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Morning Flurries: PS2 Graphics Energy

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday!

The NHL is all abuzz about their new Reverse Retro jerseys. And so they’ve been doing plenty of promotional work for them, including their placement of the exciting (and, let’s be honest, somewhat hideous at times) special edition looks in NHL 21.

It’s a very cool idea, but the execution? I’m still trying to figure out these graphics:

That’s some sweet PS2 energy right there!

In World Juniors news, some teams have started to announce their rosters — with some substantial omissions in a number of places:

In North America, a pair of stars will be notably absent for the high-profile international tournament this winter. Both Alexis Lafreniere — the New York Rangers’ 2020 first overall pick and a member of Team Canada — and Jack Hughes, the New Jersey Devils’ 2019 first overall pick and a member of Team USA, will not be released by their respective NHL clubs to play in the games.

The decision is likely to give both players more time to get ready for their upcoming professional seasons, rather than trying to cram them through an international tournament and then training camps for what may end up being a condensed, potentially grueling season.

““After ongoing discussions with the New York Rangers, Hockey Canada has been informed that Alexis Lafrenière will not be released to represent Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton,” Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada said in a statement. “Although we are disappointed Alexis will not be able to join our team for World Juniors, we understand and respect the decision made by the Rangers.”

More on the Lafreniere decision here. [Sportsnet]

More on the Hughes announcement here. [CBS Sports]

Another player who likely won’t end up representing their home country? Kaapo Kakko of Finland, who was notably absent from a preliminary list of players the Nordic country has on their roster for the upcoming tournament. Kakko, the 2019 second overall pick, will likely be kept in New York with teammate Lafreniere to prepare for the upcoming NHL season instead.

As for the upcoming NHL season — anyone want to catch some games outside?

Notable NHL insiders reported on Thursday that a handful of NHL clubs have been considering hosting games outdoors instead of in their traditional arenas, enabling fans to more safely attend games (as they’ve been doing for football) and helping the league to earn some at-the-gate revenue in what’s likely to be a sparsely-attended season due to covid-19:

It’s an incredibly cool concept, to be sure. But the uncertainty regarding how the upcoming season will go in the first place, combined with some of the pricier logistics for certain areas regarding that kind of proposal, means that this idea is still very much waiting to full sprout wings.