– Blackhawks F Patrick Kane has been charged with second-degree robbery, fourth-degree criminal mischief and assault charges after an altercation with a taxi driver on Sunday morning, after they apparently gave a cab driver $15.00 for a $13.80 cab ride and wanted change back ($0.20), which the driver didn’t have. Kane, a South Buffalo native, was with his cousin. James Kane, 21, at 5 a.m. when there was a dispute over the fare. The cab driver, Jan Radecki, told police he was punched in the face and head, grabbed by the throat and had his glasses broken during the incident. Both Kanes were charged with second-degree robbery, a Class C felony, as well as fourth-degree criminal mischief and theft of services, both Class A misdemeanours.
The Blackhawks have initially backed Kane following his arrest. Chicago said in a released statement, “We are aware of the allegations toward Patrick Kane. He is a big part of our organization and a team leader and we stand behind him. As we are still collecting all the facts, it would be premature to comment further at this time.” Radecki said, “They broke my glasses, they ripped my clothes … all over 20 cents.”
Classless. Whether or not this is true (it usually is, just ask O.J. Simpson, Barry Bonds, etc.), it’s not like Kane is counting pennies on his salary. He makes more in a year than a lot of us will see in our lifetime, and the fact that he assaults someone over 20 cents is absolutely pathetic.
– The Leafs have traded G Justin Pogge to the Ducks for a conditional pick in 2011 that will be based on his performance this coming season. Pogge had one win and a 4.35 GAA in seven appearances with the Leafs last season. He spent most of the season with the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies, where he had 26 wins and a 2.70 GAA in 53 games.
– Prosecutors will reopen the investigation into the death of Rangers draft pick F Alex Cherepanov, who collapsed during a Continental Hockey League game last year in Russia. The federal prosecutor’s Investigative Committee ruled last month that team doctors were not to blame for Cherepanov’s death and would face no criminal charges. Investigators said doctors with Siberian team Avangard Omsk had no reason to suspect the 19-year-old suffered from a chronic heart problem and therefore did not prescribe the medicine he was taking. Cherepanov, a first-round pick in 2007, died after collapsing on the bench during an Oct. 13 game in Chekhov, a town outside Moscow. Authorities say an autopsy showed he suffered from myocarditis, a condition that obstructs blood flow to the heart and other organs.
– The Hurricanes have sued a Raleigh hip-hop artist who produced a song promoting the franchise, saying the man has violated team trademarks. The federal lawsuit accuses Tyrone Banks of misusing trademarks by referring to the tune as “the official Carolina Hurricanes song” and wearing a Hurricanes jersey in promotional material. Banks produced “Carolina Hurricanes” in 2007 and provided a copy of the song to the team, asking the Hurricanes play the music during games, according to court documents. The lawsuit said the Hurricanes did use the song during games and short segments of it appeared in a television ad and online video. Banks also received complimentary tickets to a game, when the Hurricanes played the song, highlighted Banks in the audience and displayed his name on the scoreboard.
– Former NHL D Dallas Eakins is the new head coach of the Toronto Marlies.
– According to the Chicago Tribune, as reported here earlier, it was indeed the White Sox who put a claim on Jays OF Alex Rios. The two teams have till 2 p.m. ET tomorrow to work out a trade, or for the Jays to outright release. Rios has a .262 batting average, 14 homers and 62 RBIs this season, but is owed nearly $60M from 2010 to 2014.
– According to the LA Times, the Dodgers are looking at adding either RHP John Smoltz or RHP Vicente Padilla. Padilla was DFA by the Rangers last week, but is generating interest from around the NL. According to ESPN, the Dodgers aren’t the only team who are interested in Smoltz. Stay tuned.
– The Nationals have waived SS Christian Guzman, and the Red Sox are known to be interested. Reports indicate that nothing will happen, though. a baseball source told MLB.com, “Guzman was on eggshells for two days asking [acting general manager Mike Rizzo] whether or not he was going to be traded. That story should have never came out.”
– Padres RHP Chris Yougn has been shut down for the remainder of the season. Young has been on the DL since June 17 with shoulder inflammation.
– The Brewers have acquired RHP David Weathers from the Reds for a PTBNL. Weathers had a 3.32 ERA in 38 innings as the setup man for Francisco Cordero this season. The Reds could have kept him for next year at $3.7M or let him go for $400K.
– According to sources, WWE is currently planning a three-hour episode of WWE RAW in September that will feature a match between The Big Show and Cavaliers F Shaquille O’Neal. The two seven-footers planted the seed for their possible showdown last month when Shaq served as the celebrity guest host of RAW. The two men had a staredown that ended with Shaq throwing the Big Show out of the ring.
O’Neal is currently working on “Shaq vs.,” a TV show where he challenges different pro athletes at their own game. He will swim against Michael Phelps, box Oscar De La Hoya and take on Serena Williams at tennis. Shaq wrestling the Big Show would give WWE Raw some mainstream media attention, but some are already questioning the decision to air the match on cable when WWE could give their struggling PPV buyrates a boost.
There is also a chance that Shaq’s schedule could prevent the match from happening. The NBA’s pre-season begins in September, so we’ll have to wait and see if this match ever happens.
– WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan is determined to wrestle again. After collapsing and being rushed to the hospital a few months ago, the Hulkster underwent laser surgery on his spine to relieve “constant” and “crushing” back pain. He had also experienced numbness in his legs and was unable to stand for more than a few minutes at a time.
