– Oilers’ F Taylor Hall (face) suffered a deep cut during a pre-game skate when he slipped over a puck and collided into a teammate. D Corey Potter tried to jump over his fallen teammates, but end up getting his right skate above Hall’s eye. The cut required 30 stitches to close. No word yet on how long he’ll be out, but the situation could have been much, much worse. Head coach Tom Renney said,
“This is one of those fluky things. It just happens. Not much we can do about it.”
“You learn an awful lot about yourself and team under those type of circumstances. ‘Uncle’ on the learning part of it, maybe, but these are the cards we were dealt and we have to sit at the table and play.”
Hall has 15 goals and 16 assists with a minus-3 rating through 36 games this season. Here’s the video of the freak accident:
– Capitals’ GM George McPhee said that F Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) could return before the All-Star break. Backstrom was on the receiving end of a headshot on January 3, and has missed six games because of the injury. Washington’s final game before the break is next Tuesday against Boston, the Caps’ only home date in a seven-game span that starts Wednesday at Montreal. Backstrom is 13-29-42 in 38 games.
– Penguins’ D Kris Letang (concussion) joined his teammates for morning practice on Tuesday for the first time in 2 months. Letang, who has been out since November 26, could rejoin the team prior to the January 26-30 All-Star break.
“It’s been a rough time, honestly sitting at home. Watching my teammates play is kind of boring.”
“(Tuesday) might be too soon, but we’ll see how the week goes. I want to play as quick as I can play. Obviously, sooner is better.”
“We spent a lot of time together, we watched the games together. We talked about it, but like every concussion for everybody is different. … It was a small chat, there’s nothing you can do about it.”
– Blackhawks’ F Dan Carcillo (torn left ACL) underwent successful surgery today and is expected to miss 6 months. Carcillo was helped off the ice after he launched Edmonton’s Tom Gilbert into the boards during the second period of the Oilers’ 4-3 victory Jan. 2. The 26-year-old received a major boarding penalty and a game misconduct for the hit and was later suspended for seven games. Carcillo had two goals, nine assists and 82 penalty minutes in 28 games in his first season with Chicago.
– The Blue Jackets have placed F R.J. Umberger (concussion-like symptoms) on the IR. Umberger, who last played January 10, is considered week-to-week. The 29-year-old is 7-11-18 in 42 games.
– The Giants have signed 3B Pablo Sandoval to a 3-year/$17.15M contract, avoiding arbitration. The deal covers all three of his arbitration seasons and includes some incentives. He’ll make $3.2M this season, $5.7M in 2013 and $8.25M in 2014. The 25-year-old hit .315/.357/.552 with 23 home runs, 70 RBI and a .909 OPS over 117 games.
– Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes told the Dionisio Soldevila of the AP that the Cubs have shown the most interest in him. ”Of all the teams that have approached us, the one that has had the most interest in me has been the Chicago Cubs. I have had dinner a couple of times (with Cubs officials) and we have talked a lot, but that doesn’t mean that I am going to sign with them. I am only telling it like it is, they have shown more interest than others.” The 26-year-old told Soldevila last week that the Cubs, Marlins, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers and Indians are in the mix. Cespedes has struggled while playing in the Dominican Winter League, but competition is still expected to be fierce once he is granted free agency by MLB.
– Giants’ RHP Tim Lincecum requested $21.5M and was offered $17M by the club when arbitration figures were exchanged Tuesday. It tops the previous record for the highest arbitration request by a player with less than six years of service time, beating Yankees’ SS Derek Jeter’s $18.5M request in 2001. Lincecum’s camp is reportedly aiming for a 1 or 2-year deal this offseason, while the Giants would prefer a 4-year contract that would buy out his first two years of free agency.
– According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, Tigers’ DH Victor Martinez (knee) suffered a torn ACL during winter conditioning and could miss the 2012 season if the injury requires surgery. Martinez, 30, had a .330/.380/.470 batting line with 12 home runs and 103 RBI in 145 games last season.
– The Phillies have signed LHP Cole Hamels to a 1-year/$15M contact, avoiding arbitration. Hamels, 28, registered a 2.79 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 31 starts last season, striking out 194 batters in 216 innings for the NL East champion Phillies.
– The Brewers have signed RHP Francisco Rodriguez to a 1-year/$8M contract, avoiding arbitration. The Brewers were hoping that K-Rod would reject their arbitration offer this winter and sign elsewhere as a free agent, thus netting the team a draft pick. He posted a 2.64 ERA and 79/26 K/BB ratio in 71 2/3 innings between New York and Milwaukee.
