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NHL’s Future In The Winter Olympics Unclear

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Sure, hockey is a big thing for those who follow the NHL but on the international stage, it does not get much publicity. And then once every 4 years, the Winter Olympics comes along and the gold medal for men’s hockey seems to be the most popular event.

With the NHL’s biggest stars representing their country, it truly is a treat to see the best of the best face-off in the biggest sporting event in the world. Although a few countries always seem to take home the coveted gold medal, more and more countries are beginning to participating and starting up hockey programs of their own which brings more awareness and attention to this great sport.

All of that could be changing for the 2018 Winter Olympics. A deal has not yet been made between the NHL , the NHLPA and the International Olympic Committee and it seems as though it may never happen. NHL players have been active in the past 5 Winter Games.

Besides the fact that the NHL has to shut down for 2 weeks, there are endless costs associated with sending its players away to play. The IIHF says that it can find the money to fund any out- of -pocket expenses that they may endure which counters the argument from the NHL about it being too expensive, but that does not seem to be swaying the league.

Last week the NHLPA rejected the offer from the NHL to participate in the 2018 Winter Games in exchange for an extension to their current bargaining agreement.The plan, if accepted, would have given permission for players to participate in Pyeongchang if they agreed to extend their contract by 3 years which would eliminate a potential opt-out clause in 2019.

Under the plan, the NHL would green light participation in the 2018  Games if the players agreed to extend the current contract by three years and eliminate a potential opt-out clause in the fall of 2019. Needles to say, this was not appealing to players and therefore, the conversation about this deal was short-lived. In reality, they would be getting the green light to play in exchange for no changes or improvements to their contracts for the next 9 seasons and it just wasn’t deemed worth it.

Players and fans alike are rooting for the NHL to once again be apart of the Olympics. Some may say that NHL not participating won’t affect hockey on the international level as much as we think it will and it will still be enjoyable , that may be true, but not having NHL players present is robbing hockey lovers everywhere of seeing the best this sport has to offer. The Olympics feature athletes in the top of their fields, and that is what the NHL is, the best hockey players in the world.

Forget the promotion of the game or even the enjoyment for the hockey lovers, the players themselves want to represent their countries and they shouldn’t be stripped of that right. Alexander Ovechkin has voiced his concerns on the matter and has even said that he will be participating regardless of the NHL’s final decision and it’s likely that he isn’t the only one to feel that way.

The Olympic games are less than 2 years away and it seems as though negotiations have hit a wall. Hopefully a decision can soon be reached and the world will once again get the chance to see the best hockey players in the world compete in the biggest atletic tournament in the world come 2018. There could be some light at the tunnel since the decision for the 2014 Winter Games was not made until July 2013, so there is still time. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute!

Since I am Canadian it should come as no surprise that I love hockey. My favourite team is the PIttsburgh Penguins. I love to write and love hockey so it only makes sense to combine those two passions.

MLB

The New World of Sports Betting in the United States

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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.

 

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NHL

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis Pays for 200 Employees to go to Stanley Cup Final Games

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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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Dallas Cowboys

How Will the Dallas Cowboys do in 2018?

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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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