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CANES RE-SIGN TOP SCORER: Josef Vasicek, who led Carolina in goals, points, games played and game-winning goals in 2003-04, signed a two-year deal with the Hurricanes on Thursday.

The contract will pay him $1 million this season and $1.3 million in 2006-07, general manager Jim Rutherford said.

"Josef is coming off two very good seasons and is approaching the prime of his career," Rutherford said. "We are very happy to have him signed to a multiyear deal."

Vasicek scored 19 goals and was second on the team in assists with 26 for a team-leading 45 points in the year before a labor impasse forced a season-long shutdown of the NHL.

CAPITALS KEEP FORWARD: Forward Dainius Zubrus re-signed with the Washington Capitals on Thursday, agreeing to a two-year contract. The eight-year NHL veteran was acquired by the Capitals in a trade with Montreal in 2001. He had 12 goals and 15 assists for Washington in 2003-04. Zubrus has 91 goals and 152 assists for his NHL career. The 27-year-old Lithuanian played in the Russian League during the lockout, totaling eight goals with 11 assists in 42 games.


BERTHS SECURED: The United States and Puerto Rico defeated Mexico and Canada on Thursday, securing berths in next year's women's volleyball world championship.

The United States beat Mexico 3-0 in just over an hour, advancing to Friday's final against Puerto Rico in the North American and Caribbean qualifying tournament. The Americans have won 15 of 16 sets in the tournament.

In Thursday's other match, Puerto Rico defeated Canada 3-0.

Mexico and Canada will play Friday for the third spot in the 2006 world championship to be held in Japan.


MILLER JOINS TV: Reggie Miller is taking a shot at another line of work — basketball analyst for TNT. The multiyear agreement announced Thursday also calls for the former Indiana Pacers star to provide features this season on "Inside The NBA." Miller will join the studio team of host Ernie Johnson and analysts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley. Sister Cheryl Miller already is part of TNT's stable of NBA announcers.

BUCKS SIGN BELL: Guard Charlie Bell signed a multiyear contract with the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday after leading the Spanish league in scoring last season. Bell, who went undrafted out of Michigan State, played for the Suns and Mavericks in 2001-02. Also, the Boston Celtics signed second-round draft pick Ryan Gomes. Gomes, the 50th selection overall in the 2005 draft, made six appearances in the Celtics summer league, averaging 12.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, with a 59.6 shooting percentage from the field.