– It’s my birthday. What!
– The Peep Show has been updated.
– With the first overall selection, the Islanders picked F John Tavares. The Lightning took D Victor Hedman at No. 2 and the Avalanche took F Matt Duchene at No. 3. The Leafs took F Nazim Kadri, Tavares’ teammate.
– The Flyers have acquired D Chris Pronger and F Matt Dingle from the Ducks for F Joffrey Lupul, D Luca Sbisa, first-round picks in 2009 and 2010 and a conditional third-round pick in 2010 or 2011. The 34-year-old Pronger, who had 11 goals and 37 assists in 82 games last season, is going into the final year of a contract that will pay him $6.25M next season. Lupul, 25, returns to Anaheim after scoring 25 goals and 25 assists in 79 games with the Flyers last season. He’ll make $4.25M next season in the first year of a four-year contract extension he signed last July.
– Ducks’ D Scott Niedermayer has confirmed that he will return to the Ducks next season. This prompted the Pronger trade to the Flyers. The defenseman, who turns 36 in August, informed GM Bob Murray of his decision Thursday evening. Murray called Niedermayer “irreplaceable” after the Ducks were eliminated by Detroit in the second round of this season’s playoffs. A Ducks spokesman said the team hopes to sign Niedermayer to a new contract soon. See Mats Sundin, *that’s* how you make a decision!
– The Rangers are very interested in Sens’ F Dany Heatley, but as of this writing, no one has yet to make a serious offer. Heatley is owed a $4M bonus on July 1, after which it’s likely that many teams will begin offering.
– There is a report out of Chicago that the Blackhawks have re-signed second-line F Dave Bolland to a five-year/$18M deal. Bolland had a breakout season in 2009 with 47 points in 81 games.
– Ducks’ GM Bob Murray is not likely to trade G Jean-Sebastien Giguere despite rumours to the contrary.
Murray told reporters that he was not actively shopping the goaltender and that he would not be part of a trade that might take place Saturday involving picks to get a big-bodied forward.
– Speaking of the Ducks, the return of D Scott Niedermayer to Anaheim has made it more likely that F Teemu Selanne will play one more season for the Ducks. GM Bob Murray wasted little time in contacting Selanne to discuss the speedy winger’s plans.
But, the acquistion of D Luca Sbisa in the Chris Pronger deal makes it more unlikely the Ducks will re-sign soon-to-be unrestricted free agent D Francois Beauchemin. The Ducks now have Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Whitney, Sbisa and most likely James Wisniewski to anchor their defense and will be strapped under the cap to come up with the money for Beauchemin. Look for Beauchemin to sign with another club after July 1.
– A group led by Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has offered to buy the Phoenix Coyotes for $148M and keep the team in Arizona. The offer, submitted in bankruptcy court documents on Friday afternoon, is $64.5M less than the bid by Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who wants to move the franchise to Southern Ontario. Reinsdorf’s offer calls for a new Jobing.com Arena lease with the city of Glendale and unspecified new agreements with other creditors, including the NHL, which has been funding the club.
– Kings’ D Brayden Schenn is eventually expected to be a leader on the Kings. GM Dean Lombardi had this to say about the Kings’ first round selection, “He needs to work on his skating, but his hockey sense is top-notch. He has the ability to make those small, smart, little plays and has no fear going into traffic. He’s a real competitor, and I think he’s got a chance to grow into some leadership.” Schenn will likely have a difficult time breaking camp with the Kings this upcoming season. He is, however, only a few years away from being a difference-maker.
– The Red Wings want a new deal to play at Joe Louis Arena. The team says it will not exercise an option to renew its lease at the arena, but wants to continue talks with the city on a new deal. Ilitch Holdings Inc. President and Chief Executive Christopher Ilitch said Friday that the current lease is 30 years old and not competitive to other arena leases in the NHL or professional sports. He says the team is looking for a new lease that is “fair and equitable for all parties.” The team had until next Tuesday to notify the city of its intentions before a 20-year option automatically kicked in. Ilitch said the team will continue evaluating all options for a new arena.
– According to rumours, the NHL salary cap is going to drop to a ceiling of $56.8M with the floor being $40.8M.
– The Knicks have offered G Nate Robinson and No. 8 pick F Jordan Hill to the T’Wolves for disgruntled No. 5 pick G Ricky Rubio. Rubio is reportedly unhappy about being drafted by the Wolves.
According to the NY Times, the Knicks are still interested in Wolves’ G Ricky Rubio. Interestingly, Wolves GM David Kahn wrote a letter to fans saying he’ll wait as long as it takes for Rubio to come and play in Minnesota, and that he plans on using Rubio and G Jonny Flynn extensively on the court together. Rubio is likely to force a trade, buy Kahn may have tied his own hands here. As far as I know, Kahn is still the only person in North America who thinks the young duo can really play together.
