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From the Branches: Rodion Amirov is doing his best

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It’s good to draft prospects with a sense of humor.

IHOCKEY-EURO-CUP-SWE-RUS Photo by VESA MOILANEN/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

In a shootout this weekend, Rodion Amirov, who won my love with a kitten and never looked back, had one of those inevitable moments of public humiliation that go along with playing professional sports. The puck went one way, he went another way, and the goalie ended up standing in the net looking bemused. (Happens to all of us, kid, or it would happen to me, if I could skate, which I can’t). Amirov, showing a nineteen-year-old’s instinctive understanding of how to use social media for self-promotion, went ahead and put together a compilation video entirely to make fun of himself.

Is this as good as helping adopt out a small, furry, helpless creature? No, but it made me laugh, so it’s a win. He’s working on it! Isn’t that what we want from any prospect in any area of life, really?

(Can we get an update on the kitten, though? We here at Pension Plan Puppets Heavy Manufacturing and Kitten Ranch GmbH are really invested.)

Some links for your Monday morning:

‘I was lost.’ Ex-NHL enforcer Daniel Carcillo says magic mushrooms saved his life and offer real hope for mental health treatment | The Star
Since his eureka moment, Carcillo, who retired after multiple concussions, has become an outspoken advocate for the benefits of psychedelic drugs.

$4M paid to NHL by Alta. government in 'unique partnership' during Stanley Cup playoffs | CTV News
Alberta paid $4 million to National Hockey League Canada to advertise during the Stanley Cup Finals in its capital city.

LEAFS NOTES: Kyle Dubas using his own grandfather clause in running the Maple Leafs | Toronto Sun
Kyle Dubas knew his grandfather was a great coach.

Santa Clara County restrictions limit Sharks options for training camp - Fear The Fin
On Saturday, Santa Clara County issued new restrictions to try to limit the spread of COVID-19, as the county faces a rising number of cases.

NHL’s gender hiring practices could use an upgrade - The Boston Globe
While other sports, slowly but surely, are putting women on the sidelines or in the big chair in the front offices, hockey has been a bit slower to include.

So, that’s definitely going to be a positive development.

In actual positive developments, Dmitri Ovchinnikov had a five-point game this weekend: