Tim Thomas to take year-long break
Boston Bruins starting goaltender Tim Thomas will most likely not be returning to the team for the final year of his $5 million dollar contract. His departure will raise some issues with the Bruins salary cap position, as his $5 million will still count against the cap. Thomas, who is 38, cited focusing his attention on “Friends, Family, and Faith” as his reason for the hiatus in a posting on his Facebook page. He also expressed interest in playing for team USA in the Olympics in 2014. Beyond this statement, Thomas has not elaborated on his hockey future. With the absence of Thomas, it is finally time for the Bruins to turn to his heir as starting goaltender, Tuukka Rask. Rask is highly touted and has shown tremendous talent backing up Thomas for the last few seasons. Last season Rask was 11-8-3 with a .929 SV%, 2.05 GAA, and three shutouts before a groin injury ended his season.
Arbitrator rules in favor of NFL bounty case
An arbitrator has ruled that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the power to suspend several New Orleans Saints players for their roles in the bounty system that the coaching staff had in place for three seasons. The scandal blew open back in March when the NFL announced that they had credible evidence that Saint’s defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had a bounty program in place. Williams has already been suspended indefinitely by the league. The NFL player’s union said it plans to appeal the decision made by Stephen Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania law professor who decided the case. The players currently suspended are Jonathan Vilma (entire 2012 season), Will Smith (four games), Anthony Hargrove (eight games, now with Green Bay), and Scott Fujita (three games, now with Cleveland).
Wizards opt to keep Wittman
The Washington Wizards have decided to hang on to head coach Randy Wittman. He guided the team to an 18-31 record after replacing Flip Saunders in January. Saunders had coached the team to a 2-15 start. The Wizards had ended the season winning six in a row and eight of their last 10, and finished 20-46 overall. The president of the Wizards, Ernie Grunfeld, believes that Wittman works well with the team’s young talent, and former #1 overall draft pick John Wall had publicly stated that he wanted Wittman to return. This is Wittman’s third stint as a head coach in the NBA, having previously coached the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also played 543 career NBA games with Atlanta, Sacramento, and Indiana before retiring as a player in 1992.
Jacksonville Jaguars first round pick arrested for DUI
Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2012 first round draft pick Justin Blackmon was arrested on aggravated DUI charges in Oklahoma the weekend of June 2-3. Authorities explained that the fifth overall selection was arrested early that Sunday morning after having three times the legal amount of alcohol in his system, according to his breathalyzer test. Payne County Sheriff Sgt. Brandon Ingham told CBS News in a statement that Blackmon was “unsteady on his feet,” adding “his speech was slurred and his eyes were glassy and blood shot.” This marks the second time that the wide receiver has been arrested on DUI charges in the past two years. Blackmon was arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges back in 2010 after being pulled over by authorities for speeding on a Dallas, Texas highway. Jacksonville spokesman Dan Edwards told CBS News that the team is aware of Blackmon’s arrest. The Jaguars and the Oklahoma State product have yet to agree to terms on a contract.