Hogan said he opted for laser surgery because a more invasive back surgery involving metal rods in his back would have likely killed his chances for a comeback. The whole procedure was filmed for his daughter’s reality show, Brooke Knows Best, and aired last night on VH1. The Hulkster said he was feeling better almost immediately after the surgery.
– DX is being advertised for shows in two weeks, which should spoil HBK’s impending return.
– To put some rumours to rest, Brian Kendrick did not ask for his release from WWE like he did during his previous stint in the company in 2004. Rather, John Laurinaitis cited the tough economy and creative having nothing for him upon informing of his release from the company two weeks ago. Kendrick has been telling friends that it was implied to him the only reason he lasted as long as he did in WWE was because Pat Patterson liked him.
– Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated his blog over at JRsBarBQ.com Here’s what JR said about:
Ricky Steamboat Jr.: “Nice to hear that Ricky Steamboat, Jr. is now competing in Puerto Rico. Getting all the worldly experience that he has received in wrestling is great training for young Steamboat who, as I mentioned long ago, is going to be a big star in wrestling if he continues to improve and stays healthy. The son of ‘The Dragon’ is being schooled perfectly and is getting used to life on the road, different styles of in ring styles and will be so far advanced from the young men and women in a training camp it won’t even be close. Nothing can replicate young wrestlers getting ready for ‘Broadway’ like wrestling a variety of competitors in a multitude of environments. Plus, getting used to being a responsible traveler is also a benefit.”
BJ Penn & UFC 101: “B.J. Penn seemed to be back in B.J. Penn form Saturday night on what was a strange night for the UFC in Philly. UFC 101 was always going to be challenged to follow UFC 100 as that’s like Backlash following Wrestlemania. The crowd in Philly, I don’t know if the majority of fans were from Philly or not, was unique to say the least and at times they did not do the show any favors.”
RAW In Calgary: “A WWE Superstars bout, WGN America..Thursday 8/7central… will be taped Monday night, likely after Raw concludes, which, I would assume. will feature the Hart Dynasty in some incarnation. If this happens, this will be a thrill, I’m sure, for the trio of Calgary natives who will get to perform in the ring at a WWE event in their home town before friends and family. I’m sure that the Calgary faithful will welcome the young Hart’s back home with open arms … I have no idea if Bret Hart is going to be in Calgary when WWE passes through Monday night but it would be great to see him if he were. I know I speak for many who will be in attendance when I say that.”
– Hulk Hogan’s ex-wife Linda was interviewed on ABC’s Good Morning America this morning and shed some light on what led to the couple’s divorce.
Hulk Cheating With Brooke’s Friend: “There were infidelities. It scared me because I thought ‘Oh my God, is that my fault? Is he moving on? Am I just a dumb housewife? Am I too fat, am I too dumb?’ You just start doubting yourself and that was really sad.”
Her 19-year-old Boyfriend Charlie Hill: “He’s a great friend and a good soul and a great support system for me.” She acknowledged that her relationship with Hill is “definitely weird,” but isn’t bothered when tabloids label her a “cougar.”
Hulk Saying He Understands How OJ Could Murder His Wife: “I don’t know if he could go there or not I don’t think so but at the time I wasn’t sure. I knew that he was probably jealous or envious or upset with the whole situation that he didn’t have control of me. He didn’t know what I was doing, who I was seeing and it bothered him.”
Brooke Claiming She Uses Drugs: “It’s just about the allegations and it’s a whole publicity team that was on my husband’s side that helped facilitate that.” Although her relationship with Brooke is currently a wreck, she hopes “one day that will change.”
– The Celtics have signed RFA F Glen Davis to a two-year/$6M deal.
– Former Nuggets F Linas Kleiza has signed a two-year/$12M deal with Olympiakos. Kleiza will make considerably more than he would have in the NBA, and this deal is even richer than what Olympiakos reportedly offered G Nate Robinson and G Allen Iverson (two years/$10M). Kleiza can opt-out next summer, should he choose to return to the NBA.
– Former Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis has signed with the Wolves.
– The Pistons have hired Brian Hill as their assistant coach.
– The Heat remain interested in G Allen Iverson and G Stephon Marbury.
– The Hawks are discussing a deal with F Joe Smith. The Hawks are also taking a look at F Garret Siler, F Jason Collins, F Johan Petro, F Stromile Swift and Courtney Sims.
– According to the Toronto Sun, the Grizzlies are for sale, but will only be moved sold if the team remains in Memphis.
– Bucs WR Antonio Bryant will be out 3-4 weeks with a torn meniscus in his knee. The knee will be “scoped” shortly.
– Bobby Lashley’s next mixed martial arts fight has been announced and once again, he’ll be fighting somebody with experience inside a pro wrestling ring. Lashley (4-0) will face Ron “H20″ Waterman on 10/3 in Denver, Colorado (16-6-2). The event will be presented by Prize Fight Promotions, the company that promoted his most recent fight against Bob Sapp this past June.
The 44-year-old Waterman is considered to be a “journeyman” fighter and has not had a big MMA victory since 2004 when he beat Kevin Randleman. Like Lashley, Waterman is a big guy and with strong wrestling credentials. He’s fought for the UFC and PRIDE and is also a professional wrestler. He trained at Ohio Valley Wrestling back when it was a WWE developmental territory. He also appeared on WWE house shows and in dark matches, before moving on to wrestle in Japan while continuing his MMA career.