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Sports briefs


DEVILS HIRE CONSTANTINE: Larry Robinson was fired as the New Jersey Devils coach with the club struggling to make the playoffs less than a year after coming within a victory of winning consecutive Stanley Cups.

Robinson was replaced by former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Kevin Constantine, a noted disciplinarian.

LINDROS INJURED: Eric Lindros mildly sprained his right knee, forcing him to leave the New York Rangers game against Tampa Bay.


NEW STADIUMS SUPPORT: A state task force overwhelmingly lined up behind recommendations that the 2002 Legislature vote on two new stadiums that would be built with public help.

The task force voted 16 to 1, with one member absent, to forward a list of money raisers that could retire public debt on a new Twins ballpark and a shared football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and University of Minnesota.

VALDES A RANGER: Right-hander Ismael Valdes agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract with Texas, joining his fourth team in four years and giving the Rangers yet another pitching option.

ROCKIES OWNERSHIP: A judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of a 23.5 percent interest in the Colorado Rockies to the team's majority owners for $35 million.

Former shareholder Oren Benton had said he thought his share was worth $50 or $60 million, and filed an objection to the sale, saying the price was too low. He later withdrew it.

WILLIAMS OUT OF HOSPITAL: Hall of Famer Ted Williams was released from a Florida hospital where he was admitted last week with flulike symptoms, including a high fever and low blood pressure.


NOT COACH YET: San Diego Chargers officials were working on details of Marty Schottenheimer's contract in an effort to get him introduced as head coach on Tuesday.

BRONCOS CHANGE GM: The Denver Broncos hired Ted Sundquist as general manager and made former GM Neal Dahlen the team's director of football administration.

DOLPHINS PRESIDENT RETIRES: Miami Dolphins president Eddie Jones will retire after the 2002 season, ending a 35-year career with the NFL.

Bryan Wiedmeier will take over as chief operating officer and become executive vice president of the Dolphins. Wiedmeier will oversee day-to-day business operations and monitor administration of the salary cap and negotiations of player contracts.