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Borje Salming A trailblazer with an unbreakable spirit who did everything

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Former Toronto Maple Leaf Borje Salming waves to the crowd during a pregame ceremony in Toronto, on Nov. 11.The Canadian Press

Borje Salming, a man whose hockey career will be remembered for class, courage, skill and toughness, died in Sweden on Thursday at age 71, five months after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A trailblazer for fellow Swedes and other European players who followed him into the NHL, Salming was the first Swede inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, in 1996. He played for the Maple Leafs for 16 seasons beginning in 1973 and for the Detroit Red Wings for one year after that.

The greatest defenceman to don a Toronto jersey, he owns a half-dozen team records and was a six-time all-star during his career.

Despite the fact that he had a terminal disease, Salming’s death came as a surprise because he had travelled to Toronto less than two weeks ago ahead of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s annual induction game. He received a standing ovation when he was introduced before the Maple Leafs and Penguins faced off on Nov. 11 and the following evening was the subject of a lengthy emotional pregame tribute at Scotiabank Arena.

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Known as The King, Salming was a great Maple Leaf in an era when the team wasn’t very good.JOHN McNEILL/The Globe and Mail

Salming’s dear friend and former teammate, Darryl Sittler, accompanied him onto the ice and helped him raise one hand to recognize the cheers that rained down. Tears flowed in the stands and from Salming’s eyes as well.

“You don’t have a soul if you weren’t moved by that,” Elliotte Friedman, the hockey reporter for Sportsnet and an NHL insider, said Thursday.

On Nov. 14, three Swedes – Daniel Alfredsson and Daniel and Henrik Sedin – were inducted as Salming and his family watched from an adjoining room.

“He loved the Hall of Fame weekend and wanted to be there,” Friedman said. “The Hall of Fame people told him he didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want to do but he participated in almost everything. It was very meaningful to him.”

In February, Salming began to experience an unusual twitching in his muscles. In mid-July, he was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive disease of the nervous system. He revealed the diagnosis through the Maple Leafs organization on Aug. 10 and in October said his condition had worsened to where he had lost the ability to speak and relied on a feeding tube.

His death was announced jointly by his family and the Maple Leafs.

“Borje was a pioneer of the game and an icon with an unbreakable spirit and unquestioned toughness,” Brendan Shanahan, the Maple Leafs team president, said in a statement. “He defined himself through his play on the ice and through his contributions to the community.”

Salming was a trailblazer for fellow Swedes and other European players who followed him into the NHL.STF/The Canadian Press

Toronto players were informed of Salming’s death during a team meeting before practice in St. Paul, Minn. The Maple Leafs play the Minnesota Wild on Friday afternoon.

“It is hard to process,” said William Nylander, Toronto’s Canadian-born Swedish right wing. “It really caught me by surprise. We just saw him a few weeks ago. It is very upsetting.”

On the night of Nov. 12, Nylander took part in a ceremonial puck drop with Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Vancouver Canucks. Salming dropped the puck between them and then Nylander scooped it up and handed it to him and gave him a gentle hug.

That night, the Maple Leafs’ opening lineup was made up six Swedish players for the first time in franchise history.

“It is really sad news,” said Erik Kallgren, a Swede, who was in Toronto’s net against Vancouver. “I am glad the organization had the time to bring him to Toronto and show how much it appreciated him. I feel for his family and everyone close to him.”

Salming signed as a free agent with Toronto in the summer of 1973. Although he had been a star in Sweden’s top league for years before, he was expected to be soft – a prejudice commonly held against players from Europe. He took some beatings in his first year but gave out as much punishment as he received and changed the perception of foreign players.

Maple Leafs great Paul Henderson, who was an 11-year NHL veteran when Salming arrived in Toronto, remembers the then 22-year-old as a physical specimen.

“He had the best body of anybody I’d ever seen,” Henderson said. “He had five-per-cent body fat and I thought, ‘Who is this guy?’

“He did everything well. He was really impressive.”

Salming owns nearly every franchise record for Maple Leafs defencemen.Gary Hershorn/The Canadian Press

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman offered a glowing tribute as well. He called Salming a “towering presence and transformational figure in the league’s history.”

