– Penguins’ F Sidney Crosby officially signed a massive 12-year/$104.4M contract extension on Sunday that is heavily front-loaded. Crosby will receive $95.4M of that over the first nine years, including an annual salary of $12M for three seasons starting in 2013-’14. The final three years will see him make $9M total. GM Ray Shero said,
“We talked over the last couple months about structure, things like that. As we got down to it and I sat down with Sid and talked to him, I think the balance was to try and find a contract — in his third contract — where we could pay Sidney Crosby accordingly.
“But as Sid always says to me …’OK, that’s fine, but how can I help the team? How does that help the team?’ “
– The Hurricanes have signed F Jordan Staal to a 10-year/$60M contract that kicks in starting with the 2013-14 season. The 23-year-old will earn $4.5M in the final year of his current contract next season. The team also re-signed G Justin Peters to a 2-year contract.
– According to GM Bryan Murray, the Senators are no longer pursuing Blue Jackets’ F Rick Nash. Nash wasn’t willing to waive his no-trade clause to play in Ottawa due to the negative media attention.
– Free agent F Zach Parise informed the Devils Sunday morning that he was testing the free agent market. Parise’s agent Wade Arnott added on Sunday afternoon that his client is narrowing down his choices to a small group of teams and will probably decide on Monday. The 27-year-old has offers from the Penguins, Flyers, Wild, Red Wings, Kings and Hurricanes. Parise scored 31 goals and 38 assists in 82 games with the Devils in 2011-12, adding eight goals and seven assists in 24 playoff games in the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.
– The Stars have signed F Ray Whitney to a 2-year/$9M contract with a $1M signing bonus on top of a $4M annual salary as well as a modified no-trade clause. The 40-year-old tallied 24 goals and 77 points in 82 games last season with the Coyotes.
– The Kings have re-signed F Dustin Penner to a 1-year/$3.25M contract. The 29-year-old scored seven goals and added 11 assists in 65 games last season. He added three goals and eight assists in 20 games, helping the team win its first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
– The Red Wings have signed F Mikael Samuelsson to a 2-year contract, F Jordin Tootoo to a 3-year contract and G Jonas Gustavsson to a 2-year/$3M contract. Samuelsson totaled 13 goals and 28 points in 48 games for the Panthers last season. The 35-year-old played for Detroit from 2005-09, appearing in two Stanley Cup Finals and winning one title in 2008. Tootoo, 29, posted six goals and 30 points in 77 games for the Predators last season. The Monster, 27, was 17-17-4 last season with a 2.92 GAA and .902 SV% with four shutouts.
– The Oilers have re-signed F Ryan Smyth to a 2-year/$4.5M contract, and have re-signed G Yann Danis to a 1-year contract and F Darcy Hordichuk to a 1-year contract. Smyth, 36, had 19 goals and 46 points in 82 games for Edmonton last season. Danis, 31, had a 26-14-2 record with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons with a 2.07 GAA, a .924 SV% and five shutouts. Hordichuk, 31, played in 43 games last season with the Oilers scoring once and adding two assists along with 64 penalty minutes.
– The Avalanche have signed F PA Parenteau to a 4-year/$16M contract. Parenteau, 29, is coming off an 18-goal, 67-point season with the Islanders.
– The Canucks have signed D Jason Garrison to a 6-year/$27.6M contract. The 27-year-old set career-highs with 16 goals and 17 assists in 77 games with the Panthers in 2011-12.
– The Islanders have signed F Brad Boyes to a 1-year/$1M contract. Boyes managed just 23 points last season.
– The Lightning have signed F Benoit Pouliot to a 1-year/$1.8M contract and D Sami Salo to a 2-year/$7.5M contract worth $3.75M per year. In 74 games with the Bruins in 2011-12, Pouliot scored 16 goals and added 16 assists. He would score one goal and one assist in seven playoff games. Salo has spent the past nine years with the Canucks, tallying nine goals and 25 points in 69 games last season.
