– The Flames will not be trading captain F Jarome Iginla this off-season. That is according to team president Ken King who also stated that GM Darryl Sutter’s job is safe. There were rumours that both were going to be gone before the start of next season but King squashed them on Wednesday. The Flames will add an assistant GM in the off-season to help Sutter with all his duties.
– The Rangers have signed F Mats Zuccarello-Aasen to a two-year, two-way contract worth $900K per season. The 22-year-old, turning 23 this September, Norwegian suited up for MODO of the Swedish Elite League the past two seasons. In the 2009-10 campaign he led the league in scoring with 64 points and earned himself MVP honors. The “Norwegian Hobbit” is listed at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, but many say those numbers are generous. This deal was known to the hockey world for more than a month, but the Rangers finally ‘officially’ announced the transaction. He should get a strong look at training camp this fall.
– The Senators have re-signed G Mike Brodeur to a one-year, two-way contract. The 27-year old spent the majority of the 2009-10 season with Binghamton Senators, where he posted a 13-13-2 record in 36 games with a 3.06 GAA. He recorded a 3-0-0 record with a 1.00 GAA and a .966 SV% in three games in the NHL with Ottawa.
– Flyers’ G Brian Boucher (knee) is expected to be ready for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
– The Kings have re-signed LW Scott Parse to a two-year contract. Parse had 11 goals and 13 assists in 59 games with the Kings last season. His plus-13 rating was the best among rookie forwards in the NHL last season.
– The Blue Jackets continue to search for a head coach.
– The LA Times reports that the Dodgers have inquired about Mariners’ LHP Cliff Lee and Astros’ RHP Roy Oswalt. Neither team was interested in dealing at the moment. It would take about $5.7M to have Lee for the rest of the season and around $29M to finish out Oswalt’s contract.
– Brewers’ C Gregg Zaun (torn labrum) has been diagnosed with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and may be out for the rest of the season. Zaun originally suffered the injury in April, but tried to play through it. He was finally placed on the 15-day DL last week and may hit the 60-day DL soon. C George Kottaras will continue to draw the majority of starts behind the plate for the Brewers and Jonathan LuCroy will serve as the backup. The Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reports that the Brewers may be shopping for a catcher later this season. Manager Doug Melvin said, “We’re going to go with what we have for now. We talked about whether we need more depth at Triple A, but there are no catchers really available. A few guys have gone through waivers but they’re all backup types.” The team has declined interest in White Sox’ C A.J. Pierzynski due to his high price tag.
– The Washington Post reports that RHP Stephen Strasburg is expected to make his MLB debut June 8-10 against the Pirates, rather than June 4 as initially believed. Strasburg has a 0.99 ERA and has struck out 54 in 45 1/3 innings in the nine starts he’s had in the minors with an average of .139. The 21-year-old phenom has registered a 0.39 ERA over his first four starts at Syracuse.
– The Yankees have signed RHP Chad Gaudin. Gaudin went 0-2 with an 8.83 earned run average in 12 appearances with Oakland this season. The Yankees had acquired him from San Diego last August, and he was 2-0 with a 3.43 ERA in 11 games for New York in 2009, but went 0-3 with an 8.68 ERA in four spring appearances (two starts) before being released on March 25.
– Tigers’ RHP Zach Miner (right elbow) will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery to repair a damaged ligament in his right elbow, ending his season. Miner has yet to appear in a game this season after dealing with elbow problems in spring training. He was diagnosed with a partial ligament tear two weeks ago and was deciding whether or not to rehab the injury without surgery.
– Grizzlies’ F Zach Randolph could be in some very serious trouble in connection with an Indianapolis drug investigation, which indicates he is major marijuana supplier in city. A man named Arthur Boyd was pulled over in a Cadillac Escalade that had marijuana and ammunition inside – and was registered to Randolph. Police then discovered four lockers at a storage facility rented by Randolph, two of which contained controlled substances. Z-Bo’s attorney, John Tompkins, says Randolph is not connected to any drug activity and that secret compartments in the Esaclade are for “concealing valuables.” Um, OK. Randolph has had several run-ins with the law, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.
