– The Habs have re-signed F Dustin Boyd to a 1-year/$650K deal. Boyd played in 78 games with the Predators and Calgary Flames in 2009-10 and scored 11 goals and registered 24 points.
– The Blackhawks have signed D John Scott to a 1-year deal. The 6’8″ reaguard likely won’t play enough to be a solid penalty minute contributor.
– The Wild have signed F Eric Nystrom to a 3-year/$4.2M deal. Aa nice increase from the $775K he earned in 2009-10 considering he only registered 19 points in 82 games.
– The Rangers are set to re-sign F Vaclav Prospal to the 1-year/$1M with bonuses worth $100K.
– The Bruins have signed F Jeremy Reich to a one-year contract.Reich returns to the Bruins’ organization after a very unsuccessful short stop in Long Island where he played in the 2009-10 pre-season, broke his wrist and was later released.
– The Wild have signed F Matt Cullen to a 3-year/$10M deal. Cullen, a Minnesota native, is going home and is thrilled about the prospect of playing in front of family and friends. He should be a staple on the Wild power play and the team’s second-line pivot. Look for Cullen to register 50-55 points in 2010-11.
– The Stars have signed G Andrew Raycroft to a 2-year deal.
– The Ducks have re-signed F Saku Koivu to a 2-year/$5M deal. The 35-year-old Finn had 19 goals and 33 assists with the Ducks last season.
– The Canucks have signed D Dan Hamhuis to a 6-year/$27M deal.
– The Blackhawks have traded F Andrew Ladd to the Thrashers for D Ivan Vishnevsky and a 2nd-round pick. Ladd, 24, had 17 goals and 21 assists last season for Chicago. Ladd will join former teammates F Dustin Byfuglien, D Brent Sopel and F Ben Eager in the Georgia city as it is becoming Chicago South.
– The Devils have signed D Henrik Tallinder to a 4-year/$13.5M deal. He recorded four goals and 20 points in 82 games last season.
– The Devils have signed D Anton Volchenkov to a 6-year deal. The 28-year old Volchenkov finished eighth in the NHL with 172 blocked shots last season, despite playing in only 64 games. He added 153 hits as well as four goals and 10 assists.
– The Flames have signed F Olli Jokinen to a 2-year/$6M deal.
– The Oilers have signed D Kurtis Foster to a 2-year/$3.6M deal.
– The Coyotes have signed F Ray Whitney to a 2-year/$6M deal.
– The Penguins have signed D Paul Martin to a 5-year/$25M deal. Martin was limited to 22 games in 2009-10 because of injury, registering two goals and nine assists.
– The Lightning have signed G Dan Ellis to a 2-year deal. Ellis had a .909 SV% and 2.69 GAA in 31 games last season with the Preds.
– The Canucks have signed F Manny Malholtra to a 3-year/$7.5M deal. The deal includes a no-trade clause. The 30-year-old native of Mississauga, Ontario spent last season with the San Jose Sharks, registering 14 goals and 19 assists, and played very well for the team in the post-season.
– The Canucks have signed F Joel Perrault to a 1-year/$510K deal.
– The Blues have re-signed F Alex Steen to a 4-year extension. The 26-year-old Steen was tied for the team lead with 24 goals and totalled 47 points in 68 games for the Blues last season.
– The Leafs have signed F Colby Armstrong to a 3-year/$9M deal. The 27-year-old spent the last two and a half seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers. In the 2009-10, Armstrong had 15 goals and 14 assists in 79 games.
– The Canadiens have signed G Alex Auld to a 1-year/$1M deal.
– The Sharks have signed G Antero Niittymaki to a 2-year/$4M deal. The 30-year-old Finn was 21-18-5 with the Lightning last season, registering a 2.87 GAA and a .909 SV%.
– The Penguins have signed D Zbynek Michalek to a 5-year/$20M deal.
– The Lightning have signed F Martin St. Louis to a 4-year extension. The 35-year-old, who still had one year left on his contract, had 29 goals and 65 assists for the Bolts last season.
– The Flames have signed F Alex Tanguay to a 1-year/$1.7M deal.
– The Flyers have re-signed D Braydon Coburn to a 2-year deal with a cap hit of $3.2M per year. The 6’5, 220 pound Calgary native had five goals and 14 assists for the Flyers last season.
– The Rangers have re-signed F Erik Christensen to a 2-year deal. Christensen had eight goals and 18 assists in 49 games with the Blueshirts last season. Christensen turned down a 2-year/$1.5M contract from the Rangers earlier in the week so expect a slight upgrade.
