Update on the latest in sports:
NHL-GOLDEN KNIGHTS-GALLANT FIRED
Golden Knights fire Gallant, name DeBoer new coach
UNDATED (AP) – The Vegas Golden Knights have fired coach Gerard Gallant and named Peter DeBoer as his replacement.
Vegas has lost four in a row and had fallen out of a playoff position in the Western Conference. Gallant was fired less than two years after winning the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. He’s the seventh coach to lose his job this season and the fifth for performance reasons. DeBoer was fired by the Sharks in December. He joins his fourth NHL team as head coach. The Golden Knights play again Thursday night at Ottawa.
Gerard Gallant was abruptly fired as coach of the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday less than two years after leading them to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season of existence.
Peter DeBoer takes over immediately, a month after being fired by the San Jose Sharks.
General manager Kelly McCrimmon announced the stunning change the morning after a 4-2 loss to Buffalo dropped Vegas out of a playoff position in the Western Conference. The Golden Knights have lost four in a row, matching the longest point drought in their brief franchise history.
NFL-HALL OF FAME-CENTENNIAL CLASS
Tagliabue, NFL Films’ Sabol headed to Hall of Fame
UNDATED (AP) – Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (TAG’-lee-uh-boo) has made the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his fifth attempt. He and former New York Giants general manager George Young made it as contributors.
Ex-Dallas Cowboys safety Cliff Harris and former Cleveland receiver Mac Speedie completed the centennial class announced Wednesday. The 10 senior candidates, three contributors and two coaches are part of the hall’s celebration of the NFL’s 100th season.
Harris was one of the hardest-hitting defensive backs in the NFL, a major part of the Dallas defenses of the 1970s who made three All-Pro teams and six Pro Bowls. He played in seven conference title games and five Super Bowls, winning two. Speedie was part of the unstoppable Cleveland Browns offense in the AAFC and then in the NFL.
Another member of the Steel Curtain, safety Donnie Shell, made it as did fellow safety Bobby Dillon and defensive tackle Alex Karras. Shell is the 10th man from the Pittsburgh dynasty of the 1970s to be elected, and the fifth from the defense that dominated the NFL.
Also, Duke Slater, one of the NFL’s first black players, defensive standout Ed Sprinkle and NFL Films pioneer Steve Sabol were announced. So were wide receiver Harold Carmichael and offensive tackles Winston Hill and Jim Covert.
Over the weekend, the election of coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson as part of the special class celebrating the NFL’s 100th season was revealed.
Larry Fitzgerald returning for 2020 season
TEMPE, Arizona (AP) – Arizona Cardinals star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is coming back to the team for the 2020 season.
There was speculation the 36-year-old Fitzgerald might retire, but the team announced Wednesday he has signed a one-year contract. The veteran – who is among the most productive receivers in NFL history – posted to social media soon after the announcement.
In 16 seasons with Arizona, Fitzgerald is the Cardinals’ franchise leader in games played (250), receptions (1,378), receiving yards (17,083), receiving touchdowns (120), total touchdowns (120) and 100-yard games (49). His 1,378 career receptions are the most by any player in NFL history with a single team.
He ranks second all time behind Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549). Fitzgerald’s 17,083 career receiving yards also rank second in NFL history, while his 120 career touchdown receptions are sixth.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-MISSOURI ST-PETRINO
Former UL, Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino lands at Missouri St
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – Bobby Petrino has been hired as the new football coach at Missouri State. The school says Petrino will be introduced at a news conference Thursday.
He will replace Dave Steckel, who was fired last week after winning just 13 games in five seasons.
Petrino has a 119-56 record in 14 seasons at Arkansas, Western Kentucky and Louisville. He left the Arkansas job after a motorcycle accident exposed an extra-marital affair. Petrino was 36-26 in his second stint with Louisville when he was fired in 2018 in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN-RALLY FOR RELIEF
Tennis stars raise millions for Australian wildfire victims
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – A capacity crowd of more than 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena watched Roger Federer defeat Nick Kyrgios in a one-set finale to the Australian Open’s Rally for Relief to aid wildfire charities on Wednesday.
Tennis Australia said the night helped raise nearly 5 million Australian dollars ($3.5 million) for the victims of recent and ongoing fires in Australia that have killed 28 people and destroyed several thousands homes, most of them in New South Wales and Victoria states.
Smoke haze from the continuing fires has played havoc with scheduling of the first two days of qualifying at Melbourne Park, delaying play by several hours and prompting complaints from players over the air quality.
Other players who took part included Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Alexander Zverev. On several occasions, volunteer fire personnel were invited on the court to play against the tennis stars.
The fund-raising efforts, which includes various amounts for aces served during the tournament and the sale of merchandise donated by players, will continue when the Australian Open begins on Monday.