' Matt Holiday (5,454,953).

San Francisco's Buster Posey still leads catchers with 7,990,423 votes. St. Louis' Yadier Molina is next with over 6.2 million votes.

Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt has a comfortable lead at first base with over 7.3 million votes. Adrian Gonzalez (3.6 million) and Joey Votto (3.5 million) are next.

Miami's Dee Gordon also holds a nice lead at second base with over 6.3 million votes, compared to 4.7 million from St. Louis' Kolten Wong.

At shortstop, the Cardinals' Jhonny Peralta (7,151,624) also holds a lead of nearly three million votes over San Francisco' Brandon Crawford (4,267,238).

Djokovic, Wawrinka win Wimbledon openers

Wimbledon, England (SportsNetwork.com) - The Championships, Wimbledon commenced Monday and world No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic was a first-round victor on a gorgeous day at the All England Club. Djokovic was joined in the second round by French Open titlist Stan Wawrinka.

The Serbian great Djokovic handled capable German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the opening match on the famed Centre Court.

Djokovic summed up what the All England Club means to him.

"This is the cradle of our sport, Centre Court," he said. "It doesn't get any better than Wimbledon."

The formidable Djokovic is the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champ. He has captured two of the last four titles at the All England Club after outlasting the iconic Roger Federer in last year's brilliant five-set finale.

Djokovic was stunned by Wawrinka in the recent French Open final as the Serb was trying to corral a career Grand Slam.

Up next for the eight-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic will be veteran Finnish left-hander Jarkko Nieminen, who outlasted former Wimbledon winner Lleyton Hewitt in five sets, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, 11-9, in four hours in Hewitt's final singles match at the All England Club. The 33-year-old Nieminen has also said that this will be his last trip to Wimbledon.

The 34-year-old Aussie Hewitt has said he will retire following the 2016 Australian Open in January. He was a Wimbledon titlist in 2002 and U.S. Open champ in 2001.

A fourth-seeded Wawrinka, who has won two of the last six Grand Slam events, defeated Portuguese Joao Sousa 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), while fifth-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori went the distance to get past Italian Simone Bolelli 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Up next for Wawrinka will be Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos, while Nishikori will face Colombian Santiago Giraldo in the next round.

Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic got past Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) and ninth-seeded U.S. Open champ Marin Cilic moved on by beating Japan's Hiroki Moriya 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

Eleventh-seeded Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov grounded Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-0, 6-4, while 14th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson bested Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 16th-seeded Belgian David Goffin topped Argentine Horacio Zeballos 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, 6-1, and 17th-seeded American John Isner dismissed Japanese Go Soeda 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4 at this grass-court fortnight.

In other action involving seeds, Aussie John Millman surprised No. 19 Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-3, 6-4; No. 21 Frenchman Richard Gasquet rolled past Aussie Luke Saville 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; No. 24 Argentine Leonardo Mayer erased Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; No. 26 Aussie Nick Kyrgios clipped Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-0, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6); No. 27 Aussie Bernard Tomic outlasted German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3; American Denis Kudla doused No. 28 Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-7 (4-7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; and No. 32 Austrian Dominic Thiem overcame Israeli Dudi Sela 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Several other men moved on, including Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, Argentine Juan Monaco, ageless German Tommy Haas, former Aussie Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, and American Steve Johnson.

On Tuesday, opening-round matches will come for the seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer, former winner Andy Murray, former runner-up Tomas Berdych and two-time winner Rafael Nadal. The second-seeded Federer will take on Bosnian Damir Dzumhur, while the third-seeded Murray will encounter Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin, the sixth-seeded Berdych will meet France's Jeremy Chardy, and a 10th-seeded Nadal will battle Brazilian fellow left- handier Thomaz Bellucci.

Federer is seeking a men's-record eighth championship at the AEC.

The 2015 Wimbledon champ will claim $2.9 million.

Serena, Sharapova, Venus roll in Wimbledon openers

Wimbledon, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Playing her first tennis since capturing the French Open title four weeks ago, Serena Williams was an easy opening-round winner Monday at Wimbledon. Fellow former Wimbledon champs Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams joined Serena in the round of 64.

