We’re only halfway through November and still have a long road ahead of us before hardware will be handed out to NHL players. However, everyone appreciates positive reinforcements and handing out a couple of stick taps is never too early. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the possible MVP’s as the 2018/19 NHL season reaches the first-quarter mark.

John Gibson – Anaheim Ducks

At first glance, it’s no surprise that you would focus on the fact that he only managed to win 6 times in 17 decisions, or the fact that his 2.55 goal average is barely on the top 20 of the league’s goalies. However, with a .928 save percentage and facing the second highest shots in the NFL, you quickly realise that the Anaheim Ducks could be a lot worse if it weren’t for Gibson.

Michael Grabner – Arizona Coyotes

Grabner is recognised for his part in the Coyotes extremely deadly penalty-killing unit. The Coyotes are currently ranked first overall when it comes to PK efficiency where they managed to score a total of 10 astonishing shorthanded goals. What makes Grabner so impressive is that he is currently leading the way with four shorties and managed to assist with a handful of others.

David Pastrnak – Boston Bruins

One cannot argue if you much rather prefer Patrice Bergeron. However, David’s almost goal-a-game pace is certainly a marvellous thing.

Jeff Skinner – Buffalo Sabres

Skinner is already boasting with 14 goals, placing him directly behind Pastrnak when it comes to goal scoring records in the NHL.

David Rittich – Calgary Flames

There’s no denying that Mark Smith is underperforming more than any other goalie in the NGL league which makes the breakout performance by backup Rittich that much more important

Sebastian Aho – Carolina Hurricanes

This sensational centre, who is only 21 years of age, kicked off the season with a remarkable 12-match point streak and he doesn’t seem like he is slowing down at all. He is certainly a star in the making.

Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks

Alex DeBrincat (9), Jonathan Toews (9), and Kane (12) have a combined score of 30 from the 53 goals by Chicago. Imagine where the offense of the Blackhawks will be without the incredible Kane?

Mikko Rantanen – Colorado Avalanche

Although MacKinnon is returning from a Hart Trophy nomination, its Rantanen that is currently leading the entire NHL league in both points and assists.

Artemi Panarin – Columbus Blue Jackets

He continues to rack in points for Columbus. However, how long will this continue as a pending UFA who recently indicated that he is not really interested in signing up with the team again?

Morgan Rielly – Toronto Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews was first, but then he got injured. Linemates Mitch Marner and John Tavares took over while Frederik Andersen continues to provide sensational netminding. However, its difficult to overlook the contributions by Rielly as he is currently leading all blueliners in the NHL in both points and goals.

Utilizing slide rules, statistics, spreadsheets, and algorithms, we have finally determined the world’s best hockey players of all time. Below, you will find the top hockey players in the world starting with number 1 and working our way down.

1. Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe boasts with an incredible 801 career goals which was quite a record back in the day. He was a member of the Red Wings and managed to win 4 Stanley Cups in 1954, 1955, 1952, and 1950. Apart from being known as a scorer, he was also renowned for his gritty play. He managed to inspire the Gordie Howe hat trick consisting of an assist, a goal, and one fight per game.

2. Wayne Gretzky

With his amazing speed and finesse, Gretzky managed to revolutionise the game completely. ‘The Great One” shattered records that were standing for the longest time, scoring a total of 894 goals. He also managed to win 4 Stanley Cups while playing for the Edmonton Oilers and was also awarded MVP a total of 9 times.

3. Bobby Orr

Widely considered the best defenseman when it came to ice hockey, as evident by his 8 James Norris Memorial Trophy victories from 1968 to 1975. While playing for the Boston Bruins, Bobby Orr was the first defenseman to lead in scoring within the NHL in 1970 and was also named MVP a total of 3 times. In addition, he also won a total of 2 Stanley Cups.

4. Mario Lemieux

Although he was 1.9 meters tall, he still managed to display great agility and speed. Throughout his 17-year career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Lemieux won a total of 2 Stanley Cups and scored a staggering 690 goals in his career despite missing several season after he found out his was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.

