Avs hire Bednar to replace Roy as coach

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DENVER (AP) The Colorado Avalanche have hired Jared Bednar as their new head coach.

Bednar replaces Patrick Roy, who abruptly stepped down as coach and vice president of hockey operations earlier this month.

The 44-year-old Bednar won the American Hockey League's Calder Cup championship as coach of the Lake Erie Monsters last season. He also won the ECHL's Kelly Cup in 2009 with the South Carolina Stingrays.

Ronaldo named UEFA Europe Player of Year

MONACO (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo has won UEFA's award as the best player in Europe last season after helping Portugal to win the European Championship and having another stellar campaign for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo, a favorite for a fourth world player of the year award, beat club teammate Gareth Bale of Wales and Atletico Madrid's France star Antoine Griezmann. (MORE)

City's Guardiola returns to Barca in CL

Manchester City's new coach Pep Guardiola will be heading back to Barcelona after the Premier League club was pitted against his former team in the Champions League draw on Thursday.

Guardiola, who also spent most of his playing career at the Catalan club, steered Barcelona to two Champions League titles as well as a number of other trophies during his time as coach from 2008-12. (MORE)

Steelers LB Harrison meets with NFL

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Green Bay Packers defensive players Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers met this week with NFL investigators looking into allegations linking them to performance-enhancing drugs, the players' union said Thursday.

Matthews and Peppers met with league representatives on Wednesday, while Harrison did so on Thursday, according to the NFL Players Association. (MORE)

Bautista returns to Blue Jays' lineup

TORONTO (AP) Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and is leading off against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.

Bautista was at designated hitter Thursday and he'll spend "plenty of time" there, manager John Gibbons said. Toronto began the day tied with Boston for the AL East lead. (MORE)

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