– The remaining 36 players for the 2012 NHL All- Star Game were announced by the league Thursday, completing the roster for the January 29 contest in Ottawa. For the second year in a row, teams will be decided by a fantasy player draft – to be held January 26 – with the captains for each squad being announced next week.
Elected fan balloting: F Daniel Alfredsson (OTT), F Jason Spezza (OTT), F Milan Michalek (OTT), D Erik Karlsson (OTT), G Tim Thomas (BOS), D Dion Phaneuf (TOR).
Forwards: Corey Perry (ANA); Tyler Seguin (BOS); Jason Pominville (BUF); Jarome Iginla (CGY); Jonathan Toews (CHI); Patrick Kane (CHI); Marian Hossa (CHI); Jamie Benn (DAL); Pavel Datsyuk (DET); Mikko Koivu (MIN); John Tavares (NYI); Marian Gaborik (NYR); Claude Giroux (PHI); Evgeni Malkin (PIT), Logan Couture (SJ); Steven Stamkos (TB); Phil Kessel (TOR); Joffrey Lupul (TOR); Henrik Sedin (VAN); Daniel Sedin (VAN); and Alex Ovechkin (WAS).
Defencemen: Zdeno Chara (BOS); Brian Campbell (FLA); Ryan Suter (NAS); Shea Weber (NAS); Dan Girardi (NYR); Kimmo Timonen (PHI); Keith Yandle (PHX); Alex Edler (VAN); Dennis Wideman (WAS); and Dustin Byfuglien (WPG).
Goaltenders: Jimmy Howard (DET); Jonathan Quick (LA); Carey Price (MTL); Henrik Lundqvist (NYR); and Brian Elliott (STL).
Rookies: F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM); F Gabriel Landeskog (COL); F Adam Henrique (NJ); D Adam Larsson (NJ); F Luke Adam (BUF); D Justin Faulk (CAR); F Ryan Johansen (CBJ); F Craig Smith (NAS); F Sean Couturier (PHI); F Matt Read (PHI); F Cody Hodgson (VAN); and F Colin Greening (OTT).
– Capitals’ F Alex Ovechkin says he’s retired from the NHL Skills Competition during the All-Star break. Ovie added that he didn’t want to take part in the competition last year (when he ended up winning).
– Blue Jackets’ F R.J. Umberger (concussion-like symtpoms) is out indefinitely, according to interim coach Todd Richards. “That’s the way it goes sometimes, too. We had a tough emotional couple of days, a couple of travel days and days without a lot of sleep. Maybe you attribute it to that. And then when you get (back in to practice), start moving around and you start to realize … ‘You know what? I shouldn’t be feeling like this.’” The symptoms are believed to be the result of the elbow he received from Ducks’ F Jean-Francois Jacques on Sunday, even though Umberger played in Tuesday’s loss to Chicago.
– Hurricanes’ F Jeff Skinner (concussion) is expected to return this weekend. “I know what’s going on and we have to be patient. It’s been tough being patient to this point but there’s no point in rushing it. It’s obviously the smart thing to do. Obviously I want to be out there playing. But I think I understand the siutation we’re in right now.”
– Canadiens’ F Mike Cammalleri clarified his comments from last night when he appeared to call out his teammates. Cammalleri originally told La Presse’s Francois Gagnon:
“I can’t accept that we will display a losing attitude as we’re doing this year. We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it’s no wonder why we lose.”
On Thursday in Boston, Cammalleri clarified what he meant.
“Yesterday was a little bit crazy. I’m obviously not happy. It’s an emotional game and we’re sitting in 12th spot. It’s not fun to lose, you always want to win and you always want to do more.
“I made some comments after my interview yesterday. I thought they were pretty PC comments regarding the competitive advantage a winning team has in their mentality, and the lack thereof of a losing team. I didn’t think it was groundbreaking news.”
When asked by reporters on Thursday whether he felt he was misquoted, Cammalleri said, “I don’t have anything else to say today.”
He was also asked whether fans might interpret his comments as a sign he might want to be traded.
“I love Montreal. I’ve just built a house in Montreal. I love playing in Montreal. I think I’ve had somewhat of a love affair with this city. I know things can change pretty quick – but not for me. I really enjoy it here, my family loves it. I really enjoy what it means to play for the Montreal Canadiens.”
Teammate D Hal Gill was also asked to give his thoughts on Cammalleri’s comments.
“I don’t know exactly his statements, but until we win, we’re losers. I think that’s a tough message, maybe, but we’ve got to win games. We have to have that killer mentality to go out and to find a way to get wins, and until you do that, you’re a loser.”
F Max Pacioretty also had a chance to speak to Cammalleri about the issue:
“I heard his side of the story and it’s always a little bit different than what you read,” he said. “I think Mike has a good heart and wants to win games, we all do, and sometimes things get spun out of control – especially when we’re losing games.
“We’re behind Mike 100% and we’re behind everyone else on our team 100 per cent. We’ve got stick together right now and that’s going to help us win games.”
