– The Hurricanes have signed F Jeff Skinner to a 6-year/$34.35M contract extension worth $5.725M annually. The deal will pay Skinner $4,350,000 in 2013-14 and $6M per season from the 2014-15 season through the 2018-19 season. GM Jim Rutherford said, “Jeff is a cornerstone player for our team, and his long-term commitment to the Hurricanes is great news for our franchise and our fans. At 20 years old, he is still in the very early stages of his career, and we felt it was important to ensure he would be spending much more of it in Raleigh.” Skinner has one year remaining on his entry-level deal. The 2011 Calder Trophy winner scored 20 goals and added 24 assists in 64 games with the Hurricanes in 2011-12, but missed time due to a concussion.
– Rangers’ F Marian Gaborik (shoulder surgery) is pleased with his offseason progress. ”I feel good. I have been working hard in terms of rehab. Things are going as they should be, so I am happy with the progress.” Gaborik recently visited New York to meet with team doctors, but is scheduled to return home to Slovakia next week to continue his rehab. Gaborik isn’t projected to be available until late November.
– Maple Leafs’ F Joffrey Lupul (separated shoulder) skated Tuesday for the first time in five months. Lupul suffered a shoulder separation March 6 that ended his season and kept him off skates the entire time. He had 25 goals and 42 assists through 66 games. “I’m 100%. I’ve had a full summer of training. I’ll be ready to go. It’s been a long break, and I can’t wait to get back and play. It should be an exciting year.”
– Grantland.com published a lengthy article Tuesday on the life and controversial wrestling career of Kevin Nash with the six-time world champion notably reiterating his stance on “Vanilla Midgets,” a dismissive term he used behind-the-scenes in the late ’90s in World Championship Wrestling to describe small-statured, gifted technical wrestlers such as Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. Nash said the professional wrestling industry died at WrestleMania XX when the pay-per-view event concluded with Benoit and Guerrero—both of whom were under six-feet-tall—reigning atop as world champions and emotionally celebrating. Chris Jericho, who worked his way up the wrestling ranks alongside Benoit and Guerrero, publicly took offense to Nash’s remarks and responded with another commonly used stance. Jericho tweeted late Tuesday evening:
Funny how @RealKevinNash says wrestling “died” when Benoit and Guerrero were champs-Yet the worst year for WWE biz was 95 when he was on top
The oft-used point originated from Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer, who has repeated stated over the years that WWE had its worst financial period in company history in 1995 when Nash held the WWF Championship as Diesel. Nash responded to Jericho’s tweet minutes later, writing:
Once again the puppet master pulls the marks strings .Knew Jericho was a closet mark.First one eliminated on a bullshit sing show…REALLY!!
Nash’s last insult is in reference to Jericho being the first contestant to be eliminated in the 2006 Fox Television singing reality show Celebrity Duets. Jericho quickly shot back:
Hope @RealKevinNash doesn’t tear his quad tweeting! #typicalbigman #nwothirdwheel
– Updating a previous item, WWE Diva Rosa Mendes filed a battery report with police, alleging that her fiance, former WWE Superstar Jackson Andrews (real name Andy Slocum), has been physically abusing her and she fears for her life. TMZ.com is now reporting that Slocum has been living a double life and has been to another woman at the same as Mendes. Slocum’s other fiance, Amber Stovall. tells TMZ.com that she had no idea her man was engaged to a WWE diva, because they’ve been dating for 4 1/2 years and share a home (and two bulldogs) in Houston, Texas.
“I was not aware of his double life with Rosa. I was blindsided by the TMZ story. He had just flown me out to Vegas the weekend after July 4th and we made plans for him to return home to Houston at the end of August. “
As for whether Slocum was ever violent with her, Amber Stovall says no, “He’s never even raised his voice to me.” Since learning about her man’s double life on TMZ, Stovall has called off her engagement with Slocum, telling TMZ:
“He has not reached out to me despite my efforts to contact him since I found out about Rosa. So as of today, I have cut off all joint accounts which includes his cell phone.”
– Former WWE star Ken Doane speculates that the online beef between Maria Kanellis and Kelly Kelly has something to do with WWE Champion CM Punk, who has a history with both Divas.
Oh shit maria calling out kelly. I cud be wrong here but i wonder if this has to do with a certain punk in wwe. Maria gonna get haters now.
I like both ladies so I think I should ref a match between them both #knowwhatimean
I always thought maria was a sweetheart. And well I def know kelly is a sweetheart. #peaceladies
I know its about chris. Was reffering to him as a punk. Throw people off. Ya know?
