Category Archives: Hockey News

Chicago mayor, teams align on stay-at-home messaging

Find out the latest on COVID-19's impact on the sports world and when sports are returning by subscribing to Breaking News push notifications in the Sports and COVID-19 section.

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot and teams in the city are making it clear where they stand on the potential return of sports in the near future.

On Monday, Lightfoot and all professional sports franchises in Chicago unveiled a new awareness campaign, "We Are Not Playing," which encourages the public to comply with stay-at-home restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports ESPN's Michele Steele. Those teams have agreed to use their platforms and players to communicate the messaging.

"We'd rather be here in Soldier Field, or Wrigley, or Sox park, or at the United Center, or Wintrust (Arena), cheering on our players and having a good time with our friends, but this crisis has changed almost everything - and particularly our sports," Lightfoot said. "Coming to these parks would be dangerous and deadly to ourselves and our city."

When asked about the chance of playing games without fans in the stands, Lightfoot spoke to the complexity of the situation.

"We're not there yet," she responded. "Various sports leagues are talking about a number of different options."

The mayor went on to recognize teams that have announced plans to compensate day-game staff over lost revenue.

"I want to commend the team leaders who have announced their plans to continue supporting these employees despite games being canceled," Lightfoot said. "It's these kinds of actions that will allow our city to get through this crisis and get back on track as quickly as possible."

On March 11, the NBA became the first professional sports league to suspend its season. The majority of other North American leagues followed suit shortly after.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

2019-20 NHL season betting review: Least profitable favorites

Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section.

Last week, we broke down the favorites that made bettors the most money this season, with the Philadelphia Flyers topping the charts.

Today, we'll look at the ones that simply didn't come through and made the biggest dent in betting profits.

Note: Profits listed for $100 bettor

1. Montreal Canadiens, -$1,617

The only team with a worse winning percentage as a favorite this year is the Detroit Red Wings, who are 0-1. The Canadiens are a paltry 15-20 (42.9%) when laying juice, dealing bettors an absolute beating with an inflated average line of -150.

Two factors that have absolutely killed the Canadiens are their records as home favorites (10-16, -$1,535) and against the Red Wings (0-4, -$800).

2. Nashville Predators, -$1,324

Despite spending the duration of the season out of a playoff spot, the Predators have been constantly overvalued by oddsmakers with an average line of -157 when favored. They're 25-25 as favorites, making them one of just eight teams with a winning percentage of 50 or lower in this spot.

However, all of the bleeding came with Peter Laviolette as head coach. The Predators were 13-17 (-$1,467) as favorites before he was fired on Jan. 6.

3. Washington Capitals, -$1,024

The Capitals came in at fifth on our list of most profitable underdogs, so it's not much of a surprise to see them here. When they were favored this season, it was often by a lot, as only two teams managed to top their average line of -173.

Washington actually had a winning record as the favorite, finishing 29-24, but having to consistently lay that much juice did bettors in.

4. Vegas Golden Knights, -$762

No team on this list has a better record as the favorite this campaign than the Golden Knights, who are 34-24 (58.6%). For Vegas, it's something of a tale of two seasons: the Golden Knights were 22-19 (-$1,081) as favorites under Gerard Gallant and 12-5 (+$319) under Peter DeBoer, who took over Jan. 15.

If the season resumes, Vegas might play itself off this list.

5. Anaheim Ducks, -$697

The Ducks have been favored less often than any other team on this list and are level with the Canadiens for the second-worst win percentage when laying juice (42.9%, 9-12).

Anaheim has lost bettors nearly $1,000 less than Montreal has, though, thanks to being favored in essentially half as many games. It's also been the beneficiary of an average line of just -129 as the favorite.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Marleau hoping to capitalize on ‘great opportunity’ with Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patrick Marleau is itching for a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup with his new club.

"It's a great opportunity for myself to get another shot at winning the Cup with the Penguins," Marleau said during a Zoom call on Monday. "Everything has been great with the organization, they've helped every step of the way. I'm looking forward to getting out of the house, and get back to normal and get out there and start playing again."

