Probably old news, but posting to alert anyone that may have missed the topic. I placed a futures wager on the TB Lightning to win the Stanley Cup on 10/31/19. +750. $500 to win $3,750. Since that time, I've given up sports betting entirely. However, this string hasn't yet been tied up, so I've checked in from time to time to see if it will cash. Now that TB is up 3-1 on the Isles, and Vegas is down 3-1 to the Stars, TB is a -140 favorite to ship the cup. 5Dimes announced on or around 9/8 that they are closing up shop, and all tickets will be graded/voided on 9/21 and cashouts must occur at this time. I contacted customer service to determine if they would pay out the 'expected value' of the ticket (which is now ~$2,500). I'm being told that the ticket will be voided unless I request a refund. I'm clearly disappointed by this. But if all futures tickets for unresolved outcomes (presidency, NHL, NBA, MLB, etc.) are being refunded, that would at least be fair. I've read countless posts on various forums that futures wagers on teams that have already been eliminated may still be "pending" in their accounts, but those tickets won't be offered a refund. Can anyone confirm this? It is critical that 5D treats the futures markets fairly. If they grade even one ticket a loser for a team that won't win the NHL/NBA title, then the remaining tickets that are live should be paid out at 'expected value' or something close to it. I suspect that if you request a refund for a futures ticket that has an eliminated outcome, you will probably be given the refund. But 5D is praying on those customers that don't know any better. Thoughts?
Gauging interest for a custom tipping competition app
Hi all, I like betting myself (mostly on tennis) and was recently playing with an idea of creating a web app where users could create their custom tipping competitions. It would work similarly to the competitions on Bettingexpert or the UK betting forum, with the important distinction that users could start and manage their own private competitions. So let's say you and a group of your mates all like betting on Premier League and want to start a tournament where everyone throws in 50 pounds at the beginning of the season, starts with the same amount of play money, places play bets on PL matches (using odds from a real bookmaker which the app would regularly update). The top 3 players who end up with most play money at the end of the PL season share the money pot. The app would handle all tournament bets, custom rules (e.g. restricting max bet amounts so that the participants don't go bust too early) and calculate standings after each event. In theory, such tournaments could be rolled out for any sports competition (NHL/NBA regular season/playoffs, football leagues/Champions League, tennis grand slams etc.) Is this a service you can imagine yourself using? Does the idea of a relatively low-risk gambling round where you measure your success not by absolute profit&loss but rather comparatively to the other people's/friends'/colleagues' performance sound exciting to you? Can you think of features that would make such tournaments more interesting to you? Grateful for any feedback on the idea.
Random Habs journalism from 30 years ago (w/brief analysis)
Last week I was poking around old Montreal Gazette articles researching a Habs topic and I thought I'd share some of what I found because maybe others find this sort of thing interesting. Specifically, I ended up reading a bunch of articles circa 1990 by Michael Farber and Red Fisher and I was very pleasantly surprised by their quality and the enjoyment I got from reading them. Maybe you'll like their style too. With all due respect to today's Habs journalists / twitter horns... anyway, no need to get nasty, but I sincerely doubt anyone sensible ever confused Farber for an illiterate. As for Red Fisher, he was always opinionated and, to be fair, he can come across like a bit of know-it-all, but he's such a charismatic and convincing writer that he either wins you over to his side or makes you get out the old typewriter to craft a witless letter to the editor. These guys also had genuine access to the coach and the players and not the filtered pablum they feed us now. Our local journalists might consult their own archive for inspiration on what (and how) to write about the Habs. Anyway these articles are about Patrick Roy's old backup Jean-Claude Bergeron. I was hunting for evidence of his nickname (Jean-Clone), which only proves that forgettable nicknames have always been a thing in hockey. But it also proves that hockey journalism used to be good! For those with access to ProQuest, here are links-- 12-- to the articles. I'll copy the text below for those who don't. I'd be curious to know your thoughts. "Goalie looks good in Forum debut; But Jean-Clone needs work if Habs want steady backup" Author: Farber, Michael ; Publication info: The Gazette ; Montreal, Que. ; 12 Nov 1990: C1. Full text: Pat Burns knew he would have to do it eventually: rip the wrapping off Jean-Claude Bergeron and let the home crowd see him do something other than pick splinters from his bottom. After all, Patrick Roy makes $1.3 million a year, but with all the games he has been playing, it works out to about $3.75 an hour. The provincial government was going to investigate the Canadiens for possible violation of the minimum-wage laws. The game against Minnesota last Sunday had been the teaser, the second game in two nights, a stumbling team as the opposition, seemingly the soft spot for a 22-year-old to land. Burns pondered it hard, saw Bob Gainey making his Montreal return, and changed his mind. When asked Monday if he could see a date for Bergeron, Burns shrugged and said, "Well, December is really busy." So Christmas came early, if you'll pardon the expression, when Bergeron took his place in front of the net last night against the Quebec Nordiques. It was another Sunday tail-ender, the foe figured to be a powder puff and, gracious knows, the kid needed the work. Other than the fact Bergeron grew up in Baie Comeau and was nurtured on this Battle of Quebec stuff, you couldn't have stumbled on a better evening for a coming out party. So what do we know? Burns said what the hell. After 10 straight starts and 17 of 18, Roy was going to turn the keys over to his stand-in. Now that the debut has been enshrined in the standings - a 5-4 Canadiens overtime victory - what do we know about the mystery goalie? We know he stands up most of the time. We know he has decent reflexes. We know he is capable of giving up two goals when he is left to his own devices, like in the first period when the Nordiques buzzed for 16 shots and potted a pair on deflections. We know he was as sharp on 23 days' rest as anyone could hope to be. The situation surrounding Bergeron's first home start might have been ideal given the context, but the context is skewed. A 22-year- old neophyte doesn't need simulated game conditions with goalie coach Francois Allaire; he needs shots. He doesn't need exposure to the National Hockey League; he needs games. A Fredericton tune-up would have been perfect during Roy's Steel Nerves Tour. (Andre "Red Light" Racicot could have sat with a towel 'round his neck while the Bergeron played some minor- league games.) Brian Hayward, the recalcitrant professional was a splendid back-up goalie - despite his self-assessment as something better - simply because he could flick the flakes of rust from his shoulder and play well. Bergeron shouldn't have corrosion at this stage of his career. He needs at least 20 games If you accept the premise that the National Hockey League season in Montreal is an 80-game laboratory for the playoffs, Bergeron should play at least 20 games - a hedge in case Roy is indisposed. If Bergeron plays any less, there is the risk the Canadiens will never develop confidence in him and Bergeron will lose the confidence he has in himself. "I've got to accept my situation," said Bergeron, who was touched for five goals in Detroit on Oct. 18 in his first NHL start. "It's something I've got to get used to because Patrick Roy is a great goalie, maybe the best in the league. But I'm sure with the win tonight, I'll be back in in six, seven, eight games. But my job this year is being a back-up. It's what I have to do." Bergeron is a fine specimen for a goalie, a Roy look-alike. They are both six feet tall. Roy, at 182 pounds, is 10 pounds lighter. Both play a positional game. Both wear cage masks with dangling neck guards. Both are Libras. Bergeron even has taken to swivelling his neck like Roy, noted for his funky chicken routine. Is it live? Or is it Memorex? A week ago, Basil McRae of the North Stars watched Bergeron practice and wondered, "Is it live or Memorex?" The only difference is Jean-Clone has a better haircut and Roy has a couple of Vezina Trophies and a Stanley Cup ring. Maybe Bergeron will have the others some day. (A bad haircut is a lock after the Canadiens hold their rookie initiations.) The reviews were good - "Good moves and follows the game pretty well," said Guy Lafleur; "He wasn't lucky," Burns said - and surely there is room for a rangy goalie with solid fundamentals and a good attitude. "I think I did as much as I could," Bergeron said, a puck from win No. 1 at his side. "I was aggressive. I didn't lose confidence in the first period. The only thing was I had a little nervousness." Not unlike his coach. But the end result was two points. Canadiens win, Nordiques lose - just what would have been expected if Roy had played. In the standings this morning, you really can't tell if it was live or Memorex. "Red Wings wreck debut of Habs goalie Bergeron; Yzerman scores twice on porous defence" Author: Fisher, Red ; Publication info: The Gazette ; Montreal, Que. ; 19 Oct 1990: F1. RED WINGS 5 CANADIENS 2 DETROIT - What was it they were saying about Jean-Claude Bergeron? Big kid. Quick hands. Moves well in his crease. Doesn't panic. A clone right down to the interesting mannerisms, they were saying, of Patrick Roy, who has won everything there is to win in his special area of expertise. They were saying these things about Jean-Clone because he played so well with the big kids in Sweden and the Soviet Union. He also excelled against the Detroit Red Wings in a pre-season exhibition. Last night, though, was for real - for the first time. His first National Hockey League game - a once-in-a-lifetime thing. What also happens once in a lifetime is for a new kid on the block to lose in his first regular-season appearance, as Bergeron and the Canadiens did last night, 5-2. It was a night of many firsts for the pale, blond 22-year-old kid with the wondering, wet eyes. Butterflies? "You bet," he told reporters. "My first time ... big crowd." Disappointment over losing? "Whenever you lose ..." he shrugged. Thrills, too. For example, there's the first-time thrill of stopping his first difficult shot, particularly when an old man such as Steve Yzerman, who's 25, is the shooter. There's the first-time jolt of allowing his first NHL goal on Detroit's seventh shot of the game - except that Marc Habscheid's shot wasn't one. What it really was, was a tap-in. Randy McKay, who had played 38 NHL games more than Bergeron going into the game, did most of the work for Habscheid. It was McKay who slipped around and suspiciously through Donald Dufresne midway through the first period. Then he swept in on Bergeron, who did all right going down. What he did all wrong, perhaps, was steering one- half of the puck over the goal-line with his legs, leaving himself in a somewhat awkward position and the puck loose. Unhappily for Bergeron, nobody cleared the puck. Happily for the Red Wings, Habscheid fully extended his arms to tap the loose puck over the line. There was the first-time, close-up view of a three-way passing play by NHLers which ended with Bergeron giving up one side of the net to Gerard Gallant, whose goal midway through the second period provided the Red Wings with a 2-0 lead. Even Vezina Trophy winner Roy lets those in. There was also the thudding realization that there's a price to be paid after relinquishing any kind of a rebound behind this Canadiens defence, which doesn't clear rebounds. Such as the time he failed to close his fist around Gallant's fairly routine shot late in the second period. A short rebound - and there's Yzerman slipping the puck into the open side. Where did he come from, eh? And where did the puck go when Sergei Fedorov squeezed it through his pads midway through the third period? Yzerman added his second of the game after yet another Bergeron rebound. Or how about the ice-level view of Denis Savard scoring a patented Savard-type goal a little more than a minute after Gallant had provided the Rd Wings with their two-goal margin? There he is, going around a defenceman named Bob Wilkie - and maintaining control of the puck with his left hand and then steering it along the ice between Tim Cheveldae's legs - still with only his left hand on his stick. Mike Keane scored the Canadiens' second goal with fewer than three minutes remaining in the game while the Red Wings were short two men. The Savard goal appeared to lift the Canadiens, who had struggled through the first period with only four shots, but Yzerman cooled the fervor with his fifth goal of the season, as he so often does in this arena. This night belonged to Bergeron, if only because it was his first, but it was a night of firsts for several others. Detroit's Bob Probert, for example. Once, late in the first period, and again early in the second, he was (a) high-sticked and (b) roughed up by Gerald Diduck. In both cases, Probert displayed an uncommon amount of restraint, allowing Diduck to draw minors. "Probert doesn't have to prove he's a tough guy," said Detroit coach Bryan Murray. "He can play this game." Another Red Wing who can play is Rick Green. A full season away from an NHL rink has provided him with several new wrinkles, but none on the ice. He continues to play consistent, steady defence. A boring chap. He does silly things such cleaning out strangers from the area in front of his goaltender, and annoying stuff like sending Yzerman out of the Red Wings zone on a sprint which ended with the Gallant goal. This was a night to remember for Bergeron, but not one the Canadiens, as a team, would like to retain among their treasured memories. Basically, it was an off-night for The Good Guys, particularly so soon after a night rooted in excellence in Buffalo 24 hours earlier. They'll try again tomorrow night at the Forum, when the Philadelplhia Flyers are the visitors. Illustration Color Photo; AP; Detroit captain Steve Yzerman (left) and Habs captain Guy Carbonneau battle for puck on faceoff last night.
