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Fri, 08 Apr 2011 00:27:31 GMT
Rookie of the Year

We have some race this year. I can identify 7 legit candidates; 3 of which scored 30 goals.

Jeff Skinner

One year ago, Skinner wasn't on anybody's NHL radar.  He wasn't drafted and wasn't even projected in the 1st round of the draft. He scored 20 goals in 20 games during last years OHL playoff and he became a 7th overall pick. Twelve months later, he has 30+ goals in the NHL and is the choice of many to win the Calder Trophy.

Logan Couture

Nineth overall pic in 2007, he stagnated for the next 3 years. Out of nowhere, he's regained his top prospect form and put 30 pucks in the net. Unlikely to win, as he doesn't have the most goals, nor the most points for a rookie, which is the prime criteria for a forward.

Michael Grabner

Grabner was the 14 overall pick back in 2006. Like Couture, he struggled after his draft year. He played the last 3 years almost entirely in the AHL. A brief 20 game tryout at the end of last season was successful, potting 5 goals. The Canucks traded him to the Panthers, who then waived him before the season started. He was claimed by the Islanders and the rest is history; 30 goal rookie campaign.

John Carlson

Drafted 27th overall in 2008. Note that all these rookies to date have been drafted in the 1st round. Somebody might wanna inform Brian Burke of these facts. Played half a season in the AHL and he's an NHLer. Fits in well, on a very talented Capitals team. Unlike to win.

Cam Fowler

Tell Burke that Fowler was drafted 12th overall in 2010. Ya, that's last year. And he scored 40 points this year as a defenseman. His -26 plus-minus rating is gonna keep him away from the Calder Trophy.

P.K. Subban

Drafted in the 2nd round of 2007. I have to think his skin color and mouth kept him out of the 1st round. How many defensemen score 56 points in their OHL draft year and don't get picked in the 1st round? He's improved every year since, is now a household name for every hockey fan and a twitter fad (#blamesubban). PK's stats might not get him the Calder, but I watch a lot of hockey and from what I see, this guy is already a leader on the Canadians. He's my Calder pick, but I doubt many will agree. They'd rather blame him for something.

Corey Crawford

I always hate it when a goalie qualifies as a rookie, yet he played games in 4 NHL seasons. This is actually his 5th season playing in the NHL. The numbers are there and he resurrected the Hawks season. He'll get votes, but he was drafted in 2003. Hardly a rookie.

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 04:14:03 GMT
Kamau Peterson Shutdown

Kamau Peterson became the first athlete to take us up on our latest program to shut down his girlfriend blog.  Check out the message he left for his Talk-Sports fans. Kamau plays in the CFL and was outstanding Canadian in 2008.

http://www.talk-sports.net/cfl/girlfriend.aspx/Kamau_Peterson

Fri, 01 May 2009 13:31:39 GMT
Hello Blackhawks?

The game winning goal for the Canucks over Blackhawks last night looked like a game of shinny hockey. Note, all five Hawk players rush to the top of the circle, four of them, including one defenseman, goes for a skate behind the goalline. Vancouver doesn't immediately turn the puck up ice, there was plenty of time for the four Hawks to recover, but it appears only one of them decided to make an effort to get into the play. Is this an NHL team?

Let's start with the pass. With all four Blackhawks deep, Versteeg passes it backwards, then proceeds to leisurely skate into the corner. Havlat and Barker crash the net, which is fine, but Havlat had all day to try and come back and is nowhere to be found. Barker is a defenseman, he shouldn't be going to the net and engaging the d-man. Oddly, Barker was the only Hawk deep that was engaged with another player. Barker skates all the way back but fails to pick up the Canuck standing right beside him who scores the easy goal. What is the point of skating back, if you aren't gonna try to stop them. All three other Hawk forwards made no attempt to backcheck. Kane missed the pass, which causes the turnover, but the puck goes to the far boards and it takes several seconds to turn up ice. Where is Kane? Walker was the only Hawk on this play that played any defense, but he fails to take the guy with the puck and allows him to make a pass thru the middle.

