Brett Hull joins 700 Club
DETROIT, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Detroit's Brett Hull, the NHL's premier goal-scorer in the 1990s, has reached the elite 700 club.
After going seven games without a goal, Hull scored in the second period of Monday's game against the San Jose Sharks to become just the sixth player in NHL history to record 700 goals.
The 38-year-old right wing reached the milestone in 1,157 games. He has 21 goals this season.
Wayne Gretzky is the NHL's all-time leading scorer with 894 goals in 1,487 games. Gordie Howe is second with 801 goals in 1,767 games.
Marcel Dionne, Phil Esposito and Mike Gartner are the other players with more than 700 goals. Dionne had 731 in 1,348 games, Esposito scored 717 in 1,282 games and Gartner tallied 708 in 1,432 games.
Hull is the leader among active players. Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins has 674 goals and Mark Messier of the New York Rangers has 672. Hull's teammate Steve Yzerman, who has not played this season after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery, has 658 goals.
Brett's father Bobby Hull is 11th on the all-time list with 610 goals in 1,063 games.
A nine-time All-Star, Brett Hull scored 494 goals in the 1990s, 118 more than the second-highest scorer. He had a career-high 86 goals for the St. Louis Blues in 1990-91, earning the Hart Trophy as the NFL's most valuable player.
A sixth-round pick by Calgary in 1984, Hull had 27 goals in 57 games with the Flames before he was traded to St. Louis in a four-player deal in March 1988.
Hull played 10 full seasons with the Blues and scored 527 goals in 744 games. He had 70 or more goals three times and 40 or more eight times.
Hull signed as a free agent with the Dallas Stars in July 1998 and helped them win the Stanley Cup title in his first season. In three years with Dallas, he scored 95 goals in 218 games.
In August 2001, Hull signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings and helped them to a Stanley Cup title last season, scoring 30 goals.
Jeff Green wins Daytona 500 pole
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Jeff Green led a brigade of Chevrolets to the front of the field Monday to win the pole for Sunday's 45th Daytona 500.
Green won his first Daytona 500 pole with a lap at 186.606 miles per hour in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Green, who drives for Richard Childress Racing, knocked Dale Earnhardt Jr. off the pole after that driver put his Chevrolet up front at 186.382 mph.
"I'm still nervous," Green said. "I feel like I just put in a lap at Darlington. This was great to do today, now we need to do it in Sunday's race."
Green and Earnhardt will form the front row in Sunday's race, regardless of where they finish in either of Thursday's Gatorade Twin 125 qualifying races, which will determine positions 3-30 in the 43-car Daytona 500 field.
Robby Gordon, Green's teammate at RCR, was third at 185.927 mph followed by Earnhardt's teammate Michael Waltrip at 185.460.
"It's easy for a driver at Richard Childress Racing to just push the button," Green said. "Everybody at the engine shop and the fabrication shop really deserve this. This is a phenomenal race car. They gave us something this year that we can race with. It puts us in the driver's hands more this year. The sky is the limit. We feel like we can win each and every week."
The top four cars of the 50 that took qualification runs were Chevrolets. So much for NASCAR's efforts of the "aero matching" by using common templates to bring the four manufacturers in the series on an even basis in hopes of leveling the playing field in the Winston Cup Series.
Ricky Rudd - in his first race for the Wood Brothers - was the highest non-Chevy driver when he qualified his Ford fifth at 185.372 mph.
Six cars in the top 10 were Chevrolets. There are two Fords and two Dodges in the top 10. Pontiac's highest finishing qualifier was Ricky Craven, who was 15th.
By winning the pole, Green will be able to celebrate before next Sunday's biggest race of the NASCAR season. But with Daytona's convoluted qualifying procedures, the rest of the field will be filled by Thursday's two 125-mile qualifying races.
Positions 31-36 will be determined by times posted in the time trial session. Positions 37-42 will be filled by provisional starting positions based on 2002 Winston Cup team owner points with a 43rd provisional filled by a former Winston Cup champion.
If all former champions are already in the field, then that position will go to the next non-qualified driver on the provisional starting list.
It was the second pole of Green's Winston Cup career. His first came at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 25, 2001.
Defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart did not qualify after his Chevrolet engine broke on his warmup lap. He will have to race his way into the field in Thursday's qualifying races.
Kuznetsova, Safina reach second round
Kuznetsova snapped a three-match losing streak and reached the second round of an event for just the second time this season.
The 17-year-old Kuznetsova is one of the WTA Tour's emerging players. Working with Emilio Sanchez in Spain, she won two titles last year at Helsinki and Bali.
Kuznetsova will face compatriot Dinara Safin, a 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) winner over Adriana Serra-Zanetti of Italy, in the second round.
Safina also stopped a three-match skid and won for only the second time in her last six WTA Tour matches dating to last season.
The 16-year-old Russian, the sister of men's star Marat Safin, also tasted success last year. She claimed her first career title at Sopot, becoming the first qualifier to do so in nearly three years.
Third seed Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria reached the second round for the fourth time in as many events this season with a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of Rossana Neffa-de Los Rios of Paraguay.
Maleeva's next foe will be Slovakia's Martina Sucha, who posted a 6-4, 6-7 (8-10), 6-4 victory over Switzerland's Emmanuelle Gagliardi.
Also Monday, Mary Pierce of France overcame Anca Barna of German, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, and will take on second seed Anastasia Myskina of Russia in the second round.
