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NHL opposes legislation that would expand legalized betting in Canada


The NHL is voicing its concern with a proposed bill that would legalize betting on individual games in Canada.

Currently the country’s Criminal Code only allows wagering on three or more games at a time.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly will appear before a Senate committee on Nov. 8 to explain the league’s position. Presumably, he’ll argue that betting on individual games hurts the integrity of the NHL (and other leagues) by raising the likelihood of match fixing. And if not the actual likelihood, the perceived likelihood of it.

Toronto Blue Jays president Paul Beeston put it this way: “Losing bettors and fans… may in turn become suspicious of every strikeout or error, and the game’s integrity would be open to question — play by play, day after day.”

Supporters of the bill contend that billions of dollars in wagers are already placed online at offshore sports books and through illegal bookies. If anything, regulated betting should alleviate concerns about match-fixing.

The leagues do have one hammer to swing, and that’s the threat of re-thinking future expansion. Toronto, for example, is a candidate for a second NHL team and, down the line, maybe even an NFL franchise. There’s also been talk of the NHL returning to Quebec City and, to a lesser degree, the NBA trying again in Vancouver.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.