Northeast storm disrupts travel for sports teams

The Associated Press Published:

Several professional and college sports teams were forced to rearrange their travel plans as a massive storm swept through the Northeast, dumping a few feet of snow in some areas.

The NBA's New York Knicks were stuck in Minnesota after playing the Timberwolves on Friday night, hoping to try to fly home sometime Saturday. The San Antonio Spurs were also staying overnight in Detroit after seeing their 11-game winning streak fall to the Pistons, awaiting word on when they might be able to fly to New York for their game Sunday night at Brooklyn.

"We can't get there tonight -- we know that," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "So we're going to stay here tonight and try to get there (Saturday). Hopefully, we will be able to get there, but at this point, we don't know."

Airlines canceled more than 5,300 flights through Saturday, and New York City's three major airports and Boston's Logan Airport closed.

The Brooklyn Nets planned to take a train home instead of flying from Washington D.C. after losing to the Wizards on Friday night.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said before a 100-94 victory that his team initially planned to fly home after the game, but the flight had already been postponed. New York is scheduled to play the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

The NHL's Boston Bruins pushed back the start of Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning by six hours because of the blizzard. The game originally slated for 1 p.m. was rescheduled for 7 p.m., but Boston was expected to be one of the cities hit hardest by the storm.

The storm had dumped more than 2 feet of snow on New England by early Saturday and knocked out power to 650,000 customers. The National Weather Service said up to 3 feet of snow is expected in Boston, threatening the city's 2003 record of 27.6 inches.

The Bruins and Lightning each already had road games scheduled for Sunday night.

The New Jersey Devils were still scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m., while the New York Islanders were slated to play at home against the Buffalo Sabres at 7 p.m.

Two Ivy League men's college basketball games that were scheduled for Saturday night were moved back to Sunday because of treacherous travel conditions.

Dartmouth will play at Cornell at noon on Sunday in Ithaca, N.Y., and Harvard will visit Columbia at 2 p.m. Sunday in New York. Dartmouth played at Columbia on Friday night, and Harvard played at Cornell. Two other Ivy League games were still scheduled to be played Saturday night, with Yale visiting Princeton and Brown playing at Pennsylvania.

Aqueduct also called off Saturday's card because of the storm. The track and Belmont Park were expected to remain open for wagering on out-of-town races, with racing scheduled to resume Sunday.

• Hockey

Wings slip by Oilers: Niklas Kronwall's third-period goal broke a tie, and Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist in Detroit's narrow 2-1 win over Edmonton.

Henrik Zetterberg had two assists, and Jimmy Howard made 23 saves for Detroit (6-4-1).

Rookie defenseman Justin Schultz scored the lone goal for Edmonton (4-4-3), and 40-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 28 shots in his first game of the season

The Red Wings killed off a two-man disadvantage that lasted 1:07 early in the third period.

Savard reassigned: The Columbus Blue Jackets have reassigned defenseman David Savard to their American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Mass.

The 22-year-old Savard has totaled 44:35 of ice time in three games played with Columbus. In 34 games earlier this season with Springfield he had three goals, 18 assists and a plus-12 rating.

A native of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Savard was selected by the Blue Jackets in the fourth round, 94th overall, of the 2009 draft. The 6-foot-2, 219-pound defenseman has two goals and eight assists in 34 career NHL games, all with Columbus.

• Elsewhere

Ryan hired by Saints: The Saints have hired Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator and added Stan Kwan as an assistant special teams coach.

Saints coach Sean Payton, who announced the additions to his staff on Saturday, says the Saints found Ryan's defenses challenging when they played his previous teams. In 2010, Ryan was Cleveland's defensive coordinator when the Browns beat the Saints in the Superdome, 30-17, intercepting passes by Drew Brees four times.

Ryan, the brother of Jets coach Rex Ryan, spent the past two seasons as Dallas' defensive coordinator and was fired after last season, when his defense ranked 19th.

Ryan says joining the Saints is a "great opportunity" and he's getting started right away. Kwan has been an NFL assistant 23 years, the past three in Buffalo.

Indy could receive funding: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway could receive public funding for up to $100 million in improvements under legislation that's expected to be introduced Monday in the Indiana General Assembly.

Republican state Sen. Michael Young of Indianapolis is expected to introduce the bill that would create a "motor sports investment district" to collect existing state sales, income and corporate taxes from the surrounding area for investment at the track. About $5 million a year from tax collections would go toward paying off bonds over a 20-year period. The speedway would contribute about $2 million a year and would step in if the taxes failed to generate the expected allotment, Young said.

Track officials say improvements would include new video boards, better lighting and more modern grandstands at a cost of $70 million to $100 million.

Brentz shot himself: Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington says outfield prospect Bryce Brentz accidentally shot himself in the leg last month, but could recover in time to play in spring training.

Cherington said Saturday that Brentz was cleaning the gun went it went off. The bullet passed through Brentz's left leg.

Cherington said Brentz wasn't doing anything illegal. The GM said the team had talked to the 24-year-old about the accident.

Brentz was a first-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2010. He hit a combined .290 with 17 home runs and 76 RBIs last season in Double-A and Triple-A.

Brentz posted a message Saturday on Twitter saying he would return to full practice Monday. Brentz is in Fort Myers, Fla., where the Red Sox hold spring training.

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