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To all hockey leagues: accept the game’s nature



When I was thinking back to my childhood while writing about this subject, we – perhaps this concerns only people in my generation – were taught to accept the rules of each game we played. Often we played football or outdoor hockey.

It was rough a lot of times: not just cold outside during the winter, but we also slipped on the hard and bumpy street where we twisted our hands and feet.

Sometimes we lost our teeth when we battled for the puck in front of the goaltender or other places within the boundaries wherein the games took place.

But we all accepted the rules no matter if we won or lost, and we all came back the next day for new street tournaments.

That kind of thinking and way of acting seems to be a remote phenomenon and memory as well, and we can see that as there are other kinds of conduct everywhere.

Not just in sport, but also elsewhere, a lot of people in several and varied contexts can’t agree with the rules.

And, I don’t think it is actually about being a bad loser, or as some say that they “hate to lose,” it is rather an unscrupulous and childish behavior.

However, if we talk about hockey, don’t you also feel it tiresome that the rules or the game order change almost each year for no good reason at all?

I find it very boring in most aspects, to be honest.

For example, the Swedish SHL and the Finnish Liiga have cut off as much as possible the opportunities for the second league teams to reach the highest division, and some of them who have set in these rules have the nerve to call it fair.

Moreover, both leagues have also implemented the “eighth finals,” which means that the teams who are positioned 7-10 after the regular season play something they call play-in and through that, they have to qualify for the quarterfinals.


It has nothing to do with developing the game, only being afraid to lose the position, I’d claim.

But the worst thing of all, even if this is a side-track in this text, is that this has been ongoing for a long, long time now, the ignoring of the regular fans, and all is aimed at the business people including the sponsors instead.

According to the Swedish media site Expressen, the chairman of the Swedish hockey association wrote in a PM that they should all focus on the regular people (source, use the google rough translation as it in Swedish:–samsta-siffran-pa-14-ar/)

I totally agree as hockey was once a game for everyone no matter the social background, and it should be that now as well. It is worth repeating the words over and over again: don’t forget the regular fans.

There seems to be a correlation in all this: the lack of regular attendance, high ticket prices, and a too-big focus on business people, no true competition for the playoff spots or the spots in the highest divisions in some leagues.

No wonder the teams have a lot of empty seats in general.

Therefore, it wouldn’t hurt at all for every big league in Europe, including the KHL, and the NHL over in North America would take this into consideration at some point.

Find a way that makes it easier and cheaper for everyone to join in the game and make the games more exciting as it was once upon a time.

In other words, a road straighter than a ruler to the playoffs without annoying wildcards or play-in or whatever they call them.

Most of all, we should all take a look in the mirror and be adult enough to accept the game’s nature, as simply as it is: you either win or lose.

 Hockey historians say the handshake dates to English settlers in Canada, who preached an upper-class version of sportsmanship in the 19th century. Soon, tough kids in urban and prairie rinks began imitating imagined dukes and earls of the old country.

-George Vecsey

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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