– The Senators have signed F Guillaume Latendresse to a 1-year/$1.25M contract, D Mike Lundin to a 1-year/$1.15M deal and F Shane Prince to a 3-year/entry-level contract. Latendresse, 25, recorded five goals and nine points in 16 games last season. Lundin played 17 games with the Wild in 2011-12, registering two assists.with the Sens. Prince recently completed the 2011-12 season with the OHL’s Ottawa 67′s, establishing career highs in 2011-12 in goals (43) and points (90). He ranked second among all 67′s players in goals, assists (47) and points, and was fourth in OHL scoring this season.
– The Senators have traded F Nick Foligno to the Blue Jackets for D Marc Methot. Foligno, 24, had 15 goals and 47 points in 82 games last season. Methot, 27, had one goal and seven points in 47 games last season.
– The Wild have signed F Zenon Konopka to a 2-year/$1.85M contract with a cap hit of $925K, and F Torrey Mitchell to a 3-year/$5.7M contract with a cap hit of $1.9M.
– The Maple Leafs have signed F Jay McClement to a 2-year/$3M contract, and have re-signed F Matt Frattin to a 2-year contract, F Ryan Hamilton and G Jussi Rynnas to 1-year contracts, and signed D Mike Kostka to a 1-year contract. McClement, 29, recorded 10 goals and 17 points in 80 games with the Avalanche last season. Frattin split the year with the Leafs and Marlies of the AHL. Frattin played 56 games with the big club, recording eight goals and 15 points. Hamilton played two games with the Leafs last season, picking up an assist. Rynnas, 25, spent time in the ECHL and AHL but also played two games with the Leafs in 2011-12. Hamilton and Rynnas were each given two-way deals.
– The Canadiens have signed D Francis Bouillon 1-year/$1.5M contract, F Colby Armstrong to a 1-year/$1M contract and F Brandon Prust to a 4-year/$10M contract. Boullion, 36, scored four goals and added seven assists in 66 games with the Predators last season. Armstrong’s time with the Leafs was marked by injuries as he played only 29 games last season, picking up a goal and a two assists and was minus-8. Prust’s production dipped from 13 goals and 29 points two years ago to five goals and 12 assists last year.
– The Rangers have signed F Arron Asham and D Stu Bickel. Asham had five goals and 11 assists in 64 games last season with the Penguins. Bickel had nine assists in 51 games in his first NHL season last year.
– The Panthers have signed G Scott Clemmensen to a 2-year contract, F George Parros to a 2-year/$1.85M contract and D Filip Kuba to a 2-year contract. The 34-year-old was 14-6-6 with a 2.57 GAA and a .913 SV% with the Panthers last season.
– The Sharks have signed F Adam Burish to a 4-year/$7.2M contract. The 29-year-old recorded a career-high 19 points in 65 games with the Stars last season.
– The agent for Bruins’ F Nathan Horton (concussion) says his client is doing very well, and is on schedule for training camp.
– The Flyers have re-signed G Michael Leighton. The 31-year-old spent most of last season in the AHL. In 32 career regular-season games for Philadelphia, Leighton is 19-7-2 with a 2.68 GAA.
– The Jets have signed F Alex Ponikarovsky to a 1-year/$1.8M contract, and re-signed D Derek Meech to a 2-way contract. Poni, 32, scored 14 goals and 19 assists in 82 games split between the Devils and Hurricanes in 2011-12. Meech, 28, returned for the St. John’s IceCaps’ AHL playoff run, contributing four goals and five assists in 15 games. Meech has four goals and 12 assists in 128 NHL games with Detroit and Winnipeg.
– The Ducks have signed D Sheldon Souray to a 3-year/$11M contract, D Bryan Allen to a 3-year/$10.5M contract and D Jordan Henry to a 1-year contract. Souray recorded six goals and 21 points in 64 games with the Stars last season. Allen recorded one goal and 14 points last season with the Hurricanes. Hendry, 28 has played his entire four-year career with the Blackhawks, where he won a Stanley Cup in 2010. He scored once in 37 games and was a minus-two last season.