– The Rays have signed OF B.J. Upton to a 1-year/$7M contract, avoiding arbitration. The deal includes some performance-based incentives based on plate appearances. Upton, 27, hit .243/.331/.429 with 23 home runs, 81 RBI, 36 stolen bases and a .759 OPS. He can hit the free agent market next offseason.
– The Red Sox have signed OF Jacoby Ellsbury toa 1-year/$8.05M contract, avoiding arbitration. Ellsbury, 28, hit .321/.376/.552 with 32 homers, 105 RBI, 39 stolen bases, 119 runs scored and .928 OPS last season. He was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter.
– Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw requested $10M and was offered $6.5M by the club when arbitration figures were exchanged Tuesday. The figure submitted by Kershaw would tie him with Phillies’ 1B Ryan Howard for a player in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Kershaw should see a nice raise after winning the National League Cy Young Award last season.
– According to Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports, the D’Backs have signed LHP Joe Saunders to a 1-year/$6M contract. Saunders was non-tendered by the D-Backs in December due to his $8-9M projected salary via the arbitration process, but the club remained interested in bringing him back at a lesser salary. The 30-year-old posted a 3.69 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over 31 starts last season.
– Red Sox’ OF Carl Crawford (left wrist) underwent minor surgery Tuesday to have cartilage removed. Crawford posted a disappointing .255/.289/.405 batting line with 11 home runs, 18 stolen bases and 56 RBI across 130 games in 2011.
– The Brewers have signed OF Norichika Aoki to a 2-year contract with a club option for 2014. Aoki, 30, had a .329 lifetime batting average in Japan and was a three-time Central League batting champion. He’s expected to serve as the team’s fourth outfielder.
– The Colts have fired head coach Jim Caldwell. Indy finished 30th in the NFL at just 286.8 yards per game without QB Peyton Manning (neck) this season. The Colts’ rebuild continues.
– The Chicago Tribune reports the Raiders have requested permission to interview Bears’ OC Mike Tice for their head-coaching vacancy. The Bears just promoted Tice from OL coach to OC on January 6. After taking over as interim coach late in the 2001 season, he led the Vikings to a 32-33 record before being fired in 2005, making the playoffs just once. He’s the sixth known candidate the Raiders have asked permission to interview.
– Ex-Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo will reportedly meet with the Saints on Wednesday.
– The Miami Herald reports Bengals’ DC Mike Zimmer is no longer under consideration for the Dolphins head coaching vacancy. According to the Herald’s sources, Zimmer might have been “too blunt and honest for the Dolphins’ liking.” The Dolphins finalists are interim coach Todd Bowles, Broncos’ OC Mike McCoy, and Packers’ OC Joe Philbin. All three are expected to interview for a second time this week.
– The Raiders will reportedly interview Eagles’ OC Marty Mornhinweg for their head coaching vacancy.
– The Falcons have hired ex-Dolphins DC Mike Nolan as DC. Nolan has had two consecutive strong years running the ‘Fins’ defence.
– The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office lists “Dandre Kirkpatrick” in its arrest logs as having been charged with possession of under 20 grams of marijuana on Tuesday, January 17. Kirkpatrick, who appears clearly to be Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick, is listed at 6-foot-2, 180 and as having been born on the same date (October 26, 1989) as the top-20 draft prospect. The log says Kirkpatrick was bonded out of jail for $120. Kirkpatrick did not have any known off-field issues during his three years at Alabama.
– UFC President Dana White defended the UFC after an ESPN Outside the Lines’ upcoming documentary, where former fighter Ken Shamrock takes some shots at the company. Check it out:
– Wizards’ F JaVale McGee had a nice self alley-oop when he passed himself the ball off the backboard before a big two-hander. McGee was immediately benched for the rest of the game, with his teammates saying that the flamboyant finish was unnecessary. Head coach Flip Saunders said,
“I told him that’s unacceptable. Maybe I’m too old-school, but you see that and the [lobbying] for the All-Star Game, that right there is where we have to get to where we identify with meat and potato basketball. Playing hard, setting screens, playing the right way, and not highlight-type play. We’ve said this many times. We have some players that look for highlights instead of substance.”
– WWE officials are hopeful that Christian (ankle) will be cleared to return from injury in time for the Royal Rumble. He has been sidelined since November 9.
– Actor Liam Neeson was asked during the press junket for The Grey about a rumor that he’s in talks to portray Vince McMahon in the upcoming Chris Benoit biopic Crossface. The Grey director Joe Carnahan answered first, telling Neeson,
“I can’t see you doing that dude. No, I never heard of [the movie].”
