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Stu Cowan: A homecoming for newest Canadien Mike Matheson – Montreal Gazette

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Defenceman grew up in Pointe-Claire and Kent Hughes was his agent before becoming GM of the Habs.

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It was January 2019 and the Florida Panthers were at the Bell Centre to play the Canadiens.

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Following the morning skate, Panthers defenceman Mike Matheson met with the Montreal media and answered questions very comfortably in English and French.

Matheson is a Pointe-Claire native, but he hadn’t spent a lot of time during the winter in Montreal since the 2010-11 season when he was captain of the midget Triple-A Lac St. Louis Lions. After that, he spent one season with the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints in Iowa, followed by three years at Boston College, then parts of two seasons in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage and Portland Pirates. The Panthers selected him in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Mike Matheson with the Lac St. Louis Lions in 2010.
Mike Matheson with the Lac St. Louis Lions in 2010. Photo by Bob Eardley

Matheson spoke about how special it was to be back in Montreal, able to visit his parents, Rod and Marg, spend time with his older brother, Kenny, and get a good home-cooked meal.

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“It’s nice to be able to go home and relax and kind of reset a little bit,” Matheson said.

“Driving back into the hotel last night after dinner we were driving by the old outdoor rinks that I used to play at,” he added. “So it was fun to kind of take a trip down memory lane.”

On Saturday, life came full circle for Matheson when the Pittsburgh Penguins traded him to the Canadiens for defenceman Jeff Petry. The Canadiens also sent forward Ryan Poehling to Pittsburgh as part of the deal, while the Penguins sent a fourth-round pick at the 2023 NHL Draft to Montreal.

The trade will reunite Matheson with his family and also with Kent Hughes. Before becoming GM of the Canadiens in January, Hughes was Matheson’s agent.

“I know him as an individual,” said Hughes, who also grew up on Montreal’s West Island. “I feel really comfortable that Mike is the kind of person in our locker room at this point in his career who can assist our young players, be it the draft picks like Juraj Slafkovsky, or our young defencemen that are trying to make their way as regular NHL players. I think Mike is a five-star human being who can be of great assistance to our club in helping our young players.”

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Petry had asked to be traded out of Montreal last season for family reasons and Hughes said he would only make a deal if he felt it could help the Canadiens moving forward. The 28-year-old Matheson is six years younger than Petry and is coming off the best season of his career, posting 11-20-31 totals in 74 games. Petry is coming off his worst season with the Canadiens, posting 6-21-27 totals in 68 games. Matheson has four seasons remaining on his contract with a salary-cap hit of $4.875 million, while Petry has three seasons remaining on his contract with a salary-cap hit of $6.25 million.

Hughes’s patience in trading Petry paid off and he didn’t have to eat any of his contract. The deal makes sense for the Canadiens for many reasons, including getting rid of a defenceman who no longer wanted to be in Montreal and bringing in one who grew up here. Matheson will speak with the media on Monday.

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“In any trade that we were going to contemplate with Pittsburgh — or any other team that involved Jeff Petry — one of the elements that had to either come in the trade or we had to be able to thereafter acquire was a defencemen,” Hughes said. “We weren’t prepared to go into next season with two defencemen who had played full-time, or (had) extensive NHL experience (Joel Edmundson and David Savard). So we wanted to do that. The tricky part in today’s National Hockey League is to have the cap space to be able to do that and be able to move the money.

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“A player like Jeff Petry at his age with his contract is typically going to go to a team trying to compete for a Stanley Cup,” Hughes added. “It’s difficult for those teams to take money on without money coming back and Mike Matheson is a defenceman who was playing top-four minutes in Pittsburgh that brings a lot of the qualities that we lose in a Jeff Petry in terms of his ability to transport the puck.”

Hughes places a strong emphasis on analytics and noted that Matheson, an outstanding skater, ranked in the 90th percentile last season in the NHL being on the ice for goals scored by his team in five-on-five situations per 60 minutes, and ranked in the 85th percentile in points. The GM added that five of Matheson’s 11 goals were game-winners and that almost all of his offensive production (18 of 20 points) came at even strength.

The Panthers decided to lock Matheson up long-term after his first full season in the NHL (2016-17), signing him to an eight-year, US$39-million contract. The weight of that contract and the expectations that came with it in Florida proved to be heavy on Matheson, who was traded to Pittsburgh on Sept. 24, 2020.

Last season, he really found his game.

