Jeff Gorton’s Contract Reportedly For Five Years
Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson made sweeping changes amid an extremely frustrating season over the weekend, bringing in Jeff Gorton to serve as the executive vice
president of hockey operations after firing GM Marc Bergevin. Longtime assistant GM Trevor Timmins and senior VP of public affairs and communications Paul Wilson were also let go by Molson.
In his latest 32 Thoughts column, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Gorton’s deal “is believed to be a five-year contract”. Gorton was general manager of the New York Rangers from 2015 to 2021. James Dolan’s decision to fire Gorton was largely surprising as the latter did an excellent job in steering the team’s rebuild.
Gorton, renowned for his scouting and drafting talents, built a Rangers team that has surpassed expectations in the early going (13-4-3 entering December). He’s now tasked with fixing up a struggling 6-16-2 team that fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final just five months ago.
With the season slipping away rapidly, the Canadiens share the second-lowest Stanley Cup odds in Ontario online sports betting with the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks.
Patrick Roy Interested Habs’ GM Position
To say that the Canadiens franchise hasn’t been the same since the ill-fated Patrick Roy trade in 1995 would be a massive understatement. In a way, it would only be fitting if Roy returned to save the franchise that last won the Stanley Cup in 1993 — when he was the man between the pipes.
Speaking to Le Journal de Québec, Roy talked about his interest in taking over the Canadiens’ vacant general manager position. Roy asked what the Habs “have to lose by giving me the chance to see what I can do with this club?” The Hockey Hall of Famer admitted, however, that he may “not be the guy for” Molson.
Roy coached the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-14 to 2015-16, before stepping down after three seasons. The four-time Stanley Cup champion emphasized that his lack of input on team personnel decisions factored in the decision to resign.
Molson announced that the hockey operations will be led by two people going forward, Gorton and the new GM. There is no timeline yet on when the Canadiens may announce their GM.
Max Pacioretty: ‘Everybody Has A Shelf Life’ In Montreal
Vegas Golden Knights star forward and former Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty — who spent his first 10 NHL seasons with Montreal — looked back on his time with the franchise during an appearance on the “Agent Provocateur” podcast (h/t Brandon Maron of theScore). “Montreal is an amazing place, and I’m so proud of what I accomplished there, but I just feel like everybody has a shelf life there,” Pacioretty said. “Everyone told me it – ex-players, current players, fans.”
The 33-year-old also admitted that the pressure of playing in Montreal can become overwhelming, and that he doesn’t feel it as much in Sin City. “There just seems to be so much less pressure, and whether you admit it or not, you just go about your everyday life in such an easier manner that it really (takes) so much less of a toll on you,” Pacioretty said. “Whether you’re a leader or a young guy, there’s no media here. Even if you don’t read the media in Montreal, you know what’s being said.”
Pacioretty was traded to the Golden Knights in a 2018 blockbuster as the Habs began a minor rebuilding phase. Needless to say, the trade has done wonders for both teams.
Montreal received forwards Tomas Tatar and Nick Suzuki plus a 2019-second round pick. Tatar crossed the 20-goal and 50-point marks twice as a Hab, and Suzuki has notched back-to-back 41-point seasons. Suzuki turned his game up in the 2021 postseason, notching seven goals and 16 assists in 22 games. Pacioretty has hit the 20-goal mark in each of his first three seasons with Vegas, leading them to the Conference Finals in 2020 and 2021.
In his 10 seasons with the Canadiens, Pacioretty scored 226 goals and 448 points in 626 games. He led Montreal to the Eastern Conference Final in 2014 (where they fell to the New York Rangers) and guided the franchise to division titles in the 2012-13, 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons.
The Canadiens vs Oilers: What can we expect?
Neither the Montreal Canadiens or the Edmonton Oilers are having the best of seasons this year in the NHL. But of the two, the Canadiens are having a much worse time of it. As of January 21st the Habs have recorded just 8 wins, against 25 losses with 6 overtime losses. That leaves them sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference. In fact, no team has won fewer games this season, so statistically speaking, they are currently the worst team in the NHL.
Compare that to the Oilers, who sit sixth in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference, with a much better record of 18 wins, only 14 losses and just two overtime losses. These teams couldn’t be further apart in terms of their form. It won’t be any surprise then to see the Oilers as the favourites going into this game with top sportsbooks around the world offering odds of -148 for them to win.
