– Want to know why Vince McMahon has Christian in his doughouse? Find out by clicking here.
– In recent weeks, WWE has been airing backstage segments with Ted DiBiase criticizing Randy Orton behind his back with Cody Rhodes seemingly siding with Orton. The idea behind this is to eventually turn DiBiase and make him a top babyface. Company officials want the third-generation wrestler to be a strong babyface by the time The Marine 2 is released on DVD and Blu-ray.
His father, during a speaking engagement two weeks ago, said that WWE plans on making his son a good guy by the fall season as a result of the release of the movie.
– According to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s office, Paul R. Perschmann, better known as “Playboy” Buddy Rose, passed away from natural causes. He was 56.
– According to the NY Daily News, the Devils have several off-season decisions to make regarding their seven UFAs with restricted salary-cap space, expected to be about $17M.
Their notable free agents are F John Madden, who will be 36 on Monday, and F Brian Giontaa, who reportedly make $4M this year for scoring just 20 goals.
The Devils value experience and defensively responsible players such as Madden. GM Lou Lamoriello will have to weigh the cost of Madden’s experience against a bump in his salary, reportedly $2.93M this season.
Finally, Lamoriello will look to upgrade his blueline. Its mainstays – D Colin White, D Paul Martin, D Mike Mottau and D Bryce Salvador – are locked up through next season, but the Devils could look to upgrade to add some physicality to help G Martin Brodeur out.
– According to various reports, Flames’ coach Mike Keenan has all but lost his job. F Mike Cammalleri has officially played his last game as a Calgary Flame. Stay tuned.
– Sharks’ GM Doug Wilson’s job is officially safe for now.
– Flyers’ F Jeff Carter played with a separated shoulder in Philadelphia’s first round series against Pittsburgh.
GM Paul Holmgren said, “He did it in the third game in a play where he slid into the boards behind the net. He continued to play. He won’t need surgery. He just needs about 2 weeks rest and then rehab.”
Carter has declined to play for Team Canada in the world championships as a result of this injury. He had one goal and a -2 rating in the Flyers’ playoff series.
– According to the Dallas Morning News, the Mavs say they want G Jason Kidd back next season.
After the Mavericks closed out San Antonio on Tuesday, G Jason Terry said on a postgame television interview that Kidd “is probably not going to be with us next year.”
That caused a stir among Mavericks fans, but Terry said he wasn’t privy to any future personnel decisions by the team.
Owner Mark Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson downplayed any implied meaning from Terry, according to the Morning News.
Cuban said, “I think it’s Jet’s way of saying we want to win now. We have Kidd’s Bird rights, and in this market, that’s everything.”
Kidd is a free agent at season’s end, and is free from guarantee to anyone.
– According to the Detroit News, F Tayshaun Prince is more likely to be traded next season than G Richard Hamilton, although both leaving is not out of the question.
Prince has two-years/$21M left, while Rip has a $35M extension, making it easier for the former to be traded. According to the report, cecause of the way teams in the East are built, the best have powerful, high-scoring small forwards, and the Pistons have to get stronger at Prince’s position.
Coach Michael Curry has talked about wanting to play a more up-tempo style, and that’s not going to happen with Prince. Prince plays more of a half-court game, as opposed to the quick transition game.
Prince, however, will be a hot commodity on the market. His intelligence, defense, length, ability to handle the basketball, score both outside and in the post, and playoff experience are enough to bring back an elite player. The question is, who can the Pistons get to play small forward? While Magic’ F Hedo Turkoglu, Warriors’ G Corey Maggette, Bulls’ F Luol Deng and T’Wolves’ G Rodney Carney are all available, will they fit into the Pistons’ system? Stay tuned.
– According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, although the Hornets lost in five games to the Nuggets, there is speculation, the franchise could go through an extensive housecleaning this summer to revamp its roster and avoid having to pay the luxury tax.
Early rumours suggest a swap involving Hornets’ F Tyson Chandler for Suns’ F Shaquille O’Neal. F David West, who was thought to be untouchable alongside G Chris Paul, has also come up in rumours, but only if the team is unable to move Chandler.
The latest rumor this week involves the Pistons – more specifically, F Tayshaun Prince and G Richard Hamiltonm, who the Hornets are very interested in. Stay tuned.
– According to the NY Daily News, Nets’ president Rod Thorn announced Wednesday that head coach Lawrence Frank will be back on the sideline next season. Thorn had been considering Frank’s fate since the season ended on April 15, and notified the coach of his decision Wednesday morning
Thorn said, “We’re very happy to have him and as far as I’m concerned we’re very lucky to have him. I think he’s a very good coach and I think he will do a terrific job for us.”
A few days after the season ended without a playoff appearance for the second straight year, Thorn said he needed to confirm that Frank’s voice was still being heard in the Nets locker room. Thorn consulted with several players and apparently got good feedback, even though G Devin Harris told the Daily News on Tuesday that some of his teammates may have “mixed feelings” about their coach. Thorn also met with several team executives last week, including owner Bruce Ratner, who publicly endorsed Frank but said he would have been willing to pay the $4.5M remaining on the coach’s contract while someone else led the team, if that was Thorn’s recommendation.
– Jazz’ F Carlos Boozer has said that he wants to remain with the team.
Boozer said, “I do want to stay here, I want to be in Utah, I want to play for the Jazz. I made that loud and clear from Day 1 and we’ll see what happens from here.”
Boozer has until June 30 to decide about opting out of the final year of his contract, paying him $12.7M.
– The Warriors are believed to be interested in Sixers’ G Andre Miller.
– The Knicks are looking at the Warriors’ Chris Mullin as their new GM.
– Spurs’ F Drew Gooden will not immediately re-sign with the Spurs, and will look at offers in free agency.
– Chargers’ OLB Shawne Merriman will resume practicing Friday for the first time since tearing his LCL and PCL in 2008 training camp.
Merriman said, “This year is literally going to be about unleashing. Unleashing so much I’ve got pent up in me. I’m bringing all the ruckus.”
Lights Out is in a contract year, and feels pressure after San Diego drafted Larry English 16th overall. Assuming he can still explode off the surgically repaired knee, Merriman should get right back in contention for the NFL sacks lead.
– The Patriots have acquired TE Alex Smith from the Bucs for an undisclosed 2010 draft pick.
– The Bengals have signed franchise player K Shayne Graham to a one-year/$2.483M contract.
Graham was Cincinnati’s second-best offensive player in 2008, behind only WR TJ Houshmandzadeh. The 31-year-old has never missed more than five field goals in a season, and was a remarkable 9-of-11 from 40+ yards last year. The Bengals will keep long-term extension talks going into the summer.