– Hawks’ F Al Horford (torn left pectoral) is expected to be out 3-4 months. Horford tore his left pectoral muscle in Wednesday night’s loss to the Pacers. It’s unknown if he’ll need surgery yet, but the team is “hopeful” he can return for the playoffs. Horford’s season ends after just 11 games. He averaged a disappointing 12.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
– Warriors’ F Kwame Brown (torn pectorals) will require surgery and is expected to miss at least 3 months, jeopardizing the remainder of his season. Brown was averaging 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game before the injury. The Warriors signed him to a 1-year/$7M contract in December.
– For those of you who love ESPN’s Sport Science, here’s a new video–one of the most ridiculous they’ve ever done. Enjoy:
– According to the Dallas Morning News, QB Jon Kitna has retired after 15 NFL seasons. The 39-year-old dealt with a back injury throughout the second half, and was placed on the IR in December. Kitna, undrafted out of Central Washington in 1997, threw for 29,745 yards, 169 touchdowns, and 165 interceptions in 141 NFL games with the Seahawks, Bengals, Lions and Cowboys. He’s expected to turn to high school teaching and coaching in his home town of Tacoma.
– MLB owners voted Thursday to extend commissioner Bud Selig’s contract through 2014. Selig, 77, has served as commissioner since 1992. He had stated his intentions to retire after 2012, but that’s obviously no longer the case. Selig released the following statement Thursday:
“I am very humbled by the request to stay on, and I look forward to building on the great momentum our game has seen in recent years. The focus is on the field, competitive balance is strong, and fans around the world are supporting our game in unprecedented fashion.”
– According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Indians have expressed interest in 1B Carlos Pena. Ownership was apparently asked permission to go after him, but they’ve yet to make a decision. Pena, who turns 34 in May, batted .225/.357/.462 with 28 home runs, 80 RBI and an .819 OPS over 606 plate appearances with the Cubs last season. Pena has also reportedly drawn interest from the Rays.
– Speaking to The Sun, Diamond Dallas Page says he has no regrets over the failed 2001 angle that saw him play a stalker who creepily tracked The Undertaker’s wife.
“It’s amazing to me how many people it bothered. They knew that I was a top guy and they didn’t use me correctly, but I agreed to it originally and that was a mistake. Vince and Shane McMahon told me coming in that they had this great idea and I was going to be working with their number one babyface. I didn’t really like it because it was about me stalking someone else’s wife. I would look across the table at Kim [Page's ex-wife, who posed for Playboy] and nobody could compare. It was ridiculous, it took out the believability factor. I get fans telling me they were upset with how WWE treated me but I say, ‘Dude, let it go!’ I already achieved everything I ever dreamed of.”
After retiring from wrestling, Page developed Yoga for Regular Guys Workout. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion says he recently cut a marketing and distribution deal with Warner Brothers that “would blow your mind.”
“But I’m only smart enough to cut that deal because I dropped the ball with WWE when I came in. I dropped it, I don’t blame Vince. I’ve got a lot of respect for Vince and everything he has done for the business. There are so many guys that have negative, bad feelings after they retire. You’ve heard them. I’m not living that as I lived a dream on so many different levels.”
– 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 said about:
Edge In The Hall of Fame: “Is Edge going into the WWE HOF ‘too early?’ Not in my view. I don’t know that a waiting period even exists, I’d suggest there is none, for going into the WWE HOF after retirement. It certainly didn’t apply to the King and I who both went in the HOF in 2007 while both still active. Edge is extremely deserving and when one examines his total body of work, it is incredible.”
Brodus Clay’s Debut: “Thought on Brodus Clay’s Raw debut? It certainly wasn’t what many fans obviously thought it was going to be. I think much too much has been made of it from a negative point of view. It was only week one and we were exposed to the new, updated ring persona for what, 6-8 minutes? I’m not smart enough to stamp something yeah or nay after 6-8 minutes but I do like Clay’s physicality and big man athleticism. How he is ‘gift wrapped’ is subjective but what he does bell to bell is always what counts most in my eyes. I’d suggest fans exhale and see how the persona evolves before continuing all the knee jerking. For the record, I am a fan of Brodus Clay.”
Flair At The Hall of Fame: “Do I think that Ric Flair will attend the WWE HOF Ceremony to join the Horsemen? Absolutely. I’d bet on it. This is merely my personal opinion but knowing Naitch as well and for as long as I have, I don’t see him missing this night no matter if he works elsewhere or not.”
– Former WWE star Luke Gallows (broken nose) stated Thursday on Twitter that he’s undergoing surgery today. “Ready for surgery on my broken nose….Ill release my “Brother Rating” afterward….regardless, Ill rock SC this wknd!”
– Former WWE announcer Todd Grisham, who now works as television anchor for ESPN, opened Wednesday night’s Highlight Express program on ESPNews by alerting viewers that he has a “yet to be passed kidney stone.”