And now with the new sports betting sites in Canada you can wager on your favorite team, so whether that be the Canadiens or Oilers, you can back whoever you like. Neither of them are likely to be winning the Stanley Cup this year though, so if you’re thinking of backing someone to go all the way this season, you may want to evaluate which teams are on top of their game at the moment.
In fact, there are plenty of new sportsbooks in Canada with the likes of Caesars Sportsbook and William Hill now operating and offering odds on NHL fixtures, and odds for the Stanley Cup. As it stands, the Colorado Avalanche are favorites at +550, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning behind them at +700.
Coming back to the Canadiens and the Oilers, if you wanted to back either of them to go all the way, you’re looking at odds of +50000 and +3500 respectively.
But things don’t always go to plan. And occasionally an underdog gets one over on their opponents. So how do we see this game panning out?
As we mentioned, neither team is having the best of seasons this year. And although they don’t have much to show for it, the Canadiens have had a bit of a better showing recently. Both teams have played most of their last five games on the road, and have lost almost all of them. The Canadiens have recorded just one win, but the Oilers have lost all 5. In fact as the Oilers prepared to meet their provincial rivals from Calgary, they haven’t enjoyed a win in over a month, losing 7 straight.
For the Canadiens, after an 11 day covid-layoff they started slowly with a 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. Then it was an overtime loss, where they held the Chicago Blackhawks 2-2 in regulation, before conceding in overtime to lose the tie 3-2. There was a 5-2 loss to the struggling Phoenix Coyotes, before their only win of 2022 so far. In Dallas, the Habs impressively handled the Stars 5-3. Finally, Montreal continued to show signs of improvement against the Las Vegas Golden Knights, coming out of Vegas with a 4-3 overtime loss.
As for the Oilers, they started off 2022 entirely on the wrong foot with an overtime loss to the New York Islanders (3-2). They were then handled in regulation time with a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers and a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After this the wheels entirely fell off when they blew a huge lead against Ottawa, losing 6-4 and then were embarrassed at home 6-0 by Florida.
One of these teams will be putting an end to their bad run when they meet on the 29th January. Even if it’s only by winning a game in overtime. And it could be just what they both need to kick start their season. But how have past meetings gone?
They’ve yet to play each other this season, but are due to meet a few times in the next couple of months. With the first of those games being as mentioned, on January 29th. They played each other a total of nine times across 2021, which started with a 5-1 win for the Canadiens on the 17th January 2021. That was then followed up two days later for another Canadiens win on the 19th January where they again beat the Oilers, this time by a smaller margin of 3-1.
The Oilers brought it back with a 3-0 victory in the February of 2021, but the Canadiens then recorded another victory in March, winning 4-0 and making it three games to one so far that year. Their next game came in April, and was a much closer tie that finished 2-2 at normal time, but the Canadiens went on to win that one in overtime 3-2.
There would be two more meetings in April that would go either way, beginning with a 4-1 Oilers win, followed by a 4-3 Canadiens win. The last two games of 2021 then came in May, and the Oilers got the better of the Canadiens on both occasions. Both games went to overtime following a 3-3 tie in each one, before the Oilers scored one last point in each game during overtime to take the wins.
Overall, that meant the Canadiens had the better of the Oilers, with five wins to four. And that will potentially give them confidence going into their next game, knowing they have a good past record against them.
It’s almost a surprise this game is going ahead, with so many games recently canceled due to restrictions based around COVID-19. But if all goes well, then despite their current form, and their overall records, we believe an upset could be on the cards for the Canadiens. We’re not expecting them to work miracles and absolutely batter their opponents, but with their last game only being a loss in overtime, as opposed to the Oilers who have two full defeats in their past 5 games, the Oilers may have more confidence going into this.
So we’re expecting it to be close, maybe just one point in it. Possibly the game even going to overtime and the Canadiens just pinching the win. However, it could really go either way. The one thing that’s guaranteed is one team is going to end their losing streak, and with both teams being so poor recently, we’re not expecting it to be a match for the ages that people will talk about for years to come.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gambling industry in Canada
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, choices made by the gambling market made profound long term impacts on the industry. This became clear during the first phase of the lockdown. Many land-based gaming outlets had to close down by order of the government. Individual players moved in droves to online gaming, even though it didn’t have the same feel as physical outlets.
Between the first and second waves of restrictions, some outlets opened, and customers eagerly returned. But even now, as casinos have learned to operate under restrictions, it’s obvious the casino community has yet to recover fully. The future of the gambling terrain is…uncertain.
