Cheap J.T. Brown Hockey Jersey Outlet.

J.T. Brown

J.T. Brown

Last year around this time, J.T. Brown went viral. As San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest began reverberating, Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella — preparing for a stint coaching Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey — said he would bench any player who did the same.

That led Brown, the Tampa Bay Lightning winger and one of about 30 black players in the NHL, to fire off this tweet:

The impact was immediate: aggregation plus retweets, and comments by the thousands. Some commended Brown. Many condemned an athlete for entering the political arena. Others conjectured the motivation stemmed from a grudge held against the coach, which led Brown to clarify his stance in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times that he had no “ill will towards Tortorella.” He wanted to show young minorities who love hockey that issues in America weren’t “going unnoticed by the hockey community.” Brown concluded the statement with: “While I don’t plan on sitting during the national anthem, I will look for more opportunities to positively impact my community and bring awareness to racial issues.”

Brown found one such opportunity earlier this month. The 27-year-old donated $1,500 toward a fund to remove a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa. Brown wrote the check after “feeling uncomfortable” watching news coverage of violent, race-provoked rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Stick to sports? I’ve heard it,” Brown told ESPN.com. “I heard it last year. I’ve heard it now after this. I’m not afraid of backlash. Everybody has their opinion on what people should say and when they should say it. But if everybody stuck to what they’re supposed to do, we wouldn’t have made the strides we made to get to where we are.”

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy publicly challenged Tampa’s pro sports teams to help raise the $140,000 required to remove the statue. (The Buccaneers, Lightning and Tampa Bay Rays each contributed; the Lightning have not disclosed how much they donated.) “When I saw Tony Dungy’s tweet, I knew I wanted to help too,” Brown said, noting he hasn’t heard from teammates since his donation and he “knew my team had my back because they got involved too.”

Brown, who lives in Minneapolis in the offseason, had another motivation: nine weeks ago, he and his wife welcomed their first child, a daughter.

“My wife and I had conversations,” Brown said. “How will I explain this to my daughter? At what age? You don’t want to dance around it, but she might have questions I don’t have answers to. With relocating the statue, we are creating a more inclusive environment for the community. Not just for my daughter’s sake — for everybody else, too.”

Inclusiveness drives Brown; in six years with the Lightning, he has mentored at-risk students. This season, he has partnered with the video-game platform Twitch. He will raise money through live broadcasts and donate all proceeds to “Hockey Is for Everyone.”

“It’s been a long time, maybe high school or before high school, where I didn’t feel included on a team,” Brown said. “When you get to the pro level, the end goal is to win. Everybody has different political views and maybe come from different places, but as soon as we step into the locker room, it doesn’t really matter.”

Because less than 5 percent of the league is black, Brown’s actions have an inherent platform.

“Being a role model for young minorities, I don’t necessarily see it as an obligation or something that I have to do,” Brown said. “But I think it is important to speak out when I feel strong about something and show any young minority, whether it’s African-American or Hispanic, or you could go along the line and show them that’s OK, and also that they can play too.”

As for the timing of this specific action? “It’s kind of eerie that it’s almost a year after the national anthem comments,” Brown said. “But I said I would look for other ways to positively impact my community, and I didn’t say it just to say it. I meant it.”

Cheap Kerfoot Hockey Jersey China.

Kerfoot

Kerfoot

College free agent forward Alex Kerfoot signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. No financial terms were disclosed.

The 23-year-old was a Hobey Baker Award finalist after scoring 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in 36 games as captain for Harvard University last season. He was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the fifth round (No. 150) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

“We are thrilled that Alexander decided to sign with the Avalanche,” general manager Joe Sakic said. “He’s a highly-skilled, playmaking center who is responsible at both ends of the ice. We look forward to seeing him take the next step of his hockey career with our organization.”

Kerfoot, who also considered the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers, grew up in West Vancouver, British Columbia, and played for the Coquitlam Express of the British Columbia Hockey League from 2011-13.

Defenseman Will Butcher, who defeated Kerfoot for the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in NCAA Division I men’s hockey after a championship season with the University of Denver, remains a free agent with a list reportedly narrowed from 12 teams to four. Butcher decided to become a free agent rather than sign with the Avalanche, who selected him in the fifth round (No. 123) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

The Avalanche finished last in the NHL in 2016-17 with a 22-56-4 record.

