Inking a new deal: Islanders secure Tattoo Lou’s as team’s official tattoo shop

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Teams and sponsorship can sometimes create fun and awkward partnerships and who else but the New York Islanders are making a splash by getting fully involved with a major trend.

The Islanders have secured Tattoo Lou’s as the official tattoo shop of the team. Yes, it’s a tattoo shop and while you’re probably busy thinking about a TV show like Miami Ink, let’s just shift things over to Nassau County for a bit and soak in the glory that comes with getting a portrait of Rick DiPietro on your back instead.

Making this deal all the more incredible to see is the sweet set up Tattoo Lou’s will have at Nassau Coliseum which includes a tattoo and body piercing shop on the main concourse at the Coliseum which will sell t-shirts and jewelry as well. The creative possibilities here are endless. Lou Rubino, President of Tattoo Lou’s helps make sense of the deal.

No, seriously.

“This partnership with the Islanders is a great fit for us and it’s a wonderful benefit to be a part of the Islanders team,” said Lou Rubino, President of Tattoo Lou’s. “This is another victory for the tattoo industry. For a long time, tattoos were frowned upon, but now, we’ve become more and more mainstream. One of the main things I love about this partnership is the history the Islanders have. My dad opened his first shop in 1958. We’re a part of Long Island history just like the Islanders.”

History, tattoos, Mike Bossy, Billy Smith, and the rest of the Islanders. Crazy part is, Rubino is right. Tattoos are mainstream although you have to wonder about the logistics of getting one done at a game. Think of how regrettable that John Tavares tramp stamp might be after a few too many cold ones during an Islanders-Rangers game.

If there’s one rule that we hope Tattoo Lou’s puts into effect at their shop we hope that it’ll have to do with throwing out anyone looking to emblazon the Fisherman logo anywhere on their body. Last year the Islanders gave us team cupcakes at games and now they’re looking to ink us up. At the very least, you can’t accuse the Islanders of not keeping up with the times… Or at the very least being inspired by reality TV shows. Bring us “Tattoo Cupcake Wars” this instant.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.