=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Saturday, December 27 ===
=== Browns suspend Josh Gordon for violating team rules ===
Berea, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is
Gordon, who missed the first 10 games of the season for violating the league's
substance abuse policy, has now been suspended by the Browns for violating
The 23-year-old Gordon was placed on the reserve/suspended list. The Browns
activated wide receiver Phil Bates from the practice squad to take Gordon's
Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 yards last season and made the Pro Bowl for the
first time. He caught 24 passes for 303 yards in five games this season.
According to NFL.com, Gordon and Johnny Manziel (on IR) were both absent from
Cleveland's walkthrough on Saturday in preparation for Sunday's regular-
season finale against Baltimore.
=== Bills' Dareus and Gilmore to miss season finale ===
Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Buffalo Bills defensive tackle
Marcell Dareus and cornerback Stephon Gilmore were downgraded from doubtful to
out on the team's injury report for Sunday's Week 17 game at New England.
Dareus, named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl earlier in the week,
sustained a knee injury in the Bills' Week 16 loss at Oakland. The 25-year-old
Alabama product finished the regular season with a career-high 10 sacks.
Gilmore, 24, sustained a concussion against Oakland. In 14 games, the South
Carolina product intercepted a career-high three passes.
The Bills were eliminated from playoff contention with their loss to the
Raiders, but a win Sunday would give them their first winning record since
they went 9-7 in 2004.
=== Chargers place P Scifres on IR ===
San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Diego Chargers placed punter Mike
Scifres on injured reserve, the team announced Saturday.
Scifres is recovering from surgery to repair a fractured clavicle. He suffered
the injury in the second quarter of the Chargers' 23-14 loss to New England on
Dec. 7, when the Patriots' Brandon Bolden ran into him while blocking a punt.
Scifres was sent spinning into the air and then landed hard on his left
The Chargers signed Mat McBriar to replace Scifres while he rehabilitated from
Center Jeff Baca was promoted from the practice squad to take Scifres' spot on
the active roster.
San Diego can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Kansas City on Sunday.
=== Devils GM Lamoriello returns to bench with Oates, Stevens ===
Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Devils president and general manager Lou
Lamoriello has come up with a "unique" solution to fix the team's coaching
After firing head coach Peter DeBoer on Friday, Lamoriello announced on
Saturday that he will join Scott Stevens and Adam Oates behind the bench.
Oates will have full control of the forwards, while Stevens will have full
control over the defensemen. Neither Oates nor Stevens was given an official
"It's certainly been a very interesting last 48 hours," said Lamoriello, who
will go behind the bench for an unspecified period of time. "The decision was
made to go forward. I tried to come up with, in my opinion, what was the best
way to get our team to do certain things and get the most out of personnel we
New Jersey lost to the New York Rangers, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden on
Lamoriello said that it would be unfair to ask one person to come in and be
the head coach for the rest of the season.
Assistant coach Dave Barr was dismissed.
This marks the third time Lamoriello has been behind the bench for New Jersey,
all of them coming after he fired a coach in-season. He has posted an
impressive 34-14-5 regular season record in two brief stints dating back to
2005-2006 and 2006-2007.
DeBoer led the Devils to a 12-17-7 start. He was in his fourth season as New
The Devils were 114-93-41 under DeBoer. DeBoer's best season in New Jersey was
his first as he guided the team to a 48-28-6 record in 2011-12. The Devils
represented the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals, but lost to the
Los Angeles Kings in six games.
Oates and Stevens are both in the Hockey Hall of Fame as players, with the
latter man known best for time spent as captain of the Devils from 1992 until
his retirement following the 2003-04 season. He helped lead New Jersey to
three Stanley Cup titles during that time.
Both Oates and Stevens previously served as assistant coaches for the Devils.
Oates was on DeBoer's staff when the club reached the 2012 Cup Finals before
leaving to become the head coach of the Washington Capitals. He was fired by
the Capitals last spring after two seasons with the club.
Stevens served as an assistant under DeBoer in 2013-14 before stepping down
prior to this season.
=== Islanders place Halak on IR ===
Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders placed goaltender
Jaroslav Halak on injured reserve Saturday.
The move is retroactive to Dec. 20.
Halak has a lower-body injury, according to Newsday. Halak is 18-6-0 with a
2.24 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 24 games this season,
his first with the Islanders.
New York recalled goaltender Kevin Poulin from Bridgeport of the American
Hockey League on an emergency basis.
=== Blue Jackets activate Hartnell ===
Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets activated forward
Scott Hartnell from injured reserve on Saturday.
Hartnell missed the past five games due to a broken finger suffered on Dec. 11
at Washington. He has six goals and 11 assists in 28 games this season, his
first with the Blue Jackets following a trade from the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Blue Jackets also recalled goaltender Anton Forsberg from the American
Hockey League's Springfield Falcons and assigned center Sean Collins to
=== Distinctiv Passion takes inaugural Midnight Lute Stakes ===
Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Distinctiv Passion, ridden by Mike Smith,
led the entire way in winning Saturday's inaugural running of the $100,000
Midnight Lute Stakes at Santa Anita.
Trained by Jeff Bonde, Distinctiv Passion broke sharply from the far outside
post for the 6 1/2-furlong sprint, formerly the Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at
Distinctiv Passion, the 6-1 second choice in the seven-horse field, continued
to set the pace with moderate pressure from 28-1 longshot Heir of Storm and
3-10 favorite Secret Circle, the 2013 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner.
"I was just trying to get along with him," Smith said. "The way to keep him
going turning for home is to get along with him on the backside. If you can't
do that, they won't finish for you. I wanted to keep him happy and I was in a
great post to do that."
Owned by Edward J. Brown, Jr., Alan Klein, and Phillip Lebherz, Distinctiv
Passion was never seriously challenged down the stretch and posted a 1 3/4-
length victory over Heir of Storm.
"Down the lane he was able to hold them off. I was running on fumes by the end
but you're supposed to when you go that fast," the Hall of Fame jockey said.
Finishing third was Appealing Tale followed by Secret Circle, second in this
year's Breeders' Cup Sprint, Seeking the Sherif, Bahamian Squall and Bolita
The time for the Midnight Lute was 1:14.55 on a fast track.
"I was happy he drew outside," Bonde noted. "Historically, I've never trained
a horse that's quicker up the backside. He wants to lock on the bridle like an
alligator, and over the last six months in the mornings, he started to relax
and then kick and run late.
"I was hoping it transferred to the afternoon. Today's the first time I ever
saw him sit and then kick and run, so he is learning, finally."
Distinctiv Passion recorded his second straight win and pocketed $60,000 for
the effort. The colt has earned $336,180 with six wins from 13 lifetime
The 4-year-old's 2014 season closes with just three starts, two of which were
wins and a second. He won an allowance race on Nov. 14 at Del Mar after
finally returning to the races on Sept. 20 with a second to Seeking the Sherif
in the Katella Stakes at Los Alamitos.
As a 3-year-old, Distinctiv Passion won the San Pedro and Green Flash Handicap
and was third in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship after setting most of the
Distinctiv Passion returned $15.60, $9.00 and $10.00. Heir of Storm paid
$22.20 and $22.40, and Appealing Tale paid $22.40 to show.
12/28 01:01:59 ET