Cheap Francois Beauchemin Jersey China.

Defenseman Francois Beauchemin has signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks, joining the team for the third time in his 14-year NHL career.

The one-year deal will pay Beauchemin $1 million and contains $500,000 in potential performance bonuses, according to TVA Sports.

Beauchemin, 37, previously played for the Ducks from 2005 to 2009 and 2011 to 2015 before spending the past two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche. He won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007.

He became a free agent in June when the Avalanche, looking to free up a protection spot ahead of the expansion draft, bought out the final year of his contract.

Beauchemin, 37, had a cap hit of $4.5 million, and his no-movement clause would have necessitated the Avs protecting him. By exercising the $1.5 million buyout, they were able to shield a younger player from the Vegas Golden Knights.

In his second season with Colorado, Beauchemin had five goals and 13 assists. He has posted 73 goals and 198 assists in 836 career NHL games and has also played for the Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Look inside the New Jersey devil.

Hischier, Boyle, Johansson

Hischier, Boyle, Johansson

NHL.com is providing in-depth roster, prospect and fantasy analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, the New Jersey Devils.

The New Jersey Devils hope the offseason additions of center Nico Hischier, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft; veteran forward Brian Boyle in NHL free agency; and versatile forward Marcus Johansson in a trade, can improve their offensive production.

New Jersey finished 28th in the NHL in goals (180) and tied for last in goals at 5-on-5 (114) last season. The Devils also were 29th in shots per game (27.8), 22nd on the power play (17.5 percent), and finished last in the Eastern Conference (28-40-14).

Despite having the fifth-best odds (8.5 percent), the Devils won the NHL Draft Lottery on April 29 and used that pick to select Hischier.

The Devils then signed free agent Boyle to a two-year, $5.5 million contract (average annual value $2.75 million) on July 1, and the next day acquired Johansson in a trade with the Washington Capitals for two picks in the 2018 NHL Draft. Johansson, 26, has two years remaining on a three-year, $13.75 million contract (average annual value $4.583 million) he signed July 20, 2016, according to CapFriendly.com.

“I think realistically, adding Hischier, Boyle and Johansson is an exciting time for the Devils,” general manager Ray Shero said. “I think for our fans, that’s what we talked about, getting younger and faster, so it was a big day for us.”

Hischier is expected to play center to begin the season, although he can play the other forward positions.

“We view him as a center and he has all the attributes to play center, so we’ll give him the opportunity,” coach John Hynes said.

That opportunity likely will expand with center Travis Zajac expected to need 4-6 months to recover after having surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle sustained during training. That time frame would have him sidelined until mid-December at the earliest.

Boyle likely will be the third- or fourth-line center, and Johansson could play right wing on the second line.

The Devils allowed 2.94 goals-per game (tied for 24th) and were 23rd on the penalty kill (79.6 percent).

They acquired defenseman Mirco Mueller, 22, and a fifth-round pick in the 2017 draft in a trade with the San Jose Sharks for two draft picks on June 17. Mueller signed a two-year, $1.7 million contract (average annual value $850,000) on July 25. New Jersey lost defenseman Jon Merrill, who was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft.

“I like the pieces we have on defense,” goaltender Cory Schneider said. “Defense is oftentimes a team effort, so perhaps with more speed and skill up front, it will take some of the burden off the defensemen. If we have forwards who defend well, it could make life easier in your own end.”

The Devils attempted to sign unrestricted free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, but he signed a four-year contract with the Metropolitan Division rival New York Rangers on July 1.

“Everybody is looking for defensemen, but it’s hard to find them,” Shero said. “We talk about team defense, and that means having the forwards working as well, so we’ll look to improve upon that.”

The Devils ranked 14th allowing 2.55 goals against per game in 2014-15, and eighth (2.46) in 2015-16, Hynes’ first season as coach. The trade of defenseman Adam Larsson to the Edmonton Oilers for left wing Taylor Hall on June 29, 2016, likely attributed to the defensive regression.

