SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Richards accuses Cooke of slew foot

Rangers forward Brad Richards stretches during the warmup prior to facing the Canadiens at the Bell...

Rangers forward Brad Richards stretches during the warmup prior to facing the Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Que., Nov. 19, 2011. (MARTIN CHEVALIER/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:50 PM ET

New York Rangers forward Brad Richards has a pain in the neck thanks to Matt Cooke, who until this season had been considered, well, a major pain in the neck.

Richards skipped practice Friday because of a sore neck, although he doesn't expect to miss any games, after getting a slew foot from the Pittsburgh Penguins' Cooke in a game Thursday night.

"I've been in the league long enough to know (what a slew foot is)," Richards told Newsday on Friday.

He called it "a cheap play ... it's not as if (Cooke) hasn't done it before."

Richards fell on his back and hit his head on the ice after the alleged slew foot from Cooke, who has attempted to transform his game after three consecutive seasons with more than 100 penalty minutes.

The league reviewed the play, but reports indicated Cooke wouldn't face supplemental discipline because it didn't qualify as a "traditional" slew foot where a player deliberately kicks a skate out from under an opponent.

BEAUCHEMIN GETS NEW DEAL

The Anaheim Ducks signed defenceman Francois Beauchemin to a three-year contract extension Friday.

Through 45 games for the Ducks this season, Beauchemin has six goals and 12 assists with a plus-1 rating while averaging almost 26 minutes on the ice.

"Francois is a dedicated, versatile and hard-working defenceman who is committed to our organization," Ducks general manager Bob Murray said of the 31-year-old from Sorel, Que. "We are extremely pleased to have him under contract for the next three years."

In 454 career games with Montreal, Columbus, Anaheim and Toronto, Beauchemin has 37 goals and 114 assists.

The Ducks also recalled centre Mark Bell from Syracuse of the AHL.

Bell, 31, hasn't appeared in the NHL since the 2007-08 season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has 87 goals and 95 assists in 445 career NHL games.

CASINO SUES FORMER BOLTS BOSS

Former Tampa Bay Lightning owner Len Barrie is being sued by Las Vegas casino Bellagio over a loan that, with interest, has reached more than $2 million.

The initial loan, in 2008, was worth $1.5 million, according to the statement of claim, but Barrie has paid back $420,000.

Barrie told the Victoria Times Colonist he disagrees with the amount Bellagio wants.

"We have a little dispute and we will have to see how this finishes," he said. "We don't agree with the amount. We've already paid $400,000, (and) we think the amount should be smaller.

"And when we settle on the amount, we'll get it paid and will move on."

BRIEFLY

Jets forward Nik Antropov has been fined $2,500 for boarding Buffalo Sabres defenceman T.J. Brennan in a game Thursday in Winnipeg, the league announced Friday. Antropov received a minor penalty for roughing ... The Jets could have defenceman Zach Bogosian back in the lineup Saturday against the Florida Panthers. Bogosian has missed five games with a lower-body injury. Injured Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien skated briefly Friday and is being fitted for a knee brace. His return is "a ways away" coach Claude Noel said ... Claude Julien and his Boston staff will coach Zdeno Chara's team at the all-star game Jan. 29 in Ottawa. John Tortorella of the New York Rangers and Todd McLellan of the San Jose Sharks will coach Daniel Alfredsson's team.


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