– An NBA representative said late Wednesday that the league should have a decision regarding the two technical fouls called on Celtics’ F Kendrick Perkins that led to his ejection from Game 5 and automatic suspension for Game 6. Both technicals were of the questionable variety, and it seems very unlikely that both of them will stand up. That said, the league has complete control in this situation, and the call could go either way. Our guess is one of them will be rescinded, meaning Perkins would play in Game 6. F Glen Davis (concussion) and F Rasheed Wallace (back) were both injured tonight and are iffy for Game 6, so the need for Perkins to play can’t be overstated for the Celtics.
Davis (concussion) told his teammates that he will play in Game 6 on Friday, but first he must be medically cleared. The Celtics frontcourt was decimated by the time Game 5 ended, though with luck Rasheed Wallace’s tweaked back isn’t serious and at least one of Kendrick Perkins’ technical fouls will be rescinded. If all else fails, we could see more of Shelden Williams than we have all season. Wallace left Wednesday’s Game 5 loss after tweaking his back in the fourth quarter. Sheed actually fouled out before leaving for the locker room, and hopefully this “tweak” isn’t too serious.
– The Hawks have had second interviews with former Mavs coach Avery Johnson and current Dallas assistant coach Dwane Casey, according to ESPN. Casey reportedly had his second interview yesterday with some of the team’s ownership group. Johnson did the same last week. Folks in the Hawks front office have said a decision isn’t close and other candidates may get interviewed. Two people supposedly being talked about are Hawks’ assistant coach Larry Drew and Blazers’ assistant coach Dean Demopoulos.
– The Nets are beginning the first round of interviews for its open coaching position, but team president Rod Thorn is saying that it could be July before an actual hire occurs, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. The list of names include Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau, Avery Johnson and Mike Brown. The paper reports that Thorn isn’t interested in Mark Jackson or Jay Wright. They also say that the Nets are expecting a few surprise candidates, naming Phil Jackson or Doc Rivers. The first round of interviews are supposedly going to finish up around June 4.
– The UFC is opening an office in Toronto with former CFL commissioner Tom Wright at the helm. The UFC sees Canada, which White has dubbed “the mecca” of MMA, as its second biggest market outside of the U.S., accounting for some 17 per cent of its overall business. The UFC has held three successful shows in Montreal and is making its debut in Vancouver next month. UFC 115 at GM Place sold out just 15 minutes into a pre-sale for fan club members, erasing the UFC record set by the first Montreal show, UFC 83. World Extreme Cagefighting, the UFC’s sister company, is making its Canadian debut in Edmonton next month. MMA remains an unsanctioned sport in Ontario, but that appears to be changing soon. Stay tuned.
– Colts’ DE Robert Mathis is staying away from Colts OTAs reportedly because he wants a new contract. The workouts are voluntary, so it’s not a big deal yet. Mathis signed a front-loaded five-year/$30M contract in 2006. Especially in comparison to more heralded, but only slightly less effective, DE Dwight Freeney (six years/$72M), Mathis has been severely underpaid two years running. The Colts, however, still have to make QB Peyton Manning the NFL’s highest paid player as they’ve pledged. They may not be willing to renegotiate with Mathis, who’s under control through 2011.
– Giants’ RB Brandon Jacobs (knee surgery) is participating in Giants OTAs. Jacobs’ surgery was just a “cleanup,” so he was due back well before training camp. Ahmad Bradshaw (feet, ankle) is not participating. He should bounce back with double-digit scores and over 1,000 yards this season.
– Chargers’ K Nate Kaeding has resumed kicking at Chargers Organized Team Activities.Kaeding, who had surgery on his groin after apparently tearing it in the Pro Bowl, tied David Akers for the NFL lead with 32 made field goals last season. No AFC kicker had a better field goal percentage, earning him All-Pro honours.
– Formula One teams are no closer to agreeing on a new tire supplier and are trying to tempt Bridgestone to remain in the sport next year. Teams met Sunday before the Spanish Grand Prix to discuss whether to let Michelin, Pirelli or Avon replace Bridgestone, but no decision was made. Bridgestone has been the sole supplier since 2007 but has announced it is leaving F1. McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says “if we can convince them to remain in the sport then that would be very strong.” Teams are trying to avoid the added costs of a tire redesign, and Whitmarsh says F1 wants to avoid another tire war since “it was massively expensive” the last time.