[BARR'S BETS 8/15/20] -- 2 FREE Same-Game-Parlays in the post!
Good morning everyone, wrapping up the plays I've sent the out to all my clients. Going to do a BIG day of free plays today, so might skip tomorrow assuming they win. Yesterday's results was a DISAPPOINTING 2-3... We started off bad and never got into the full swing, aside from the Astros beating the over themselves in the 1st inning lol... [BARR'S BETS 8/14/20][LOSS] [NBA] 4:05PM EST MIAMI HEAT VS. INDIANA PACERS, PICK: MIAMI HEAT -1.5 (+100)[LOSS] [NHL] 6:30PM EST VANCOUVER CANUCKS VS. ST LOUIS BLUES, PICK: UNDER 5.5 (-131)[LOSS] [NBA] 6:30PM EST OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER VS. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS, PICK: LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS -6 (-106)[WIN] [NBA] 9:05PM EST PHILADELPHIA 76ERS VS. HOUSTON ROCKETS, PICK: PHILADELPHIA 76ERS +4.5 (-104)[WIN] [MLB] 9:10PM EST SEATTLE MARINERS VS. HOUSTON ASTROS, PICK: OVER 8.5 (-111) We got a BIG day of plays today, had 6 games. 1 player got COVID so that game got postponed, we're down to 5. We'll have to settle for a 5-0 sweep today. That's unfortunate... Here's the games on my VIP card: [BARR'S BETS 8/15/20][NBA] 2:35PM EST MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES VS. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS [MLB] 6:10PM EST CLEVELAND INDIANS VS. DETROIT TIGERS [NHL] 8:08PM EST VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS VS. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS [MLB] 8:10PM EST TEXAS RANGERS VS. COLORADO ROCKIES [MLB] 9:40PM EST LOS ANGELES DODGERS VS. LOS ANGELES ANGELS I'm ALSO going to post my free plays FREE here on the forum. If you see this post, you have my FREE plays for today. Let's get some huge wins, they're ~+230 return for both, depending on the odds your bookie gives you. Big money to be made in my free plays and VIP! [BARR'S FREE PARLAYS 8/15/20] [NBA] 2:35PM EST MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES VS. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS PARLAY: PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS -6 (-105) UNDER 232 (-110) [MLB] 9:40PM EST LOS ANGELES DODGERS VS. LOS ANGELES ANGELS PARLAY: LOS ANGELES DODGERS -1.5 (-101) OVER 9 (-114) As always, if you're interested in my VIP plays for FREE just shoot me a message and I'll send them your way! Let's have another huge weekend!
I know this may be out of place but do you guys ever actually use the wagering and betting forum? I went into it today and it was empty. Does anyone in here who plays hut wager on HUT games or actual NHL games and if so can they give me any insight to it? I just ordered the game off Amazon so I am waiting for it to get here this weekend. THANKS!!
The story of the Hartford Whalers is a particularly interesting one to me. From their very beginnings in the WHA, to joining the NHL, to being the perennial underachiever, to finally being moved to North Carolina. Obviously there is a lot more to this story than "they were bad and they moved", much, much more. The Hartford Whalers started life as the New England Whalers, a franchise in the World Hockey Association, a rival league to the NHL, that challenged the NHL's hold on Hockey and their reserve clause(basically meaning: You play with us, until we trade you or you retire). Over 67 players jumped to the WHA, including names such as Gordie Howe or Bobby Hull, with the WHA also going onto sign more European players and having young stars such as Wayne Gretzky. The New England Whalers started playing in 1972, led by ex-NHLers, Tom Webster(Red Wings), Ted Green(Bruins)(Inaugural Captain too) and many others, the Whalers first season was an incredible one for them, finishing First in their division and winning the Avco Cup. At the same time though, they had to play around the schedules of every other team playing in the Boston Garden, which led to scheduling issues for the Whalers, they essentially got the shortest end of the stick, because they were seen as a joke. Enter Hartford, Connecticut, one of the richer cities in North America, they had just finished building the Hartford Civic Center, a multipurpose arena in the heart of downtown Hartford. The City had been hoping to attract an ABA Franchise to the city, but when that failed they had settled on the Whalers, giving them a home for their rest of the franchises existence(...ish). On January 11, 1975 the Whalers played their first game at the Civic Center, in front of a sold out crowd, where they defeated the San Diego Mariners 4-3 in Overtime. The next few seasons were pretty good for the Whalers, although they never quite achieved the success they had in the first season, they made It back to the Avco Finals in the '78 season, losing to the original Winnipeg Jets, although this came at the cost of losing their new arena, due to a roof collapse they were forced to play 26 miles up the road in Springfield, MA at the Big E Coliseum and the Springfield Civic Center(home to the AHL Thunderbirds and NCAA Yellow Jackets), for the remainder of their two WHA Seasons. After 8 years of operation, the WHA merged with the NHL, with most of the clubs outright folding, save for the Whalers, Oilers, Jets(final Avco Cup winners) and Nordiques. Unlike the other clubs, the Whalers were allowed to keep the NHLers they had on their roster, rather than sending them back to their original team, as the other “new” teams had to do. This allowed the Whalers a slight advantage over many of the other NHL Teams, especially being able to keep players like Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe and Andre Lacroix(WHA All-Time Leading scorer). This advantage helped them become the first expansion team in NHL History to make the playoffs in their first year, a feat which would not be broken, until the Vegas Golden Knights joined. This merger was far from smooth however, as the Bruins who held a firm grasp on the New England market came close to(or did?) suing the league over admission of the Whalers, finally settling allowing the New England Whalers to join on the condition they change their name to the Hartford Whalers.
Attendance for the Whalers was never great, the only time it was really full was during Rangers or Bruins games, because of how close in proximity they were to NYC and Boston(5 hours..ish combined) and how well both fanbases traveled, it was usually a guarantee that you would see a sea of Blue / Gold. Hartford was a smaller market, but had the potential to be something incredible. Hartford for all of their existence were bottom five in attendance, it was always just a smaller arena, at their lowest they drew around 9854 fans, in their first NHL season, even with the improvements it wasn’t enough, Hartford just wasn’t a big major league market.
It was around this time that “Brass Bonanza” was introduced. Originally a B-Side on an album of team radio-broadcast highlights, it was composed by Jacques Ysaye under the pseudonym Jack Say. It gained popularity pretty fast, becoming the team’s theme song, being played during warmups, the team walking out, goals and victories. It is the one thing people think of when you say “Hartford Whalers”. It’s still used today by the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL(more on them later). During Brian Burke’s short tenure(literally a season), he got rid of the song saying “the players are embarrassed by it." It came back the next season, after Burke got fired.
Their first NHL season was one of their best ever, finishing with 73 points, the best of the former WHA Teams. In the first Round of the Norris Division playoffs however, the Whalers fell 0 Games to 3 Games, to the Montreal Canadiens, the reigning champions went on to lose to the Minnesota North Stars. That however proved to be their only playoff run for about 5 seasons, as they lost their stars in Howe, Lacroix and Lacroix, all announced their retirements, although this was not Howe’s final time playing professional hockey as he later signed a contract to play 1 game, 1 shift, with the IHL’s Detroit Vipers(the IHL was the NHL’s previous farm league before the ECHL). Losing their stars, combined with the aging WHA roster and a management making bad trades to try and stay afloat, led to a 5 season long drought. Despite the drought, attendance rose at the Civic Center and would continue rising until the 88-89 season, where attendance finally began falling off. The 1981 Draft was a great time to be a Whalers fan, they had just missed the playoffs, but had gotten Fourth Overall, leading them to draft Ron Francis. Francis made almost an immediate impact, with multiple point per game seasons, though it wasn’t enough to lead to the Whalers to a playoff berth, that wouldn’t happen until the 85-86 season. 85-86 was a magical time to be a Whalers fan, things began looking up, which seemed fair. In Game 1 of the season, down 3-0 to the Buffalo Sabres, Kevin Dineen led the Whalers in an incredible comeback, scoring 2 goals, which ultimately led to the Whalers winning 5-4. The following night was their home opener at home against the Rangers, with goals by Francis and Ferrao, the Whalers decimated their opponent with a score of 8-2, in front of an incredible crowd of over 15,142 fans. October was a pretty good month for them, beating the Canadiens 11-6 and going 6-4-0 for the month of October, leading to them sitting in third place in the Adams division. It cannot be stated enough how much these Whalers seemed like they were a playoff team, goalie Mike Liut was having a spectacular first few months, after being acquired late last season from the Blues for Greg Millen and Mark Johnson. November was a different story! Their first three games they lost by over 20 goals total, scoring only 7 total in this time. After trading for Defenseman Dave Babych, they looked legit for at least one game, against the Jets where they won 8-1, with Francis getting a hat trick. The fun didn’t stop there though! They went onto win their next two games with a combined score of 25-6(and 1 shutout of the Kings). After falling to the Oilers though, things went back to normal, they fell out of their playoff spot, dropping it to the Canadiens, who also were barely holding on. November ended with a record of 5-7-0. The rest of the season had its ups and downs, Francis was incredible, Dineen was an incredible player, while goaltending could be better, it could be much worse. They barely got into the playoffs, but it didn’t matter to the fans, they were going to the Adams Final this year! ...Where the Canadiens proceeded to destroy them in 7 hard fought games. All in all it was considered their best season ever at this point and to be fair, it was the best the Whalers would ever get, even though they finished 1st in the Adams the following year, they lost in the first round to the Nordiques(Hartford was cursed to lose to Quebec), this was the first and only season the Whalers had finished above Fourth in the Adams. To be honest, they were never “worldbeaters”, they were a smaller market team, which meant it was harder to attract great players, let alone trade for them, in many ways it’s the curse of location. The 80’s Whalers didn’t bring us much playoff victories, but they brought us...Whaler Mania. Sung by the one and only “Whaler Maniacs”. This video features a Hall of Fame cast, inspired by the likes of "the Bears Shufflin Crew’ Crew or the LA Rams “Ram It”, this summed up the 80’s in a nutshell, music videos from sports teams. The next few seasons were about much of the same, making the playoffs only to lose to Montreal, minus the two years where Boston beat them, it was usually just Montreal kicking them out of the first round. The 80s came and went, in what could be considered semi-successful, they got out of the first round once, they made it to the Adams Final, finished 1st in the Adams, but just couldn’t beat Montreal, Quebec, or Boston, to make a real run. Their best playoff run ever was celebrated with a Whalermania Parade, where over 40,000 fans attended. You might be wondering why a parade? Honestly who knows, it was probably to get more eyes on the product.