– The Predators have signed G Chris Mason to a 1-year/$1.25M contract. The 36-year-old finished 8-7-1 with a 2.59 GAA, .898 SV%, and two shutouts for the Jets last season.
– The Blackhawks have signed D Sheldon Brookbank to a 2-year contract. The 31-year-old had a career-high three goals and 11 assists in 80 games with the Ducks last season.
– The Blue Jackets have signed G Curtis McElhinney, 29, to a 1-year/2-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 in the AHL.
– Magic’ F Dwight Howard told GM Rob Hennigan on Friday that he wants to be traded to the Nets, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard. The Nets have been linked to Deron Williams, Jason Kidd, Joe Johnson, Luis Scola and Howard all in a matter of 24 hours. Howard remains the focal point of their efforts, though. Kidd will reportedly sign wherever Williams signs, so this could be the start of a new ‘big three.’ Stay tuned.
In addition, the Lakers and Magic have had “preliminary contact” about a possible trade for Howard, according to Yahoo! Sports. Any deal with L.A. would involve F Andrew Bynum going to Orlando. According to the report, however, “the Lakers have yet to make a direct offer.” The Rockets and Nets have also contacted the Magic, though Dwight hasn’t shown any inclination to sign an extension with Houston. Stay tuned.
– According to multiple reports, the Raptors have offered G Steve Nash a 3-year/$36M contract on Sunday. The deal reportedly contains no options, and seems to be fully guaranteed. The Knicks, Mavericks, and Suns are expected to submit formal offers as well.
Of note, according to Marc Stein, the Knicks are apparently considering a sign-and-trade for Nash that would involve sending either F Landry Fields or G Iman Shumpert to the Suns. It’s unknown whether Nash would agree to such a deal, whether the Suns are interested, or whether New York would part with Shumpert. Nash is reportedly willing to speak with the Mavericks if they miss out on Deron Williams, although the Knicks and Raptors remain the favourites to sign him.
Finally, the Nets have secured a meeting with Nash on Monday morning. Nash met with both the Knicks and Raptors on Sunday. Deron Williams meets with the Mavs on Monday morning as well, and will meet with the Nets later that evening. Williams wants to make his decision by Independence Day. Jason Kidd is expected to join D-Will wherever he goes.
– The Hawks and Nets continue to discuss a possible trade for G Joe Johnson, but the Nets are unwilling to trade G MarShon Brooks–whom the Hawks insist on getting–and are afraid “that they’ll be surrendering too much financial flexibility.” JJ still has 4-years/$89.3M remaining on his contract, which would be detrimental in their effort to acquire Dwight Howard. The current trade proposal would see the expiring contracts of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams to the Hawks for Johnson, but the Nets would prefer to work a sign-and-trade with one of their free agents and keep some of the expiring deals. Stay tuned.
– The Hornets have waived F Rashard Lewis. He was entering the final year of a 6-year/$118M contract, which included a $13.7M buyout provision for the last year of the deal.
– Clippers’ F Blake Griffin has not yet accepted the maximum 5-year/$90M+ contract extension offer. The deal won’t be official until July 11. Griffin averaged 20.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks last season. He was excellent from the field at 54.9%–sixth-best in the NBA–but was horrid at the line at 52.1%.
– F Marcus Camby told Blazers’ beat writer Chris Haynes that he is interested in playing for the Celtics, Spurs, Heat, Mavs, or Knicks.
– Pacers’ RFA F Roy Hibbert has verbally agreed to accept the Blazers max 4-year/$58.4M ($14.5M annually) offer sheet once the moratorium ends on July 11. The Pacers would have three days to match the offer. Indiana is the only team with the ability to offer Hibbert a fifth year. The Pacers are expected to match.
– The Nets and F Gerald Wallace are close to verbally agreeing on a 4-year/$40M contract, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Crash played 16 games for New Jersey last season, averaging 15.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals.
