TORONTO - While Canada is set with the recent addition of Curtis Lazar, other teams are still getting stronger ahead of the world junior hockey championship.
Switzerland will have San Jose Sharks defenceman Mirco Mueller, who leads all rookies in blocked shots and will become a go-to guy in Group B play in Toronto.
"As an important young player to our franchise for now and the future, we think this experience will provide a positive impact on his career moving forward," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement.
BALTIMORE - Call it a Presidential fumble: Barack Obama mistakenly used the last name of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco when referring to actor James Franco in a speech Friday.
Lashing out at Sony Pictures for its decision to halt the release of the movie "The Interview," Obama said, "It says something interesting about North Korea that they decided to have the state come out with an all-out attack because of a satirical movie starring Seth Rogen and James Flacco."
BALTIMORE - Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps avoided jail time on Friday when a judge placed him on probation for pleading guilty to a drunken driving charge for the second time in 10 years. The punishment came with a warning.
"You don't need a lecture from the court," Baltimore District Judge Nathan Braverman told Phelps. "If you haven't gotten the message by now, or forget the message, the only option is jail."
Time hasn't diminished Skip Prince's affinity for Canadian football and the CFL.
The former Montreal Alouettes' executive confirmed Friday he recently contacted CFL board chairman Jim Lawson about the commissioner's position but hasn't heard back. Prince said while he's busy as the principal of The Prince Companies — which provide consulting services in the sports and entertainment industries —he inquired about the CFL's top job at the urging of two business associates.
MIAMI - The sixth man to plead guilty in the Major League Baseball performance-enhancing drugs scandal was described in court Friday as a recruiter of mostly foreign-born players for the now-shuttered South Florida clinic at the centre of the case.
Juan Carlos Nunez, 48, admitted at a hearing that he brought several professional ballplayers, many of them from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, to Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables. Most of the 14 players suspended by MLB for using steroids last year were from those two countries.
Daniel Sprong's season has been full of distractions, including the TV crew that follows him around to document his every move.
But the Charlottetown Islanders star forward remains focused on his future even as he deals with the cameras, frequent media coverage, various draft ranking updates and a citizenship application that's slowly crawling through Canada's immigration system.
TORONTO - After eight losing campaigns, Toronto FC will have to turn things around the hard way starting in 2015.
Toronto usually opens the season on the road because of the unpredictable weather come March. But the time away home will be far longer to start next year due to renovations to BMO Field in advance of the Pan American Games.
TORONTO - At 31, Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson is hitting his stride at Turkey's Besiktas. And people are taking notice.
"Atiba is our best player,'' says Canadian coach Benito Floro. "He is the best player in Besiktas.''
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger agreed after his team played Besiktas in the Champions League in August. "I was impressed by Hutchinson," he said.
TORONTO - Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner could be the odd man out Saturday night when his team hosts the Philadelphia Flyers at Air Canada Centre.
Gardiner, who had a minus-2 rating in Thursday's 4-1 loss at Carolina, didn't exactly get a ringing endorsement from head coach Randy Carlyle when he was asked to describe the blue-liner's recent play.
"I think Jake's been very erratic," he said Friday after practice. "Simple as that."
TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors' basketball-dribbling dinosaur logo will soon be extinct.
The NBA team has unveiled a sleek new logo that's a silver basketball, ripped by dinosaur claw marks, inside a red circle. The current dinosaur logo will be retired after this season.
The Raptors unveiled the logo in a short video clip Friday (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUQnl_nnOGs&feature=youtu.be) entitled "This is our Shield." It's part of the team's "We The North" marketing campaign.
Canadian rapper Drake, the Raptors' global ambassador, had a hand in the redesign.