March 4th, 1991, the trade that in effect killed a franchise:
The Hartford Whalers, trade forward Ron Francis Defensemen Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings to the Pittsburgh Penguins, in exchange for Forwards John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Defenseman Zarley Zalapski. You may be asking “Why did they trade Francis!?” Well, so did the fans. The Hockey News reported the Whalers got the “better end of the deal”, leading many fans to question what these writers were smoking and where to buy some of that shit. To their credit though, Cullen was the Penguins leading scorer and the other two were no jokes, they were good players the Pens gave up, Mario wasn’t that great at the time, he needed someone like Francis to compliment his abilities. The Penguins went onto win the next 2 Cups, cementing Mario's legacy as one of the top five players to play in the NHL. Francis cemented his legacy as one of the best as well, not top five, I don't think though. Francis even had a hat trick in the '92 playoffs against the Rangers. (I can't find anything with Francis from the '91 Finals, so enjoy this clip! of him scoring on the Caps!)
Why was Francis traded? Well let’s rewind a bit back to December of the previous year, the Whalers stripped Francis of his “C” and gave it to Forward Pat Verbeek(current AGM to the Wings). Why did this happen? Well, Head Coach Rick Ley felt that Francis was too “laid back”, while Verbeek was seen as “more intense” and he had been the team’s leading scorer prior. It seems Francis was traded, because he was seen as expendable, they needed help with the Defense and decided Francis could go. Unfortunately, Parker had suffered a career ending injury months after the trade, leading fans to just shake their heads and sigh. The Whalers were falling apart, their GM had no real power and was basically a figurehead to the shitty owner. Ley left the following season to join the Canucks as an Assistant Coach, before becoming their Head Coach later. The Whalers hired Jimmy Roberts as his replacement. Penguins GM Craig Patrick was asked about this trade, responding with: “Certainly, we weren’t a championship-caliber team, in my opinion, until we made that deal to get Ronnie and Ulf and Grant Jennings,” also saying, “We had made a lot of changes that whole season, but that was the icing on the cake.”
The Penguins needed help and this was the trade that got made them into a Dynasty and helped further cement Mario Lemieux as one of the greatest players ever. Funny enough, Whalers GM Ed Johnston, left the organization two years later to join…The Fucking Penguins. From what I've read this wasn't so much a move Johnston wanted to make, ownership had more or less forced his hand. Gordon meddling constantly in hockey ops, meant Johnston had no real power. He later joined the Penguins(3 seasons later)
Despite this, they made in the playoffs in 91-92, losing to the Canadiens, who despite looking like favorites to sweep, blew it, the Whalers responded by winning Games 3 and 4, Montreal won Game 5 due to crease violations(these weren’t enforced at the time), but Hartford tied it in Game 6, 24 seconds in Overtime thanks To Yvon Corriveau. Heartbreak happened though as usual, as they lost Game 7 in Montreal. During the offseason Coach Jimmy Roberts was fired, alongside GM Eddie Johnston, who just took his talents(???) to Pittsburgh as a Coach instead.
That same mediocre Summer:
The Hartford Whalers announce the hiring of Brian Burke, naming him the 5th General Manager in franchise history. Burke had most recently built the Vancouver Canucks who had gone onto a Cup Final(You know how that ended..). GM Brian Burke announces the hiring of Paul Holmgreen, the 10th Coach in franchise history. Holmgreen had most recently coached the Flyers, through a crazy playoff run, they had beat Lemieux's Penguins 4 games to 3, winning Game 7 in Pittsburgh. They then missed the playoffs twice, before he got fired. Holmgreen proceeds to name Pat Verbeek the team’s new Captain, counting the carousel of Captaincy. He got to play with up and coming stars, Andrew Cassels and Geoff Sanderson though, which was nice.
The Whalers also introduce their newest assistant coach, Pierre McGuire(Yes, that Pierre, the annoying one).
Burke’s first trade as a GM came quick: The Hartford Whalers trade Forward Bobby Holik, a 1993 Second-Round Pick and a conditional draft pick in 94(I can’t find anything on the condition) to the New Jersey Devils for Goaltender Sean Burke(no relation to Brian) and Defenseman Eric Weinrich. Burke had been playing internationally for Canada’s national team and for the Devils’ IHL affiliate. To say the least, he was a rookie sensation for the Devils, he had previously helped Canada(Junior) win a Silver Medal and from there went straight to the NHL, where he seemed...good. In the ‘89 season he was even named to the All-Star Game, being one of the few rookie goaltenders to make get named to the game. He was quickly becoming the face of the franchise, becoming the first Devil to be on the cover for The Hockey Digest. However by 1990 he became unhappy with the team and sat out 91-92, playing for Team Canada instead. So this was a seemingly good trade that Burke made, a change of scenery could do him well. He was even voted Whalers team MVP from 94 to 97, so it worked out for him, even though this team never even so much as sniffed the postseason again. Behind the scenes, things were...rough. Brian Burke didn’t last long in the role as GM, he quit after one season. Head Coach Paul Holmgreen stepped into the GM Role as well as staying head coach, until November 16th when he stepped down as coach, citing a “lack of effort from the players” and “wanting to focus on being a GM”. Pierre Mcguire(again that Pierre) became the new Coach and...he was pretty hated actually. To quote the Hartford Courant: “He fancied himself two-parts Scotty Bowman and one-part Bob Johnson. It was a super-human leap of faith on his part.” Basically he tried to act like Scotty Bowman, being cold and distant to the players, while at the same time trying to be ``friends” with them, like Bob Johnson tried to do more of. He was so hated that Whalers Captain Pat Verbeek(amazing he lasted this long as Captain!) was quoted as saying: “the best thing that could have happened to the Whalers.” Yes, the team captain is literally shitting on the ex-coach, because he was that goddamn awful. Nobody liked Pierre, he mocked other coaches and drove away players, even the fans were happy he was gone. He later went onto be the annoying guy NBC trots out to torture us, because they hate all of us. You might be thinking, “Can’t get any worse than Pierre,right?” Well it does. March 30th, 1994(before Pierre got fired), GM Paul Holmgren was arrested for driving drunk in Simsbury, Connecticut. From there he went to the Betty Ford Center for treatment / rehab, where upon Whalers owner Richard Gordon tried to fire him, being stopped by Bettman himself and Connecticut Governor Lowell P. Weicker Jr, who convinced him to not. Aka Bettman told him “Do it and you’ll get a fine” most likely and Weicker probably say “Don’t do it please!”. He later became the coach again because the players were ready to either kill Pierre or hitchhike out of Hartford, if it meant not playing for him again. Seriously nobody liked Pierre, he got the job because he was an assistant under Scotty Bowman. The Whalers finished that year with only 63 points, 5 points better than last, but nowhere near good enough. Summer of 1994. The Whalers announce the team has been sold to Compuware(They specialize in equipment for IT) CEO Peter J Karmanos, the cheap bastard himself, alongside partners Thomas Thewes and Jim Rutherford(Pens GM). Rutherford quickly became the new GM of the Whalers, succeeding Holmgreen, whom went back to being a coach. Karmanos wanted a winning team, which made Rutherford to get Jimmy Carson and Steven Rice, in Free Agency. During the draft Rutherford selected Right Winger Jeff O'Neill with their First Rounder, O’Neill was a highly touted player, who had put up over 329 Points in only 3 Seasons with the Guelph Storm, so this was a smart decision. He never really lived up to his potential though, especially in the early years where he bounced between the Pros and Minors. Among other trades Rutherford made, he traded Chris Pronger(they weren’t happy with him not developing fast enough) for Brendan Shanahan, who was incredibly unhappy about this trade. Did it matter? Hell no! He was named Captain before even skating a single practice, the whole time he wanted out of Hartford, he felt it was too small of a market and they had an “uncertain future”. To Karmanos’ credit, he wasn’t new to owning Hockey, he had previously owned the OHL’s Windsor Spitfire, back in 1984 along with Thomas Tewes(longtime business partner) and Jim Rutherford. The Spitfires never won a Memorial Cup with Karmanos as owner, but they came close. Karmanos eventually sold them to someone who pledged to keep the Spitfire in Windsor, so long as the OHL granted him an expansion team in Plymouth, Michigan. It was that or he’d move the Spitfire to Plymouth, so he got the Plymouth Whalers.Karmanos’ group tried unsuccessfully to get an expansion team in St Petersburg, Florida. Eventually getting his hands on the Whalers. That’s right, behind the scenes, the Devil himself, Karmanos was trying to move the Whalers out of Hartford, unless he got a shiny new arena built by the taxpayers. At this point, Hartford was starting on an economic downswing and the Government didn’t care that much about the Whalers, to pay for a new arena. Can you blame them though? Karmanos didn’t want a new arena, he never wanted Hartford to begin with, he was eyeing another market. It was easy because the Whalers were bad, had they had good management, things might have gone differently. The team was bad and it was even worse behind the scenes, but they had recently re-acquired Kevin Dineen who was a fan favorite and helped boost morale at the least, along with mentoring the young players. It...didn’t really help though, attendance was down and they had missed the playoffs yet again. Due to his comments, Shanahan eventually got stripped of the “C”(why give it to a guy who didn’t want to be there I don’t know), due to fans and the media attacking him for his comments. Dineen was given the Captaincy instead, but it was another season lost. Shanahan finally got traded to a big market though, Detroit. The Detroit Red Wings acquire Forward Brendan Shanahan from the Hartford Whalers in exchange for Keith Primeau, Paul Coffey and a first-rounder. It actually helped the Whalers at first, as they started the 96-97 season with a winning record(that wouldn’t last).1996 was good for them, 1997 turned awful as losing kept happening, the playoffs slipped further and further away, until it was another season of no playoffs.
More behind the scenes chaos: The 96-97 Season was horrible, Karmanos announced unless the team sold 11,000 tickets he would move the team. If that didn't make things hard, he also eliminated ticket package deals, so you couldn’t just buy a package for 4 games and be good, you had to buy Season Tickets. That was literally the only option and helped Karmanos’ case of moving the team. His reasoning for moving them? Poor attendance and no corporate support(this one is fair, it’s been said that could be an issue with a Quebec team. I am not smart enough to say if this is a real issue or not). Despite Governor Rowland publically saying the state will not use public funds to build Karmanos a new arena, they were negotiating just that behind the scenes and talks were going well, until Karmanos wanted an additional $45 million to cover the team’s losses during the three years it would take to actually build the arena.