5. Maurice Richard

Known as ‘The Rocket’, Maurice Richard managed to rewrite the record books during his prime. He was the first player to score a total of 500 goals and was the first to light the lamp a total of 50 times in just one season. While playing for the Montreal Canadiens for 18 years, he managed to win 8 Stanley Cups and was well-known for his temper and aggressive playstyle.

6. Jean Beliveau

Widely known as one of the best centres in the game of ice hockey, he managed to win 10 Stanley Cups while playing for the Montreal Canadiens. He scored a total of 507 goals back then in his career and was named MVP twice in 1956 and 1964.

7. Terry Sawchuk

Considered the best goalie in the NHL of all time, Sawchuk enjoyed playing ice hockey for 21 years and managed to win a total of 4 Stanley Cups, one while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs and three while playing for the Red Wings. He also managed to register a total of 447 wins in his career, including an impressive 103 shutouts which managed to stay a record until 2009.

Keen hockey fans looking to get more bang for their puck should realise that in ice hockey, the understanding of the available options as well as the preparedness to put in comprehensive research are key. In hockey, you have quite a few betting options which include wagering on the correct score, the winner or even the number of goals. Then there is still the least familiar option, the points spread bet, one in which one team as to win with a specified number of goals and the bettor need to predict the overall number of goals.

Legal Sports Betting in the USA

Ice hockey is a thrilling, fast and even at times violent sport, great to wager on and with lots of international and league games taking place in Europe, Canada and North America it is one of the most exciting sports. Canadians love hockey and know how to put this love into real money online bets, while the US is as hooked on ice hockey since the NHL comprises of twenty-three teams from America and plus an additional seven from Canada. When it comes to legal sports betting in the USA and Canada, provinces in Canada can run sports betting lotteries. The criminal law in Canada section 207(4) (b) makes it clear that governments are permitted to run lotteries but cannot allow bets on single sporting events, while the Gaming Corporation and the Ontario Lottery does offer ProLine and sports betting, bettors need to wager on parlays and multiple events.

US Sports Betting Revolution Finally Set into Action

Sports betting enthusiasts might be disappointed that geographic limitation will still play a role in the US, and when it comes to online sports betting it might be a case of plug-and-play. Casinos largely depend on their partnerships with established third parties such as IGT and Scientific Games. Companies with years of online sports experience internationally are trusted to set up their online operations, which might minimise the learning curve, and several have traditional sports betting product just waiting in the wings.

With the US opening-up, the sports betting market many interesting options could await sports bettors in Nevada. What most bettors expect is that the infusion of sophistication and the increased competition will offer fuller in-play options in which wagering on games will be possible from your mobile while watching the gaming action in real play.

Future of Online Sports Betting in Canada and the US

The technological gap will close quickly in America after the Supreme Court ruling. It will set off a chain reaction of events that will most surely revolutionise the online sports betting industry in the US. Odds are that the Canadian sports betting market will play catch-up, but experts warn that sports enthusiasts should not expect that sports betting will be available everywhere any time soon.

HOW TEAMS UNNAPPRECIATE YOUNG TALENT

Hockey teams would not be the same without the young players. These young man sign entry-level contracts that keep them tied to the teams for at least 3 years. In this time they are supposed to develop their talent and then they will be ready to be promoted. Ideally, this cycle would be constant but this is not how it happens.

OLD IDEAS

Some organizations are stuck, as simple as that. They simply stay with what they consider familiar and do not move into new territories. This idea that the traditions should be kept are hurting the teams.

It is common to see the teams paying millionaire contracts for players that are not performing. They give them the franchise tag but the results do not match the team’s investment. Even if the fans express their concerns, the organizations are too stubborn to make the changes. This stubbornness will translate into poor results which is something you are trying to avoid by paying all those millions in the first place.

FRANCHISE TAG

At some point the organizations must ask themselves if the franchise tag is truly helping their case. The Montreal Canadiens put the tag on Carey Price. They signed the goaltender for more years but in the current season he took time off. The 14 games he missed hurt the standings of the Canadiens, although when he was defending, his record was poor.

By committing to these players only because they were stars at some point, the teams reduce the resources they could put somewhere else. The Canadiens need a change on their draft and yet the team keep on making the same mistakes.

