San Jose Sharks captain Rob Blake is retiring from the NHL after a 20-year career as one of the league's top defensemen.

Blake will make the retirement official at a news conference on Friday, a person with knowledge of his plans told the Associated Press yesterday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made. Comcast SportsNet Bay Area first reported Blake's retirement plans.

Blake, 40, won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman for Los Angeles in 1998.

Philly File

_ The "Evening with Joe" event scheduled for tomorrow in Philadelphia has been canceled. Coach Joe Paterno has been bothered by the lingering effects of a reaction to antibiotic treatment for dental work, in addition to recovering from a bout of intestinal flu, and will not be able to participate. Registration fees will be refunded via the original method of payment. For questions, call the Alumni Association at 800-548-LION or e-mail or call The Nittany Lion Club at 800-NITTANY.


_ East Carolina assistant football coach Thomas "Rock" Roggeman has died after a yearlong fight with cancer. The school said Roggeman died yesterday in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 47.

* Lamar University athletic director Billy Tubbs is stepping down to become a special assistant and consultant to the school president.

Sport Stops

* Candace Parker dislocated her left shoulder and is day to day for the Los Angeles Sparks. Parker was injured Sunday against Minnesota.

_ Cristie Kerr held off late challenges by Anna Nordqvist and Na Yeon Choi at the rain-delayed LPGA State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill., shooting a 3-under 69 in the final round at Panther Creek Country Club to secure the first tour victory by an American since Michelle Wie won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in November.