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For the Record
February 14, 2011
Signed
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February 14, 2011

For The Record

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Signed

By the Avalanche for the remainder of the 2010--11 season, 37-year-old center Peter Forsberg (above), who won the Hart Trophy in 2003. Nearly three years removed from his last NHL game, the Swedish hockey icon, an Olympic gold medalist in 1994 and 2006 and a Stanley Cup winner with Colorado in '96 and '01, returned to Denver last month to test his conditioning with his former team. On Sunday, Forsberg and Colorado agreed to terms on a $1 million, prorated contract. Though long plagued by injuries, the big-bodied center was always a force when healthy—in 13 seasons he averaged 1.25 points per game, 10th best alltime. Forsberg rejoins a middling Avalanche club that through Sunday had lost five of its last six games and was four points out of the eighth and last playoff spot in the NHL's Western Conference. "I love playing hockey," Forsberg said. "I'm not sure I'm going to be good. We'll see when I get going."

Fired

Three employees of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, after they accessed the medical records of 13 Hawkeyes football players who were being treated for a rare muscle disorder. The hospital also suspended two other employees for the privacy breach. Complaining of soreness and discolored urine after a series of intense workouts, the players were hospitalized last month with rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle cells that releases a protein called myoglobin into the bloodstream, which can cause kidney damage. The episode was similar to a "rhabdo" outbreak last August at McMinnville (Ore.) High, in which 22 players were treated for the disorder following a grueling preseason training session. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said he was baffled by the incident and defended his strength and conditioning staff, saying their workouts "were designed to be rigorous and also designed to be safe. I think they were in this case."

Hired

As a minor league hitting instructor by the Royals, former Kansas City first baseman Willie Mays Aikens (below). Best remembered for his pair of two-homer games for the Royals in their 1980 World Series loss to the Phillies, Aikens, 56, was suspended in '83 after he and two teammates pleaded guilty to attempting to purchase cocaine. Reinstated the following year after a brief prison sentence, he played two forgettable seasons for the Blue Jays before calling it a career. But his troubles with drugs continued. In 1994 he was convicted of selling crack cocaine to an undercover cop and served nearly 14 years in prison. Since his release Aikens has spoken at schools about his experiences and to the Royals' young players, always hoping to return to baseball. "We didn't hire Willie because we're trying to do him a favor," Royals G.M. Dayton Moore said. "I've heard Willie speak about his experiences. It's powerful testimony."

Stiffed

Out of $800 seats at Sunday's Super Bowl, 400 fans whose reservations in temporary seating areas were voided because some of the sections had not yet passed mandatory safety inspections. In a failed bid to boost the game's attendance to a record 105,000 (announced attendance was a nonrecord 103,219), the NFL had installed 15,000 temporary seats around the new $1.2 billion stadium, but some of them went up too late for fire marshals to clear them for use. The NFL first offered to let the fans watch the game on video screens in outdoor plazas, then placed many of them in a field-level club, where they could watch on monitors. The league also promised to pay the fans back at triple the face value of their tickets, as well as give them free tickets to next year's game. "They took us to a bar," griped Paul Colavecchi, who traveled to Dallas with his sister from Clearfield, Pa. "That's why we fronted five grand for this trip—so we could watch the game in a bar."

Recovering

From multiple injuries sustained while competing for the Lotus Renault team in the Ronde di Andora Rally in Italy, F/1 driver Robert Kubica, 26, who crashed his car into a church wall at high speed shortly after the start of the race on Sunday. Rescue crews took more than an hour to extract the native of Poland from the wreckage. One of F/1's most promising young drivers, Kubica's career is now hanging in the balance because of severe damage to his right hand. Although safe from amputation, the hand had to be rebuilt by surgeons in order for Kubica to have any chance of regaining full functionality. He also suffered multiple fractures to his right arm and right leg. Scheduled to begin his sixth F/1 season for the Renault team in Bahrain next month, Kubica had set the fastest time in testing last week in Valencia, Spain.

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