– Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Wizards have fired head coach Flip Saunders. Saunders and the Wiz struggled out of the gate, beginning the year with a 2-15 record. Randy Wittman is expected to take over in the interim.
– The Blackhawks have placed F Jonathan Toews (left arm) on the IR. He will be replaced in the All-Star Game by Flyers’ F Scott Hartnell. Toews suffered what appeared to be a left arm or hand injury against Nashville on Saturday. Head coach Joel Quenneville said the injury is “not serious” and that Toews was not likley to participate in the ASG anyways. Toews is second in the NHL with 27 goals and ninth with 50 points. Hartnell is tied for sixth in the NHL with 25 goals. The 29-year-old recorded his second-career hat trick in a 6-5 SO loss to Boston on Sunday. He has five goals in his last two games.
– Capitals’ F Alex Ovechkin will not participate in the All-Star Game, according to GM George McPhee. Ovie reportedly feels that his appearance while suspended would be a distraction. Ovechkin was suspended 3 games for his hit on Penguins’ D Zbynek Michalek during Sunday’s game, but the suspension does not make him ineligible for the All-Star Game. Ovie has 20 goals and 39 points in 47 games this season. McPhee spoke to the media:
On Ovechkin missing the ASG: “He really doesn’t feel like he deserves to be there and doesn’t want to be a distraction. When he came in this morning, he said, ‘I’m a suspended player and I don’t deserve to be there.’”
On Ovechkin’s 3-game suspension: “We’re all disappointed. We didn’t anticipate a three-game suspension. We didn’t think it warranted that.”
– Senators’ F Jason Spezza spoke out about players wearing helmets during pre-game skate:
“As a kid growing up I liked to go to games and watching guys with their helmets off…I always dreamed about skating around with my helmet off.”
Ironically, Spezza took a puck to the face during pre-game. He left to get stitches, but returned in time to start the game.
– According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Rangers “believe they are out of the bidding” for 1B Prince Fielder. Rangers executives met with Fielder and his agent Scott Boras earlier this month, but that was before signing RHP Yu Darvish for over $110M. Fielder’s remaining options would seem to be the Nationals, Orioles and Mariners, with Washington currently hold the label of “front-runner.” The 27-year-old could sign as early as the end of the day Tuesday, according to Nightengale’s sources.
– DH Jorge Posada officially retired from baseball at a press conference Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. ”I could never wear another uniform. I will forever be a Yankee.” The 40-year-old was a five-time All-Star, collecting 1,664 hits, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBI during a 17-year major league career. He also won four World Series rings.
– Indians’ manager Manny Acta said Tuesday that RHP Fausto Carmona will miss spring training. Carmona was revealed to be faking his age and full name (Roberto Hernandez Heredia, and he’s 31 not 28) a few weeks ago in his native Dominican Republic. The Indians are trying to speed up his case, but he faces false identity charges and will have to resolve those before attempting to re-enter the United States. It could take several months.
– According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, veteran OF J.D. Drew is “very likely” to retire. Drew has struggled mightily to attract free agent interest this winter after batting just .222/.315/.302 in 2011 and appearing in only 81 games due to injuries. If he is indeed finished, the 36-year-old outfielder will finish with a cool .873 career OPS, 1,437 career hits and 242 career homers. He played for the Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers and Red Sox during a 14-year major league career.
– The Orioles have officially signed INF Wilson Betemit to a 2-year contract with a vesting option for 2014. Betemit, 30, batted .285/.343/.452 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 359 plate appearances last season between the Royals and Tigers. He’ll become the team’s new DH.
– Islanders’ prospect F Ryan Strome (broken nose) underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair a broken nose. The good news is that he won’t need a plate inserted for the other facial fractures he suffered, but is expected to miss 3 weeks. Strome took a sucker punch from Sudbury F Brody Silk on January 13. Silk was suspended 10 games for the punch. “I’ve only played  games, so this season has really flown by. I just want to get healthy and help my team go on a long playoff run,” said Strome.