After falling behind 1-3 in the first set on Day 1, the world No. 1 great Serena responded by winning 11 of the next 13 games in a 6-4, 6-1 victory over little-known Russian Margarita Gasparyan at the venerable All England Club.

The reigning French, Aussie and U.S. Open champion Serena is seeking a sixth Wimbledon title and her first since 2012. The American is also a two-time runner-up at the AEC.

"It feels good so far. Just one match but it feels good just to be back here at Wimbledon. I've done so well here in the past so I'll always have so many good memories here," said the 33-year-old Serena after her 73rd Wimbledon match win.

Her second-round opponent will be Hungarian Timea Babos.

Meanwhile, the fourth-seeded former world No. 1 Sharapova eased past Britain's Johanna Konta 6-2, 6-2.

Sharapova stunned Serena in the 2004 Wimbledon final and was the 2011 runner-up to Petra Kvitova.

The five-time major champion Sharapova will face Dutchwoman Richel Hogenkamp on Wednesday.

Serena's 16th-seeded big sister, Venus, moved on by double-bageling fellow American Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-0.

The former world No. 1 Venus is a five-time Wimbledon champ and three-time runner-up.

In some other top-10 action, sixth-seeded French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova overcame American Alison Riske 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, seventh-seeded former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic drubbed Chinese Xu Yi-Fan 6-1, 6-1 and Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko stunned ninth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-0.

Eleventh-seeded Czech slugger Karolina Pliskova held off American Irina Falconi 6-4, 4-6, 6-1; 14th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic double-bageled American Shelby Rogers 6-0, 6-0; 19th-seeded former French Open runner-up Sara Errani snuck past former French Open champ and fellow Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 5-7, 6-1; 22nd-seeded former U.S. Open titlist Samantha Stosur topped Montenegro's Danka Kovinic 6-4, 6-4; and 23rd-seeded former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka drilled Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-1.

Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas dismissed 24th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, while improving American Sloane Stephens upended 27th-seeded Czech Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-2 and 29th-seeded Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu bested Russian Daria Gavrilova 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.

Several other women advanced, including Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Lauren Davis and Coco Vandeweghe.

On Tuesday, some more first-round action will see a second-seeded Kvitova take on Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, third-seeded former French Open runner-up Simona Halep meet Slovak Jana Cepelova, fifth-seeded U.S. Open runner-up and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki tangle with Chinese Zheng Saisai, and a 12th-seeded Bouchard locking horns with Chinese Duan Ying- Ying.

Kvitova captured her second Wimbledon title in four years by beating Canada's Bouchard in last year's lopsided finale.

The 2015 Wimbledon champ will collect $2.9 million.

Wisconsin's Ryan: 'One more season'

Madison, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Wisconsin head men's basketball coach Bo Ryan announced on Monday that he plans on retiring after next season.

Ryan said in a statement released by the university that he contemplated retirement after last year's national championship run, but has decided to coach one more year.

"(UW athletics director) Barry (Alvarez) encouraged me to take some time and think about it and I have done that," said Ryan. "I am looking forward to another year with our program..."

Ryan added that he hopes longtime assistant Greg Gard will be named the new head coach.

Ryan has a 740-228 career coaching record, including a 357-125 mark at Wisconsin. The Badgers went 36-4 last season, advancing to the national championship game before losing to Duke.

Williams, Cheeks hired as Thunder assistants

Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan will have plenty of experience working under him as he prepares for his first season in the NBA.

Former NBA head coaches Monty Williams and Maurice Cheeks and recently fired University of Alabama head coach Anthony Grant were hired by the Thunder as assistant coaches, the team announced Monday.

Donovan was hired to replace the fired Scott Brooks after spending the last 19 seasons as the head coach at the University of Florida.

"I'm really excited about the vast experience that this staff will bring to our team," he said in a statement.

Williams was fired as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans last month after guiding the team to a 173-221 record and two playoff berths in five seasons.

Cheeks last coached the Detroit Pistons, who fired him in February 2014 just 50 games into his first season. He has also coached Portland and Philadelphia, leading the three teams to a combined 305-315 mark and four playoff appearances.

Grant was fired by Alabama in March after leading the Crimson Tide to a 117-85 record and one NCAA Tournament berth in six seasons. He served as an assistant under Donovan at Florida from 1996-2006.