To add fuel to the fire, the Problem Gambling Index Score has risen in this period. Four studies have noted a link between higher issue severities and increased problem gambling. While land-based gambling access was restricted, individuals turned to online casino sites. Potential problem casino addicts with no access to work or daily movement were stuck in front of their PCs all day, often gambling.
Online gambling has continued to gain in popularity. The recent legalization of online gaming in many jursidictions has increased the exposure of and the number of people who indulge. Lottery ticket sales, online casino table games, and electronic slot machines are all wildly popular. The one exception may be sports betting, which has been affected by the worldwide suspension and postponement of professional games.
Many countries have taken measures to reduce the possible effects of the lockdown when it comes to online gaming. Some employ measures like limiting advertising and establishing a daily bet cap. But how exactly has the lockdown affected this industry, and what can be done about it? Let’s find out.
What is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Gambling sector in Canada?
The Problem Gambling Severity Index is commonly used in prevalence gambling studies to assess risk factors. Emerging data from a study by the Alberta Gambling Research Institute revealed a link between severity and gambling.
Contrary to current opinion, the lockdown measures implemented had several implications on the public and even drove individuals into the arms of gambling slot machines. The casino industry continues to thrive even after the pandemic.
Before the widespread lockdowns, virtual gaming was not nearly as relevant to the Canadian gaming industry as it is today. But gambling research has revealed casinos and gambling platforms turned to websites and mobile applications to stay afloat amid the lockdowns.
Increased problem gambling was the expected result. This was particularly prevalent in younger age groups, especially males.
Canadians from all over the country began looking for trusted online casinos. Individuals began to do searches and check out websites to understand their odds. Problem Gambling status was on the rise, with the casino offering a range of activities and slots. They also offered several bonuses and deals such as welcome bonuses, free spins, and the first no deposit bonus.
With these, they could attract more new players and users to their platforms. In turn, these players spent more money. Virtual casinos are now more popular than ever before. There’s simply no doubt the COVID 19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the betting world.
But to stay in business, gambling platforms must regularly update their websites. They also offer new and existing players a diverse range of bonuses and promotions, and they do their best to ensure the safety of their patrons. A great resource for dependable online casinos can be found at most trusted online casino Canada.
The Closing Procedure
While Parliament governs the electronic gambling community in Canada, the Criminal Code’s enforcement and gambling regulation are handled at the provincial or territorial level.
When the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on Canada industry became clear in early 2020, it was primarily provincial and territorial agencies that swung into action. They issued directives to shutdown land-based gambling. The orders did not specify a reopening date.
Policymaking, Planning, and Consultations
Provincial regulators and private sector operators recognized the reopening process even before closing. It was clear that it would be complex, risky, and subject to revision when it occurred. The primary condition is if it results in poor health outcomes.
In April 2022, sector representatives in most provinces began informal meetings. These meetings were to understand the conditions for an eventual reopening, the operational strategy to take, and the strategies to employ.
This led to an early and unanimous realization that the process would be successful only if everyone worked together, communicated openly, and took a cohesive approach.
The Procedure for Reopening
The majority of nations took a step-by-step strategy to reopen their economies. Any enterprises deemed “non-essential” were to remain closed to all except distanced operations. Each following recovery phase allowed for the resumption of operations of a new group of firms or activities. Some of which were subject to limits or requirements even today.
Businesses were classified into distinct groups under this regime based on their risk to individuals’ health. During the previous reopening phase, enterprises were generally grouped with businesses.
Some provincial and territorial governments moved the entire jurisdiction through reopening phases. Others, particularly those with larger populations, took a more regional approach. They imposed relaxing restrictions in each local region of the jurisdiction based on the pandemic risks. Mostly based on a number of active cases and a number of new cases trends that region presented.
As a result of this strategy, multiple phases were implemented across the province or territory. Every province and territory imposed numerical limits on the size of public gatherings. Ranging from 5 or 10 to 25, 50, 100, and so on. Larger numbers apply to outdoor spaces and increasing numbers. This was done as jurisdictions progressed through the various reopening phases.
A review of the land-based industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to date is a good demonstration of how determined and concerted planning action can create the ground work for economic recovery. It is achieved once associated health and safety issues are mitigated. It also indicates some tendencies that will likely affect how the sector evolves in the coming years. There has certainly been a decided shift to online gaming and going forward, online gaming will certainly become a permanent feature of the entertainment industry.
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