Sabres won’t issue
qualifying offer to Antipin
• Victor Antipin won’t be back in Buffalo after General Manager Jason Botterill says the Sabres won’t issue the Russian-born defenseman a qualifying offer.
The decision means Antipin will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The 25-year-old Antipin was inconsistent in his lone season with Buffalo after opening his pro career playing in the Kontintental Hockey League.
He had 10 assists in 47 games last season. Antipin also became the odd-man out on a Sabres team restocking the blue line.
• The San Jose Sharks have declined to issue a qualifying offer to defenseman Dylan DeMelo, making him an unrestricted free agent.
The Sharks announced Monday that the team gave qualifying offers to forwards Tomas Hertl and Chris Tierney. Those two will become restricted free agents in July, giving San Jose the option to match any offer from another team or get draft pick compensation.
The 25-year-old DeMelo played 63 games last season on San Jose’s third defensive pairing. He had no goals and 20 assists.
Hertl was one of San Jose’s top forwards last year with 22 goals and 24 assists. Tierney had career highs with 17 goals and 23 assists last season.
Pacers don’t pick up
option for Stephenson
• The Indiana Pacers will not pick up the team option on guard Lance Stephenson’s contract for next season.
Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard announced the move Monday. He said it was a very difficult decision but the team needs flexibility for free agency, which opens on July 1.
The Pacers are coming off a surprisingly good season, winning 48 games after trading star Paul George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Nadal retakes No. 1 spot in rankings from Federer
• Rafael Nadal is back at No. 1 in the ATP rankings, retaking the top spot from Roger Federer after just one week.
Monday’s new order is the sixth change of the year at No. 1, the most since there were eight in 1999.
The record is 10 switches at No. 1 in 1983.
Federer still is expected to be seeded No. 1 for Wimbledon, where he won his record eighth championship a year ago. The grass-court Grand Slam tournament’s seedings are scheduled to be announced Wednesday. Play begins next week.
• Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up, has pulled out of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament because of a bad back.
Berdych announced his withdrawal on Twitter, saying he has been “struggling with back pain” for a couple of months.
The 19th-ranked Czech lost in the final at the All England Club eight years ago to Rafael Nadal.
— ABJ/Ohio.com wires
Sports news roundup: Sabres won’t issue qualifying offer to Antipin