Francis latest to retire from NHL

first_img Forward Ryan Smyth re-signed with the Edmonton Oilers, agreeing to a $7-million, two-year deal. The Boston Bruins agreed to terms on a one-year contract with goaltender Tim Thomas, a free agent who gives the team insurance while Andrew Raycroft holds out. Rodman not in court A judge in Breckenridge, Colo., signed an arrest warrant for former NBA star Dennis Rodman after he missed a court appearance on two alleged traffic violations. District Court Administrator Christine Yuhas said Rodman could be arrested if he returns to Colorado. “It was a misunderstanding,” said Rodman’s agent, Darren Prince. Rodman was charged with speeding and reckless driving after he was stopped July 26 in a $250,000 Lamborghini on a highway near the mountain town of Frisco, about 70 miles west of Denver. Officers allegedly clocked him going 98 mph. US ousted United States was eliminated from the Baseball World Cup with an 11-3 loss to defending champion Cuba in the quarterfinals in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Yuliesky Gourriel hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs for Cuba, which has won the tournament 11 of the 12 times it has been held. The United States fielded a team of professionals who were not on major-league rosters. In the semifinals, Cuba will play Panama, which beat Nicaragua, 2-1. In other quarterfinals, South Korea defeated Japan, 5-1, and the Netherlands routed Puerto Rico, 10-0. Crew swap Team rebuilding already is beginning for three NASCAR teams that missed out on this year’s Chase for the Nextel Cup, with two reuniting old teammates in an effort to regain the winning magic. Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced that Tony Eury Jr. will take over immediately as crew chief for his cousin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., putting back together a pair that raced together until this year. “This gives them a chance to start working on their chemistry,” said Richie Gilmore, vice president of Dale Earnhardt Inc. A struggling Petty Enterprises said it has hired one of its former crew chiefs, Robbie Loomis, who has been with Jeff Gordon since 2000, to be executive vice president of race operations beginning next year. “I’m sad to see Robbie leave,” said Gordon. “We made a great team and had more wins ahead of us, but the Pettys presented him with a fantastic opportunity. For him, it was time for a change and I’m happy he’s found the right fit.” The relatively unknown Steve Letarte, who will take over as Gordon’s crew chief this weekend at New Hampshire, is the only major player involved in Wednesday’s changes who isn’t returning to familiar territory. “I’ve worked with Steve for more than 10 years and we already communicate extremely well, both on and off the track,” Gordon said. “The team has a ton of confidence in his abilities, so we’re looking forward to the last 10 races of 2005 and getting an early jump on next year.” MLS career scoring leader Jason Kreis of Real Salt Lake was placed on the injured list with a torn ligament in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season. Kreis, the only player to score 100 goals in the league, said he felt it was more important to be healthy for 2006 than finish out Real’s first MLS season. Also in MLS, the Kansas City Wizards signed Finnish striker Antti Sumiala and waived midfielder Khari Stephenson. Boston Celtics guard Tony Allen had a small piece of cartilage removed from his right knee, and it’s not known whether he’ll return in time for the season opener Nov. 2. The financially troubled Hula Bowl is returning to Honolulu for its 60th game after spending eight years on Maui. The planned move ends months of speculation that the annual college all-star game may be relocating to the mainland or possibly folding. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 He won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992, and helped the Hurricanes make a surprise run to the Cup finals in 2002. In addition, Francis was a three-time winner of the Lady ng Trophy, awarded to the player exhibiting sportsmanship and gentlemanly play combined with playing ability. True to his low-key manner, he announced his retirement through a news release posted on the NHL Players’ Association Web site Wednesday morning. “His announcement was in a way like his career very professional,” said Jim Rutherford, Carolina’s president and general manager. “He went about his business quietly and he’s one of the all-time great players to play the game.” Francis said the labor dispute between the league and players’ association that wiped out the 2004-05 season was “pretty much the writing on the wall’ that his playing days were done. He joins other notable players such as Mark Messier, Scott Stevens and Al MacInnis who retired from the game this month. “Looking back overall, it was a long ride,” Francis said. “I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be that long, but I certainly enjoyed many aspects of it and look back with fond memories and absolutely no regrets. It was a great part of my life.” “I think you always hope you can play forever, but you always realize that time will come,” Francis said of retirement. “I was fortunate I was able to make a decision, move on and do it comfortably.” Francis, 42, played for Hartford, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Toronto, and leaves the game with a resume few can rival. He is second to Wayne Gretzky with 1,249 assists, and ranks among the league’s all-time leaders with 1,731 games (third), 549 goals (19th) and 1,798 points (fourth). center_img Ron Francis wasn’t going to play forever. It just seemed that way. The four-time all-star announced his retirement Wednesday, ending a 23-year career in which he won two Stanley Cups and ranked as one of the NHL’s career leaders in games played, goals, assists and points. last_img