Neeson added that he has no interest in the role, largely because he knows very little about the WWE CEO, almost nothing about Benoit, and is not a fan of professional wrestling. Crossface was announced last month. Casting is underway and production is set to begin this fall.
– WWE announced Tuesday morning that Matthew Korklan, who performs as Evan Bourne, has been suspended for 60 days for his second violation of the company’s Talent Wellness Program. The Raw Superstar went on Twitter to apologize to fans for his latest infraction.
“Sorry y’all. Sometimes we become our own worst enemy.”
During Sunday’s Raw Live Event at Oakland’s Oracle Center, Bourne and Kofi Kingston lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to Primo and Epico. The high-flying duo lost to the Tag Team Champions in short order in their rematch on Monday’s Raw SuperShow.
Former WWE announcer Todd Grisham posted the following message about Bourne:
“Shocked about Evan Bourne. Once could be chalked up to a bad decision…twice and there’s a real problem. Hope he gets well. Great guy.”
– The official website of the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia is advertising The Rock for the March 26, 2012 Raw SuperShow. This will be the final Raw before WrestleMania XXVIII.
– Jim Ross has published a new blog entry on his official website, www.jrsbarbq.com. Highlights are as follows:
The Royal Rumble Match: “I always thought more could be made, I’m looking at the mirror quite honestly on this one, of the fact that there are only 30 spots available for the Royal Rumble Match. While other attractive matches are generally booked for the PPV, nothing really compares to the Rumble match and what winning it provides the last man standing in the ring.”
Brodus Clay: “Brodus Clay maximized his minutes last week on Raw and Smackdown. I’m told that the reaction that he received on the road this week was positive. The red attire, the dancing and the ladies who accompany him are the ‘sizzle’ in Clay’s TV persona but rest assured that the super heavyweight can deliver the ‘steak’ from bell to bell which is where, over the long haul, he will make his money.”
Sunday’s WWE Tag Team Championship change: “The WWE Tag Titles changed hands at a non televised, live event this weekend in Oakland. That sent a message that “anything can occur at a WWE live event” and that the tag titles perhaps are on the cusp of becoming more meaningful.”
Edge wrestling one more match: “For Edge fans longing for Edge to have the seemingly obligatory “One More Match,” I hope that educated fans realize that medically that would be a major mistake for all involved.”
Can Mick Foley Still Wrestle?: ” I don’t think that Mick will return as a full-time or likely not even a part time wrestler. If we saw Mrs. Foley’s baby boy once or twice a year in his wrestling gear, I’d suggest that would be enough. There are so many positive things that Mick can do for WWE other than just wrestle.”
Legends House: “I see ‘trainwreck’ written all over this show especially when one considers the fact that the people chosen will be in the same house, isolated apparently from their loved ones, for likely 4-6 weeks. Being a reality show fan, I see amazing potential in this concept.”
Working With Joey Styles: “Will @JoeyStyles and JR ever call a match together?’ Likely not on weekly TV, but perhaps we might get to do something together on the WWE Network. We’ve discussed working together at some point when the platform and the time is right.”
Evan Bourne’s Wellness Policy Violation: “Obviously unfortunate for the talent. Two strikes are never good but I want to make it clear that I know zero details.. Nonetheless, this matter is being taken seriously as it should be and is terribly perplexing why a talent would travel the same road again.”
– ImpactWrestling.com has removed Jackie Moore, Jesse Neal and Toxxin from their wrestler roster page. This would confirm their respective departures from TNA Wrestling late last year.
Moore stated on November 28, 2011 via Twitter that she parted ways with TNA Wrestling due to her contract expiring. She returned to the company last June alongside ODB under the guise of outsiders, with the duo promising to clean up the Knockouts division. In August, Moore and ODB abandoned their villainous antics in order to gain contracts with the promotion. After several weeks of working as babyfaces, they were signed to contracts by the new head of the Knockouts division, Karen Jarrett. Moore, however, did not appear for TNA again.
Neal made his final TNA appearance on the December 15, 2011 episode of Impact Wrestling, where he was DDT’d onto concrete floor by Gunner and consequently stretchered out of the Impact Wrestling Zone. Neal parted ways with TNA after organization officials asked him to relocate from Florida to Louisville, Kentucky to further his wrestling training in Ohio Valley Wrestling. He was unable to comply with their request because the money they were offering “wasn’t even anything close to live on.”
Toxxin is Neal’s real-life girlfriend, who was brought in September to combat Rosita and Sarita in Ink Inc.’s feud with Mexican America. Neal stated during a podcast interview that Toxxin, who appears as Christina Von Eerie on the independent wrestling circuit, was never under contract to the organization. Her departure was expected after Neal parted ways with TNA.