Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Buffalo Sabres Living Up To Potential 0

Posted on December 14, 2018 by Martin William

Buffalo SabresWhat’s gotten into the Buffalo Sabres? Last year’s NHL doormats have suddenly sprung to life as the league’s hottest team heading into the second quarter of the season by riding an eight-game winning streak, including several come-from-behind victories. This is something the team’s youngest fans have never experienced before as the last time the club ran off eight consecutive victories was at the beginning of the 2006/07 campaign when they reeled off 10 straight. So why the turnaround? Well, there are a couple of major reasons the Sabres flying so high in the standings.

The club can be thankful for winning the NHL Entry Draft lottery last year as the Edmonton Oilers didn’t pick first for a change. Sabres’ GM Jason Botterill didn’t have to think twice by taking 18-year-old Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to kick off the proceedings. And owning the first-overall draft pick can do wonders for a struggling team. Just look at the Toronto Maple Leafs and Auston Matthews. But as well as selecting the top pick this summer let’s not forget the Sabres also had the second-overall selection three years earlier.

As expected, Connor McDavid went to Edmonton first in 2015 and Buffalo got an excellent franchise player themselves as the consolation prize when they took Jack Eichel. The 22-year-old definitely hasn’t disappointed anybody as the 6-foot-2, 206 lb center entered this season with 73 goals, 104 assists and 177 points under his belt in 209 games (NHL statistics by Pucky). Eichel has even picked up the pace this year by scoring over a point per game in the first quarter of the campaign and has boosted the power-play with 71 career points with the man advantage. The Sabres also have some peace of mind regarding Eichel as he recently inked an eight-year deal for a cool $80 million. Read the rest of this entry →

Trade You for a Catfish – the Most Bizarre Deals in Sporting History 0

Posted on December 12, 2017 by Rik Snuiverink
Ken Krahenbuhl was part of one of the most unusual trades in baseball history.

Ken Krahenbuhl was part of one of the most unusual trades in baseball history.

Ah, the sporting trade – it conjures images of wholesome children in the sun-kissed days of yesteryear trading their baseball cards, or high school teams negotiating over the star soccer players, piles of sweaters at the ready as makeshift goalposts. Of course, in the world of professional sports, trading players is deadly serious, involving multi million dollar transactions.

At least, you might reasonably think so, but there have been some truly surreal sporting trades over the years.

Fighting over the best and betting on the outcomes

Whether it is draft picks in the NFL or European soccer stars in the transfer window, professional sports team love to negotiate with each other. Sometimes those negotiations can get intense – perhaps this is why, with the rise in online betting, the topic of who will complete what deal is becoming as popular a wager as the games themselves. The UK casino sites at TheCasinoDB.com are no strangers to sports betting, and if you take a look when January comes around and the transfer window opens, they will all be discussing the odds of potential trades.

Usually the who and the where are the focus of the average sporting trade, but sometimes it is the “for what,” as the following examples demonstrate.

The Pitcher and the Catfish

Poor Ken Krahenbuhl. First, the Pacific Suns traded him to the Greenville Bluesmen without even having the good grace to tell him about it, but regardless, he went out and pitched a perfect game in his very first outing for his new team. Yet despite his achievements against the odds, he has gone down in history as the man who was traded in exchange for 10lb of catfish.

Bussey Martin

Tom Martin was a journeyman NHL winger who served time with the Winnipeg Jets, the Hartford Whalers and the Minnesota North Stars in a seven-year career that was solid but unremarkable. However, before turning pro, he had the singular experience of being traded by the Seattle Breakers to the Victoria Cougars in exchange for a new team bus. As you might guess, there is more to the story than meets the eye, but the nickname Bussey lived with him for his entire career. Read the rest of this entry →

Top News on Stanley Cup Playoffs 4

Posted on June 08, 2017 by Samantha Miles

Hockey-1

It’s Stanley Cup season again! What a nice moment for avid fans and supporters of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It has been a wonderful moment of hockey season for avid fans around the globe especially during the cup last year and here we go again for another round of Stanley Cup playoffs. Major team’s Pittsburg Penguins and Nashville Predators have been starring on the game since last season and we expect an exciting bout between the two competitive hockey teams this time of the year. All are risks and efforts had been exerted by both teams especially in shifting players, planning tactics and accommodating new players so we could only hope for a tight match from these teams.

Meanwhile, it has been commonplace that sports games had been involved in legal gambling activities all around the world especially that sports had been an anticipated field of recreation for fans and audience. Sports such as horseracing, formula one, and cycling and even hockey are sites for these events where one can bet on his or her favorite player. Legalities of online sports betting in Canada had been made for a considerable time and sports such as hockey had been excellent spaces for betting and recreation. As Stanley Cup Playoffs are paving way for another great season of hockey sports, it has also played a major role in sports recreation. Here, we list down the top news for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Penguins expect Murray to bring them to success

Matt Murray at a young age of 23 had been playing as a goalie for the Penguins and had exerted hockey prowess during a previous game score of 7-0. On Monday, Penguins and huge fans are expecting him to bring success to the hockey team. Although the Nashville Predators had lost the first two games of the Stanley Cup final they are putting major efforts to support player Rinne. After which, the Game 3 resulted in a competing Pittsburgh Penguins in full defense of Murray. Penguins are still very hopeful for gaining a success in Game 4 with a pressure on star player Matt Murray who have exhibited flawless streaks on the game.

