Announcing ProHockeyTalk

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Youngblood.jpgThe world is a funny place. After years of thinking you know someone, you wake up one day to find out that they actually like hockey. That’s what happened over the weekend, as all sorts of people I once considered to be respectable were asking me whether I was watching the USA-Canada game, telling me that their heart skipped a beat when the U.S. tied it up to send it into overtime and all that jazz. It’s much like the way everyone I knew suddenly liked curling a couple of weeks ago, only this time it was without any apparent irony.

Well, it’s time for these folks to put their mouse clicks where their mouth is, as we’ve launched ProHockeyTalk (RSS! Twitter!).  Emceed by Brandon Worley, PHT will provide you with all the NHL news, rumors, insight, analysis, “Slap Shot” references and poutine you could possibly want, all in one convenient location.  You should totally check it out. I’m a huge Cleveland Barons fan, so I’ll definitely be reading.  Johnny Damon and Scott Boras will be clicking there every day too. They LOVE octopus.

In other news, ProCurlingTalk’s launch — originally scheduled for next week — is going to be delayed. Some squatter owns that URL and he’s being a real jerk in negotiations. I’ll give you the heads up.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.