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Blues extend Reaves

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have signed forward Ryan Reaves to a four-year, $4.5 million contract extension.

General manager Doug Armstrong says in a release the rugged Reaves, at 6-foot-1 and 224 pounds, has developed into a "well-rounded player."

The 26-year-old Reaves has played in 26 games with two goals and three assists. He also has 65 penalty minutes, third-most on the team. He's in his fourth season, all with St. Louis.

World Cup voices named

PASADENA, Calif. -- Gilberto Silva, who helped Brazil win the 2002 World Cup, and veteran Dutch player Ruud van Nistelrooy will work as studio analysts during ESPN's World Cup coverage.

The network said Saturday that the duo will appear on pre-match, halftime and post-match shows, as well as World Cup-themed news and information shows throughout the month-long tournament that begins June 12.

Silva and van Nistelrooy join a mix of former pros and national team players working as analysts, including Americans Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman, and Michael Ballack of Germany, Steve McManaman of England and Santiago Solari of Argentina.

The network will announce specific assignments later.

ESPN is going soccer-specific for a new version of its 30 for 30 film series starting in April.

Two feature-length films and six 30-minute documentaries make up "30 for 30: Soccer Stories." Ten vignettes about Brazilian culture also will be sprinkled throughout the network's World Cup programming.

Among the shorter films is Maradona '86, about the Argentine soccer star who captained his nation to victory that year.

Dribble, drip, dribble, drip

WASHINGTON -- The Verizon Center sprung a leak, causing a delay of more than 30 minutes in the game between the Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets Saturday night.

Play was halted nine seconds into the second quarter because water was dripping onto the court.

The leak was at centre court near the scorer's table. Two trash cans were placed on top of some towels to catch the water, and several people were in the rafters above the leak, apparently trying to fix the problem.

Heavy rains fell in the region throughout the day.

Players from both teams took warm-up shots during the delay. Dwight Howard began playfully blocking shots from a couple of kids on the court, keeping the fans entertained.

Penn State hires coach

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State has hired James Franklin as its next head coach. Franklin, 41, who led Vanderbilt to bowls in all three of his seasons there, replaces Bill O'Brien, who left the Nittany Lions after two years to coach the NFL's Houston Texans. Penn State made the announcement Saturday, after the school's compensation committee met to finalize the contract.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 12, 2014 B16

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