– Penguins’ F Sidney Crosby (concussion) is doing on-ice workouts in Los Angeles for about a week. Crosby went to California last week to meet with neurological spine specialist Dr. Robert S. Bray. Crosby previously went to Atlanta to see a chiropractor who specializes in neurological treatment who treated him in the past. There’s still no timetable for Crosby’s return.
– Predators’ D Ryan Suter told the media on Friday that he won’t be signing a contract extension before the February 27 deadline. Suter is set to become a UFA on July 1, and is likely waiting it out to see what the Predators do at the trade deadline, and whether they’re truly serious about competing in the Central–Nashville is spending $49.84M on its roster, the fourth lowest in the NHL. The team must all address D Shea Weber, who’s in the final year of his contract–if Weber walks, Suter is likely to do so as well, and vice versa. In 47 games this season, Suter has scored five goals and added 23 assists for 28 points with a plus-minus rating of +7. The Preds are currently in fifth place in the West with 64 points, but remains in the thick of the playoff race.
– According to the Vancouver Province, the Ducks will reportedly trade Hart Trophy winner F Corey Perry to the Canucks for G Cory Schneider, F Mason Raymond and D Keith Ballard. The deal doesn’t make sense for Anaheim unless someone gets moved for another big asset, so take this rumour with a grain of salt.
– According to a QMI Agency source, Leafs’ GM Brian Burke is considering complaining to CBC about Don Cherry’s criticism of Leafs’ head coach Ron Wilson. Cherry claimed that Wilson didn’t care when troops were introduced during an appreciation day on January 14. The unnamed source said, “He is furious at the comment Cherry made about Ron Wilson not applauding for the troops and for other things too. He is fiercely loyal to his guys.” Burke declined to speak on the issue during the All-Star Game. Grapes laughed off rumors that Burke might talk to Cherry’s bosses. “If it’s true, he’s got to get in line to get me because there are lots of people who seem to want to.”
– The Flames have traded F Brendan Morrison to the Blackhawks for D Brian Connelly. Morrison, 36, has just four goals and 11 points in 28 games this season, but could centre the second line. Connely, 25, has five goals and 31 assists in 44 games this season in the AHL. Morrison, an impending UFA, brings nice playoff experience with him at the very least–he has been to the postseason nine times with six different teams.
– NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the Blue Jackets will host the 2013 NHL All-Star Game, and that the league signed a 3-year deal to keep NHL Awards show in Las Vegas.
– The Giants have officially signed RHP Tim Lincecum to a 2-year/$40.5M contract, avoiding arbitration. The new deal will cover his final two years of arbitration and take him into free agency following the 2013 season. Lincecum, 27, has a 2.98 ERA and two National League Cy Young awards over his first five seasons in the big leagues.
– Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports that RHP Roy Oswalt has elected to stay in the National League and is likely to sign with the Cardinals “soon.” Edes previously reported that Oswalt was headed to the Cards, but he was told by a source that a deal is “not 100%.” Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are insisting no deal is in place.
– According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, RHP Brad Penny is “weighing an opportunity” to pitch for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League. The 33-year-old posted a poor 5.30 ERA and 74/62 K/BB ratio over 181 2/3 innings last season for the Tigers.
– The Mets have signed INF Matt Tuiasosopo to a minor league contract. The 25-year-old hit .226 with 14 homers and 77 RBIs in 439 at-bats last season with Seattle’s triple-A Tacoma farm team.
– According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, the Lakers have expressed interest in UFA G Gilbert Arenas. A signing like this could be incredible given what Arenas is capable of, but it seems more likely to fail than thrive.
– The Broncos have hired ex-Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio as DC. JDR should be an excellent fit in Denver, as he reunites with head coach John Fox when the two were with the Panthers in 2002.
