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An epic WJC final gave a deeper conclusion about the game



A lot of coaches, sports leaders, and other very wise people have tossed out the saying “There are no guarantees”. I have done so myself, without considering myself as wise, said that sentence in several and varied situations in sports and life.

Finland U20 won last year the gold medal. Hopes and expectations were therefore of course very high even if the vast majority thought that the team wouldn’t reach the very end as they did last time.

However, the young leijonat proved that there are actually no guarantees for success and I was struck by a deeper understanding that things may change very quickly, which we clearly saw had happened from the last year.

From a gold medal team to a relegation team. And, it was not the first time either that Finland had to play relegation games. Not sure though if Finland is the only country that can hit the absolute top one season but also drop down to the absolute rock bottom as well.

What went wrong and what is wrong?                                                   

First of all, a reference to the saying: there are no guarantees.

It is hockey as some say and it is supposed to be the nature of the game that no team or no individual can be an eternal winner or an eternal loser either.

However, in Finland’s case, a lot of things went wrong. It is perhaps hard to point out only one reason as it is not that simple, it’s rather more complex than that.

But I didn’t understand before the tournament and during the tournament what Jukka Rautakorpi and the enormous coaching staff did there, acting as if they were consultants for some city council.

Not saying that Rautakorpi is a bad coach, but he’s not the right person to lead a national team. He has failed majorly before. Hence my question about what he was doing there.

In the bigger picture, it is something for the Finnish HA to deal with, as they are ultimately responsible for the hiring of Rautakorpi. Someone from the HA should have said no to that number of coaches.

No wonder that the players were confused and probably began to think “Who’s in charge here?” while looking at coach numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Overall, it was a dear lesson for Finland and Finnish hockey to remain humble for each tournament, as things change, and every tournament is totally a new ball game. What happened at the previous competition is always passed to the history books.

Speaking about changes in the game, a bit of a side-track here:

During the fall SKA seemed to be totally superior in the league and the Western Conference of the KHL. But the latest games have revealed that they are not totally untouchable. So, I wouldn’t announce them as champions yet, far from it actually.

We also know that the Gagarin Cup is a totally another beast compared to the regular season.

The Epic WJC final

There have been reports and interviews here and there about how the quality of the WJC games is low, sometimes really, really bad.

On top, the ticket prices have been way too high for a junior tournament, several hundred Canadian dollars and for seats that are far from the best as well.

That’s a question for the IIHF to deal with.

No matter, it has been a sad part of the tournament in Montréal and Toronto that there have been a lot of empty seats. Not worthy of a big tournament like that, a competition I have myself held as only slightly lower than the Olympic Games.

Empty seats because the tickets are too expensive is not worthy either of a hockey country as we all know Canada is.

Nonetheless, the epic final between Canada and the USA included everything a hockey fan could ask for: everything from great saves to kerfuffles to a fantastic high tempo from the start to the end of the regular time. Not to talk about all the goals.

Also, it gave a deeper conclusion about the game and about the changes I’ve been talking about above. I’ve seen a lot of finals, but this was something new for me.

No one, including me, thought that the USA could come back the first time, and certainly not the second time when they were trailing in the third period.

Of course, it could have gone either way, unnecessary to say, but the USA showed morale and had the cooler heads during the shootouts.

It was a worthy final and USA are worthy champions.

With that said, hockey is a game of its own; everything can change quicker than quick, even during a single game.

I hope myself that I’ve become a bit wiser, to take each tournament as a story of its own. No comparisons at all with the previous, they belong to the history books now for reading only academically.

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

-Stephen Hawking

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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.

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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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Dallas Cowboys

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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