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NHL Trade Deadline winners and losers: What are the Panthers doing? – Sportsnet.ca

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With the trade deadline behind us, it’s time to declare the winners and losers of the big day — because that’s what puts the bow on it all.

A total of 31 trades were made on Feb. 24 as the buyers and sellers did what business they could before all the action closed. Here are some of our highlights and lo(l)-lights of the day as we try to figure out what it all means for the playoff push ahead.

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WINNERS

Ottawa Senators: Draft picks!
The return for Jean-Gabriel Pageau (picks in the first and second rounds, and a conditional third-rounder) was solid and better than anyone expected in the lead-up to the trade deadline. They got a second-round pick and a first-round prospect in Erik Brannstrom for Mark freakin’ Stone last year, so by comparison this is a big win. They got a fifth for Tyler Ennis and a fourth for Vlad Namestnikov and now hold 14 picks in this summer’s draft — including three first-rounders and four second-rounders.

And the 2020 draft is regarded as an especially strong one. Alexis Lafreniere and Quinton Byfield headline it at the top, but there’s a lot of high-end depth to follow.

“From what I’ve seen… there’s probably another drop-off around 20 and from there I’d have to tell you from about 20 to 60 it’s a very good draft,” Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion told Sportsnet at the CHL-NHL Top Prospects game in January. “It’s one of the better drafts, our scouts feel, in a long time and we’re fortunate enough to probably have six picks in the first 60 or so, or 65, so we feel we’re going to have a pretty good draft this year.”

Now the Senators are staring at the possibility of having three picks inside the top 20. Theirs and San Jose’s (that’s karma for you) are setting Ottawa up for two high lottery selections, and there’s no guarantee the Islanders make the playoffs this year. And if they don’t? Their pick is only protected if it ends up in the top three.

Ottawa’s focus is on accumulating future assets. They were already in a good spot before the trade deadline, but adding another first to that is a big, big positive.

Now they just have to knock it out of the park at the draft.

Carolina Hurricanes: Did the most to upgrade their team
How often does a bonafide second-line centre signed with term, in his prime, become available on the trade market? It almost never happens. But there was one available on Monday, and the Hurricanes roped in 26-year-old Vincent Trocheck for what looks like a steal of a deal.

No slight on Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark, who came back in the trade. Haula is a pending UFA and could turn out to be a rental, while Wallmark is a middle-six forward who leans more towards the third line side of things. Eetu Luostarinen and Chase Priskie are a couple of secondary prospects… at best.

The Canes didn’t stop winning there. Sami Vatanen was brought in off the rental market and though he’s injured right now he will return soon and be a nice second-pair add. He’s not at his peak anymore, but he moves the puck well and his defending can be a little underrated. You can argue the most expensive pickup they made was for Rangers defenceman Brady Skjei, a 25-year-old defenceman signed for another four years beyond this one, who Carolina acquired for whichever of their two first-round picks ends up being the later one. So after all this, Carolina still holds a first-rounder this summer (we’re betting they keep Toronto’s).

No one did more to improve their team on deadline day than Carolina. The only thing they didn’t improve on was their netminding, in the wake of injuries to Petr Mrazek and James Reimer. Both were labelled as “longer term” injuries by head coach Rod Brind’Amour. But, as we saw Saturday night, Carolina’s defence is one of the better shutdown units in the league — so good, in fact, that a beer-league goalie could be successful behind it.

There’s not even an ounce of hyperbole to that anymore.

Edmonton Oilers: Ken Holland rewarded his troops
Connor McDavid’s short-term injury could have been a real setback for the top-heavy Oilers, but the team won three of its first four without him and went 3-2-1 overall before he returned on Saturday. That was a real statement and must have influenced the GM to do something.

“No risk, no gain. I can sit around and do nothing. I can puddle around, but I felt like I had a chance to help,” Holland said. “They’ve played hard all year. They’ve battled and scratched and clawed.”

First of all, I cannot wait to see Andreas Athanasiou on McDavid’s wing. Edmonton’s top need at the deadline was for speed and scoring on the wings, and while Athanasiou has struggled this year, he scored 30 times in 2018-19 and could find that touch again next to McDavid. He’s an RFA this summer as well, which means Edmonton will have more than one year of control on him.

