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Predators’ mascot zings Blackhawks over ‘Chelsea Dagger’

Gnash never seems to pass up an opportunity to take a shot at the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Nashville Predators' mascot was at it again Sunday afternoon.

Much was made of the fact that Pekka Rinne and the Predators shut out the Blackhawks in Games 1 and 2 of their first-round series at the United Center in Chicago, but Gnash clearly doesn't mind revisiting it despite the Blackhawks' obvious edge in Stanley Cup championships.

Sunday's chirp wasn't Gnash's first jab at Chicago, and it likely won't be the last.

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Look: Bonino snacks spaghetti out of Stanley Cup

Let's get one thing straight: Eating anything out of the Stanley Cup is awesome. And when you bust out the Parmigiano-Reggiano, things get a little extra special.

Such was the case for former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Nick Bonino, as the veteran recently got his day with the Cup. Bonino took the opportunity to load Lord Stanley's mug with parm-covered pasta as he enjoyed some of his mother's home cooking.

Come October, Bonino will start his first season with the Nashville Predators, who - after reading this story - might be concerned with his carb-heavy offseason eating regimen.

We'd suggest a kale-based salad in that bowl next, Nick.

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Look: Marner gets mythological with epic new tattoo

Mitch Marner apparently saw Auston Matthews' regal lion tattoo and decided to get his own massive ink job.

Marner's new look features Neptune, the Roman god of freshwater and the sea, along with Poseidon, Neptune's Greek counterpart.

Here's the Toronto Maple Leafs phenom posing with the artist and showing off a wider view of his full right arm.

(Courtesy: Instagram/@ceeztattoos)

Only time will tell if Marner will become a god on the frozen water.

- With h/t to The Leafs Nation

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Kings prospect gets OVO owl on mask

Los Angeles Kings goaltending prospect Calvin Petersen may not see a ton of action in the NHL next season, but that's not stopping him from throwing a little shoutout to the 6 God.

Petersen posted pictures of his new mask to Twitter on Sunday, with a clear shot of rapper Drake's famous owl logo emblazoned on the back.

The Kings inked netminder Darcy Kuemper to a one-year contract in July to be Jonathan Quick's backup, so the chances of Petersen starting the year in L.A. are slim.

Just like Drizzy, it appears Petersen will have to start from the bottom, as well.

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Pens’ Sullivan: Tablets can be ‘difference between winning and losing’

Before the start of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NHL gave the green light for teams across the league to begin using the iBench video system - a decision Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said aided his team in its latest championship run.

Using iPads, the iBench system lets coaches show their players video footage during the game, allowing them to quickly adapt and adjust tactics.

Such was the case for Sullivan and his staff during Pittsburgh's second consecutive Stanley Cup victory this spring. "The main areas where we probably gained the most use out of it was special teams, because you get immediate feedback,” he said, according to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.

"You can make subtle adjustments on the fly. In the playoffs, you might only get two power plays a game. So if you have the ability to make an adjustment that might lead to an opportunity to score or generate a scoring chance, that could be the difference between winning and losing."

While Sullivan has embraced the tablet technology, he's also a traditionalist who looks to strike the right balance between new-school and old-school approaches to the sport.

"There’s always going to be that fine line between analysis and emotion and instinct. That’s our game," Sullivan added.

"For me, the game is rooted in emotion and instinct. As a coaching staff, we don’t want to get in the way of that. My antennas are always up, because I want to make sure that doesn’t happen. Having said that, the feedback and the ability to make adjustments on the fly is really important."

With tablets in tow, the Penguins will be looking to become the first three-peat champions since the 1982 New York Islanders.

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Hampus Lindholm’s puppy looks ready to lace ’em up

One NHL player's canine companion appears set on paw-patrolling the blue line.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm shared an adorable picture of his puppy sitting in a skate Saturday.

The newest Anaheim Ducks fan🐶🦆 #quackquack

A post shared by Hampus Lindholm (@hampuslindholm47) on

Lindholm first posted about his new addition a few weeks ago.

