VANCOUVER - David Backes went to Sochi hoping to bring back some stories. Instead, he brought back a couple of stray puppies. The St. Louis Blues captain, who played for the U.S. in the 2014 Winter Olympics, and his wife Kelly rescued the dogs from the streets of the Russian city with members of the Canadian teams entourage. Now in quarantine in St. Louis, the dogs will eventually be given to good homes. "Were just trying to widen our scope to help animals across the (U.S.) and across the world, and doing what we can," Backes said Tuesday. Backes said he and his wife did not originally intend to bring any animals back. They were hoping to create awareness about shelters that have been set up in Sochi to help hundreds of stray dogs that have received international media coverage. "She doesnt take no very lightly," he said. "So when she saw those two pups and a few more, she said weve gotta do something to get these out of here and tell their story and broaden the awareness of some of the mistreatment of animals - and just the difference in (how) they treat their companion animals and we treat ours." The Backes, who have four rescue dogs and two rescue cats in their home set up their own foundation, Athletes for Animals, last November, received helped from Canadian winger Jeff Carters girlfriend Megan Keffer and defenceman Drew Doughtys girlfriend Nicole Arruda and others. The three-to-four-month-old pups, named Sochi Junior and Sochi Jake, were brought back to the U.S. on an Air Atlas charter to Newark and another flight to St. Louis. Tremaine Edmunds Jersey
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. Bryant, who signed a five-year, $34 million contract as a free agent with Cleveland in March, reported symptoms on Monday morning, a team spokesman said.LOS ANGELES -- Dan Haren wanted to pitch for a World Series contender next season, and he was eager to get back to his native Southern California. Haren found everything he wanted at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with the Dodgers on Monday, adding another veteran arm to Los Angeles deep rotation. The deal includes $3 million in performance bonuses and a $10 million vesting option for 2015. Haren was eager for a change after spending last season in Washington, where he went 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA even with a strong finish to the season. He missed his wife and children during his year on the East Coast, and the 11-year veteran seized the chance to return home after spending the previous three seasons with the Angels. "My kids are growing up, and to have the opportunity to come back so close to home and pitch for a championship-level club, it couldnt have happened any better for me," Haren said. The three-time All-Star went 33-27 with the Angels, enduring a rough final season. He also got off to a slow start with the Nationals, but Haren regained enough of his form to make him attractive on the limited free-agent market. Haren will compete for a prominent spot in Los Angeles loaded rotation alongside Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and injured veterans Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett. "We were looking for somebody that we could lean on to provide us starts and innings, and obviously had a good track record," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "Hes also somebody from the area, so he understands the Dodgers and has respect for the organization and everything. ... Were more than willing to take a chance on somebody with his makeup, with his ability, with his experience, and with his track record." If Haren pitches 180 innings for the Dodgers, hell have a $10 million player option for 2015. He had pitched at least 180 innings in nine straight seasons before last year in Washington, where he finished with 169 2-3 innings pitched after a stint on the disabled list. Haren will get $250,000 each in performance bonuses if he makes 24, 27 and 30 starts, with a $500,000 bonus for 32 starts. Hell get $250,000 each if he pitches 150, 160 and 170 innings, with a $500,000 bonus for 1180 and 190 innings.dddddddddddd If he reaches 180 innings in 2014 and is traded before the season ends, then there is a player option for 2015 at $11 million. "Could I have gotten more in other places? Maybe, probably," Haren said. "But the Dodgers seemed like a good fit for me, and at this point in my career, it looks like the Dodgers priority is winning now, and thats my priority too." The 33-year-old has 129 career victories. The Dodgers will be the sixth major league team for Haren, who also pitched for St. Louis, Oakland and Arizona. Haren knows hell be competing with Billingsley and Beckett for a rotation spot, and the Dodgers are eager to see how it develops. "Josh we expect to be ready when camp opens, and Chad at some point during the season," Colletti said. "Im not going to close the door to any more starters. We certainly like the four we have, and we hope we get Josh back and we hope we get Chad back." Haren isnt sure how the rotation will shake out, but hes confident hell have a spot if he performs to his usual capabilities. Hes also eager to suit up for the NL West champions, who lost to the Cardinals in the league championship series. "The talent is second to none," Haren said. "Weve got stars at every position." Haren pitched alongside Greinke in 2012 with the Angels, and theyve stayed in regular contact. Greinke welcomed Haren to the Dodgers earlier in the day -- and then hit him up for fantasy football advice. After he realized last winter that he wouldnt return to the Angels, Haren and his wife kept their home in Irvine, where he lives in the same gated community as Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire. Haren isnt suggesting a carpool with Big Mac, but hes thinking about buying an electric vehicle to ease the pain of a daily commute from Orange County to Dodger Stadium. He also plans to get tips on the drive from utilityman Skip Schumaker, who also lives in the coastal area thats home to dozens of athletes, including Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. "Ill get used to it," Haren said. "Ill get satellite radio or something. ... Or maybe I could (get a ride on) Kobes plane. With his extension today, he could probably afford to give me a few rides." ' ' '