Newest NHL craze: jersey ads!

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Newest NHL craze: jersey ads!

By Jon Fucile
WickedGoodSports.com

The Florida Panthers are awful. Really really awful. They shouldn't even be a hockey team. You can't pay people to go see them. Obviously they are not making much money for their owners. Because no one watches and the owners want more money, Panthers ownership has come up with a new way to make money.

They are putting another ad on their rink and making their broadcasters refer to the rink as Lexus Rink. Yes, the car manufacturer Lexus bought the rights to the Panthers ice. Next season during broadcasts the Panthers broadcasting team will have to say the Panthers are playing at the BankAtlantic Center on the Lexus Rink.

Panthers president Michael Yormark said Lexus "wanted a game changer." So they chose the Panthers? The people at Lexus must not watch any hockey. At all. Ever.

Yormark went on to say "People are always looking for the same old thing, and that's not in our DNA." Really? Because you've been doing the same old thing and losing for years so apparently that is in your DNA you idiot.

But he doesn't want to stop there. Now that the ice is sold, he wants to put ads on jerseys. Yeah. He basically wants to make Panthers jerseys look like Nascar cars.

So that got us thinking. If certain NHL teams marketed the product that most defined them or their fanbase on their jerseys, what would it look like? A few teams were nice enough to model that concept for us. Take a look.

IS Lindy Ruff and the Buffalo Sabres are constantly leaking tears. They cry about everything. They've basically cornered the market in America on whiny little pansies. How do you plug up all those tears? Well, Buffalo went with a natural choice for their jerseys.

Vegas has that slogan "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Well, Philadelphia has that slogan "Come to Philly, Leave with Herpes!" The people of Philly are so gross and dirty that it is virtually impossible not to get herpes if you go there. And now Mike Richards is helping to advertise something that can help!

The folks in Montreal love a good fake emergency. Dirty dishes? Call 9-1-1. Too afraid to kill that spider in the corner of the room? Call 9-1-1. That pizza you ordered is a couple minutes late? Call 9-1-1. So Carey Price and the Canadiens are making sure the citizens of Montreal know who to call.

The Coyotes are in trouble. Attendance is down. No one really wants to buy them because they hemorrhage money. The arena lease is terrible. Their sponsorship was just a natural combination. At least they're advertising a company their players can use to book a flight to their new homes next season.

Well, that is assuming that Air Canada has not made good on their threat to pull all sponsorship from the NHL. No one cares enough about Air Canada to check and find out.

Next we have the Washington Capitals! There were a lot of choices for them. Summer's Eve. Geico. Chokers R Us. But instead the Capitals decided to pay homage to a fan base that didn't know they had a team until around 2005. A local bandwagon store bought some ad space on their jerseys.

Hop aboard!

These days everyone complains about everything ever. Apparently everything is supposed to represent both sides of an argument at all times every day. If they don't, they're considered bias or closed minded. With this in mind, the New Jersey Devils decided to get a little holier and give the opposition a little face time on their jerseys.

Minnesota's team is called the Wild but they are anything but. They are often very tame while other teams have their way with them. They need a little injection of energy! Seeing a good opportunity, a pro wrestler still pretending he's popular saw the chance for some more money and with his recent divorce he can use all the money he can get. The partnership was basically a match made in heaven and now maybe Minnesota can start running wild!

Maybe the NHL is on to something.. or not.

Mookie Betts' injury likely just a short-term issue

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Mookie Betts' injury likely just a short-term issue

BOSTON -- After leaving Friday night’s game with right knee soreness, structural damage has been ruled out regarding Mookie Betts, but he could still be out for a bit.

Testing was done on Betts’ knee, removing any doubt of a deeper issue, revealing it was just build-up of fluid, causing swelling in his knee.

“Day-to-day is the status. It may take a couple for him before he’s back to us.” John Farrell said. “Everything points to this being a short-term situation.”

Betts explained that his condition had improved from Friday night, but -- much like Farrell -- doesn’t know how quickly he can bounce back. He wouldn’t make a definitive statement on whether or not he’d be available Sunday.

“It feels pretty good now,” Betts said. “We’re going to do some treatment on it, make sure everything is good and hopefully get back out there.”

Betts joins the list of pivotal players unavailable in Saturday’s game, including Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara who are both on the DL.

Farrell couldn’t commit to a timetable for when he expects Uehara should be back, but hopes he’ll be available during the regular season.

