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lockouts suck

Chris Kreider, Artist

Among the reasons this hockey lockout is a bummer for Rangers fans is that it's keeping them from watching Chris Kreider, who burst onto the NHL scene during the playoffs last season. Kreider was as good as advertised last spring, and his speed and skill gave fans a reason to be downright giddy about his future. But instead of playing in front of fans at the Garden these days, Kreider is keeping busy in the AHL, where he has a goal, four assists, and 33 (!) penalty minutes through eight games for the Rangers' affiliate in Connecticut.

And so on this, the 52nd day of the NHL lockout, we have no highlight clips of Kreider speeding past NHL defensemen or setting up potential linemates Ryan Callahan or Derek Stepan. Instead, all we have are some drawings Kreider did for trading card company Panini at the NHLPA's annual Rookie Showcase this summer. And you know what? They're not bad! Panini's blog has images of a few drawings he did, and they're pictured above: Two are of trophies his Boston College Eagles won at the Beanpot and NCAA tournaments, and the other may or may not be a kooky self portrait in which Kreider looks like one of the bespectacled Hanson brothers from Slap Shot. Either way, we dig it.

Photo: Panini