Ten years, six teams, three tryouts, seven contracts and 600 games. Alex Chiasson’s mile-marker on Monday with the Vancouver Canucks came after a long and difficult journey on a road less travelled.
“Pretty special night for me tonight — 600 games,” the 31-year-old said after the Canucks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 at the United Center. “I’ve moved around quite a bit and found a way to just kind of stick with it throughout my career. There’s something to be said about that.”
There’s a lot to be said about that. If you think making the NHL is hard, trying staying in it as a depth forward at the bottom of the roster, annually fending off younger, flashier entry-level players and prospects.
Chiasson made the Canucks in October on his third Professional Tryout in four years, and on Monday scored his fifth goal of the season to start Vancouver on its bounce-back win after the Canucks were fairly dismal in Saturday’s 1-0 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames.
The winger from Montreal said back in October, having previously succeeded on PTOs in Washington and Edmonton, that the tryout process gets more difficult with age, not easier.
But he’s still here, still working, still finding ways to contribute and keep his job in the best league in the world.
“I think today I had a moment just to realize a lot that I’ve been through,” Chiasson told reporters on Zoom. “I’ve had a lot of people supporting me throughout the process; this isn’t just about me and I’m thankful for them. This is the greatest game to play. I’ve had the opportunity to win in Washington, and I think that kind of keeps you open-minded on things. I’ve had the opportunity to play with some of the best players in the game. This game has given me so much. I just feel really grateful for all these opportunities, and now being part of this group (with) what we’ve been able to do here in the last six or seven weeks.”
Since starting a five-game road trip in January with losses against the top three teams in the NHL, the Canucks are 4-1-3 in their last eight games, taking points in all but one despite emerging from a COVID crisis that kept key players out of the lineup and some stuck on the wrong side of the Canada-U.S. border.
The team is 12-4-4 since Bruce Boudreau became coach on Dec. 5, building that successful 20-game segment despite playing only seven times at home.
Chiasson came to the Canucks after spending the last three seasons in Edmonton. Before that, there were stops in Washington, Calgary, Ottawa and Dallas, where the Stars selected him in the second round of the 2009 draft.
“I just believed in my game,” he said. “I believed in what I can bring to a team. After maybe my two years in Ottawa, I had to build my game back up. I think Washington (in 2017-18) was huge for me. A lot of the guys there took time to help me with my game and understand, you know, how to get better and what I can do, how I can play, to be successful for a team. I think mentally, you’re just trying to stay with it (and) believe in yourself. It goes by fast; I can tell you that.”
Chiasson scored from the slot at 12:21 of the first period on a pass from Justin Dowling after Nils Hoglander, the third member of the Canucks’ fourth line, generated a turnover by Chicago defenceman Jake McCabe.
Brock Boeser made it 2-0 at 4:28 of the second period on a short-side redirection from Quinn Hughes’ outstanding pass. Luke Schenn shot 170 feet into an empty net to give the Canucks five of six points on their current road trip.
It ends Tuesday night in Nashville against the Predators.
Goalie Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves for the Canucks in his first game since Dec. 30. The veteran backup tested positive for Omicron shortly before a scheduled start in Carolina on Jan. 15, then spent five days in quarantine and a total of 11 days away from the team due to federal government border restrictions.
Monday’s game was just the second time in eight starts that Halak received three goals of run support from teammates, albeit with an empty-netter.
“If you don’t play a couple weeks or a month, it is hard,” Halak said. “Especially being out for 10 days (due to COVID), meeting the group, trying to get in the groove right away, it’s never easy. The guys played pretty good in front of me tonight; we didn’t give them a lot, especially in the third. Really great effort.”
Boudreau has been able to say that about his goaltender – no matter who it is.
The Canucks have used three goalies the last three games, and Halak, Thatcher Demko and minor-league callup Spencer Martin surrendered only one goal each.
SPEAKING OF DEFENCE
With defenceman Tucker Poolman missing his second straight game – and eight straight periods – due to an undisclosed non-COVID illness, Schenn is making the most of his blueline reunification with Hughes.
Schenn logged over 21 minutes for the second time in as many games, after reaching that mark only once in his first 27 games, scored the empty-net goal, registered 12 hits and a Corsi-for of 67.6 per cent.
