Can The New Look Flames Build on Last Season’s Success?
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.
Blackjack 101: The Basics of the Game and How to Play
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world, and for good reason! If you’re looking to challenge your wits, test your luck, and perhaps even walk away with some winnings, then blackjack might be the perfect game for you. In this blog post, we’ll go through all of the basics behind this classic game, from what makes it unique to how bets are placed and how players can win.
Introducing the Game of Blackjack
Blackjack is one of the most popular and exciting games you can play at the Best online casinos in Canada and land-based casinos. In this dynamic game of skill and chance, you compete against the dealer to try to make twenty-one with your two cards.
Players are then given the option to hit or stand before the dealer’s turn comes up. When it’s time to hit, you can choose as many cards as you want until you reach twenty-one (without going over!).
If your hand total happens to be closer than the dealers’ without going over, you win! It sounds simple, but with its varied betting options – including splitting and doubling down – there are plenty of strategies involved in getting the best outcome when playing.
Understanding the Rules of Blackjack
Knowing when to hit, stand, double down, split, and surrender is an important skill that players need to understand in order to maximize their chances of success. Knowing when it is beneficial to take these actions can take some practice but can pay off significantly in the long run.
Doubling down and splitting pairs can be great options depending on the situation, while hitting and standing have different nuances based on your hand totals or the dealer’s face-up cards. Surrendering should only be used as a last resort, and a thorough understanding of the game will help you determine which decision is best for each hand.
Tips for Increasing Your Chances of Winning
If you’re looking to increase your chances of winning, there are some important things to keep in mind. To start, managing your bankroll is essential for playing any game responsibly. Allocate yourself a certain amount of funds and decide beforehand how much money you can afford to lose, if necessary.
Another tip is recognizing patterns in the dealer’s actions, such as where they stand on certain hands or what cards they choose to call/fold when faced with certain situations. It takes time and practice, but observing these tendencies can pay off in the long run!
To sum it up, blackjack is an incredibly popular game with a long and interesting history. It can be enjoyed in land-based casinos, online casinos, or even at home among friends.. At the end of the day, understanding how to play and what strategies to use will ultimately help you become a better player and potentially walk away with larger winnings.
Ontario sports betting market flourishing; other provinces closely monitoring
If you reside in Ontario, it has been difficult to avoid mentioning sports betting. You’ve probably seen the advertisements and heard the hoopla since the province opened its regulated online gambling market a year ago, and at this point you know how to participate.
In 2021, Canada legalized single-event sports betting, but Ontario was the first province to implement a regulated sports betting system that would enable numerous operators to offer legitimate, online sports gambling services. Numerous Ontarians are enthralled by this more open world of sports betting, and as a result, more than twenty organizations are competing for this sports-related niche of the larger provincial online gambling industry.
However, as the product offerings develop and the market matures, industry analysts and operators predict more changes for sports betting in Canada in the near future.
After a year, the Ontario government still seems pleased with the health of the regulated online gaming sector, which has operators providing sports betting services along with casino and poker activities as well as top betting apps. According to a Ministry of the Attorney General spokesperson, Ontario’s “safe, legal, and competitive online gaming market” fosters business possibilities, safeguards consumers, and generates income that “helps pay for government priorities.”
The first, second, and third quarters of the first year of the online gambling sector each saw billions of dollars in bets placed, according to data from iGaming Ontario (iGO), a division of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. The public does not yet have access to fourth-quarter statistics.
However, the percentage of these wagers that are solely from sports betting is not broken down in these totals. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), which keeps track of its own sports betting transactions, is not included in these totals either. In its annual report for 2021–2022, it states that OLG’s PROLINE+ brand handled $1 million in bets just days after single-event betting became available, months before the opening of the broader regulated market.
Other provinces are closely monitoring the Ontario market
Other provincial governments are interested in learning from Ontario’s experience, notably Alberta, which has just one legal gambling website operating right now.
The communications manager for Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC), Karin Campbell, told CBC News that PlayAlberta.ca “has witnessed tremendous growth since launching its sports offering” a year and a half ago. She attributed this to the associated betting activities as well as newly accessible online lottery services.
The regulator, according to Campbell, is “supporting the successful and legal implementation of an expanded sports betting market” and is closely watching Ontario’s market developments.
Single-event sports betting is also attracting many customers on PlayNow.com, British Columbia’s only legal, regulated gambling website, in which punters placed $170 million on sports wagers in the first year of legalized online gambling.
The bulk of sports wagers on the site are single-event bets, according to Matt Lee, a spokesperson for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Lee stated that the lottery organization “continues to evaluate what sports-betting experiences” may be provided in the future given the interest in these services.
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation is the sole authorized supplier of single-event sports betting in Atlantic Canada. Greg Weston, the spokesperson for the institution, stated that “sales have been strong since the option became available.”
As time goes on, Peter Czegledy, a partner at Toronto’s Aird & Berlis LLP and the head of its gaming division, believes that “Ontario will not be alone” in enabling private operators to compete with long-established government operators in online gambling, including sports betting. But he said that the strategy can vary depending on the jurisdiction.
The journey ahead
Some industry observers predict that over time, there will be fewer enterprises competing in Ontario’s market.
A core number of large enterprises will ultimately emerge, according to Michael Naraine, an associate professor in Brock University’s Department of Sport Management in St. Catharines, Ontario. He anticipates that there will be some consolidation and some failures.
Naraine predicted that there will eventually be seven or eight significant firms, citing Coolbet’s recent exit as evidence that the market’s current composition would not be long-term viable.
According to Czegledy, it’s conceivable that additional operators will enter and leave the Ontario market in the future. Nevertheless, according to him, a more pertinent query is “what categories of operators have or have not undergone regulation, and what proportion of the market they make up”. He concluded that, according to those metrics, Ontario has done well thus far.
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