– Canucks’ G Roberto Luongo said today that he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause if he’s asked to do so. Luongo, 33, signed a 12-year/$64M contract extension with the team in 2009. RFA G Corey Schneider is expected to have any offers matched in order to retain him, essentially making Luongo available via trade.
“It’s going to be what’s best for the team. Whatever scenario that is, I’m okay with it – whether that involves me being here or not is okay. We’ve got a lot of potential in this locker room, there’s a great core of guys, and the chance to do something special.”
“They’ve got a guy [Schneider] here that is going to be a superstar in this league for the next 10, 12, 15 years. It is a business and that’s the way it goes. I loved being here the last six years. I think my career has really taken off and we did some incredible things. If I’m here in the future, then great. If I’m not, that’s good also.”
“I don’t want to be one of those guys that will stand in the way of anything, I always want to put the team ahead of me and not be one of those selfish guys. There haven’t been any decisions made, but over the course of the next little while we’ll talk to Mike (Gillis) and make that decision.”
– Senators’ F Milan Michalek will not be disciplined for his kick on Rangers’ D Dan Girardi during Game 6. According to NHL.com, NHL senior vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan called Michalek and issued a warning. Michalek appeared to push Girardi away with his skate in front of the net during the final minutes of the game.
– Canucks’ GM Mike Gillis explained the reasoning behind the trade that sent F Cody Hodgson to the Sabres.
“There clearly were issues that were ongoing. I spent more time on Cody’s issues than every other player combined on our team the last three years.”
Gillis also stated that leading up to the deadline, the club increased Hodgson’s minutes in order to increase his trade value.
“We built him into something we could move. There were six young players that I would have traded him for if any of them were ever made available. One was made available at the trade deadline and it was Zack.
“I don’t regret that trade. I’d do it today”
Hodgson, who was taken 10th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, scored 19 goals and 22 assists in 83 games this season between the Cancucks and Sabres.
– Penguins’ F Sidney Crosby has turned down an invitation to play at the World Hockey Championship. Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson says his client wants to spend next four months training and working towards next season. Because of his concussion issues, Crosby wasn’t able to train last summer as aggressively as he would have liked and given his ongoing issues in season, he wants to make sure he’s 100% ready for training camp. The 24-year-old, who has represented Canada at the World Junior Championship, World Championship and the Winter Olympics in years past, had eight goals and 37 points in 22 NHL games this season.
“Typically, I’d be there in a second, but this isn’t a normal situation and this isn’t me trying to hide away from the world championships. I love playing for Team Canada. Anyone who is questioning that right now obviously doesn’t know me or aren’t thinking right.”
– The Hurricanes have re-signed F Jiri Tlusty to a 2-year/$3.2M contract worth $1.5M next season and $1.7M in 2013-14. Tlusty, 24, posted career highs in games played (79), goals (17), assists (19) and points (36) in 2011-12.
– According to MLive.com, Red Wings’ assistant GM Jim Nill has turned down the chance to become Canadiens’ GM. Nill explained to mlive.com’s Ansar Khan that it was not the right time to go because of an illness in his family. According to the Michigan-based news website, Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch gave Nill permission and his full blessing to speak to the Canadiens after the club called to talk with him. Nill has been the an assistant GM in Detroit under Ken Holland for 14 seasons and is highly regarded as an NHL executive ready to make a move up to become a general manager. While Nill doesn’t have an out clause in his contract this season, there are different out clauses in each of the four remaining years of his contract.
“I had two great talks with Montreal. I was interested, they were interested. But it’s not the right time.”
“My goal is to become a general manager. There will be opportunities down the road.”
– According to the Wrestling Observer, WWE plugged a WWE.com article on RAW speculating whether Chris Jericho is the company’s new “Cerebral Assassin,” a nickname Triple H has been using for years. While it appears that WWE might be setting up a Jericho vs. Triple H feud, there are currently no plans to bring Triple H back to television on a regular basis.
– According to the PWInsider, WWE Hall of Famer Edge was at RAW to negotiate a new “Legends” contract. Edge’s WWE contract is expiring soon, and WWE reportedly tried to lowball him on an offered deal. While the exact figure that WWE offered Edge is not yet known, it’s believed that Shawn Michaels makes around $300K annually from WWE under his current deal. It’s said that the contract WWE offered recently Edge wasn’t even offered close to what Michaels makes. No word yet on how Monday night’s contract negotiations went.