Tyler Ennis was a cheap addition as a depth winger and also adds some speed, so the Oilers leave the deadline having addressed their primary need and didn’t have to use a first-rounder or Jesse Puljujarvi to get it done.

And then there’s Mike Green, who was a late-night addition on Sunday. Like Athanasiou, Green comes over from Holland’s old team in Detroit, so the GM feels comfortable with the player. He’s a depth add at 5-on-5, but is still an excellent passer with great offensive instincts and should help their second power-play unit. And, heck, Green sending stretch passes to McDavid and Athanasiou could be a lethal combination.

Vegas Golden Knights: Buyers for a Cup run once again
Expansion teams shouldn’t be making the sort of moves Vegas has since Day 1, but here we are at another deadline talking about this third-year team as an impressive buyer. There was no big splash along the lines of Stone from last year, but don’t underestimate how large Robin Lehner could be for them.

Marc-Andre Fleury is the face of the franchise and the backbone to all the success the team has had, but the fact is he has a .906 save percentage on the season and it’s been sub-.900 over the past three months. His .808 high-danger save percentage at 5-on-5 this season ranks 44th among goalies with at least 500 minutes.

He’s never had a backup capable of taking over for stretches and allowing the 35-year-old Fleury to rest. Lehner will at least be that, but he could be much more. It’s not as though Vegas is itching to move on from Fleury, but Lehner’s play could very well demand that he become the starter at some point — maybe even in the playoffs.

Vegas is solid up front, running with the 12th-best offence, and their defence corps was added to in prior to the deadline when they picked up Alec Martinez for a couple of second-round picks. They seem to be coming into their own again, too, with a 7-2-1 record in their past 10, which has brought them to the top of the Pacific. The general feeling has been “Vegas is great and could go on a playoff run… if Fleury is good enough.” But now with Lehner, that caveat has been diminished.

Senior Writer Ryan Dixon and NHL Editor Rory Boylen always give it 110%, but never rely on clichés when it comes to podcasting. Instead, they use a mix of facts, fun and a varied group of hockey voices to cover Canada’s most beloved game.

LOSERS

Florida Panthers: What are you doing?
It makes no sense.

The Panthers spent money all off-season — on head coach Joel Quenneville, and on UFAs Sergei Bobrovsky and Anton Stralman. Heck, they were even making a push on Artemi Panarin. They’re in the thick of the playoff hunt, too, just two points back of Toronto for third in the Atlantic with a game in hand.

And they just, basically, threw up the white flag.

The return for Trocheck was underwhelming, and it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t have been able to do better by waiting until the summer. There should have been no rush there because Trocheck is under contract for another two seasons.

That trade was made early enough in the day that the optimistic fans (don’t know if any Florida backers would even qualify at this point) may have thought, “OK, this isn’t great, but maybe these are assets to flip for defensive help.” We waited. And waited. And waited. And then, just… nothing.

Florida actually traded a termed second-line centre in his prime, and the best player coming back is a rental.

Here’s the long-time issue with the Panthers organization: There is no focus from one season to the next. When they made the playoffs in 2012, neither their first line nor their coach made it through another 82-game season with the organization. When they next made the playoffs in 2016, they fired their coach a quarter of the way through the following season. They made a pivot towards more of an analytical approach, then went the complete opposite direction one year later.

In the expansion draft, they gave Vegas two thirds of their top line to protect, presumably, Nick Bjugstad, Mark Pysyk or Alex Petrovic — two of which aren’t even with the team anymore.

Who knows what the plan is there. But they walk out of the deadline having lost a deal to two teams they are directly competing against for a playoff spot — Carolina and Toronto (who they moved Denis Malgin to). They are the day’s biggest loser, hands down.

Vancouver Canucks: Devastating injury news and a busy division around them
To be fair to GM Jim Benning, he already made his move a week ago, bringing in Tyler Toffoli from the Kings when news hit that Brock Boeser was going to be out for a few weeks. He didn’t want to move his first-round pick and, really, this is still a team building towards its best days, so one eye always had to be on the future.

