– The Wild have signed F Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter to identical 13-year/$98M contracts. Wow. The two best players on the market are gone in one fell swoop. Suter posted seven goals, 46 points, a plus-15 rating and 116 blocked shots in 79 games with Nashville last season, while Parise posted 31 goals and 69 points with the Devils. He also had eight goals and seven assists in 24 playoff games. The signing also hurts the Predators’ chances of re-signing D Shea Weber to a long-term contract, as he could get an even larger offer as a two-time Norris trophy winner. GM David Poile has said he will make a contract offer to Weber once Suter’s decision is finalized.
– The Lightning have signed D Matt Carle to a 6-year/$33M contract. The 27-year-old scored four goals and 38 points in 82 games with the Flyers last season. This will be Carle’s second stint with the Lightning, as he played 12 games for them during the 2008-2009 season.
– The Coyotes have signed F Steve Sullivan to a 1-year/$1.85M contract plus bonuses. Sully registered 17 goals and 31 assists in 79 games with the Penguins last season.
– The Jets have signed G Al Montoya to a 1-year/$601K contract. The 27-year-old spent last season with the Islanders, posting a 9-11-5 record, with a 3.10 GAA and a .893%.
– According to the Arizona Republic, UFA F Shane Doan may not have a decision locked by the time his self-imposed July 9th deadline comes around. His agent, Terry Bross said, ”What people need to understand about this guy is it would have been very easy for me (on Sunday) to taken some of the teams I’ve spoken to and said, ‘OK, let’s get something done. (Doan) especially said to me, ‘Listen, we’re not taking offers. You can tell teams I’m interested, but we’re not even taking offers until we know what’s happening at home.’” Doan wants to see an ownership group in place in Phoenix, as his preference is to re-sign with the Yotes.
– New Oilers’ head coach Ralph Kreuger was reportedly impressed by F Nail Yakupov development camp, according to the Edmonton Journal. ”(Yakupov’s) speed and his technical skills are of such an elite nature. His one-timer? No matter where, no matter how, he can also hit his target. But today, there was a situation where he dropped back for a defenseman and had to cover for him. As a coach, I have to be honest, I know everybody wants the show, but we do have to spoil it sometimes with good defense and … it looked like he had some good instincts away from the puck.” The No. 1 overall pick in last month’s draft will head back to Russia now to prepare for the Canada-Russia Challenge that will start in Yaroslavl on August 9.
– The Stars are going to wait to sign F Derek Roy to a contract extension, according to the Dallas Morning News. GM Joe Nieuwendyk said, ”I think we want to see what’s going on with the CBA. There’s still a lot of uncertainty with the CBA. I think we’ll all catch our breath now, he’ll get situated in Dallas, and we’ll go from there.” Roy’s current deal expires after the 2012-13 season, where he’s eligible to become a UFA. Roy is looking to rebound after an off-year last season in Buffalo, where he scored 17 goals and 44 points in 80 games.
– Blue Jackets’ G Sergei Bobrovsky is excited at the prospect of being a number one goalie again with his new team in Columbus. He told the Columbus Dispatch, ”Playing with Ilya [Bryzgalov], I learned lots of important things, which will help my career. Now I prepare myself for proving that I’’m deserving to be No.?1. I’m really excited to have an opportunity to become No.?1. Obviously, it’s for the coaches to decide. I will do my best to play more, though, because I love to play.” Bobrovsky will compete with G Steve Mason for the starting job.
– Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the sign-and-trade deal that would send G Steve Nash from the Suns to the Knicks for a package likely including G Iman Shumpert, G Toney Douglas and F Dan Gadzuric is in the “critical stages.” Shumpert was previously the breaking point in the deal, but New York may be changing their tune on moving him. Also of note, the Knicks parted ways with Mike D’Antoni last season, who was also Nash’s former coach in Phoenix. Nash is expected to get something in the ballpark of 3-years/$30M.
– UFA G Jason Kidd said on Wednesday he’d like to finish his career in Dallas. ”I’ve always loved playing with Dallas and I’d love to finish my career there.” J-Kidd was expected to follow G Deron Williams to Brooklyn, but it now appears as though he’ll re-sign with the Mavs.
– Nuggets’ RFA F JaVale McGee’s negotiations with the team are said to be going well, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. No other team has made an offer to McGee, making it more likely that he’ll re-sign.
– France’s Joakim Noah (sprained left ankle) will miss the Olympics, as his ankle has not fully healed. Noah suffered the injury back on May 4 against the Sixers in the playoffs. He should be fine for training camp.
– The Clippers offered a contract to G Jamal Crawford on Tuesday, but no deal is imminent, according to Marc Spears. Crawford is also generating interest from the Wolves, Sixers, Suns and Grizzlies. Crawford was rumoured to be offered mid-level money over three years.
