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FlightZone: Phil Kessel is an Awkward Penguin

Come look at how excited he is.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Phil Kessel, brother of Amanda Kessel, have given us our first look at the star winger in a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey. The result is delightful:

He's going to be flanking either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, the least he could do is crack a smile! As you might expect, the Twitterverse took this ball and ran with it. Many thanks to Josh Cooper over at Puck Daddy for collecting some of the highlights:

And now the news.

Central Division

Icethetics says they have an exclusive first look at the pending third jerseys from the Ducks and Avalanche. If that is indeed the sweater Colorado will occasionally be rocking, I actually quite like the design. (Icethetics)

While I think we are all quite happy with the Winnipeg Jets prospect pipeline, the Dallas Stars have some pretty good kids themselves. Julius Honka is a beauty, and Esa Lindell doesn't even make this top-five list. (NHL)

The Minnesota Wild didn't get up to very much this offseason, aside from (hopefully) solving their single biggest issue via Devan Dubnyk. Having him the entire season means they should be taking a step forward, not back, no? (CSN Washington)

The Nashville Predators are taking their Golden Helmet tradition to the next level, by opting to wear the new headgear on Saturdays during the 2015-16 season. (The Score)

Paul Stastny intends on being a bigger and more active leader with the St. Louis Blues in 2015-16. Solidifying a top-six role might help him as well. (NHL)

Captain Andrew Ladd is keeping the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge going, challenging Jonathan Toews, Adam Lowry and Cabbie Richards:

And All The Rest

Allan Muir worries that the Bruins may be undone yet again by the lack of a backup goaltender. If you're going to go with extended AHL sample size, you could probably do worse than Jeremy Smith, and if he falters there are a couple more kids in Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre you can rotate in. Worst case scenario, Jonas Gustavsson is still available. (Sports Illustrated)

Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen knows that Gustav Nyquist misses their old Head Coach, and so had custom Mike Babcock bed sheets made for him. No, really. (The Score)

Michel Therrien doesn't sound concerned over his team's goal-scoring ability or potential lack thereof. Having Alex Semin aboard might have something to do with that. (Eyes on the Prize)

Not to take anything away from Cory Schneider, who is an excellent goaltender and one of Lou Lamoriello's best moves in the latter stages of his Devils' career. But his being New Jersey's most important player is as much a testament to their lack of game-changers everywhere else in the lineup. Who were Cory's biggest challengers, Andy Greene and Travis Zajac? (ESPN)

For somewhat understandable reasons, In Lou We Trust is changing their site name and you get to decide their next moniker via poll. I'm still debating between the puntastic "All About the Jersey" and traditional stalwart "New Jersey Hockey Community". (Name TBD)

Speaking of New Jersey, not only have the Devils inked Pavel Zacha to his ELC, but they are somehow weaseling their way out of paying Czech team Liberec $100,000 for missed signing deadlines. Are we sure Lou Lamoriello no longer runs the team? (Fire and Ice)

After a solid summer of UFA bargains and RFA negotiations, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton doesn't anticipate making any more moves, but is of course still listening. And on newly signed forward Jarret Stoll, he believes the player to be a "real character guy who made a mistake." (Ranger Rants)

Count Ryan Lambert as among those on-board with the Jarret Stoll signing. While the Rangers took a similar gamble with Ryan Malone, this also carries the same lack of real risk. And when it comes to these bottom-feeder, cheap veteran contracts, Lambert is right when he says that "It's bad news for free agents of middling-or-less quality, but teams don't and shouldn't care." (Yahoo! Sports)

In one of the least surprising conclusions ever, Claude Giroux has been deemed the Flyers' most important player. While Jakub Voracek is a treat and Andrew MacDonald makes for a trolling favourite, was there ever any real doubt of #28's predominance? Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim are still a few years away, after all. (ESPN)

Finally, names such as Bobby Ryan and FlightZone cover star Phil Kessel highlight this collection of five rebound players to watch. There's also a couple of Central Division stars (not Stars) listed; can you guess who they are? (The Hockey News)


Thanks for reading! Look for the next installment in our Top 25 Under 25 series later today!