– Penguins’ F Sidney Crosby’s representative, Pat Brisson, addressed reports that the young superstar is considering retirement:
“There is no truth to the reports of Sidney Crosby contemplating retirement. Sidney is working out on his off-season program with every of intention of returning to the NHL when he’s deemed healthy by doctors and the start of the NHL season is still months away.
“It is very disturbing and disappointing to me when someone from the media, especially an ex-player, makes baseless comments regarding the medical status of player. Unless a report comes from the medical staff and/or an official voice for the player, it has no merit whatsoever.”
– According to reports, soon to be UFA F Brad Richards could re-join the Lightning. Richards wanted to stay in Tampa from the get-go, and he’d likely jump at the opportunity to play with his old teammates, as well as F Steven Stamkos. That said, while the cap will go up this year, money will be an issue–Tampa still has to sign Stamkos long-term, as well as determine what to do with D Eric Brewer and G Dwayne Roloson. Tampa Bay may not have $8M to spend on one player. Stay tuned, as Richards figures to be the big fish this summer.
Richards also sent out the following Tweet:
Thanks to all the fans in Dallas for 3 great years. Will miss everyone… Gonna take a rest from twitter For a bit…. Chat soon
– The Penguins have re-signed F Nick Johnson to a 1-year/2-way contract worth $550K at the NHL level. The 25-year-old was set to become a UFA. He registered three points in three games before being sidelined by a concussion.
– A report from the Winnipeg Free Press says that Blackhawks’ assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been offered the GM’s job of the new Winnipeg team. The True North Group, which recently purchased the Thrashers and are moving the team to Winnipeg subject to the approval of the NHL Board of Governors, told Thrashers’ GM Rick Dudley on Saturday that he wouldn’t be brough back, despite Dudley having just signed a 4-year extension. True North said they want a clean slate at GM, and that Dudley will be bought out for the remaining eight years. Cheveldayoff has been rumoured to be the front runner for some time, and now it appears to be true. A formal announcement should come soon. In addition, current Thrasher coach Craig Ramsay is believed to be on thin ice. Stay tuned.
– Red Wings’ F Patrick Eaves, an impending UFA, is hoping to re-sign with the team. Eaves recorded 20 points in 63 games this past season as a third and fourth-liner. ”I really like it here. I’m sure it’ll iron itself out. I wish I knew (how it’ll turn out). But I’m sure it’ll iron itself out.”
– The Avalanche are hoping to select F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at No. 2 in the Entry Draft. Edmonton has the No. 1 pick, but they’re deep at centre, so they may choose to add help elswhere. That said, RNH is believed to be the consensus No. 1.
– The Pistons have officially fired head coach John Kuester. The writing was on the wall for the majority of the regular season. He’s reportedly already in the running to join Mike Brown as an assistant for the Lakers. With new ownership, it’s anyone’s guess who will take over the position.
– Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals are remain interested in acquiring Rays’ OF B.J. Upton. Upton’s name was being rumoured in April, and with the team getting thin in the outfield, they may be more desperate than ever to finally make a solid offer for him. Tampa logically won’t move him as long as they’re in the thick of things in the uber-competitive AL East, but if they slip in the standings, it’s very possible that he could be moved. Upton, who is arbitration-eligible for two more seasons, is batting .228/.324/.389 with seven homers and 12 steals this season.
– Giants’ 1B Brandon Belt (fractured wrist) is hoping to be sidelined for less than a month. ”I’ll be able to get back in there as soon as I can get a bat in my hand and swing it full speed, so I don’t expect it to take a month. Hopefully, a week or two at the most. I just want to make sure I give it the proper rest it needs to make sure it heals properly, so when I do start playing again, it’s not acting up throughout the whole season.”