Mark Bryant and Darko Rajakovic remained as assistants after Brooks was fired in April.

The Thunder hired Billy Schmidt, an assistant under Donovan at Florida last season, as quality control coach.

Report: Wade opts out of contract with Heat

(SportsNetwork.com) - Dwyane Wade declined the $16.1 million player option he has with the Miami Heat next season and will become a free agent, according to a report by ESPN on Monday.

Wade, 33, will be able to negotiate with any team when free agency begins Wednesday.

The perennial All-Star has spent his entire 12-year career with the Heat, winning three NBA titles. He is reportedly seeking a three-year contract with an average salary of at least $16 million per year.

Wade took less salary when LeBron James and Chris Bosh were signed to form the "Big 3" in Miami in 2010 and did so again when James went back to Cleveland last season.

The 11-time All-Star, who has missed 48 games the past two seasons and 78 the past four due to recurring injuries, averaged 21.5 points and 4.8 assists per game this past season.

Wade ranks atop the Heat franchise list in games, points, assists and steals.

Earlier Monday, the Heat announced Luol Deng has elected to pick up the option for the remaining year of his contract.

Miami signed Deng to a two-year, $20 million contract last July that included a $10.15 million player option for 2015-16. The two-time All-Star started 72 games in his Heat debut, averaging 14.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

Magic first-rounder Hezonja bought out by Euro team

Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Mario Hezonja has reached an agreement with his Spanish League team to release him from his contract, paving the way for the 2015 lottery pick to play for the Orlando Magic next season.

The Magic selected Hezonja, considered one of the top shooters in this year's draft, with the fifth overall selection in Thursday's draft.

Hezonja has spent the last two seasons with FC Barcelona in the Spanish ACB league. The 6-foot-8 swingman shot 39.2 percent from 3-point range while averaging 4.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 31 games in 2014-15.

Heat's Deng opts in for next season

Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - While the Miami Heat wait on a decision from Dwyane Wade, the team will have Luol Deng back in uniform for the upcoming season.

The Heat announced Monday that Deng has elected to pick up the option for the remaining year of his contract.

Miami signed Deng to a two-year, $20 million contract last July that included a $10.15 million player option for 2015-16. The two-time All-Star started 72 games in his Heat debut, averaging 14.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

Opting in allows Deng to test the 2016 free agent market, during which the salary cap is expected to increase substantially due to the NBA's new television contract deal with ESPN and Turner Sports.

Wade also has a player option for next season and must make a decision before midnight on Tuesday. Multiple sources have indicated that the Heat's all-time leader in points and games played is planning on opting out and testing free agency.

Warriors exercise 2015-16 option on Speights

Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Golden State Warriors announced Monday they have exercised their $3.8 million team option on Marreese Speights for the 2015-16 season.

Speights, 27, signed with the Warriors as a free agent two years ago and has averaged 8.4 points in 155 games for them, including a career-best 10.4 points in 76 games this past season.

The 6-foot-10 big man averaged 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10 postseason games this year to help the Warriors win their first NBA title since 1975.

The seven-year veteran was drafted in the first round by Philadelphia in 2008.

Bulls' Hinrich picks up option

Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich has exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season, the team announced Monday.

Hinrich will earn $2.85 million in the final season of a two-year, $5.6 million deal the veteran signed with the Bulls last summer.

The 34-year-old averaged 5.7 points, 2.2 assists and shot 34.5 percent from 3- point range in 66 games for Chicago last season, primarily in a reserve role. Over 12 NBA seasons, Hinrich owns averages of 11.4 points and 5.0 assists over 833 games and is a 37.5 percent career shooter from beyond the arc.

Hinrich spent his first seven NBA campaigns with the Bulls before being traded to Washington in 2010. He rejoined Chicago as a free agent prior to the 2012-13 season.

Magic waive Ben Gordon

Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Orlando Magic waived guard Ben Gordon on Monday.

Gordon played in 56 games last season with Orlando, averaging 6.2 points and 1.1 rebounds. He shot 36.1 percent from three-point range and 83.6 percent from the free-throw line.

Selected by Chicago in the first round (third overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft, Gordon has appeared in 744 career regular-season games (269 starts) with the Bulls, Detroit, Charlotte and Orlando, averaging 14.9 points per game.

