SIDES TO RESUME labor TALKS TODAY
NEW YORK — The NHL and the players' association stuck to their word and made quick plans to get back to the bargaining table.
After all-day negotiations Saturday, the sides agreed Monday to resume talks today in New York. Both sides said the discussions over the weekend were good, creating some optimism that perhaps a deal could soon be reached to save the already truncated hockey season.
The NHL and union hadn't met since Oct. 18 when each side turned down offers. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and players' association special counsel Steve Fehr got together by themselves Saturday in an undisclosed location and held productive talks.
SABRES: Forward Thomas Vanek is returning to North America after completing an 11-game stint playing for his hometown team in Graz, Austria.
Rowdies' Attinella gets monthly NASL honor
Tampa Bay goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, a Countryside High and USF product who led the Rowdies to a penalty shootout victory in the Soccer Bowl on Oct. 27, was named NASL player of the month.
U.S. WOMEN: The team will play three exhibitions against China next month including one in Florida. New coach Tom Sermanni will watch as an observer for the games — Dec. 8 in Detroit, Dec. 12 in Houston and Dec. 15 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton.
SCOTLAND: Craig Levein was fired as coach after nearly three years. The team, ranked 56th in the world, won just three of 12 competitive matches under him.
Olympic champ in fixing scandal probe
Olympic road race champion Alexandre Vinokourov is under investigation for allegedly bribing a rival to fix a race, as ongoing fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping affair threatens to claim another big name. The International Cycling Union pledged to open its own probe into revived allegations that the London Games gold medalist from Kazakhstan paid off his opponent in a two-man breakaway to ensure he won the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic. They got a file on the case from an Italian prosecutor who is leading a wider investigation of corruption linked to Michele Ferrari, a former Armstrong adviser.
Djokovic, Murray start well in ATP group play
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray won their opening matches at the season-ending ATP finals in London, setting up a showdown between two of the top three players in the world. The top-ranked Djokovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in Group A and No. 3 Murray rallied to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Group B, which includes six-time champion Roger Federer, plays today.
TRACK: Sprint star Usain Bolt, American hurdler Aries Merritt and 800-meter champ David Rudisha, all Olympic gold medalists this year, are the finalists for the IAAF's World Athlete of the Year award.
HORSES: Havre de Grace, the 2011 Horse of the Year, sold for $10 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sale. Mandy Pope of Whisper Hill Farm bought the 5-year-old mare.
OBITUARY: Jim Flick, a golf instructor for more than 50 years who helped Jack Nicklaus and Tom Lehman among others, died Monday of pancreatic cancer, his family said. He was 82. Nicklaus, upon joining the Champions Tour, sought out Flick in 1990 after his longtime coach, Jack Grout, had died.