SCOUTING

Teams like the Vancouver Canucks have amazing scouting teams. It is a known fact on the hockey community. They have a sharp eye for the outstanding players. Other organization also put some effort into finding the next stars.

The question is how to turn that great scouting into good results. Some players enter the organizations when they are barely 18. It is not until they are at least 22 that they reach their prime. Perhaps the team should start replacing players for rookies and try new strategies.

YOUNG TALENT

At 22 the players reach their prime. They are experienced enough to perform on a big stage but still have room for improvement. Some team owners see this group as the optimal draft and take advantage of the scouting. Other teams refuse to let the younger players take the ice. Eventually they must let those players since they are wasting that talent.

There are some clear advantages about younger players. They are healthier and less prone to injuries. On the financial aspect, it is cheaper to sign a younger player that a more experienced one. The lack of experience should not be a concern, these young men are more than willing to earn their places on the draft.

2019 could be the year when the NHL finally has some fresh faces on the ice.

CANANDIAN TEAMS IN THE NHL FOCUSED IN THE NEXT SEASON

No matter the sport, the teams must prepare for the upcoming seasons. A well-executed plan could be the difference between making it to the final and being stuck in the last place. The preparation has many steps and one of them is getting new talent. Eventually the star players will retire and give the opportunity to the rookies.

The 2017/2018 season has not been easy for some teams. Those that failed to meet the goals on this season have their eyes on the next one. They will not repeat the same mistakes and are ready to correct the issues.

EDMONTO OILERS

This team is working on a new roster. Young players like Kirill Maksimov joined the organization on an entry level. The three-year contracts are all signed and ready to go. The Canadian player will be 19 next summer, he is prospect that the Oilers do not want to let go.

Maksimov would not be on the ice next fall due to his age and inexperience. The Oilers want to work with him for some time first before giving him the green light. There are many expectations about this young player. Hopefully, he will see some game time in 2019.

OTTAWA SENATORS

The Senators recruited the star defenceman from the University of North Carolina. Christian Wolanin is the now the rookie in the Ottawa based organization. This remarkable young man has been playing for his university since 2015. At that moment, the Senators put their eye on him. Finally, they signed a three-year starting level contract.

This new addition comes in a great moment for the team. The Senators have been strongly criticized recently and the fans are screaming for something new. Some fresh blood could change the whole team.

MONTREAL CANADIENS

One of the most important teams on its division. The Canadiens are going through a rough patch. Every day they are forced to add new players to the injured list. The list grows and the problems for the team. The results are far from optimal and they are stuck in the bottom of the scoreboard.

The fans believe some adjustment is necessary. A clear option would be to bring new players but there has not been much discussion about recruitment. Perhaps the team will announce the changes in the summer but in the meanwhile everything remains the same.

NEW SEASON, NEW ME

If something is not working or is damaged beyond repair, it is time to get a new one. The same happen with the teams. If a roster is underperforming, the best option is to renovate wherever they can.

Some teams would rather keep the same players and keep on building the franchises. This is not a winning strategy and could end up hurting their image. Those teams that refuse to change are risking more than necessary.

It is time to take advantage of the younger players. They are healthy and more than willing to give their all in the ice. This is the attitude the teams play if they want to bring something new to the table.

THE WINNIPEG JETS ADD ANOTHER KEY PLAYER TO THE INJURED LIST

The 2017/2018 has not been good for the players. Each week, more players make it to the injured list. This list includes the players that cannot get back to the ice for some weeks. The Winnipeg Jets have several players on this list. Most recently they added Dmitry Kulikov. The Russian defenceman will be out for about eight weeks.

A BRIGHT CAREER

Kulikov is only 27 years old but he is a veteran on the NHL. He played for seven seasons with Florida, the team took him for the first time in 2009. After that, he played for the Buffalo Sabres. His performance with the Sabres was not optimal. Kulikov injured his back after he was thrown against an open door. This injury kept him out of the ice for some time, he played only 47 games with the Sabres.

In 2017, despite the negative record with the Sabres, Kulikov was signed by the Winnipeg Jets. As a free agent, the Russian signed a contract for $12.99 million. He was supposed to play for three years with the Canadian team.