Hawks' Korver faces another surgery, this time on elbow

Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver is set to undergo surgery for the second time in five weeks.

The Hawks said Monday that Korver will have surgery in New York on Tuesday to remove loose bodies from his right elbow.

The sharpshooter is still recovering from surgery last month to repair ligament damage in his right ankle. He suffered a high ankle sprain in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals and missed the rest of the series against Cleveland.

Recovery time for his elbow surgery will be determined after the procedure, the Hawks said. Korver is already expected to be sidelined for around three months because of the ankle surgery.

Lidstrom, Fedorov, Pronger among Hockey Hall class

Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Former Detroit Red Wings stars Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov and standout defenseman Chris Pronger were among seven selections to the 2015 class of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The trio join longtime defenseman Phil Housley, women's star Angela Ruggiero, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos and former player and executive Bill Hay as new inductees.

All will be formally inducted in a ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame this November.

Lidstrom completed a tremendous 20-year career, all with the Red Wings, in 2012 and won the Norris Trophy honoring the league's top defenseman seven times, one shy of Bobby Orr's all-time record. Six of those awards came over a seven-year stretch from 2001-08.

The native Swede ranks fourth among NHL blueliners in games played (1,564) and sixth in points (1,142) and was a major contributor to four Stanley Cup championships in Detroit.

Fedorov won three Stanley Cups alongside Lidstrom in Detroit and amassed 483 goals and 1,179 points over a stellar 18-year career, highlighted by a 56- goal, 120-point campaign in 1993-94 that earned the Russian star the Hart Trophy.

Pronger is still technically an active player, though the physical defenseman has not competed since the 2011-12 season due to ongoing concussion symptoms. The 40-year-old's contract was traded to the Arizona Coyotes from the Philadelphia Flyers during this past weekend's NHL Draft.

Prior to the injuries, Pronger was named an All-Star eight times in his 16 seasons and joined Orr as the only defenseman to capture the Hart and Norris Trophies in the same season when he accomplished the feat with St. Louis in 2000.

Additionally, Pronger captained the Anaheim Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup and reached the finals with two other teams, Edmonton in 2005 and Philadelphia in 2010.

Housley's 1,232 career points are the fourth-most among NHL defensemen, and the Minnesota native eclipsed 60 or more points six times in his 21 seasons while earning seven All-Star nods.

Ruggiero stands as one of the most decorated players in women's international history, having won four gold medals and six silvers competing for the United States in the World Championships. The former defender claimed four more medals in Olympic play, including a gold in Nagano in 1998.

She becomes the fourth women's player elected to the Hall, joining Cammi Granato, Angela James and Geraldine Heaney.

Karmanos purchased the then-Hartford Whalers in 1994 and moved the franchise to Raleigh in 1997. The Hurricanes won the 2006 Stanley Cup under his ownership, and he was named the recipient of the Lester Patrick Trophy for service to the sport in 1998 for his involvment in developing youth hockey programs in North America.

Hay played eight seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1960-67 and won the Calder Trophy as a rookie. The 79-year-old has more recently served as the president and CEO of the Calgary Flames from 1991-98 and was the CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame between 1998 and 2013.

Also taking part in this year's enshrinement ceremonies are TSN Canada broadcaster Bob McKenzie, recipient of the Elmer Ferguson Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Los Angeles Kings radio announcer Nick Nickson, named the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner for outstanding contributions to broadcasting.

Canucks reach deals with Markstrom, Vey

Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Vancouver Canucks have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with goaltender Jacob Markstrom, preventing the restricted free agent from testing the market.

Acquired from Florida in the in-season deal that sent four-time All-Star netminder Roberto Luongo to the Panthers in March of 2014, Markstrom spent most of last season with Vancouver's AHL affiliate in San Antonio. The Canucks recently cleared the way for the 25-year-old to serve as Ryan Miller's backup, however, by trading goaltender Eddie Lack to Carolina during last weekend's NHL Draft.

Over 50 career NHL games with the Panthers and Canucks, Markstrom has posted a 13-28-5 record and a 3.19 goals-against average.

