While eight Lightning players continue pursuing a gold medal at the Olympics, the rest of the team returns to work today in pursuit of a Stanley Cup.
After taking a league-mandated 10 days off, the Lightning's non-Olymians resume workouts today at the St. Pete Times Forum. They will practice every day until the season picks up again next Tuesday at home against the Panthers.
Most of the non-Olympians spent the past 10 days on vacation, but also were expected to work out on their own. Lightning coach John Tortorella and conditioning coach Eric Lawson gave the players a suggested conditioning program. The players in Italy will rejoin the Lightning as their teams are eliminated from the Olympic tournament. The gold medal game is Sunday.
- TOM JONES, Times Staff Writer
Williams' museum may close
It appears the end is drawing near for the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame in Citrus County. The museum is expected to move some of its collection to Tropicana Field, with the board meeting today to decide which memorabilia is to go. Indications are that some, if not all, of the museum will be permanently moved.
Eric Abel, the museum's attorney, said the Devil Rays are interested in the museum's "Hitters Hall of Fame" wing, which centers on the accomplishments of hitters. The rest of the museum focuses on Ted Williams' baseball, military and fishing accomplishments.
"It's no secret we've been looking to strengthen the museum, our collection, and raise scholarship funds," executive director Dave McCarthy said. "If that (moving) will get us to the point where we can do that without the expense of a building eating up our funds, then it is a good thing."
The museum opened in 1994 near Williams' home in Citrus Hills. A blockbuster opening drew such celebrities as Muhammad Ali, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. But since Williams' death in 2002, the museum has increasingly had trouble attracting visitors and big-name guests.
- DAWN REISS, Times staff writer
LEGENDS DAY: Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays and Florida native Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time rushing leader, said their families were the major role models that helped them get to the top of their professions. Mays, who turns 75 this spring, and Smith joined Cincinnati slugger Ken Griffey Jr., former Atlanta Braves outfielder David Justice and Shaun King, also a Florida native who starred at Tulane before being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Tallahassee to help celebrate Black History Month in the state.
For Annika, it's official
The Women's World Golf Ranking made its debut with Annika Sorenstam far atop the list, based on her 21 victories worldwide and three major championships over the past two years. Her lead was nearly double that of Paula Creamer at No. 2. Michelle Wie, 16, who turned pro in October, checked in at No. 3.
Hingis rolls in Dubai
Martina Hingis made her return to the Dubai Women's Open a winning one with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Sania Mirza . Martina Navratilova, who turns 50 this year and is recovering from knee surgery, lost in the first doubles match.
ABN AMRO: Arvind Parmar saved three match points in a third-set tiebreaker on his way to a 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-6 (7) upset of Paradorn Srichaphan in the first round in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
BRAZIL OPEN: Top-seeded Gaston Gaudio advanced to the second round, beating Albert Portas 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in Costa Do Sauipe.
RMK CHAMPIONSHIP: Dmitry Tursunovbeat fourth-seeded Robby Ginepri 7-5, 7-6 (4) in the first round in Memphis, Tenn.
Compiled from Times wires.