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Gagarin Cup: Oskar Osala on his way to becoming a legend

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A lot of focus has been on Laine, Aho, and Puljujärvi the last two years, and on some other Finnish hockey players such as Barkov, Ristolainen, Vatanen, and Määttä.

Everyone, well, at least most experts and fans have predicted that at least those three first- mentioned players will have successful careers.

I am not speaking against that at all, and I really hope that some of them will play for and win a Stanley Cup final or World Championship, or become an Olympic champion.

That is though for the future to reveal the answer to the question of whether any of all those players above will win; we never know in advance, only have a feeling about it. But, in a game like hockey where things change quick, there are certainly no guarantees.

Many great hockey players have only won one title or have finished without a title. That’s a part of the game’s nature, some are without no matter how good they are.

From Finland have come in the last 40 years some extremely good players. Most known – still in fans’ memories at least as a name – are of course Jari Kurri and Esa Tikkanen. Both have won several Stanley Cups during their careers, which gave them a status as legends.

But, I was thinking yesterday during these early stages of the Gagarin Cup, how many Finnish hockey players have actually won more than two titles at this level?

It has to be emphasized once again as well that the KHL is miles above the other European leagues and the second best league in the world, which means that the league and the playoffs are at a very, very high level.

The answer hit me in the face when Oskar Osala in Magnitogorsk scored a hat trick against Kunlun Red Star, Friday the 24th February, that the very next man after Kurri and Tikkanen is actually: Oskar Osala.

Osala has already two Gagarin titles on his belt, and that is at the very least a very fantastic achievement.

Moreover, he has also a huge opportunity to win a third title with Magnitogorsk this year or at least the coming season if he chooses to stay there and if nothing else happens that disturb the plans of the club.

Magnitogorsk as a team have three high-levelled formations including world-class players such as Mr. Goal scorer himself, Sergei Mozyakin, Chris Lee, Denis Zaripov, Alexander Semin and Tomas Filippi.

Not to forget Ilya Samsonov who is on his way to becoming one of the best keepers in the world, if he’s not already that of course. Samsonov’s companion Koshechkin is not bad either, also a world-class keeper.

In that squad, we have Oskar Osala who scores from time to time, but his strength is that he is undoubtedly a reliable piece in the Magnitogorsk team, all day – every day. And, how many can say that they are that?

But, why am I writing this piece in the first place?

The simple answer: A hockey player who earns the kudos, shall get them as well, and Oskar Osala is one of those who indeed earns them.

If he wins a third title at this level of the game, then – ladies and gentlemen – he will have reached a milestone that many other great Finnish hockey players including in the NHL have never reached and probably won’t reach either, and that has to be counted for something the day we sum up Osala’s career.

In other words, a true legend of Finnish hockey.

At least I will remember his deeds on the ice and I hope his hometown Vaasa, Finland (Swe: Vasa) will remember that too and give him the great celebration he deserves when it is time for that.

We all live in suspense from day to day; in other words, you are the hero of your own story.

-Mary McCarthy

Notable:

Read more about Oskar Osala http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=8396

The Beatles at Steiner Sports

 

 

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.

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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