The Canucks also announced the signing of fellow restricted free agent Linden Vey on Monday. The 23-year-old forward recorded 10 goals and 14 assists over 75 games as a rookie in 2014-15.

Stars ink recently acquired Niemi to 3-year deal

Frisco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars on Monday signed Antti Niemi to a three-year contract, two days after acquiring the Finnish goaltender's rights in a trade with the San Jose Sharks.

The Stars gave the Sharks a pick in the seventh round of Saturday's draft for the rights to Niemi, who could have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

"We acquired Antti's rights with the expectation to get him signed and we're thrilled to have come to an agreement this quickly," said Stars general manager Jim Nill. "This gives us two upper-echelon goaltenders and the quality of depth at that position will provide us a great chance to win on a nightly basis."

The 31-year-old Niemi has a 190-100-40 record with a 2.39 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage in 338 career games for Chicago and San Jose.

He was 31-23-7 with a 2.59 GAA and a .914 save percentage last season.

Niemi backstopped the Blackhawks to the 2010 Stanley Cup title in his first full season in the NHL, but he became a UFA in the summer when the Blackhawks walked away from his arbitration award and signed with the Sharks.

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers signed forward Chris VandeVelde to a multi-year extension Monday. Further terms were not disclosed.

VandeVelde, slated to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, posted career bests of nine goals and 15 points over 72 games in his first full NHL season in 2014-15.

The 28-year-old had recorded just one goal and three assists in 46 games with Edmonton and Philadelphia prior to last season.

VandeVelde will be reunited with new Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol, who also coached the Minnesota product at the University of North Dakota from 2006-10.

Penguins re-sign D Cole to 3-year deal

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed defenseman Ian Cole to a three-year, $6.3 million contract on Monday.

Cole had a goal and seven assists in 20 games with the Penguins after being acquired from the St. Louis Blues at last season's trade deadline.

Selected by the Blues in the first round (18th overall) of the 2007 draft, Cole has registered 10 goals and 39 points in 187 career games.

Canadiens buy out final year of Parenteau's contract

Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens have bought out the contract of forward Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, the team announced Monday.

Parenteau, who went unclaimed through waivers, had one year left on his contract at $4 million. He will count $1.33 million against Montreal's cap for the next two years.

"I would like to thank Pierre-Alexandre for his time as a Montreal Canadien and wish him the best with his career," general manager Marc Bergevin said. "It was a difficult decision to make, but we feel it gives us more flexibility as we continue to improve our club and provide our young prospects with an opportunity to earn a spot on our roster."

The 32-year-old Quebec native was acquired by the Canadiens from the Colorado Avalanche a year ago. He played in 56 games this past season for Montreal, registering eight goals and 14 assists. He added one goal and one assist in eight playoff games.

Parenteau has produced 81 goals and 227 points in 347 career games with the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Avalanche and Canadiens.

Capitals re-sign Beagle for 3 more years

Arlington, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals re-signed forward Jay Beagle to a three-year, $5.25 million contract on Monday.

Beagle, 29, set career highs in goals (10), assists (10) and points (20) while playing in 62 games for the Capitals last season.

"We are pleased to re-sign Jay to a new three-year contract," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said. "Jay is a hard-working player who plays multiple positions and is an excellent face-off man and penalty killer. Jay has improved steadily since joining our organization and has always brought his game to a different level in the playoffs."

Signed by the Capitals as an undrafted free agent in March 2008, Beagle has registered 23 goals and 47 points in 254 career games.

Bruins get Rinaldo from Flyers for 2017 pick

Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins acquired forward Zac Rinaldo from the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday in exchange for a third-round draft pick in 2017, the teams announced.

Rinaldo, 25, has spent the past four seasons at the NHL level with the Flyers, who drafted him in the sixth round in 2008.

The nettlesome forward accumulated one goal, five assists and 102 penalty minutes in 58 games this past season and has totaled eight goals, 16 assists and 572 penalty minutes in 223 career games.

Blackhawks retain D Rundblad

Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks have reached agreement with defenseman David Rundblad on a two-year extension shortly before he was to hit restricted free agency.

Rundblad, a former first-round pick of St. Louis, set career bests of three goals and 14 points over 49 regular-season games for Chicago in 2014-15. The 24-year-old Swede also participated in five postseason contests during the Blackhawks' recent title run.