– Hornets’ F Anthony Davis (ankle) will report to Team USA on Wednesday according to Adrian Wojnarowski. “The injury isn’t as bad as originally thought. (Davis) really wants to play.” Woj added that Team USA is going to be very patient with the No. 1 overall pick and there is no timetable for his return to the court.
– CSSNW.com’s Dwight Jaynes reported on Tuesday that Blazers’ RFA G Nicolas Batum “wants no part” of being with the team. Jaynes vehemently defended his report after many other media outlets shot it down, as many believe this was leaked by Batum’s agent, who has been criticized throughout the entire saga. Batum’s girlfriend tweeted that his agent said nothing like that at all, and Batum implied on Twitter that he didn’t make said comments. Stay tuned.
– UFA F Ersan Ilyasova’s agent says he has a “big” four-year offer from a European squad, in addition to offers from the Raptors, Nets and Bucks. The agent says a decision should be made within the next week. It’s not known who could be the frontrunner yet.
– According to F4WOnline, WWE Creative is planning The Undertaker’s return for Survivor Series on November 18. After undergoing two major surgeries in the past year and performing suitably at WrestleMania 28, many company employees believe he has several more matches left in the tank and will almost certainly compete at WrestleMania 29.
– On Monday’s Raw SuperShow, Brock Lesnar’s legal representative, Paul Heyman, announced that in three weeks on the 1,000th episode of Raw, Brock will personally announce his response to Triple H’s challenge for a match at SummerSlam on August 19. We know that Lesnar versus “The Game” will headline WWE’s annual summer pay-per-view event. According to F4WOnline, creative has finalized plans for matches two through four, but are being kept “top secret.” The pay-per-view event will feature seven matches in all including a gimmick match of some sort.
– WWE.com is running a storyline angle that World Heavyweight champion Sheamus was injured following Del Rio’s attack at Tuesday’s SmackDown. An article at the site states:
“Del Rio – who is known for his flashy ring entrance behind the wheel of a luxury automobile – instead used his car hood to batter The Great White during an intense brawl between the SmackDown rivals.
Sheamus was treated for head contusions and lacerations to the head, rendering him unable to compete in The Great American Bash 20-Man Battle Royal. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on his World Heavyweight Title defense against Del Rio in less than two weeks at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.”
Former WWE superstar JBL tweeted the following regarding the segment between Sheamus and Del Rio from SmackDown, implying that Del Rio was ripping off his gimmick:
Hey @WWE Next Alberto del Rio will be sitting backstage with Ron playing cards and drinking beer! #felony #theft #paymeroyalties
– Kharma, who has not appeared for WWE since the Royal Rumble, is ready to return to the ring and waiting to be reintroduced on television. Many of her Diva peers are frustrated with her absence from television.
– Maxine, whose real name is Karlee Leilani Perez, quit WWE last week due to frustration with her lack of upward mobility after being affiliated with the sports entertainment organization for over three years. F4WOnline reports she wasn’t the only female talent frustrated with her standing in the company and that some employees believe she will not be the last to leave on her own accord. This comes on the heels of Kelly Kelly taking a hiatus in order to return to modeling and see if she can land opportunities in Hollywood. Maxine continues a trend that began last year of female talent opting to walk away from WWE, which includes Michelle McCool, Gail Kim, Maryse, Brie Bella and Nikki Bella.
– At Tuesday’s live SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes won qualifying matches to compete in the SmackDown brand’s upcoming Money in the Bank match. The participants now include Christian, Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, Tensai, Santino, Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes.
– An image of Brock Lesnar growling is featured on the cover of WWE’s upcoming SummerSlam DVD and Blu-ray release on Sept. 18. The cover is the same graphic used for the pay-per-view event’s promotional poster. WWE has been building up a match between Lesnar and Triple H and it will headline SummerSlam on August 19, according to F4WOnline.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, there is talk in Mexico’s CMLL and AAA promotions that Sin Cara could be released by WWE soon.
– When asked by a fan on Twitter what CM Punk’s best career moment has been, Paul Heyman responded:
I think his best has yet 2 come.And it’s because I BELIEVE! RT: @LeehasPower What do u think has been best moment of @CMPunk Career and why?
– Monday’s WWE Monday Night Raw drw a 3.2 cable rating and averaged 4.7 million viewers. This is virtually even with last week.
– WWE currently has no Jack Swagger merchandise in stock. WWEShop.com’s page on the former World Heavyweight Champion does not have a single item up for sale. “The All-American American” has struggled greatly since the night after WrestleMania XXVIII, having won only one televised match and losing twenty.