“We’re hopeful of that,” Farrell said when asked if he thought Uehara would be back before the postseason. “There’s no number of day’s that says Koji’s going to put a ball back in his hand . . . To give you a time frame, it’s too early to tell.”

Kimbrel, on the other hand, has bounced back well, and is expected to throw his first bullpen Sunday or Monday. The hope is that he’ll throw twice off the mound before the trip to the West, which would set him up for a simulated game.

“We need to get some PFP involved -- just some change in direction, fielding the position,” Farrell said on Kimbrel. “But in terms of amount of time missed, and that fact that he’s able to as get aggressive right now in long toss. I would think it would be on the shorter end of appearances if it’s even more than one. He feels very good. If he wasn’t making the ultimate decision medically [he’d] probably say ‘Give me the ball tonight.’ That’s how good he feels -- that’s encouraging.”

 

Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

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Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

While much of the focus is going to be on the young D-men headed into Bruins training camp, it would be foolhardy to overlook a forward prospect Danton Heinen, who is in position for a real dark horse run at an NHL roster spot. 

The strong odds are that the former University of Denver star is going to be begin the season in the AHL for the Providence Bruins after putting up a couple of points in four games there at the end of last season.

Still, that certainly hasn’t stopped Heinen from setting his sights on an NHL spot out of this fall’s camp, most likely in a third- or fourth-line capacity to start things off, or perhaps at the top-six right wing spots that have given the Bruins some problems filling permanently over the past couple of seasons.

Either way, the 2014 fourth-round pick knows that his clock to fulfilling his dreams as an NHL player has started and that it’s up to him when he can start making that a reality.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to work toward my whole life, so I’m just going to try to keep getting better, have a good rest of the summer and then put my best foot forward to see what happens,” said Heinen, who had an assist and a sweet goal in the Friday scrimmage at development camp when he twisted D-man Cam Clarke around like a pretzel on a nifty rush to the net. “I just need to continue to get stronger this summer, and working on my skating to get a bit quicker.

“[The AHL] was a lot of fun to get in there and see what it was all about. It was a lot different than college hockey, and it was definitely good to get a taste of it. [Bruins officials] told me to have a really big summer getting faster and getting stronger, so that’s what I’ve been doing.”

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Heinen, 21, continued to show in development camp last week, however, that he has the playmaking skills and hockey IQ to flourish while surrounded by more accomplished players and in tighter situations. It’s exactly what he showed while posting 36 goals and 93 points in his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Pioneers and it was what he showed while finishing last week as one of the best forwards in camp.

“He’s looked really good at [development] camp. He’s a smart player, he’s committed and I think you’ll notice him in training camp. It will be up to him, but I think he’ll definitely be pushing some guys [for an NHL job],” said Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo, who was running the Bruins development camp. “He looked good [in Providence]. He fit in well. He’s the type of player that can play with good players because he’s got high hockey IQ, and he’s got really good skill.

“Anywhere you put him he’s smart enough to figure it out. You could tell in his first game there was a little bit of an adjustment for him, but the second time game it really looked like he’d been playing [at that level] for a long time. He’s a quick study, and he looked really good last year.”

The Black and Gold management hope he continues to look good at main NHL training camp in a couple of months, where he’ll undoubtedly be featured, and could be a lot closer than many people think as a polished skill forward coming out of a big-time college hockey program. 

Saturday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: Betts out with knee soreness

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Saturday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: Betts out with knee soreness

Mookie Betts is out of the lineup Saturday after leaving the game Friday night with knee soreness and Brock Holt moves into the leadoff spot for the Red Sox in Game 3 of their four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.

Manager John Farrell said Betts is day-to-day after the right fielder left the Red Sox' 2-1 loss in the fifth inning with pain in his right knee. There is swelling, but an MRI showed no structural damage.Michael Martinez will start in right on Saturday night. Betts had started in 93 of Boston's 94 games this season. 

Aaron Hill gets the start at third base for the Red Sox in place of Travis Shaw.  

Left-hander David Price (9-7, 4.36 ERA) makes his second start of the second half for the Red Sox. Price took the loss in a 3-1 defeat against the Yankees on Sunday night, allowing 11 hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innnigs. 

Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.02) is on the mound for the Twins.

The lineups:

TWINS
Eduardo Nunez SS
Robbie Grossman DH
Miguel Sano 3B
Brian Dozier 2B
Max Kepler RF
Kennys Vargas 1B
Eddie Rosario LF
Kurt Suzuki C
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Ricky Nolasco RHP

RED SOX
Brock Holt LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Sandy Leon C
Michael Martinez RF
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David Price LHP