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A tour of some of the most tasteless tattoos in hockey fandom

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I’ve written nearly 2,000 posts for Pro Hockey Talk, followed the sport obsessively for years and basically cannot go a day without at least discussing the NHL in passing. Yet as devoted as I am to hockey, I could never imagine committing to a tattoo for the sport.

(Granted, I’m ink-free, so perhaps I’m just commitment phobic.)

Other hockey fans aren’t so shy about wearing their passions on their sleeves. Literally. Marty Vance put together another great post full of horrible hockey-related tattoos today. Fair warning: his post and some of these tattoos might be a little on the “NSFW” (not safe for work) side. Here are some of the highlights … or should I say, some of the lowest of the low.

Note: all of these images came from Vance’s post.

Snide remarks: Nothing says commitment (or foolishness) like getting a tattoo on your head. There’s a sincere part of me that hopes this is either a Photoshop job or a temporary thing. It brings out my inner-grandparent: “How is he going to get a job?”

Snide remarks: As Vance noted, disparaging another team’s logo is a clear sign of an inferiority complex. Few teams have little brother syndrome quite like the Nashville Predators do with the Detroit Red Wings. Although after being in second place for years, now they have baby brother syndrome because the Chicago Blackhawks pushed them to third place (at best). Not sure if there’s enough room in the Predators’ mouth for a tomahawk, though.

Snide remarks: This tattoo corners the market on obscure hockey moments. It’s a reference to Max Talbot making a “shush” gesture to the Philadelphia Flyers in game six of their 2009 playoff series, after losing a fight that nonetheless seemed to rile the Pittsburgh Penguins up on their way to a comeback victory. Seems like a great idea for an avatar on Penguins blogs, but as a permanent part of your body? Dubious.

Snide remarks: Yup, that’s right. Hockey sticks form the crucifix for the oddest mix of religious and puck-based devotion I’ve ever seen. Is this in bad taste or even blasphemous? I don’t know, but I’ll just go ahead and be stunned.

So, those are some of the worst hockey-related tattoos in the universe. Make sure to read the whole post to see even more ridiculous designs (and check out the previous version) and giggle at Vance’s clever commentary. Again, it might be something to read once you get home from work, though.

Oh, and a word to the wise: there’s nothing wrong with showing your eternal devotion to your favorite team, but be at least slightly smart about it. Keep it simple (maybe your favorite player’s number, a simple puck/stick-based design or just the standard team logo) and easy to cover up for job interviews. Remember, it’s cool to be super-unique when it comes to choosing a jersey to wear, but when it comes to tattoos, you’re better off avoiding the road less traveled.

Former NHLer LaCouture pleads not guilty to assaulting woman

PHILADELPHIA - JANUARY 19: Dan LaCouture #28 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the game against the Philadelphia Flyers on January 19, 2006 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Bruins won 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) A former NHL player has pleaded not guilty to charges he assaulted a woman in Massachusetts over the weekend.

The Cape Cod Times reports Daniel LaCouture appeared Tuesday in Barnstable District Court on charges of assault and battery and vandalizing property.

Police responded just after 6 p.m. Saturday to a house in Centerville, where they say the 39-year-old LaCouture hid underneath a vehicle in the home’s driveway before confronting the victim and striking her in the collarbone.

LaCouture is due back in court July 15.

A phone number listed for LaCouture in online public records was disconnected.

LaCouture made his NHL debut with Edmonton in 1999. The forward had 20 goals and 25 assists in 337 career games with six NHL teams.

He is one of dozens of plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the NHL over concussion-related injuries.

A better start is key for Sharks in Game 2

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It’s easy to suggest that perhaps the San Jose Sharks got caught up with some nerves during the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After all, this is a franchise that, after well-documented playoff shortfalls, is playing in the championship series for the first time. The Pittsburgh Penguins, on the other hand, well they’ve been here before — seven years ago.

Sharks’ defenseman Brent Burns conceded that his team may have been overwhelmed at first, outshot 15-4 in the opening 20 minutes, before eventually getting back on track in the middle of the game.

The result was a two-goal deficit, as the Penguins jumped into the lead. San Jose fought back, but ultimately lost on a late Nick Bonino goal.

The Sharks, of course, have stressed getting out to a better start, and that what happened Monday can be a learning experience, as they look to even the series in Game 2 on Wednesday.

“We were excited to play. We felt we were ready. Then at the start, we didn’t execute the way we needed to. We try to take that lesson and learn from it,” Joe Pavelski told reporters on Tuesday.

“Hopefully we can have a better start. Obviously it’s exciting to be here. I don’t know if it’s your first time or your fifth time, I’m sure it’s exciting every time. So we’ll learn from that game and hopefully have a better start.”

 

Bears face Monsters for the AHL’s Calder Cup

MILWAUKEE - JUNE 15:  Chris Bourque #17 of the Hershey Bears kisses the Calder Cup after the Hershey Bears defeated the Milwaukee Admirals in game six of the AHL Calder Cup Finals on June 15, 2006 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bears defeated the Admirals 5-1 in game six to win the AHL Calder Cup. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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The Hershey Bears and Lake Erie Monsters will play for the 2016 Calder Cup, as the American Hockey League’s championship series begins Wednesday.

The Bears, who start with home ice advantage, enter the series having won the Calder Cup 11 times — the most of any franchise in the league’s history. They also enter the final having dispatched the Toronto Marlies — Canada’s remaining hope for an AHL championship, right…? — in the third round.

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Meanwhile, the Monsters have been on a torrid run in the playoffs, losing only twice in 13 games so far. They’ve earned the sweep in two of three series, making quick work of the Rockford IceHogs and Ontario Reign.

Bears forward Carter Camper, a journeyman in the minors with three games of NHL experience with Boston in 2011-12, is second in AHL playoff scoring with 15 points in 17 games.

For the Monsters, Blue Jackets prospect Lukas Sedlak has been on a roll, offensively, and now has 13 points in 13 post-season games this year.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Sedlak was regarded as a smart two-way forward, but his offensive production was minimal, almost non-existent. Players like that tend to drift away after a few seasons, pushed aside by the next wave of young talent and high draft picks.

“I’d say right around Christmas I started wondering what was going to happen,” Sedlak said. “I was asking my agent what Columbus thought of me, and I was prepared for everything — maybe even going back to Europe.

“I knew my contract was up after the season. I thought I was playing pretty well … but you just don’t know.”

 

Stars sign Dowling, Ranford to one-year deals

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The Dallas Stars made a pair of depth moves on Tuesday, announcing the signings of forwards Justin Dowling and Brendan Ranford to one-year contracts.

Both players have put up good numbers in the American Hockey League with the Texas Stars.

This past season, the 24-year-old Ranford scored 19 goals and 59 points in 76 games — all career highs for him in the minors. He played once for Dallas last season, but didn’t register a point.

Initially undrafted and a Stars’ free agent signing from two years ago, the 25-year-old Dowling was also productive with 11 goals and 46 points in 52 games.