Shanahan joins Stoops as Florida candidates

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) With the recruiting season about to resume, Florida moved closer yesterday to an important deadline to hire a new coach, and Bob Stoops of Oklahoma was still the leading candidate.

Citing sources, The Gainesville Sun and Orlando Sentinel reported Athletic Director Jeremy Foley offered the Oklahoma coach the job and a raise of between $400,000 and $1 million from the $2 million a year he makes now.

A source close to the football program, however, told The Associated Press yesterday that no offer had been made. A day earlier, the same source told AP that Stoops was the top candidate.

Also yesterday, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, a good friend of Foley”s and long considered one of his favorite coaches, said he”d be willing to talk about the opening.

“We always teased each other that if the job were open, he”d talk to me,” Shanahan said. “Obviously, he”s a friend of mine and I would talk to him about it. I”m very happy here. I”ve got a contract and I intend on keeping that contract, but that doesn”t mean I won”t sit down and talk with Jeremy.”

Shanahan”s contract pays about $4 million a year and he would almost certainly take a pay cut. He has a new house in Denver, and his reputation is still strong, even though the Broncos have had three straight disappointing seasons after two straight Super Bowl titles.

Detroit beats on Roy-less Avs to even series

DETROIT (AP) While many are impressed with the Detroit Red Wings, their captain, Steve Yzerman, refuses to get caught up in the hoopla.

Igor Larionov and Brendan Shanahan scored less than two minutes apart early in the third period as the Red Wings beat Colorado 3-1 to extend their home unbeaten streak to six games.

Detroit, which easily has the NHL”s best record, avenged last month”s 4-1 loss at home to the defending Stanley Cup champions.

“They”re still the top team in the league, despite our record,” said Yzerman, who assisted on the final goal. “You”d like to play the top teams with their top players because that makes you better. They”re missing about five guys.”

The Avalanche were without goaltender Patrick Roy, who missed a second straight game with the flu. Among the other Avalanche players out were: Alex Tanguay (ankle), Stephane Yelle (knee), Adam Foote (knee) and Peter Forsberg, who hasn”t played at all this season because of various injuries.

Roy”s backup, David Aebischer, started strong, but was unable to hold off the league”s highest-scoring team.

Aebischer faced 35 shots while Dominik Hasek had to save just 13.

Roy, in uniform behind Colorado”s bench, was unable to engage in another matchup of the league”s top goalies. He was dominant while stopping 30 shots, and Hasek struggled with just 18 saves in the previous meeting between the NHL powers.

“I don”t think he could”ve been the difference, because we were so good,” Hasek said of Roy. “Aebischer had a good game, but we were the better team and we kept coming and coming.”

Larionov, the NHL”s oldest player, gave Detroit a 2-1 lead at 3:01 of the final period. The 41-year-old forward beat former Red Wing Todd Gill to a bouncing puck near the red line and then flipped a shot just over Aebischer”s stick on a breakaway.

“Age is going to be irrelevant in how long Igor wants to play because of the condition he”s in,” Yzerman said. “In the right situation, he could play forever.”

Just 110 seconds after Larionov”s goal, Shanahan scored his 23rd on an assist from Yzerman on a 2-on-1 play.

Detroit (30-8-3-2) has lost one overtime game in its last nine.

“It”s not that big of a deal,” Yzerman said. “We”ve had great years before, but we didn”t get overly excited. Our goals are at the end of the season, not right now.”

Colorado (23-16-5) is 1-3-1 after going 15-3-3.

Chris Drury said the Avalanche “certainty don”t want to,” return to the type of play that led to their slow start.

Colorado is off until playing Wednesday at home against Chicago, which will start a stretch of 11 games in 22 days. Avalanche coach Bob Hartley thought it would be better to have Roy available for those games, rather than rush him back Saturday.

“We have a tough stretch coming up, so we want him ready to go,” Hartley said.

The Avalanche scored quickly, just as they had in last month”s meeting, but couldn”t maintain the lead.

Martin Skoula scored off a long rebound from Milan Hejduk”s shot 3:39 into the game.

“We played a good first period, then they were all over us,” Hejduk said.

Detroit”s Pavel Datsyuk sneaked a shot between Aebischer”s hip and glove on a power play at 7:05 of the second to tie the game. Both goalies made many saves to keep the score tied going into the final period.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.