“Borje Salming was as physically and mentally tough as he was skilfully gifted,” Bettman said in a statement. “He blazed the trail that many of the greatest players in NHL history followed while shattering all of the stereotypes about Europeans that had been prevalent in a league populated almost entirely by North Americans before his arrival.”

Salming owns nearly every franchise record for Maple Leafs defencemen – including, goals (148), assists (620) and points (768). He played in 1,229 NHL games, regular season and playoffs included, and had his jersey No. 21 retired and raised to the rafters in 2006.

Known as The King, he was a great Maple Leaf in an era when the team wasn’t very good. My goodness, he was tough. He once had his face opened up by a skate blade and the wound required 300 stitches. His face looked like a streetcar map of downtown Toronto.

Ron MacLean, the sportscaster for CBC best known as the host of Hockey Night in Canada, recalls how infatuated Canadians were with Salming when he landed in the NHL.

“The league was so homogeneous and he was mysterious,” MacLean said. “Everything about him shocked us. His big slap, his elegant skating … not only had he taken up our sport but he had mastered it.”

MacLean will not forget the nights of Nov. 11 and Nov. 12, when Salming went home to Toronto for the last time.

“Those two nights were magical,” MacLean said. “To see the love in his eyes that he gave to his captain, Darryl Sittler, said it all.”

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Understanding the connection between sporting events and online gambling today

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online gambling

Sporting events and online gambling have become increasingly more connected over the years, with people now having the opportunity to bet on their favorite teams or athletes from the comfort of their homes. Technology advancements have further strengthened the connection between sporting events and online gambling. Also, the rise of mobile devices and apps makes placing bets in a variety of casinos at Casinojungle Canada or any other listed online casinos more accessible than ever before.

The link between sports betting and gaming can be seen in many different aspects. For starters, there are now countless bookmakers around the world offering a wide range of betting options for almost any kind of sport imaginable. From football to basketball to ice hockey, these bookmakers give customers an easy way to place wagers on different outcomes. In addition, there are also numerous sites explicitly dedicated to sports betting that offer multiple betting options for each game or event.

How the popularity of sports is fueling the rise of online gambling

More and more people nowadays are watching and participating in sports, causing an increased demand for betting opportunities. This has led to the emergence of numerous online gambling sites that offer a wide range of betting options. These sites allow users to place bets on various sporting events. The convenience offered by these sites makes them very attractive to bettors who want to make quick money without leaving their homes. Additionally, many online gambling sites offer bonuses and promotions. This further encourages people to participate in online gambling activities. As a result, the popularity of sports is fueling the rise of online gambling worldwide.

How has online casino technology evolved over time to accommodate the increase in sports fans?

Significant changes have been witnessed regarding technological advances in the sports betting scene. One of the most significant changes is the introduction of live streaming services, which allow players to watch and bet on their favorite sports games in real-time. Additionally, online casinos have also implemented virtual reality (VR) technology into their platforms, allowing players to experience a more immersive gaming experience. VR technology will enable players to feel like they are actually inside a stadium or arena watching a game unfold.

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Furthermore, many online casinos now offer mobile apps that allow users to access their accounts from anywhere at any time. These apps provide users with an easy way to place bets on their favorite teams and games while on the go. Finally, online casinos have also improved their security measures over time by implementing advanced encryption technologies that protect user data from hackers and other malicious actors.

Analyzing the impact of media coverage on sports gambling trends

Media outlets have the power to shape public opinion on sports gambling, and they can influence how people view it. Media outlets have also been very influential with the increased popularity of sports gambling. By analyzing the impact of media coverage on sports gambling trends, we can gain insight into how different types of media content affect public perception. Additionally, certain types of media content may be more effective than others at influencing public opinion on sports gambling. For instance, research suggests that television news programs are more likely to affect viewers’ attitudes toward sports betting than newspaper articles or online blogs. By understanding how different types of media content affect public opinion on sports gambling trends, we can better understand how media shapes our views and behaviors related to this activity.

