In a slideshow predicting the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs written just 10 days ago, I had the Nashville Predators making it to the Finals after an epic Western Conference run involving three seven-game series.
So much has changed in 10 days that I will be doing all new predictions by the end of the week.
The Detroit Red Wings are spiraling out of control and have a better chance to finish fourth than first. The Dallas Stars have had their winning streak snapped and the San Jose Sharks may have turned a corner from their disastrous five weeks that began in early February. The Calgary Flames have cooled off and the Colorado Avalanche are red hot.
Then the Predators, who had already added Hal Gill, Andrei Kostytsin and Paul Gaustad at the trade deadline, received big news: Alexander Radulov, a 26-goal, 32-assist NHL forward in 2007-08 that they lost to Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League that summer, is on a team eliminated from his league’s playoffs. He wants to come back to the NHL to fulfill the last year of his entry-level contract.
Radulov is in a unique situation: Because he is under contract and remained on the roster as a suspended player, he can be added to their active roster after the deadline without having to clear re-entry waivers and be eligible for the playoffs. He is expected to be active as soon as Thursday.
In other words, the Predators get a top-six forward for the playoff run without having to give anything up and no one can stop them from adding him. While they will have to count nine games and the playoffs as a full year and allow Radulov to be eligible for free agency, it is well worth it.
Shea Weber and Ryan Suter make up arguably the best defensive pair in the game and the Predators have enough serviceable players on the blue line behind them. They have one of the best goalies in the world. The one weakness they had was a lack of top-six forwards.
They still do not have any truly elite forwards. But David Legwand, Martin Erat, Mike Fisher, Patric Hornqvist, the Kostytsin brothers and Gaustad already gave them enough skill to bleed to their third line. Adding Radulov gives them more forward depth than any other team in the league.
They already have the best work ethic and receive the best coaching. They are hungry. They have learned to win playoff series.
This team may not finish better than the fourth seed, but they no longer have to pull off the big upset to make it through the Western Conference. Thanks to their intangible advantage over the Canucks, they are now the team to beat out west.
The trade-off for allowing Radulov to count two-plus months as a full season is it obviously improves their best chance ever to win a Stanley Cup. Yet this move could pay dividends down the road, too: A deep run and proximate payday makes him and both blue line studs more likely to stay this offseason. The extra revenue and excitement generated might even help them afford at least two of them next season.
For a decade, this team could not get out of the first round and was on the verge of bankruptcy. Even for the first half of this season, they had the lowest payroll in the league (currently they are fifth-lowest). In a few months, they may have a set themselves up to be contenders for years to come.
The New World of Sports Betting in the United States
Earlier this year a monumental breakthrough was achieved when the United States Supreme Court ruled against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, known as PASPA, allowing each state in the nation to decide if it wants to allows legal sports betting or not.
That led the nation, and all of the states, on a new path, with a lot of lucrative opportunities in an industry that has operated underground for decades.
With casinos and eSports thriving, sports betting adds a brand new element to the gambling industry and presents one of the richest outlets for businesses, the government, and the nation.
There will likely be a boost in employment rates, a growth spike in business, and an influx of money that no longer has to be hidden from the eyes of the government.
As of now, a number of states have already started their journey, and another, Utah, has decided not to act on the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of sports betting, opting to maintain their stance on forbidding sports betting, at least for the time being.
As the world of sports, eSports, and gambling embark on this industry shifting journey, let’s take a deeper look at what has been going down so far, and what is in store for the sports betting industry, thanks to an info graphic from NJGames.org.
The info graphic will take a look into the impact that sports betting legalization is expected to make on the nation’s economy.
The info graphic takes into account that the United States’ gambling industry already generates around $28 billion. The legalization of ports betting legalization is expected to increase tat number dramatically.
Additionally, sports betting operations will also result in a higher number of jobs, and the info graphic will provide you with an estimated number of both direct and indirect jobs that will open with the introduction of sports betting.
As the fantasy football season is ready to kick off for many of you, we should start seeing a lot of changes to the sports betting landscape and it will be interesting to see just how companies in fantasy sports navigate through the implementation of these changes.