– Jim Ross responded “Total BS” to a Twitter message Wednesday that WWE was replacing Michael Cole with “Good Ol’ J.R.”
– Zack Ryder tweeted the following after winning theGreat American Bash Battle Royal on SmackDown to become the General Manager of next week’s SmackDown:
I just won the battle royal on SmackDown! I’m gonna be the General Manager next week! I’m serious bro! #WWWYKI
– Chris Jericho was named in Kerrang Magazine’s “50 Greatest Rockstars In The World” this week. He tweeted:
Honored to be included in this weeks @KerrangMagazine 50 Greatest Rockstars In The World list! Number 42 w a bullet! Very froot… @FOZZYROCK
– This week on WWE Inbox, Alicia Fox, Darren Young, Dolph Ziggler, Ezekiel Jackson and Titus O’Neil reveal what they would be doing if they weren’t affiliated with WWE. The WWE Superstars also discuss their favourite WrestleMania.
– In July 4th birthdays, both Barry Windham and Sid Vicious turn 52 years old.
– On SuperSmackDown LIVE: The Great American Bash, a fight between Damien Sandow and Zack Ryder left Eve—wearing a white dress—completely covered in punch. Backstage Fallout caught up with Eve to get her reaction to the party mishap. Tyler Reks also reacts to whether he feels guilty for Ryback’s massacre of Curt Hawkins. Also offering comments on SmackDown events are Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Sgt. Slaughter.
– Following his appearance on Raw SuperShow, Diamond Dallas Page has been added to the Alumni section on WWE.com.
– Lilian Garcia will sing the National Anthem on Sept. 30 prior to the NFL game between the Jets and 49ers at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
– ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Astros have traded 1B Carlos Lee to the Marlins for 3B Matt Dominguez and LHP Rob Rasmussen. Lee left his teammates in Pittsburgh and should be available for use in the Marlins’ series-finale against the Brewers on Thursday afternoon in Milwaukee. The 36-year-old was hitting .287/.336/.411 with five homers and 29 RBI through 66 games this season for Houston.
– Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Yankees have “no intention” of bidding on LHP Cole Hamels unless the Phillies lower their asking price dramatically. Olney reported this past weekend that the Phills are asking for four or five prospects in exchange for Hamels. The acquiring team would be unable to offer arbitration to the impending free agent, meaning the return price will need to be lowered in order to get something done. The club maintains that they want to sign Hamels to a long-term deal, but things are always subject to change. Stay tuned.
– Dodgers’ RHP Todd Coffey (right elbow) will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season. The 31-year-old was injured during Monday night’s game. He was 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA in 23 games this year.
– The Dodgers have placed OF Andre Ethier (strained left oblique) on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 28. He will be eligible for activation immediately after the All-Star break. He is batting .291/.357/.491 with 10 home runs and 55 RBI in 75 games this season.
– Buster Olney of ESPN.com writes that “at some point over the next month,” the Mets are expected to execute a plan to pitch RHP R.A. Dickey more often. Manager Terry Collins recently acknowledged that he has considered starting Dickey on three days’ rest. It’s also possible that the Mets could use him out of the bullpen on his throw days.
– Braves’ 1B Freddie Freeman (left index finger) will receive two more cortisone shots over the All-Star break. Freeman first hurt his finger in early June and has been forced to miss games. The finger is still causing pain when he grips the bat, and that he gets a “jolt” when he catches some hard throws. Freeman had a .697 OPS in June and is hitting just .182 in July entering Wednesday’s game.
– Red Sox’ 2B Dustin Pedroia (right thumb) will undergo further tests from a team doctor during Thursday’s off day back in Boston. Pedroia was held out of the lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against the Oakland Athletics. He tore a muscle in the thumb in late May and missed six games. Pedroia said his thumb is sore in a different spot after he landed on the back side of his thumb trying to make a diving catch in the outfield during Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss. Pedroia is batting .266 with six home runs and 33 RBIs
“I was fine during the game, then after the game I was sore and then today I’m pretty sore. It’s not in the area where I first got hurt. When I dove for that ball in right field, I don’t know what happened. Bobby wanted me to not play today since we have an off day tomorrow. I’m pretty frustrated. It stinks. I have a high pain tolerance.”
– Rangers’ RHP Yu Darvish (rest) won’t make his final first-half start. He has strong 3.59 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 117/53 K/BB ratio over the first 102 2/3 innings of his major league career.
– Cubs’ RHP Ryan Dempster (lat) is hoping to return on Sunday. Dempster had another bullpen session Wednesday without incident. He appears to be 100%, but the team will wisely hold him off, as he’s their best trade asset entering the deadline.