Question. How did these guys beat the Flames? Or worse, were they trying to lose?

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.
Sun, 14 Dec 2008 02:11:38 GMT
NHL 2008 All-Stars

I thought it'd be interesting to list my 20 NHL all-stars for this season.

Goaltenders

Defensemen

Forwards

Fri, 12 Dec 2008 04:10:36 GMT
7,000,000 Visits
Yesterday, Talk-Sports got its 7,000,000th visitor, 24,000,000th pageview and 600,000th comment for 2008. We're also slightly short of 3,500,000 unique visitors. It's been a great year!
Wed, 10 Dec 2008 22:46:10 GMT
NFL Layoffs?

The NFL is laying-off 150 of their 1100 workers or 14% of their workforce. MLB.com is laying off 20 of 5% of their workers. The NBA laid-off 80 earlier this year. The AFL is talking about suspending operations for the coming season. Things are tough!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/sports/football/10nfl.html?em
http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/layoffs-at-mlbcom/
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081210.ARENA10/TPStory/Sports

Tue, 25 Nov 2008 14:56:31 GMT
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Tue, 25 Nov 2008 03:08:43 GMT
NBA Players Updated

We just updated the NBA players for the 2008-09 season.

Atlantic
Boston Celtics  (13 - 2)
Philadelphia 76ers  (7 - 6)
New York Knicks  (7 - 6)
New Jersey Nets  (6 - 6)
Toronto Raptors  (6 - 7)
Central
Cleveland Cavaliers  (10 - 3)
Detroit Pistons  (8 - 5)
Milwaukee Bucks  (7 - 8)
Chicago Bulls  (6 - 8)
Indiana Pacers  (5 - 7)
Southeast
Orlando Magic  (9 - 4)
Atlanta Hawks  (8 - 5)
Miami Heat  (7 - 6)
Charlotte Bobcats  (3 - 9)
Washington Wizards  (1 - 10)
Southwest
Houston Rockets  (9 - 5)
New Orleans Hornets  (7 - 5)
San Antonio Spurs  (6 - 6)
Dallas Mavericks  (6 - 7)
Memphis Grizzlies  (4 - 9)
Northwest
Utah Jazz  (9 - 5)
Denver Nuggets  (9 - 5)
Portland Trail Blazers  (8 - 6)
Minnesota Timberwolves  (3 - 9)
Oklahoma City Thunder  (1 - 13)
Pacific
Los Angeles Lakers  (11 - 1)
Phoenix Suns  (9 - 5)
Golden State Warriors  (5 - 8)
Sacramento Kings  (5 - 10)
Los Angeles Clippers  (2 - 11)
Tue, 25 Nov 2008 02:54:30 GMT
ECHL Players Updated

We just updated the ECHL player rosters for the 2008-09 season.

Alaska Aces
Augusta Lynx
Bakersfield Condors
Charlotte Checkers
Cincinnati Cyclones
Dayton Bombers
Elmira Jackals
Florida Everblades
Fresno Falcons
Gwinnett Gladiators
Idaho Steelheads
Johnstown Chiefs
Las Vegas Wranglers
Mississippi Sea Wolves
Ontario Reign
Phoenix RoadRunners
Reading Royals
South Carolina Stingrays
Stockton Thunder
Trenton Devils
Utah Grizzlies
Victoria Salmon Kings
Wheeling Nailers
Mon, 24 Nov 2008 16:01:25 GMT
QMJHL Players Updated

We just updated the QMJHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.

Acadie-Bathurst
Baie-Comeau
Cape Breton
Chicoutimi
Drummondville
Gatineau
Halifax
Lewiston
Moncton
Montréal
P.E.I.
Québec
Rimouski
Rouyn-Noranda
Saint John
Shawinigan
Val-d'Or
Victoriaville
Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:27:30 GMT
WHL Players Updated

We just updated the WHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.

