FORMER JUNIOR hockey coach and convicted sex offender Graham James has pleaded guilty to sexual assaults involving two of his former players, including NHL star Theoren Fleury.
James entered the plea in a Winnipeg courtroom yesterday via video link from Montreal.
The disgraced coach was originally facing nine charges of sexual assault involving three players spanning 1979 to 1994, but only pleaded guilty to charges involving two. The names of the two other players are protected under a court-ordered publication ban.
James, who has been out on bail for almost a year and living in Montreal, will sentenced in Winnipeg in February. He has already served a 3 1/2-year prison sentence for abusing other former players he coached, including former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy.
The most recent charges came after Fleury published an autobiography in which he described the abuse he suffered.
In the book "Playing With Fire" the former Calgary Flames star told of how James recruited him at 13 to play in Winnipeg and then in Moose Jaw. He said James would visit and abuse him on the road - fondling him or performing oral sex. James obtained Fleury's silence by threatening the youngster's dream of one day playing in the NHL.
Dallas defenseman Mark Fistric was suspended for three games by the NHL for a hit that left Nino Niederreiter of the New York Islanders with a concussion. Fistric was punished for leaving his feet while checking Niederreiter during the Islanders' win in Dallas Saturday.
In other news, the Stars traded forward Krystofer Barch to Florida for minor league winger Jake Hauswirth in a deal that also includes a swap of draft picks. Dallas will get the Panthers' fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft, while Florida takes the Stars' sixth-round choice.
* Calgary backup goalie Henrik Karlsson will be sidelined 6-to-8 weeks after tearing a ligament in his right knee in Sunday's loss to Vancouver.
In last night's games *
At Ottawa, Alex Ovechkin scored one of three straight goals by Washington in the third period to lead the Capitals to a 5-3 win over the Senators.
* At Edmonton, Jeff Skinner and Jamie McBain scored power-play goals as Carolina stopped a seven-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Oilers.