– According to the PWInsider, while Beth Phoenix appeared to be legitimately injured on last night’s RAW Supershow, the “injury” was an angle – and the plan for her to drop the Divas Title to Nikki Bella has been in place for several weeks now. WWE wanted to get the Divas Title off Beth Phoenix to pave the way for Kharma’s upcoming return. Kharma is slated to be Divas champion very soon, and WWE wanted to put the title on Kharma without her having to go through Beth Phoenix yet. As recent as last week, Nikki Bella was supposed to win the Divas title at Extreme Rules and then get destroyed by Kharma the next night on RAW. As we saw on RAW, Nikki Bella won the Divas title earlier than expected. There is still a chance that Kharma will return on RAW next week and destroy the Bella Twins, which would explain their rumoured departure from the company. Whether or not the Bella Twins negotiate a new deal and decide to stay with WWE, a Divas title feud between Kharma and Beth Phoenix is brewing.
WWE.com spoke with the doctor that treated the Glamazon following her injury:
“It looks like she affected her anterior talofibular ligament, which is the most common injured ankle ligament on an inversion injury. She has some swelling, [and] she’s having a hard time walking or ambulating on it. We’re going to need an MRI just to make sure there’s nothing else going on and see how we can treat it – if we need surgery or if we can do it conservatively.”
Phoenix was less than two weeks away from becoming the longest reigning Divas champion in history before her loss. She tweeted the following statement on Tuesday morning
“Thank you to everyone that helped me thru the airport this morning. Will keep every posted on MRI and xray results. Believe me…nothing hurts worse than my heart right now after the loss and even worse thought of missing competition. But i have been bere before, and if there is one thing Beth Phoenix knows how to do, it’s rise from the ashes. The title will be mine again. #unbreakable.”
Nikki Bella wrote on Twitter last night that “The Bella Era” has begun and that “Naughty Nikki” has arrived. She also thanked fans for their support:
“Thank you #BellaArmy for your support! Hope I made you proud tonight! I’m DIVAS CHAMPION! Finally! Can’t tell you how I feel right now! #RAW”
– After Monday’s RAW Supershow from Detroit went off the air, WWE Champion CM Punk and John Cena defeated Chris Jericho and Kane in a tag team dark match. Making light of his sobriety test earlier in the show, Punk staggered during the bout and acted ‘CM Drunk.’ After the match, the WWE locker room – including Vince McMahon and Triple H – appeared on stage to celebrate Cena’s 35th birthday. Punk and Triple H lead the Superstars and Divas in a singing of “Happy Birthday” to Cena. Triple H then asked The Great Khali to sing “Happy Birthday” to Cena one more time, which he did. The WWE Divas then piled on Cena in the middle of the ring – and there’s video of the whole scene below:
– According to the F4WOnline, the decision to release Andy Leavine from his WWE developmental deal was made a few weeks ago. WWE management felt that he was not improving in the ring and decided to cut their losses with him. WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin, who was one of the judges on the Season of Tough Enough that Leavine won, tweeted the following regarding his release:
“Big Andy won Tough Enough. All day long and twice on Sunday. Thanks for your passion and opinions. Like it or not…He won. End of story.”
– Monday’s 3-hour RAW Supershow from Detroit scored a 3.0 cable rating with 4,388,000 viewers over the full three hours. The hourly ratings were of 2.48, 3.22 and 3.41. Looking at the final two hours (RAW’s usual timeslot), RAW did a 3.3 cable rating with 4,752,000 viewers – which is up from the previous week and a strong sign of momentum heading into Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Monday’s show ranked #2 on cable in terms of social media activity for the evening, according to Trendrr.tv.
– UFC President Dana White spoke with MMAJunkie.com over the weekend about Brock Lesnar’s return to WWE:
“It was always upfront and said in his deal that he could do the WWE. Everything we did with that guy, nothing ever leaked out of that camp, ever leaks out of that camp. Those guys did a deal with (WWE promoter) Vince (McMahon), and I guarantee you Vince said, ‘Keep this a secret. Don’t tell anybody.’ And he did. He never said anything. He didn’t call me. I sent them a text and said, ‘Congrats on your deal. I’ll be watching.’ [Expletive] never got nothing back. They didn’t respond and say, ‘Hey, thanks we’re pumped.’ They just did their thing.”
White also said he watched Lesnar’s return to RAW and enjoyed it.
“For what they do, it’s cool. I’m happy for him. The fact that the guy came over here, did what he did in the WWE, came here and did what he did here, now he’s back over there. Good for him and good for them.”
– According to F4WOnline, Vince McMahon is said to be a huge fan of Eve Torres, which is the reason she was promoted on RAW as the new Executive Administrator to General Manager John Laurinaitis. Eve has been one of his favorite Divas for a long time.
– WrestleMania 28 main eventer Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in Las Vegas this week to take part in Paramount’s CinemaCon presentation (accepting the ”Action Star of the Decade” award) and to promote the new movie GI Joe: Retaliation. The Rock is currently filming Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain, the film that is based on the The film is based on the true story of the “Sun Gym Gang,” a pair of bodybuilders named Daniel Lugo and Adrien Doorbal, who led an extortion and kidnapping plot before being arrested. Johnson is playing Paul Doyle, a barman who got caught up in his friend’s plans.
