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Dec. 17, 2012 at 11:00 PM
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R.A. Dickey: Trade to Blue Jays official

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- All-star pitcher R.A. Dickey indicated Monday his reported trade from the New York Mets to the Toronto Blue Jays is official.

"Looking forward to a new chapter with the Jays," Dickey wrote on his Twitter account.

Multiple media outlets reported Sunday the Mets had agreed to send the reigning Cy Young Award winner, catcher Josh Thole and a minor-league prospect to Toronto.

In exchange, catchers Travis d'Arnaud and John Buck, pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard and another unnamed prospect would reportedly move to the Mets.

Fox Sports said the trade was dependent on whether the Blue Jays could negotiate an extension for the knuckle-balling Dickey, who went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA in 2012, pacing the National League in innings, strikeouts, complete games and shutouts.

Several reports said Monday Dickey agreed to a two-year, $25 million deal with the Blue Jays, pending a physical.

Besides the Mets players, Toronto have acquired all-star shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio from the Miami Marlins during a busy off-season.

The prize for the Mets would be 23-year-old D'Arnaud, considered among the best hitting prospects in the minor leagues.

NHL: No new lockout talks scheduled

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- No new talks aimed at ending the 93-day-old NHL lockout are planned as players vote on whether to decertify their union, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says.

Daly told the (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger in an email Monday the league and the NHL Players Association currently have no plans to continue collective bargaining talks as hopes to avoid a complete cancellation of the season dim.

"Hopefully something will happen that will cause a change in position," Daly said. "The (NHLPA) knows where we are and what is needed to get the season under way."

All games through Dec. 30 have been canceled, and Commissioner Gary Bettman has said any shortened season must include at least 48 games. That means an agreement likely would have to be reached by early January.

"Time is obviously getting short," Daly said.

He made the comments as the NHLPA's more than 700 members were voting on whether to decertify the group as a union, which would open the door to possible legal action against the league's lockout move on antitrust grounds.

The NHL took preemptive action against the possibility Friday when it petitioned the federal courts for a legal opinion that the lockout was a lawful action.

Knicks' Stoudemire cleared for practice

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Injured New York Knicks forward-center Amar'e Stoudemire is expected to return to practice Tuesday, Coach Mike Woodson says.

Woodson told the New York Post the all-star is set to be cleared for practice as a major step in his rehabilitation process following Nov. 1 debridement surgery on his left knee.

"He's moving along in a positive way," Woodson told the newspaper Monday. "Everything is going according to plan. We just haven't had any time to get some practice time. Hopefully tomorrow we will get practice time and we'll see where he is."

The Post reported the first-place Knicks were hoping for a late-December return for their high-scoring star.

"After that first practice, we have to weigh how he feels the next day," Woodson said. "That's the whole key. If he's sore the next day, we'll have to back off until we gradually get him where we need to have him."

Rhule named Temple football coach

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Matt Rhule is the new head football coach of the Temple Owls, the school announced Monday.

He replaces Steve Addazio, who took the head coaching job at Boston College this month.

Rhule, who has 14 years of college coaching experience, was previously on the Owls' staff from 2005-2011.

He spent last year on the staff of the NFL's New York Giants.

"Matt is the perfect person to take the Temple football program to the next level," Temple Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw said. "He is an outstanding recruiter and in his six years at Temple was responsible for bringing many of the players that helped the program win its first bowl in 32 years."

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