MONTREAL (AP) _ Canadiens defenseman Chris Chelios has reached agreement in principle on a four-year contract that will pay him almost $700,000 per season, Don Meehan, his agent, said.
The deal would make him the highest paid player in Canadiens history and the highest paid defenseman in the NHL.
″The contract isn’t signed yet,″ Serge Savard, Montreal’s general manager said. ″There are still a number of details to be worked out concerning taxes and deferred payments, things like that.″
Chelios won the Norris Trophy as league’s top defenseman last season.
Currently, Raymond Bourque of the Boston Bruins and Mark Howe of the Philadelphia Flyers are the highest-paid defensemen, earning an estimated $500,000 per season. Paul Coffey of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes $450,000, but he is on the verge of renegotiating a new deal, which will likely boost him into the top spot.
Chelios, 27, had two years remaining on his contract when the Canadiens when the club suggested a renegotiation.
BEIJING (AP) - Defending champion China whipped Iran 115-72 Thursday to assure itself a berth in the semifinals of the Asian Basketbll Championships.
Also moving into the semifinals were South Korea, with an 85-83 victory over Saudi Arabia, and Japan, with a romp over the Philippines 86-67.
China, 5-0, was led by Zhang Yongjun with 23 points.
Korea, also 5-0 in the 15-team tournament, trailed 43-42 at halftime.
Japan was led by 6-foot, 10-inch Akifumi Yamasaki, who scored 24 points, including 17 in the second half.
OGAWACHO, Japan (AP) - Yoshikazu Yokoshima, the home course pro, fired a 5- under-par 67 Thursday and took a two-shot lead after the opening round of the $483,000 Gene Sarazen Jun Classic golf tournament.
Yokoshima shot four birdies and no bogeys on the front nine, and added two birdies against one bogey on the back nine of the 7,091-yard, par-72 Jun Classic Country Club course, northeast of Tokyo.
At 69 were Masahiro Kuramoto, Tsuyoshi Yoneyama, Norio Mikami and Kinya Aoyagi.
Masashi ″Jumbo″ Ozaki was in a group of eight players, including his younger brother Naomichi and Tsuneyuki Nakajima, at 70.
David Ishii of Hawaii and Eduardo Herrera of Colombia were among eight players at 71.
HAMBURG, West Germany (AP) - Hamburger SV sweeper Ditmar Jakobs was released from a hospital after surgeons removed a steel goal-net hook from his back, club officials said Thursday.
Jakobs, 36, slid into the net after clearing a ball that was heading for the empty goal in Hamburg’s 4-0 win over Werder Bremen Wednesday evening.
The clip that fastens the net to the ground snapped open under Jakobs’ weight, clawed his back and closed again.
The game was interrupted for 22 minutes while Jakobs was given painkillers and the workers cut the hook loose from the frame of the net.
He was taken to a Hamburg hospital where surgeons removed the hook from his back.
HSV team doctor Axel Fielker said Jakobs suffered no internal injuries and would be able to play once the wound healed.
TOKYO (AP) - German Rivera, who formerly played for the Houston Astros, hit a three-run home run Thursday as the second-place Kintetsu Buffaloes beat the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks 4-1 in the Pacific Coast League.
Rivera now has 19 home runs.
Matt Keough, another former Astro, was the losing pitcher as the Hiroshima Toyo Carp edged the Hanshin Tigers 3-2 in the Central League.
It was Keough’s ninth defeat against 12 victories this season.