Schneider will look to regain the form that got him to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. The 31-year-old said he felt responsible for the Devils’ defensive struggles last season after finishing with an NHL career-high 2.82 goals-against average and career-low .908 save percentage in 60 games. The Devils hired goalie coach Roland Melanson, who worked with Schneider for three seasons as the goalie coach for the Vancouver Canucks. Former Devils goalie coach Chris Terreri will assume a different role within the organization.

“Cory is a highly intelligent person and player, and there are things in his game that we discussed and where he feels he needs to be better,” Hynes said. “He’s changed his training regimen this summer, and we’re all confident he’s going to come back very determined.”

Bulls will not trade Pastrnak, can be logged in next month: ‘report.

David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

Forward David Pastrnak will not be traded by the Boston Bruins, general manager Don Sweeney told The Boston Globe.

Pastrnak, a restricted free agent, is coming off a breakout season; his production increased from 26 points (15 goals, 11 assists) in 51 games in 2015-16 to 70 points (34 goals, 36 assists) in 75 games last season. Pastrnak and the Bruins would like him to be signed before training camp opens in September.

“Not trading Pastrnak,” Sweeney said in an email to the newspaper on Monday when asked to respond to rumors involving the forward.

Pastrnak told NHL.com his focus this summer has been on his offseason training program rather than contract negotiations.

“I’m just waiting, leaving it all to my agent [J.P. Barry] to communicate with them,” Pastrnak, 21, said during the European Player Media Tour in Stockholm on Thursday. “I’m just focusing on getting ready for next season.

“I’m focusing on getting better and I’m trying not to think about that stuff. I just let it go and something will happen.”

At Bruins development camp last month, Sweeney said he met with Pastrnak’s representatives and was hopeful of a resolution, but there was no time frame given.

“We will continue to negotiate; we still have lots of time,” Barry told the newspaper in an email. “David prefers to sign a longer-term deal with the Bruins.

“The negotiations between myself and Don have been very open and both sides understand each other’s positions. Hopefully we can agree on an overall structure that is amenable to both sides in the next month.”

NHL players will be eliminated? This is the decline of things.

Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews

NHL players have competed in the past five Winter Olympics, dating to 1998. The 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, will be different. The league will not take a break next season to allow players to participate, as it has during recent Olympic seasons. But, even though NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in April that he considers “the matter officially closed,” confusion still surrounds the conversation — or perhaps it’s just fans holding out hope that they’ll see top players take the Olympic ice after all. Here’s a primer on where things stand and what’s at stake.

Wait, so NHL players really aren’t going?

Not with the league’s blessing. The NHL scheduled its 2018 All Star Game for Jan. 28 in Tampa, Florida — just two weeks before the Olympics begin, on Feb. 9; the last three times NHL players went to the Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014), there has not been an NHL midseason showcase. Then, in June, the league unveiled its 2017-18 regular-season schedule, with no Olympic break built in. It would be wholly unprecedented to re-arrange a schedule after it has been publicly released. The NHL is not going to budge.

What do the players have to say about it?

Some of the league’s biggest stars — Henrik Lundqvist, Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, Carey Price, Jonathan Toews — have publicly expressed disappointment about not playing in the Olympics. As one veteran player agent told ESPN.com: “Good luck finding a player who thinks this is a good idea.” In April, the NHLPA called the decision “shortsighted,” adding that “NHL players are patriotic and they do not take this lightly. A decent respect for the opinions of the players matters. This is the NHL’s decision, and its alone. It is very unfortunate for the game, the players and millions of loyal hockey fans.”

Brett Pesce extends from the hurricane

Defenseman Brett Pesce has turned his breakout season into a new contract.

The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Tuesday that the 22-year-old has agreed to a six-year extension that pays $4.025 million per season. The deal starts in the 2018-19 season.

 

Brett Pesce
Pesce had two goals, 20 points and was a team-best plus-23 last season.

“Brett took another big step forward last season,” general manager Ron Francis said in a statement. “He plays a smart defensive game and has good ability to move the puck and contribute offensively. We plan for him to be a part of the Hurricanes’ defensive corps for a long time.”

The Hurricanes also locked up Pesce’s defensive partner, Jaccob Slavin, this offseason with a seven-year extension that pays $5.3 million per season.