“(Michael Bay is) a brilliant, brilliant filmmaker, to be able to take that spirit and engage it in a passion project that he loves. I have had the greatest time playing this character, because the craziest part about this is that every day when I wrap … whether it’s 3:00 in the morning or 6:00 at night … I go home thinking, Jesus Christ, this shit really happened, all this crazy shit happened.‘
Check out the trailer for the film:
– Indy promotion Vendetta Pro Wrestling announced on their website that one of their wrestlers, Austin Draven, has signed a developmental deal with with WWE.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, WWE is now one of the top earners for YouTube. The new partnership between the two companies has been very rewarding for both sides. In an unprecedented move, WWE is now publishing RAW videos on their channel as the show airs on the East Coast – before it airs on the West Coast.
– Wade Barrett’s Twitter account has apparently been taken over by his lawyer. Barrett’s account tweeted on Monday night:
“Due to a number of factors, Mr. Barrett has signed the administration of this account over to his attorney for the foreseeable future. Mr. Barrett will be making no further comment at this stage. Regards, Peter Lazarou, Esq.”
Barrett is still injured and is expected to be out of action until around Summerslam.
– Josh Mathews is in “stable condition” after he was attacked by Brock Lesnar on RAW. WWE’s Dr. Michael Sampson was interviewed by the company website and said Matthews is going to be undergoing an MRI this week:
“When [Josh] was thrown through the set, he did land and twisted his neck, and he’s experiencing some neck stiffness, tightness. [We want] to make sure there’s no other serious damage other than just a neck sprain, which is a good sign.”
– Rosa Mendes tweeted the following after RAW about tag team champions Primo and Epico not getting the respect they deserve:
“Lots of action on #Raw tonight, we still aren’t getting the RESPECT we deserve! We are tag team champs para Siempre!”
On RAW, Abraham Washington confronted the tag champs backstage and expressed the same frustration to the champs and tried convincing them to let him represent them.
– Panthers’ WR Steve Smith revealed Tuesday that one Saints defender, as well as former DC Gregg Williams, admitted to dirty tactics and trying to injure opposing players. ”I was going out of bounds, and the guy went for my ankle. I said, ‘Hey, man, cut that out.’ He’s like, ‘Well, we get fined if we don’t go after your legs when you go out of bounds.’ And actually this past year, this last game when we played them, I had a little conversation with Gregg Williams. … He took responsibility, he was saying it wasn’t right, but that’s who he was.”
– Colts’ GM Ryan Grigson confirmed Tuesday they will select Stanford QB Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in the draft. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported last Thursday that the Colts had informed Luck he would be their pick. QB Robert Griffin III is the consensus pick at No. 2 to the Redskins.
– Patriots’ franchise WR Wes Welker said Tuesday he’s “probably not going to” attend the Patriots’ mandatory June minicamp. ”I’m thinking I’m probably not going to, but things could change. It’s really not a route I thought I’d ever take, because it’s not me. I feel like it’s just kind of been the spot I’ve been put in.” Welker is already skipping Patriots’ voluntary workouts. The sides have until July 16 to work out a deal. NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora recently reported Welker will “most likely” play out 2012 under the franchise tag.
– Dolphins’ WR Davone Bess (torn ACL/MCL) revealed Tuesday that he suffered a partially torn ACL, in addition to a torn MCL in the 2011 season finale. Bess spent the early offseason rehabbing in Florida. He was able to participate in Tuesday’s minicamp practice, so he should be healthy by training camp.
– The Falcons have signed franchise CB Brent Grimes to a 1-year/$10.281M contract. Grimes skipped the beginning of the team’s offseason program. The sides have until July 16 to reach a long-term agreement.
– According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the hangup to a potential CB Asante Samuel trade to the Falcons is Samuel’s contract, not compensation for the Eagles. The Falcons remain interested despite Brent Grimes signing his franchise tender. The two sides are believed to have settled on a late-round pick as compensation. Samuel is willing to restructure his contract, but isn’t willing to take a significant paycut for 2012. The Eagles want Samuel moved before the draft begins Thursday evening.
– The Vikings have signed WR Jerome Simpson to a 1-year contract. Appearing in all 16 games for the first time in his career last season, he reached career highs across the board with 50 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns. Simpson will be suspended for the first three games of the season for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse, and will spend 15 days in jail.
– The Bills are reportedly “extremely interested” in Alabama S Mark Barron and South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore, according to WGR 550 Buffalo. The team sees Barron as a “playmaker” and a “day-one starter” for their defensive scheme. Joe Buscaglia expects the No. 10 pick to come down to Barron or Gilmore.
