– As of late Monday night, plans and preparations were being made for an announcement with an official news conference in Winnipeg on Tuesday regarding the Thrashers potential relocation. While a deal can happen, everything remains on hold at the moment until everything is signed off on between True North, the Atlanta Spirit and the NHL. Lawyers on the Winnipeg side signed off on the deal on Monday afternoon. Once Atlanta’s side signs off on the deal, the sale will go through pending league approval. In addition, Atlanta Spirit is comprised of seven independent parties making up the ownership group. If the NHL doesn’t get a deal on the table, the league is expected to postpone any announcement and push it up to Thursday, the next available off day from the Stanley Cup Final. Once an agreement has been reached, True North is expected to launch a season ticket drive. Stay tuned.
– Bruins’ F Mark Recchi has said that he’ll retire if he wins the Stanley Cup this year. “This isn’t about me at all and I want to keep it that way. It’s about putting all our efforts into winning the Cup for everyone in this room, for the fans and for the city of Boston. But if we win Cup, I’m definitely going to walk away (and retire).” At 43, Recchi obviously wants a chance to go out on top. If he decides to retire, he’ll be ending his career with 577 goals and 1,533 points in 1,652 career games.
– The Panthers have signed F Jack Skille to a 2-year/$1.65M deal worth $825K annually. Skille posted eight goals and 11 assists over 62 games. Over 92 NHL games, he has 13 goals and 14 assists with a minus- 14 rating.
– Cubs’ RHP Matt Garza (elbow) threw on flat ground Monday. Garza is expected to throw off a mound Wednesday. If that workout goes well and the Cubs deem him ready, he could be activated as early as next weekend. He was placed on the DL retroactive to May 17.
– Braves’ RHP Brandon Beachy (strained left oblique) threw off a mound Monday for the first time. Beachy tossed 20 fastballs at about 70-75% strength. “Felt good. It loosened up. By the end of the 20 pitches I was going back to caring about where the ball is going instead of trying to feel each throw. So that was refreshing.” He’s at least two weeks away from returning to the rotation.
– Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi suggested Monday that RHP Phil Hughes (arm) could be back in early July. That prediction isn’t based off much in the way of tangible progress, unfortunately. Hughes threw a bullpen session Friday but has not yet been cleared to face live hitters. The Yanks aren’t going to push the 24-year-old righty.
– The Twins have placed LHP Francisco Liriano (left shoulder inflammation) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 23. Liriano was expected to miss just one start, but felt renewed soreness while playing catch before Monday’s game. He has a 5.73 ERA and 34/32 K/BB ratio over nine starts.
– The Mets have placed INF Jose Reyes on the bereavement list. Reyes will be away from the Mets for the next 3-7 days following the death of his grandmother back in the Dominican Republic. The Mets have not yet replaced him on the 25-man roster.
– According to Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area, Mark Jackson is a finalist for the Warriors’ head coaching position. Jackson has no previous head coaching experience, but his name has frequented rumours for some time. He’s got a lot on his plate given the uncertainty of the team.
– According to Scout.com’s AZRedReport, Cardinals coaches still have concerns about Eagles’ QB Kevin Kolb’s potential fit in coach Ken Whisenhunt’s offence. Kolb’s 11:14 TD-to-INT ratio has raised questions about his decision making, and his 6.46 YPA in five 2010 starts is mediocre to say the least. Kolb is considered a West Coast offence quarterback, while the Cards’ playbook is geared towards longer, downfield passes. Kolb is a serious upgrade over QB John Skelton, but Arizona needs to decide whether or not Kolb is worth a 1st-round pick, plus whatever else Philly asks for. Stay tuned.
– According to F4WO, Jim Ross stated on his official website today that a “major announcement” will be made Tuesday concerning THQ’s annual WWE video game series, SmackDown vs. Raw.
“Arguably the biggest news to date from WWE on the video game front,” Ross wrote.
The announcement is that the title of the annual WWE video game, SmackDown vs. Raw, will cease to exist. The rumoured new name of the game is WWE ’12, a year that will change annually. THQ made the decision to change the title of the game because they felt the SmackDown vs. Raw title no longer fit the product due to WWE rendering the “brand wars” inconsequential. This also explains WWE ceasing the Bragging Rights PPV. While the event drew poorly both years, it was kept to help promote the annual release of SmackDown vs. Raw.
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross is back with his latest blog update, which you can check out in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights of what JR said about:
Big WWE Video Game News: “Expect to hear a major announcement Tuesday from WWE/THQ. Arguably the biggest news to date from WWE on the video game front.”
