– Hulk Hogan recently told Popeater.com that he was supposed to wrestle John Cena at WrestleMania 25. Here’s a recap of what he said;
“You know what, I was supposed to wrestle John Cena for the title, and about four weeks ago I had back surgery…Vince (McMahon) and I were talking about how much involvement I wanted to have in WrestleMania, and if I wanted to keep wrestling, and out of nowhere my back just got really crazy…I went in for an MRI and I had to have some emergency surgery that threw me out of the game. I was kind of flipped out about it, I thought I’d be the main event this year… The real surgery, they put the steel rods and the screws and cages in, so I diverted that for now so I can have a little bit of a grace period with this surgery. All that fake wrestling stuff, you know?”
– WWE’s Hall of Fame Class of 2009 has been finalized for tonight’s induction ceremony in Houston, Texas at the Toyota Centre. The following is a list of the complete class;* “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
To Be Inducted by: TBA
- Ricky Steamboat (To Be Inducted by: Ric Flair)
- Bill Watts (To Be Inducted by: Jim Ross)
- The Funks: Terry & Dory Jr. (To Be Inducted by: Dusty Rhodes)
- Koko B. Ware (To Be Inducted by: The Honky Tonk Man)
- The Von Erich’s (To Be Inducted by: Michael Hayes)
- Howard Finkel (To Be Inducted by: TBA)
– The Red Wings will officially start the playoffs with G Chris Osgood in net. While Osgood has not exactly sparkled this season, G Ty Conklin has not played well of late either. Osgood is 24-8-7 this season with a 3.18 GAA and a poor .884 SV%. The bottom line comes down to playoff experience – The Wizard of Oz has won three Stanley Cups while playing in 106 playoff games, whereas Conklin has played in only one post-season game.
– The finacee of Canucks’ F Taylor Pyatt, Carly Bragnalo, was killed in a traffic accident on Thursday. The accident happened while on vacation in Jamaica. Bragnalo was only 27. Pyatt has left the team to go to his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario. It is the second tragedy to hit the Canucks family in less than a year, as highly-regarded defenseman Luc Bourdon was killed in a motorcycle accident last May. My condolences go out to the Bragnalo and Pyatt families on their loss.
– A correction on Bruins’ G Tim Thomas’ signing – it’s actually a four-year/$20M deal, giving Thomas $6M in each of the next two seasons, $5M in 2011-12 and $3M in the final season of the contract. His annual salary is roughly on par with Blackhawks’ G Cristobal Huet, who signed a four-year/$22.5M contract with the Chicago Blackhawks as a free agent last season. Thomas has a 33-11-7 record with a 2.11 GAA and .932 save percentage in 51 games in 2008-09.
– Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Friday that LHP Cole Hamels is on target to start Friday, April 10 against the Rockies. Hamels will get the nod in Saturday’s exhibition finale. His elbow is apparently doing well, but will need to be monitored after he threw over 260 innings (including the postseason) last year. Hamels made just one Grapefruit League start this year.
– WR Plaxico Burress reportedly turned down an offer from the Giants that would have allowed him a chance to earn the rest of the money on his contract if he ended his on-going grievance with the team. Burress essentially turned down a chance to earn $29.5M over the next four years to fight for the $1M that the Giants withheld from him at the end of last year. That case is still pending, but this shows how badly Plax wanted to get out of New York.