Quebec's Molson family bought the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens and the Bell Centre from owner

George Gillett

, pending approval by the NHL.

Although the 24-time Stanley Cup champions did not disclose terms of the agreement in a news release, ESPN.com reported yesterday that the Molsons will pay more than $550 million for the franchise and its arena in Montreal, citing unidentified sources familiar with the situation.

Tennis

Swiss star

Roger Federer

called

Rafael Nadal's

withdrawal from Wimbledon because of achy knees "very disappointing for the tournament, and also for myself."

"I'd love to play him," Federer said. "He's my main rival."

Last year, the Spaniard defeated Federer in the longest singles final in tournament history, a 4-hour, 48-minute match that ended 9-7 in the fifth set.

The tournament begins tomorrow.

Auto racing

Carl Edwards

won the Nationwide Series NorthernTool.com 250 at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., after taking a brief break from his Sprint Cup duties in California.

Fellow commuter Kyle Busch finished second.

Ron Hornaday Jr. celebrated his 51st birthday with a dominating win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series race, the Copart 200, at the Milwaukee Mile.

Helio Castroneves was awarded the pole for today's IRL Iowa Corn Indy 250 in Newton after the qualifying session was canceled because water had seeped into the track.

Sebastian Vettel took the pole for the British Grand Prix in Silverstone, England, while Formula One championship leader Jenson Button will start from a season-worst sixth.

Elsewhere. Max Mosley plans to stay on as president of Formula One's governing body beyond October to ensure the 2010 world championship begins with eight teams that announced a rival series. The FIA is taking legal action against Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing, and Toro Rosso for launching a breakaway championship.

Boxing

Ukraine heavyweight

Wladimir Klitschko

(53-3, 47 knockouts) stopped

Ruslan Chagaev

(25-1-1) in front of a crowd of 61,000 at a soccer stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

The International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization champion added the Ring Magazine belt to his haul, knocking Chagaev down in the second round and opening a cut over the Uzbekistan-born fighter's left eye in the eighth. Referee Eddie Cotton stopped the fight before the 10th round.

The sellout crowd was the biggest boxing audience in Germany since Max Schmeling knocked out Adolf Heuser in front of 70,000 in Stuttgart in 1939.

Soccer

To stay alive in the Confederations Cup, the United States needs an improbable combination today in its final first-round match in Rustenburg, South Africa.

The Americans could advance by beating Egypt by at least three goals, and either by Italy scoring three fewer goals than the United States in a loss to Brazil or the victory margins of the U.S. and Brazil totaling seven or more goals.

Yesterday, Spain set a record, but South Africa reached the semifinals despite losing, 2-0, to the Spaniards in Bloemfontein.

Spain's 15th consecutive victory broke a tie with Brazil, France, and Australia. Spain also is unbeaten in 35 matches, tying the record set by Brazil from December 1993 to January 1996.

Iraq and New Zealand played to a 0-0 tie last night in Johannesburg that eliminated both nations.

Pro football

The Cincinnati Bengals signed sixth-round draft pick

Bernard Scott

and waived tight end

Matt Sherry

from Villanova, receiver

Mario Urrutia

from Louisville, quarterback

Billy Farris

from Colorado State, and long snapper

James Smith

from Florida. Sherry was a sixth-round pick last year and spent the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Colleges

Kevin O'Neill

, 52, who has been an assistant with the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies, was named Southern California's basketball coach.

Iowa offensive lineman Kyle Calloway, 22, was arrested in Des Moines and charged with operating a moped while intoxicated. He could not be reached for comment.

Swimming

Michael Phelps

set a personal best by 0.10 seconds in winning the 100-meter butterfly at the Canada Cup in Montreal. His time was 50.48.