Over 104 career NHL games, Rundblad has accumulated four goals, 19 assists and a minus-four rating. He was acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade with Arizona in March of 2014.

Kings terminate Richards' contract over 'breach'

Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings said Monday they terminated the contract of former All-Star center Mike Richards over what the team called a "material breach."

They Kings said they would have no comment beyond a news release that said Richards' deal was terminated "for a material breach of the requirements of his standard player's contract."

"We are not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination at this time," the Kings said.

Richards, 30, was placed on waivers this past season and then sent to the minors for the first time in his career, largely over salary-cap issues.

The former first-round draft pick signed a 12-year, $69 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2007 and carried a salary cap hit of $5.7 million for the Kings.

Richards spent his first six NHL seasons with the Flyers, who traded him to Los Angeles in June 2011. He had 46 goals and 87 assists in 257 games for the Kings over the past four seasons and won two Stanley Cups with the team.

Sam returns to CFL's Alouettes after absence

Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Sam returned to practice for the CFL's Montreal Alouettes on Monday after leaving the team for unexplained personal reasons earlier this month.

The 25-year-old defensive end was the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team when he was taken in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams in 2014.

The former SEC Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri was cut by the Rams and signed to the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, but didn't appear on their active roster last season.

The Alouettes signed Sam to a two-year deal on May 22, then announced on June 12 that he was leaving training camp for "personal reasons" that would remain confidential.

Sam, who returned home to Texas, was placed on the team's suspended list a few days later. The Alouettes announced on Friday that he would rejoin the team over the weekend and be at practice Monday.

His return followed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last week to legalize gay marriage across America. Gay marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005.

Watson up to No. 3 in world rankings

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Bubba Watson defeated Paul Casey on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the Travelers Championship and that helped Watson move up to No. 3 in the world rankings.

Watson, a two-time Masters winner, improved two spots in the rankings thanks to his eighth PGA Tour win.

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth remained the top two players. With Watson's climb to third, Dustin Johnson dipped one to fourth. Jim Furyk and Henrik Stenson both moved up one to fifth and sixth.

Justin Rose tumbled three places to seventh and was followed by Jason Day, who remained No. 8 this week. Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia exchanged places with Fowler up to ninth.

Adam Scott stayed put at No. 11 and was again trailed by Jimmy Walker, J.B. Holmes, Hideki Matsuyama and Patrick Reed.

Matt Kuchar and Chris Kirk moved up one spot apiece to 16th and 17th, while Louis Oosthuizen tumbled two places to 18th. Billy Horschel and Phil Mickelson were 19th and 20th again this week.

Despite his loss, Casey improved from 35th to 23rd. Pablo Larrazabal won for the fourth time on the European Tour and jumped 49 places to No. 69.

Choi jumps to 13th after win in Arkansas

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Na Yeon Choi came from behind on the back nine Sunday to win the NW Arkansas Championship and jumped to No. 13 in the world rankings.

The win was Choi's ninth on the LPGA Tour. She holed out for eagle on 16, then birdied the 17th to earn her 2-shot win. She climbed seven spots from last week.

Inbee Park remained No. 1 and was again followed by Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, Hyo-Joo Kim, Suzann Pettersen and Shanshan Feng. Lewis was closing in on a successful title defense before Choi came from behind for the win.

Anna Nordqvist shared third place with Lewis and Azahara Munoz and that helped Nordqvist improve two places to seventh. That pushed So Yeon Ryu and Brittany Lincicome down to eighth and ninth.

Sei Young Kim held steady at No. 10, while Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson traded places with Kerr up to 11th. Following Choi in 13th, Mirim Lee dipped one to 14, while Amy Yang held steady at 15.

Minjee Lee moved up a notch to 16th, Michelle Wie tumbled three places to 17th and Karrie Webb was down a pair to 18th. Munoz improved two to 19th and In Gee Chun fell two to 20th.

Morgan Pressel fell out of the top 20 as she dropped two places to 21st.

Grace, Smith, Lowry accept PGA Tour membership

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The PGA Tour announced on Monday that Branden Grace, Cameron Smith and Shane Lowry have accepted special temporary membership for the remainder of the 2014-15 season.

