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Morning Flurries: A preseason win and nightmare fuel

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Hey, look, it’s the monster of your dreams!

So I really wanted to start this Flurries off by talking about the Avalanche finally getting a preseason win. I really, really did.

But we need to talk about something else first.

Let’s talk about the Flyers mascot.

To quote our Appalachian brethren, what in TARNATION is that?

The Flyers decided that they weren’t getting nearly enough preseason for positive things, given the fact that the only news of note they’ve managed to produce since the preseason began has been revealing that pretty much every single goaltender in their system is hurt.

So to spice things up, they dropped an absolute bomb on us Monday morning, unveiling Gritty, their new and more-than-slightly horrifying mascot.

He looks kind of like Youppi!, the long-standing mascot of the Montreal Canadiens (who also doesn’t make a ton of sense and scares children, if we’re being honest here). Only where Youppi! is just kind of strange and orange, Gritty is absolutely what happens when ol’ Youps gets lost in Scarborough during a road trip to Toronto and spends the week doing methamphetamines.

He’d be scary enough if he were just a giant, fuzzy orange monster with a manic smile and amber eyes, but they also decided to give him Jakub Voracek’s unchecked ‘do and facial hair in a much flowier, life-like texture to legitimately give the impression that he might not just be a costume.

And then, of course, there’s the crowning touch, which is that he’s got googly eyes that spin like a top whenever he moves:

Yeah, put that thing right back where it came from or so help me.

Anyways, good luck sleeping!

To circle back to Colorado now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, congrats to the baby Avs for pulling off a pretty impressive win Monday night against what looked like a pretty NHL-ready lineup for the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Avalanche were giving all of their younger prospects and depth players a chance to show their stuff, including newly-signed goaltender Pavel Francouz. Despite that, they managed to skate away with their first win of preseason, boasting a 5-3 final score. [Mile High Hockey]

Speaking of their prospects, here’s a closer look at Justus Annunen and the coaching direction he’s getting overseas in Finland from Olympic coach Ari Hilli. [InGoal Magazine]

Around the league, here’s a pretty neat look at how various goaltending systems develop their prospects, including some quotes from various coaches in the Pacific Division and beyond. [HockeyBuzz]

If you’re a subscriber to the Athletic, this is a pretty important read on what happened to Kyle Okposo two years ago when he had to be hospitalized following a bizarre reaction to a concussion. It’s harrowing and a little bit triggering if you’ve dealt with significant trauma or PTSD in your past, so there’s your reader warning, but I think it’s necessary stuff to get out there. [The Athletic Ink]

As always, if you find yourself thinking strong suicidal thoughts - even, like Okposo, if you know they’re irrational - and need someone to talk to, here’s the national suicide prevention hotline for the US: 1-800-273-8255 and for Canada: 1-800-448-3000.

It’s also time to take a look at some of the greatest pads ever, courtesy of Brian’s:

And of course, in case those aren’t enough, they’ve also done up a little something for the Disney prince over in San Jose:

I’m a big fan of Brian’s, so naturally there’s a lot of envy in my heart right now. I’m working on purging it, eventually.

There’s also a new contract to announce, with RFA Shea Theodore inking a massive new deal to stick with Vegas long-term. The deal will pay out $5.2 million per season over the next seven years, carrying Theodore through the 2024-25 season.

At that point, Theodore will be 29-years old, meaning that Vegas likely just bought the majority of his prime years for what could end up being a pretty discounted rate. His defensive game leaves a lot to be desired, but his scoring rates are pretty impressive and with the ever-increasing cap he should be a safe bet for years to come.

Now, just keep your eyes peeled for Nick Ritchie and William Nylander; they remain the only unsigned restricted free agents as the season draws ever closer.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t put this article in here, just for your personal perusal.

I’m going to preface sharing this with the caveat that there’s a lot of inflammatory language and biting sarcasm. It’s clear that the author is no fan of Barstool Sports, and it’s not a purely objective informative piece on the actions of the website; it’s an opinion piece, albeit one that’s laden with actual, provable facts.

I’ll also preface this with a few disclosures. I’ve read some Barstool. Sometimes, I still do. If I can’t find a video shared somewhere else with the same hilarious commentary, I’ll share their videos. I even have a small handful of their shirts, although nothing recent. Overall, I’m somewhere between a nice gal and a crappy human being, and my taste in tasteless gallows humor sometimes reflects that.

That being said, I think this is the kind of read that even if you enjoy Barstoool, even if you don’t personally consider yourself a die-hard ‘Stoolie’ or go after women in their defense, you should probably digest and internalize.

Some of the things that are shared in here as evidence of the site’s dangerous and abusive culture are, in my opinion, simply tasteless jokes. You may be offended by them, you may not, but they’re tasteless, not dangerous. A good portion of the evidence provided in this piece, though, is stuff that really validates the question of whether the humor and ‘good eggs’ at the site are worth supporting the other stuff. And at the very least, it’s important to be aware of what’s said on the site and by their biggest names that puts people’s lives at risk. If it makes it easier for you to spot harassment in the future, it’s worth the read. I had known about some of the things they’d done to offend and upset people, but the encouragement of stalking that they’ve done made me more than a little uncomfortable that I still read them. And I think, really, that was the point. [The Daily Beast]