To be fair here, it wasn’t all because of Karmanos that the team moved. Yes he ultimately is the one who pulled the trigger and moved him, but this tale goes back to previous ownership and people no longer in charge. A lot of this can be blamed on Richard Gordon, the former owner who bought Donald Conrad’s(the other owner) stake in the team, in the later 80s, but this story goes well into the 90’s. Donald Conrad didn’t have the money needed to equal Gordon’s investment and had to get the help of Benjamin Sisti and Colonial Realty. In the end, Conrad had to sell his share to Colonial Realty and Gordon got the control he ever so desired. It doesn’t end there, Colonial Realty then declared bankruptcy because it turns out, they were a massive ponzi scheme. This gave a ton of uncertainty to the Whalers, since now it was they didn’t meet the financial terms of Conrad’s exit, which could also lead to Conrad being back in the ownership picture. Gordon pressed the NHL to investigate Colonial Realty, but this was the 90s NHL, they let a broke guy briefly own a team, they didn’t do their due diligence. For the first time, the 90s brought the word “relocation” to the Whalers, with Blockbuster owner Wayne Huizenga trying to buy the Whalers to move them to Florida, he later got awarded an expansion team in Miami. (this is a complicated mess I'm still trying to understand) To Gordon’s credit, he refused all relocation offers. But this was a long standing issue, people blame Karmanos, but it’s far more than just “Karmanos moved the team because he hated Hartford”, he did. Gordon’s micromanaging seems to be the reason for some of the baffling 90s trades, like trading Francis, or then trading Liut for Corriveau, who was nowhere near as good. Liut led the league in shutouts the year he was traded to Washington, while Corriveau was...bad, he bounced between the pros and minors constantly. Gordon was just as bad an owner if not worse in many ways, than Karmanos. It didn’t help that in 92, there was a player strike(it lasted 10 days) while Colonial Realty was going bankrupt. All in all it was a mess, I could write up a novel detailing all of this, but that would be boring. Gordon sold the team to Karmanos knowing Karmanos wanted to relocate a team, so please blame him more. Fun fact: Dallas, Minneapolis(Well ok, Minneapolis never did, but Minnesota got another), Las Vegas, Anaheim and Miami all tried to get the Whalers to move to their city. All of these cities later got an expansion team, or in the case of Dallas, a relocation. It also didn’t help that former Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry(or Hat Lady) was anti-Whalers. Famously saying “Hockey is for White People”(She’s not totally wrong though, unfortunately) and this was in a time when concession sales were becoming a much bigger deal. She didn’t want to play ball with the Whalers, she didn’t want to re-negotiate on the lease, I think she may have just wanted them gone to be honest. She wasn’t well liked by many, Aetna(they previously owned the Whalers) threatened to leave Hartford if she won a fourth term as Mayor. I won’t go into further details on who to blame, or it’ll be forever. With talks of the Whalers leaving, fans were livid. A “Save the Whale” Campaign launched, buying up just over 8,563 tickets, in under 45 days, despite the Whalers doing everything possible to get people to not buy tickets, fans bought up tickets to save the Whalers. It wasn’t enough though, even with the people wanting to save the team, even with everything else, Karmanos announced they were leaving. Karmanos had discussed moving to Norfolk VA, but the only arena they had, The Scope, was too small to house an NHL Franchise and the city wouldn’t build them an arena. (Norfolk is a great minor league market I think, but I’m heavily biased). Rowland’s offers weren’t good enough for Karmanos, since he was trying to move the Patriots to Hartford(spoiler: that didn’t work), he wasn’t really trying to please the Whalers, but would have bent over backwards for the Patriots. It’s a lot of bullshit. The relocation proposals: The Move. On April 17th, 1997, the Whalers played their final home game in Hartford, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1, with Captain Kevin Dineen scoring the final goal. On May 6, Karmanos announced the team would be relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina to become the Carolina Hurricanes. Despite years of trying and the Government doing what it could, they left and that was the last time a major league team had come to Hartford. In many ways this was the final nail in the coffin for Hartford, they were beginning to struggle and the 2000’s made the cities downswing much worse. On October 1st, 1997, the new Carolina Hurricanes played their first game in North Carolina, losing in front of a sellout crowd to the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-4. Unfortunately, things didn’t improve, crowds were regularly drawing below 10K, the new arena wasn’t ready yet forcing them to move to Greensboro, as it was the only NHL ready arena in the state. Triangle area fans didn’t want to drive down I-40 to Greensboro, as it was an 80-Mile drive, while fans from the Piedmont Triad refused to support a lame-duck team and one that displaced the popular minor league Greensboro Monarchs. This was for all intents and purposes a stupid move, the arena was still 2 years out and fans in the area refused to support it, Karmanos had effectively killed a team that was at least getting 10k+ people to watch the games, in favor of an area that wanted nothing to do with them. It didn’t help the Greensboro Coliseum held over 20k+ seats for hockey, making it the biggest at the time in the league, but made it worse when nobody came to their games. It was so bad that sections had to be curtained off so that it wouldn’t look so awful on TV. It didn’t help only 29 TV Games were shown and radio broadcasts were often preempted by basketball, leading many to wonder “Why move them if nothing was ready?” Even Karmanos later admitted Greensboro was a mistake. The Whalers weren’t doing well in Hartford, yes, but moving them without a plan was just the best way to fuck up a relocation quickly.
In the end there were many guilty parties for “what killed the Whale?” Karmanos, Gordon, Weicker(the Governor at the time), Sisti(ran the Ponzi Scheme), they were what killed the Whalers in the end. It wasn’t a “lack of fan support” or “corporate support”, yes the latter didn’t help with the Whalers issues, nor did them being in the smallest NHL market help. But to blame anyone but these three you would be crazy to do so. The Government was incompetent, they wanted the Whalers to stay, but they were looking ahead at getting the Patriots and spending taxpayer funds to build them a stadium, you would probably see the Whalers in Hartford still, had the Governor not tried to flirt with the idea of an NFL team in Hartford. But realistically the only circumstance a new arena should have been built was if there was a guarantee that the Whalers would stay and that Karmanos would fit good portion of the bill as well.
After the Whalers left town, the Rangers moved the Binghamton Rangers to Hartford and renamed them the Hartford Wolfpack, playing in the same building as the Whalers played in, meaning NHL Hockey was gone, but AHL Hockey was here to stay. Unfortunately, even with hockey still in Hartford, not many attend Wolfpack games. But minor league teams are never that popular, so it makes some sense. For 3 seasons(2010-2013) the Wolfpack became the Connecticut Whale, paying homage to the former Whalers.
The Carolina Hurricanes won the cup in 2005, with only one Whaler left on the roster, Defenseman Glen Wesley won his first and only Stanley Cup. I’ve always considered the Hurricanes one of the weirder cup winners, they missed before and after their win. 04-05 was cancelled due to the lockout, but they missed in 02-03 and 03-4, missing again in 06-07 and 07-08, before coming to a conference final, where they were swept by the Penguins. That was their last playoff appearance for a full decade. Why did they miss so much? It’s simple: Karmanos. He refused to spend on the team after the cap became a thing, he stopped spending, he was content with the Hurricanes being awful and being a laughing stock of the NHL. Calls to move them were more common because of Karmanos, because nobody went to games, because they were losing money.
Could Hartford somehow get a new team? No, the answer is no. It’s too small of a market for the NHL to return to and the city is one of the poorer ones in the country as of now, with 1 in 10 citizens living in poverty, it wouldn’t be the right move to bring in a new team. Like the MLB, the NHL has a small market issue, free agents don’t want to go there, your gms can’t do much to fix anything, because nobody is giving up good players, unless it’s a cap dump and you get the picture. People in Hartford want a team, sure, but it’s mostly a minor league town, that’s what it can support, not every city can host a major league team. At the end of the day, Hartford just wouldn’t make any money for the NHL.
Jim Rutherford is regarded by many Canes fans as a terrible GM, he didn’t help much. He eventually ran off to Pittsburgh, turning them into a back to back cup winner and then wrecking any momentum they had, by signing some mediocre players to long term deals. (Jack Johnson.) He was replaced by franchise legend, Ron Francis who got replaced by Don Waddell, Francis is currently GM for the unnamed Seattle expansion team.
The Hurricanes are looking to rebound, after a decade of nothing-hockey, they look ready to make a comeback. The question is, was last year a fluke? or was it the start of something new? I hope it's the latter, I want this franchise to succeed, I want Hockey to succeed in North Carolina.
The Hurricanes also honored their heritage with a Whalers throwback night, where they beat Boston,(a feat the original Whalers didn't manage to do much) in front of a bigger home crowd than the Whalers ever had. Dundon's philosophy seems to be honoring the Whalers, instead of treating them like something shameful.
Karmanos finally sold the team in 2018, to Texas Billionaire, Tom Dundon who so far hasn’t done much of note, but enjoys talking about the Hurricanes. At the very least, it seems like he might be the owner the Hurricanes have needed.
The story of the Whalers isn’t a very happy one, in fact it’s pretty depressing when you realize this franchise never really had a chance, due to ownership, due to being a small market, due to a lot of factors. In the end, the Whalers are remembered for Brass Bonanza, for their run to the Adams Final, that had them a goal away from a Conference Final.
I'll probably cover the North Stars and everything that happened with them next, I dunno yet. I omitted a few things I know, like talking about the logo or mascot, but I covered the major events. Special thanks to the mods, who I didn't have to harass this week, because the bot deleted a post. And thanks to jacoobz for linking me to the Whalers article, I read through it and enjoyed it.