– Rangers’ LHP Derek Holland (shoulder) will rejoin the rotation on Saturday against the Twins.
– The Yankees have claimed OF Darnell McDonald off waivers from the Red Sox. The 33-year-old was designated for assignment by the Red Sox over the weekend after batting just .214/.309/.369 in 99 plate appearances this year. He’ll officially join the Bombers on Friday in Boston.
– The White Sox have placed RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 24. Crain is 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 24 games this season.
– The Padres have placed RHP Andrew Cashner (strained lat) on the 15-day DL. Cashner suffered the injury on Tuesday night in Arizona while throwing warm-up pitches before the bottom of the third inning. He’s likely to need at least three weeks of rest and rehab, and could be out for over a month depending on the severity. The hard-throwing 25-year-old leaves behind a 3.44 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.
– The Boston Herald believes Patriots’ RB Stevan Ridley “makes sense” as the feature back between the tackles this season. Beat writer Jeff Howe calls Ridley “the primary runner,” and 2011 2nd-round pick Shane Vereen “as the main guy in passing situations.”
– The Jaguars have resumed contract talks with unsigned franchise K Josh Scobee, according to the Florida Times Union. Scobee’s agent said in late June that the sides hadn’t spoken in “months,” but things may have changed with the deadline for franchise players to sign long-term deals being just 12 days away.
– Robin van Persie announced Wednesday he will not be extending his contract with Arsenal. The 28-year-old scored 37 goals in all competitions for the Gunners last season.
“I personally have had a great season, but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.”
“Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans, I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward.”
– Formula One test driver Maria de Villota, 32, lost her right eye in a crash during a testing session, and remains hospitalized in Britain with her team members describing her condition as critical, but stable. De Villota suffered serious injuries to her head and face after colliding with a team vehicle at the end of one of her straight-line test runs at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, north of London. She underwent a lengthy procedure by neurological and plastic surgery teams, her team said, adding that de Villota was in the operating theatre from Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday morning. John Booth, Marussia team principal said,
“We are grateful for the medical attention that Maria has been receiving. However, it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.”
De Villota was testing the team’s racing car for the first time Tuesday after joining Marussia in March. She is the sport’s first full-time female driver since Italy’s Giovanna Amati raced with the Brabham team in 1992. She was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital after the accident with what an emergency team’s spokesman described as life-threatening injuries. Her head apparently took much of the impact from the collision with the Marussia team truck, which was used to transport the racing car to the airfield for a week of testing ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Sunday. It was still unclear why the car suddenly accelerated, and hit the truck as De Villota slowed down at the end of the run. Booth said the investigation of the accident is ongoing. Marussia F1, formerly known as Virgin Racing, is yet to score a point in this season’s Formula One championship.
– Former TNA Knockout Angelina Love announced Sunday that she has amicably parted ways with the organization. Many of Love’s friends and co-workers offered words of encouragement following her parting of ways.
Velvet Sky: “Such a damn shame!! So much left to do there! I know you’re gonna move on to big things bud, good luck and as always I love u!!”
Madison Rayne: “I’ll miss seeing your beautiful face. I can’t WAIT to see the awesome things you’re about to accomplish though.”
Devon: “God is with you girl, see you soon.”
Tara: “Good luck @ActualALove! You will have success no matter where your journey takes you.”
Traci Brooks: “No doubt Angelina Love was one of the best KOs (being canadian and all). I know she’ll succeed at whatever lies ahead!”
Rosita: “I love Angel so much and it’s gonna suck not being able to work with her and have the great times we have at work BUT I will see her elsewhere and she is such a beautiful and talented woman she will excel in ANYTHING she choses to do next! I had my dark match with her. That was the match that got me signed. I will forever be grateful to her for being so awesome to me as a friend and co-worker.”
– TFC’s team’s director of team and player operations, Earl Cochrane, said Wednesday during a conference call Joao Plata is still with the club, although the team continues to work on securing a loan agreement for Plata to suit up with his former club LDU Quito in his native country. Cochrane was hopeful a loan deal could be reached by the weekend and bristled somewhat when told that newspapers in Ecuador said Plata was there with his family would begin practising with his new team Thursday.
“The reality of the situation is he’s a Toronto FC player, he will remain a Toronto FC player during the course of that loan. I don’t know what to say other than what I’m telling you is the situation.
“You can speak to Ecuadorian news reports, you can speak to Twitter reports. What I’m telling you is the truth that we are working through the specifics of that six-month loan agreement, we think that’s the best environment for Joao to continue his development and at the end of six months he will be a Toronto FC player again.”
Plata tweeted that a deal was done, saying,
“Ready to leave tomorrow for Ecuador, thank u 4 everything to all the TFC fans, I hope to comeback one day.”