– UFA G Goran Dragic will want to be named the starting point guard for whatever team he signs with, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
– The Rockets have agreed in principle to a 3-year/$25.1M contract with Bulls’ RFA F Omer Asik. The Bulls will have three days to match the offer signed on July 11. The money amount suggests the team is giving up on Dwight Howard and allowing Asik to start. Stay tuned.
– The Thunder and coach Scott Brooks have agreed upon a 4-year contract worth more than $4M annually.
– CSKA Moscow’s team president confirmed that F Andrei Kirilenko will not return next season, likely meaning that AK47 will sign with an NBA team. It was rumoured months ago that AK had an agreement with the Nets. Stay tuned.
– The Wolves are reportedly G Nicolas Batum’s “preferred destination,” and they are offering him a 4-year/$50M contract. The Hornets and Raptors are also expected to meet with him.
– The Nuggets are expected to meet with RFA JaVale McGee on Monday to discuss a contract extension.
– Josh Hamilton led the way for the 2012 American League All-Stars with a record 11,073,744 votes. He’ll be joined by teammates Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre in the starting lineup, with Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and David Ortiz also getting voted in by the fans. Reserves for the AL squad include Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Asdrubal Cabrera, Miguel Cabrera, Billy Butler, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Joe Mauer, Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler. The Final Vote will come down to Jonathan Broxton, Yu Darvish, Ernesto Frieri, Jason Hammel and Jake Peavy.
In the NL, Pablo Sandoval edged out David Wright as the starting third baseman. Kung-Fu Panda made up a 450,000-vote gap on Wright and Melky Cabrera snuck in ahead of Ryan Braun. Also starting for the NL club will be Buster Posey, Joey Votto, Dan Uggla, Rafael Furcal, Matt Kemp and Carlos Beltran. Kemp (hamstring) won’t play in the game, meaning Braun will likely start. Starlin Castro, Bryan LaHair, Jay Bruce, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Altuve, Giancarlo Stanton, Wright, Carlos Ruiz, Andrew McCutchen, Yadier Molina and Ian Desmond were selected as reserves. The fans will decide between Michael Bourn, David Freese, Bryce Harper, Aaron Hill and Chipper Jones for the Final Vote.
– Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Phillies have been making calls to gauge trade interest in LHP Cole Hamels. Heyman writes there has been no progress in extension talks between Hamels and the Phills, and Hamels could be made available for the right package of prospects. Philly could be clearing house very soon, so a number of their big name players could be on the move. The Dodgers are seen as the frontrunners to sign Hamels over the offseason when he hits free agency, and could acquire him before hand to make sure they get the chance to sign him to an extension.
– Phillies’ RHP Roy Halladay (lat) has not experienced any soreness thus far while throwing from a mound, and is targeting a return shortly after the All-Star break. He had been looking at a late-July return, but perhaps closer to the middle of the month is possible. Doc will need a rehab assignment first, which he should be able to begin before long. He’s been out since late May.
– The Dodgers have pulled out of a proposed trade for Astros’ 1B Carlos Lee, according to Ken Rosenthal. Lee wasn’t going to accept a trade to LA anyway, but could change his mind closer to the trade deadline. The proposed deal had the Dodgers eating all of Lee’s remaining salary this season, while sending RHP Garrett Gould to Houston.
– The Yankees have acquired RHP Chad Qualls from the Phillies for a PTBNL or cash. Qualls was designated for assignment on Thursday. He has a 4.60 ERA and 1.53 WHIP over 35 appearances this season.
– The Braves have signed RHP Ben Sheets to a minor league contract. Sheets hasn’t appeared in a game since July of 2010 and hasn’t been effective since 2008. The soon-to-be 34-year-old will make his first start at Double-A Mississippi on July 4.
– Indians’ 3B Lonnie Chisenhall (broken right forearm) will be sidelined 10-12 weeks after undergoing surgery. Chisenhall will miss more time than initially believed, and will be out until September at the earliest.