Brock Lesnar’s Colon Surgery & Future In UFC: “Lots of questions regarding Brock Lesnar’s colon surgery that occurred a few days ago. I don’t know the specific details nor am I am doctor but I have had diverticulitis and surgery as a result of such. Surgery can be done, as was mine, in a very evasive manner depending on the diagnosis and severity of the diverticulitis. My particular case was extremely serious because I disregarded the stomach aches and other symptoms too long and continued to travel and work and my large intestine perforated which caused additional issues with which I had to address.”
“Other surgery techniques for diverticulitis can come in the form of a much less invasive, almost arthroscopic, surgery which makes small incisions and allows one to heal quicker. From what I ascertain and I may be wrong, the less evasive surgery seems to be what Brock encountered. Nonetheless, Brock’s health is more important than his UFC career, or any career for that matter, and he has seemingly done what is necessary to remove the affected area from his colon.”
“I see no reason whatsoever that we won’t see see Brock Lesnar back in the Octagon sometime in 2012.”
– According to the PWTorch, the following is the average match length per show 2011: Superstars (7:12), Smackdown (6:21), Raw (5:39), Impact Wrestling (4:58). The average match length per PPVs: WWE (16:30 excluding Royal Rumble), TNA (10:49). The average amount of wrestling per show in 2011: SmackDown (33:40), Raw (29:56), Impact Wrestling (23:29).
– Vickie Guerrero remarked last Thursday on her Facebook account that her boyfriend, who was also her personal trainer, cheated on her. She wrote the status update in response to her friends’ hearsay. A heated Guerrero wrote,
“Enough of the private messages, of he said/she said!!! Im going to set things straight!! I am single now and it was my decision! (name withheld)…aka trainer/”boyfriend” was cheating on me with (name withheld). I was disgusted to know that she is married with kids! Been there, lived it before, and I am done with that bullshit…period!”
She deleted the message a short while later. She also made the following comment over Twitter:
“I did change gyms, my trainer/boyfriend was cheating on me with a married woman who has kids. Its all good, the truth will always come out, karma will bite you #cheaters.”
– TNA Wrestling’s announcement on May 23 that Terry Taylor, Director of Talent Relations, made the decision to leave the organization, is reportedly a cover excuse. The latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Taylor was fired by the organization on May 20. It is believed that he was let go due to allegations made against him in a lawsuit filed by a former performer. The report adds that it may not necessarily be Shannon Spruill’s (aka Daffney) lawsuit against the organization, although his name was implicated.
Taylor and creative writer Vince Russo pressured Daffney into performing a spot at the October 18, 2009 pay-per-view event Bound for Glory in which she would go through a board covered with barbed wire, reasoning that it was important for the ongoing feud between Abyss and Mick Foley. Daffney, who was hesitant on the idea, was assured that she would be fine and taken care of. She agreed to perform the spot, which resulted in her being chokeslammed from the ring apron by Abyss onto a board covered with barbed wire. She suffered a concussion taking the maneuver and was taken to an Orlando area hospital via ambulance. Furthermore, Spike TV wouldn’t allow TNA to air the spot during iMPACT! due to their policy on men-on-women violence.
Daffney’s trip to the emergency room resulted in a substantial medical bill, which Taylor stalled TNA from paying and ultimately was not. The lawsuit also claims she was pressured to continue performing after suffering two additional concussions. She suffered a concussion after being hit on the head with a toolbox by Tara following their match on the February 18, 2010 episode of iMPACT!. On April 20, 2010, she was injured in a dark match against an obese green worker by the name of Miss Betsy and was taken to an Orlando area hospital, where she was diagnosed with a concussion, as well as a deeply bruised sternum and a severe stinger.
Chief Financial Officer Dean Broadhead will oversee contractual matters while former WWE executive Bruce Prichard will handle Taylor’s remaining duties.
– Hulk Hogan responded to Ultimate Warrior calling him out in a YouTube video post over the weekend. Hogan wrote on Twitter:
“Negativity and Hulkamania – 2 things that don’t go together. Finish your weekend strong Monday, ignore all the rest.”
Warrior posted the video in response to Hogan saying during an interview with HDNet that he had an opening to put a bullet in Hulkamania, but failed.
– Bubba the Love Sponge insulted Kharma during his radio show on Friday as he aired the negative comments he said about her when the two were butting heads last year in TNA Wrestling. He added that she was going to be taken off television because she’s pregnant.