The Toughest Job in Sport?

With the recent news that the Premiership club West Bromwich Albion, one of the favourites to be relegated with Unibet, have sacked their manager Steve Clarke, we ask is the role of the Premier League Manager the toughest job in sport?

The West Brom manager, and his assistant Kevin Keen, have both been sacked after the 1-0 defeat at Cardiff, which was their fourth straight loss in a Premier League run that has seen them win only seven games from the 34 that they have played in 2013.

The 50-year old Scot was placed on gardening leave with immediate effect, and he becomes the fourth Premiership Manager to lose his position after just 16 weeks of the campaign done and dusted.

Sure the Baggies have been on a bad run of late, but this is still the same manager that took WBA to an eighth place finish last season. Where is the patience, in what is turning out to be a Russian Roulette of a job.

Paulo Di Canio was the first Premier League manager to be fired after publicly criticising his players after a woeful start to the season. They have since replaced the over emotional foreign manager with another…over emotional foreign manager in Gus Poyet.

Ian Holloway left struggling Crystal Palace a month later…I mean come on, if you stuck Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm Crystal Palace are still going down. Then Martin Jol left his position after his players well and truly let him down at Fulham.

If the bookmakers are to be believed Sam Allardyce is the next manager being prepared for the chopping block at West Ham with odds of 7/4 that he will be axed next, with Norwich City’s Chris Hughton just behind that at 3/1,

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Rangers Need To Right Ship

Maybe John Tortorella was more important than anyone thought.

The former crusty coach of the New York Rangers had his flaws, but at least the team played hard. Now under Alain Vigneault, there is no discipline and no identity.

At least not yet. And the 1-3 record shows it.

And the last two 9-2 drubbing on Tuesday in San Jose and last night’s 6-0 shutout in Anaheim show it.

“The execution, making a tape-to-tape pass, has nothing do with systems,” Vigneault said. “Coming through the neutral zone and reading the other team’s pressuring gap and making the play with the puck has nothing to do with the system. These are all things these players have done their whole lives and that I’m confident they can still do.”

The Rangers seem lost. It may be because their training camp took them on the road and then opening the season with 10 games away from the newly renovated Madison Square Garden.

It also could be because Derek Stepan missed camp and now Rich Nash is out with a concussion.

None of this would have been predicted by williamhill betting.

Very well, but it is getting early fast. It’s not as dire as say, the New York Giants, but something needs to happen.

And they need to start with the simple things.

“We’re obviously trying new things here, a different look,” goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. “But hockey’s about – we talked about it after last game – it’s about all the small details in the game, and if you don’t do that right, it’s going to be a tough game …. If you lose the puck in the wrong areas, it’s going to cost you, and it did today. Probably four of the goals were we just lost the puck in the wrong area, and it’s deadly.”

It’s the first time since December 2006, when Tom Renney was the coach and Jaromir Jagr was the Captain the Rangers gave up 14 or more goals in two consecutive games, according to Elias Sports Bureau. That happened on a back-to-back, Dec. 16 in a 9-2 loss in Toronto, followed by a 6-1 loss the next night to New Jersey. The Rangers’ franchise record for most goals surrendered in consecutive games, according to Elias, is 21, set in 1944 with a 15-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 23, followed by a 6-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 27.

Fortunately the Rangers didn’t match that record last night and they did even out the game. But it was too little too late.

“I thought our effort was a little bit better, still not where it needs to be,” said current captain Ryan Callahan. “It’s disappointing. It definitely is. I expected a little bit more out of the group after what happened in San Jose, and we didn’t get that.”

Fortunately it’s only four games and the Rangers have a chance to turn it around. But they need to do it soon or risk the season falling into an abyss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Betting on the next New York Rangers Game

For New York Rangers fans, the previous hockey season didn’t end as they had hoped. However, now in the offseason, the Rangers’ fan base is again feeling hopeful that the next season will be better. With the hiring of the most preferred coach available in the NHL, many believe this could be a new chapter for the team. Given this information as well as player acquisitions, sportsbooks are also reflecting this in their futures bets.

Of course, sports bets cannot be placed on a single match since it is now the offseason. However, it is not too early to be placing futures bets for which hockey team will take the Stanley Cup at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 season. Currently, the odds for the Rangers are set at 20 to 1 which would mean for every $1 wagered, a winning bet would payout $20. This is a nice payout for a win. The only drawback is that it will take the entire season before one will know if their bet is successful. However, once the season commence, bets can also be placed on every match the Rangers play.

