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Dec. 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM
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NHL, players union to talk this weekend

NEW YORK, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- The NHL and representatives of locked-out players plan to resume informal discussions this weekend, ESPN reported Saturday.

The broadcaster, citing unnamed sources, said league officials and the NHL Players Association talked via conference calls about a recent league proposal Saturday in preparation for informational discussions Sunday.

It has been more than two weeks since the two sides met face-to-face and no official bargaining sessions had yet been scheduled as hopes for avoiding a total cancellation of the 2012-13 NHL season hang in the balance.

The NHL offered a proposal Thursday that included some concessions on buyout rules, contract term limits and salary variance.

In it, the league set a Jan. 11 deadline to reach a new labor deal, after which the remainder of the season would be canceled. It envisions a one-week training camp with the first games set for Jan. 19.

UConn rewards Ollie with new contract

STORRS, Conn., Dec. 29 (UPI) -- University of Connecticut men's basketball Coach Kevin Ollie has been signed to a new six-year contract, school officials said Saturday.

UConn President Susan Herbst said the deal -- which includes a total compensation package of $1.2 million for the 2012-13 season -- was made after Ollie "seamlessly" took the reins from the retiring Jim Calhoun in September.

"He demonstrated to all of us that he is a genuine leader of extraordinary talents," Herbst said.

The 40-year-old Ollie joined Calhoun's staff as an assistant coach in 2010, and has guided the Huskies to a 9-2 record this season.

"I am happy to be the head coach at Connecticut for an extended period of time," said Ollie.

Calhoun retired Sept. 13 after racking up a 625-243 record over 26 seasons, claiming seven Big East Tournament titles as well as NCAA national championships in 1999, 2004 and 2011.

His squad was banned from post-season play for the current season after failing to meet academic standards.

Zuzulova wins women's World Cup slalom

SEMMERING, Austria, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Veronika Velez Zuzulova turned in a solid first run and captured Saturday's women's World Cup slalom in Austria.

The Czech turned in a combined two-run time of 1 minute, 37.28 seconds, in good conditions at Semmering, topping Kathrin Zettel of Austria by 1/10th of a second.

Zuzulova finished the first round in 47.77 but was clocked at 49.51 in the second trip.

Tina Maze of Slovenia took third with a 1:37.48. The overall World Cup points leader had led after her first run of 47.22 despite whacking her arm on a gate, but turned in a disappointing 50.26 in the second try.

Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch finished fourth at 1:38.39.

It was a tough day for the U.S. women's team. Hailey Duke and rising star Mikaela Schiffrin failed to finish and Resi Stiegler finished 26th.

Cricket giant Greig dies of heart attack

SYDNEY, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Tony Greig, a former captain of England's national cricket team, has died of a heart attack in Australia, hospital officials said Saturday. He was 66.

Greig, who was battling lung cancer, died at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, shortly after suffering the heart attack.

Hospital spokesman David Faktor told The Sunday Telegraph Greig's family was with him when he died.

Greig was born in South Africa and played in 58 Tests for England in the 1970s, including 14 as team captain.

His later role with the World Series cricket league, based in Australia, was credited with giving the staid sport a higher profile -- with higher player salaries and the introduction of colored clothing as opposed to all white uniforms.

"He revolutionized the game and it had to be done," Ian Botham, another former England skipper, told the BBC.

After his playing days wound down, Greig became a commentator on Australia's Channel Nine television.

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