Now, he’s finding his way back home.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

  1. Montreal Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry patrols the blue line during a game against the Winnipeg Jets in Montreal on April 8, 2021.

    Canadiens trade Jeff Petry, Ryan Poehling to Pittsburgh Penguins

  2. Simon Nemec, left, of the New Jersey Devils, with Montreal Canadiens' Juraj Slafkovsky and Filip Mesar during the NHL draft at the Bell Centre in Montreal on July 7, 2022.

    Stu Cowan: Juraj Slafkovsky, Filip Mesar ready to grow with Canadiens

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Online Games in Canada – The Ultimate Guide

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Looking for the best online games in Canada? Read this ultimate guide and learn how to earn more money when gambling.

 

There are several aspects to consider when looking for the best online games in Canada. If you’ve ever browsed any casino’s library, you’ve noticed the many available options. There’s a reason for that. Naturally, gambling wouldn’t be so thrilling if all games were the same. It’s the variety of options that makes online gambling so tempting.

While some games are built to be fun, others can also generate loads of money. In the end, it all depends on your personal goals. But, for the most part, people are in it for the money. Registering at Slotbox Casino and claiming the €200 cash bonus and 200 free spins is one way to bring such objectives to fruition. It is a legitimate tactic to improve your odds.

However, here comes an exciting master plan: combining a generous bonus (such as the one we just described)  with a perfect game, producing results beyond belief. This brings us to why we give you this guide: learn how to use casino games and bonuses to craft the perfect earning strategy.

 

Most Popular Online Games in Canada

Whether you’re looking for fun or making gambling your bread and butter, you have a plethora of options. Still, despite being spoilt for choice, players from Canada somehow always end up playing a ring-fenced group of games. In the lines that follow, we’ll cover Canadians’ favourite picks in more detail.

 

Slots

Online slots are among the most fascinating games you’ll ever encounter. These features require little to no strategy. As a result, you can enjoy the gameplay despite lacking gambling experience. The popularity of slots stretches beyond Canada as video slots are the usual first choice for many less-experienced punters worldwide—not to mention the minimal investment requirements.

One of the reasons for its immense popularity lies in the game’s simplicity. There are no fancy strategies or money-building tactics. It all comes down to clicking one button and enjoying the thrills—and massive payouts—only slots can produce. Namely, slots are among the highest-paying games in the history of online gambling.

If you ever question slots’ popularity, remember that Mega Moolah paid out $21.7 million to a player from Belgium. When it comes to fellow Canadians, bear in mind one player grabbed C$16,496,347 in 2020.

All things considered, online slots can be quite rewarding. However, if you’re not careful with your money, slots can produce a real punch-in-your-teeth experience. For this reason, a casino with a generous free spins bonus can help you make your dream come true: winning the ultimate jackpot.

 

Online Games in Canada: Table Games

This category encompasses a much broader spectrum of games. It includes different features like:

  • Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Baccarat

Table games come in video and live versions. Video games run on the Random Number Generator, an algorithm that makes every outcome independent from one another. When playing live versions of table games, you can enjoy a traditional casino atmosphere where all games are led by professional dealers. In Canada, it seems that live versions are the most prevalent. We’ll cover each game in the sections below.

 

Poker

This is by far the most popular game in casino history, both online and land-based. This card game requires a lot of strategy and understanding of its mechanics. In poker, you’re playing against others, and your goal is to have the most valuable hand. This is a highly competitive game that includes strategy, knowledge, and psychology.

Poker does not offer insane payouts like slots. However, you can always join exclusive high-roller tournaments and win more money. One of the reasons why this game is popular lies in its potential to make you rich and a legend at the same time. Look at Phil Ivey, for example. Phil is considered one of the best players in the world. Simultaneously, he is one of the richest poker players, boasting a $125 million net worth thanks to poker.

 

Blackjack

Blackjack is a more pacey game in comparison to poker. The rules are less complicated than in other table games. Here, you’re not playing against other players but against the house (dealer). Your goal is to reach the maximum value of the hand (21)  without exceeding that limit.

Furthermore, one of the reasons why blackjack is among the most popular online games in Canada lies in its house edge. The house edge against less-experienced players is around 2%. As for experienced punters, the house advantage swings between 0.5-1%.

What does this mean? In simple words, it means that on every C$100 you wager in blackjack, you can expect between C$99.5 to C$99 in return on average. Of course, some sessions will result in big profits for you.