The future of the sports betting industry seems bright, and there seems to be quite the trickle down effect that will have an immediate benefit to numerous industries.
Whether you’re ready or not, legalized sports betting is on the way, if it hasn’t arrived in your state already, and big things are on the horizon.
Capitals owner Ted Leonsis Pays for 200 Employees to go to Stanley Cup Final Games
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is celebrating the team’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Final for the 1st time in 20 years in a special way.
According to the Washington Post, Leonsis surprised 200 employees of Monumental Sports & Entertainment with tickets and a chartered flight to Vegas for the first leg of the Stanley Cup Final.
The employees were chosen based off how closely they work with the Capitals, as well as seniority, and they received an email last week from a senior VP that had the subject line: “Let’s go to Vegas.”
The selected employees received tickets to Games 1 & 2.
“It’s truly amazing and out of this world,” Omar Castro, a guest relations manager, said.
“I never expected an owner of the company to do this. We get to share in this with them. … He’s thinking of us as part of a family, as part of the experience. There’s no reason for him to do it. All I can say is a big thanks to Ted and his family for the opportunity, and for truly making this into something memorable for all of us here in the company.”
Not only did Leonsis provide tickets, but he also organized two chartered flights and is putting the employees up at the Excalibur.
How Will the Dallas Cowboys do in 2018?
How will the Dallas Cowboys do in 2018? That is tough to answer. Last season, it was a turbulent season for the Dallas Cowboys. In 2017, the Cowboys finished with a record of 9-7 which placed them second in the nFC East. However they did not make the playoffs. RB Ezekiel Elliott missed five games due to his domestic violence suspension. When he returned, he was a very productive member of the team.
Entering the 2018 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys are looking to return to the playoffs and ultimately looking to go to the Super Bowl. To start the 2018 campaign, the Dallas Cowboys had to go through Free Agency. During the Free agency period, the Cowboys signed six players which include Joe Thomas of the Green Bay Packers and Allen Herns of the Jacksonville Jaguars. OG/C Joe Looney re-signed a 2-year contract with the Cowboys while LS L. P. Ladouceur resigned with Dallas for a 1-year deal.
For the players that have departed, a total of 15 players have left the Cowboys. Since their departure from the Dallas Cowboys, some players have either signed with other teams, looking for work, or retired from the NFL. Here is the breakdown:
QB Kellen Moore, TE James Hannah, and Jason Witten retired from the National Football League. WR Bryce Butler, OT Benson Mayowa, and CB Bene Benwikere all signed with the Arizona Cardinals. FB Keith Smith, OLB/MLB Kyle Wilber and WR Ryan Switzer all signed with the Oakland Raiders. OG Johnathan Cooper signed with the San Francisco 49ers, OLB/MLB Anthony Hitchens signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, and CB Orlando Scandrick signed with the division rival Washington Redskins. As for players looking for work, that honor goes to RB Alfred Morris and WR Dez Bryant.
Once Free Agency had finally concluded, it was time for the 2018 National Football League Draft. This years Draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It is the first draft to be done in a NFL stadium. For the Dallas Cowboys draft board, the Cowboys will have eight picks this year. During the draft, 6 out of eight players were offensive players. Also during the draft, the Cowboys traded their pick to the Los Angeles Rams for WR Travon Austin.
With the players the Dallas Cowboys wanted to draft now on the Dallas Cowboys roster, it’s time to take a look at the 2018 Dallas Cowboys regular season schedule. This season, the Cowboys will start the 2018 season on the road against the Carolina Panthers on September 9. The Cowboys first division test comes in the second week when the New York Giants come to AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys bye week comes during week eight. After the thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins, the Cowboys will have another Thursday Night Football game. This time it’s at home against the New Orleans Saints. The Dallas Cowboy regular season finale will be on November 30, 2018 at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants.
So after breaking down the 2018 offseason and upcoming schedule, I believe it will be a tough season but I believe that the Cowboys will do better in 2018.
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