OLD WOUND

Kulikov went through a recovery process since his time with the Sabres. Unfortunately, on March 8 he was hurt again. On the game against New Jersey, the Winnipeg Jets took the victory home but the price to pay was high.

The medical team tried to improve Kulikov’s condition with therapy. It was not enough and soon it was announced that the defenceman required surgery to fully recover. After 62 games with the Jets, the Russian player was an important figure on the team.

SAME MISTAKES

The defenceman is not the first Jets’ player to enter the injured list. Other important figures are also out of the ice due to an injury. This kind of problems are common among the NHL players. In many cases, the players and even the staff, ignore the condition of the injuries. They take pain killers and keep playing. Not handling the problems on time will lead to permanent conditions. The players are facing consequences that will stay with them after their careers are over.

Hockey players are not the only with this problem. There has been some controversy around the injuries and how the teams turn a blind eye just to get better results. Kulikov’s injury is an example. A representative from the team said that Kulikov’s situation was a complete surprise for them. Some are wondering how honest the teams are about the condition of the players.

DESPERATE MEASURES

After many years of struggle, the players are finally trying to get something back. The lawsuits against the NFL and the NHL are millionaire affairs. The leagues are facing a difficult situation because of the players they failed to protect in the first place.

The NHL is trying to get ahead of the situation. There is a new figure in the matches, the concussion spotter should determine if after a fight a player is in good enough condition to stay. Better protocols will not erase the regular injuries a player suffers in game but it could prevent permanent consequences.

THE OTTAWA SENATORS BRING YOUNG TALENT INTO THE NHL

Every super athlete was a rookie once. These incredible people start their training at a tender age but do not see the fruits of their effort until later on. If they live in North America, the universities will offer scholarships to keep developing their talent. Every year, the most important teams scout these institutions for young talent to bring into the leagues. Most teams have a presence on the lower divisions and the young people play there. Once they are mature enough, the athletes get promoted into the main team.

This is a common practice in sports. The teams, in the different sports, have an academy. These academies recruit athletes since they are children. With this steady flow of athletes, the teams guarantee newer and better talent for every season.

A STAR IN THE MAKING

Christian Wolanin is the new recruit for the Ottawa Senators. The defenceman had been making a career with the University of North Carolina. Ottawa Senators first showed interest in him in 2015. It was not until this year that the player decided to give his professional career a shot.

A representative of the team expressed how excited the organization was about Wolanin’s recruitment. They described him as a talented player with the right offensive skills to succeed as a professional.

THE SECRET WEAPON

If the praises from the recruiters are not enough, Wolanin has the right numbers to back the enthusiasm. Born in Detroit, Michigan, the defenceman started playing for the University of North Dakota in 2015.

Since the beginning, the coach and staff recognized he had enough talent to make a name of himself. Wolanin is currently the top scorer for the University of North Dakota. He has 12 goals and 35 points to his name. His name is now next to James Patrick, the first defenceman to be lead scorer on the team.

A LEGACY

Christian is the first member of his family to play for the Ottowa Senators but he is not the first NHL player. His father, Craig Wolanin played for 13 seasons. The oldest Wolanin played the same role that his son currently plays. He also played for different teams like Toronto, Quebec, New Jersey and others.

Without a doubt, Wolanin is following his father’s footsteps. This promising player finished his team dressing the green uniform with great numbers. 22 goals and 72 points is a remarkable record for a defenceman.

CHANGE OF AIR

The Ottowa Senators are ready to welcome Wolanin. The defenceman will immediately start training with the team. Hopefully he will get to see some action in the ice this season. The 23 year old player is prepared to get into action.

Perhaps new talent is what the Ottowa Senators need. The 17/18 season has been rough for everybody but seems like they are taking the hardest blows. There has been discussion about young talent and how important it is to integrate them into the professional scene. With this recruitment, the Ottowa Senators are taking the first step into the right direction.

MONTREAL CANADIENS

Athletes are no strangers to injuries. More often than not a player misses important matches due to a physical condition. These issues usually come after a bad play or movement in game. It is possible to avoid them but sometimes the injuries are inevitable.

Hockey could be considered a violent sport. Despite the protections the players wear, they are exposed to all kind of damage. Ideally, the teams would be able to replace any player that has any affection. Unfortunately, the Montreal Canadiens do not seem to be ready for this situation and it is affecting their results in the NHL.