To improve your chances in the long term, you can use different blackjack strategies and combine them with a great live casino bonus. There are approximately 200 tactics for blackjack, so we advise you to pick the one you like the most very carefully. Start with the basic strategy, and once you memorize the charts, look for more advanced ones.

 

Roulette

Despite being a table game, roulette is more similar to online slots. The game of roulette comprises the dealer, a wheel, and a ball. The dealer spins the wheel, throws in the ball, and your goal is to guess on which number (or group of numbers) the ball will land.

Since every outcome in roulette is independent, there’s no need to consider complicated strategies. What you can affect, though, is the size of your potential payout. However, note that your potential reward is proportional to the amount of risk. The higher the risk, the higher your payout, and vice versa. Luckily, in roulette, you can pick between several bet types. Each has clearly displayed odds and the potential reward, making it easier to play.

 

Online Games in Canada: Baccarat

This game is primarily popular in Asia, whose players both admire and fear the game. Is it because of the amiable house edge (1.24%) or because this is one of James Bond’s favorite casino games? No matter the answer, baccarat is among the most sought-after games in Canada.

Baccarat is known as a player-friendly game. In physical casinos, a group of players would gather around the table and chat, having the time of their lives. Since Canadians are known to be very friendly, perhaps this is one of the reasons why live baccarat is so prevalent in Canada.

 

How to Choose the Right Casino Game

Selecting the perfect game is not as challenging as it may seem at first. The possibility of making a mistake is minimal as long as you follow the same pattern:

  • Choose a casino
  • Conduct proper research
  • Find online games in Canada that suit your needs and style

Luckily, you have plenty of resources at your disposal. There are many online casino review websites that can help you in making an educated decision. Here are some of the available resources:

  • com
  • guru
  • com
  • org
  • net
  • co

 

 

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Czechia upsets U.S. in World Junior quarterfinals – TSN

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Aug 17, 2022

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Petr Hauser and Matyas Sapovaliv scored in a 3:11 span of the second period and the Czech Republic upset the United States 4-2 on Wednesday night in the world junior hockey quarterfinals.

The defending champion United States dropped out after going 4-0 and never trailing in round-robin play.

Tomas Suchanek made 28 saves to help the Czech Republic set up a semifinal against Canada on Saturday night. Earlier, Canada beat Switzerland 6-3, Sweden held off Latvia 2-1, and Finland beat Germany 5-2.

Hauser gave the Czech Republic the lead at 7:34 of the second with a wrist shot to the top corner, and Sapovaliv followed at 10:45 off a rebound.

With the U.S. on a five-minute power play for Stanislav Svozil’s kneeing major, Carter Mazur pulled the Americans within a goal with 8:29 left. Jiri Kulich put it away with an empty-netter with 1:32 to go.

Logan Cooley opened the scoring for the Americans with 7:57 left in first. Jan Mysak tied it with 2:05 left in the period.

Kaidan Mbereko made 20 saves for the United States.

Canada won after sweeping its preliminary group, with Logan Stankoven scoring twice and adding an assist. Tyson Foerster had a goal and two assists, Jack Thompson, Nathan Gaucher and Will Cuylle also scored and Dylan Garand made 23 saves.

Attilio Biasca scored twice and Simon Knak added a goal for Switzerland.

Emil Andrae broke a tie for Sweden midway through the third.

Isak Rosen opened the scoring for Sweden on a power play in the first period. Gustavs Ozolins tied it late in second. Jesper Wallstedt made 12 saves for Sweden.

Roby Jarventie had two goals and two assists for Finland. Kasper Simontaival and Joel Maatta each had a goal and an assist, with Finland scoring four times on the power play.

Roni Hirvonen also scored and Leevi Merilainen made 19 saves. Bennet Rossmy had two power-play goals for Germany.

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NFL, Watson settle on 11-game ban – TSN

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BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will serve an 11-game unpaid suspension, pay a $5 million fine and undergo professional evaluation and treatment as part of a settlement with the NFL following accusations of sexual misconduct by two dozen women.

The league had sought to ban Watson for at least one year for violating its personal conduct policy. He was accused of sexually harassing and coercing the women during massage therapy sessions while he played for the Houston Texans.

Watson signed a $230 million guaranteed contract after being traded to the Browns in March. The three-time Pro Bowler will lose $632,500 in salary this season while serving the suspension, which takes effect Aug. 30.

The settlement ends months of speculation and headed off a ruling from former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey, who was appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell after the league appealed a six-game suspension issued by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson.

