Jonathan Quick pays tribute to Special Forces with World Cup mask

Jared Clinton
(via Jonathan Quick/Twitter)

Jonathan Quick’s mask design has been pretty standard over the past several seasons.

When he’s played for the Los Angeles Kings, Quick’s mask has been painted to look like a knight’s helmet. And when he’s gone off to play for Team USA, the helmet has been updated with a few details to give it that American flare. However, Quick is going an entirely different direction for the World Cup.

With the tournament quickly approaching, Quick unveiled his World Cup lid and the design isn’t anything like the masks he has worn in the past. Instead, Quick’s going with a white camouflage base and two logos tied to the Special Forces and Green Berets. Take a look: Read more

Down Goes Brown: Five teams that have had a quiet offseason, and what it means for 2016-17

Flyers GM Ron Hextall. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

An NHL offseason can be a funny thing. For some teams, it represents an opportunity to blow everything up real good, hitting the reset button entirely or at the very least radically changing direction. For others, it’s a chance to double down on what’s already working by loading up on the final pieces of a true contender. In either case, blockbuster trades can be made, big-name free agents can be lured, and coaches and GMs can be replaced. Things are happening.

And then there are the teams that decide to skip all of that, and largely sit out the offseason. They tinker a bit, re-signing a guy here and making a minor move there, but for the most part they decide to pass on doing anything especially newsworthy.

And let’s be honest: While that approach may not be all that exciting, sometimes it absolutely turns out to be the right one. Sometimes, it really is better to leave the bat on your shoulder. But only sometimes.

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Watch Drew Doughty destroy mannequins with slap shots to showcase new stick

Jared Clinton
(via Easton/Twitter)

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has 24 power play points last season, and one reason why he’s been able to rack up so many points with the man advantage is because of his ability to get the puck through traffic.

But when it comes to showcasing his new Easton stick, Doughty’s not so concerned with getting pucks on net. Instead, after showing what it looks like to put a few pucks on goal, Doughty seems more interested in tearing a mannequin limb from limb with slap shots. He literally blasts pucks at the trio of mannequins until they’re destroyed.

It’s an interesting way to promote the new stick, and it’s definitely some footage that will make a few players think twice before laying down to block Doughty’s shot. Especially the ones that catch the mannequin in an, uh, uncomfortable spot: Read more

So why hasn’t your team done anything this off-season?

Flyers GM Ron Hextall. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

August marks hockey’s “silly season.” Very little happens. And idle hands are the devils’ playthings, right? Countless blog commenters and Twitter trolls dust off the “Slow news day?” insult whenever we find something to talk about. During the month before NHL training camps begin, fan bases twiddle their thumbs. And think. And overthink. And worry.

“Why hasn’t my team DONE anything this off-season?”

You know who you are. You, from that city with the sandwich everyone needs to try. Your team has been uncomfortably quiet this off-season, with nary a big trade or free agent splash. Should you panic over your team’s 2016-17 outlook? Or will you end up patting your favorite GM on the back for staying the course?

Here’s a rundown of the summer’s most tranquil teams – and whether their fan bases should worry.

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Five NHL jerseys players should have refused to wear

Todd Bertuzzi. (Getty Images)

On Saturday, Chicago White Sox all-star pitcher Chris Sale was scratched from his start and sent home because he refused to wear the team’s throwback uniform. It went beyond that, of course. Sale reportedly went into the clubhouse and cut up his own jersey, along with those of his teammates.

Sale’s gripe? The collar on the jersey was uncomfortable and he was adamant that he would not wear it. Sale was eventually suspended for five games by the team.

It was a bizarre story, but one that could plausibly play out in any team sport. In the NBA, for instance, many players complained when the new sleeved jerseys were introduced.

In hockey, the basic design of the jersey has been largely the same for the past 100 years. There isn’t much that can be done that could throw a player into a fit of uncomfortable rage. The aesthetics of hockey jerseys on the other hand, they have at times been a cause for concern.

Here are five NHL jerseys players should have refused to wear.

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Russia accepts Voynov can’t play at World Cup, Nesterov named as replacement

Jared Clinton
Slava Voynov (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

Defenseman Slava Voynov won’t be suiting up for Russia at the World Cup of Hockey.

The Russian Hockey Federation released a statement Monday acknowledging that Voynov will not participate in the tournament, and named Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov as Voynov’s replacement on the Russian blueline. Switching Nesterov in for Voynov comes after weeks of back and forth between the RHF and NHL centering on Voynov’s eligibility to play at the tournament.

Voynov, 26, remains suspended by the league following domestic violence charges regarding an October 2014 incident. Voynov has remained suspended by the league since the day of the charge. Voynov pleaded no-contest to the charge in July 2015, resulting in a 90-day prison sentence, after which he was taken in by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Voynov then chose to leave the U.S. willingly and head back to his native Russia.

However, even amidst the controversy surrounding Voynov’s selection to the World Cup roster, the RHF has been trying to get Voynov cleared to play at the tournament. Read more

Why fast-tracking might not be the best idea for Las Vegas

George McPhee (left) and Bill Foley  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

It certainly doesn’t look as though either Bill Foley or George McPhee has the patience to slowly build their expansion team into a contender. Everything both of them said when McPhee was named GM of the team pointed to transforming this franchise into a contender sooner rather than later.

McPhee will certainly have a better chance at doing that than his predecessors. The expansion draft rules will give the team a chance to ice a competitive roster in the short term. By being able to protect only seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie or eight skaters and one goalie, some of the other 30 teams in the league will be forced to expose some legitimate NHL talent. But when you’re looking at, in a best-case scenario, the No. 8 forward, the No. 4 defenseman and the No. 2 goalie on each team’s depth chart who are third-year pros, the pickings might not be quite as spectacular as you might think.

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Buyout roundup: Lightning’s Carle, Bruins’ Seidenberg and more

Matt Carle  (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Less than 24 hours before the free agency period begins, several NHL teams got to work on some housekeeping Thursday. Six teams placed players on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout. The NHL’s buyout window closes at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday.

There had already been some notable buyouts, including the Canucks’ Chris Higgins, the Wild’s Thomas Vanek, and the Blue Jackets Fedor Tyutin.

The Blue Jackets got back to work on Thursday, buying out the final year of right winger Jared Boll’s contract. Boll, 30, scored one goal in 30 games in 2015-16.

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