Phillies sign RHP Terry Adams
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Phillies agreed to terms Monday with pitcher Terry Adams, averting a Feb. 19 salary arbitration hearing.
Adams will receive a base salary of $2.9 million plus performance bonuses. He was seeking $3.395 million in arbitration, but settled for a deal closer to Philadelphia's offer of $2.9 million.
Adams, who turns 30 in March, was 7-9 with a 4.35 ERA in 46 games, including 19 starts, for the Phillies last season. The righthander went 12-8 with a 4.33 ERA in 43 games, including 22 starts, with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2001.
Matevzic, Casanova win at Proximus
ANTWERP, Belgium, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Slovenian Maja Matevzic and Switzerland's Myriam Casanova advanced Monday when they won first-round matches at the Proximus Diamond Games.
Matevzic dispatched Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-3, and Casanova beat Belgian wild card Kirsten Flipkens, 6-3, 7-5, during the opening day of the $585,000 indoor tennis event.
Flipkens was making her WTA Tour debut.
Next up for Matevzic is a second-round meeting with top seed Venus Williams of the United States. Williams is back to defend her title and move closer to securing the diamond studded racket. After claiming this event in its inaugural year last season, she has to win twice more in the next four years to earn the glittering bonus prize.
Any player to win the tournament three times in a five-year span will get a golden racket with approximately 1,700 diamonds.
Williams has been practically unbeatable on tour. The lone exception has been her younger sister Serena, who has beaten Venus in the last four Grand Slam finals.
The 22-year-old Venus will be playing in only her second tournament of the season, following her runner-up showing at the Australian Open.
Casanova's second-round foe will be local favorite and second seed Kim Clijsters, who lost to Venus Williams in the semifinals here last year.
Clijsters started her season by winning at Sydney, her fourth title in her last five tournaments dating to 2002. She reached the semifinals at the Australian Open but squandered two match points and a 5-2 lead in the third set against Serena Williams.
Williams and Clijsters received first-round byes.
Also Monday, Denisa Chladkova of the Czech Republic defeated countrywoman Iveta Benesova, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, and Slovenia's Tina Pisnik topped Italy's Rita Grande, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Former Georgia Tech basketball coach dies
ATLANTA, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Long-time Georgia Tech basketball coach John "Whack" Hyder, whose team ended Kentucky's 129-game home winning streak in 1955, died Sunday. He was 90.
Hyder coached the Yellow Jackets from 1951-52 through 1972-73, compiling a 292-271 record. He guided Georgia Tech to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1960 and two trips to the National Invitation Tournament.
Hyder was the program's winningest coach until he was passed by Bobby Cremins in 1996.
"Coach Hyder was a special person who loved Georgia Tech very much," Cremins said. "I often heard his former players talk about how much they loved playing for Coach Hyder. He was a great friend and a great help to me during my coaching career."
Hyder's most famous victory came on Jan. 8, 1955, when his Yellow Jackets defeated Adolph Rupp's Kentucky powerhouse, 59-58, ending its 129-game home winning streak.
Hyder coached Tech's first two All-Americans - Roger Kaiser and Rich Yunkus. Kaiser went on to an outstanding coaching career of his own, winning four NAIA titles at West Georgia and Life University.
"He was the best thing in the world for me," Kaiser said. "He had so much patience in dealing with his players, and you could tell how much he cared for each of us as individuals. Because of that, we respected him so much and wanted to play that much harder for him."
Born in Lula, Ga. Hyder was one of the best all-around athletes in Georgia Tech history, lettering in basketball, baseball, cross country and track. With no basketball scholarships offered at the time, he earned one for football and played as a freshman.
After graduating in 1937, Hyder played three years in the New York Yankees' farm system. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II before returning to Tech in 1946 as an assistant basketball coach.
Kustok signs with Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Green Bay Packers have signed quarterback Zak Kustok, a former two-year starter at Northwestern, as a free agent.
The 6-1, 218-pounder originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent on April 26, 2002, following completion of a three-year varsity career with the Wildcats. He completed 507-of-920 passes for 6,822 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Kustok was placed on waivers Aug. 26 as the Dolphins made several roster reductions, getting down to the 65-player limit. He has been out of football since.
Kustok was a running quarterback in college, when he rushed for 1,294 yards and 22 touchdowns on 433 attempts while starting all 23 games in which he played over his final two seasons.
He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten choice as a senior in 2001, when he completed 231-of- 404 passes for 2,692 yards, 20 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions. He also was the team's second-leading rusher that year, gaining 580 yards on 175 carries, and scoring 11 touchdowns.
As a prep, Kustok was a two-time team captain and two-time all-league selection, as well as an academic all-state selection, at Carl Sandburg High School in his native Orland Park, Ill.
The other quarterbacks on the Packers' roster are starter Brett Favre, top backup Doug Pederson, and second-year pro Craig Nall. Pederson will become an unrestricted free agent on March 2.
The signing of Kustok brings the Packers' offseason roster to 75 players. They are allowed to have 80 when training camp opens in July.
Lightning place Neckar on IR
TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning Monday placed defenseman Stan Neckar on injured reserve, but made the move retroactive to Feb. 4.
Neckar has missed six of Tampa Bay's last seven games with a groin strain. He is eligible to be activated after Tuesday's pivotal game against the New York Islanders.
The Lightning are tied with the Islanders for the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference with 57 points, one ahead of Montreal.
The native of the Czech Republic has one goal and three assists with a plus-minus rating of minus-5 in 47 games this season, his third with the Lightning.