– The Kings have agreed to terms with G Jonathan Quick on a 10-year/$58M contract, locking up their Conn Smythe goalie through the 2022-23 season. Quick finished a breakthrough season in which he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy while establishing himself as one of the world’s best young goalies. The 26-year-old was among the NHL leaders in most goaltending categories, making his first All-Star team while setting the Kings’ regular-season records for shutouts (10), SV% (.929) and GAA (1.95). He played in a club-record 72 games, winning 39, and largely carried the NHL’s second lowest-scoring team through a difficult regular season before their remarkable playoff push. Quick was even better in the post-season, giving up just 29 goals in the Kings’ 20 playoff games to finish with a 1.41 GAA, a .946 SV% and three shutouts.
– The Canucks have agreed to terms with G Cory Schneider on a 3-year/$12M contract. Schneider had a 20-8-1 record in 33 appearances last season. He was slated to become an RFA on July 1, had a 1.96 GAA with a .937 SV%. In the Canucks first round playoff loss to the Kings, he replaced Luongo for the final three games, posting a 1-2 record with a 1.31 GAA and a .960 SV%.
– The Bruins have signed G Tuukka Rask to a 1-year/3.5M contact. Rask, 25, played 23 games with the Bruins last season, going 11-8-3 with a 2.05 GAA, a .929 SV% and three shutouts. He was set to become an RFA on Sunday. He’ll be the new starting goalie with G Tim Thomas taking the 2012-13 season off.
– The Predators have signed D Hal Gill to a 2-year/$4M contract. The 37-year-old, who was set to become a UFA on Sunday, scored one goal and added 12 assists in 76 games in 2011-12 split between the Canadiens and Predators.
– The Blue Jackets have re-signed D Nikita Nikitin to a 2-year/$4.3M contract, including $2.5M in 2013-14. The 26-year-old Russian was set to become an RFA on July 1. He finished the season with seven goals and 32 points in 61 games between the Blues and Jackets.
– According to TSN, the Panthers are the frontrunners for Canucks’ G Roberto Luongo, but no deal is near completion. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that negotiations are ongoing, but GM Mike Gillis “is driving the bus and the bus is in low gear.” Florida didn’t like the first proposal and Gillis has sent a counter offer, but Dreger reports that nothing is close. The Leafs also showed interest, but dialogue is not currently going on between the two sides.
– Flames’ F Olli Jokinen appears as though he will test unrestricted free agency on July 1, according to Calgary Sun columnist Eric Francis. GM Jay Feaster didn’t confirm or deny the report due to his policy on not discussing free agents. Jokinen tallied 23 goals and 61 points in 82 games.
– The Canadiens have signed F Petteri Nokelainen and D Brendon Nash to 1-year contracts. Nokelainen will make $575,000 with the NHL club next season, while Nash signed a two-way deal. Nokelainen, 26, played in 51 games with the Canadiens last season, scored three goals and six points. Nash, 25, missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. In the 2010-11 season, he scored five goals and 30 points in 75 games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs and got two games in with the Habs. In addition, F Andreas Engqvist won’t be back with the Canadiens organization after signing with Atlant Mytishi of the KHL this week. Engqvist, a perennial call-up with the Canadiens last season, was set to be an RFA on Sunday. He spent the majority of the past two seasons in the AHL with Hamilton and he has played in 15 games with the Canadiens over that span.
– The Lightning have signed D Brian Lee to a 2-year contract. Lee posted eight assists in 20 games for the Lightning last season after being acquired fron the Senators on February 20. He notched career-highs in games played (55), assists (15) and points (16) last season with Tampa Bay and Ottawa.
– After meeting with his Newport representatives in Toronto, UFA D Justin Schultz is ready to talk to a shortlist of NHL teams bidding for his services. Schultz has reportedly narrowed down his list of suitors to the Canucks, Maple Leafs, Rangers, Senators and Oilers. Schultz is eligible for a 2-year contract for the entry-level maximum salary. This includes a $925,000 base salary, including $92,500 signing bonus plus $2.85M in performance bonuses for a cap hit $3.775M, according to CapGeek.com.
