Terry Murray was fired Thursday as coach of the Washington Capitals. Murray, whose team was 20-23-4 and fifth in the Atlantic Division, five points behind the expansion Florida Panthers, was replaced by Jim Schoenfeld, a former coach of the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. The Sabres defeated the Capitals, 7-2, in Schoenfeld's debut.
Washington General Manager David Poile said there had been a loss of confidence in Murray among players and that the move to dismiss the coach had been building the "last couple of weeks."
Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns was the top vote-getter in the final fan balloting for the NBA All-Star game Feb. 13 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. He received 794,836 votes for the Western Conference team, far outdistancing his nearest competitor, Orlando Magic center Shaquille O'Neal, who received 603,346 votes for the East squad.
Barkley will be joined in the West's starting lineup by forward Shawn Kemp of the Seattle SuperSonics, center Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets and guards Clyde Drexler of the Portland Trail Blazers and and Mitch Richmond of the Sacramento Kings. The other East starters are forwards Scottie Pippen of the Chicago Bulls and Derrick Coleman of the New Jersey Nets, and guards B.J. Armstrong of the Bulls and Kenny Anderson of the Nets.
Retired NBA referee Earl Strom, 66, was discharged from a suburban Philadelphia hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor.
Jim Abbott, whose no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 4 was the highlight of the New York Yankees' season, agreed to a one-year contract worth $2,775,000. . . . Outfielder Ron Gant avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $5.5-million, one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves, a raise of $1.4 million. . . . Right-hander Ben McDonald and the Baltimore Orioles agreed to a one-year contract worth $2,675,000, more than double his $1.25-million salary of last season. . . . The Angels signed right-handed pitcher Shawn Hillegas to a minor league contract. . . . Catcher Joe Girardi of the Colorado Rockies agreed to a $5-million, three-year contract. . . . Ken Griffey Sr. has stepped down as the Seattle Mariner hitting coach and will become a minor league hitting and outfield instructor.
John Olerud of the Toronto Blue Jays was the winner of the Hutch Award, presented annually to the player who best exemplifies "the character, fighting spirit and competitive desire" of the late Fred Hutchinson, a former major league pitcher and manager.
Milt Jackson, who coaches the Rams' wide receivers, has been offered the same position by June Jones, the Atlanta Falcons' new coach, and will tour Falcon facilities next week before making a decision. Jackson and Jones worked together previously with the Houston Oilers.
Ray Rhodes, considered a strong candidate to become a head coach, resigned as defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers. The Packers said Coach Mike Holmgren would not comment on the resignation until today.
Names in the News
Dan Forsman, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, tied Gary McCord and Mark Lye with a six-under-par 65 to lead the Phoenix Open after a weather-delayed first round. . . . Tommy Morrison, former heavyweight champion of the World Boxing Organization, pleaded guilty to hitting a University of Iowa student, but denied allegations in a simple assault and public intoxication case. Morrison was fined $100 on each charge, plus court costs and surcharges, bringing his bill to $310. . . . Francois Delecour of France won the Monte Carlo rally in a Ford Escort, finishing atop the standings after 22 timed stages with a margin of 1 minute 5 seconds over world champion Juha Kankkunen of Finland, who drove a Toyota Celica. . . . Darnell Palmore, 21, a defensive end for Alabama State, died Thursday after collapsing during off-season conditioning in Montgomery, Ala.
Nine of the world's top 10 players, including top-ranked Pete Sampras and defending champion Jim Courier, lead a 56-man field for the Newsweek Champions Cup Feb. 28-March 6 at Hyatt Grand Champions in Indian Wells.
An Olympic bobsledder has been accused by a rival of using stolen runners in qualifying for the U.S. team that will compete at next month's Lillehammer Games. James Herberich of Winchester, Mass., finished second during last week's U.S. trials in Calgary to earn a spot on the team. A grievance was filed Wednesday on behalf of Bruce Rosselli, whose team finished fourth, and 1992 Olympian Chuck Leonowicz, who said Herberich used sled runners that belonged to him without permission.
Federal regulations for thwarting Super Bowl ticket scams would be expanded to cover college bowl games, the NCAA Final Four in basketball and possibly World Cup soccer under a Clinton Administration proposal. Transportation Secretary Federico Pena unveiled the proposed changes in reaction to complaints from up to 2,000 Wisconsin fans who bought air-tour packages for the Rose Bowl only to learn upon their arrival in Pasadena that the tickets didn't exist.