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An end of a shifting hockey season

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This is the time of the year, at least for me, to sum up, the season of 2016-17. I know, the Stanley Cup is still ongoing, as we have reached the finals between Nashville and Pittsburgh.

I have followed myself this season a lot more of the NHL but that doesn’t make me an initiated expert at all.

However, I am glad that a few Canadian teams reached the playoffs this season and we were so close to having Ottawa in the finals.

Furthermore, I am also glad to have experienced such nice and spectacular play by the other Canadian teams such as Edmonton, Toronto, Montréal, and Winnipeg.

However, it doesn’t take away the fact that the heavy US dominance is still intact at the moment as we have two US teams at the absolute end of the season, as usual.

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In the KHL, the most of the excitement didn’t occur at the top of the league, but it was a heck of a battle for the last playoff spots already after about 20 rounds between Vityaz, Slovan, and Jokerit most of all if we talk about the Western Conference.

In the East, Kunlun Red Star reached their first playoff in their first KHL campaign, which was a tremendous achievement. Jurzinov Jr got the team to play in trance beginning in November which won them their spot in the playoffs in the end.

But, in the end, it was about SKA St. Petersburg and Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the two best teams on the European side. SKA St. Petersburg was though undoubtedly the best team of these two even if Mozyakin & Co. tried to make a game of the final series.

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If we stay with the KHL here, there are some changes coming up in the nearest feature. The league will cut the number of teams down to 24 eventually.

Already Medveṧčak and Metallurg Novokuznetsk have left the league.

I hope that these changes will give more space to Jokerit, Slovan Bratislava, Dynamo Minsk, Barys Astana, Kunlun Red Star and Dinamo Riga to shine and not be drowned out by mediocre Russian teams.

Moreover, I also think that the KHL must and should think beyond “Russian and non-Russian” and aim for being a true Pan-Eurasian league. One or two more clubs outside Russia would be perfect.

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Another good thing, the KHL has a different approach than before against teams that cannot hold up the results.  I’d suggest strongly therefore that you read this: http://en.khl.ru/news/2017/05/25/347812.html

This is one of the most important statements from the league, which you also find in the link, about new clubs and the future of the league:

There are several possible candidates, but I will not name them yet. We are conducting a comprehensive analysis of all the relevant information presented to us. But I will say that there are clubs from traditional hockey countries and others from countries where the game does not have deep roots. We are attracting keen interest from Asia. The KHL is an international League and it is important for international development, but we are confident the Russian clubs will remain in the majority.

I think few would argue that the weaker Russian clubs do not add to our entertainment value, and should be replaced with strong teams from other nations. With so many Russian clubs the top-class players are spread too thin, and the current policy of limiting foreign players means we cannot raise the quality by attracting more players from overseas. The League’s development is hindered by these circumstances. Also, we cannot rule out further separating the conferences, because this would make logistical sense in light of possible growth in the East.

Well, the interpretation of this statement is free and I will leave it such way…

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The sun is shining and the weather is much warmer finally and it is time to enjoy the summer. I am not so much for the silly season, I have never been, but I do look forward to exciting names turning up in the KHL circus as well as in the NHL when the next season starts.

Until then, my dear reader, enjoy each day and I will close this season with a suitable quote for all of us:

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

-Jimmy Dean

Derek Jeter Day at SteinerSports.com
 

 

 

 

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

Anthony DiMoro

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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

Anthony DiMoro

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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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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 RedskinsAs 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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