Brandon Wheat Kings
Calgary Hitmen
Chilliwack Bruins
Edmonton Oil Kings
Everett Silvertips
Kamloops Blazers
Kelowna Rockets
Kootenay Ice
Lethbridge Hurricanes
Medicine Hat Tigers
Moose Jaw Warriors
Portland Winter Hawks
Prince Albert Raiders
Prince George Cougars
Red Deer Rebels
Regina Pats
Saskatoon Blades
Seattle Thunderbirds
Spokane Chiefs
Swift Current Broncos
Tri-City Americans
Vancouver Giants
Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:01:12 GMT
OHL Players Updated

We just updated all the OHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.

Barrie Colts
Belleville Bulls
Brampton Battalion
Erie Otters
Guelph Storm
Kingston Frontenacs
Kitchener Rangers
London Knights
Mississauga St. Michael's Majors
Niagara IceDogs
Oshawa Generals
Ottawa 67's
Owen Sound Attack
Peterborough Petes
Plymouth Whalers
Saginaw Spirit
Sarnia Sting
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Sudbury Wolves
Windsor Spitfires
Mon, 24 Nov 2008 14:47:15 GMT
AHL Players Updated

We just updated all the AHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.

Albany River Rats
Binghamton Senators
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Chicago Wolves
Grand Rapids Griffins
Hamilton Bulldogs
Hartford Wolf Pack
Hershey Bears
Houston Aeros
Iowa Stars
Lake Erie Monsters
Lowell Devils
Manchester Monarchs
Manitoba Moose
Milwaukee Admirals
Norfolk Admirals
Peoria Rivermen
Philadelphia Phantoms
Portland Pirates
Providence Bruins
Quad City Flames
Rochester Americans
Rockford IceHogs
San Antonio Rampage
Springfield Falcons
Syracuse Crunch
Toronto Marlies
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Worcester Sharks
Wed, 22 Oct 2008 05:58:05 GMT
Even It Up Reffing

I really hate, even it up reffing. Last night, the Calgary Flame's Rene Bourque got a deserved 9-minute penalty, leading to a 9-minute power play for the Washington Capitals. The next 8 penalties and 16 minutes were called against the Capitals in one of the most blatantly obvious attempts to even up the penalties that I've ever seen. The refs Chris Lee and Bill McCreary are official idiots, although we've long known Bill to be. BTW, I'd like to thank Bill once again for all the homer calls in international hockey. I can't believe he hasn't been fired yet. The announcers are just as stupid as they actually tried to justify the 8 penalties in-a-row. A great victory for the Flames, except that they needed massive help from the refs.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2008020086

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 06:25:33 GMT
Warrick Dunn and CAA

Four times via email and once via snail-mail, I have received the following cease and desist order from Warrick Dunn's agents at CAA Sports (see link below).

http://www.talk-sports.net/DunnCeaseandDesist092408.pdf

They claim I'm not allowed to use Warrick Dunn's name and picture without his permission. They also claim to be lawyers. I responded six months ago with "I suggest you talk to a lawyer. Your interpretation of the law is wrong." This got rid of them for six months, but they are back. I really have to wonder if Warrick Dunn is getting proper legal advice and if his lawyers are just trying to accumulate billable hours against their client.

I've also found out that CAA and Denise White work together in some manner. If you don't remember Denise, then click on the following link and read.

http://www.talk-sports.net/game/?guid=20080806014708

I can only assume that the sub-industry of serving wealthy sports athletes is thriving. Do these athletes really think they are being properly served? I deal with hundreds of agents every month and most all are reasonable people. I can usually satisfy any concern an athlete has very quickly. At other times, the agents seem more interested in wasting every body's time than accomplishing anything. Hopefully Warrick reads this.

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