The 2022-23 National Hockey League (NHL) season is right around the corner, with preseason fixtures taking place in the next couple of weeks and the new regular season getting underway on October 7, when the San Jose Sharks take on Nashville Predators in the NHL’s first-ever fixtures in Prague, Czech Republic.
After topping the Pacific Division by seven points over the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames fans have high hopes for the coming campaign. Could this be the season the Flames navigate their way to the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2004?
Darryl Sutter guided the Flames to their eighth divisional championship last season. The Flames finished with 50 victories from 82 games and a +85 goal difference; only the Florida Panthers (+94) enjoyed a better goal difference in the entire league.
The Flames went on to defeat the Dallas Stars 4-3 in the first round of the playoffs but came unstuck against the Edmonton Oilers, losing 4-1 in the second round. Despite the disappointment of the playoffs and having a new look roster with several comings and goings, the best betting sites price the Flames as sixth favourites for Stanley Cup glory this season. Can they live up to that billing and build on last year’s relative success?
A Handful of Key Players Lost
Let us start with the outgoing players from last season’s roster. Johnny Gaudreau and Erik Gudbranson left for the Colombus Blue Jackets, while Calle Jarnkrok now turns out for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In addition, Matthew Tkachuk put pen to paper with the Florida Panthers. Gaudreau is the most significant loss from that quartet, mainly as the winger contributed an impressive 115 regular season points in addition to 14 more during the short playoffs run.
Everyone at the club wanted Gaudreau to stay as a Flame, and the club offered him a monetary package that would have seen him become one of the highest-paid players in the NHL, but the desire to move closer to his family proved too strong, and Gaudreau left for the Colombus Blue Jackets. Gaudreau signed a seven-year deal with $68.25 million.
Tkachuk is another significant blow to the Flames’ roster. He scored 42 goals and 104 points during the successful regular season last year. Tkachuk refused to sign a new long-term deal with the Flames and was traded to the Panthers with a conditional fourth-round in 2025
in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau, Cole Schwindt, and MacKenzie Weegar.
Major Signings Incoming
Losing the players mentioned above would hurt any roster in the NHL, but the backroom management staff worked hard behind the scenes to ensure the Flames are still a force to be reckoned with in 2022-23.
Bringing in Huberdau is a masterstroke. The 29-year-old left winger is a former third overall draft pick who has played more than 670 professional regular season games and is two goals shy of breaking through the 200 barrier. The 2022 NHL All-Star averages almost a point per game and was exceptional last year with 115 points on the board, thanks to 85 assists.
Former Maples Leafs and Avalanche center Nazem Kadri is another shrewd signing; Kadri was instrumental in the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup victory in 2022.
How Will The Flames Fare in 2022-23?
Everything points towards another exciting season for Flames fans. In Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vlader, the Flames have excellent goaltenders. Markstrom, in particular, is coming off the back of a career-best season. A solid defensive pairing of Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson should see the Flames remain tough to beat; the Flames had the third-best goals against last year.
The probably starting forward line of Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm, and Tyler Toffoli will need to hit the ground running in this new-look Flames team. Still, even the second line of Dylan Dube, Kadri, and Andrew Mangiapane is enough to cause any NHL opponent plenty of problems.
The Flames should reach the playoffs relatively easily; it is anyone’s game from there. Flames fans have every right to be excited about the upcoming season.
Most Popular Games in Canada Right Now
Here in Brandon and right across Canada, gaming continues to grow as a popular hobby. Almost 60% of Manitobans regularly enjoy playing on their smartphone, tablet, computer, or console.
This figure is expected to grow even larger as more and more Canadians discover just how fun playing video games can be. Interest from older generations is going to be the biggest driver of this growth, particularly as casual titles are generally among this demographic.
Another source of the popularity of gaming is the fact that there are almost infinite options for players to choose from. No matter what your taste is or how you want to play, you’ll be sure to find games that tickle your fancy.
But while that may be true, it’s also the case that some games are in much higher demand than others, either because they are just really fun to play, or thanks to better marketing efforts by their creators.
Irrespective of what helped them become so popular, these below happen to be the hottest games in Canada right now:
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is almost nine years old. It should, by normal standards, have been replaced by one or more sequels by now. Yet, despite the fact that it has now been released on three different generations of video game console, GTA V continues to remain one of the most popular titles – both in Canada and the rest of the world.
This has been achieved by way of the continual stream of new content getting released for the online portion of the game.
Almost immediately after GTA V’s initial release, Rockstar began pumping out new missions, cars, weapons, and even islands for players to sink their teeth into.
Although it has been confirmed that the company is working on Grand Theft Auto VI, we’re unlikely to see that anytime soon. Therefore, GTA V will continue to be a huge hit among Canadians for the foreseeable future.
Slots are one of the most-played games in the world, and Canada is no exception. Traditionally, slots were played in casinos mostly.
