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March 4, 2013 at 11:02 PM
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NHL suspends Sabres' Kaleta five games

NEW YORK, March 4 (UPI) -- Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been handed a five-game suspension for an illegal hit on the New York Rangers' Brad Richards, the NHL said Monday.

Kaleta was given a 5-minute major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct at time of the incident in the third period of Sunday's 3-2 loss to New York.

Richards left the game briefly after the hit, in which Kaleta shoved him head-first into the boards.

"In spite of the fact that Kaleta does not push Richards with great force, he does so at an extremely dangerous distance from the boards," NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said.

"Richards does not turn his back just prior or make any sudden movements that contribute to this illegal check. Kaleta is in full control of this play, and had ample opportunity to make a better decision."

Kaleta was also issued a four-game ban in 2011 for an illegal hit on Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek as well as fines for other questionable hits.

He will be eligible for return March 17 against Washington.

Yanks GM Cashman breaks leg skydiving

HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 4 (UPI) -- New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman sustained a broken leg and dislocated ankle while skydiving in Florida Monday, the team said.

Cashman, 46, broke his right fibula and dislocated his right ankle after jumping out of a U.S. Army plane above Homestead Air Reserve Base in a charity event for the Wounded Warrior Project.

He was tethered to a member of the Army Golden Knights parachute team during the dive.

A statement issued by the team indicated Cashman was treated at a Homestead, Fla., hospital, released, and then scheduled for surgery later in the day at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.

"I'm in great spirits, and it was an awesome experience," Cashman said. "The Golden Knights are first class. While I certainly didn't intend to raise awareness in exactly this fashion, I'm extremely happy that the Wounded Warrior Project is getting the well-deserved additional attention."

NRA to sponsor Texas NASCAR race

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 4 (UPI) -- The National Rifle Association will sponsor a Sprint Cup race next month, racetrack officials said Monday.

The April 13 NASCAR event at Texas Motor Speedway will be called the NRA 500, Speedway Motorsports Inc. president Eddie Gossage said.

Under the terms of the deal, the NRA secured a one-year agreement with an option to renew in 2014.

"The NRA has been involved in the sport for several years and a partner of Speedway Motorsports Inc., for many years in various aspects, and this race entitlement is just another extension of that business relationship," Gossage said.

"We look forward to another successful partnership with the NRA for our April race week of activities."

The NRA has become a lightning rod in the gun control debate for its vociferous opposition to restrictions on gun owners' rights in the aftermath of the December mass shooting of elementary school children in Newtown, Conn.

Hurricanes goalie Ward out 6-8 weeks

RALEIGH, N.C., March 4 (UPI) -- Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward will be out 6-8 weeks after sustaining a sprained knee, the team said Monday.

Ward hurt the knee while making a save during the second period of the Hurricanes' Sunday win over Florida.

The netminder was diagnosed with a third-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament. He won't require surgery, but could miss the rest of the regular season for Southeast Division-leading Carolina.

Ward has compiled a 9-6-1 record with a 2.84 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage in 17 games this season.

His primary backup is Dan Ellis, who is 3-2-0 with a 2.53 GAA and .923 save percentage in seven contests.

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