Phil Kessel may have won the offseason with his incredible hot dog photo, but Lindholm's canine content isn't too shabby.

-With h/t to Pro Hockey Talk

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Report: Avalanche to add AHL affiliate in Colorado for 2018 season

The Avalanche are growing hockey in Colorado.

According to Mike Chambers of The Denver Post, the Avalanche will have their AHL squad in nearby Loveland, Colo. for the 2018-19 season.

The market is currently served by the ECHL's Colorado Eagles, which will shift to the American Hockey League next season to partner with the Avalanche.

The Eagles play out of the Budweiser Events Center, about 50 miles north of Denver. Founded in 2003, the Eagles were previously part of the former Central Hockey League but transferred to the ECHL in 2011.

Their addition to the AHL will bring the league to 31 teams, matching the NHL after its expansion to Las Vegas.

An official announcement is expected in September.

The Avalanche are currently affiliated with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, which will partner with the St. Louis Blues beginning in 2018-19, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Blues are without their own minor-league team this season, and will share the Chicago Wolves with the incoming Vegas Golden Knights.

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Wild’s Koivu sends thoughts to hometown in Finland after knife attack

Mikko Koivu had plenty to say about the fatal stabbings that took place in his hometown of Turku, Finland.

"Friday's events in Turku were shocking," the Minnesota Wild captain said in a statement issued by the club Saturday. "This is my home and I have so much love for this community. My thoughts are with my fellow residents of Turku and all the people of Finland. Mostly, I am thinking of the people who died and were injured, and am sending my support to their families and friends."

Police stopped the suspect by shooting him in the thigh, but not before two people died and nine were stabbed in an attack that targeted women, according to The Associated Press.

Koivu said he and his family weren't harmed.

"I am extremely thankful to say my wife and children, our extended families, and those closest to us are all safe," he continued. "Like our fellow Finnish countrymen and women, we are extremely grateful for the quick actions of the police, emergency services and other first responders."

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service is treating the incident as a likely terrorist act.

Koivu said he was touched by the outpouring of support since Friday's deadly attack.

"I am moved at how many people have sent their support to the city of Turku and the country of Finland," he added. "I know my fellow countrymen and women will use the upcoming days as a chance to cherish those closest to us, and to be thankful for our great country."

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This new KHL mascot will haunt your dreams

Leave it to a team owned by a petrochemical company to provide some nightmare fuel.

The KHL's HC Neftekhimik revealed a terrifying new mascot Saturday while unveiling its new wolf-themed uniforms.

Here's a look at the frightening new character, as seen in a video released by the club of the ceremony:

Here it is sharing a moment with the team's previous mascot:

And here are a couple more mildly disturbing screenshots:

Neftekhimik fans can seek sympathy from supporters of the Edmonton Oilers, whose club was roasted last September after introducing Hunter the lynx.

Watch the full video of the Neftekhimik unveiling here:

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Lehtera blames poor season on added World Cup schedule

Extra games on the calendar left Jori Lehtera playing on fumes.

The veteran forward, who was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers from the St. Louis Blues at this year's entry draft, believes a busier than usual schedule last season contributed to his dip in production.

"It was different than before. It made it a little bit harder," Lehtera told Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We started to skate so early, so I was kind of out of gas the second half."

In 64 games with the Blues last season, Lehtera put up just 22 points, down from 34 and 44 points in his past two campaigns.

The Finnish forward, who made his NHL debut with the Blues in 2014-15, was called upon by his home nation to skate in last year's World Cup, a tournament in which his country finished dead last and Lehtera was held pointless in three contests.

That inability to score carried over to the regular season, and the Blues, surely unhappy that Lehtera wasn't living up to his $4.7-million cap hit, shipped him to Philadelphia in the deal that brought Brayden Schenn to St. Louis.

Still, Lehtera is happy to get a fresh start with the Flyers.

"It's always tough to leave when you know all of the guys and the city," Lehtera added. "But hockey-wise, it's going to be good for me. I didn't play well at the end, but I think a new start will be really good for me."

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