– ESPN’s Adam Schefter believes Bears’ unsigned franchise RB Matt Forte will come to terms on an extension prior to July 16–the deadline for teams to extend players who were assigned the franchise tag. Forte said Friday that he won’t sit out regular season games, but would still prefer a long-term extension. He’s believed to be seeking LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster money, which would include over $20M guaranteed.
– Free agent Daunte Culpepper told the Orlando Sentinel that he’s finished playing in the NFL. The 49ers considered signing Culpepper, 35, in 2011 training camp, but only to be a third-stringer behind Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. They eventually went in another direction (Scott Tolzien). “As far as me playing, I think I am done. That part of my book is closed. The next chapter is, I have kids and I will be coaching them.” The 11th overall pick in the 1999 draft, Culpepper was a three-time Pro Bowler and finished his career with a 149:106 TD-to-INT ratio, along with 34 more rushing touchdowns. He ranked either first or second among fantasy quarterbacks four times in the early 2000s.
– Tiger Woods won the 2012 AT&T National after closing with a final-round, 2-under-par 34-35=69 to end the week at 8-under 72-68-67-69=276. After going bogey-free on his first 15 holes and sinking three birdies, Woods’ only bogey of the day at the par-5 16th. Bo Van Pelt was unable to make birdie from the middle of the fairway on the par-5 16th, giving him a bogey as well. Woods recorded 15 GIR, and finished the tournament two strokes clear of Van Pelt. It’s win N. 74 for woods on the PGA TOUR, passing Jack Nicklaus for 2nd all-time.
– The AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas is advertising that Brock Lesnar will appear at the August 6th RAW Supershow from the city. The event is being promoted as “Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night” – so don’t be surprised to see WWE put heel heat on Lesnar headed into SummerSlam by having him attack Michaels, the hometown hero & longtime friend of his SummerSlam opponent.
– Kevin Nash says he won’t be attending the WWE RAW 1,000th episode celebration on July 23rd. Nash tweeted over the weekend:
So fucked Raw’s 1000th episode falls on my family vacation. Every year we spend july in the islands. Family comes 1st after 20+ years
– Here’s the latest Santino’s Foreign Exchange:
– The Miz has a new look for his role in the WWE Studios film, “The Marine: Homefront.”
– Luke Robinson recently spoke wth WrestlingEnigma. Here are a few highlights of what Robinson said about:
When was the time when you realized that you wanted to be a professional wrestler? When I was 15 years old I fell in love with professional wrestling. The Rock/Mankind fued is what drew me in – the story of the loveable loser standing up to the arrogant bully is something that resonates with a lot of people. Believe it or not, I associated myself with the Mankind character. I grew up on a riverside farm in Maine. I didn’t get the new Nike’s every season or the best equipment. I was raised to work hard and get noticed by talent & skill, not the price of your gear. That year, my friends and I started putting on shows in the basement with strobe lights, entrance musice, and costumes. We’d each play our favorite WWE characters, write story lines, and record/edit our shows. Everyone else saw it as something fun we did on the weekends, I saw it as job training. It was in 8th grade that I realied I wanted to do this for living and from that day forward everything I did was a conscious choice to reach that goal. I graduated college at the request of my trainer, WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas, made a name for myself on the east coast and the rest is history.
How did you feel when you were selected as one of the contestants on Tough Enough? I was euphoric. It validated the past 10 years of my life. Every choice I had made up to that point was designed to get me to that point. It was the moment; at Raw, you and Andy made your way out with the WWE Tough Enough Championships, and were waiting for the verdict. How was the complete experience on being on WWE’s top show? That was a surreal but comfortable moment. As I walked out onto the ramp from the Gorilla position, I felt like this was “home.” This is what I was meant to do. I was nervous backstage, but felt totally confident as I strode down the ramp. I was embacing the hate from the fans. I had worked hard to position myself as a villian on Tough Enough and I was able to soak up the fruits of my efforts in that moment. Live on Raw. Living my dream.
