News & Notes

Konowalchuk Retires Suddenly

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Konowalchuk , a former Washington Capital, retired yesterday after tests showed he has a disease that can lead to irregular heart rhythms.

"After a complete evaluation from a number of different physicians and experts associated with this condition, we decided that this was the best and only alternative for me," Konowalchuk said in a written statement.

The team said Konowalchuk, 33, has Long QT Syndrome, a genetic disease involving electrical conduction that can lead to irregular heart rhythms.

Team captain Joe Sakic said Konowalchuk's retirement was hard to believe after the work he invested in getting ready for the season.

"On the other hand, it's better to find it now. Safety comes first and your family comes first and it is a decision we support and respect," he said.

Konowalchuk had 171 goals and 225 assists in 790 games over 13 seasons. He had 52 playoff appearances, with nine goals and 12 assists. He was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 1991 and acquired by the Avalanche in 2003.

· COLLEGES: James Madison University's Board of Visitors voted to drop 10 of its athletic teams to bring the school into compliance with the federal law demanding equity in male and female sports. The school will eliminate seven men's sports: archery, cross-country, gymnastics, indoor track, outdoor track, swimming and wrestling. The women's sports being dropped are archery, fencing and gymnastics.

· PRO BASKETBALL : Los Angeles Lakers Coach Phil Jackson will have surgery to replace his right hip on Tuesday -- the same day his team opens training camp.

"It's to the point where he can't really function without having surgery," Lakers spokesman John Black said. "He's had a problem with it for a long time."

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