– SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! What a game this is going to be. Offence versus defence. If Cards’ QB Kurt Warner can stay on his game, and his o-line can help him out, the ‘Cards have a good shot at winning. And Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger’s poor Superbowl outing three years ago is solid proof that you don’t need a gunslinger to win.
– UFC 94 was pretty anti-climactic, considering how heavily hyped the GSP/BJ Penn II fight was. A report might be up tonight or tomorrow.
– Bolts’ F Vinny Lecavalier could be dealt by the deadline. Although this isn’t news, it’s something to note. F Brad Richards had a no-trade clause, and he was shipped to Dallas. D Dan Boyle also had a no-trade clause, and he was sent packing to San Jose. Lecavalier does not have a no-trade clause until next year, when his 11-year/$85M contract kicks in. This deal is supposedly a “lifetime” contract that keeps Vinny in the Sunshine State.
But wait…for those that don’t remember, Dan Boyle went through hell and back before leaving Tampa – threats of a demotion to the minors, a clear sense that he was no longer wanted – all of this, only months after signing his own long-term extension “lifetime” contract.
Lightning GM Brian Lawton issued the obligatory public denials this week: Lecavalier is not on the block; has never been on the block; and never will be on the block. But all of this must be taken with a grain of salt. While Lecavalier remains under contract as the face of the team, comments like these must be made. For now.
– Speaking of rumours, since the Thrashers put the ‘C’ on F Ilya Kovalchuk, it goes without saying that he won’t be shopped at this year’s deadline. And, if F Marian Gaborik remains with the team, then it could be possible that Leafs’ F Nik Antropov could be one of the more sought-after rent-a-players this year. Especially if GM Brian Burke can milk as much from a deal as possible, then Antropov will be out the door faster than expected. Antropov’s size and hands around the net could come in handy for teams looking for that extra kick to punch their tickets to the playoffs. And Leafs fans know as well as anyone else, a change of sceanery could be exactly what Antropov needs to fulfill his potential.
– Leafs’ D Tomas Kaberle’s official timetable is three-to-four weeks. Stay tuned.
– Penguins’ D Sergei Gonchar is due back in three weeks. He’s been out since October 2nd from shoulder surgery. He’s has yet to be cleared for contact.
– According to the Toronto Sun, the Blackhawks may hold onto F Martin Havlat. His agent and ‘Hawks GM Dale Tallon have been discussing a long-term deal. The injury-prone forward is in the final year of a three-year/$18M deal.
– Bolts’ G Olaf Kolzig underwent successful surgery on his bicep tear. He’s out three-to-four months. His future beyond this season is unknown.
– Eagles’ QB Donovan McNabb says, contrary to Deion Sanders’ comments, that he wants to retire as a Philadelphia Eagle. The sides have not begun any talks about an extension. The NFLPA says that McNabb is under contract through 2013, but the Philadelphia Inquirer says he is only signed through 2010.
– The National Football Post reports that the Giants and QB Eli Manning are close to an agreement.
– Eagles’ RB Brian Westbrook may require minor surgery on his knee this off-season. Westbrook will undergo tests to determine the cause of his recent irritation.
– Bills owner Ralph Wilson, Steelers CB/S Rod Woodson, Bills DE Bruce Smith, Cowboys WR Bob Hayes, Chiefs LB Derrick Thomas, and Vikings T Randall McDaniel were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Sunday.
– According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals’ 1B Albert Pujols confronted GM John Mozeliak about the possibility of signing OF Manny Ramirez. Mozeliak said that the outfield was one of the Cardinals’ strong suits. Mozeliak refused to cite financial reasons as to why they couldn’t sign a player commanding that much money, but it’s obviously a key issue as well. Stay tuned.
– ESPN.com‘s Buster Olney reports that the Giants are still in contact with OF Manny Ramirez.
– According to ESPN.com, the Rays and RHP Brian Shouse have agreed to a two-year deal.
– The Braves have signed 1B Casey Kotchman to a one-year/$2.885M deal.
– According to the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays are working on multiyear deals for C Dioner Navarro and INF Willy Aybar.
– The Rangers are moving OF Josh Hamilton from centre to right.
– According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the T’Wolves are shopping F Mike Miller. The Nets and Cavaliers are rumoured to be interested.
– Mickey Rourke will in fact, be in attendance at WrestleMania 25, but won’t actually do anything.
– ACDC is performing “Shoot to Thrill” and “War Machine” for this year’s ‘Mania event.
– The Brian Kendrick’s quick elimination at the Rumble was due to him being in the doghouse. Again.