– The Avalanche have signed D Erik Johnson to a 4-year/$15M contract. Johnson, 24, scored four goals and 22 assists in 73 games with the Avs in 2011-12.
– The Devils have re-signed D Bryce Salvador to a 3-year/$9.5M contract with an AAV of $3.16M. The 36-year-old had just nine assists in 82 regular season games, but posted four goals and 14 points in 24 games in the playoffs.
– The Capitals have signed D Jack Hillen to a 1-year/$650K contract. Hillen, 26, had two goals, four assists, 65 blocks and a plus-minus of plus-6 with the Predators last season.
– The Magic have focused on Lakers’ F Andrew Bynum as the “top target” in trade talks for F Dwight Howard, sources tell Yahoo! Sports. This was the deal that made the most sense from the beginning. LA will have to make a decision in regards to Bynum’s future with the team.
In addition, there is “little optimism” that the Nets can present a suitable trade offer for Dwight Howard, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. Berger classifies the Magic trade discussions centered around Howard as “unhurried,” and notes that Howard’s camp is not optimistic about a potential deal to Brooklyn. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the proposed trade would see Howard swapped for F Brook Lopez, F Kris Humphries, G MarShon Brooks and 1st-round picks in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Stay tuned.
– The Celtics and Jason Terry have officially agreed to a 3-year/$15M contract. The Celtics used their entire mid-level exception to land The 34-year-old. Terry made 37.8% of his 3-pointers last year and should slide back into the backup shooting guard spot.
– The Raptors have agreed to a 3-year/$19M offer sheet with Knicks’ RFA Landry Fields. The offer is expected to jump for year three (Omer Asik’s), making the Knicks’ decision a difficult one.
– Nationals’ RHP Drew Storen (elbow) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with High-A Potomac, as are OF Chad Tracy (groin) and OF Xavier Nady (wrist). Storen is hoping to return right after the All-Star break.
– According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals and RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder) discussed a second shutdown and possible season-ending surgery on Monday. The club cancelled Carpenter’s scheduled bullpen session on Monday and gave no reason for the change. Carp was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome on Thursday, but he hoped to delay surgery until the offseason. After experiencing continued weakness in his recent throwing sessions, he may have his hand forced.
– 2012 first-round pick RHP Marcus Stroman said on his Twitter account Tuesday that he has signed with the Blue Jays. Stroman was selected No. 22 overall in last month’s First-Year Player Draft. ESPN’s Keith Law reports that he’ll get $1.8M.
– Vikings’ head coach Leslie Frazier confirmed that the team envisions limiting RB Adrian Peterson’s (knee) early-season workload. ”He’s so valuable to our organization that we have to be smart. We’ll tread lightly as far as Week 1 and how much he’ll contribute on the field. Even when we get to training camp, he’s going to be chomping at the bit but we’ll have to be smart.”
– Bruno Sammartino’s rep Sal Correnete has issued the following statement regarding online reports that Sammartino was “not impressed” with Triple H and his efforts to convince Sammartino to join WWE’s Hall of Fame next year:
“It has come to our attention that someone has claimed that Bruno was unimpressed with Triple H. That is an absolutely false statement Bruno had no issue what so ever with Triple H. He liked Triple H and enjoyed their conversation but for reasons personal to Bruno he has decided not to accept the induction in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM IS THE REFUSAL A REFLECTION ON TRIPLE H or his presentation or conversations with Bruno”
The Wrestling Observer is now reporting that Triple H recently called Bruno Sammartino and tried convincing him to accept the offer. Because Sammartino has bad blood with Vince McMahon, Triple H told him to not worry about Vince and to think about his legacy and educating today’s audience about his legendary career.
– Monday’s RAW Supershow saw a 17% drop in social media activity and finished #4 for the night on cable, according to Trendrr.tv. RAW’s social media score was 154,111, down from 186,954 for the June 25th show. This week’s show was down 6% from the 2012 average.