The Penguins acquired Marleau at the February trade deadline, but the 40-year-old veteran appeared in just eight games with the team before the season was suspended March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Competing in his 22nd NHL campaign, Marleau ranks fifth all time in regular-season games played (1,723) and has suited up in an additional 191 playoff contests, but he's yet to capture a championship.

Despite his quest for the Cup, Marleau understands public safety remains the No. 1 priority and encouraged everyone to follow the appropriate protocol while self-isolating.

"Wash your hands for 20 seconds, don't touch your face when you go out. If you do have to go out to the grocery store do the essentials only and practice social distancing. I think the sooner we do all the right things, the sooner we'll be able to be in front of the fans and enjoy playing again and being with the fans."

Led by franchise talents Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins have captured three Stanley Cups since 2009, including back-to-back titles in 2016 and '17, with the former coming against Marleau's old team, the San Jose Sharks.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Humboldt Broncos tribute moved online

Find out the latest on COVID-19's impact on the sports world and when sports are returning by subscribing to Breaking News push notifications in the Sports and COVID-19 section.

A tribute for the victims of the 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos bus crash will be held online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The tribute will recognize the two-year anniversary of the accident that killed 16 people and injured 13 more. It will be held Monday at 2 p.m. ET on the city's website.

The city originally planned to create a temporary exhibit comprised of memorabilia received following the tragedy.

“In the midst of all the turmoil in the present world we want to make sure the lives lost and those that were changed forever two years ago are not forgotten,” Humboldt mayor Rob Muench said in a statement. “During this time of self-isolating and practicing physical distancing, it’s important to us that people still have a place to go to reflect and remember the tragedy and the outpouring of support that our community received on a global scale.”

Humboldt's St. Augustine Catholic Church will ring its bells at 4:50 p.m. on Monday in recognition of the approximate time that the accident occurred.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

McDavid launches workout series to help kids stay fit

Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid is challenging kids to stay fit while stuck inside.

McDavid and his trainer, former NHL forward Gary Roberts, are starting a workout video series on their social media channels this week.

The 15-minute workouts will feature exercises that are designed to be done at home without any equipment.

"It's about teaching kids how to do a workout when they just have their bodies," Roberts said, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski.

The idea came from McDavid's agent, Jeff Jackson, whose children asked him how they could stay active with schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I had the idea that Gary and Connor could put together a really simple weekly exercise thing designed for kids," Jackson said. "Every mom and dad are going through what we're going through. Kids are playing video games, or they're driving their parents crazy. So maybe this is a half-hour of a kid's day. Take their iPad, do the exercises."

The NHL suspended the season March 12, and McDavid is bringing fans along with him as he does what he can to stay fit should the campaign resume.

"It's tough. We don't know what's going to happen to the season. But we're doing everything we can to stay ready," McDavid said.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Paul Coffey: ‘I wish there was more hitting’ in today’s NHL

Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey had to play through some of the hardest hitting days of the NHL. As a fan of what today's game has turned into, he's still yearning for the grittiness to return.

"The one thing I wish - and can I say again I love watching the game, it's great - I wish there was more hitting," Coffey said on Sportsnet's "Writer's Bloc" podcast. "I wasn't a hitter, but I’ll tell you what, if I had my proverbial head up my rear-end one game and I wasn't into it and somebody hit me, it certainly woke me up real fast. I think that part of the game is gone."

Coffey further explained his reasoning for wanting the bigger hits to return.

"You put traffic, you start hitting guys, game gets a lot more interesting," he added. "The real players come out to play, the real players know how to think in traffic and that was an exciting part of the game that I don't know if it'll ever come back."

Coffey, 58, ranks second among defensemen all time in goals, assists, and points, racking up 396 goals and 1,531 points in 1,409 career games. He also holds the record for the most goals by a defenseman in a season, popping in 48 in 1985-86.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.