– The Senators have signed D Sergei Gonchar to a 3-year/$16.5M deal worth $5.5M annually. Gonchar had 11 goals and 39 assists for the Pens last season. All the rumors seemed to point Gonchar to Washington or back to Pittsburgh. Gonchar gets a no-trade clause in his contract and will quarterback the power play. Gonchar, if healthy, could score 15-20 goals and end up with 65 points with the Senators next season. He was the best offensive defenseman in free agency and now teams that were looking at him will have to alter their strategy.
– The Rangers have signed veteran G Martin Biron to a 2-year/$1.75M deal worth $825K annually. Biron was 9-14-4 with the Islanders last season with a 3.27 GAA and an .896 SV%.
– The Flyers have acquired D Andrej Meszaros from the Lightning for a 2nd-round pick in 2011. Meszaros did not have a good time in Tampa after signing a 6-year/$24M contract in August 2008. He was expected to take over the power play and lead them on the blueline but he had only two goals and 16 points in 52 games in the 2008-09 season before shoulder surgery ended his season. This past season was even worse with six goals and 17 points in 81 games. He is still young enough at age 24 to change the course of his career and the change in scenery will not hurt him. Playing with D Chris Pronger should help as well.
– The Bruins have re-signed D Daniel Paille to a 2-year/$2.15M deal with $1M and $1.15M in the first and second year, respectively. Paille had 10 goals and nine assists in 74 games with the Bruins last season.
– The Leafs have acquired F Kris Versteeg and F Bill Sweatt from the Blackhawks for F Viktor Stalberg, F Philippe Paradis and F Chris DiDomenico. Versteeg had 44 points in 79 regular-season games last season, along with 14 points in the post-season for the Stanley Cup champions.
– Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson will return next season, putting off retirement for at least another year to chase his 12th NBA championship. Jackson made the announcement Thursday with a news release. The coach of the two-time defending champions said last week he was leaning toward retirement after another long season, but he changed his mind after getting a week to rest up at his off-season home in Montana.
Jackson, who will turn 65 later this year, says next season will be “a last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.” Jackson is the winningest coach in NBA playoff history, with 225 victories and two more titles than Boston’s Red Auerbach. He has won five titles with the Lakers and six with the Bulls.
– The Grizzlies have re-signed F Rudy Gay to a maximum 5-year/$81.6M deal with forward Rudy Gay, prompting him to cancel meetings with other teams, including the Timberwolves. Don’t know why the Grizzlies didn’t at least wait for him to bring back an offer sheet. Gay is another example of a potential big mover returning to his old team, and you can almost hear the wind being sucked out of New York’s sails at this point.
– The Wolves have signed F Darko Milicic to a 4-year/$20M deal. F Al Jefferson, who is now requesting a trade, will play elsewhere next season. This also means F Kevin Love is going to have to fight Darko and F Nikola Pekovic for playing time, as well.
– The Bucks have signed F Drew Gooden to a 5-year/$32M deal. Gooden was solid for the Clippers last year and should be productive for the Bucks if he gets his 30 minutes per game.
– Phillies’ 2B Chase Utley (torn ligament in right thumb) will undergo surgery Thursday and is expected to miss the next eight weeks. So much for that “5-to-6 week” timetable that was being thrown around on Thursday morning. Utley injured his thumb while sliding into the second base bag on Monday and will be in a splint for the next five weeks. If he makes a quick recovery and avoids setbacks, we could see him by early September.
– According to Jim Duquette of Sirius XM Radio and MLB Network, Mariners’ LHP Cliff Lee told people around the club that Tuesday may have been his last start as a Mariner. There’s always the chance that it could be, as GM Jack Zduriencik would be silly to turn down an offer that he deems appropriate. Expect Lee to be wearing a new jersey sooner rather than later.
– The Rangers have officially acquired C Bengie Molina from the Giants for RHP Chris Ray and RHP Michael Main. Molina should get a nice helping of playing time in Texas and will surely post better stats in the shallow confines of the Ballpark at Arlington. He was batting just .257/.312/.332 with three homers and 17 RBI in 202 at-bats for San Francisco.
– Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that the Mariners are “trying to move” INF Jose Lopez. Lopez is a rather obvious candidate to be traded to the Phillies now that Utley will need thumb surgery, a possibility that may be helped by assistant general manager Benny Looper’s previous ties to Seattle. The 26-year-old infielder is batting just .244/.271/.336 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 307 at-bats with the Mariners this season, but would likely thrive in the cozy Citizens Bank Park. Lopez’s contract includes a $4.5M club option for next season or a $250K buyout. He is capable of playing either third base or second base.