– Hurricanes’ G Brian Boucher (shoulder) will miss the next 4-6 months. GM Jim Rutherford said Thursday that Boucher was injured within the past week and is scheduled to have surgery to repair it, but did not say which shoulder was injured. The 35-year-old is entering the second year of a 2-year/$1.9M contract he signed last summer. A groin injury suffered midway through last season cost Boucher 43 games and limited him to just eight starts and 10 total appearances. He finished 1-7 with a 3.41 GAA.
– The American Hockey League will test a version of no-touch icing to start the 2012 regular season. In the event of a potential icing violation, the play will be blown dead if a defending player is the first to reach the end zone face-off dots, provided the puck has crossed the goal-line at that point. The test of the rule is at the request of the NHL and will be in effect until Nov. 19, 2012, at which time its continued use will be determined by the AHL’s board of governors, the league announced Thursday. The AHL also adopted two recent rule changes made in the NHL. A player who “places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck” will be assessed a minor penalty. Meanwhile, players who use their hands to bat the puck in an attempt to win a faceoff will also be assessed a two-minute infraction.
– A judge has upheld the Glendale City Council’s vote on an arena lease agreement with a prospective owner of the Coyotes. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Dean Fink on Thursday rejected a claim by conservative watchdog group Goldwater Institute that the city should have had open bidding on arena operations for Jobing.com Arena, the home of the Coyotes, rather than accept an offer from former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison.
– The Hornets drafted Kentucky F Anthony Davis No. 1 overall in the 2012 draft. Davis will immediately have a major role in the rebuild. He sports a 7’6″ wingspan, and as well as a high basketball IQ and some massive numbers in blocks (4.7 per game last season), steals (1.4) and rebounds (10.4). Speaking of Davis, he’s also trademarked Davis has trademarked the sayings “Raise the Brow” and “Fear the Brow.” He told CNBC,
“I don’t want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it,” Davis told CNBC. “Me and my family decided to trademark it because it’s very unique.”
“It changes none whatsoever when I’m in the NBA. I’m not going to change who I am. It’s me.”
– The trade sending F Lamar Odom to the Clippers and G Mo Williams to the Jazz is not yet finalized according to multiple reports. Jazz GM Kevin O’Connor said that the “deal isn’t done” because there “are too many moving parts,” and if Williams was indeed the final piece of the puzzle it’s possible he likes his chances on the open market. Williams needed to opt-in to the final year of his deal for $8.5M for all parties to be in agreement, and despite earlier reports that he had agreed that obviously isn’t the case.
– Magic’ F Dwight Howard is still seeking a trade from the Magic, sources tell Hoopsworld’s Alex Kennedy. Kennedy writes that Howard’s relationship with the team is “irreparable” and that the big man “no longer wants to be in Orlando.” Howard also reportedly does not plan to sign a long-term extension and is hoping to be dealt sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.
– Tim Reynolds of the AP is reporting that Heat’ G Dwyane Wade (left knee) will need surgery and has pulled out of the Olympics. Brian Windhorst reported that Wade would be having arthroscopic surgery and will be out 6-8 weeks. Stay tuned.
– The Thunder have reportedly added a fourth year to a contract extension offer to coach Scott Brooks, but the two sides are still not said to be close on an agreeable salary for him. Brooks’ contract expires on Saturday, and rumours indicate that he could sign with the Blazers if he leaves Oklahoma.
– The Suns are reportedly interested in 37-year old free agent G Ray Allen. Adrian Wojnarowski writes that the Heat are not considered the leaders for Allen’s services. Stay tuned.
– D’Backs’ RHP Daniel Hudson (torn right UCL) is scheduled to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum on Friday for a second opinion about his elbow. Doctors have diagnosed Hudson with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and is likely facing Tommy John surgery. The 25-year-old will likely get the same recommendation from Yocum.
– According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Cubs are willing to eat part of RHP Ryan Dempster’s contract in a trade. Chicago is reportedly seeking a prospect package in return. Dempster, 35, has a strong 2.11 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 81 innings this season. He’s making a salary of $14M and is set to hit the free agent market five days after the conclusion of the 2012 World Series. The Dodgers are known to be interested.
– The Yankees have placed LHP Andy Pettitte (fractured left ankle) on the 15-day DL. Pettitte will not require surgery, but will miss at least the next two months. The 40-year-old had a 3.22 ERA and 59/13 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings.