The Canucks aren’t in the losers category because they didn’t make an impactful move on Feb. 24, but for things out of their control. They made a last-minute move to bring in goalie Louis Domingue from New Jersey because it was announced Jacob Markstrom was returning to Vancouver to get his knee checked out — and early indications are that this could also be a multi-week setback.

It can not be overstated how important Markstrom has been to this Cinderella season. He’s the team’s MVP, its rock, and losing him is nothing short of a disaster. It means 24-year-old goalie of the future Thatcher Demko is now the goalie of the present at a key point in the season. He has shown flashes and is a good, young netminder in his own right, but putting the weight of what’s ahead on him now is no small task.

At the same time, Edmonton added all sorts of depth, Vegas added a top-notch goalie, Calgary added defensive depth and Arizona paid up for Taylor Hall two months ago. Everyone in the Pacific got better, while Vancouver is going to have to handle this tough news as they embark on an Eastern Canadian road trip.

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A Look At Today’s Best Live Dealer Online Casino Games

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Online Casino Games

Some of the most popular games you can play at fully licensed online casinos today are live dealer games, such as Live Dealer Roulette, Live Dealer Blackjack, TV Game Show-themed live dealer games, and Live Dealer Slots. Here is a closer look at some of the best live dealer games from three leading software providers – Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, and OnAir Entertainment.

All of these state-of-the-art live dealer games are now available to play in the real money mode at a fully licensed online casino called Lucky Spins Canada, which is free to sign up to and is currently offering all new Canadian players up to 500 FREE SPINS for Play’n GO’s iconic Book of Dead online slot, plus a 100% matching deposit bonus worth up to C$500.

Top 10 Live Dealer Games in the Spotlight

Here are ten of the best live dealer casino games that you must check out. These games have wide betting ranges that cater to low rollers and high rollers alike (and pretty much all other betting ranges in between low rollers and high rollers), and you can often play one round/hand/spin from as little as C$0.10 to C$0.50 up to C$1,000.00 or more.

The top ten live dealer games from Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, OnAir Entertainment, Betgames.tv, Ezugi, and eBET that you must check out include the following mixture of live table & card games, live slots, and television game show live dealer games:

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  • Live PowerUp Roulette from Pragmatic Play
  • Live Andar Bahar from Ezugi
  • Live Teen Patti from Ezugi
  • Live XXXtreme Lightning Roulette from Evolution Gaming
  • Live Crazy Coin Flip from Evolution Gaming
  • MONOPOLY Live from Evolution Gaming
  • Live Wheel of Fortune from Betgames.tv
  • Live Airwave Roulette from OnAir Entertainment
  • Live Black Sports Arena from OnAir Entertainment
  • Bet On Poker Live from Betgames.tv

How old do I have to be to play live casino games?

To play live dealer games at online casinos, such as Lucky Spins, you generally need to be at least 18 years old. However, always check because, in some regions where online gambling is legal, it could be 21 or 20 years old.

What devices can I play live dealer games from?

You can play live dealer games from all of the providers mentioned above using either a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Just make sure that it has decent Wi-Fi or internet connectivity. Most games can be launched instantly in your web browser, plus you also generally have the option to download and install a free casino app directly onto your smartphone or tablet and then play from within the secure app.

What to remember when playing for real money

When playing for real money, don’t forget to set deposit limits where possible. Don’t ever chase your losses because it may result in you losing even more money, and don’t gamble just for the sake of it. Try and have fun, and always remember to gamble responsibly. Gambling is meant to be fun, so if you aren’t having fun anymore, it might be a good idea to take a break from gambling for a while.

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Gambling in Ireland vs. Canada

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Regulation of Online Gambling in Ontario: The Fight Against Black-Market Operators Continues

Gambling has traditionally played a significant role in Irish society. Naturally, the advancement of technology has changed how Irish gamblers conduct their business. Because of cell phones, placing bets is now simpler than ever (You could check here for a few trustworthy ones). However, Irish individuals must be cognizant of the country’s licensing laws.

