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Jagr getting Penguins honor

PITTSBURGH — Jaromir Jagr’s familiar No. 68 is heading to the rafters at PPG Paints Arena.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Friday they will retire Jagr’s number before a visit from the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 18.

Jagr spent the first 11 of his 24 seasons in the NHL in Pittsburgh, helping the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992.

Jagr collected 439 goals and 640 assists in 806 regular-season games with the Penguins from 1990 to 2001. He still remains in the top five in franchise history in games played (fifth), points (fourth), goals (fourth) and assists (fourth).

The Penguins traded Jagr to Washington before the 2001-2002 season. Jagr played another 13 years after leaving Pittsburgh, hopscotching between eight teams, including the Capitals, the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jagr stepped away from the NHL after playing 22 games for Calgary in the 2017-2018 season. His 1,921 career points rank second in NHL history behind Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.

The 51-year-old Jagr continued playing for the team he owns in his hometown of Kladno, Czech Republic, up until the end of the 2022-2023 season.

Packer defense may be down 2

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander and linebacker Quay Walker are doubtful for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh.

Alexander missed three games earlier this season with a back injury, but it’s a shoulder issue that has prevented him from practicing the last three days. Walker is dealing with a groin injury that likely will cause him to miss a second straight game.

When he’s healthy, Alexander is one of the Packers’ top overall players. He was a second-team selection in last season’s All-Pro balloting.

Green Bay’s secondary already is playing without cornerback Eric Stokes (hamstring) and safety Darnell Savage (calf), who are both on injured reserve and must miss at least two more games. Safety Rudy Ford is questionable with a calf injury that kept him from playing against the Rams.

Other Packers questionable for Sunday’s game with the Steelers (5-3) include defensive lineman Kenny Clark (shoulder), center Josh Myers (knee), offensive guard Jon Runyan Jr. (neck) and offensive tackle Yosh Nijman (back). Clark, Ford, Myers, Runyan and Nijman all practiced on a limited basis Friday.

Women’s league talks expansion

The National Women’s Soccer League is looking to add a 16th team, Commissioner Jessica Berman announced Friday.

The league currently stands at 12 teams, with the Utah Royals and Bay FC in Northern California joining next season. A 15th team in Boston is set to launch in 2026.

“Our preliminary analysis of the landscape is that we have more than a dozen qualified investor groups from different markets around the U.S. who are extremely interested in the kinds of investment we know is required in order to operationalize a successful team,” Berman said.

Berman made the comments on Friday in a state-of the league address ahead of the NWSL’s championship game at San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium. Gotham FC plays OL Reign for the league title on Saturday night.

Earlier this week, the NWSL announced a new media rights deal that will put the league’s matches on ESPN, CBS Sports, Amazon Prime Video and Scripps Sports. The deal is worth $60 million annually.

Berman said ticket sales to NWSL games grew 36% this season and average attendance at games was up 26 percent. The San Diego Wave led the league with an average of 20,718 fans per home match.

The Associated Press

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