However, the internet has made it possible to play slots and for real money too through mobile devices and desktop computers. Online slots have several major benefits, including the increased convenience of playing wherever you want, and the greater choice of thematic games. It is, therefore, only natural that most popular online slots in Canada are enjoyed by millions of Canadians every single year.
Minecraft is a sandbox construction game that allows players to create just about anything they can imagine.
It’s even older than Grand Theft Auto V and is so popular that it has become the best-selling video game in history after shifting more than 238 million copies since it was released in November 2011.
Despite its age, Minecraft still has around 140 million monthly active players, accounting for more than half of the copies sold.
In the game, players are dropped into a block-based world that is created using procedural generation. This allows the environment to be dynamic and wholly unique each and every time you play. It’s this variety that keeps it popular even after 11 years.
Wordle is a word puzzle game that took the world by storm just under a year ago. Originally created by a British software developer named Josh Wardle, it has since been bought by The New York Times.
The game is simple, requiring players to guess a single five-letter word. They’re given a total of six guesses, with blocks changing colour depending on whether your guess was correct or not.
These green, yellow, and white squares help you progress by telling you whether your guesses have any letters that match that day’s correct answer.
Wordle remains incredibly popular among Canadians today, helped by its sharing feature that lets you show off how quickly you guessed the word without revealing it to others.
6 Things You Should Know When Playing Online Slots
For many people, it doesn’t matter if you’re an expert at poker, blackjack, or craps; you cannot compare the thrill of slot machines. It’s the magic of casinos, both online and land-based! Many will advise you to try the slot machines if it’s your first time at a casino. However, did you know that there are several things you need to know first before playing?
There are six things to keep in mind, and this page covers what you need to know! It includes how slot machines work, why practicing, budgeting, and carefulness is necessary, why smaller jackpots are better and why you should spread out your bets. Continue reading to learn more!
How Slot Machines Work
When playing, you should know how to play online slots first. You can’t possibly win something without knowing how to play. The first thing you would have to do is register in an online casino, and once you’ve registered, go to their website and open their slot machine.
Take a gander at the game’s paytable, which will show you the rate of each symbol and let you know what to look out for. You should also know your top bets and the number of paylines you’d like to play. You may click the ‘max bets button’ if you’d like to select all the paylines.
To play, you must click the ‘spin’ button to get the reels moving. If you win, the game will show your offer winnings and offer you the option to gamble again. This option allows you to get bigger prizes through bonus games. Although, be careful because it may also cause you to lose your initial winnings.
You can stop spinning the reels once you’re satisfied with your earnings and playing this casino game.
Why You Should Get Your Slot Carefully
Be careful about what slot you choose. You should know that no two slot machines are the same. Different machines come with different soundtracks, themes, additional symbols and features, and many more. There are also different Return to Player rates.
It’s better to play in a slot machine with a higher RTP rate, so check the RTP percentage before registering in an online casino and playing.
Practice Is a Must!
Before you even begin playing for real money, you have to practice with free games first. Thankfully, you can try out the slot machines for free! Reputable casino sites commonly offer it. Playing for free offers tremendous fun and allows you to strategize and familiarize yourself with the machines.
You may also learn a machine’s secret quirks! It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert in these machines; you can continually hone your skills through free games, so take advantage of them!
Always Stick To Your Budget
One of the essential pieces of advice you can apply is to always stick to your budget. It would help if you always stood by this tip before you even begin pushing that spin button. You can do this by setting a budget beforehand. Set a maximum sum, and you’re prepared to spend on the slot machines.
Once you’ve reached that sum, take that as a caution to stop playing immediately. Playing using money beyond your budget can be detrimental and might make you addicted to slot machines. Always remember that you shouldn’t bet money that you can’t afford to lose.
Remember that all casino games, including slot machines, are games of chance. Therefore, no matter how hard you try, there’s no certainty that you will win your game.
Smaller Jackpots May Be Better
Slot games that have smaller jackpots tend to pay out more frequently. If you aren’t concerned about winning big bucks but are after a win, opt for games with smaller jackpots. Huge jackpots may be enticing, but the chances to claim your winnings with those jackpots aren’t very favorable. It’s best to stick to smaller jackpots instead.
Spread Out Your Bets Over Time
Spreading out your bets may not be the most exciting way to play slot machines. However, it’s the best way to avoid losing a crazy amount of money all in one sitting. With every spin, you are risking your money. Slot machines are a gamble, so it’s a must to think twice before playing, especially when betting on the most expensive machines or playing at a crazy speed.
Consider playing for 10 minutes at a time, then taking a break for 20 minutes. It’s the best way to cool off and lessen the risk of losing your money. It’s a win-win situation!
Are you thinking of playing the slots online? If so, use the information above to help guide you on your online casino journey. When playing, you’ll see that there are several differences compared to playing at land-based casinos. So, it’s essential to be informed by reading articles like this.
If you’re hoping for a huge win when playing online slot machines, then you should opt for progressive jackpot slots on your next try – it’s your best option! Lucky winners close their tab with life-changing sums of money, and you, too, can win big!
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