– The player rep for free agent WR Stevie Johnson reiterated Friday that the Bills have yet to approach him about a contract extension. Agent C.J. LaBoy said, ”We did speak to them following (GM) Buddy (Nix)’s press conference. But we have had no contract talks…The Bills have options. They can use the franchise tag on him, they can negotiate an extension, or they can let him walk. It is no secret where Stevie’s heart is, but … he has to do what is best for his family.”
– Hulk Hogan recently spoke to Examiner.com in an attempt to clarify his controversial comments about Bobby Roode “not being ready” to hold the TNA World title, days before Roode was set to headline TNA’s biggest PPV of the year, Bound For Glory. Hogan said that he didn’t think Roode had what was needed as a babyface and needed to go heel to get that extra edge:
“It was my opinion, and it was a simple gut feeling to do what was best for the company I was sitting watching Roode’s parents saying what a great son he is and his wife saying what a great husband he is and his kids saying what a great dad he is. He’s the ultimate good guy. He’s going to win the belt! But, then what? Who does he wrestle? So, I sat back and thought, ‘You guys have just done one of the best old school wrestling angles I’ve ever seen.’”
“[Turning Roode heel] give him that extra spice – then he’ll have everyone to work with, rather than throw him out there and set him up for failure.”
“It was just me trying to take a step back, throwing in my two cents. They didn’t have to do it – I didn’t make anyone do anything. It just makes sense.”
Hulk Hogan also took a few shots at the Ultimate Warrior during an interview with the UK’s Sports Vibe , calling Warrior an “idiot” who was never one of the “boys” and was in the business strictly for the money. Regarding Warrior, Hogan said:
“.. You can’t do business with him, he really never loved this business, some of us have the business in our veins like Ric Flair, Vince McMahon, Macho Man and myself. That’s what we are, we can’t move without this business. I think the Ultimate Warrior came in just to make money and he only lasted a couple of years, then when he left, he tried to do independent things but would screw the promoter’s over.”
“He’s really not what we would call one of the boys. The last time I saw the Ultimate Warrior, he was at my house spending time with my family, having a great time. Then all of a sudden I haven’t seen him for 10-years and I see all this crazy stuff he was putting on Twitter. Someone must of hit him in the head with a brick or something.”
“You just have to ignore him because he’s an idiot and you can’t do business with him. I can just pray for him and feel sorry for him, the guy is messed up, so there isn’t going to be a Twitter wrestling match between me and him because he might not show up or he might do something crazy. I’m into doing positive good things, I don’t need that crap.”
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated his blog, which you can read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights of what JR wrote about:
His Pick For Royal Rumble Winner: “Come on folks, if I really thought that I knew would I spoil it for others? Hardest PPV bout of the year to predict a winner and to commentate. The story changes approximately every 60 seconds until it’s nut cutting time to decide the winner. I do expect some interesting swerves and curves during the match and am looking forward to watching it on PPV.”
CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler: “Has the chance to really be special. Would love to see 30 minutes plus between these two. Raw GM ‘referee’ stip is intriguing as well. I’m not generally a fan of ‘special referees’ but Funkhauser has my interest.”
The Brightest Minds He’s Been Around In Wrestling: “Short answer, there have been many. Vince McMahon and Bill Watts are in rarified air in my eyes. Pat Patterson, Dusty Rhodes, Paul Heyman and Jim Cornette are all amazingly gifted in that regard as well. There have been many ‘great minds’ in the biz. However, someone is ALWAYS left off a list of ‘the best’ type lists which causes consternation and debate. I’d rather not ruffle anyone’s feathers or hurt feelings just for the hell of answering a question.”
A Creative Idea He Pitched That Wasn’t Used: “Years ago, I threw an idea on the table to have an Undertaker vs. Mankind PPV bout, prior to the Boiler Room Brawl or what ever it was called, on Alcatraz Island. We couldn’t get it cleared legally at that time to do it. It was a rough idea with no final, final details and in hindsight might not have been one of my better suggestions. However, it did sound good at the time and packed plenty of ‘sizzle.’”