“Well, he’s the first defenceman that has scored a goal since I’ve been here, so to me he’s Bobby Orr,” Boudreau said. “Whether he plays great or mediocre or what have you, the one thing you know about Luke Schenn is he gives you everything he’s got every night. Again tonight, I think he had nine hits after the second period, being physical and being a leader back there. And that’s what you need, especially when you’re playing with Hughesie. He’s a real good complement to him and that’s why it’s working.”
Rookie Vasily Podkolzin was a healthy scratch for the first time since October. The 20-year-old winger has played nearer the bottom of the lineup under Boudreau than he did under Travis Green, and was under 11 minutes of ice time in five of his last nine games. The Russian has just a single assist in his last 10 games.
“Sometimes it’s just better to take a step back and watch a game and see it,” Boudreau explained. “We’ve been working with him. I said: ‘This isn’t a punishment. This isn’t anything that you did wrong, really. We just want you to take a step back and then get ready for tomorrow night.’ And maybe he’ll see some things that he’s been missing in his game recently. He hasn’t played a lot of hockey and I think he’s just trying to do too much when he gets out there. But. . . he’ll be ready again tomorrow night.”
Canada's Bianca Andreescu reaches Bad Homburg final after Simona Halep withdraws – CBC Sports
Bianca Andreescu reached her first final in more than a year after Simona Halep withdrew ahead of their semifinal match at the Bad Homburg Open in Germany on Friday with a neck injury.
“I am sorry that I had to withdraw today before my semifinal match,” Halep wrote on Instagram. “But unfortunately I woke up this morning with a blocked neck and this is not allowing me to perform to the best of my ability.”
The 22-year-old Andreescu beat top-seeded Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
The Canadian’s last title win was her breakout U.S. Open victory in 2019, when she beat Serena Williams. Her last final was against Ash Barty in Miami in April 2021, when she retired with an ankle injury.
WATCH | Andreescu ousts top-seeded Kasatkina in Germany:
Andreescu, who took time off to recharge and work on her mental health, missed the Australian Open before returning to the tour in April.
While the Canadian was able to rest up and prepare for the final, Garcia had to spend close to three hours on court to beat fellow French player Alize Cornet 7-6 (9), 3-6, 7-5.
Garcia saved match point at 5-4 down in the deciding set before winning the next three games as Cornet struggled with an apparent right leg injury which restricted her movement.
Andreescu and Garcia have not met before.
WATCH | Canadian tennis star Andreescu answers questions from kids:
Canada Betting in 2022; What to Expect? The Latest News
Canadian sports fans can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to Bill C-218, which was passed in August 2021. The additional legislation to the Criminal Code decriminalizes single-event sports betting, marking a new era for sports betting fans in the region. So if you’d like to wager on a single event you’re following, you can. The single-game wager options currently available to Canadian sports fans include:
- In-game wagers on leading events
- Wagers on various fantasy sports
- eSports wagers
- Wagers on novelty events
Reasons for the Shift in Gambling Laws
As witnessed with most North American states over the past few years, legalizing sports betting options has its benefits. So as US legislators worked on ways to accommodate their sports fans’ needs, they also pushed Canadian legislators to do the same. Thus, helping them take steps towards joining the billion-dollar iGaming industry.
For starters, legalizing online sports gambling means lawmakers in the region can set parameters to guarantee their residents’ safety while they’re on betting sites in Canada. These include measures like vetting possible operators’ services and regulating the market’s various offerings. In turn, bettors don’t need to rely on unverified sites to enjoy themselves. So, the government gets to keep all the revenue generated from its residents’ gambling activities.
The revenue collected can then go towards various developmental projects to improve the same residents’ lives. So it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Regulating the market also ensures the adherence to responsible gambling measures to reduce the risks associated with online gambling. Operators would follow the rules to stay in business, while sports fans will do what’s necessary to continue enjoying unrestricted sports gambling activities.
Canadian Regulations and Legal Operators by Province
Before Bill C-218 got passed, online bettors in Canada could only make parlay bets. These are a group of bets that rely on each other’s outcome to reward payouts. It makes it tricky to wager, especially if you only know about one of the events available to bet on.
To make a parlay wager, you need to bet on a minimum of two games on one slip. If your predictions for the two events are correct, then you win the wager. But if one loses and the other is successful, you lose the entire bet. But with the passing of Bill C-218, you only need to bet on the events you’d like to, even if it’s just one game per slip.
