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POSTED February 24, 2012 9:13 p.m.


49ERS, SPILLMAN AGREE ON 3-YEAR DEAL: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the San Francisco 49ers and free agent special teams standout C.J. Spillman have reached agreement on a three-year contract.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because the deal hasn't been finalized and the team had yet to make a formal announcement regarding the safety. The 25-year-old Spillman made 18 tackles last season for the NFC West champion 49ers, who finished the regular season at 13-3 and lost to the eventual Super Bowl-winning New York Giants in overtime of the NFC championship game.

He played in all 16 games for the first time in his four-year NFL career. Spillman, who would have been a restricted free agent, spent his first two years with San Diego before joining the 49ers in 2010.

PREDATORS SEND SMITHSON TO FLORIDA FOR DRAFT PICK : NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators have traded forward Jerred Smithson to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in the 2012 entry draft.

The Predators announced the trade Friday. The deal gives Nashville nine picks for the June draft in Pittsburgh.

Smithson, 33, scored the first overtime goal in Nashville postseason history last April in Game 5 of the Predators' Western Conference opening series with Anaheim. The Predators went on and won the series on home ice in six games.

A native of Vernon, B.C., he played 497 regular season games for Nashville, which ranked sixth in franchise history. He also ranks fifth with 31 postseason games played.


VONN'S TEAMMATES LOOKING TO SHARE SPOTLIGHT: BANSKO, Bulgaria (AP) — The U.S. women's team hopes to provide another reminder that it's about more than Lindsey Vonn.

Vonn is the runaway overall World Cup leader and an automatic favorite in any speed event these days. But a growing number of teammates seems ready to step in when the Olympic champion has an off day.

The next test comes Saturday at a World Cup downhill in Bansko. The Americans had four women in the top 10 at the last downhill in Sochi, Russia, and Julia Mancuso won a parallel slalom race in last weekend.

MILLER TO SKIP 2ND WORLD CUP RACE ON SATURDAY: CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (AP) — Bode Miller will skip a second World Cup super-G race on Saturday after having minor surgery in the United States.

U.S. team coach Sasha Rearick says Miller had a "scope to clean up" his left knee this week.

COURT CASE OVER, 'RELIEVED' HAMM LOOKING TO LONDON: His legal troubles behind him, Paul Hamm is looking forward to focusing all his attention on what he does best.

The 2004 Olympic champion said Friday he is "happy" and "relieved" that charges stemming from a September altercation with a Columbus, Ohio, taxi cab driver have been resolved. Hamm pleaded no contest Thursday to two reduced charges, both misdemeanors. A misdemeanor assault charge was dismissed.


DODGERS JUDGE WON'T DELAY HEARING ON STOW'S CLAIMS: DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bankruptcy judge in Delaware on Friday refused to postpone a hearing on a request by the Los Angeles Dodgers to disallow a claim filed on behalf of a San Francisco Giants fan who was nearly beaten to death outside Dodger Stadium on opening day last year.

Following a telephonic hearing with attorneys, Judge Kevin Gross said he would proceed with a March 21 hearing on the Dodgers' request to disallow the claim filed on behalf of Bryan Stow and his two children.

Stow's attorneys argued that they needed more time to prepare their opposition to the Dodgers motion to disallow his claim.


FORMER US CHAMPS IN NOVICE, JUNIOR PAIRS SPLIT: COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Ashley Cain and Joshua Reagan, who won U.S. pairs titles at both the novice and junior levels, are splitting up.

Cain and Reagan had quick success after teaming up in April 2009, winning the U.S. novice title in 2010 and the junior crown a year later. It was the first time a couple had won the novice and junior titles in back-to-back seasons.

Cain and Reagan were sixth at this year's U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where Cain also finished second in junior singles.


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