Ex-NFL player admits to embezzling from charities

CLEVELAND — Former NFL wide receiver Reggie Rucker pleaded guilty in an Ohio federal court on Wednesday to diverting about $100,000 from anti-violence charities for personal use and to pay gambling debts, court records showed.

U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster, released the 68-old Rucker, who played in the NFL for 11 years and with the Cleveland Browns from 1975 to 1981, on $25,000 bond after a 23-minute hearing in a downtown Cleveland federal court.

Prosecutors last week charged Rucker with one count of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to the FBI when agents questioned him about his suspected diversion of charitable funds.

Rucker faces between 21 months to 27 months in prison on the two felony counts, according to his attorney Michael Hennenberg.

Drug charge stayed against Capitals’ Richards

A drug charge against Washington Capitals forward Mike Richards was stayed on Wednesday by a judge in Manitoba and the prosecution is no longer pursuing the case.

That means Richards is likely in the clear after he was stopped at the U.S.-Canada border in June and charged with possession of a controlled substance, which was reported to be Oxycontin.

There is still a chance that the court could revisit the case in a year, but that usually does not happen in Canada, according to media reports.

The case, which had been remanded several times since Richards was formally charged in August, was scheduled to be heard in court on Thursday.

After the arrest last summer, the Los Angeles Kings terminated Richards’ contract. He filed a grievance against the Kings and a settlement was reached.

Blues’ Reaves receives three-game suspension

St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves was suspended for three games on Wednesday in a decision announced by the NHL Department of Player Safety after a hearing.

The 29-year-old Reaves drilled San Jose’s Matt Tennyson into the board during a game on Monday night that left the Sharks defenseman unconscious.

Tennyson was chasing the puck in the San Jose end when Reaves hit him from behind. It appeared that Tennyson’s body froze before he fell to the ice. He did not return to the game.

Reaves was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct after the incident at 8:37 of the first period in the Sharks’ 6-3 victory.

Defenseman Hannan retires after 16 seasons

Defenseman Scott Hannan formally announced his retirement on Wednesday after 16 seasons in the NHL

Hannan spent 11 of those seasons as a member of the San Jose Sharks.

“I was extremely fortunate to play in the NHL with five great organizations,” Hannan said in a statement.

Hannan, 37, played in 1,055 NHL games with San Jose, Colorado, Washington, Calgary and Nashville, posting 217 points (38 goals, 179 assists) and 625 penalty minutes.

Hannan spent the majority of his career in San Jose, scoring 146 points (30 goals, 116 assists) and 412 penalty minutes in 626 games, which ranks him sixth on the franchise’s all-time games played list (third amongst team defensemen).

Sprained shoulder sidelines Pistons’ Johnson

Detroit Pistons rookie forward Stanley Johnson has a right shoulder sprain and will miss at least a week, the team announced Wednesday.

An MRI performed Tuesday confirmed the shoulder sprain. Johnson will begin rehabilitation immediately and will be re-evaluated in a week, the team said.

Johnson, 19, suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of Detroit’s 96-88 win at Cleveland on Monday night. Johnson, Detroit’s first-round draft pick in 2015 out of Arizona, is averaging 9.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 57 games this season. The Pistons signed forward Justin Harper to a 10-day contract.