Good afternoon Redditors, hopefully your weekend is starting off right and your bets are getting those early dollars or just starting in the upcoming few slots. I'm here today as I begin to expand my audience. A quick bit of information about me, I'm a computer science and statistics double major. I've combined my expertise/education with my `life-long hobby` 😉 to try and give myself the best possible advantages to predict games and produce money. I've been working hard on this (different algorithms) for years. My most recent one I began testing on 9/28/18 to this day (11/23/19). This model has been so successful (as you can see from my title) that this has become my full-time job. Some results from my `VIP-Model` in the little over a year: +$201,136 (based on a $550 bet), or ~$36,570.18 for the average $100 bettor 1,331 (Wins) - 877 (Losses) - 60 (Pushes) -108 Average Odds +16.13% ROI Not bad at all, but I'm always striving for better. I know there's no perfect in betting, but of course I want to be it. Yesterday's VIP plays: [NCAAB] BAYLOR VS. COASTAL CAROLINA OVER 146.5 (-115) (LOSS) [NHL] NEW YORK RANGERS (ML) (+106) VS. OTTAWA SENATORS (LOSS) [NBA] MIAMI HEAT VS. CHICAGO BULLS +4.5 (+103) (LOSS) [NCAAB] KENNESAW ST VS. MONMOUTH OVER 137 (-115) (LOSS) [NBA] HOUSTON ROCKETS VS. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS -5 (-105) (LOSS) There's 6 plays today, I'm playing on: [NCAAF] UTEP VS. MEXICO STATE [NCAAF] FLORIDA ATLANTIC VS. TEXAS SAN ANTONIO [NBA] ORLANDO MAGIC VS. INDIANA PACERS [NHL] ANAHEIM DUCKS VS. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING [NBA] SAN ANTONIO SPURS VS. NEW YORK KNICKS [NHL] NEW YORK ISLANDERS VS. SAN JOSE SHARKS However, that's just an introduction to me and what I've been up to over the last year. As of late, after I publish my VIP picks I've been working on a new `Value-Model` where it's primarily focused on comparing Vegas odds vs. the projected `actual` value produced by this model on 10,000 simulated games. It'll be interesting because I'm focused on only ATS and ML games in NBA + NFL. My other model normally bets totals and all sports. So it'll be interesting to see how my new focused direction compares with my current `successful` model. I've already had them pick against each other a few times 😅 I will be testing this new model PUBLICLY (releasing the plays before the game(s)) and keeping track of the results for AT LEAST 1 week. Yesterday's plays, posted in my Discord: [NBA-ATS] Oklahoma City Thunder +4 (1 unit - $100) +$90.90 [NBA-ML] Oklahoma City Thunder @ +149 (1 unit - $100) -$100 [NBA-ML] Philadelphia 76ers @ -280 (1 unit - $100) +$35.70 OVERALL RESULTS: 2-1-0 (+0.266 units) OVERALL NBA RESULTS: 2-1-0 (+0.266 units) NBA ATS RESULTS: 1-0-0 (+0.9090 units) NBA ML RESULTS: 1-1-0 (-0.643 units) OVERALL NFL RESULTS: 0-0-0 (+0 units) NFL ATS RESULTS: 0-0-0 (+0 units) NFL ML RESULTS: 0-0-0 (+0 units) I keep track of my plays in my discord (and other forum threads), I'm not sure if I'm allowed to advertise/link it in this post considering this group doesn't have rules on the right hand side. I'll leave it off this post, but if someone can let me know in the chat, that would be great. It's linked in my profile if you're interested. Today's Value Algorithm plays: [NBA-ATS] Charlotte Hornets +2 (1 unit - $100) [NBA-ATS] Cleveland Cavaliers +4.5 (1 unit - $100) [NBA-ATS] Memphis Grizzlies +7.5 (1 unit - $100) [NBA-ML] Charlotte Hornets @ +104 (1 unit - $100) [NBA-ML] Utah Jazz @ -230 (1 unit - $100) It think the actual value of the Hornets today are -3 and @ -150 ML Some other strong leads are Memphis +7.5 (thinks they're actually +2.5). Not betting it though, will see if I add it to the slate later, I'll update the post. Good luck with bets today!
I created an algorithm to help me decide which hockey team to support in my inaugural season of NHL fandom. Here are the results!
Hello hockey As the title states, I have created a mathematical formula to decide what hockey team I will support. I will break up this post into a few sections to make it easier to read (aka casually skim through until the very end to see the results). There will be a TLDR at the end of each section. WHY Let’s start off with a little background for this fun scientific experiment. I live in a little midwest state by the name of Indiana. You may have heard of us. We’re known for many things, such as basketball (yay!) and the Indy 500 (meh). Outside of Larry Bird, Tony Stewart, and casual racism from everyone’s grandparents, there’s not too much else here. Anyway, growing up in the mid-to-late 1990s, Indiana was a great place in terms of sports. The Indiana Pacers were a consistently great team, thanks to Reggie Miller & company (still sad no titles). The Colts were up-and-coming with the one and only Peyton Manning. Bobby Knight still coached IU basketball and there was still an air of success around the program. Like most kids in Indiana at the time, I gravitated towards basketball. Fast forward to today. Here I am, nearly 26 years old. The Pacers heyday has come and gone, with our biggest star in 20 years now gone. IU basketball is the shell of a program it used to be, with the team flirting with relevancy during my days as a student there (2010-2014), before spiraling down to our current state of mid-tier in the Big Ten. The Colts, even though we secured a Super Bowl, felt like there should’ve been 2 or 3 more, and will forever be known as postseason choke artists of the 2000s. Enter the 2017 NBA and NHL Playoffs. The 2017 NBA playoffs was essentially a two month time period where some groups of guys tried to throw pebbles at a couple of Apache Attack Helicopters. Like when you’re playing Civilization, and you move your tanks into a group of crossbowmen. From day one of this NBA season, everyone knew the Finals would be the Warriors vs the Cavs. I love watching basketball, especially playoffs, but first three rounds of the NBA playoffs were hard to watch. Very few close, exciting games, with lots of blow outs. This left a void in my heart. I needed to watch something sports related before we got to the worst time of the year (the time of year where basketball is over and football has yet to begin, and the only sport to watch on TV is baseball. In-person, baseball is fine. You get some fresh air, some hotdogs, and a couple beers with some friends. Good times. But who wants to watch a full baseball game on TV? 55 year old, white, recently divorced fathers, that’s who. Seeing as how I am only one of those things (I’ll let you guess which), I did NOT want to spend the last couple months before baseball-only season with no entertaining sports. So, as I was watching my Pacers give up the largest playoff lead in NBA playoff history, I decided to flip over to some playoff hockey. It was so fun! I ended up watching Rangers vs Habs (Rangers won 3-2 in OT) and Sharks vs Oilers (Oilers won in OT). I struggled to understand some of what was going on, but it was EXCITING! So the next day, I watched the Caps beat the Leafs in OT, and Bruins beat the Sens in OT. And you know what, THOSE GAMES WERE EXCITING TOO (Well, Bruins - Sens was kind of exciting. More on that later). I barely even watched the NBA Playoffs that night, I was hooked. So I started popping into hockey and lurking through some of the game threads. I saw some gifs of Fleury doing silly things like hiding the puck from the refs, pat the goal-posts when a puck bounces off the iron, and even jerk off his stick when the handle saved a goal. Charles Barkley started preaching about the NHL being awesome, and I’ve always admired Chuck for telling it like it is. I saw both the exciting side and the silly side of the NHL in this subreddit. I knew I could get into this sport. Prior to those two nights of playoff hockey, my exposure to hockey was minimal. In 2002, when I was 11, I got the videogame Backyard Hockey for PC for my birthday. Martin Brodeur was my team’s goalie, and Jaromir Jagr lead my team in points. I chose the Flames as my franchise, because to an 11 year old, WHAT’S COOLER THAN FIRE!?! C is the letter of my first name, which as you know is also Calgary’s logo, so naturally, I had to pick them. I even renamed them the Calgary Caleb’s. What a fucking dynasty. 12 straight undefeated seasons. Wow, such an amazing run. One for the record books. That’s the only thing I remember from that video game. I didn’t play the game much after a month or so, because that is when I got sucked into Morrowind for hundreds of hours. The only other exposure I had into hockey was during college. Like I said earlier, I went to Indiana University, and of course, that school was LOADED with Blackhawk bandwagoners. I hadn’t seen a single Hawks jersey on campus until they won the cup in 2013, and then they were everywhere. This annoyed me. So the following year, I was out at the bars and the 2014 NHL Playoffs had just started. It was game 1 between the Blues and the Hawks, and of course, the bar was packed with people wearing Blackhawks jerseys, not even watching the game. Me, being slightly intoxicated, started heckling everyone wearing a Hawks jersey. “GOOOOOOOO BLUE TEAM!” I repeatedly shouted. Finally, after 3 OTs, the Blues won the game, so I began heckling even more. I’m surprised I didn’t get in a fight, but after a while, I realized it’s because the Hawks fans there were just bandwagoning and probably didn’t really care. Fun Fact: The number of fights I got into that night is equal to the number of games the Blackhawks won this postseason. Once I got sucked into the NHL playoffs this year, I knew I wanted to get into hockey for real. The problem was, I live in central Indiana. I can’t just support my local team, because I don’t have a local team. I thought about being a Blues fan (GOOOO BLUE TEAM!), but I didn’t really like the idea of supporting a team solely out of my disdain for the fans of another team (Hawks). I wanted to be fully invested in the team. I also considered the Golden Knights, but then I remembered this article from fivethirtyeight. I could totally come up with something like that for my own. After an hour or so of tweaking and determining criteria, the algorithm was born. TLDR: Channel Surfed to 2017 NHL Playoffs, games were awesome, no local team for me to support, time to create a (mostly) unbiased formula. METHODOLOGY Warning, some dry math-shit ahead. I will be assigning a score of 1 to 10 for every single team against a set of criteria. Each criteria will be weighted. I decided to score every NHL team on the following 14 criteria. 1. Jersey and Logo Coolness. Very much a personal opinion here. I wouldn't want to support a team wearing the Mooterus Stars jersey or the Fisherman Islanders jersey. Granted, there really isn't anything quite as ugly as those currently but I will also try and factor in throwback uniforms and logos as well. 2. Quality of Best Player (Skill + Likability). It's important to have a marketable player, both via skill and personality. For example, Crosby would score very high skill-wise, but low on the likeability factor. Half the score here is skill, the other half likability. This was 1 of 2 criteria that generated a lot of internal argument 3. Geographic Closeness. The closest team to where I live is the Blue Jackets at 3 hours 20 minutes(drive time). They will serve as the baseline 10 for this criteria. Every additional 2 hours past 3 hours 20 minutes will result in a loss of a point. Google maps will serve as the utility for which time is measured 4. Quality of Fanbase. Are you fans classy, or are they all inconsiderate douchebags? Low score = hostile fans or fair weather fans. 5. Appearance of bandwagoning if supporting. Nobody likes a bandwagoner. Indiana University was filled with Blackhawk jerseys after they won the Stanley Cup. I hadn't seen a single Blackhawks jersey prior. I find this type of behavior extremely annoying, so I do not want to join a team that has a high bandwagon factor. A low score indicates a high bandwagon appearance. 6. Potential for next 5 years (Youth + Assets). I want to support a team that doesn't necessarily have to be a contender to win it all next year, but I would like to support a team that at least is considered to be a on the upswing. This was the other criteria that generated a lot of internal argument 7. Past Postseason Success. Self Explanatory. 