Cory Schneider maskCory Schneider is all set to get things going in New Jersey, as Daveart Designs has completed his new mask, shown above. That is one wicked looking mask, thanks in large part to the all-black logo on top.

It’s only a matter of time until you’re seeing that artwork in the crease on a near-nightly basis. Schneider’s a stud and Marty’s on the decline meaning we’ll be lucky to make it a month before things get awkward.

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Top 5 Tidbits

The Minnesota Wild got new white jerseys

I’m still in the group of people who pout about NHL teams not wearing whites at home anymore, but the Wild now have two jerseys so ridiculously sharp that I’m sure most of their fans will be able to get over just seeing the greens. Still, check these bad boys out:

Zach Parise

Clean and crisp, nice use of red accents with the forest green, just…muah, perfect. The article Icethetics did on them (linked at top) is pretty interesting, mostly because it reveals they were very close to going with “wheat” instead of “white,” which would have been a terrible idea.

Combined with their sexy greens, they just have to set fire to their red-heavy Christmas digs and they’ll be laughing.

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Corey Crawford extended for six years (NHL.com story)

Crawford still has another year on his deal that pays him just under three million before his six-year, six-million-per deal kicks in, which pays him from ages 29-35.

The deal is largely UFA years, so I understand the Blackhawks had to pay him a decent amount of money to avoid him hitting the free market, but good god, both the years and the term seem a little hefty.

My guess is that the Blackhawks thought process went something like this: We don’t think he’s Henrik Lundqvist or anything, but we’ve seen that he’s capable of at least being a league-average (or better) goaltender in playoffs, and that gives us a shot every year with this core. We don’t have anyone we see replacing him anytime soon, good(ish) goaltending is never a guarantee, and you’re screwed without it. Let’s wrap this guy up so it’s not a constant headache for us moving forward.

What they seem to have missed is that Crawford doesn’t have a huge track record of being an above-average NHL goaltender (he’s not, quite frankly), there weren’t going to be a ton of teams lining up to pay him more than 6 x 6, if anyone was even willing to do that, so there didn’t seem to be much need to rush an extension like this.

Dave Lozo wrote about this topic for Backhand Shelf today, so you can take a closer look at the numbers and what I’m referring to in there.

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 Senators won’t vote on new captain, nor should they get to

I always find it bizarre when coaches put the title of captain to a team vote, because that seems to miss the point. Everyone who has respect in a dressing room can speak and influence people, regardless of whether he wears a letter or not. The role of captain in pro hockey is largely to be a liason between the dressing room and coach, meaning the relationship with the staff is important, meaning the players wouldn’t really know who would best advocate for them to coach, and relay messages back to them from the staff.

Here’s what MacLean said:

“I don’t think we’ll ask the players to vote. We are going to talk to a number of players who are in consideration. There are a lot of different players who people believe are qualified to be the next captain of the Senators. And I believe the same thing, so the process that Bryan (Murray) and I and my coaching staff have to go through is sifting through it and finding who is the best guy to represent the whole group.”

It’s not high school politics, it’s about picking the best herder of cats.

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Mike Fisher had a run-in with a chipmunk

Thanks to Carrie Underwood’s Instagram account we were made aware of Mike Fisher’s terrible off-season injury, which consists of two small red marks by his thumb after catching a squirrel bare-handed over the weekend. Click the link above to see the videos, it’s actually kind of funny.

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School’s back! Let’s talk beer pong

Apparently today is the big return of school, which is always exciting and depressing at the same time. I remember returning to college one year and having the prototypical “way too excited to be back with my teammates” party that resulted in me propping myself up on the side of the house and spending more time outside in the fresh Alaskan air than one would normally desire. Hey, it happens.

In honor of the college idiots doing that this week, I present to you a couple beer pong tables I found on Reddit Hockey.

The first, from user “TodGaKKKK” (seriously) is this incredible Winnipeg Jets table (more pics here):

jets beer pong

And the second, from user “Hero_of_Brandon,” is another Jets beauty:

winnipeg jets

Sweeeeet.

Also for your viewing pleasure: someone built this awesome Florida Panthers arcade game, which seems more connected to college a couple decades ago, but what do I know.

We’re getting close folks. Reeeeal close.