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Maple Leafs sign former Bruin Joe Thornton, 41, to one-year deal

Joe Thornton has played 1,636 regular-season games with the Bruins and Sharks.
Joe Thornton has played 1,636 regular-season games with the Bruins and Sharks.Paul Beaty/Associated Press

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed 41-year-old forward Joe Thornton to a one-year, $700,000 contract Friday.

The former Bruin, a six-time All-Star and the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2006 as the NHL’s MVP, is the second Ontario-born veteran to sign a league-minimum deal with the Maple Leafs in free agency, joining Jason Spezza.

Selected first overall by Boston in the 1997 NHL draft, Thornton has 420 goals and 1,089 assists in 1,636 regular-season games with the Bruins and San Jose Sharks and 31 goals and 102 assists in 179 playoff games. In 70 games last season for San Jose, he had seven goals and 24 assists.

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COLLEGES

Saban has chance to return Saturday

Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested negative in a follow-up test for COVID-19, leaving open the possibility of a return to the sideline for the Georgia game. Alabama head athletic trainer Jeff Allen said Saban’s test came back negative on Thursday. If he tests negative again Friday and Saturday, Saban would be allowed on the sidelines for the second-ranked Crimson Tide’s Southeastern Conference showdown with No. 3 Georgia Saturday night. Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne tested positive on Wednesday … Kansas coach Les Miles has been cleared to return to the Jayhawks after his positive test for COVID-19, but out of caution is skipping the team’s trip to West Virginia for Saturday’s game. Miles, 66, announced last week that routine testing had returned a positive test. He experienced only mild symptoms while he was quarantining, and he was able to work remotely with the Jayhawks during their bye week. Miles said he made the “difficult decision” after conferring with the school’s medical team, coaching staff, and administration … The Southeastern Conference postponed next week’s game between Missouri and No. 10 Florida, the third league contest moved this week because of COVID-19 outbreaks. The Gators had at least 21 players and coaches test positive for the coronavirus and dozens more quarantined because of contract tracing. That left them with fewer than the conference-mandated 53 scholarship players available Saturday against defending national champion LSU. Because of the SEC’s safety protocols, Florida likely would not have gotten everyone back in time to practice and prepare for Mizzou. So the Gators will get consecutive weeks off before hosting Missouri on Oct. 31 … Southern Mississippi at UTEP became the sixth game scheduled for Saturday to be postponed this week. Southern Miss announced an increase in positive COVID-19 test results in the program … Eight football players at New Mexico and one assistant coach tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting state officials to step in and shut down all team activities, the Albuquerque Journal reported. University athletic director Eddie Nunez said if the team is unable to practice for the next week, they will not be able to safely play their first scheduled game on Oct. 24 against Colorado State … Kansas forward Silvio de Sousa is opting out of the upcoming college basketball season, potentially ending what has been one of the most controversial tenures of any player to have joined coach Bill Self’s blueblood program. Self said in a statement that de Sousa was opting out to “focus on matters in his personal life.” De Sousa joined the Jayhawks midway through the 2017-18 season and helped them to reach the Final Four. But he was forced to sit out the next season amid eligibility questions and then served a 12-game suspension last year for his role in a brawl against Kansas State … Yale canceled athletic activities for the week after an outbreak infected at least 18 members of the men’s ice hockey team.

GOLF

Wallace’s 67 leads Scottish Championship

English golfer Matt Wallace carded a 5-under-par 67 at Fairmont St Andrews to join Adrian Otaegui in the Scottish Championship lead. Wallace took advantage of favorable morning conditions by making six birdies and a single bogey to reach 12 under. Aaron Rai, the winner of the Scottish Open two weeks ago, made two eagles in his first six holes and was one shot back … The first round of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va., was postponed Friday because of rain. The Champions Tour planned to send players off from split tees Saturday morning and the second round was set to begin Saturday afternoon, with the goal of completing the tournament by Sunday evening.

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TENNIS

Rublev breezes in semifinals in St. Petersburg

Andrey Rublev eased into the semifinals of the St. Petersburg Open in Russia after defeating Cameron Norrie, 6-2, 6-1. The third-seeded Russian will play Denis Shapovalov for a place in Sunday’s final. Second-seeded Shapovalov defeated Stan Wawrinka, 6-4, 7-5. Hard-serving American Reilly Opelka, who beat defending champion Daniil Medvedev on Thursday, was beaten by the seventh-seeded Borna Coric, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 in their quarterfinal. Coric next faces 2015 champion Milos Raonic, who overcame the fourth-seeded Karen Khachanov, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1) … Top-seeded Alexander Zverev advanced to the Cologne (Germany) Indoors semifinals by beating Lloyd Harris, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0. The seventh-ranked Zverev next faces Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who ousted Dennis Novak, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 … Danilo Petrovic of Serbia continued to make the most of his late entry into the Sardegna Open in Santa Margherita Di Pula, beating Federico Delbonis, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 to reach the semifinals in Italy. Petrovic’s first ATP semifinal will be against Marco Cecchinato after the Italian beat fourth-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti also reached his first ATP semifinal with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Yannick Hanfmann.

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MISCELLANY

Joshua, Pulev to square off Dec. 12

Anthony Joshua will defend his world heavyweight titles for the first time this year when it was confirmed he will face Kubrat Pulev on Dec. 12 in London. Joshua was first scheduled to meet Pulev in October 2017 in Cardiff but the Bulgarian withdrew with an injured shoulder. Pulev won six straight fights to become a mandatory challenger, but their June 20 bout was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Joshua’s WBA, IBF, and WBO titles will be on the line in his first home fight in more than two years … Diego Ulissi sprinted to victory at the end of the 13th stage of the Giro d’Italia, and João Almeida held on to the pink leader’s jersey. Ulissi launched his sprint with about 600 meters to go and edged Almeida and Patrick Konrad at the end of the mainly flat 119-mile leg from Cervia to Monselice … Jack Scheuer, the go-to guy at courtside, on the field and in the press box, who covered Philadelphia sports from the days of Wilt Chamberlain to Bryce Harper for The Associated Press and other outlets, died. He was 88. His son Bob said his father died in hospice care from kidney and cancer complications … The Four Continents Championships in figure skating scheduled for February in Australia has been canceled by the International Skating Union because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2023 Four Continents will be staged in Sydney, instead.

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