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The World Cup 2016 is not ”the” Cup



A lot of hockey is going in Europe at the moment as we have noticed.

The KHL started some weeks ago and is rolling on like the famous Trans-Siberian train.

The Champions Hockey League’s group stage is pretty much over and preparing for the playoffs.

Soon enough the domestic leagues will begin all over the continent.

And, the crème on the top of all ongoing hockey events, the World Cup 2016 will begin next weekend, where the best or those who are supposed to be the best are participating.

I’d like to say that this World Cup will be the best tournament ever, but I cannot say that because it is not.

Not saying that because of the players, every player is World class, even in team Europe, but it is the format that gives a foul taste in the mouth. Like a warm Budweiser, you’d drink a hot summer day.

You’d spit it out at once, right?

Well, I am not going that far concerning the tournament, I’ll watch, but I won’t take it as seriously as I would if it had been the old Canada Cup or the World Cup a la 2004.

I just can’t because the simple fact is that it doesn’t feel serious when there are two non-teams, the one with young North American hockey stars and Team Europe.

But most of all, this is an idea by Bettman & Co in order to show that the NHL is the best and it is time to show the muscles for the whole world blah, blah, blah.

Nothing really to do with marketing hockey for fans, children, and youth who might consider giving the sport a chance, only earning money and showing that the muscles are shining big and sweaty in the light.

By the way, can you imagine Bettman as Schwarzenegger? Me neither.

And playing in Toronto?

Ah, come on! The most obvious place in the whole entire world to play the tournament.

Nothing against Toronto from my part but it would have been much more interesting if they had chosen another place; why not Paris in France or Berlin in Germany, if they wish to market the hockey and the NHL so much, and show the muscles?

Well, enough ranting about the tournament in this way.

But I’d like to see a deeper dialogue and cooperation between the IIHF, NHL, KHL and other hockey associations, to make a tournament that includes more fans and gives greater joy for the current fan base.

There is actually no need to have an antagonistic approach to each other between the leagues, just give space for better agreements and terms that make the greater part of the hockey world happy.

If there would have been such, I am quite sure that even the KHL would have one or two weeks’ pause instead of having game days going on during the tournament.

No one turns down a tournament of real class and with terms that feel fair.

But, I suppose that it is – for many reasons – a long way to that point.

I hope though I’m wrong.

If we talk about the tournament, who is going to win?

There is only one winner and that’s Canada. The rest of the teams are there just for being alibis for the big Canadian show.

But don’t take this as “ I hate Canada,” because I don’t.

On the contrary, I love Canada and Canadian hockey, but the whole concept of this competition makes it just a theatre play on the ice, where the roles are set and the end of the show is too obvious.

The sight of the whole spectacle is not pretty and the World Cup 2016 is not “the” Cup. It will never be.

People care much more for how things look than how things are.

― Donna Lynn Hope


Warmest thoughts to all victim that died during the terror attack the 11th September 2001 and to their friends and family.

Also warmest thoughts to all victims who have died in terror attacks all over the world before and after.

20% Off at, code HEYHEY (valid 9/1-9/30/16)













Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.


Flyers Remove Statue of Kate Smith



The Philadelphia Flyers have joined the New York Yankees in the removal of ties to singer Kate Smith, whose famous rendition of “God Bless America” was played at both Flyers and Yankees games.

Earlier this week, the Yankees decided to suspend the use of Smith’s rendition, which was played during the seventh-inning stretch, while they investigated allegations of racism against the later singer.

According to a report from the New York Daily News, there are conflicting claims about Smith’s 1939 song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” which
originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals” and was considered satire but includes racist language, including the line;
“Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”

The song was recorded by Smith and Paul Robeson, who was black.

The Flyers put out the following statement on Sunday (h/t ESPN):

“The Flyers have enjoyed a long and popular relationship with ‘God Bless America,’ as performed by the late Kate Smith, a woman who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for her patriotic contributions to our nation.

“But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes.”

Smith, who was popular during the WWII era, recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among various other treats. 

Smith also endorsed the “Mammy Doll” back in 1939 which was based on a racist caricature of a black woman similar to Aunt Jemima.

“The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”

The odds aren’t good that Smith’s songs will return to their prominent places during sporting events such as they were with the Yankees and the Flyers.

There is a lot of cleaning up to do when it comes to racism in sports, and weeding out songs attached to artists with questionable, and controversial, backgrounds such as Smith’s, is important in pushing forward towards the future.

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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

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.


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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.


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