– Check out this insane catch by Angels’ OF Mike Trout:
– Jayson Stark of ESPN.com was told by two AL clubs that the Phillies have made DH Jim Thome available to AL teams. Thome was excellent while getting regular at-bats during interleague play, but has been disappointing as a pinch-hitter role with the Phillies this season, going 1-for-16 with a homer and 11 strikeouts. Thome would prefer to play for the Indians or Twins, but neither club has a spot for him.
– Red Sox’ OF Jacoby Ellsbury (shoulder) is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday in the Gulf Coast League. Ellsbury will be eased into action as the DH before playing the field. He could be back in Boston’s lineup around the All-Star break.
– Tigers’? head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Thursday that C Victor Martinez (torn left ACL) could return in mid-to-late September as a best case scenario. V-Mart had an MRI on his surgically-repaired knee on Thursday. The 33-year-old will be put on a leg strengthening program and could return during the stretch run, or for the playoffs.
– WWE Hall of Famer Tammy “Sunny” Sytch tweeted multiple gay slurs Wednesday night after becoming irate with “The Boy Diva” Rick Cataldo, a male independent wrestler who portrays an overly-effeminate gay stereotype and primarily competes against female talent. Independent wrestler Brittney Savage tweeted Wednesday she would blog her thoughts on the ongoing online flame war between Sytch and Reby Sky, who have been jousting back and forth over ‘Sycho’ Sid Vicious’ reputation for no-showing events. Cataldo wrote to Savage,
“I can’t wait to read it Britt! lmao and btw I got yo back Reby that bitch loves throwing shots.”
Cataldo’s remark infuriated the WWE Hall of Famer. Threatening physical harm, she wrote to him,
“yeah, like the shot i threw at your jaw? you chicken shit faggot piece of crap… i’ll knock you out.”
“@WWEHOFerSunny is a serious hot mess bitch and I love it! write a book mama I want to read all your fairytales.”
Sytch once again vowed to physically harm Cataldo, writing back,
“youre gonna get your ass handed to you bitch.”
Sytch used the slur again after being criticized for her derogatory language, explaining to a fan,
“dude, i have a gay cousin who i love to death… but this kid was a faggot…totally different.”
She hurled the slur again in response to a fan who wrote,
“There’s nothing more rude than calling someone a ‘faggot’ @WWEHOFerSunny needs to learn to grow up, and have some manners.”
The WWE Hall of Famer apologized Thursday for the offensive language posted on her account; she said it was hacked.
“I would like to apologize for the statement on my account… someone hacked into my acct . Im not that type of person. was not my statement,” Sytch wrote.
Sytch then confirmed the hacker’s claim that she has a gay cousin, writing,
“hey, I have a homosexual cousin, who i Love to death… I’d never say anything derogatory about him or anyone else.. my fav cousin!! Greg.”
“listen people, i have a gay cousin… he’s awesome, and I love him to death… Id never say a word about him or anyone else. GREG SYTCH.”
– Kenn Doane has apologized for implicating Lisa Marie Varon (currently known as Tara in TNA Wrestling and formerly known as Victoria in WWE) as being involved in an extramarital affair with John Cena years ago in WWE. He tweeted Wednesday without denial,
“Never wanted Lisa to be involved obviously I was wrong 4 hinting towards her since she is the sweetest person ever. So for that im sorry.”
While discussing the role Cena played in his 2007 break-up with Mickie James to SEScoops.com, Doane divulged that Cena was having a second affair with a then-WWE Diva who was married to a man not involved with the professional wrestling industry. Doane said the woman was transferred from Raw to SmackDown in 2007 after being dumped by Cena. Two Divas transferred from Raw to SmackDown at the same time as Doane, Torrie Wilson and Varon. Wilson was in the process of divorcing Billy Kidman. Varon has been married to a man not affiliated with the professional wrestling industry since 1998, matching Doane’s claim.
Varon addressed Doane’s allegations in an interview with F4WOnline.com, where she claimed to have dated Cena in 2002 for one month when he was single and she was separated from her husband. Varon also stated that she was never Cena’s ‘road girlfriend’ as Doane alleged. Contrary to Varon’s claim that Cena was single when they dated, Raymond Rafool, attorney for Cena’s estranged wife Liz Huberdeau, said her client and Cena were together since they were in high school 14 years ago.