– Hulk Hogan recently posted the following message on his official Facebook page in response to a fan’s comment that Hogan was responsible for the demise of WCW:
“That’s good to know brother. But in reality it was a lot of you idiot fans that killed wcw with your lack of appreciation and support for everything we did for you. Funny enough a lot of you morons like TNA too. Go figure. HH”
– According to the PWInsider, barring a drastic change, Mick Foley’s run as television character for TNA Wrestling is over. Though his contract with the organization expires in September, he reportedly asked to be released prematurely due to creative differences. Foley was removed as on-screen character on last week’s episode of IMPACT WRESTLING. The program concluded with Hulk Hogan announcing that Foley had been fired as the Network Executive. Both sides have been frustrated with each other in recent months. Foley was upset that TNA didn’t take interest in promoting his outside projects, while some within the company felt he was difficult to work with. Foley, however, wasn’t shy about expressing his disenchantment with the organization.
“The Hardcore Legend” stated during an interview late last year that he didn’t plan on renewing his contract when it expired not to mention that he was upset that TNA didn’t air footage of his appearance at Jon Stewart’s Rally To Restore Sanity at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Then last month, he took a shot at TNA live event attendance by comparing an “empty arena match” to a TNA house show. He later apologized.
– Foley also took to Twitter to comment on an online report indicating that TNA Wrestling officials perceived him as being difficult to work with.
“I pushed hard for changes I felt would benefit Impact Wrestling. I can understand how some would interpret that as difficult to work with.”
He did not deny reports that he asked for his release from the organization.
– Former WWE Champions Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan have continued to attack each other on Twitter. After vowing to keep negative energy at bay, Hogan has begun retweeting messages depicting Warrior in a negative light, such as:
“Warrior was a jabroni. Hulkamania still runs wild… Brother.”
“Warrior is just jealous and angry about the sad way it all ended for him… without a whimper.”
“Warrior let alot of fans down over & over. Not something that’ll ever be easily forgiven. Or forgotten.”
Warrior shot back at Hogan by comparing him to a pet that is at the end of its rope.
“They say I hate Hogan. Never did. Like a favorite loved pet who has come to the end of its useful life, time to put an end to his misery.”
Warrior also revealed yesterday in a blog post on his official website that his much anticipated “Karma is Coming to Collect” video will be approximately one hour long and surface online next week. He also says that he’s developing a major media project and is legitimately on Twitter.
“Still figuring out how to work Twitter. Once I get it down, I’ll level you warriors with clotheslines of creativity, courage and wisdom — each thrown with Ultimate Warrior intensity.”
– According to the PWTorch, Kurt Angle has signed a new 3-year deal with TNA Wrestling. Angle emphasized his commitment to TNA, saying he’s “here for the long haul,” but TNA’s 3-year contracts have an out clause, so Angle will have the option of opting out of the contract at some point.
– Earlier this week, it was revealed that former WWE diva Joanie “Chyna” Laurer was returning to the world of adult film – and has already filmed her next movie, Backdoor Into Chyna. Now, Chyna tells TMZ.com that her Backdoor adventure will not be her last, because she’s already in negotiations with Vivid Entertainment boss Steve Hirsch about signing a multi-movie deal. Chyna, who says she wants to do porn “full time,” tells TMZ.com:
“I would definitely like to do more. It gives me motivation again. I want to be better and happier than ever… that’s the point, right?”
Chyna told TMZ last week that TNA informed her that they’d never work with her again if Backdoor Into Chyna was released, so her short tenure in TNA may simply have been from a promotional standpoint.
– Citing multiple sources, CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman reports a deal could be reached between the owners and players before the Eight Circuit issues a ruling on the lockout, likely in July. The settlement is dependant on keeping the attorneys out of the negotiating room. SI.com’s Peter King says that while no deal is imminent, “I’m more optimistic about a settlement than I’ve been in a while.” Tom Brady, whose name headlines the anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL, is “relatively confident” that a deal will be struck.
– Free agent OLB Matt Roth “sounds resigned to leaving” the Browns once the lockout is lifted. Roth said he prefers to stay in a 3-4 system, and isn’t content about staying in Cleveland through the rebuilding process. He also hinted that he’s unhappy about Dick Jauron replacing Rob Ryan as Browns’ DC. Roth will become a UFA once the NFL gets back into gear. The Patriots are rumoured to have interest in him as a pass-rusher.
– Former NHLer Donald Brashear won his MMA debut tonight 21 seconds into the 1st round of his fight at Ringside 11 in Quebec.