– Rangers’ F Marian Gaborik (rotator cuff) will undergo offseason surgery and will miss six months, meaning he’ll likely miss the start of the 2012-13 season. Gaborik reportedly played through the injury for nearly two months, and underwent an MRI Tuesday that revealed the damage. He struggled in the playoffs, recording just 11 points in 20 games after putting up 41 goals and 76 points in 82 regular season games. Despite the injury, Gaborik did not miss a game this season, playing in all 102 for the Rangers. It’s the first time in his career that he has gone a full season without missing a single game.
– The Bruins have confirmed there’s a very real possibility that G Tim Thomas will not play in 2012-13. GM Peter Chiarelli said, ”I’m approaching this season as if Tim Thomas won’t be playing next year. There’s a strong chance he’ll be taking the year off.” Chiarelli said he was made aware of the possibility since early May. Thomas has a $5M cap hit and his contract will expire in the summer of 2013. Stay tuned.
– Canucks’ GM Mike Gillis commented on the possibility of trading G Roberto Luongo:
“I haven’t contacted anyone with respect to Roberto at all. I’ve had people call me and ask about him and I’ve told them that we haven’t made any decisions at all about the future of our goaltending. And that’s absolutely the truth.” Lu will likely be shopped down the road, even if the team won’t admit to it yet. RFA G Cory Schneider remains the most likely candidate to lead between the pipes for the ‘Nucks in 2012-13.
– Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Cubs’ RHP Matt Garza is at the top of the Yankees’ wish list of potential starting pitching trade targets. The Cubs have said they’d like to extend Garza, but would likely move him if the right offer came along. Heyman notes that Garza is “battle-tested in the American League East,” which the Yankees like, and adds that the Yankees “seem to have little interest” in Brewers’ RHPs Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Cubs’ RHP Ryan Dempster and that “there’s also no guarantee Greinke or Marcum is made available.” Heyman thinks Astros’ RHP Wandy Rodriguez “could be” a backup plan after the Yankees pursued him at last year’s deadline. Stay tuned.
– Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that the Red Sox have told teams that they “definitely intend to trade” 3B Kevin Youkilis. Youk is due $12M this season with a .250/.318/.406 over 96 at-bats, but the emergence of 3B Will Middlebrooks has made Youkilis a trade piece. The Phillies, Indians, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Reds are all believed to be in the mix.
– Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Yankees intend to keep RHP Rafael Soriano as their closer even after RHP David Robertson (oblique) returns from the DL. Heyman cites “people familiar with their thinking.” Robertson isn’t due back for at least another two weeks, so plans can still change. Soriano has converted all five save chances without allowing a run since Robertson’s injury. Heyman notes that Robertson is “still seen as the closer of the future.”
– Cardinals’ OF Jon Jay (shoulder) will be shut down for the next 7-10 days. Jay had hoped to be activated from the DL early next week, but he’ll likely be out until mid-June.
– The Pirates have placed RHP Charlie Morton (right elbow inflammation) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 30. The elbow was believed to be bothering him in his last start on Tuesday, when he allowed four runs over just four innings against the Reds. It’s unclear how long he’ll be out.
– Chris Jericho has responded to Paul Heyman’s Thursday night Twitter rant about what today’s young superstars need to do in order to become main eventers:
“I agree with @HeymanHustle diatribe and I would like to add one more piece of advice. To really make it in this business…. you have to be willing to take a chance. And if that pisses some people off than so be it! Stop being so nice. Nice doesn’t cut it.”
– According to F4WOnline, there is once again talk of WWE merging the Intercontinental and United States title. With WWE recently bringing back the classic IC title and the US title held by comedy act Santino Marella, WWE will likely drop the US title after a unification match. There are no plans to unify the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight title because WWE likes having both belts defended on the separate RAW and SmackDown live events.
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross is back with another blog update, which you can read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are the highlights:
Randy Orton’s Suspension: “Amazed at the amount of questions we have received on Twitter @JRsBBQ regarding Randy Orton’s 60 suspension from WWE for a 2nd violation of WWE’s Wellness Policy. Not too sure what there is to not understand … Bottom line is that the business as always been about such things as “when one door closes, another door opens” and that “being in the right place at the right time” and both are still valid and viable in today’s ever changing world and that includes sports entertainment.”