– The Orioles have placed DH Luke Scott (left hamstring strain) on the 15-day DL. Scott injured the hamstring during a home run trot against the Athletics on Wednesday night. He hits the DL with a .274/.348/.520 batting line to go along with 12 homers and 30 RBI. Barring any setbacks, he should be in line to return shortly after the All-Star break.
– QB Brett Favre retook the practice field with high schoolers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi Thursday morning. He did the same last July. Retaking the practice field at Oak Grove High indicates that his surgically repaired ankle is healing, and that Favre likely will go through the same routine he did last year before reporting to the Vikings. “His arm is great like always,” said Oak Grove coach Nevil Barr. “As far as how his ankle is I haven’t heard him say anything about it.”
– The NFL has suspended Chargers’ WR Vincent Jackson three games for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. The suspension stems from Jackson’s two DUIs, and it can be appealed. He was expecting a four-game ban, so V-Jax should feel at least some relief. Interestingly, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that even if V-Jax follows through with his holdout threats, the suspension will start in Week 1 anyway. As Profootballtalk reported yesterday, teams interested in trading for Jackson were already aware of the looming suspension. It’s one of the reasons that a trade remains a long shot. Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee will likely be the Bolts’ starting wideouts for at least the first three weeks of the season.
– The NY Post reports that Titans QB Chris Simms was arrested Thursday morning for driving while under the influence of marijuana. During a 2AM traffic stop, police observed Simms had “red eyes, flushed face and slurred speech.” The arrest figures to crush his chances of landing a roster spot in Tennessee behind Vince Young and Kerry Collins. Phil’s son was nothing short of a disaster in spot action with Denver last year, and has seemed shell shocked since his life-threatening spleen injury in 2006.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, Richard Blood (aka Ricky Steamboat), 57, suffered a brain aneurysm last night in Tampa and is currently being hospitalized. His condition has been upgraded to stable, but he is likely to be hospitalized for some time after suffering a brain aneurysm last night in Tampa.
– WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart has written a blog entry responding to Martha Hart’s lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment over using the likeness and footage of Owen Hart.
“I feel that it’s ridiculous for anyone to think they are serving the best interests of Owen’s memory or his children to pretend he wasn’t a wrestler. Not only was he a wrestler, he was a great one and proud of it. I personally believe Martha Hart has done nothing to keep his memory alive and sadly, he fades from view a little more every year. I do suspect this lawsuit is more about publicity, ego, and small-mindedness than it is about pro-wrestling and all of those that are in it.
“I know Owen was always proud of his body of work. His fans have never forgotten him and most of today’s WWE wrestlers and hundreds of employees have never forgotten him. They speak endlessly of loving memories that speak volumes on what kind of person he was. I saw Owen on TV a few weeks ago against a young Matt Hardy and it put me in such a good mood all day long. Why would anyone want to prevent that? Martha needs to accept the sad truth that he’s gone, but we all deserve to be able to salute and honor him for being the great man and the great wrestler that he was.”
– TNA officials have gotten more aggressive over the past week or two when it comes to signing Paul Heyman. Heyman has been offered the head of TNA creative job, but he wants even more control than that. Heyman reportedly wants to be what Dana White is to the UFC – the front man who has a ton of power behind the scenes and can overrule virtually anybody and have things done his way. Heyman feels the creative side of TNA needs an overhaul, but that creative isn’t the company’s biggest problem.
– Hulk Hogan was scheduled to undergo back surgery. Apparently Hogan didn’t have the surgery yesterday but is scheduled to go under the knife by the end of the week. We wish him the best and a quick recovery.
– TNA fired creative team member Ed Ferrara last week. Ferrara, best known for his previous stints in WWE and WCW, had been Vince Russo’s booking assistant while in TNA.
– Former WCW wrestler & booker Kevin Sullivan met with Dixie Carter when she was in New Jersey a few weeks ago. Sullivan expressed pitched the idea of him joining TNA’s creative team and has worked with many people already in TNA. It’s said that Sullivan has written out an entire year of booking for the company.
– TNA has re-signed Velvet Sky to a 3-year deal.
Marc Valeri – firstname.lastname@example.org
VoV – www.voiceofvaleri.com
Add me on Facebook at Facebook.com/VoiceofValeri
Add me on Twitter at Twitter.com/VoiceofValeri
Join the VoV Forums
Ask me anything on FormSpring
Get VoV RSS feeds
Become a Fan of VoV on Facebook
Join the VoV Facebook Group