As part of the settlement between the league and the NFL Players Association, Watson will have to be evaluated by behavioral experts and follow their treatment program, the NFL said.

Watson, who recently apologized for the first time since the allegations surfaced, spoke to reporters after the settlement was issued. He offered more contrition, but also maintained he’s never been inappropriate with women.

“I’ve always stood on my innocence and always said that I’ve never assaulted anyone or disrespected anyone and I’m continuing to stand on that,” he said. “But at the same time, I have to continue to push forward with my life and my career, and for us to be able to move forward, I have to be able to take steps and put pride to the side.

“I’m going to continue to stand on my innocence and keep pushing forward, and I’ve always stood on not disrespecting or sexually assaulting anyone.”

As part of the settlement, Watson may return for the Browns’ game on Dec. 4 in Houston.

Along with his $5 million fine, the league and Browns are donating $1 million each to a fund that will support nonprofit organizations across the country to educate young people on “healthy relationships, promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct and assault, support survivors, and related causes.”

Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, who have been widely criticized for trading for Watson, stood by the QB. They said they expect him to learn and grow from the experience.

“Since Deshaun came into our building in April, he has done everything we have asked of him and more,” Jimmy Haslam said at a news briefing with his wife and Browns general manager Andrew Berry. “And he has been the person, the leader that we expect him to be and I think he understands where he is in his life, it’s a pivotal point, and we as an organization are going to do everything we can to help him not only be the best football player he can be but more important to be the best person he can be.”

On Aug. 1, Watson was suspended six games by Robinson, a former federal judge jointly appointed by the league and union to act as an independent disciplinary officer.

Robinson found the 26-year-old Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy after reviewing an investigation into his actions and called his behavior “egregious” and “predatory.”

Believing the suspension was too light, the league appealed and pushed Watson’s case back to Goodell, who had handled all player discipline in the past. The league previously pushed for an indefinite suspension and hefty fine.

Per the 2020 collective bargaining agreement, Harvey’s decision would have constituted “full, final and complete disposition of the dispute.”

At the owners’ meetings this month, Goodell said the league’s pursuit of a yearlong ban was warranted following its investigation and Robinson’s findings.

“She reinforced the evidence,” Goodell said. “There were multiple violations that were egregious, and it was predatory behavior.”

In her conclusion, Robinson cited Watson’s lack of remorse as a factor in her decision. Watson apologized for the first time “to all the women that I have impacted” before making his Browns’ debut Friday in an exhibition in Jacksonville.

Watson was accused of being sexually inappropriate with the women during massage therapy sessions from March 2020 to March 2021 in Texas. In civil lawsuits filed in Texas, the women accused Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them against their will. One woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex.

Two separate grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson, who has denied any wrongdoing. He recently settled 23 of 24 lawsuits.

For now, the suspension ends months of speculation about whether Watson would play in 2022 for the Browns, who outbid several other teams, traded three first-round draft picks to the Texans in March and signed the QB to a five-year contract.

Watson’s case sparked strong opinions while raising questions about the league’s handling of player discipline and its spotty record of supporting women.

The Browns believe Watson could make them a Super Bowl contender. Without him, they could struggle to simply contend in the AFC North against defending conference champion Cincinnati along with Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

The suspension also means Watson will be idle longer. One of pro football’s elite QBs, he sat out last season in Houston after demanding a trade and before the sexual allegations surfaced.

In her 16-page ruling, Robinson found that the league proved its case that Watson violated three provisions of the conduct policy: sexual assault as defined by the league, posing a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another and undermining or putting the league’s integrity at risk.

Robinson also pointed out flaws in the league’s conduct policy, saying it was unfair to “identify conduct as prohibited only after the conduct has been committed, just as it is inherently unjust to change the penalties for such conduct after the fact.”

Her punishment was criticized by several organizations, including The National Organization for Women, which called it “unacceptable, insulting and dangerous — but not surprising. The NFL and the multibillion-dollar sports industry have a vested interest in enabling sexual misconduct, assault and violence.”

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents all 24 women who sued Watson, and Ashley Solis, the first woman to go public with allegations against Watson, decried the original six-game suspension at a news conference in Houston in early August.

Watson has continued to practice while his case made its way through the league’s process.

All along, the Browns’ plan was to turn their offense over to veteran Jacoby Brissett, who has made 37 career starts, during Watson’s suspension. But it’s now possible Cleveland will explore other options at quarterback.

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