Irish gamers can wager on bingo, lotteries, casino games, poker, sports, and more about the regulated and licensed gambling websites, making internet gambling in Ireland a multi-million-dollar business. This is not so dissimilar from the humongous gambling industry in Canada. For the past couple of years, gambling practices have been on the rise in Canada. So in today’s article, we’ll be looking at how gambling has fared in Ireland vs. Canada.

 

Ireland

According to the most recent statistics from Ireland from 2022, approximately half of the Irish population (49%) partakes in gambling, while its estimated prevalence for gambling addiction is 0.3%, meaning there are 12,000 problem gamblers in Ireland. Since only a small percentage of those with an issue with betting seek treatment, there is a need to try and understand Irish gambling behavior and treatment adoption.

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According to industry statistics, Irish gamblers ended up losing over €1.36 billion the year before last, or around €300 on average for every person, ranking them as the fourth-largest gamblers throughout the EU. According to industry researchers H2 Gambling Capital, Ireland places 14th internationally for the biggest median gambling losses, comfortably ahead of the UK but behind Sweden (€325 per adult), Malta (€334), and Finland (€342).

Revenue rose €51.9 million in conventional betting duty revenues and €40.6 million in online betting receipts in 2019, almost twice as much as the corresponding amounts from the preceding year ($28.9 million & €21.7 million, respectively). Sports betting is the most well-liked online form of gambling, comprising over 41% of the industry and bringing in €10 billion in 2019, claims the European Gaming and Betting Association.

Instead of using desktop computers, over 44% of all internet wagers are placed from a phone or tablet. By 2025, it is anticipated that approximately 6 out of 10 online wagers will be placed using mobile devices. Despite representing just 1.1% of the total population, Ireland generates 2.6% of Europe’s online gambling market in terms of revenue, according to the H2 data.

 

 

Canada

Like many other nations, Canada has a large gambling industry. The majority of gamblers don’t suffer any consequences, but a small percentage will. The number of gambling options in Canada has grown over the years, and new gambling innovations like online poker & sports betting have increased the significance of more thorough and ongoing oversight.

A study used information from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) to assess gambling and gambling-related issues among adults aged 15 and over. Those who may be at risk of developing a problem with gambling are identified using a Problem Gambling Index. This evaluates problem gambling behavior and the effects of that behavior on the individual or others.

Of the 18.9 million Canadians aged 15 and over, nearly two-thirds (64.5%) reported betting in the previous year, & 1.6% of those gamblers were exposed to a substantial risk of gambling-related issues. Men were more prone than women to file gambling in the previous year across all age categories. Additionally, men were more likely to have a relatively high risk of developing gambling-related issues.

Though they were more prone to developing gambling problems, people in lower social households were less inclined to wager than those of relatively high-earning households.

 

For instance,

 

  • 1% of Canadians at significantly higher risk for gambling issues were among the 71.5% of those living in higher-earning households who reported betting in the last year.
  • 8% of people from low-income families gambled in the preceding year, and 2.7% of them were at moderate to high risk for developing gambling addictions.

 

The likelihood of gambling-related issues rose with the quantity of casino games played.

In the multivariate analyses, the majority of factors, such as engaging in various gambling activities, living single (or separated or divorced), being unmarried, and possessing poor or fair mental well-being, remained independently related to gambling problems.

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Canada Soccer has hit the big time with coach John Herdman

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John Herdman, Head Coach of Canada, reacts during a press conference at the Main Media Center on Nov. 30, during the World Cup in Doha, Qatar.Mohamed Farag/Getty Images

In every team’s final news conference at a World Cup, it’s tradition to ask the head coach if he plans to stick around.

Someone threw it up at Canadian national men’s coach John Herdman following this country’s measured success in Qatar.

Herdman gave a meandering answer of 1 minute 15 seconds that ended this way: “[Belgian assistant coach] Thierry Henry told me this team played [Belgium] off the park. I’ll take that. Because if that’s our foundation? We’ve got a great four years ahead, and I can’t wait to get after it.”

Though that reply didn’t contain the crucial word, people took it for a “yes.” Because what else would it be?