– According to NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora, some teams are now considering a trade up to No. 5 to jump ahead of the Rams for fast-rising DT Fletcher Cox. NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell calls Cox the best overall defensive lineman in the draft, with the “natural athleticism and body flexibility to develop into a quality pass rusher.” Stay tuned.
– Lakers’ F Metta World Peace has been suspended 7 games for his elbow to the head of Thunder’ F James Harden on Sunday. MWP will miss the Lakers’ season finale on Thursday, and the first six games of their opening series in the playoffs. Harden was diagnosed with a concussion on the play. MWP has now been suspended a total of 103 games in his career.
– Knicks’ G Jeremy Lin (right knee) is experiencing swelling in his knee and is “at least 3 weeks away” from returning, a source tells the NY Post. Because Lin’s meniscus tear was of “lateral,” it takes longer to rehab than a “medial” tear. Stay tuned.
– Celtics’ G Ray Allen (ankle) says that bone spurs are a part of his ongoing injuries. Head coach Doc Rivers previously called Allen’s injury not of the serious variety, but he hasn’t played since April 10. “It’s still being a little troublesome, but it’s getting better,” he said. Allen ran on it for the first time in a few days on Monday.
– Sixers’ F Thaddeus Young, F Andre Iguodala and F Elton Brand (rest) will not travel with the team or play in the final two regular season games.
– Red Sox’ manager Bobby Valentine said OF Carl Crawford’s (left elbow) injury is still a concern, and that the team is “still gathering information.” Crawford was examined in Boston Tuesday, but the results aren’t known. Crawford had been slated to return in early May, but it’s possible the elbow might push that timetable back.
– According to ESPN NY’s Adam Rubin, the Mets believe RHP Mike Pelfrey (right elbow) has a partially torn UCL. Tommy John reconstructive surgery, the best way to fix the problem, would sidelined Pelfrey into the 2013 season. The 28-year-old is getting a second opinion before deciding what to do.
– Phillies’ 1B Ryan Howard (Achilles) was advised to “limit his activities” for one more week to allow his wound to heal by specialists on Monday. The Phillies were hoping Howard would get clearance Monday to ramp up his baseball activities. The full statement from GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. reads: “After seeing the wound specialist in Philadelphia yesterday, Ryan Howard’s wound has gotten smaller and is healing. We’ve been advised to limit his activities for one more week to allow it to continue to heal. We hope that he will be able to re-start his baseball activities thereafter.”
– Nationals’ 3B Ryan Zimmerman (right shoulder) will be sent to get an MRI. Zimmerman still feels sore when hitting, but is fine throwing. Manager Davey Johnson admitted that Zimmerman could miss a week or so. He already hasn’t played since Friday, and could require a DL stint.
– Brewers’ LHP Chris Narveson (left shoulder) confirmed Tuesday that he’ll require season-ending surgery. Narveson was placed on the DL last week with a tear in his left rotator cuff. The 30-year-old allowed seven earned runs, four walks and 10 hits in nine innings this year.
– Yankees’ RHP Michael Pineda (right shoulder weakness) will get a second opinion Wednesday from Dr. David Altchek. Pineda underwent a dye-contrast MRI on Monday, but wants another opinion before any sort of diagnosis is revealed. The 23-year-old hasn’t made his Yankees’ debut. He was recently shut down at extended spring training.
– The Mets have placed OF Jason Bay (nondisplaced fractured left rib) on the 15-day DL. Bay suffered the injury while attempting to make a diving catch during the second game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Giants.
– Blue Jays’ RHP Sergio Santos (shoulder) is on a “no throw” program for 10-14 days after an MRI showed no structural damage. He appears to just be dealing with some inflammation in the shoulder. He’ll be reevaluated after the 10-14 day period, at which time he could be cleared to resume throwing.
– Mets’ OF Andres Torres (calf) is expected to rejoin the team early next week in Houston. Torres will continue playing in minor league rehab games until then. He went 3-for-4 with two stolen bases in a game at High-A St. Lucie on Monday.
– Orioles’ LHP Dontrelle Willis has filed a grievance against the Orioles for placing him on the restricted list, rather than allowing him to sign with another team. Willis left Triple-A Norfolk last week after they asked him to assume a bullpen role. In the grievance, he claims that a team official granted him permission to leave, but GM Dan Duquette has denied that. The 30-year-old will likely be released.
– For those that missed it, check out former NBA F Matt Geiger interferring with a foul ball at a recent Rays game. Geiger was thrown out of the building.
– Ottawa 67′s’ F Marc Zanetti has been suspended for the balance of the 2011-12 OHL Playoffs for his kick in Game 1 of the Rogers OHL Eastern Conference Championship Series with the Niagara IceDogs.