Doane also commented on the Chris Jericho’s beef with Kevin Nash, who said the wrestling industry died at WrestleMania 20 when WWE ended the show with new World Heavyweight champion Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero celebrating in the ring:
now y2j and nash bickering! COME ON! its fake, nobody really beat anyone.
– For the past decade, video content from WWE’s “Attitude Era” (1998–2002) has been edited due to a lawsuit with the World Wildlife Fund over the WWF initials. All WWF “scratch” logos and references to the initials had to be blurred or edited out. This directive has now changed, at least in part. In regards to the former “scratch” logo appearing unaltered in video packages in recent weeks, use of the symbol in flashback sequences is permitted after the organization’s legal proceedings with the World Wildlife Fund were settled in the last quarter. However, it is unclear whether the permission extends to complete matches and other archival footage. Meanwhile, WWE.com published a photo gallery Tuesday chronicling the long line of Presidents, Commissioners and General Managers that have ruled over sports-entertainment and a shot of Mick Foley donning a T-shirt with the WWF “scratch” logo on display is shown.
– Former WWE Women’s Champion Sable, wife of WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar, turns 45-years-old on Wednesday. Though her age has come into question over the years, Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer noted in her $110 million lawsuit against WWE in 1999 (citing allegations of sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions) that she listed herself as being born on August 8, 1967. Therefore, she was 28-years-old when she joined the sports-entertainment organization in 1996 and 35 when she returned in 2003. Fans have speculated that with Lesnar’s renewed partnership with WWE, the legendary Diva could return to television as well. That, however, is believed to be highly unlikely. According to people close to the couple, she has absolutely no desire to return to the spotlight and is very content on being a homebody.
– After weeks of build-up, Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler has been confirmed for WWE SummerSlam 2012. With that match set, here’s the updated card for the show:
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H w/ Shawn Michaels
WWE Championship Match: CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
World Heavyweight Title Match: Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio
Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
WWE SummerSlam 2012 takes place on Sunday, August 19th from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
– Former WWE superstar MVP tweeted the following message in response to Kevin Nash’s recent comments that the wrestling industry died at WrestleMania 20 when WWE had Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit as its top champions:
Kevin Nash is right. Smaller guys don’t draw. I mean who would pay any money to watch itty bitty guys like Mayweather or Paquiao?
Let the record show, I LIKE @RealKevinNash he’s always been cool to me. I just don’t agree with his opinion. Doesn’t mean we’re hostile.
@The305MVP I think you are more upset about him referring to Benoit. Kevin Nash can be an ass.Best part look at everyone defending Chris now
I’m not upset at all. I just sarcastically expressed a difference of opinion. Nash has always been real cool to me. @jenmisstx
– Randy Orton tweeted the following message about his starring role in the upcoming WWE Studios movie, “12 Rounds: Reloaded”:
Looking forward to starring in @WWEStudios new #12Rounds:Reloaded movie. John Cena, look out
The movie begins shooting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on September 26 and is scheduled for a Spring 2013 release.
– According to Connecticut’s Stanford Advocate newspaper, a recent filing with the Federal Election Commission reveals that US Senate candidate Linda McMahon donated another $4.3M to her campaign in July. The latest contribution brings her total contributions to the current campaign to $12.4M.
– David Otunga noted on Twitter that filming has completed for the upcoming WWE Studios film, “The Hive,” which stars Halle Berry and will be in theaters next year. Otunga plays a police officer in the movie and shaved his trademark goatee for the role.
– According to the PWInsider, Bully Ray and Devon are currently in the midst of contract negotiations with TNA, and the duo could be on their way out of the company. Ray has been handling most of the negotiations, and reportedly feels that TNA has not treated them with the respect they deserve. Ray has been pushed as one of TNA’s top heels in recent months and has gotten himself in the best shape of his career. He has also been working behind the scenes as an agent.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, TNA Knockout Velvet Sky likely will not be returning, despite company officials wanting her back. Sky will be reuniting with her former Beautiful People member, Angelina Love, at an upcoming indy show from Brooklyn, New York on 10/6 in a tag match against Maria Kanellis and Winter.
– Lions’ FS Louis Delmas (left knee) underwent surgery Tuesday. It’s his second knee surgery in eight months, but not the same knee that kept him out of the final five regular season games last season. His status for Week 1 is uncertain.
– CBS’ Jason La Canfora reports Raiders’ RB Mike Goodson (neck) is “doing well and expected to be fine.” Goodson was taken to the hospital following a helmet-to-helmet collision with LB Philip Wheeler in Tuesday’s practice, but quickly regained feeling in his extremities. It’s unclear if he’s suffered a concussion. Goodson won’t play in Monday’s preseason opener, but could be ready for game two next Friday. He’s competing for the backup job.