Leafs finally subdue Islanders
TORONTO, May 1 (UPI) -- Alexander Mogilny scored twice and Curtis Joseph stopped 31 shots to help the Toronto Maple Leafs hold on for a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders in the decisive seventh game of their bruising Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Tuesday night.
Both teams lost key players to injuries in a bitterly contested series that featured charges of cheap shots. But, Toronto survived the loss of team captain and leading scorer Mats Sundin after Game Three and the absence of checking specialist Shayne Corson, who was suspended by the NHL after Game Six for kicking.
Mogilny, who has been battling the flu, got the go-ahead tally early in the second period and added an empty-netter with 40 seconds left in the third after the Islanders climbed within a goal and peppered Joseph.
Gary Roberts added a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs, who will face the Ottawa Senators in the playoffs for the third straight season in a conference semifinal series that begins Thursday at the Air Canada Centre.
Skating judge suspended in Olympic flap
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 1 (UPI) -- Marie Reine Le Gougne, the French judge at the center of the pairs figure skating controversy at the Salt Lake City Olympics, was suspended for three years Tuesday and banned from the 2006 Torino Games by
the International Skating Union.
The ISU imposed an identical sanction on Didier Gailhaguet, ruling the president of the French skating federation instructed Le Gougne to award her first-place vote to the Russian pair of Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze even though "in her own opinion" the Canadian duo of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier "presented a better performance."
Ironically, the suspensions were announced the day Sale and Pelletier announced they were turning professional.
Concluding a two-day hearing, the ISU also cited Le Gougne for failing to immediately notify officials of Gailhaguet's conduct.
Both Le Gougne and Gailhaguet said they will appeal Tuesday's decision.
West takes on Grizzlies challenge
MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 1 (UPI) -- Jerry West, who's credited for much of the success of the Los Angeles Lakers, has decided to try to do the same for the downtrodden Memphis Grizzlies, who never have won more than 23 games in a season during their seven-year existence.
In a news conference at which a community embraced a sports hero, the Grizzlies Tuesday named West as their president of basketball operations. Financial terms were not disclosed, but it is believed that Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley lured West with a multi-year contract worth about $5 million annually.
"People asked me 'How in the world can you do something like this' and I never even dreamed it was possible for me to leave the Lakers," said West, who turns 64 in May. "I'm a pretty old guy but I'm terribly excited about this. Mr. Heisley convinced
me that he will do everything absolutely necessary to bring a winning team to Memphis."
West collected seven championship rings with the Lakers, six as an executive and one as a player. Yet he has somehow maintained a humble demeanor and was especially touched by the warm welcome he received at Tuesday's news conference.
Flyers fire Barber
VOORHEES, N.J., April 30 (UPI) -- A nightmarish postseason performance and player unrest by the Philadelphia Flyers cost Coach Bill Barber his job Tuesday but long-time General Manager Bob Clarke survived.
With a payroll of $55.5 million, the Flyers were expected to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. Instead, they scored only two goals in losing to the Ottawa Senators, four games to one, in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
A year after winning the Adams Trophy as coach of the year, Barber watched his team collapse late in the regular season and in the playoffs. Barber's fate was sealed when several players were openly critical of his coaching style.
Flyers Board Chairman Ed Snider met with the disgruntled players Monday before the decision was made to fire Barber.
Payton on NBA all-defensive 9th time
NEW YORK, April 30 (UPI) -- Seattle SuperSonics point guard Gary Payton joined Michael Jordan as the only players to be named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times when the league announced its selections on Tuesday.
Joining Payton on the All-Defensive First Team are fellow guard Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets, center Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons -- the winner of the Defensive Player of the Year Award -- and forwards Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs and Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The All-Defensive Second Team consists of forwards Bruce Bowen of the Spurs and Cliff Robinson of the Pistons, center Dikembe Mutombo of the Philadelphia 76ers and guards Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Doug Christie of the Sacramento Kings.
Royster gets permanent job with Brewers
MILWAUKEE, April 30 (UPI) -- On the heels of a winless six-game road trip, the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday removed the interim tag from Jerry Royster and named him as the full-time manager only through the 2002 season.
The Brewers also announced that Cecil Cooper has accepted the role of bench coach through the end of the season.
Royster, 49, was named interim manager on April 18, when Davey Lopes was fired following the worst 15-game start (3-12) in franchise history.
The Brewers have not had a winning season since 1992.
Royals name Mizerock interim manager
DETROIT, May 1 (UPI) -- The Kansas City Royals, who have endured seven straight losing seasons, Tuesday named John Mizerock interim manager.
Kansas City (8-15) fired Tony Muser after Monday's 4-0 win over the Detroit Tigers. Muser did not get to see his final win, though, as he was ejected in the third inning for arguing a called strike.
Mizerock, 41, spent the last 10 years as a coach and manager in Kansas City's minor league system before being named bullpen coach prior to this season. He managed the Triple-A Omaha Royals the last two seasons, compiling a record of 134-153.
In 1999, Mizerock was named Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America after guiding the Double-A Wichita Wranglers to an 83-57 record and the Texas League Championship.
Jag coach gets contract extension
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 1 (UPI) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday signed Coach Tom Coughlin to a one-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2004 season.
The only coach in franchise history, Coughlin has led the Jaguars to four playoff appearances, two AFC Central Division titles and two conference championship games during his seven years. Overall, he has a 66-54 record.
"I have made it clear that Tom Coughlin is the right coach for our football team," Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver said. "This extension is evidence of my belief in him and my confidence that he will succeed in reaching our goals."
Jacksonville has had consecutive losing seasons under Coughlin, going 7-9 and 6-10 the last two years. It could be another rough season ahead for the Jaguars, who were hit hard by the salary cap and the expansion draft.
Media run-ins costly to NHL coaches, GM's
NEW YORK, May 1 (UPI) -- Shoving a member of the media will cost Coach Scotty Bowman and the Detroit Red Wings. Talking to the media will cost three other coaches and general managers.
The NHL on Tuesday fined Bowman and the Red Wings a total of $35,000 for a locker room confrontation with a newspaper reporter during the team's Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Vancouver Canucks.
The league also levied $30,000 fines on Montreal Canadiens Coach Michel Therrien and General Managers Mike Milbury of the New York Islanders and Brian Burke of the Vancouver Canucks for making "inappropriate comments" during their respective first-round series.
The winningest coach in NHL history, Bowman was fined $10,000 for allegedly shoving Detroit Free Press reporter Nicholas J. Cotsonika on Friday after Cotsonika tried to enter a room adjacent to the Red Wings' locker room at Vancouver's GM Place.
In addition, the team was fined $25,000 for violating the league's media regulations.