– The Mavericks are expected to have a very busy summer ahead of them. Since the Lakers and Spurs have all made moves to better themselves this offseason, the Mavs are expected to follow suit. It will almost definitely be a trade involving F Jerry Stackhouse and his $7M contract ($2M buyout) and F Erick Dampier’s expiring $11M contract.
– As reported here earlier, F Hedo Turkoglu has officially opted out of his contract. Turk was due $7.3M next season in the final year of his six-year/$36M deal with the Magic. Turkoglu averaged 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists last season. Turk is expected to sign with the Pistons.
– According to reports, Titans’ QB Vince Young is likely on his way out of Tennessee.
– The Jaguars have traded WR Dennis Northcutt to the Lions in exchange for S Gerald Alexander. The deal is contingent on both players passing physicals and will not be official until Monday.
– Commissioner Roger Goodell has notified WR Plaxico Burress that the league is beginning a review of incidents involving Burress that fall under the personal conduct policy. Goodell had been waiting for Plax’s legal process to play out, but the trial delay has spurred him into action. As much as Plax’s team of experts wants us to believe that he’s not eligible for suspension unless he’s found guilty, that’s not necessarily the case. Goodell is sure to take prior history into account here. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen predicted on his Twitter account that Plax would receive a four game suspension, with Goodell reserving the right to extend it pending the trial outcome.
– Former Cleveland Browns WR Joe Jurevicius is suing the team and the Cleveland Clinic, accusing doctors of negligence over a staph infection in his right knee that kept him off the field last year. It alleges that team physicians failed to warn Jurevicius that therapy equipment was not always cleaned at the team’s training facility. Jurevicius has said he contracted staph following arthroscopic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in January 2008. Jurevicius was released by the Browns in March.
– Yankees’ 3B Alex Rodriguez has hit his 564th home run, moving past Reggie Jackson into 11th place on the career list.
– Astros’ 1B Lance Berkman has reached his 1,000 RBI plateau, putting him with Astros legends Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell as the only ‘Stros to do so.
– The Cardinals are once again pursuing A’s OF Matt Holliday. The return price is expected to include OF Ryan Ludwick and one of the following; RHP Jason Motte, RHP Chris Perez, and RHP Kyle McClellan; and a prospect. Holliday will make about $13.5M (roughly $7.6M left) this season before becoming a UFA. Ludwick has about $2M remaining on his contract this year. He’s under team control through 2011 as an arbitration-eligible player.
– According to Fanhouse.com, the Nationals and Pirates are discussing a deal. The deal would see Pirates’ OF Nyjer Morgan swapped for Nats’ OF Lastings Milledge, but that talks stalled when Pittsburgh asked for RHP Craig Stammen as well.
– The Cubs have confirmed interest in Indians’ 3B and ex-Cub Mark DeRosa. DeRosa expects to be traded by the July 31 non-waiver deadline, and the Cubs could find themselves in position to re-acquire him depending on the asking price and ownership’s willingness to take on about $2M in salary.
– The Dodgers are eyeing Mariners’ LHP Jarrod Washburn.
– According to the NY Post, Yankees’ OF Xavier Nady will require Tommy John surgery to repair his right elbow and is done for the season. Nady is also questionable for most of 2010. He’s a free agent after this season, so it’s probably safe to assume his time with the Yankees is up.
– The Jays have placed C Rod Barajas (groin) on the 15-day DL.
– The Jays have placed RHP Shaun Marcum (shoulder) on the 60-day DL.
– “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair is currently working for WWE without a contract, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The company has opted not to sign Flair because they want complete control over their talent and as of this week, Ric Flair is sending out press releases stating he’s not exclusive to WWE and is still seeking bookings.
– Tennessee’s WBBJ-TV is reporting that former WWE tag champion, Brian “Grandmaster Sexay” Christopher, has been arrested for public intoxication. Brian Christopher Lawler, son of Jerry “The King” Lawler, was arrested just before 3:00 am Friday at a convenience store. The store clerk told officers Lawler fell over a cooler outside the store before coming inside. According to the police report, “Mr. Lawler was very unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech and once placed in custody became very belligerent. The officer said cursed and threatened him as he arrested him. At one point, the officer stated Lawler threatened to rip off his head.” Lawler is currently in the Madison County Jail and will appear in Jackson City Court on Monday. This is his second arrest this year – he was picked up for disorderly conduct back in February.
– Former TNA wrestler/referee Shane Sewell has apparently joined WWE. He reffed a match between Alex Riley and Bo Rotundo at last night’s FCW TV taping in Tampa. FCW usually doesn’t use talent on their television shows unless they are under contract to WWE. Following his release from TNA last month, Sewell returned to the World Wrestling Council promotion in Puerto Rico.