– The Rangers have signed F Brandon Dubinsky has signed a 4-year/$16.8M extension. Dubinsky set new career highs last season with 24 goals and 54 points in 77 games. It’s a solid signing by the Rangers.
– UFC president Dana White recently wrote on Twitter that he visited WWE headquarters in Stanford, Connecticut for a meeting with Vince McMahon. During an interview with USA Today to promote the UFC’s return to the Philadelphia market, White said that he looks up to Vince McMahon in many ways. While he did not divulge specific details as to the nature of the meeting, White said that he emulates WWE’s business model and called Vince “the guy that basically created the pay-per-view market.”
There has been recent talk that WWE and the UFC would be working together in some capacity on a merchandising deal involving Brock Lesnar, so its possible this is one of the matters discussed during the meeting of the kings of the pay-per-view industry. White also spoke about Brock Lesnar’s condition in the interview, saying the former UFC heavyweight champion is recovering from his latest bout with diverticulitis and expects to see him fighting again next January.
– Updating a previous item, the storyline of CM Punk leavin with the WWE championship is expected to continue off television. Punk’s name will not be mentioned on WWE television and WWE stars have been told not to acknowledge Punk if they do any interviews. That said, WWE has been working to get Punk booked for appearances on late night television shows, high-profile radio interviews and more. Punk’s next public appearance will be at the San Diego Comic Con event this week.
– Appearing on ESPN Radio Thursday, ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio reported that Eagles’ QB Kevin Kolb is already looking at real estate in Arizona. Kolb appears convinced he’ll be traded to the Cardinals. The stumbling block to a Kolb/Cardinals trade remains the compensation. It’s expected to include CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a draft pick, with Arizona needing to sign him to a long term deal in the Matt Cassell range of 6-years/$63M.
– Jim Irsay said he expects QB Peyton Manning (neck surgery) to be “ready to go” for the start of the season. Recent reports had Manning not cleared for the start of training camp, but it’s probably because he can’t be cleared without being able to consult with team doctors during the lockout. Manning hasn’t missed a game in his 13-year career.
– Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Blue Jays have inquired about members of the Padres’ bullpen, including RHP Heath Bell. Rosenthal speculates that Toronto could stand a better chance of keeping Bell as a free agent if they acquired him now and began the recruiting process immediately. They could also offer him arbitration following the season and potentially net two high draft picks. RHP Mike Adams could be another possibility, though Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that Padres’ owner Jeff Moorad told the 32-year-old that he was staying put.
– D’Backs’ manager Kirk Gibson said SS Stephen Drew (fractured right ankle) will miss the rest of the season. Drew’s injury was one of the more gruesome plays you’ll ever see in baseball. It’ll be interesting to see if they become buyers or sellers as we approach the trade deadline.
– Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke estimated that OF Carlos Gomez (broken collarbone) will likely need to miss about 2 months. Gomez suffered the injury while making a tumbling catch in the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Diamondbacks. Roenicke’s timetable puts his status for the rest of the season in doubt, though it’s possible he could miss even more time if the injury requires surgery.
– Turkish club Besiktas claims G Kobe Bryant’s representatives have contacted them about playing in Turkey during the impending lockout. Besiktas is the club that signed G Deron Williams. Due to a match fixing scandal on the soccer side of their operation, though, they won’t be able to pay Bryant the $1M per month he is reportedly seeking. The sides are talking and Besiktas is in search of a corporate sponsor for Bryant’s salary demands. The Turkish League starts in October. Kobe remains unlikely to play for them.
– Nuggets’ F Timofey Mozgov confirmed he has signed with BC Khimki of the Russian League. Mozgov’s contract has an “out” clause, so he’ll return to the Nuggets as soon as the lockout ends. He spent four years with Khimki before coming to the NBA, and figures to get plenty of playing time.