With their finishes at the U.S. Open, all three players earned enough FedExCup points to surpass the player the finished 150th on the points list last season.

The trio can now accept unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of this season as they try to earn their PGA Tour card for 2015-16 campaign via the non-member money list or non-member FedExCup points list.

They join Danny Willett and Patrick Rodgers, who both earned special temporary membership earlier in the season.

Grace, who won twice on the European Tour earlier this season, has made the cut in seven of his nine PGA Tour starts this season. He has three top-10 finishes, including a tie for fourth at the U.S. Open.

Smith missed the cut in five of eight PGA Tour starts at one point this season, but tied for fourth with Grace at Chambers Bay and shared fifth place at the CIMB Classic last fall.

Lowry has made seven cuts in 10 starts this season on the PGA Tour. The Irishman shared seventh at Torrey Pines and tied for ninth at the Chambers Bay.

Hard Aces enters poll off Gold Cup victory

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - This week's NTRA National Thoroughbred Poll has just one new member in the top 10 while American Pharoah remains the unanimous top selection.

Joining the top 10 for the first time is Hard Aces, trained by John Sadler, off his victory in Saturday's Gold Cup at Santa Anita. The 5-year-old is 10th in the voting with 42 points.

Owned by Hronis Racing, Hard Aces nosed out Hoppertunity in the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup.

"He's improving. Every race, he's getting better and better. When he was back east he wasn't quite there but in his last race he ran good and today he ran great," said Hard Aces jockey Victory Espinoza.

The Gold Cup win puts Hard Aces into this year's Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 31. Sadler has Del Mar's Pacific Classic on Aug. 22 penciled in as the horse's next start.

"He'll stay home and run right in our own back yard at Del Mar," Sadler said.

The first nine places in the poll are unchanged from last week.

Triple Crown champion American Pharoah again received all 41 first-place votes for 410 points followed by Shared Belief (313), Honor Code (302), California Chrome (259), Main Sequence (167), Tonalist (153), Noble Bird (106), Beholder (89) and Lea (78).

The National Poll continues through the Breeders' Cup.

Polland jumps 4 clear at PGA Pro

Flourtown, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ben Polland carded a 3-under 67 in the second round Monday and jumped four strokes clear of the field at the PGA Professional National Championship.

Polland, one of five first-round co-leaders, ended 36 holes at 7-under 135.

Players were split between two courses, Militia Hill and Wissahickon, at Philadelphia Cricket Club. Polland played round two on the Wissahickon course.

Grant Sturgeon posted a 1-under 69 on the Wissahickon course and ended two rounds at minus-3, where he was joined by Charles Frost, who fired a 5-under 67 on the Militia Hill course.

Joe Leonard (70), Steven Young (71), first-round co-leader Shawn Warren (72), Mark Brown (68) and Rob Labritz (71) share fourth place at minus-2. They all played the Wissahickon course on Monday.

Polland opened with a birdie at the first and followed with three pars in a row. He gave that shot back with a bogey on the par-3 fifth. Polland flew into the lead with three straight birdies from the par-5 seventh.

Around the turn, he tripped to a bogey at the 11th, but came right back with a birdie at 12. Polland closed his round with six straight pars.

Sturgeon had eight pars and a birdie on the front nine. After nine consecutive pars from the eighth, he traded a birdie for a bogey from the 17th.

Frost feasted on the par-5s on Monday. He made eagle at the par-5 third and birdied the other three par-5s. Frost dropped shots at nine and 11, while he also birdied the 12th and 16th for his 67.

Kyle Voska, Shane Zywiec and Austin Peters were the other first-round co- leaders. Voska and Zywiec, who tripped to 73s, fell into a tie for ninth at minus-1, while Peters (74) dropped into a share of 14th at even-par 142.

The cut after round two fell at 5-over-par 147 with 100 players moving on to round three. Defending champion Michael Block (74) made the cut on the number. There will be another cut to the low 70 and ties after the third round.

Among those that missed the cut were former champions Chip Sullivan, Ron Philo Jr., Mike Burke Jr., Darrell Kestner and Brett Upper.

06/30 01:50:25 ET

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