Not only can New York Rangers fans place futures bets on their team, but they can also enjoy hockey related games at online casinos like Lucky Nugget. A popular one is a slot machine game by the name of Break Away. One of the first things players will immediately notice are the 243 paylines that are formed across the five reels of Break Away. The wild symbol in this game is the Break Away logo. It can replace any symbol in this game but the scatter symbol. Stacking the logo on the last three reels can lead to a Smashing Wild Bonus feature. The hockey pucks are the scatter symbols. If these appear in a group of five, players win a jackpot of $12,500.

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Rangers Lose Clowe, Bring Back Moore

In the past, the New York Rangers were used to having their way with free agency, even in the Salary Cap Era.

But this year is very different, with the cap going down and the Blueshirts deciding to keep Brad Richards and his $6.67 million annual cap hit.

And by keeping Richards, the Rangers gave up on signing their unrestricted free agent Ryane Clowe, who goes to the Devils for a five-year, $24.25 million contract.

Now you can’t argue with the Rangers for NHL Picks like this one. Even though they gave up a second and third round pick in this year’s draft and ultimately a fifth round in next year’s to get Clowe, the forward comes with baggage. He sustained two concussions with the Blueshirts (one late regular season in Carolina, another in playoffs against Capitals), which carries a lot of risk going forward.

For that kind of guaranteed money, you have to wonder if the Devils will get full value or New Jersey is just panicking after seeing David Clarkson go to Toronto for seven years.

The Rangers did do some minor signings on Friday. They welcomed back checking center Dominic Moore, who sat out last season after his wife’s death from cancer, signing a one-year, $1 million deal. He began his career in New York centering the HMO line with Ryan Hollweg and Jed Ortmeyer back in 2005-06.

The Rangers also announced they agreed to terms with defenseman Aaron Johnson and forward Benoit Pouliot, both of which can be found on The Sports Geek YouTube Channel.

Pouliot, 26, left the Tampa Bay Lightning for a one-year, $1.3 million deal with New York. He had eight goals and 12 assists in 34 games last season with Tampa Bay, and led the club with a plus-8 rating.

Overall, in 291 games with Minnesota, Montreal, Boston and Tampa Bay, Pouliot has 61 goals and 63 assists with 201 penalty minutes. He was the No. 4 pick in the 2005 draft by Minnesota.

The 30-year-old Johnson, who got a one-year, $600,000 contract from the Rangers, split last season between the Eastern Conference-champion Boston Bruins and Providence of the AHL. He had 10 penalty minutes in 10 games with Boston.

Johnson has played in 291 NHL games, netting 17 goals and 45 assists, while racking up 222 penalty minutes.

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10 Epic On-Ice Rangers Fights

The intensity of a professional hockey game is difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it for themselves. The atmosphere is rowdy with loyal fans screaming their lungs out to cheer on their beloved teams. If you think this sounds like the perfect situation for fights to break out between rivals — you’re right. Well, you’re half-right. See, the majority of fights during hockey games actually don’t involve the fans. Almost all fights take place on the ice between the opposing players. But wait, here’s the clincher — it’s NOT against the rules.

 

In professional sports, there are many activities that are considered to be illegal conduct such as match fixing, point shaving, gambling, and in some cases, fighting. The NHL’s code of conduct, however, condones on-ice fights, and these scuffles have become iconic in the world of professional hockey. For many years, it was believed that an unwritten secret code existed between players, coaches, and officials about fighting, but it turns out the code isn’t as top-secret as people thought.

 

Code or no code, hockey fanatics love when players fight because it’s entertaining. Whether it’s a small scuffle or a team brawl, fans expect to see fighting during every game, and some fans even attend games solely for that reason. The New York Rangers are no exception, and the Blueshirts have topped the charts for league fights during many seasons. Check out these 10 epic on-ice Rangers fights!

 

1. Rangers vs. Avalanche — 2009

Rangers player, Paul Mara winds up to punch Colorado Avalanche player, Darcy Tucker, during a home game at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on February 28, 2009.

 

2. Rangers vs. Canadiens — 2010

Infamous for fighting on and off the ice, Rangers’ Sean Avery punches Josh Gorges of the Montreal Canadiens during their game on January 17, 2010.