The types of sports wagers available and where you can make them in Canada depends on where you reside. Canada has ten provinces and three territories, each deciding what they’ll offer their sports betting fans. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect from the various locations in 2022.
BC has been offering retail and online sports betting options for years. But it was one of the first provinces to take action after the passing of Bill C-218 in 2021. So its residents can now enjoy single-game wagers on their favorite games online. You need to have reached a minimum of 19 years to access online gambling options.
PlayNow is the legally licensed platform offering these options. It’s run by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). Through this site, you can also make mobile bets through your smartphone or tablet. But for the mobile version to work, you must have geolocation apps installed to verify where you’re accessing the site from.
Like British Columbia, Manitoba has been offering retail and online gambling for years. It’s currently able to offer single-game bets through PlayNow under the management of the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL).
Residents of this province can also access sports betting options offered by offshore operators. That means you have the option to also gamble on mobile.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick
Also known as the Atlantic Provinces, these four locations all offer retail and online sports gambling activities to their residents. While Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick started offering online variations in 2021, Nova Scotia joined the fold in February 2022.
All four destinations have their online activities managed by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC). These can be accessed on PRO•LINE Stadium, the only sportsbook available locally to residents in the four regions.
Sports betting in this province is overseen by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SIGA). Residents can make in-person bets on Sport Select through participating retailers found at gas stations and convenience stores. But soon, online gambling options could become a reality. In June 2022, the SIGA signed an agreement with the BCLC to make PlayNow a legal online platform for its residents.
But while residents wait for this to become a reality, they can access offshore betting sites accepting Canadian bettors.
Ontario makes up the country’s largest sports betting market. Residents can make their sports wagers at retail and online bookmakers through platforms like PRO•LINE Stadium which is managed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.
Besides that, bettors in this state can also make wagers on platforms like FanDuel, DraftKings, theScore Bet, BetRivers, and PointsBet Canada. These are among the 25 sportsbooks (40 operators) licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). So, all offerings on these sites are legal for Ontario residents.
Quebec residents can enjoy online sports betting options through Mise-o-jeu+, which allows desktop and mobile gambling through its app. For in-person wagers, there’s Mise-o-jeu. Both these gambling options are managed by Loto-Quebec. Through them, you can also enjoy live betting on leading events, a rare offering in Canada.
Residents are hopeful that since the region has several casino gambling halls, it’ll soon add sports betting halls as well for its residents.
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Yukon, and the Nunavut
These locations are referred to as the Prairie Provinces. Bettors in each of these areas have been able to access a vast gambling selection on PlayAlberta.ca since September 2021. The platform is licensed by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC).
For retail options, Prairie Province residents turn to Sport Select. This gambling option is run by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC). There are also talks to add PointsBet Canada as one of the sportsbooks residents can access for the online betting options.
2022 NBA Draft: Toronto Raptors select Christian Koloko with 33rd pick in 2022 NBA Draft – RaptorsHQ
The Raptors only had the one pick tonight; they traded their first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for Thaddeus Young at last season’s trade deadline. There were several strong candidates remaining at 33, but Koloko seems like a strong fit for the Raptors.
For one, he’s big — like, an actual big. He’s 7’1”! The Raptors leaned into length last year, but this is a whole ‘other story: he’s got a 7’5.25” wingspan!
By all accounts, Koloko is an athletic shot blocker, rim-runner and dunker; he can shoot a little, but not from range (yet); he’s a high-energy player.
That all sounds appealing! Well, OK, maybe not the “can’t shoot from distance part,” but hey, that’s what the NBA G League is for!
Koloko played three seasons in Arizona, and averaged 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and an insane 2.8 blocks in 25 minutes per game for the Wildcats last season. He also shot the ball well from the floor and the line (63.5% and 73.5%, respectively) but again, nothing from deep.
He’s also from Doula, Cameroon — Pascal Siakam’s hometown! Also like Siakam, he picked up hoops later in life, so he’s still raw — a real unfinished product.
Size, quickness, shot-blocking, energy. What more can you want? (Oh, yeah. Shooting.) Well, we can’t have it all, right?
Our draft expert JD Quirante will have a full breakdown of Koloko’s game and fit with the Raptors tomorrow.
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