The connection between sporting events and online gambling is a complex one that will likely continue to evolve as technology advances. It is important for bettors to understand the risks associated with online sports betting and take steps to ensure safe practices when engaging in this activity.

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Jays Sign Chad Green

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Here I thought the Jays were done signing people this winter, but they have picked up right-handed reliever Chad Green. He’s signed a two-year $8.5 million contract, with options for two more years.

Or it may be more complicated than that:

Green had Tommy John surgery back in May of last year. Apparently, he has already passed his physical.

The options give the Jays some fallback in case he doesn’t come back from TJ being the same pitcher. But if he returns the same pitcher, we have him for the next four seasons.

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Green turns 32 in May. He’s been a Yankee for seven seasons. He has a 3.17 in 272 games. In 2021 he had a 3.12 ER in 67 games and a 31.4% strikeout rate.

Welcome to the Jays, Chad.

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Broncos trade for former Saints HC Payton

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos have agreed to a deal with the New Orleans Saints that will make Sean Payton their head coach, a person with knowledge of the accord said Tuesday.

The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams hadn’t announced the agreement, said the Broncos would send their first-round pick, No. 29 overall, in this year’s draft to the Saints along with a future second-rounder. Denver also will receive a third-round pick in the trade.

Payton remained under contract with New Orleans after stepping down from the Saints last year and working in broadcasting this season.

Payton, 59, went 152-89 in 15 seasons with the Saints and 9-8 in the playoffs. He led New Orleans to a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl following the 2009 season. He stepped away last year when quarterback Drew Brees retired.

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The Broncos, who went 5-12 in 2022 and extended their playoff drought to seven years, fired rookie coach Nathaniel Hackett on Dec. 26 after he went 4-11. Interim coach Jerry Rosburg went 1-1.

Payton’s top task will be to get quarterback Russell Wilson back to his winning ways after the 11-year pro had his worst statistical season following his blockbuster trade from Seattle for four premium draft picks and three players.

The Seahawks reached the playoffs under QB Geno Smith in their first year without Wilson, and now they own the Broncos’ No. 5 overall selection in the draft in April.

The Broncos got back into the first round by trading pass rusher Bradley Chubb at midseason to the Miami Dolphins, who sent the Broncos a first-rounder originally owned by the San Francisco 49ers.

That selection, the 29th overall pick, now belongs to the Saints.

Payton was the headliner during this year’s cycle of head coach openings. Just five teams were searching for coaches: the Broncos, Texans, Panthers, Colts and Cardinals.

The Broncos conducted an extensive search, beginning with a virtual visit with Jim Harbaugh, who decided to stay at the University of Michigan. Also considered were Dan Quinn, DeMeco Ryans, Raheem Morris, Ejiro Evero, Jim Caldwell and David Shaw. The Texans hired Ryans on Tuesday.

NFL rules didn’t allow the Broncos to speak with Payton until Jan. 17, more than three weeks after they’d fired Hackett.

Team owner and CEO Greg Penner led the search with assistance from limited partner Condoleezza Rice and general manager George Paton.

Paton led last year’s search and landed on Hackett, one of several decisions that backfired on him in 2022 as Hackett became just the fifth head coach in NFL history not to survive his first season.

Others were the $70 million contract he gave to free agent Randy Gregory, who played in six games and recorded a pair of sacks, and the $245 million contract extension he gave to Wilson before the opener.

Wilson threw a career-low 16 touchdown passes and was sacked a league-leading and career-high 55 times in 15 games for Denver. He has vowed to do everything he can to bounce back in 2023.

Wilson played well for two weeks under Rosburg, giving the team hope that his poor performances last season were an aberration and that maybe his skill set was just a bad fit in Hackett’s offense.

Penner, his wife, Carrie Walton-Penner, and her father, Rob Walton, purchased the Broncos last summer for $4.65 billion, a global record for a professional sports franchise. But the team turned out to be more of a fixer-upper than they expected.

“When we purchased this great franchise in August, this is not the season we were expecting,” Penner said after firing Hackett. “I want to personally apologize to our fans and all of Broncos country. We know that we need to be better and we will.”

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