Wilson, NHL's 'Iron Man,' dead at 82
LIVONIA, Mich., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Johnny Wilson, a member of four Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup championship teams who played in an NHL record 580 consecutive games, has died, his son said.
He was 82.
Wilson died Dec. 27 at a hospice in Livonia, Mich., The New York Times reported. The cause was pulmonary fibrosis, his son, Kelly, said.
Wilson, an all-star forward, played in the NHL when players wore no helmets and earned the nickname "Iron Man."
Wilson's consecutive-game streak started during the Red Wings' 1951-52 season and continued through eight straight 70-game regular seasons with the Red Wings, the Chicago Black Hawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The streak ended when Wilson held out during a contract dispute with the Maple Leafs and missed the 1960-61 season opener, signed and played three games for the Maple Leafs and was then traded to the Rangers.
Wilson played on Detroit Red Wings teams that won the NHL championship in 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955 and played in the all-star game in 1954 and 1956.
He scored 161 goals and had 171 assists.
Vikings make Spielman general manager
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Rick Spielman, who has been with NFL organizations since 1990, has been promoted to general manager of the Minnesota Vikings, the team said Tuesday.
Spielman had been vice president of player personnel for the Vikings since 2006. In his new position, he will oversee all Vikings' football operations while retaining duties of directing the team's college and pro personnel programs.
"This establishes the organizational structure that will lead to the long-term success of the Vikings," team owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement. "Having watched Rick over the years, we have the utmost confidence that he will help us reach our ultimate goal of winning championships."
Spielman, the brother of former NFL player Chris Spielman, joined his first NFL organization in 1990 when he was a scout for the Detroit Lions. He's also worked for the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins. He was the Dolphins' general manager in 2004.
Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo
LAKE FOREST, Ill., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Jerry Angelo has been fired by the Chicago Bears after serving as general manager of the NFL team for 11 seasons.
The team announced the change to its staff Tuesday. However, the Bears have said Coach Lovie Smith will be retained for the 2012 season, which would his ninth with the Bears.
Chicago was 8-8 this season, missing the NFL playoffs for the fourth time in five years. With Angelo as general manager, the Bears won three division titles and played in Super Bowl XLI.
Angelo had been general manager since 2001, when he left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for whom he had been director of player personnel from 1987-2000. He was previously on coaching staffs for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants and also served as an assistant college coach.
Strong finish puts Clijsters in 2nd round
BRISBANE, Australia, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Kim Clijsters won the last six games of her three-set match Tuesday in a second-round victory at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Australia.
Clijsters, the No. 5 seed, took a wildly swinging 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 decision over Ana Ivanovic in a battle of players formerly ranked No. 1 in the world. Clijsters improved to 5-0 lifetime against Ivanovic.
Clijsters opened the match with a service break and sailed through the first set only to have Ivanovic dominate the second set. A break allowed Ivanovic to move out to a 3-0 lead in the third set before Clijsters ran off six straight games for the win.
No. 2-seeded Andrea Petkovic was a 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 winner over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. After a tight first set, Petkovic won 68 percent of the points in the second set. She lost five points on serve in the set.
Third-seeded Francesca Schiavone topped Galina Voskoboeva 6-4, 6-4 by fighting off eight of nine break points she faced.
Also Tuesday, Daniela Hantuchova was a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 winner over Vania King behind a pair of breaks in each the second and third sets.