 

3. Rangers vs. Bruins — 2010

Former player, Brandon Prust, was one of the Rangers’ most frequent fighters. Here he is sucker-punching Boston Bruins player Milan Lucic during an away game in Toronto on October 23, 2010.

 

4. Rangers vs. Devils — 2010

Here’s Prust, at it again, with New Jersey Devils player Bradley Mills during a home game on September 23, 2010.

 

5. Rangers vs. Capitals — 2009

#34 Aaron Voros flashes a devilish grin as he shoves Matt Bradley of the Washington Capitals during a home game on November 17, 2009 at Madison Square Garden.

 

6. Rangers vs. Flyers — 2010

Of course, Sean Avery has to make a second appearance on our list. Here he is mid-scuffle with Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers on March 14, 2010.

 

7. Rangers vs. Devils — 2012

Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan takes a straight shot at New Jersey Devils player, Ilya Kovalchuck.

 

8. Rangers vs. Senators — 2012

An official intervenes an on-ice wrestling match between Rangers’ Brian Boyle and Ottawa Senators’ Erik Karlsson during their April 15th game.

 

9. Rangers vs. Penguins — 2012

Rangers’ Stu Bickel prepares to land one on Pittsburgh Penguins player, Eric Tangradi during their January 19th home game at Madison Square Garden.
10.  Rangers vs. Panthers — 2013

Rangers’ John Moore rips off the helmet of Florida Panthers player, Jack Skille on April 18, 2013.

 

Tough Guys

As you can tell, the Rangers are not afraid to get down and dirty on the ice. They respect their fans, and they want to entertain them. What better way to do that than winning the game and throwing a few punches while they’re at it?

Have YOU ever seen an epic on-ice fight? Let us know in the comments!

 

Author bio: Ashley Welter is a blogger and sports fanatic from San Diego, and she loves the thrill of a good game. She enjoys writing about sports, crime, relationships, safety tips, and more. Catch updates on her latest blog posts on Twitter.

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Last Call For The NHL Season

This could be the NHL’s last time for the 2012-2013 season to not fade away.

In fact, if there is any season, it will be just known as the 2013 season.

According to reports, the NHL set a firm deadline of January 19th to start the season with hopes of a 48 game campaign, much like what happened back in 1995.

But for a season to happen, the union must agree to the new proposal, with the salary cap coming down a little more than $10 million for the 2013-14 season  among other concessions.

That kind of compromise won’t be easy as other reports other there have Donald Fehr sitting back and waiting for the owners to cave in. Convinced management doesn’t want to cancel two seasons in eight years, Fehr is playing the waiting game, as the rest of the hockey would sweats it out.

Fehr though has been very difficult to deal with. He did it in baseball and will do it here. With almost 30 years of experience, Fehr may have the upper hand, much like many online betting sites.

But as the National Post wrote: “The NHL has to make a deal with Fehr, or lose a season. He set this up from the beginning to ensure that instead of a Ted Saskin as his deputy, perhaps concealing a knife, there was his brother. The negotiating committee wasn’t allowed to be a side door, or a back door. The league’s attempts to circumvent Fehr — releasing entire proposals one day after saying they would not negotiate publicly, the Edwards threat, the player-owner meetings themselves — haven’t worked. This is the guy they have to deal with. There was never another option.”

On the bright side the NHL may think a deal could be in place soon. The league has spoken to the off-ice official about clearing up their dates for the schedule to come out soon.

Hopefully that is a sign of things to come.

The two sides will resume talking face-to-face later today.

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NHL Gives One More Proposal

This is the last shot.

The NHL’s new offer to the players association, may be the last hope in saving the season and with this offer comes hope.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the offer today.

“In light of media reports this morning, I can confirm that we delivered to the Union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late yesterday afternoon,” he said in a statement. We are not prepared to discuss the details of our proposal at this time. We are hopeful that once the Union’s staff and negotiating committee have had an opportunity to thoroughly review and consider our new proposal, they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible.”

A new round of bargaining is set to start this weekend.

The two sides will meet face-to-face on Sunday after a conference call on Saturday.

The owners reportedly lightened demands about making salary arbitration and free agency harder to achieve and also changed the individual contract variance from five percent to 10 percent.

There is also a one-time buyout in 2013-14 that will help a team get under the $60 million cap and it won’t count towards the salary cap.

If this doesn’t work, the season will probably be cancelled. The owners have postponed over half the games already super bowl betting odds say anymore would make it impossible to have a season.

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