Watch Michael Grabner Split the Defense on a Canvas of Many Ads

Christopher Pasatieri - Getty Images

Michael Grabner looks even faster when playing against weaker competition and wrapped in Nascar-like advertising.

I never know which is more distracting to the North American-trained hockey fan: The many ads on European hockey uniforms (and helmets), or the many ads that paint the ice.

I know it's a surmountable visual hurdle, otherwise there's no way fans would support those teams. But the ads all over the playing surface and all over the front and back and sides of each player are an immense distraction. (Ironically, they're not a distraction that makes me remember any particular advertiser; rather, as with Nascar they are a nebulous blur of consumer demons sent to occupy my soul.)

Anyway, that's a long, annoying distraction from the purpose of this post: Which is, if you didn't see it linked and riffed in comments, that Michael Grabner's club team in Austria has highlights from his debut game.

Among the highlights: His warmup, his impressively splitting the defense (but not scoring), his spring to create another breakaway (but not scoring) and his conversion of a shorthanded goal, just like old times.

Thanks to everyone sending in highlights, links, and especially translations of coverage of the many New York Isalnders playing elsewhere during the NHL lockout. Keep 'em coming.

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