Reach for those hired guns



They call it the "silly season" for good reason. The NHL's trade deadline is less than two weeks away, and you can rest assured that general managers have been burning out their BlackBerries sending out offers.

There is already tangible proof, in fact - the Toronto Maple Leafs have just traded Francois Beauchemin, the veteran defenceman, back to Anaheim in exchange for Joffrey Lupul, a 20-goal winger, Jake Gardiner, their 2008 first-round pick, and a fourth-round draft choice.

Not to be outdone, the Leafs' provincial rivals, the Ottawa Senators, dealt Mike Fisher to Nashville for a first-round pick next June and a conditional pick in 2012. So, the asking price for hired guns has been set.

If contending teams want a veteran player of considerable impact - as both Beauchemin and Fisher are - it is going to cost a chunk of their future. Logically, mortgaging a potential franchise building block in exchange for a slightly increased shot at a championship is a steep price to pay.

However, the siren song of the Stanley Cup never fails to lure contenders to the brink and then, usually, completely over the edge of self-control. And that is part of why this new-age trade deadline day has become a made-for-television spectacle.

If your team are among the contenders, it is practically a prerequisite that they make some moves to get to the final. The fans want tangible evidence of tinkering.

If a club chooses to hold steady with their current roster and then fail to make the play-offs, you can be sure one of the first things the local reporters will point to will be the lack of last-minute additions.

If your team are out of the play-offs and rebuilding, it is time to ship out the veterans and inject some new blood into the line-up.

This approach, at least, seems to add up. While it is always tough to let go of the past, professional sport is about winning, and the chance to add a bright young prospect for a player on the back end of his career just makes sense.

The Leafs-Ducks and Senators-Predators deals sounded the opening bell, and there will be more trades leading up to the flurry of 20-plus deals on the final day, as the buyers and sellers sort themselves out on the basis of the league standings and, more pertinently, where the top 10 or 15 teams believe they belong in the league standings.

In the end, as always, one club will be "proven" right with a cup and a parade, while the other buyers will placate their fan base with the explanation that they tried, darn it, by making all the right moves when it was time to trade.

ASIAN RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2024

Results
Hong Kong 52-5 UAE
South Korea 55-5 Malaysia
Malaysia 6-70 Hong Kong
UAE 36-32 South Korea

Fixtures
Friday, June 21, 7.30pm kick-off: UAE v Malaysia
At The Sevens, Dubai (admission is free).
Saturday: Hong Kong v South Korea

At Everton Appearances: 77; Goals: 17

At Manchester United Appearances: 559; Goals: 253

Fourth-round clashes for British players

- Andy Murray (1) v Benoit Paire, Centre Court (not before 4pm)

- Johanna Konta (6) v Caroline Garcia (21), Court 1 (4pm)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

The biog

Name: Timothy Husband

Nationality: New Zealand

Education: Degree in zoology at The University of Sydney

Favourite book: Lemurs of Madagascar by Russell A Mittermeier

Favourite music: Billy Joel

Weekends and holidays: Talking about animals or visiting his farm in Australia

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Switching sides

Mahika Gaur is the latest Dubai-raised athlete to attain top honours with another country.

Velimir Stjepanovic (Serbia, swimming)
Born in Abu Dhabi and raised in Dubai, he finished sixth in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 200m butterfly final.

Jonny Macdonald (Scotland, rugby union)
Brought up in Abu Dhabi and represented the region in international rugby. When the Arabian Gulf team was broken up into its constituent nations, he opted to play for Scotland instead, and went to the Hong Kong Sevens.

Sophie Shams (England, rugby union)
The daughter of an English mother and Emirati father, Shams excelled at rugby in Dubai, then after attending university in the UK played for England at sevens.

Tips for newlyweds to better manage finances

All couples are unique and have to create a financial blueprint that is most suitable for their relationship, says Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer at Century Financial. He offers his top five tips for couples to better manage their finances.

Discuss your assets and debts: When married, it’s important to understand each other’s personal financial situation. It’s necessary to know upfront what each party brings to the table, as debts and assets affect spending habits and joint loan qualifications. Discussing all aspects of their finances as a couple prevents anyone from being blindsided later.

Decide on the financial/saving goals: Spouses should independently list their top goals and share their lists with one another to shape a joint plan. Writing down clear goals will help them determine how much to save each month, how much to put aside for short-term goals, and how they will reach their long-term financial goals.

Set a budget: A budget can keep the couple be mindful of their income and expenses. With a monthly budget, couples will know exactly how much they can spend in a category each month, how much they have to work with and what spending areas need to be evaluated.

Decide who manages what: When it comes to handling finances, it’s a good idea to decide who manages what. For example, one person might take on the day-to-day bills, while the other tackles long-term investments and retirement plans.

Money date nights: Talking about money should be a healthy, ongoing conversation and couples should not wait for something to go wrong. They should set time aside every month to talk about future financial decisions and see the progress they’ve made together towards accomplishing their goals.

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Brief scores:

QPR 0

Watford 1

Capoue 45'+1

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A fraudulent investment operation where the scammer provides fake reports and generates returns for old investors through money paid by new investors, rather than through ligitimate business activities.

THE LOWDOWN

Romeo Akbar Walter

Rating: 2/5 stars
Produced by: Dharma Productions, Azure Entertainment
Directed by: Robby Grewal
Cast: John Abraham, Mouni Roy, Jackie Shroff and Sikandar Kher 

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

Suggested picnic spots

Abu Dhabi
Umm Al Emarat Park
Yas Gateway Park
Delma Park
Al Bateen beach
Saadiyaat beach
The Corniche
Zayed Sports City
 
Dubai
Kite Beach
Zabeel Park
Al Nahda Pond Park
Mushrif Park
Safa Park
Al Mamzar Beach Park
Al Qudrah Lakes 

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5


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