8. Franchise Reputation. Is the franchise known for having a great GM, making savvy personnel decisions, being considered a model franchise by other franchises and other fans? Think the San Antonio Spurs of the NHL. 9. Quality of Goal Song / Power Play Song. A small factor that shouldn't be overlooked. A good goal song should be happy and joyful, a good power play song should stir excitement. I don't even know if all teams have a goal or power play song, but if you don't, you're wrong and I hate you. I concede, Chelsea Dagger is a great goal song 10. Entertainment Factor. I don't care if my future team goes 82-0 if they win every game 1-0 with a goal in the first period. I want to support a team that will excite, for better or worse. Kind of like the Capitals being a choke-hazard. Ottawa, on the other hand, is notorious for running a 1-3-1, which in layman’s terms, translates to “Boring AF”. (The first Sens - Bruins game I watched this post-season wasn’t that bad, but as the playoffs progressed, I started to get worn down by their style) 11. Disposition for City Based Upon Other Sport Fandom And Other Personal Experiences. I like basketball and football. I used to be a bigger baseball fan, but that has waned off in the past 6-7 years. I still pay attention, but not to the degree of the other two sports. Naturally, the teams I support (Pacers, Colts, Reds) have rivals. It would pain me to be a fan of the Bruins, because I know that a lot of Bruin fans are also Patriot fans. Same with Chicago because of Bulls vs Pacers. A low score here indicates that I do not like other sports teams in this city. I will also factor in personal experiences if I have ever been to the city in question. 12. Coaching. Nothing more infuriating in sports than having a great roster with poor direction from the coach. I have much experience with that feeling, unfortunately. (See the 2013 IU Men’s Basketball team, who was ranked number 1 in the nation, but couldn’t break a fucking zone defense from Syracuse in the Sweet Sixteen. Really, Tom Crean? Really? That’s middle school stuff right there) 13. Arena Quality. How bad is the arena in need of renovations? Is there a new stadium coming? Does the stadium kick ass? I plan on actually traveling to see a game in the next year or two, a nice arena would be welcome. 14. Strength In Advanced Stats. My friend Jacob, the advanced stats nerd of a hockey fan, suggested this criteria. He created a custom formula to rank every team in this area. Here is his write-up for the formula he created. Warning, even dryer math-shit ahead. Skip this quoted area to get on with the methodology. No seriously, this shit is dry. You have been warned
GOALIES To summarize goalie performance, I wanted to use season-by-season goals saved above average (GSAA). Basic formula: GSAA=Saves-(Total ShotsLeague Average season save%)* Summary: "How many more saves did this goalie make than a league-average goalie would have made on the same amount of shots?" (higher is better). This takes into account ever-changing league average save% and weights for shot quantity. However, this alone does not factor in shot quality which in my mind is an important factor as well, to remove team defensive ability from the goalie’s performance. If a goalie pads his stats with saves on low-quality shots, what does that truly say about his ability? To include shot quality, I pulled goalie save data from firstlinestats.com, which has shots categorized by low/medium/high danger. I computed the league average for each of these danger categories & calculated every goalie’s GSAA for each category. I then rounded all 3 up into one number, which was weighted as such: Weighted GSAA=1.2High Danger GSAA+Medium Danger GSAA+0.8*Low Danger GSAA * Validity sniff test: In the 2016-17 season, the top 2 goalies by my calculations were Cam Talbot and Sergei Bobrovsky. Talbot had a huge workload (started 73 games) and had an above-league-average overall save% at .919, all while facing the most high-danger shots of any goalie. Weighted GSAA: 49.14 Bobrovsky had a big workload (started 63 games), had a historic overall save% of .931, also faced many high-danger shots, and won the Vezina trophy. Weighted GSAA: 48.89 Though some may debate the order, in my mind, this passes. I evaluated each team’s starter & backup by calculating each of their last 3 seasons’ weighted GSAA. To gauge their overall quality, I weighted their last 3 seasons 4/9, 3/9, and 2/9 (from most recent to least) to project ability & weed out outlier seasons as best as possible. For overall goalie systems, I used starter quality by weighted GSAA, backup quality by weighted GSAA, and prospect quality to get an overall snapshot of a team’s goalie system. Prospect quality came from InGoal Magazine’s rankings from pre-2016-17 season, which admittedly is dated but was the best I could find. Overall Team Goalie Quality=0.65Starter Quality+0.25Prospect Quality+0.1Backup Quality* SKATERS (note: in this section, when I say “shot” I mean “unblocked shot”, aka “shots on goal + missed shots”, aka “Fenwick”) To summarize team’s skaters ability, I wanted to cover 4 aspects: even-strength shot generation, even-strength shot suppression, power play shot generation, and penalty kill shot suppression. As noted by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com, shot generation & suppression are mostly independent, so I reviewed those 2 parameters separately rather than in terms of Fenwick %. Upfront, I’ll acknowledge the weaknesses in this section: Ideally I would have used zone-, score-, and venue-adjusted Fenwick for these calculations, but with Corsica down I made do with the free analytics data I could find. I also only used last season’s numbers here...since there have been plenty of offseason moves, particularly with the expansion draft, I figured looking at only last regular season’s shot data would be the most representative going forward, though I admit it won’t be perfect. To cover the 4 aspects mentioned previously, I pulled the following data, and weighted the numbers as noted:
Power play shot generation (10%): Shots attempted per 60 minutes on the power play
Penalty kill shot suppression (10%): Shots allowed per 60 minutes on the penalty kill
I then ranked all teams based on this weighted criteria. For Vegas, I made a snap judgement call & rated them right in the middle of the pack. This was reinforced by their current signed roster; they have a mix of historically positive shot impact players like James Neal, average possession players like Cody Eakin, & negative possession players like Luca Sbisa. As far as I can tell, they’re aiming for right in the middle of the pack in terms of puck possession. OVERALL After all that, my overall ranking system was simple. 40% goalie, 60% skaters to give a one-stop estimator of team’s advanced stats strength.
Wow, I thought my algorithm was in-depth, but Jacob put his super complex shit inside of my kinda complex shit. And I thought I was a nerd. But how did I determine the weight of the criteria? I didn’t want to just arbitrarily assigned values to each criteria. I wanted to be a bit more scientific. Using a website called www.allourideas.com, I input the 14 criteria into their tool. The website then randomly pits one criteria against another, and I had to choose which I think is more important. I did this over the course of three weeks with 700 matchups voted upon. This “over time” approach help paint a more accurate picture as to what I find truly the most important. My opinions could change day to day, but across 3 weeks, this helped create a better overall picture. Once I reached the day I had planned to do the algorithm, I viewed the results. The website presented me with a 1-100% chance that a criteria would beat any other criteria. I then took the values and divided them by 50. This reduced the scale of the weight to be between 0 and 2. I felt that a criteria weight between 0-2 was a good number. I didn’t feel that any one criteria was more than 2 times more important than another. This would give me a much tighter spread on final point totals than if I had just assigned a 1 to 14 criteria importance. Also, a tighter point spread means more excitement for me and my friends as we filled out the algorithm. If Franchise Reputation is weight of 1.5, and I scored a team with a 10 for that criteria, then that is worth 15 points. Hopefully that makes sense. See screenshot in the final google sheet for the head-to-head probability results. This is pre-scaling of the weight. I’m new to hockey, so how the hell am I supposed to know what team has a great coach, or who the hell has potential for the future, or a good reputation? To help me conduct the algorithm, I am relying on three of my friends who are hockey fans to help me determine point values for the criteria. u/the_team_plug is a lifelong Bruins fan, so when it comes to the Habs, I’m not sure I will take his opinion into consideration. Otherwise, he played goalie up through college, so he actually has a pretty good knowledge base. u/OsuJaws is a longtime Red Wings fan, and seems to believe the Red Wings won’t suck soon. Even though he went to school in Columbus Ohio, he could never bring himself to be a fan of the Blue Jackets. The other is Jacob (who won’t tell us his username, probably because he leaves creepy stalker comments all over porn subreddits). He’s the guy who came up with the advanced stats criteria above. He first got into the NHL when the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became a Jets, so he just sided with the newest team at the time. Because Jacob isn’t a complete sadist, he jumped off the Jets wagon and has now been a Predators fan for all of 2 months. Convenient timing and totally not a bandwagon move. TLDR: Math happened and an algorithm was made. Hockey friends will help me assign values that are somewhat in-between subjectivity and objectivity. The Stakes I am putting my money where my math is. Whatever team wins the algorithm scoring, I will purchase some fan gear at the end of the night. Maybe just a t-shirt, maybe a jersey, maybe a full blown mascot costume. That largely depends on how many beers I drink with the guys while scoring this. It also depends on how much I think my wife will harm me if I spend like $200 (Maybe I can make an algorithm for that as well. Beers consumed vs dollars spent vs doghouse potential, find the optimal break-even point). The two other guys are here not only to advise me in scoring of criteria I may not know, but also to keep me honest. I will buy merchandise and be a fan of whatever team wins, NO MATTER THE RESULT. Would it pain me to be a Hawks fan based upon my past experiences? You bet your ass it would, but the numbers don’t lie. And let’s be honest, my friends would have a laugh seeing me wearing a Hawks jersey. So whatever happens, that’s what happens. No going back to fudge numbers. This is it. If I feel ambitious (ie, not lazy) I may even do the stereotypical write a letteemail to the team, explaining the situation, and beg for merchandise asking for a letter back. TLDR: Gonna buy some gear when finished, no matter who wins. Conducting the Algorithm At the start of the event, we decided that it would be better to hide to total column until the very end. Once a criteria had been fully scored, we also hid that column. This would help prevent bias by being able to glance at the totals as started tallying. The Result and Closing Notes Before I share the results: I am certain that there will be disagreement on some of the scoring. I just want to take a minute and say that we scored everything to the best of our abilities. There was a lot of internal arguments for some of the scores, but all reached compromise. For things that we were uncertain, we researched between this subreddit and a few other hockey websites/forums. We know that these scores won’t please everyone. If you want to conduct this experiment on your own, I’d love to help you out! You can choose to uncover the spoiler here, or you can open up the google sheet just below that. I am pleased to announce that in my inaugural season of hockey fandom, I will be taking my talents to the Toronto Maple Leafs! Here is a link to the google sheet with league-wide results, sorted descending in final scoring. Be sure to hover over some of the cells to see detailed notes. I hope you all have enjoyed this post, and I look forward to becoming more knowledgeable and enjoy this great sport! EDIT: Whew, I struck a nerve huh?. Listen, I'm new. I know some of you had your team-pride hurt by my rankings. I can admit that some of it was inaccurate and this is not a perfect method. There probably is no perfect method to picking a team. I'm sure a lot of you are coming from a good place and are wondering on some of my scores. Even calling me stupid may be fair (I mean, I am new), but sending me PMs from throwaway accounts wishing harm upon me is a bit much, no? EDIT 2:https://youtu.be/ryZJWLMe1ag EDIT 3:Is only game
Not sure if this is relevant to this subreddit, but I'm trying to figure how to download NHL 2001.
I've been trying for what seems like hours. My anti-virus has been working overtime, and I have yet to find a link or download which leads me to playing this old, nostalgic game. I'm desperate enough to post this, cause honestly I'm beyond frustrated. Thanks in advance.