Rafool told The Miami Herald (article) regarding Cena’s decision in May to file for divorce from Huberdeau,
“Although it is indeed unfortunate that John Cena decided to divorce his high school sweetheart Liz Cena; particularly, after they have come so far in their lives and in his career together, Liz will and really has no choice but to pursue all of her rights and entitlements. Although Mr. Cena pushes a prenuptial agreement and that the parties have only been married for approximately 3 years, Liz Cena has always supported John Cena, even when no one else did, and stood behind him and pushed him forward to achieve their goals for the last 14 years. Sadly, divorce is not the way Liz thought her perfect love story would end.”
Furthermore, Doane was not affiliated with WWE in 2002 when Cena and Varon’s relationship allegedly occurred; he was still attending high school. He signed a developmental contract with the organization in 2004 and did not join the main roster until 2006.
– WWE diva Maxine has reportedly quit WWE, according to a report at PWInsider.com. “Stuck” at NXT, Maxine became frustrated with her lack of advancement and decide to move on to other projects. Maxine was signed to a developmental deal in 2009 and has wrestled mostly in NXT. She competed in the Divas battle royal on Monday’s Raw.
– TNA Knockout Madison Rayne claimed during a backstage segment on last week’s Impact Wrestling that she was once crowned Miss USA. Her kayfabe remark was brought to the attention of Miss USA 2010 winner and former Tough Enough contestant Rima Fakih, who upon seeing her picture, tweeted,
“Well look at her pic u can tell she didn’t win.”
Rayne responded to Fakih,
“….hmm, touché. But I’m still ‘tough enough’ to make it in this business… And I have a sweet ass crown. Boom!”
Rayne has since deleted the tweet.
– As part of his Seven Summits adventure to climb the highest mountain on each continent, JBL is currently in Russia attempting to climb Mount Elbrus, the highest point in Europe. Earlier this week, JBL revealed startling details about what he’s going through, including a near death experience. Due to a major storm on the mountain, JBL suffered the effects of frostbite and hypoxia (a condition where your body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply) and declared that he was “lucky to be alive.” On Thursday, JBL checked in with the following video, announcing the disappointing news that he will be unable to reach the top of the mountain due to weather conditions:
– Florida Championship Wrestling sent out the following on Thursday announcing that WWE legend the Undertaker will be appearing at an upcoming FCW on 8/1
– WWE Studios has signed on to co-produce and co-finance the thriller movie, “The Hive” starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. “The Hive” is the story of an emergency call center operator (Berry) who takes a call from a teenage girl (Breslin) who has been abducted and locked in the trunk of a car. The film begins shooting this summer in Los Angeles.
– UFC middleweight challenger Chael Sonnen says if he beats Anderson Silva at UFC 148 on July 7th, he will grant the Brazilian an immediate rematch. Sonnen told MMAJunkie,
“Some guys say they like a hard fight. I like easy fights, so I’m hoping they’ll rematch me against Anderson.”
“It was just so nice to see the true Anderson come through. The guy is a dirtbag. I’ve been telling people that for years, and he can put on all the fancy suits that they assign him and read from the script or through his interpreter, but the real Anderson came through. I got no problem with it. I’ve been trying to pick a fight for two years.”
“Here’s the deal: I’m not going to fight anybody that didn’t fight Anderson. The locker room is full of cowards that would never come forward and never wanted to fight him and ducked him and dodged him because they were scared of him.”
“If you had the courage to fight him, then you’ve got the right to fight me. But if you’re one of those cowards that sat back and hid, you’re not getting a shot. Now if you called him out, I’ll count that as fighting him, but you’re going to find anyone besides me that called the guy out.”
– Check out this rocket goal by Mario Ballotelli en route to Italy’s 2-1 win over Germany:
– Chris Masters revealed on Twitter that he was not offered a TNA contract after participating in a dark match before the June 14 Impact Wrestling broadcast. He remains optimistic, however, as he believes it will come in due time.
– Hulk Hogan tweeted the following announcement about Bound For Glory Series matches now having a time limit:
Spoke with BFG Series guys to let them know a change. Going forward all BFG Series matches will be 15 minute time limit. HH
– Christopher Daniels and Kaz recaptured the TNA Tag Team championships from Kurt Angle and AJ Styles on Thursday’s Impact Wrestling.
– Sunjay Dutt returned to TNA on Thursday night and is now in the hunt for the X-Division title.