Fanfare-Colleges: A look at Thursday's college and other sports news

Jul. 11, 2013 @ 10:57 PM

Hurricanes sign winger, goalie and defenseman to one-year, two-way deals

RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes have signed right wing Aaron Palushaj to a one-year contract. The deal will pay Palushaj $600,000 on the NHL level or $175,000 on the American Hockey League level with a guarantee of at least $225,000.

Palushaj (5-11, 187), 23, had two goals and seven assists in 25 games for the Colorado Avalanche last season, averaging 11:18 of ice time per game. He was elected by the Canadiens in the second round (44th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Also Thursday, the team re-signed goaltender Mike Murphy and defenseman Michal Jordan.

Murphy’s one-year deal will play him $550,000 at the NHL level or $80,000 at the minor league level in 2013-14.

Murphy, 24, was drafted by the Canes in the sixth round (165th overall) in the 2008 draft.

Jordan’s deal that will pay him $550,000 at the NHL level or $125,000 at the minor-league level, with a guarantee of at least $150,000.

Jordan, 22, made his NHL debut on Feb. 14 against the Toronto Maple Leafs and played in five games with the Hurricanes in 2012-13, averaging 10:41 of ice time per game.

Duke DB Ross Cockrell on national defense watch list

DURHAM — Duke redshirt senior cornerback Ross Cockrell has been named to the preseason Watch List for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, an honor presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America.

Cockrell earned honorable mention All-America honors from Sports Illustrated in 2012 after posting 71 tackles, four tackles for loss, a quarterback sack, five interceptions, 13 pass breakups and one caused fumble.

Duke G Laken Tomlinson on Outland Trophy watch list

DURHAM — Duke redshirt junior offensive guard Laken Tomlinson has been named to the preseason Watch List for the Outland Trophy, an honor presented annually by the Football Writers Association of America to the nation’s top interior lineman.

The 6-3, 320-pound Tomlinson has started all 25 games of his collegiate career at right offensive guard for the Blue Devils.

Bobcats re-sign ex-Blue Devil Josh McRoberts

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Bobcats have re-signed forward Josh McRoberts, a six-year NBA veteran and former Duke star.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Bobcats acquired the 6-10 McRoberts from the Orlando Magic on February 21, 2013 in exchange for forward Hakim Warrick. McRoberts appeared in 26 games with the team last season, averaging 9.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 30.8 minutes per game.

Nets add Andrei Kirilenko as makeover continues

NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a contract with forward Andrei Kirilenko, another strong addition for a team that has loaded up on talent this offseason.

Kirilenko accepted the taxpayer’s mid-level exception worth about $3.2 million this season. He opted out of a $10.2 million deal for next season with the Minnesota Timberwolves to join the Nets — owned by fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov.

Kirilenko is the latest acquisition for a team whose previous moves include a pending trade to acquire stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston and the first-round draft selection of Duke’s Mason Plumlee.

7 tied for U.S. Senior Open lead

OMAHA, Neb. — It’s never been so crowded at the top of the U.S. Senior Open leaderboard.

When Tom Lehman chipped in from 45 feet on the 18th hole Thursday, he joined six others at 3-under 67 for the first round at the Omaha Country Club.

There had never been as many as seven co-leaders after the opening round of the event. The previous record was five in 1997.

Kenny Perry shot a 67 in the morning, putting together a solid start in his bid for a second straight win in a senior major. Michael Allen and Jay Don Blake also were 3 under after their morning rounds, and Gary Hallberg, Mark O’Meara, Fred Funk and Lehman came in with the same score in the afternoon.

Johnson, Villegas in Deere hunt

SILVIS, Ill. — Zach Johnson is in early position to repeat as the champion of the John Deere Classic. Johnson shot a 7-under 64 and is tied with Camilo Villegas for the lead after Thursday’s opening round of the John Deere Classic.

Matt Bettencourt made the field as a late alternate and shot a 6-under 65. He’s tied for second with Daniel Summerhays and Brendon de Jonge.

Two share lead in LPGA Classic

WATERLOO, Ontario — Angela Stanford and Catriona Matthew shot eight-under 63s to share the first-round lead at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic on Thursday, two strokes ahead of top-ranked Inbee Park.

Park is trying to become the first golfer to win four straight LPGA Tour events since Lorena Ochoa in 2008.

Park was joined by American Irene Cho, Spain’s Belen Mozo and South Korea’s Hee Young Park and Meena Lee at 65. American Ryann O’Toole and South Koreans Jenny Shin, Amy Yang and Ji Young Oh were three shots off the lead at 66.

All-Star Game NLfan  voting: Freeman tops Puig

NEW YORK — So much for Puig-mania sweeping the country. Give this contest to Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Freeman and Toronto reliever Steve Delabar won the fan voting for the final spots in Tuesday’s All-Star game, meaning Los Angeles Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig is likely headed for a few days off after a terrific stretch to begin his major league career.

Freeman set a record with 19.7 million votes, and Puig was second. Major League Baseball didn’t release the vote total for Puig, but said the Cuban defector also surpassed the previous record for the final vote of 15.6 million for Shane Victorino in 2009.

Kovalchuk quits, forfeits $77M from Devils to play in Russia

NEWARK, N.J. — Star forward Ilya Kovalchuk stunned the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, retiring from the NHL to return to play in his native Russia.

The 30-year-old Kovalchuk walked away from the $77 million that was left on the 15-year contract he signed with New Jersey in 2010, including guaranteed annual salaries of at least $11 million over the next four seasons.

Kovalchuk said he wanted to return home to Russia to be with his family after 11 seasons in the NHL.