Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Racing Lions hold first points race

The Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions -- Drag Racing Division held its first points race of the season Sunday at the Soldotna airport, with Mike Meyers, Dick Cockroft and George Derkevorkin taking top honors on the one-eighth of a mile drag strip.

Meyers, in his 1968 Dodge Charger, took first in the Super Street Class, followed by Becky Britton in her 1982 Chevrolet Camaro and Bill Banta in his 1936 Chevrolet Pickup.

In the Street Class, Cockroft and his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro proved to be the quickest. Kenny Harris and his 2000 Ford Mustang were second, while Marty Anderson was third in a 1992 Chevrolet pickup.

Derkevorkin took the Snowmachine/Motorcycle Division on his Arctic Cat, while Ray Peterkin was second on an HD Motorcycle and John Carsner was third on an Arctic Cat.

Jury rejects Oakland Raiders' lawsuit against NFL

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Al Davis and his Oakland Raiders lost a $1.2 billion lawsuit that claimed the NFL sabotaged a deal for a new stadium and forced the team to leave Los Angeles.

The jury voted 9-3 Monday in favor of the NFL, rejecting breach of contract claims, unjust enrichment and other violations of the league constitution and bylaws. It also rejected that the NFL acted with ''oppression, malice or fraud'' in dealing with the team that left Los Angeles in 1995 after negotiations fell through for a new stadium at Hollywood Park.

Neither Davis nor NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue was in the courtroom for the verdict. Tagliabue, who testified earlier, was in Chicago to prepare for an owners' meetings. Davis, an NFL maverick often at odds with the league and fellow owners, sat in the front row throughout the six-week trial and spent five days on the stand.

''The jury upheld the NFL's position on all issues in the case,'' NFL spokesman Joe Browne said. ''The truth regarding what happened is found in the Raiders' own June 23, 1995, media release announcing their decision to leave Los Angeles. It stated: 'The Raiders organization has chosen to relocate to Oakland.'''

Report: Laviolette to become next Islanders coach

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders have reportedly chosen Boston Bruins assistant Peter Laviolette to be the next coach of the hapless franchise.

Laviolette, who was passed over for the Bruins head coaching job twice in the past year, will become the Islanders' 10th coach, Newsday said on its Web site Monday night. He will take over for Lorne Henning, New York's interim coach since Butch Goring was fired March 4.

The newspaper, which cited multiple sources, said a news conference to announce the hiring is expected later this week.

An Islanders spokesman said Monday night the team had no comment and that no announcement was scheduled. Laviolette did not immediately return calls to his home made by The Associated Press.

The Islanders, once the league's proudest franchise when they won four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-83, have missed the playoffs seven straight years.

Henning, an assistant who also coached the team during the lockout season of 1994-95, went 4-11-2 this season as the Islanders finished with the NHL's worst record. New York was 21-51-7-3 overall, seven points worse than Tampa Bay, which had the second lowest point total.

Before joining the Bruins this past season, Laviolette coached the Providence Bruins of the AHL for two seasons, winning the league championship in 1998-99 while setting an AHL record with 56 wins in a season.

He was a defenseman on the 1988 and 1994 U.S. Olympic hockey teams and was captain of the '94 squad. Laviolette also played 12 games with the New York Rangers in the 1988-89 season.

New York's Mike Milbury has let six coaches go, including himself twice, during the 5 1/2 years he has been Islanders general manager. His job has been deemed safe for now by owner Charles Wang.

Laviolette's name was linked to the Bruins job twice in the past year, but surprisingly he was not selected for the position either time. His limited experience was believed to be a reason why he was not picked.

Mike Keenan replaced Pat Burns, who was fired Oct. 25, eight games into the season, and led the Bruins within a tiebreaker of making the playoffs.

The Bruins went 33-26-7-8 in 74 games under Keenan, but general manager Mike O'Connell decided not to bring him back for next season. Laviolette seemed to be in line to take over.

''Peter Laviolette is probably the leading candidate,'' O'Connell said April 12, the day Keenan was dismissed. ''I know what he can do, but I am not saying the job is his.''

And it wasn't. O'Connell and the Bruins settled on Robbie Ftorek earlier this month when Ftorek made himself available for the job.

Ftorek was believed to have been a top candidate for the Islanders job as well.

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