Pat LaFontaine abruptly resigned as the Buffalo Sabres president of hockey operations on Saturday, a little more than three months after being brought in to provide a new direction to the NHL’s last-place team. The Sabres announced the decision in a news release issued after speculation had been raised of a potential front-office shakeup involving LaFontaine. The Sabres said LaFontaine would be returning to his previous role working with the NHL on player safety issues. The former Sabres captain’s arrival was hailed as a major turning point for the struggling team. LaFontaine took over following a front office shakeup during which general manager Darcy Regier and coach Ron Rolston were dismissed following a 4-15-1 start. LaFontaine’s first move was hiring former Sabres coach Ted Nolan to take over as coach on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. LaFontaine’s next step came in January, when he hired Tim Murray as GM. LaFontaine’s resignation still comes as a major surprise. In January, LaFontaine talked openly about how he would use his connections to USA Hockey in a bid to lure national and international events to Buffalo. He leaves a day after Murray made his first big splash by trading star goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues.
Report: Incognito receiving treatment
Embattled former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito is receiving treatment in the wake of the team’s bullying scandal, a person familiar with the situation said, and the NFL Players Association is supporting Incognito’s treatment. Another person familiar with Incognito’s situation said the veteran lineman is exhausted after being ‘‘dragged through the mud’’ in recent months. Incognito has sent tweets in recent weeks that varied dramatically in tone . . . John Benton was promoted to offensive line coach by the Dolphins, replacing Jim Turner, who was fired in the aftermath of the bullying scandal. Jack Bicknell Jr. was hired as assistant offensive line coach, the team said. Benton joined the Dolphins as assistant offensive line coach Jan. 29.
Americans Price, Mikulak win titles
In Greensboro, N.C., American Elizabeth Price dominated the field to win the women’s all-around title at the American Cup, the only major international gymnastics competition held in the United States. Price scored 15 points or higher in two of four events, including a 15.7 on the vault. She was the top scorer in three events and finished with a total score of 59.966 points, ahead of American Brenna Dowell (57.532). Defending national and NCAA champion Sam Mikulak won the men’s all-around title after a mistake by Japan’s Shogo Nonomura in the final event at the Greensboro Coliseum. Mikulak finished with a total score of 90.098 points to 88.965 for Nonomura. Mikulak, competing in his first World Cup event, had two scores of 15 points or higher, including a 15.666 in the floor exercise. Nonomura held a 0.234-point lead heading into the high bar, where he lost his grip on the bar, helping Mikulak move into the lead.
Deep threat Fredette agrees with Bulls
The Chicago Bulls and former BYU sensation Jimmer Fredette tentatively agreed to a contract after he parted with the Sacramento Kings earlier in the week, a person familiar with the situation said. The sharp-shooting guard was bought out by the Kings on Thursday and cleared waivers on Saturday. He is averaging 5.9 points and 11.3 minutes in his third season, shooting 49.3 percent from 3-point range, where the Bulls are 26th in the league . . . Oklahoma City officially signed forward Caron Butler after the 33-year-old cleared waivers. He agreed to a contract buyout with the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday . . . Roger Federer won a record sixth Dubai Championships — and 78th career title — by beating Tomas Berdych, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, in the final. The win extends his record of winning at least one title a year to 14 straight years . . . Grigor Dimitrov beat second-seeded Andy Murray, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3), in a marathon match to book a spot in the Mexican Open final opposite Kevin Anderson, who beat Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, in Acapulco . . . Top-seeded Tommy Haas retired with a shoulder injury while losing, 6-3, 3-2, to Paolo Lorenzi in the Brazil Open semifinals in Sao Paulo. The 114th-ranked Lorenzi will play in his first ATP final against 61st-ranked Federico Delbonis, who got past Thomaz Bellucci, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 . . . Samraat improved to 5 for 5 with a victory in the $500,000 Gotham Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct. The latest win was worth 50 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, insuring him a spot in the Derby field assuming health. Samraat paid $6.40, $3.90, and $2.40 as the 2-1 favorite.