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Few coaches in the world have a gig this sweet. Herdman is such a big fish in Canada’s soccer pond that he essentially runs the program. He’s got a guaranteed spotlight in the next World Cup, which Canada will be in by virtue of being a co-host. He’s still young (47), says he loves living here and is signed for the long term.

Maybe he’d like to coach at a sexier program in Europe. Wouldn’t anyone in his position?

But with that caveat, from the outside looking in, Canada is a great job. It wasn’t always, but Herdman (with a major assist from Alphonso Davies’s parents) turned it into one.

Which makes it curious that reports out of New Zealand on Wednesday claimed that Herdman was about to be appointed the coach of that country’s men’s national team.

In a report from the NewsHub network, Herdman was described as “the clear top pick” for the job. To hear this story tell it, it was just a matter of fussing with details.

Canada is the 53rd-ranked team in the world and on the rise. New Zealand is 105th and just barely treading water. New Zealand is Canada 10 years ago, and not in a fun, preinflation sort of way.

A complicating factor – Herdman’s son, Jay, plays for New Zealand’s under-19 national team. An even more complicated one – money. Some people love their job, but everyone loves money.

That said, judged from the perspective of social capital, the New Zealand job is not a promotion. It’s not even a lateral move. It’s trading the big leagues for the bush leagues.

So what’s going on? Does Herdman want out of Canada? And if so, why? Does he want more money? Is he a secret Lord of the Rings superfan?

This is what happens when a story like this is loosed into the world and not recaptured immediately – people begin to wonder all sorts of fantastical things.

As usual, whenever a story about it is breaking, Canada Soccer was caught in a blank stare on Wednesday morning. It wasn’t until early afternoon that an official denial was put together.

Three people commented in that statement – Herdman, Canada Soccer general secretary Earl Cochrane and Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis.

Bontis affirmed the “full confidence” of the board in Herdman, which is weird. He just took Canada to its first World Cup in 40 years. Why wouldn’t the board have confidence in him?

Cochrane noted first and foremost that Herdman is under contract until after the 2026 World Cup, which is also weird. That’s not news.

Herdman was unequivocal: “I’m not going anywhere.” But he also felt the need to mention that he’s got “several offers” recently, including one from New Zealand, which is super weird. If you’re happy where you are, why do so many people think you aren’t? And why do you feel the need to share that information?

Another oddity – no one mentioned anything about the story out of New Zealand being wrong. Actually, none of them mentioned the story at all.

If there were no truth to any of this, all that was required was a straight denial. That should have taken 15 minutes to put together.

Instead, it took hours to wrangle all the top decision-makers at Canada Soccer to patch up a complex, interwoven, multiperson denial. That has the whiff of an organization protesting o’ermuch.

So no fire, but plenty of smoke and lots of time left to sit around doing a paranoid arson investigation.

Nothing has come of this little fizzle, but something’s coming. That’s how this works. Not always, but often enough to make it a rule. It’s just a matter of figuring when, where, who and how it can hurt the most.

Can the Canadian men’s program survive without Herdman? Of course it can. Every graveyard is full of indispensable men, but none are as chock-a-block as the crypts of sports. Herdman’s done the hard work of stitching the Canadian team into a unit. All the next person has to do is hold that group together until 2026.

A better question is can the men’s team thrive if we’re going to spend the next three years trying to figure out when John Herdman is leaving, and where he’s going, and who’s to blame for that, and what does Alphonso Davies think about that, and why is Canada Soccer always like this, and exactly how long is a regulation pitchfork?

Those questions are a lot more interesting, and the people who care about them – it’s a small group, but it’s growing – will spill barrels of virtual ink interrogating them.

Uncertainty is an enemy of successful sports organizations, and intrigue is its accelerant. From player strikes to spats over pay to people rubbishing the organization after they’ve left, Canada Soccer has always had these twin weaknesses much worse than most. The difference is that now people have started paying attention.

At the very least, making the World Cup in Qatar was supposed to graduate Canada out of this high school state of affairs. Canada was a big-timer now, with a big-time coach with big-time plans. Well, I hope Canada Soccer is happy. Because now it has a big-time HR headache, and shouting at people that you feel fine, fine, totally fine is not going to make them believe you.

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