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Goldeyes reel in Blackwood's big bat

THE Winnipeg Goldeyes have signed heavy-hitting infielder Jacob Blackwood for the 2014 season.

Blackwood hit .331 with 31 HR and 86 RBI in 99 games with the Kansas City T-Bones in 2010 and was third in league batting average that season.

He subsequently was signed by the San Diego Padres organization and spent the last two sasons with their double-A affiliate in San Antonio, where he hit .259 with 7 HR and 61 RBI in 126 games last season. He was also the starting third baseman for the South Division in the Texas League all-star game.

"Jake is a big addition to our ball club," Goldeyes manager Rick Forney said in a statement on Wednesday. "He's the type of infielder that provides a big impact bat to our lineup. He's been an impactful player in our league before and we're hopeful he can be an impact guy for the Goldeyes in 2014."

The Goldeyes now have six pitchers and six position players signed for the 2014 season.


Ducks lock up Fistric

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Defenceman Mark Fistric has agreed to a three-year, $3.8-million contract extension with the Anaheim Ducks.

The Ducks announced the deal Wednesday with Fistric, who has become a regular on the blue-line in his first season with the overall NHL leaders.

Fistric has five points and a plus-8 rating in 27 games with the Ducks, who signed him as a free agent in August. The hard-hitting defenceman is second on the Ducks with 123 hits despite playing in only about half of their games this season.

The former first-round pick didn't crack Anaheim's lineup until mid-November when defenceman Luca Sbisa injured his right hand.

Fistric also has played for Dallas and Edmonton during his NHL career.


Stevie Y adds to resumé

VANCOUVER -- Steve Yzerman can add another honour to his impressive resumé.

The former Detroit Red Wings captain was named to the Order of Hockey in Canada on Wednesday along with former women's national team captain France St-Louis and legendary university coach Clare Drake.

Yzerman, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, won three Stanley Cups during his 22-year playing career.

Now the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Yzerman won gold with Canada as a player at the 2002 Olympics and served as the executive director of the gold-medal winning men's team at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

The 48-year-old has the same post heading into next month's Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"It was an extremely pleasant surprise for me and really a thrill," Yzerman said during a conference call with all three recipients. "I've loved being a part of Hockey Canada as a player and (in) management throughout my career in the game."


Gold medallist banned

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Olympic badminton gold medallist Lee Yong-dae and fellow-South Korean Kim Ki-jung have been handed one year suspensions by the sport's world governing body for missing doping tests.

In a statement this week, the Malaysian-based Badminton World Federation said as part of its testing program of international-level players, "Kim and Lee were required to provide whereabouts information for the BWF to conduct out-of-competition testing. In 2013, both athletes accumulated three whereabouts failures in connection with this administrative process."

Lee won gold in the mixed doubles at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and took a bronze in the men's doubles at London in 2012.


Injury sidelines Raonic

TOKYO -- Milos Raonic has withdrawn from Canada's Davis Cup team with an ankle injury.

The Thornhill, Ont., native, who is ranked 11th in the world, said he'd hoped he would be ready when Canada begins its World Group first-round tie against Japan in Tokyo on Friday.

"This decision was very difficult to make but I believe in the players on our team and that they can get us the win," said Raonic in a statement Thursday. "With a team scenario the most important part this week is to come out with a team win and I believe this is the best way to do it."

Raonic will be replaced by fellow Thornhill native Peter Polansky.

He joins Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., Daniel Nestor of Toronto and Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil.


-- staff / from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 30, 2014 D6

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