CAREY PRICE

The franchise goaltender is an icon for the Canadiens fans. He has been with the team for several years and will be wearing the red and blue for some more. The Montreal organization is willing to pay $84 million for this player but for the 2018 season, he missed a total of 14 games.

The goalie had a concussion, the team did not said how this happened. Seems like it took place during the game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Price was replaced by Antti Niemi but this change was not enough to help the Canadiens after a poor performance during the season.

SHEA WEBER

Another tragic loss for the Canadiens, the defenseman had to undergo a foot surgery. As a result, he will miss the rest of the season. Apparently, Weber’s injury happened in the beginning of the season but he kept playing for 20 more games.

In the end, the medical team could not do anything to improve Weber’s condition. He was put on the injured list and finally it was determined he had a long way to go before he could skate again.

A BAD RECORD

No matter the sport, it is not easy to make it to a professional team. However, there is a fine line that separates the starting players from the substitutes. Two or more substitutes immediately reduce the quality of the team and the results showed it. The Montreal Canadiens are a team known for their great performance and good scores. In 2017 and part of 2018 they had been struggling.

Even before he was injured, Carey Price had the worst record of the season and his entire career. Many questions were raised about the goaltender and if he really was worth the millions the team was paying for him.

WILL THEY BE ABLE TO RECOVER?

The players will eventually get better but the damage is already done. For the current season, not even a miracle would help the Canadiens. On their division, they are currently standing in the sixth place.

The organization has their eyes on the future. They are fully aware of the struggles the team is facing at the moment. Changes need to happen for the Canadiens to go back to the top of the scoreboards. This should be a lesson for the rest of the organizations, they need to be able to replace any player at any point.

The New Jersey Devils aren’t the most successful NHL team out there, but this nifty named team do have quite a history. The professional hockey team is based in Newark, New Jersey but originally came from Kansas City in 1974, when they were known as the Kansas City Scouts. They would move to Colorado to become the Colorado Rockies in 1976, before finally moving to their current state in 1982. What else do we know about the New Jersey Devils, though?

The New Jersey Devils

The Devils have a long-standing rivalry with the New York Rangers, as well as the Philadelphia Flyers. Their earlier years were spent trying to assemble a core squad of players who could take on the Patrick Division of the Wales Conference in the early eighties. They made it to the playoffs in 1988 but to no real glory.

For the 1993-1994 season, the Devils joined the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference and results improved immediately finishing second overall, and conference champions in 1994-1995. They would go on to become division champions three years in a row from 1995-1999, 2000-01 and 2002-03. They also were division champs in 2005-06, 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10, as well as conference champions in 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03, and 2011-12. The story since then is rather different. As has been the case throughout the New Jersey Devils history, their success ebbs and flows.

Stanley Cup Success

The Devils currently have 3 Stanley Cup victories under their belt, to sit alongside their 5-conference championship and 9 division championship titles. The New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup in the 1994-1995, 1999-00 and 2002-03 seasons. They could have made it 5 were it not for defeats in 2000-01 and 2011-12 to Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively.

Since then, the Devils have enduring mixed fortunes, finishing no higher than fourth in their division (previously the Atlantic now Metropolitan divisions of the eastern conference). Last season’s disappointing finish of 8th was their lowest finish since they moved to New Jersey. This season, though, a brighter future could be on the horizon.

Current Fortunes

Although the New Jersey Devils missed out on a direct playoff spot via the Metropolitan Division, they are currently flying in the Eastern Conference Wild Card competition. Sitting top of the pile, five points clear of their nearest rivals (the Columbus Blue Jackets), and 9 points above third-placed New York Islanders, the New Jersey Devils are primed to pocket one of the two coveted wild card spots.

Having failed to make the playoffs since making the Stanley Cup final (and losing) in 2012, it is an exciting time to be a New Jersey Devils fan. They aren’t home and dry yet, and there can no doubt that a lot tougher challenges await the Devils is they acquire the wild-card spot and proceed to the playoffs, but following a handful of dismal and dreary years, things are starting to look up for this NHL team.