As we all know, Andy Leavine won Tough Enough, much to the dismay of the so-called “WWE Universe”. Were you informed before that he had a contract with WWE’s development territory, FCW? During the first episode, John Laurinitias pulled Andy and what’s her name of the bus we were on. It got leaked then, that they both have developmental contracts prior to the show. I was kinda shocked because most competitions wouldn’t allow someone who already had the “prize” to be in the contest. It was obviously a little bizarre and suspect.
How was the environment backstage with the other guys? There were definite cliques within the house. Jeremiah and I pretty much stuck together, had fun, laughed a TON, and enjoyed the experience. A lot of the other guys were almost too focused. They were so uptight and square and didn’t even enjoy the experience because they were afraid that if they were having fun people would think they didn’t take the opportunity seriously. It’s pro-wrestling, it’s supposed to be fun. I don’t consider this a job. It’s something I love and I enjoyed every minute in the house.
What does the future hold for Luke Robinson now? I have an incredible nutrition and fitness business called “WolfPack Fitness.” I teach people how to let food (and carbs) work for them instead of against them. It’s a true life-style change. Helping people understand that they don’t need to be miserable or torture themselves to get in shape has become my greatest joy and passion. I love what I’m doing and want to help reverse the obesity epidemic in our country.
– TNA star Austin Aries recently appeared on Just Another Goddamn Rasslin Show. Here are a few highlights of what he said about:
His Favorite Wrestlers To Work With: “I wouldn’t say there’s one, I mean there’s always a handful of guys that you have certain chemistry in the ring with, that I always enjoy getting in the ring with. You talk about Brian Danielson, Samoa Joe, just to name a couple. There are other guys as well I have a good time with: Jimmy Jacobs, even though I usually end up spilling some blood in those encounters. But yeah there’s usually a group of guys, upper echelon guys that’s always fun to get in the ring with.
His Gimmick Evolving Through The Years: “I don’t know if my gimmick has changed per se. I think I’ve evolved as a wrestler; I’ve evolved as an entertainer and performer as far as my character. It’s just different parts of my life; when you’re talking about Generation Next days, my demeanor was just very singularly focused on making it myself. We were kind of no nonsense, all business; we were new to the scene and making people take notice. Fast forward now-a-days, I’ve obviously got 12-years under my belt and I have some accolades, I’m a lot more comfortable in the ring. So, you can see a lot more confidence exuded in my demeanor. I enjoy them all; I just enjoy getting in the ring and having a lot of range.”
Impact Wrestling Going Live Every Week This Summer: “I hope it is (a full time move). This period shows that being live makes a big difference, all across the board. It’s hard to surprise people if they already know what’s going to happen, and I think that element of surprise is something that we can definitely capitalize on and we can get people interested in the product. I think it’s a great move; hopefully when the summer’s over, they can decide it was a profitable move and continue to push forward. Going live is the first big step and I think (other people have mentioned it and I kind of agree) that eventually the next step is taking the show live on the road; it would be the big leap I think we’d all like to make.”
What The Future Holds For The X Division: “It’s carved its niche in the promotion; historically it has a lot of lineage and importance and hope it continues to have its own segment in the show, focused on the X Division. Obviously, through some injures and departures, the X Division roster has been depleted, so I think there’s going to be an attempt to restock coming up here and Destination X could be a place to start that.”
– According to the PWInsider, a backstage fight took place at Saturday night’s Extreme Rising show in Philadelphia between New Jack and Balls Mahoney. The ECW originals have had heat for a while and almost fought at Extreme Rising’s April show. New Jack reportedly punched Balls Mahoney when he walked to into the backstage area. The two were separated and were kept apart for the rest of the night. It’s believed that comments made by Balls Mahoney about New Jack during a recent shoot interview were the cause of their fight.
– The promotional poster has been released for next month’s TNA Hardcore Justice pay-per-view and it reveals details about the card. The poster reads “One Brutal Night. 12 Tortured Souls. 3 Hardcore Matches.” The taglines for the show are “Bound For Glory Series Goes Hardcore” and “It’s Not Always About Winning, It’s About Surviving.” Hardcore Justice 2012 takes place on Sunday, August 12 in Orlando, FL.