– Numerous mentions of Chris Benoit were removed from a 14-year-old Fit Finlay versus Psychosis match that aired on the most recent episode of WWE Vintage Collection. Finlay was involved in a program with the late Chris Benoit when the match occurred on the June 4, 1998 episode of WCW Thunder and as standard WWE protocol, all mentions of Benoit from the commentators were removed. During the bout, Finlay had Psychosis placed in a chinlock and began screaming, “Benoit, I’m coming for ya.” Not only did WWE make his remark inaudible, but Finlay’s mouth was digitized so viewers couldn’t lip read what he said.
– Last week’s SmackDown drew a 1.82 cable rating (down from 2.0 the week before) and averaged 2.63 million viewers.
– As previously reported, Steve “Brooklyn Brawler” Lumbardi wrestled as Doink The Clown on Monday’s RAW. Many people backstage saw Lumbardi’s match as the highlight of the show. Many of WWE’s younger stars have never seen him wrestle and simply know him as one of WWE’s agents/producers.
– WWE’s latest Backstage Fallout video is now online featuring backstage interviews from Monday’s RAW. “David Otunga, Kofi Kingston, and other WWE Superstars share their thoughts about recent Raw events.”
– WWE has apparently removed an offensive lyric from an entrance theme which trivializes the degenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease. The entrance theme for The Prime Time Players—Darren Young and Titus O’Neil—”Move (Get It In)” by Woo Child features the lyric: “Okay, I get it shaking like Parkinson’s… I’m the one.. Break it down down til the party’s done.” It would appear that WWE has cut out the mention of Parkinson’s from the song’s lyrics as it was inaudible during Young and O’Neil’s appearances on Monday’s Raw SuperShow and last week’s WWE Superstars.
– TNA Champion Bobby Roode appeared on The LAW this past Sunday night to promote this Sunday’s TNA Destination X pay-per-view. The full interview can be heard here (.MP3). Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
On his first singles run after Team Canada broke up: In hindsight, I honestly thought that when I broke off from Team Canada, I was gonna get that push. I was starting to be elevated slowly; I obviously had that match with Jeff Jarrett, I had a run with Booker T, and I was right on the brink. That extra push, I think, would have put me through the top, and I think for whatever reason it didn’t happen. Now, when I got the opportunity to step away from Beer Money, I kinda remembered that, and I wanted to really make the best of the opportunity that I had as a singles competitor, and really stand out. Whether I had two minutes on TV or twenty minutes on TV, I wanted to be remembered. I wanted that segment to be remembered; I wanted to be the best thing on the television show; I wanted to entertain people, and really show what I had to prove. I think I’ve done that, and obviously being a world champion has shown that I’m able to be a top guy outside of a tag team. It’s been a learning experience, the whole thing has been a learning experience, and I continue to learn even now. It’s been different, definitely a different run than the first time.
The events during the day of ‘Bound for Glory’ last year: It was interesting to say the least, but the only thing I can say is that obviously things happen for a reason. Looking back, if I had defeated Kurt Angle that night and went on as a world champion as the babyface, who knows how long I would have lasted? I think just the character change, and turning into the “It Factor” and the “Leader of the Selfish Generation” gave me that little bit extra, and obviously has done well for me. It’s not only helped elevate myself, but it’s elevated other people. It’s elevated James Storm as well. Like I said, everything happens for a reason. People were obviously disappointed. I was really disappointed, but a short time after that, it was November the 3rd, I ended up winning the world title.
Hulk Hogan’s assessment of Roode at the time: Like I said, things happen for a reason, and things are said for a reason. It’s professional wrestling, and everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. I just took it as an eye-opener, and it did put a chip on my shoulder. When I went out there that night and I lost to Kurt, that pissed me off. Hulk’s comments, and losing that night on such a big night, after such a big build-up, getting the opportunity again on television to go out there and possibly be a world champion changed my focus and changed my attitude.
– Check out this nasty faceplant by former Olympic gold medallsit Nastia Liukin: