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Thu, 30 Apr 2009 03:00:44 GMT
Zynga Poker

One of the most popular Facebook apps and best money making for certain is the Zynga poker app. It's free poker, or at least kinda free. You can buy fake chips and some have suggested that Zynga is making nearly $50M selling these fake chips. Why are people buying? To impress strangers with large chip stacks?

Worse, I played a few hands and I hit quads, sets, straights, full houses, flushes, pocket rockets every second hand. They were clearly distributing the cards to give me amazing cards and get me excited about the game. The cards were unbelievable. I don't know their algorithm, but many poker websites give newbies great cards in order to encourage them to return. I personally can't stand it when I try a poker website and get pocket rockets left and right. It's fake. It's not real poker. I hate it!

Wed, 15 Apr 2009 01:43:27 GMT
NHL Playoff Predictions

Here's my 1st round predictions for the 2009 NHL Playoffs.

Sat, 11 Apr 2009 16:43:18 GMT
Battalion v Mississauga, Game 6

The lineup to get into the Battalion v St Mikes game last night went from the arena, to the sidewalk, down the street a block and around the corner. Oddly, there was only 3,800 at the game. Which is a lot of Mississauga, but obviously more than they are prepared to handle. We arrived about 40 minutes early, which is usually very early for an OHL game, but had to lineup around the corner.

014 

016 

It was a great game with Brampton winning 3-2 and taking the series in 6 games. The video is of the 3 stars (volume is noisy).

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 22:54:53 GMT
G, Blog Deputy

G has agreed to be our first Blog Deputy. She'll be taking care of three player blogs; Darren Sharper, Tony Richardson, Flozell Adams, Chris Paul and James Farrior. Welcome aboard!

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 15:12:28 GMT
Steph, Blog Deputy

Steph has agreed to be our first Blog Deputy. She'll be taking care of three player blogs; Carl Edwards, Dale Jr, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. Welcome aboard!

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 14:50:11 GMT
MzBGSharper, Blog Deputy

MzBGSharper has agreed to be our first Blog Deputy. She'll be taking care of three player blogs; Darren Sharper, Reggie Bush and Shannon Brown. Welcome aboard!

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 18:41:35 GMT
Blog Deputy FAQ

What are Blog Deputies?

Blog deputies are volunteers on Talk-Sports that help us maintain the website. They are not paid, but do receive free swag for their efforts.

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What are the duties of a Blog Deputy?

The following are tasks we ask Blog Deputies to do, but they are not required to do.

Who can become a Blog Deputy?

Anybody. Simply ask us at webmaster@talk-sports.net. We already have a long list of users that want to be Blog Deputies. From time-to-time we will select new Blog Deputies from that list as required. The following are selection criteria.

Why weren't you selected to be a Blog Deputy?

It's not that you weren't selected. We'd like to have as many as possible, but we have a long list of candidates. We will continue adding new Blog Deputies every week or month as required. You can improve your chances by meeting the criteria above.

Tue, 07 Apr 2009 15:24:14 GMT
Blog Deputies

We are considering a new program called Blog Deputies. These Talk-Sports members will be given free silver memberships ($18/12 monthly value). They will be responsible for warning people who become abusive, deleting posts that interfere with the running of the website, helping us determine which users should be banned and promoting their blogs. The best Deputies every month will be sent all the swag we receive from our various advertisers (mailing address required). If you are intersted in becoming a Blog Deputy, then please email us (webmaster@talk-sports.net).

Tue, 07 Apr 2009 14:52:03 GMT
NHL.com Sucks

NHL.com is the worst website of all the major sports. Beyond the facts that it's extremely slow, has tons of dead and unmaintained pages, the minor stats are not updated, it doesn't work on mobile device, etc. Now, the embedded videos have stopped working yet again.

http://www.nhl.com/

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 16:05:15 GMT
Talk Sports FAQ (v3)

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Fri, 03 Apr 2009 18:25:01 GMT
Indycar on Versus

Thu, 02 Apr 2009 05:41:41 GMT
What Should Burke Do?

If you were Brian Burke, then what would you do in the off-season? Here's my take.

Buyouts?

I'd be tempted to buy-out Blake and Finger, but I wouldn't. The Leafs aren't going to win the Stanley Cup next year and every year we keep either player removes two years from their salary impacting the Leafs cap. Tucker's salary cap hit for buying him out last year was $1M this year and will be $1M for the next 5 years. I don't want that mistake repeated. I wouldn't buy anybody out. It's a short-term fix and we need long-term solutions.

Goaltending

The biggest problem is in goal. Toskala has one year left on his contract and I think he's worth the $4M. Let's keep him as our backup or part of a 1-2 tandem and maybe we can trade him at the deadline.

The Leafs should focus on signing the best free-agent goalie they can. Tim Thomas? Khabibulin? Craig Anderson? Martin Biron? That's a pretty good list. I wouldn't trade for a starting goalie unless it was a steal. Why trade what you can sign for free? Martin Gerber is another free-agent option, but I'd give him 1 year max. I wouldn't give anybody a no-trade clause.

I wouldn't put much stock in Justin Pogge anymore. Let's leave him with the Marlies for now and test him again in 2010, unless he pulls off a miracle in the AHL playoffs. That would change everything.

Defense

Set ($19M). Kubina, Kaberle, White, Finger, Schenn, Van Ryn are the starting six. Frogen is the 7th. Stralman could fill-in for injuries and I might even give him a shot at making the club.

BTW, if we give $6M to a 2nd goaltender, then we are already at $29M and $29M for an NHL defense is rather high, especially for one that isn't all that good.

Forwards

Returning fowards ($16M); Blake, Hagman, Ponikarovsky, Stempniak, Stajan and Kulemin. We'll have to resign Grabovski for about $1.5M. I would keep Jamal Mayers and John Mitchell as fourth liners and 13th forwards with the club or with the Marlies. I wouldn't be afraid to lose either on waivers either. I'd also give Jeremy Williams and Jiri Tlusty shots at making the big club next season.

This leaves us 4 forward positions to fill. One of these will be filled by our first round draft pick. The Leafs should get a high pick and most of the talent is at center. I would do everything to move up in this draft, as the talent is thick. Tavares, Hedman and Duchesne are the prizes. It might be difficult to trade up and get Tavares. Both Hedman and Duchesne might be available for a reasonable price. 

Now we have 3 forward positions left to fill. I really like Andre Deveaux and we can have him for minimum. The Leafs need a right-handed centerman that can win faceoffs (Dominik Moore $1.5M?). This leaves us a little bit of room to pick up a free-agent forward to fill out the lineup with a tough guy that can play.

Bonus

Sign Ponikarovsky to an 2-yr extension at $3-3.5M. Sign Stajan to a 1-yr extension at $2M.  They are unrestricted at the end of 2009-10.

Result

Still not a great team. If we re-signed Gerber to a $1.5M deal instead of going for a #1 goalie, then we'd have salary room to go after a premier forward, but I think you build from the net out.

Thu, 02 Apr 2009 03:49:43 GMT
Maples Leafs Grades

Here's my final grades on your 2008-09 Toronto Maple Leafs.

  1. A+ Alexei Ponikarovsky - 23 goals on less than 16 minutes per game and best of all he was +8 on a mostly minus team.
  2. A Luke Schenn - In limited ice-time, he finished 18th in hits thrown.
  3. A Mikhail Grabovski - The rookie tallied more points than Stamkos.
  4. A Niklas Hagman - Good two-way players and we have him locked up for 3 more years.
  5. A Nik Antropov - Career high goals and good trade bait.
  6. A Andre Deveaux - He played 21 games on the big club. Who'd a guessed that last September.
  7. A Dominic Moore - Claimed him off waivers and traded him for a 2nd round pick in just over a year. Not bad.
  8. A Jeremy Williams - According to Ron Wilson, he doesn't play well defensively from the press box. WTF!?
  9. A Carlo Calaiacovo - Finally turned into the NHL player we new he would be. Unfortunately, we traded him first.
  10. B+ Ian White - The + is for effort.
  11. B Tomas Kaberle - He didn't step up and become a leader.
  12. B Matt Stajan - He's not a #1 center, but was forced to fill-in as one.
  13. B Pavel Kubina - Solid d-man
  14. B Nikolai Kulemin - 10th in rookie goals.
  15. B Jonas Frogen - Good start.
  16. B Phil Oreskovic - WOW! He played 10 games in the NHL.
  17. B Anton Stralman - Improving.
  18. B Brian Burke - Interesting moves.
  19. C Jason Blake - Better, but still not earning anywhere near his salary.
  20. C Jeff Finger - Didn't earn his salary, but not entirely his fault.
  21. C Mike Van Ryn - Looked good on the ice, not so much in the medical room.
  22. C Vesa Toskala - Leafs won't get better unless the goaltending gets better.
  23. C Brad May - Great team man, but he's a candidate for retirement.
  24. C John Mitchell - Has the talent to play in the NHL, but doesn't show it during the games.
  25. C Tim Stapleton - First NHL goal and great AHL rookie season.
  26. C Jeffrey Hamilton - Good depth player.
  27. C Martin Gerber - I think we got brownie points for taking his salary.
  28. C Curtis Joseph - Stunk before Christmas, but played better since. Retire already!
  29. C Ron Wilson - Didn't have much to work with.
  30. D Lee Stempniak - Do we really have to pay this guy $3.5 million next year?
  31. D Jamal Mayers - Kulemin threw more hits.
  32. D Jiri Tlusty - Finally clicked in the AHL. He might get another chance next year.
  33. D Kris Newbury - Injured!
  34. D Alex Steen - Lost patience with him and got traded.
  35. D Jay Harrison - Leaving for Europe was a bad career move.
  36. D Staffan Kronwall - Lost him on waivers. Not a biggy.
  37. D Jamie Sifers - Didn't progress.
  38. D Boyd Devereaux - He stunk with the Marlies.
  39. D Ben Ondrus - HuH? They didn't have anything better when they played him in 11 games?
  40. D Ryan Hollweg - We actually traded a 5th rounder for him.
  41. D Mark Bell - Contract is over. Bye!
  42. D Justin Pogge - Horrible.
  43. D Cliff Fletcher - Stunk.
Thu, 02 Apr 2009 00:46:04 GMT
NASCAR Kart for Wii

NASCAR Kart RacingThis looks awesome. Finally a NASCAR game for the Wii system.  Unfortunate that it's only Kart and not real NASCAR cars.

http://www.hellosanta.org/find.aspx?q=B001LX4BMS

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