Nashville is known to have made a cult aura of supporters on their home ice games but the Penguins are never intimidated and is most accommodating to accept the challenge of a rallying crowd. Penguins have been recognized as one of the top performing hockey teams in worldwide leagues and they went to compete to other team’s home ice comfortably and bringing home the success. They are expecting to win yet another season as they have been hailed the Stanley Cup defending champion last year. Read the rest of this entry →

Senators vs Rangers Game 4 Odds & Betting Strategy 2

Posted on May 03, 2017 by John Harris
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and the Ottawa Senators will look to rebound in game four vs. the New York Rangers.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and the Ottawa Senators will look to rebound in game four vs. the New York Rangers.

The Ottawa Senators bolted out to a 2-0 lead in their semifinals series against the New York Rangers. But the latter cut into this lead with a dominant 4-1 victory in Game 3.

This doesn’t change the fact that Ottawa is still the favorite in this Eastern Conference series. However, the Rangers can no longer be overlooked after a decisive win in Madison Square Garden.

Who’s got the upper hand in Game 4? Which team should you bet on? Let’s answer these questions and more in this Game 4 betting preview

Senators vs Rangers Game 2 Odds

Point Spread: Ottawa +1.5 (-210); New York-1.5 (+175)
Money line: Ottawa +150; New York -170
Totals: 5 (over -105) (under -115)
Gametime: 7:30pm ET on Thursday, May 4

Ottawa Senators Game 4 Preview

Senators coach Gary Boucher was well aware that the Rangers would come out with energy.

“They were ready, they were hungry and they were desperate and we didn’t match that at all. That’s it,” said Boucher. “I wasn’t surprised by how they came out, we’ve been talking about it for two days now, and we talked about it with the players. Like I always say, you can talk about urgency as much as you want, but to create superficially is very difficult.” Read the rest of this entry →

The Zamboni: Baddest Maintenance Vehicle in Sports! 4

Posted on November 30, 2015 by Mike Raffone

The ZamboniMy guess is that the look and speed of the sports world’s most famous maintenance vehicle is the same now as it was back then, making it a perfect entry for today’s Sports Then and Now blog.

Driving this clunky ice resurfacing machine on wheels would satisfy nearly every hockey fan’s fantasy.

Who hasn’t yearned to climb behind the wheel of this giant tractor and take charge on the ice?

Perhaps the baddest maintenance vehicle in all of sports, whose top speed runs at just a mere 9 miles per hour, the Zamboni cruises in

The boxy Zamboni tractor scrapes, collects, washes, resurfaces and smooths the ice for hockey games and skating competitions.

In addition, the monster machine sprays and then squeegees 140 degree water and transforms once rutted and scarred ice into a shimmering surface that mirrors polished glass.

Founded by Frank J. Zamboni in Southern California in 1949, the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine has become the standard throughout arenas around the world. Approximately 200 custom made machines, at a price of $75,000 each, are manufactured each year.

The Zamboni’s iconic fame has extended beyond the boards of the hockey rinks it resurfaces. In the classic sitcom Cheers, Carla’s husband Eddie supposedly got run over by a Zamboni.

And, in a Peanuts comic strip, a fictional miniature Zamboni once cleaned the ice in a birdbath for Snoopi’s pal Woodstock

This heavy duty “bad to the boni” machine is dear to all who have watched it perfectly restore chunks and grooves in previously pock marked ice during intermissions at NHL, NCAA an biddy league games.

All the while these same hockey fans were dreaming they were ones behind the wheel of the Zamboni chugging down the ice at a speed most people walk…backward.

Now what fan could possibly argue that the Zamboni ranks as one of the best things about sports?

MIKE on sports!

Will the Defending Champion Los Angeles Kings Be Left Out of the NHL Playoffs? 16

Posted on February 15, 2015 by Dean Hybl
If the NHL Playoffs began today, the defending champion Los Angeles Kings would have no chance of repeating.

If the NHL Playoffs began today, the defending champion Los Angeles Kings would have no chance of repeating.

If the NHL season ended today, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings would be left on the outside looking in at the 2015 playoffs. However, a recent hot streak has the champs back within striking distance and they still have a chance to make the playoffs.

Beyond the Kings, the race to the Stanley Cup seems wide open with many teams capable of hoisting the Cup. The top sportsbooks at SportsbookNavigator.com rate several teams as good bets to claim the title.

Of all the major sports, regular season success historically has been the least important to the eventual champion in the NHL.

You need look no further than last season when the Kings were sixth in their conference and their finals opponents the New York Rangers fifth in theirs during the regular season only to pull out big wins at the right time during the playoffs.

So far this season, the Nashville Predators have the best record in the league at 38-12-6. Quite a turnaround for a squad that won 38 games all of last season while missing the playoffs for the second straight season. New coach Peter Laviolette and 20-year-old star Filip Forsberg (with a team best 50 points) have the Predators on track to finish first in the conference for the first time in team history. Read the rest of this entry →

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      Tony Oliva

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