How Panini America turned Ryan Kesler’s game-used stick into a series of hockey cards (VIDEO)

Panini America is doing some cool things with hockey cards these days. Earlier this summer, for instance, they released a series that incorporated game-used jersey laces from guys like Mario Lemieux and Mark Messier. But now they’ve gone and taken it a step further. Not satisfied by simply working with bits of jersey, they’ve also decided to splice in bits of game-used stick, and Ryan Kesler was one of the players to donate his lumber to the cause.

Kesler met the Panini America crew for the handoff on February 26 in Dallas, after a 3-2 overtime defeat versus the Stars. “In the 213 days since,” Tracy Hackler writes over at the PA blog, “that stick has been de-taped, estimated, expedited, sliced, diced, embedded, autographed and, just last week, hand-inserted into random boxes of 2011-12 Dominion Hockey, which releases on Friday.”

In this video, you can watch the entire process, from the moment Kesler gives up the stick to the moment Panini America brings it back to him in a box to be signed. Amazing stuff.

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Valuable lesson: don’t ask Vancouver Canucks fans why they are the way they are

While many hockey fans are descending into despair and cynicism in the wake of this lockout, the Vancouver Canucks Twitter account gleefully soldiers on. If they weren’t being paid to be so optimistic, it would be downright admirable.

On Tuesday, they attempted to infect the rest of us with their sappy cheer, tweeting “I became a Canucks fan because…” in the hopes of filling us with the warm fuzzies of reminiscence.

But it didn’t quite work. For some, this was an opportunity to tell their moving conversion stories. I was riding my donkey on the road to Damascus when all of a sudden Trevor Linden appeared before me in a brilliant shaft of light… that sort of thing. But for others, it was merely an opportunity to be a smartass. After all, Canuck fans are grumpy gusses most of the time as it is, but in the midst of a lockout, they’re even gloomier than usual. “I became a Canucks fan because of their revolutionary social media strategy,” dour old Cam Charron tweeted, and he wasn’t the only one that met the optimism of @vancanucks with pure, unadulterated snark. Here are some of our favourites.

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David Booth is still tweeting photos of animals he killed

Some time ago, David Booth killed a bear. You probably remember.

It’s funny. Canuck fans had known since the day he arrived that Booth was an avid blueberry preservationist/hunter. No one batted an eye. Heck, when he announced he was embarking on a bear-hunting expedition, tweeting that he was in Alberta “hunting Bruins”, we chuckled. But then he tweeted a photo of the dead bear, followed closely by a documentary on how the bear became dead, and suddenly, the fact that he had, like, killed a bear became real.

Totally legal, not that uncommon. But it was just too much proof, especially for those of us who aren’t so into hunting and try to keep our timeline twitpic-of-dead-animal-free. The backlash was intense, and one got the impression Booth would think twice before sharing another shot of something he shot.

Nope.

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