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Longtime Senator Spezza returns to Ottawa

Spezza unsure of fan reception as he returns to Ottawa in Dallas uniform
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Jason Spezza isn't quite sure what to expect when he steps on the ice at Canadian Tire Centre for the first time as a visitor.

Spezza, who spent 11 seasons of his career with the Senators, returns to Ottawa on Thursday as a member of the Dallas Stars. The 31-year-old requested a trade at the conclusion of last season and was eventually dealt to Dallas on July 1 in exchange for Alex Chiasson, Nick Paul, Alex Guptill and a second-round draft pick.

Canada unveils Fed Cup roster for Czech tie

Eugenie Bouchard not included on Canada's roster for Fed Cup tie against Czechs
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Tennis Canada is still holding out hope that its top player Eugenie Bouchard will be on court for an historic Fed Cup tie next week against the Czech Republic.

Vice-president Eugene Lapierre said Bouchard, ranked seventh in the world, has yet to confirm whether or not she will play against the defending Fed Cup champions Feb. 7-8 in Quebec City.

Desert stars: Celebs converge on Phoenix for Super Bowl 49

Stargazing in desert: Celebrities converge on Phoenix for parties, Super Bowl 49
The Associated Press

PHOENIX - The desert is great for stargazing, and that will certainly be the case as the Super Bowl takes over Phoenix and its suburbs.

Comedians Joel McHale and Kevin Hart will crack jokes for partygoers, newcomer Charli XCX will perform for troops and then revelers at ESPN's party, and Jamie Foxx and Drake will hold court at a pair of lounges at a swanky Scottsdale hotel.

Hagglund gives his jersey number to Altidore

Jozy Altidore gets his preferred number at Toronto FC, thanks to Hagglund
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - As a rookie last season, defender Nick Hagglund had to lug water coolers and other gear after each Toronto FC practice.

There are other grunts to do that this season. But the affable 22-year-old from Cincinnati is still working his way up the pro sports pecking order.

Which is why Hagglund is wearing No. 6 this season after giving up No. 17 to newly acquired star striker Jozy Altidore.

A text from the club informed Hagglund of the change.

Marlins finalize $2 million, 1-year deal with Ichiro Suzuki

Marlins finalize $2 million, 1-year contract with outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
The Associated Press

MIAMI - Ichiro Suzuki has passed his physical and finalized a $2 million, one-year contract with the Miami Marlins.

The Marlins made the announcement Tuesday night. His deal includes $2.8 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $400,000 apiece for 300 and each additional 50 through 600.

Fight to unseat Blatter as FIFA chief heats up in Europe

Fight to unseat Blatter as FIFA president heats up as Europe attacks on 2 fronts
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The fight to remove Sepp Blatter from the most powerful job in world soccer intensified in Europe on Wednesday.

In a surprise entry to the FIFA presidential contest, Portuguese great Luis Figo — the 2001 world player of the year — claimed the required support of five national federations by the entry deadline Thursday.

Ronaldo suspended 2 games for kicking Cordoba player

Cristiano Ronaldo suspended 2 games for kicking Cordoba player during league game
The Associated Press

MADRID - Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended from Real Madrid's next two matches after his violent outburst in last weekend's league game that included kicking an opponent.

The federation's disciplinary committee on Wednesday banned Ronaldo from home games against Real Sociedad on Saturday and Sevilla on Feb. 4.

The two-game ban will mean Ronaldo will return for the derby at Atletico Madrid on Feb. 7.

Greenwood anxious for chance with Argos

Linebacker Greenwood anxious for opportunity to start with Toronto Argonauts
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - This isn't a typical off-season for Cory Greenwood.

The six-foot-two, 237-pound linebacker's preparation for the 2015 season is well underway but for the first time it's with the intention of being a CFL starter.

The Toronto Argonauts drafted Greenwood third overall in 2010 out of Concordia. But the 29-year-old Kingston, Ont., native joined the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, playing three seasons there and spending the '13 campaign on injured reserve with the Detroit Lions before being released Aug. 8, 2014.

Luis Figo enters FIFA presidential race against Blatter

Former Portugal star Luis Figo enters FIFA presidential race against Blatter
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - Luis Figo wants to be FIFA president and claims he has the nominations needed for official challenge against Sepp Blatter.

The former Portugal, Barcelona and Real Madrid playmaker announced his campaign in a statement on Wednesday timed for release with an interview with CNN.

Meet Coco: China's next Li Na

Meet Coco: China's top junior tennis player touted as the next Li Na
Justin Bergman, The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia - China has begun its search for the next Li Na, and one of the juniors with the talent to replace the country's two-time Grand Slam champion may speak better English than she does Chinese.

Xu Shilin, who just turned 17 and goes by the English name Coco, was the first Chinese girl to be No. 1 in the world junior rankings and won the gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games last year. She has also told the Chinese media that her goal is to win a Grand Slam title before she's 20.

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