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Custom Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys
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ST. PAUL Pittsburgh Penguins Hoodies Authentic , Minn. (AP) — More than seven years have passed since the Wild traded Brent Burns.Finally, there’s a reason in Minnesota to stop wincing about dealing away one of the NHL’s most potent defensemen.Matt Dumba leads all blue-liners in the league with 10 goals, a rate that translates to 34 scores over a full schedule. That’s a staggering pace that would crush the franchise record, set by Burns with 17 goals in 2010-11, his final season with the Wild. It’s doubtful Dumba can double that, but it’s clear that the $30 million, five-year contract the Wild gave him prior to this season was a worthy investment.“It’s fun. I think it’s sustainable if I keep hitting the net and not try to do anything too tricked up or too special. Guys are kind of getting it to me more often and finding me more often,” Dumba said last week, after his two goals helped the Wild beat Ottawa 6-4 .He knocked in a wrist shot from the point in the second period to make it 4-1. In the first period, he scored on power-play one-timer in the circle from a slick feed by Mikael Granlund.“That was an absolute muffin,” Dumba said.Dumba became just the sixth defenseman in the last 30 seasons to reach 10 goals by the 22-game mark, according to the NHL, joining Shea Weber (Nashville, 2008), Al MacInnis (St. Louis, 1997), Ray Bourque (Boston, 1995), Gary Suter (Chicago, 1995) and Jeff Brown (St. Louis, 1992).“He’s going to score as long as he keeps shooting the puck and hitting the net because his shot is that good Pittsburgh Penguins Hats Authentic ,” coach Bruce Boudreau said.In Minnesota’s 4-3 loss to Arizona on Tuesday night, Dumba had an assist to stretch his streak to seven straight games with at least one point. That’s tied for the team-record mark for defensemen to match Ryan Suter’s run in 2013.The 24-year-old Dumba, who had 14 goals and 36 assists to go with a plus-15 rating while playing all 82 games last season, when he established career highs in almost every category. The 6-foot, 184-pound Dumba was drafted in the first round in 2012, exactly one year after the Wild traded Burns to San Jose.“We’ve got to get him to play a little bit both ends of the ice type of thing, but scoring 10 goals as a defenseman is quite the feat,” Boudreau said.Ah, but Dumba has come a long way on the defensive end.“I get to watch the offensive ability and also not have to feel like there’s going to be a 2-on-1 every time he’s on the ice, because I can’t think of a time that he’s made a poor decision as far as getting in offensively,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said.That’s how he gets paired with Suter as the Wild’s most-used duo. He’s averaging 24 minutes per game, just 45 seconds behind Suter for the team lead. Dumba’s shooting percentage is also up to a career-best 12.8, the fifth-best on the Wild, another sign of growth.“I try not to force stuff really too much. I know that really doesn’t help anyone,” Dumba said. “It’s more of letting it come to you and when you’ve got those opportunities, take a shot and hit the net while you do it.”Burns has averaged 55 points per season over the last seven years, and he won the Norris Trophy in 2016-17 as the NHL’s best defenseman. If Dumba keeps improving, well, he could find himself in the conversation for that award someday.“Any defenseman will tell you it’s a tough position, tough as a young kid, because we all come from situations where you’re a dominant player or a player who could do a little more Custom Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys,” Dumba said. “When you play against everyone up here that kind of takes a little bit off of that. So it’s just kind of figuring out where you stand, how hard you have to work to be successful.” Shandor Alphonso never envisioned his hockey career taking him to officiating. He didn’t have to look far to see it was possible.As a young, black player, all Alphonso had to do was watch ”Hockey Night in Canada” or the Stanley Cup Final and he saw fellow minority Jay Sharrers working as a linesman.”To be able to see someone who kind of looked like me working at the biggest stage of his job, it was unreal,” Alphonso said.The 34-year-old Alphonso is the NHL’s only African-American official, and Calgary Flames assistant Paul Jerrard is the league’s only black coach. With the sport’s expansion to some nontraditional markets across the United States, there are almost two dozen black players in the NHL, but Sharrers, Alphonso and Jerrard serve as inspiration for more to follow into positions of authority.”I think it’s an evolutionary process,” said Sharrers, who recently retired. ”It’s definitely moved slowly, but I think when you just look at the amount of black players that are now in the league and the fact that that has increased, it would stand to reason that hopefully the opportunity for officials would present itself.”Sixty years after Willie O’Ree of the Boston Bruins broke the color barrier as the NHL’s first black player, the league is still taking steps to increase its diversity. Alphonso is an ambassador for the ”Hockey is for Everyone” campaign this month, which is Black History Month.Sharrers acknowledged the expense of playing hockey has been a hurdle for minority children for years, but said he is optimistic that more will not only lace up their skates but move into other roles.”It just stands to reason that that would be a natural progression, that there would more officials of color,” Sharrers said. ”The league has been very proactive since they partnered with Willie and created the diversity taskforce almost 20 years ago to expose and to present to people of color that hockey is a great game and it’s a viable opportunity.”Opportunities have existed for minorities to get into coaching and officiating, though the majority have ended up as goaltending coaches like former NHL goalie Fred Brathwaite. Jerrard played five games in the NHL and then went into coaching, where he’s a visible role model – even if that’s not a role he was looking for.”I’m just another coach who’s trying to do a good job in the league and stay in the league http://www.officialsharks.com ,” said Jerrard, 52, who has been an assistant with the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Flames along with several American Hockey League teams. ”I guess I am now in a little bit of a position of a role model, but my drive to be a role model isn’t due to the color of my skin. It’s just the way I wanted carry myself as a human being, the way I want to be looked at: doing the right thing and working hard.”Jerrard hopes kids seeing minorities on the ice playing or officiating or behind the bench coaching shows that ”if they’re skilled, driven and passionate, there’s an opportunity for them.”That’s what happened for Alphonso, who knew he wasn’t going to make it to the NHL as a player and wanted to stay in the game. He thought to himself, ”If Jay Sharrers can do it, I could do it” and followed him up the ranks.Now Alphonso is the one kids can look up to, and Sharrers – who became the NHL’s first black referee in 2001 – believes his younger counterpart can have an even bigger impact.”Being that his skin is a lot darker than mine and I’m very light-skinned, it wouldn’t register necessarily with someone unless they knew my background to know that I was a person of color,” Sharrers said. ”I think for him having both parents being black and being much more of a visible minority, if you will, I think that’s definitely a role that he will now assume.”Alphonso welcomes that position and would love to one day meet a fellow official he inspired to go that route.”It’s huge for younger kids to see there are way more things to hockey than just being a hockey player,” Alphonso said. ”That’s hopefully what we can inspire these kids to do and get them more involved with the game down the road.”—
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