Should The NHL Be More Transparent In New Era Of Sports Betting?

Graphic: US Betting Report

Surprises to starting lineups aren’t that uncommon in the NHL. The league doesn’t mandate injury reports like the NFL and NBA, while MLB clubs list probable pitchers days in advance. On any given game day many NHL teams choose not to announce their starting goaltenders until warmups, and information regarding injuries can be vague at best. But should that change in a league trying to embrace the sports betting industry?

“To this point in time, that’s not being contemplated,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “People ask whether our sports betting partners have requested it, have expressed any concerns with regard to our current policies. None of that has been done.”

The NHL’s level of transparency appears to be at odds with its plans to get into sports betting. The league already has several sports betting partners, including William Hill, MGM Resorts, FanDuel, Bally’s, Betway, PointsBet and DraftKings. The NHL also has Sportradar as an integrity partner.

“I would like to see it go in that direction, because when you try to keep that information confidential, I think you’re going down the wrong hole,” said Jay Kornegay, vice president of the Westgate SuperBook. “As only a certain amount of people have that information, some people could take advantage of that situation.”

However, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Sportsbook operators and bettors say they don’t think the lack of transparency is keeping people away from betting windows.

“People here want to bet the Knights,” handicapper Dana Lane said. “They want to have action on it. People that come into town want action on the game. I don’t think that hinders it at all. It may hinder who they bet on, but I don’t think the actual desire to bet the game is hindered in any way by who starts in net.”

The NHL’s lack of transparency can actually be a benefit for those closely following the game. Each team has various clues or traditions that can be used to pick up lineup hints. Some bettors can actually gain an advantage in the absence of official information. Some teams don’t announce their starting goaltender until warmups all season, but the first one off the ice at the morning skate almost always played that night.

Bettors looking for additional information can typically follow reporters covering the team and learn most of what they need to know. It’s rare that a club has a truly surprising and impactful last-minute lineup decision.

Sportsbook Opens At Capital One Arena

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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6 Responses to Should The NHL Be More Transparent In New Era Of Sports Betting?

  1. Anonymous says:

    The way the NHL hides injuries is dumb. The vast majority we see happen, which are then discussed during the game or post game. It’s not until the next day that it becomes a secret. Sports betting has nothing to do with it.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      The type/severity of injury certainly does.. We’ve seen players labeled “day-to-day” and be out for a month or more. That definitely plays into futures betting.

  2. JOHN SMITH says:

    You mean like the NBA when a starter scratches himself at the last minute for a migraine?

  3. Scottlew73 says:

    I don’t care about “optics” for the sports betting,I would like NHL not to treat fans(aka people paying the bills!) not like were all Morons!! We know damn well when players bleeding like stuck hog it’s a cut not “upper body injury”! If you treat fans like mushrooms & pile crap on & hope something beautiful grows. But that a reflection of idiot that’s been running league for last 2 decades!

  4. Pingback: Tuesday Caps Clips - Baltimore Sports Today

  5. Novafyre says:

    Since betting started being seriously discussed two or three years ago, I have maintained that it would be our best chance for more transparency not only in injuries but also officiating.

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