Mitchell, Ontario isn't where a lot of interesting stories start. It's the kind of place where they roll the sidewalks up at dusk, a small, rural town. The most interesting story from the town starts more than a century ago in the cold of January. There are about 4,500 people who call Mitchell home. On this cold winter day, there aren't a lot of them out - the church on Main Street is empty and the raccoons and foxes who normally dart around are tucked away. It's quiet, except for an occasional whoop from at the bottom of the hill. Some of the farmer kids are skating around on the river. It's called the Thames River - not the River Thames, the locals will have your hide if you call it that - but it's more of a creek. It's still wide enough for the youngsters to skate on. There are three of them down there. One is about eight, a pipsqueak - the others are a few years older, much stronger. The trio are brothers, racing down the river on a day off from school. They play hockey from time to time, but there aren't any sticks or pucks on the Thames today. The boys are racing. You'd figure the older brothers, Wilfred and Ezra, would be quicker, but the smaller one, the runt of the litter, has taken a lead. As they push around the bends of the Thames, the little brother slowly sneaks out of sight. He has an odd stride - he squats down and takes long sleek pushes - and it works well for him. Around one bend, Wilfred and Ezra lose sight of their brother. They keep pushing. He's nowhere to be found. Unsure of whether or not the little one is still going, the boys keep skating downstream, hoping nothing bad has happened. When they wind around the next bend in the river, they see their youngest brother, sitting on a snowbank, patiently waiting for them. He'd gotten so far ahead that he got bored, plopped down and took a seat. He does this all the time. Nobody can keep up with him. It's getting a little old, honestly - and if there are two people who are most tired of it, it's Wilfred and Ezra Morenz. Little Howie is already the fastest skater in town. He's destined for great things. Howie was born in Mitchell back in 1902, the youngest of six kids. He grew up on the Thames, on occasion picking up a stick and puck when beating his brothers in races got old. For some reason, when he first played hockey, a coach put him in goal. Bad idea - he gave up 21 goals. The next game that coach decided to put him out as a rover. That decision paid off. As a teenager, Morenz led the Mitchell team to a regional title. The Morenzs left town in his teens when his dad got a job at the Canadian National Railways (CNR) factory in Stratford, about 15 kilometres down the road. World War I had just broken out and Howie tried enlisting, but when recruiters found out he was just 15, that dream died fast. Howie dropped out of school to work with his dad in the CNR factory. He started a machinist's apprenticeship there and filled his spare time with little hobbies, betting on horses and playing the ukulele. During the winter, however, the betting slips went away and the uke went in the corner - it was hockey time. Howie used that odd stride and an all-consuming passion to become Stratford's best player. He played with the local junior team, leading them to a provincial title and nearly winning a Memorial Cup. Then, the next season, Howie played for both the junior and senior teams at the same time. He led both leagues in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. In 1922, Howie jumped on the train to Montreal for a CNR tournament. In the first game, fresh off the rails, he strapped on those skates and blew the roof off - he scored nine times. Someone watching the game called a friend - Leo Dandurand, the owner of the Montreal Canadiens. The little farmer kid has some skill, he says - come by and see for yourself. Dandurand sneaks into the next game and is impressed. He wants Howie on the Habs. It wouldn't be easy, though. Morenz wanted to head back to Stratford and finish his apprenticeship. That would take two more years. The Toronto St. Pats, the Habs' chief rival, had also gotten wind of Howie and wanted to see him in their green and white sweaters. For the first time, Leo Dandurand began to bully Howie Morenz. He mailed him a contract offer - $3,500 a year and a $1,000 signing bonus. Dandurand made a public show of trying to woo Howie, claiming that Morenz was French Canadian and therefore belonged on the Habs, not the St. Pats. Is Howie French? No. That was a lie. The Morenzs were German, but Dandurand would do anything to have this kid on his team. At that point, 21-year-old Howie was torn. He and his father signed the contract, but before sending it to Dandurand, Howie got cold feet. Some local businessmen ponied up $1,000 to convince him to stay and play for Stratford. He also wanted to finish his apprenticeship. Instead of sending the contract back, Morenz sent his signing bonus cheque to Dandurand, along with a letter saying he couldn't play with Montreal. Enraged, Dandurand summoned Howie to Montreal to explain to him personally why he wouldn't sign. Howie hopped on the train. When he met with Dandurand, he explained his logic, bursting into tears halfway through. Seeing some vulnerability, Dandurand leaned into the "bad cop" role, telling Howie if he couldn't play for the Habs, he'd make sure he couldn't play - period. Morenz had to fold. He signed. You see, there was a good reason why Morenz was torn. A farmer boy in the big city, an English speaker on a majority French team, Morenz would stick out. Perhaps the biggest reason is one that most history books leave out. When Howie played hockey, he was happy. Off the ice, the troubles of life hit him like one of the trains he worked on. Whenever his teams lost, Morenz would stay up all night, blaming himself and telegraphing plays that went wrong in his head again and again. This wasn't competitiveness - this bordered on mental illness. That ran in his family. In his teen years, Howie came home from a hockey game to find out a shocking accident had happened. That night, his mother had gone downstairs and fallen in the family's cistern. She had drowned. Nobody talked about it much, but scuttlebutt around the town was that it wasn't an accident. His mom's death affected Howie greatly and made him to two things - to play hockey as a distraction and look after his family. When Howie had any free time to just think, he'd get lost in his head. Sometimes, he had a hard time getting out. Howie Morenz first suited up for the Canadiens in 1923. The team was coached by Dandurand, who put Morenz on a line with another young star, Aurele Joliat. The two gelled on the ice. It helped that Joliat, who grew up in Ottawa, was one of the few players on the team who spoke fluent English and French. Riding the skill of Joliat and Morenz, the Habs finished in second in the four-team NHL, earning a spot in the league final against Ottawa. There, Morenz took control, scoring three of the Habs' five goals in the two-game series, which ended with a Montreal win. From there, the Habs headed to the Stanley Cup playoff - at this point, the NHL champ faced off against champions from other leagues to determine who won the Cup. In order to win, the Canadiens would have to win two series - one against Calgary, one against Vancouver. The Habs topped Vancouver, setting up a two-game winner-take-all series with the Calgary Tigers. Morenz scored a hat-trick against Calgary in game one, then added another goal in game two before a big hit broke his collarbone. It was enough. Morenz had scored four goals by himself - Calgary only scored one. Paced by Howie's goals, the Habs won their first-ever Stanley Cup as an NHL team. Morenz's play started to earn himself a reputation. When writer Hugh MacLennan saw him play, he noticed the little grin that peeped out when Howie played.
"The little smile on his lips showed that he was having a wonderful time."
Howie was playing with courage, and it couldn't come at a better time. The next year, Morenz scored 28 goals and led the Habs to another NHL title. The team finished just short of the Stanley Cup, but that reputation started to build. Some people took to calling him by nicknames. A few looked at his birthplace to call him the "Mitchell Meteor", while the more popular name came from the Montreal papers themselves, who used his adopted hometown - the "Stratford Streak". Morenz became hockey's first legitimate superstar. One rival player called him "that near-perfect human hockey machine". Eddie Shore, famous crotchety hardass defenseman from the archrival Bruins, called Morenz the "Babe Ruth of Hockey." That term drew some objection from a new friend of Howie's - Babe Ruth himself. He thought Morenz was bigger than that. Babe Ruth once said Morenz had the biggest heart of anyone he'd ever known. Morenz tallied 25 goals in 1926-27, and then became the first NHLer ever to score 50 points in a season the next year. He was doing things people didn't think were possible - all while flashing that grin. It seemed like hits couldn't affect him. From time to time, when he saw two players converging on him, he used his foot speed to dodge both and make them crash into each other. In 1929-30, Morenz scored 40 goals and became the NHL's first-ever three-time Hart Trophy winner. Businessmen saw him play - and the crowds that showed up when the Habs were in town - and wanted to get in the game. One of them, Boston grocery store magnate Charles Adams, was so inspired after watching Morenz that he filed to start an expansion team in Boston. That team became the Bruins. In 1930, those Bruins would make it to their third Stanley Cup final. Unfortunately, they did it against the Habs, who beat them soundly - with Morenz scoring what turned out to be the Cup-winning goal. The Habs with Morenz were such a draw that they played the new team in New York, the Americans, in their first game, and drew a capacity crowd. The new team's owners personally requested that they play the Habs. Later in 1930, Morenz scored five goals against them. Another businessman, Tex Rickard, saw that and had a vision for hockey in Madison Square Garden. Not long after that, the Rangers materialized. Finally, in 1933, Morenz hit the pinnacle. He scored his 249th goal in the NHL - breaking the all-time record. All was good for the kid from Stratford. Then came 1934. Two days after New Years', Morenz was playing against the Rangers in New York and fell awkwardly. He twisted his ankle, tore a ligament in his leg and bruised a bone. He couldn't play for a month, and when he did, he wasn't nearly as fast. If there's one thing that's been proven time and time again over the years, it's that Montreal Canadiens fans may be the most bipolar bunch in sports. If you succeed and all is well, you're a demigod. If your play drops, you're scum and should be moved for a bag of pucks. Fans booed Morenz during games. Newspaper columnists called for him to be traded. Suddenly, big superstar Howie Morenz was back to being Howie from Stratford. He retreated back into his own world. He began overanalyzing his play and overthinking things. He lost sleep. He made it to the NHL's first-ever All-Star Game - a benefit game for Maple Leaf Ace Bailey, who had sustained a career-ending injury - but that didn't help. His play got worse. Much worse. Morenz broke his thumb, right after his ankle and leg had healed. At one point, a burglar broke into the home of Morenz and his family. The invader found Morenz and pistol-whipped him before taking valuables and fleeing into the night. That definitely didn't help. His play dropped even more. The fans kept booing and the headlines kept coming. When Morenz finished up with some games, he would head to his spot in the dressing room and break into uncontrollable sobbing. Then, the character assassination started coming from the Habs front office itself. His new coach, Habs great Newsy Lalonde, told reporters he didn't like Morenz. When Howie was asked, he said he would never leave to play for another team. When he asked Dandurand or Habs co-owner Joe Cattarinich what was happening, neither would talk with him. Finally, the unimaginable happened. Morenz was traded. Howie would be going to Chicago, along with goalie Lorne Chabot and a defenseman, Marty Burke. The Habs didn't get a bag of pucks back, but that might have been more valuable than what they actually ended up with. Altogether, the three players the Habs got back played less than a hundred games with the Canadiens. Heartbreak had come for Howie. In Chicago, the same self-analysis that had hindered Morenz in Montreal hit him hard. After a good start, Howie ended up on the bench. He was then traded again, to the Rangers - a team he had helped inspire the creation of. He stunk, getting six points in 19 games. It looked like the good times were over. However, that offseason, hope jumped up again. The Habs had re-hired Cecil Hart, the coach who had led the Habs during Howie's glory days. Hart agreed to the job, on one condition - the team had to reacquire Howie. They bought his contract from New York. After an awful season spent in the US, Morenz was back in le bleu, blanc et rouge. He wouldn't be the big guy anymore, but Howie got the chance to play for his old team once more. He jumped at it, getting to play with his old buddies, especially Aurele Joliat. After returning to Montreal, the same fans that had run him out on a rail welcomed him back with hugs. With the love easy to find, Morenz got back in his groove. Working mostly as a playmaker and working to get his speed back, Morenz racked up 16 assists and 20 points in 30 games that season, much better than his numbers in Chicago or with the Rangers. There was so much hope. The slate had been cleaned - carte blanche. Then the lights went out. January 28, 1937. The Habs are at home, playing Morenz's former team, the Black Hawks. It's the first period and Morenz is feeling good. The puck is loose in the Hawks' zone. A pass is misfired and it ends up in the corner. Morenz, behind the net, gets in a footrace with Chicago defender Earl Siebert, who's coming in behind him. Morenz has a good chance of getting this puck. Howie is back at full speed, just like back on the Thames River as a kid, when his left skate catches a rut in the ice. His foot kicks up and the blade of his skate catches a piece of the boards, stopping quickly and wrenching Howie sideways. He falls