Since this past offseason, many wondered how the Tampa Bay Lightning would replace the dynamic players that made up their third line of Barclay Goodrow, Blake Coleman and Yanni Gourde from their Stanley Cup runs. On Friday, they traded for a player who might be part of the answer to those ponderings.
The Chicago Blackhawks traded forward Brandon Hagel, a 2022 fourth-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick to the Lightning, in exchange for forwards Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh, along with conditional first-round picks in 2023 and 2024.
While the move may not be the last for either team, it’s good to check in on how each GM did in this swap. Here are the grades for each:
The NHL is, more than anything, a copycat league. When the Lightning aggressively added Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow at the 2020 trade deadline, there was pushback from skeptics that didn’t believe they were worth the first-round picks that Tampa sent to New Jersey and San Jose, respectively.
Two Stanley Cups later, and everyone is looking for their “Blake Coleman,” and willing to ante up considerably more than they would have previously for talented depth forwards. What we didn’t expect: That the Lightning themselves would be one of them, paying what they did for Goodrow and Coleman for the services of one player: 23-year-old winger Brandon Hagel.
The first thing to love about this trade is his contract, which is the primary reason the rest of the league started taking notice of Hagel this season. He has 21 goals and 37 points in 55 games, and he’s signed to just $1.5 million against the salary cap through the 2023-24 season, after which he becomes a restricted free agent.
The Lightning are notoriously capped out — please recall the Nikita Kucherov long-term injured reserve gambit — to the point where they don’t have any available cap space next season at the moment. Provided Hagel’s breakout season is a harbinger of things to come, that’s a ridiculous amount of cap advantage and control for GM Julien BriseBois over a talented young forward.
There are things beyond Hagel’s traditional stats that are impressive. His ability to retrieve pucks fits well into the kind of system coach Jon Cooper plays. He’s tied for seventh in the NHL in goals scored from the slot this season, with 16 of his 21 tallies coming from that spot. He outpaced his teammates in puck possession and scoring chances.
But there are a couple of reasons for concern here about Hagel. His 22.3% shooting percentage is the third highest in the NHL this season for players with at least 50 appearances. He shot 9.9% last season. His power-play shooting percentage this season is 26.7%. Sustainability is a legitimate concern. Is this the start of a burgeoning offensive star’s run, or an anomaly?
The Blake Coleman comparisons are in spirit only. Coleman helped create a dominant checking line in Tampa because he was well above average defensively. While Hagel isn’t a liability, he’s just slightly below-average defensively this season, even in comparison to his teammates. But that’s less of a concern if they cast him with defensively responsible players — like Ross Colton and Corey Perry — or in a scoring role.
Heck, we might never talk about it again if he’s averaging a point per game riding shotgun with Steven Stamkos and Kucherov.
As for cost of acquisition, here are the draft positions of the Lightning’s last six first-round picks: Nos. 32, 31, 27, 28, 14, 27. These are basically two high second-rounders going to the Blackhawks, along with Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, neither of whom has shown the promise that Hagel has. The Lightning also pulled back two fourth-round picks.
Best of all, the picks are top-10-protected in case things go sideways for the Lightning in 2023 or 2024. And if they do, well, there are plenty of options on this roster for recovering a few first-round picks in desperation.
“I said a few weeks ago that we are rebuilding, and this is clearly the start of that,” said Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson.
The Blackhawks skip this season and grab the Lightning’s first-round pick in a deep 2023 draft and in the 2024 draft. Should Tampa Bay’s 2023 first-round pick be in the top 10, Tampa will instead transfer their own, unprotected first-round pick in 2025 to Chicago. In the event both of Tampa Bay’s 2023 and 2024 picks are in the top 10, then Tampa Bay will transfer their unprotected first-round picks in 2025 and 2026 to Chicago.
I know, I know: These are likely to be low first-round picks. But they’re still first-round picks. They’re still a foot in the door, allowing Davidson to trade up rather than trade in if he desires to do so. And there are two of them, going to the Blackhawks for a player with one season of proof of concept.
Davidson had some nice things to say about Hagel. “We know that Brandon Hagel was a fan favorite — our fans loved him for all the reasons we loved him — and we know he will be successful with the Lightning,” he said, perhaps making heart hands. But if Hagel’s shooting percentage isn’t sustainable, and he ends up being just a very good offensive player with an enviable cap hit, then this trade is going to end up lopsided in Chicago’s favor.
Raddysh is a more complete player than Katchouk at this point. The former has had a strong rookie season offensively, and is seventh on the team in goals scored above average. The latter is a bit ahead defensively. Both will help as the Blackhawks rebuild.
I think there’s an argument to be made that Hagel is a “part of the solution, not the problem” guy. That keeping him in Chicago in the rebuild could have been beneficial. That he moved is an indication that the package going back was just too enticing, and that the scope of this rebuild is so immense that Hagel doesn’t fit the timeline.
Finally, let’s talk about why this is an ‘A,’ and that’s asset management.
As our own Emily Kaplan noted, Hagel was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the sixth round, but after two years, they didn’t sign him to an entry-level contract. Hagel had already been to three NHL training camps — two in Buffalo, one in Montreal — but he never got as far as exhibition games. The Blackhawks signed him in 2018 and extended him on this desirable contract in 2021. And now they’ve flipped him for two first-rounders and two NHL prospects.
Now this is how you rebuild.
The Booming Online Casino Gaming Industry in Canada
Canada’s online casino gaming industry has seen significant and steady growth in popularity and acceptance by people in recent years. In fact, available statistics validate this with about 31 gaming websites owned by 18 licensed and regulated game operators in Ontario, who recorded about CAD 4.1 billion (USD 3.1 billion) in the first quarter of 2022.
This was largely made possible with the revolution of online gaming and the convenience it brings to players who can access a wide range of games from a single location, usually their homes. Aside from factors like targeted advertisements that put the word out about online casino games in Canada (as it is legalized here), the growth of this industry has also been hugely influenced by the numerous benefits players enjoy when they play and win games remotely.
Safe and Secure Environment with Advanced Encryption Technology
Playing at an online casino typically exposes players’ sensitive information, such as their name, address, financial details, etc., to the public. But with advanced encryption technology such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) in place, online casinos can encrypt all players’ personal and financial information ensuring their security and privacy.
With the government’s regulations and robust enforcement of best practices on game operators, the online casino gaming industry in the Great White North has steadily made giant strides in protecting players’ information and their transactions with the adoption of these aforementioned data encryption technologies.
One attribute that the best online casino games in Canada have is the mobile-friendliness of their respective apps. For every feature described above, gamers would have been at a loss if they could not easily navigate the mobile app or a web browser to place bets on their desired games.
Needless to say that this feature alone has added to the growth of online casinos in Canada. While brick-and-mortar casinos still stand the test of time, features such as this have made online casinos a delight, helping to solidify their presence in Canada, and it is not hard to see why this is so.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that the future is bright for the online casino gaming industry in Canada, so long as the industry continues to evolve around technology, while at the same time adhering to government regulations. Though it will not always be easy for these two aspects to agree at all times, with the welfare of gamers determining advancement in the industry, we will most likely witness a steady and sustained boom in the field of online casino gaming.
A Look At Today’s Best Live Dealer 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:
- 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.
Gambling in Ireland vs. Canada
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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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