Paul Heyman’s Twitter Rant: “As @HeymanHustle pointed out on Twitter earlier this week and as I’ve mentioned here many times, talents need to become much more motivated and aggressive in obtaining meaningful exposure and then ‘maximizing their minutes.’ As the old sales cliche goes, one won’t get the order until one asks for it. To add to that cliche with another, one can’t sell goods out of an empty wagon. Translation…do what ever is necessary to professionally and legally get noticed and then be able to back it up once your number is called. There has never been a more opportune time for talents who have the drive, determination, ingenuity, and physical talent to elevate as roster depth at the top of the card is ripe for the pickings.”
Brock Lesnar Meeting With UFC Last Weekend: “What would I think of Brock Lesnar attempting to become a ‘two sport’ guy and perform in WWE and fight in UFC at the same time frame? I’d suggest that it would be ill advised and that it can’t be done on the highest level of each genre in an efficient manner. Obviously, a person could do it, theoretically, and enhance his earnings over the short haul but it seems as if it would be too taxing an issue on one’s body to attempt such a feat. I have no idea is that idea is even on Lesnar’s radar but we’ve gotten the question here a great deal. I’m not in touch with Brock and haven’t been for years so my take on the matter is merely one man’s opinion.”
– iN DEMAND has revealed the promotional poster for WWE’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view event taking place July 15 and it features Alberto Del Rio in a Forbes-like magazine cover. The official description suggests that only one Money in the Bank Ladder Match will be held, rather than two in the past. The synopsis reads:
“A guaranteed championship match hangs 20 feet above the ring in a steel briefcase. One man will scale the heights and seize his destiny. Don’t miss John Cena, Randy Orton, The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, and all your favorite WWE Superstars at WWE Money in the Bank, Sunday, July 15, live on pay-per-view.”
– Sin Cara returned to action on SmackDown with a new look:
– According to the Wrestling Observer, there was panic in WWE this week over RAW’s 2.7 rating. Even though Monday was Memorial Day, WWE’s flagship show is entering dangerous territory with that low number, especially with RAW about to go 3 hours next month.
– Giants’ TE Martellus Bennett jumped from 265 pounds to 291 for the start of OTAs. TEs coach Mike Pope said, ”That’s probably a little too big for his legs to carry.” Bennett is sitting out practices with hamstring issues.
– Titans’ coach Mike Munchak says Jake Locker and Matt Hasselbeck will split reps 50/50 until a starter is named. Munchak hopes to name that starter ahead of the third preseason game, which NFL teams generally treat like a true regular-season audition. “Going into that third game you would like to have an idea of what your plan is. I feel so good about both of them I am not necessarily leaning either way on it. I feel like either way it is going to be a good situation for the team.”
– A segment involving the TNA Knockouts and new authority figure Brooke Hogan was cut from Thursday’s live Impact Wrestling show. Mickie James acknowledged the change in plans on Twitter, writing:
“I am so sorry, gang. Seems I have lied. I assure you not purposely! I will not be on the show tonight. Watching it live backstage. Enjoy!”
Hulk Hogan addressed James’ status with the organization in response to a follower complaining that Hogan would not put her on television with him in charge. He wrote:
“Sorry u feel that way but Dixie has a whole battle plan laid out for Mickie.”
Angelina Love, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, ODB, Rosita, Tara and Velvet Sky were also backstage but not used on the live show. Hogan also commented on Gut Check judges not offering Joey Ryan a TNA Wrestling contract. He wrote: “Working on the Ryan situation now.”
– Shannon Moore announced Friday on Twitter that he will not be returning to TNA Wrestling after stating in March that he would be taking a hiatus from wrestling to spend time with his family and focus on outside endeavors.
“For you asking I will not be back on Impact. Got some injuries to take care of and a project me and (wife Julie Youngberg) are working on. Nothing but good things coming in the future. Even tho i cant be in the ring I got stuff popn away from wrestling. Working on having a Baby is first on my list with (Julie). Very important to us right now.
“And I’ll be part of wrestling in some way just not in the ring. I’ll be supporting my wife on our clothing line.”
Moore also noted that his tattoo business, Gas Chamber Ink, has made over $1M.
– James Storm turns 35 years old Friday. He appeared in a taped segment on Thursday’s Impact Wrestling and would not say whether he’s returning to the ring.