down hard. Meanwhile, Siebert doesn't have time to stop. He keeps barreling down on the puck. He can't dodge Howie - Howie can't dodge him. Impact. "CRACK." They say you could have heard it in the very back of the Forum. Even if you couldn't, the screaming was clear. Howie Morenz's left leg was shattered. His teammates skate over and unhitch his skate from the boards. After a short conversation, they carry him to the bench. Howie is strapped to a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital. He has four separate breaks in his leg. Nobody wants to say it, but it seems likely Howie Morenz has had his last hurrah. Once he was in the hospital, the tone of the public shifted once more, from happiness and occasional anger to concern. The boos stopped altogether. People showered Howie with gifts and visited him at the hospital at all hours. His family were near him throughout the days, along with his teammates. Even opponents came to see him when they faced the Habs. People brought him drinks to numb the pain. The joke at the time was, "The whisky was on the dresser and the beer was under the bed." Howie's leg was kept in traction while the hubbub continued. After visiting hours, Morenz was left by himself. The last thing that should have happened, happened - Howie Morenz, unable to do the thing he loved, with no one else around to distract him and unable to provide for his family and friends, crawled back inside his own head. Sleep was rare for Howie. He'd spent most of the night reading the papers, religiously following how the Habs were doing. The team was dropping in the standings in his absence. Morenz blamed himself. More and more, he felt like he would never play again. Hope disappeared. The future was bleak. Howie was in his own head, and he'd tunneled in there deep. This time, it looked like he might not get out. After Howie had been in the hospital for a month, something happened. We're not entirely sure what it was, more than eight decades later, but we do know that Morenz was despondent. Some whispered remembrances said he had trashed his hotel room. The team doctor for the Habs came to visit and made a fast diagnosis. Howie Morenz had suffered a nervous breakdown. Morenz was, at one point, put in a straitjacket. It was becoming more and more clear to him, each day, that he would never play hockey again. The doctor banned almost all visitors from seeing Morenz and had security guards stationed outside during visiting hours. Only Howie's family and Canadiens personnel were allowed to see him. Howie's beloved father, who thought his son would be okay at first, got on the first train to Montreal. Howie's wife and son came almost every day. When Howie's dad made it to Montreal, he almost never left. The new company may have helped Howie's mental state, but his medical condition was beginning to fail. On March 8, Morenz said he was having chest pains. Doctors had told him he had a mild heart attack. It turned out not to be the full story - Morenz, stuck in bed for almost six weeks now, had developed blood clots in his damaged leg. A doctor scheduled a heart surgery for later that day, but for some reason, it was delayed. That night, Morenz took a turn for the worst. Howie's wife, dad and Coach Hart were all called to come and see him. That night, the story goes, Morenz had tried to climb out of bed to go to the bathroom. In his struggle to get free, one of the clots lodged inside a blood vessel, blocking it. Morenz fell on the floor. Minutes later, his loved ones arrived. There was nothing they could do. It was too late. At the age of 34, the Stratford Streak had gone out. Montreal was plunged into mourning after Howie died. Three days after his passing, a funeral mass was held at the Montreal Forum. The old barn could seat around 18,000 people - about three times that showed up. Radio stations broadcast the service live. Four of Howie's teammates and friends formed an honour guard near his casket. One of them was Aurele Joliat, Morenz's close friend. Heartbroken, Joliat laid down a flower wreath shaped like Morenz's jersey number 7. Joliat won the Hart Trophy that year, but never had a season like that again. Later, this photo of him sitting in the dressing room next to Morenz’s equipment was taken. When Howie was laid to rest, his son, Howie Jr., was near. He looked down into his father’s grave, shaken. A few days after Howie's death, the Canadiens were due to play the Montreal Maroons, their cross-town rivals. The game was going to be cancelled until Morenz's wife Mary said they should continue. It's what Howie would want, she said. Both teams wore black armbands and held two minutes of silence pre-game. In New York, the Rangers and Americans - two teams that may have never started in the first place without Morenz - did the same. The NHL held a second All-Star game to raise money for the Morenz family, with a Habs/Maroons all-star team taking on the rest of the league. The Habs built a statue of Morenz and pledged to retire his number 7, saying only one player could ever use it again - Howie's son, Howie Morenz Jr. Then, the dark side of Canadiens fandom came out. With his son now seen as a sort of successor to Howie's mantle, fans began to harass the Morenzs. At one point, people called the family home and threatened to kidnap Howie and his two siblings. On top of that, without Howie Sr. around to provide for the family, money quickly ran short. The funds from the NHL charity game, instead of being directly to the family, were placed in a trust that couldn’t be accessed until Howie Jr. turned 25 - not very helpful when he was only eight. Mary couldn’t find work, and none of the kids were nearly old enough to have jobs. The stress became too much to bear for Mary. She sent all three of her children to an orphanage for safekeeping. They stayed there until she remarried years later. One of the boys got sick and died while in the orphanage. Once he was reunited with his mother, Howie Jr. took to the ice to attempt to live up to his family's name. He played in the minor leagues and had a tryout with the Habs in 1949 at age 22 - the same age his father was when he made his Montreal debut - but an eye condition stopped his NHL career before it started. He owned a string of businesses and passed away in 2015, age 88, having had only slight involvement with the team since. Today, the Morenz family name lives on with Howie Morenz III. Instead of trying to live up to the pressure, Howie III actively avoided the hockey world. Both Howie Jr. and Howie III have spent large amounts of their lives dissuading myths about their ancestor’s death. In a New York Times story written about his grandfather, Howie III told a reporter that his family doesn't believe the media story that circulated after Howie's death - that he had died, essentially, of a broken heart.
"The broken heart, we felt, was really a romantic way of implying he may have taken his own life," he said. "We don't believe that at all."
That makes a lot of sense. After all, the blood clots were definitely enough to take down a man like Howie. But maybe, if there was more hope, if he hadn't been depressed, if there was a chance he could play again, would he have fought harder? We'll never know. Howie Morenz was a lot of things. He was an idol, a star. But deep down, somewhere, Howie Morenz was always that kid on the Thames River, hanging on to that feeling, the thing that produced what Hugh MacLennan called "the little smile on his lips." Everything seemed so easy on the ice.
If you want to read more about the weird, forgotten or amazing bits of hockey history, visit our subreddit at /wayback_wednesday. You'll find dozens of articles just like this one. If you'd like to write an article as part of this series, message me or the moderators of /wayback_wednesday. We're always glad to have extra hands on deck. We'll be back soon with another article. If you have any ideas or information for later Wayback Wednesday posts or if you're interested in writing one, please don't hesitate to message us or comment below.
The ONLY NHL Betting System You’ll Ever Need (from our blog)
Today we want to show you an amazing NHL betting system. Above all, at Action Backers, we are HUGE hockey fans (Go Leafs Go!)… not only because we love the game, but because we love betting on it. People think betting on the NHL is hard, but I am here to tell you that it isn’t. Just look at October and the middle of November. If you bet the Over on most nights, you are printing money. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today is all about our favourite NHL betting system. The beauty of the system is its simplicity. Now, it’s not perfect, in fact just last week, it took one of the largest losses since its inception… but that was the first one in over 4 years. If you manage your bankroll correctly as we and others have, it has returned to its winning ways at the time of writing. Full disclosure- we didn’t invent this system, it’s something we picked up on theCovers forumfrom Danrules24, but we’re going to break it down for you here: The beauty is how simple it is:
NHL 2 TEAM ROAD PARLAY SYSTEM
It has approximately two rules:
Parlay the two (2) strongest road teams each night. For example, if Toronto -130, Winnipeg -110 and Ottawa +135 are the three road teams, you’d parlay Toronto and Winnipeg. Note: the teams you parlay must be favourites!!
This is a chase, up to 8 games. The recommended betting amounts are as follows (but feel free to experiment with a martingale, labby line or whatever you’re comfortable with.Check out our post on betting systems): 1x, 2x, 3x, 5x, 8x, 12x, 18x, 25x. As soon as you win, the chase is over and you start over again from the beginning.
That’s it! Told you it was simple… As a result, you get better odds than you would by betting only heavy favourites, and still mitigate your risk compared to betting on underdogs. Here are Danrules24 results since the 2014-2015 season: Overall 174-3 (+$3,978.53)
Feel free to follow along with the system for yourself. As of November 25, 2018, we will be posting our picks daily to our twitter @actionbackers or you can always check it out for yourself on the Covers forum. While there are other NHL betting systems out there, you’d be hard pressed to find a more consistent system than this one. On top of that, it’s really fun! Let us know what you think about this system and if you plan to follow along. Happy Betting!
Thanks for helping us test the game and the new Busan Map! We are now concluding the 1.28 Public Test. The Public Test Region will not be accessible until we update with new content in the future. We will leave the PTR Forums active so you can continue to provide any additional feedback and bug reports. Thank you for participating!
If you missed out before, now’s your chance to snag this AMAZING Lucio emote! It’s available NOW. For 200 tokens! So, log on & GET IT! Don’t worry, if you purchased this for 300 tokens in the past, you will receive a 100 token refund!
Hi everyone, Just a heads up, a couple changes have been updated in the Patch Notes.
Primary fire falloff range changed from 10-20 meters to 15-30 meters
Alternate fire now has damage falloff, which is the same as the new primary fire falloff (15-30 meters)
Developer Comments: Previously, Roadhog’s Scrap Gun alternate fire didn’t have damage falloff which sometimes made it too powerful against far away targets. To balance out a slight power decrease, especially against barriers, we decided to push his overall weapon’s effective range out bit further before damage falloff begins to take effect. Note: The alternate fire falloff begins from where the scrap projectiles are formed, not from Roadhog’s firing position.
This change can be found under the Hero Updates section. Additionally, Roadhog’s Scrap Gun was also impacted by a bug which has been fixed (noted under Hero Updates as well).
Fixed a bug that would cause some weapons that fired multiple shots at once to inconsistently deal critical damage (e.g. Doomfist’s Hand Cannon, D.Va’s Fusion Cannons, Genji’s Shurikens, Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns, Roadhog’s Scrap Gun, and Torbjörn’s Rivet Gun) Developer Comments: While this is a bug fix, we wanted to highlight this change as it can affect gameplay by changing the damage output of the affected heroes in certain situations. After this fix, weapons with spread should now correctly calculate critical damage for each individual pellet that lands in a critical region (e.g. a headshot). The end result of this change is that it should be significantly easier to deal critical damage with any weapon that fires multiple shots simultaneously, such as Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns and D.Va’s Fusion Cannons. In addition, we’ve changed the logic for when these weapons display a critical marker on your screen. It now requires 30% of your shots to be critical, rather than displaying it if a single pellet hits critically.
Starting a new account is not against the rules. Boosting or throwing is against the rules. If you start a new account and play normally, the matchmaker determines your skill level very quickly and matches you with similar players.
Sym’s Hindi ult line replaced with her English one
Thanks for the report, it was still working the way it did when Symmetra was support. You (the person using Symmetra’s ult) should hear the Hindi version of the line when you activate it. We’ll fix it in a future patch.
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Rockets vs Jazz & Wisconsin vs Iowa Predictions Betting With The Bag
If you guys want absolute full security then bet $48.00 on a draw and you will break even or make money in any outcome. Enjoy! Sports Betting System, Sports Betting, Sports Betting Online, Sports Betting Tips, Online Sports Betting, Sports Betting Sites, Sports Betting Lines, Betting Tips, Free Sports Betting, Best Sports ... sports betting bonuses sports betting forums sport bets tips sport bets online forum sports betting sports betting soccer ... NHL, NBA, MLB 1,647 views. Jimmy The Bag, Teddy Covers and Maxwell Smart break down Monday's NBA, NCAAB and NHL cards and share their expert insights and predictions. Drop your best bets in the chat. I post under the name Jho at a sports betting forum called the rx forum. Below are some links to my systems posts. ... nhl betting, nhl betting odds, nhl picks, how to bet nhl, free nhl picks, bet ...