Greg Wyshynski

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  • Adam Larsson has six years to become star Devils need in new deal

    Adam Larsson was selected fourth overall in the 2011 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. He’s not nearly as accomplished as his classmates in the top 10 – he’s squarely the third-best defenseman in the first round as far as pro achievements, behind Dougie Hamilton and Jonas Brodin. 

    What Larsson does have is flashes of brilliant potential and one solid season out of four in the NHL: His 2014-15 campaign as a 22-year-old defenseman, with 24 points in 64 games -- 18 of them at even-strength -- and 20:58 per game in ice time. Liberated from Peter DeBoer’s prison for young defensemen, and paired with solid veteran Andy Greene, Larsson showed what he’s capable of being.

    It was enough to sell the Devils: Larsson signed a 6-year, $25-million deal on Saturday ahead of arbitration. It breaks down as $2.5 million in 2015-15; $3 million in 2017-18; $4.5 million in 2018-19; $4.85 million in 2019-20; $5.05 million in 2020-21. That's a $4.16 million AAV.

    According to Tom Gulitti, it has a limited

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  • NHL is ‘eager to avoid’ expansion to Canada?

    Quebec City was one of only two cities to submit bids for an NHL expansion franchise last week, which means it’s time for major Canadian newspapers to explain why the League’s inherent bias against the Great White North will prevent the return of the Nordiques. 

    The Globe & Mail editorial page featured this piece on expansion, which we’ll attempt to translate for you here:

    Quebec City recently completed a major public infrastructure project ahead of schedule, and under budget. The normal course of events would see its spanking new, $370-million arena occupied by an NHL team. That’s why so much (public) money went into the building. The timing even looks to be ideal, as the league is in the midst of receiving applications for expansion franchises; two cities could advance to the next stage. What’s more, there are only two bidders – aspiring owners in Quebec and Las Vegas – for those maximum two expansion slots. The return of hockey to hockey-mad Quebec would seem to be as easy as

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  • Five vital questions about Lou Lamoriello joining Maple Leafs

    Lou Lamoriello shocked the hockey world on Thursday when he resigned from the New Jersey Devils’ presidency and agreed to become the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

    It wouldn’t be Lou if we didn’t have more questions than answers right now – after all, this is the man who used “status quo” to address 80 percent of the media queries he fielded over 28 years with the Devils.

    Here are five vital questions about Lou Lamoriello’s decision to leave the Devils, join the Leafs and his introductory press conference.

    1. Is Lou ready to be less important than his coach?

    Mike Babcock has an eight-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs worth a reported $50 million. Lou Lamoriello has a 3-year deal that we imagine isn’t netting him $6.25 million annually.

    Which is to say that for the first time in his NHL career, Lou Lamoriello is less important to the organization than his coach.

    Oh, he’s had stars behind the bench before. Herb Brooks coached the Devils. Jacques Lemaire was a

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  • The 10 most loathsome NHL players

    ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 3: Matt Cooke #24 of the Minnesota Wild voices his displeasure while linesman Ryan Galloway separates him from a member of the Calgary Flames during the game on March 3, 2014 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 3: Matt Cooke #24 of the Minnesota Wild voices his displeasure while linesman Ryan Galloway separates him from a member of the Calgary Flames during the game on March 3, 2014 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Which NHL players do you hate the most? 

    Ask the question, and you’ll hear names like Milan Lucic and Corey Perry, i.e. players that draw your ire but ones that you'd take on your team in a heartbeat. Pests like Brad Marchand have their virtues too, when they're on your side.

    There’s a difference, then, between players that you hate and players that you loathe.

    The irredeemable player is loathsome. The fraudulent or counterfeit player is loathsome. The player that skirts the rules, plays injuriously and doesn’t do anything to balance that out is loathsome.

    The Puck Daddy brain-trust debated this topic recently, and came up with this list of The Top 10 Most Loathsome Players in the NHL.

    (Please note: We tried to keep this list restricted to on-ice/hockey-related reputations, understanding that Slava Voynov, Semyon Varlamov and others who have engaged in loathsome off-ice behavior are likely atop your own lists.)

    And here … we … go.

    NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 06: Tyler Bozak #42 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (r) celebrates his powerplay goal at 11:51 of the third period against the New Jersey Devils along with Phil Kessel #81 (l) at the Prudential Center on February 6, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Maple Leafs 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 06: Tyler Bozak #42 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (r) celebrates his powerplay goal at 11:51 of the third period against the New Jersey Devils along with Phil Kessel #81 (l) at the Prudential Center on February 6, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Maple Leafs 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    10. Tyler Bozak, Toronto Maple Leafs

    Bozak isn’t

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  • Lou Lamoriello buys full page ad to thank NJ Devils, fans

    Lou Lamoriello is the New Jersey Devils. 

    Or at least was, until this year, when he gave up his general manager job to Ray Shero and then decided to leave the organization for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

    But from the moment he started in 1987 to 2015, Lamoriello presided over the transformation of the organization from a “Mickey Mouse” operation perpetually in the shadow of its geographic rivals to a three-time Stanley Cup champion whose essential players – including Martin Brodeur, Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer – were some of the best of their generation.

    While recent results haven’t been stellar, the Devils and their fans owe Lamoriello for that transformation, and for every once of respect this organization has earned during his tenure. And while his micromanagement might not have maximized the promotional opportunities for the club – nor did his slavish commitment to defensive hockey – Lamoriello leaves as, perhaps, the most important general manager in New York

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  • Lou Lamoriello new Maple Leafs GM, resigns from Devils in NHL shocker

    The first bomb dropped just before 10 a.m. on the East Coast: Lou Lamoriello, the man who had run the New Jersey Devils since 1987, had resigned from his position as team president. 

    Lamoriello had given up his role as general manager to Ray Shero earlier this summer, but remained as team president in what many felt would be his last position before retirement. 

    “Lou Lamoriello created and defined what it meant to be a New Jersey Devil,” said co-owner Josh Harris. "His brilliance in shaping this franchise into one of the most storied and celebrated organizations in sport will make him a New Jersey Devil for life. He represented this organization, our current and former players, the state of New Jersey, and the greatest fans in the National Hockey League in a manner that exemplified character, class, and dignity.”

    Character … class … dignity … these are virtues the Toronto Maple Leafs have been desperate to locate for the last several seasons. It’s why they spent $60 million to bring in

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  • Marek vs Wyshynski Podcast: NHL expansion, with Geoff Baker of Seattle Times

    MVSW

    LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn't work, try here.]

    It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:

    Special Guest Star: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times tells us what the hell happened in NHL expansion bid.

    • NHL Free Agency! 

    • Hockey News and Views

    Question of the Day: We're GOING POSTAL! Ask us antyhing! Email puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarekClick here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!

    Click here to download podcasts from the show each day. Subscribe to the podcast viaiTunes or Feedburner.

    ***

    BUY THE MvsW T-SHIRTS! SUPPORT HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER!

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  • Taylor Swift cost Blackhawks a goal by distracting Patrick Kane

    What we know about Patrick Kane: Dynamic goal-scorer, great American and, in his youth, a bit distracted by the ladies now and again. 

    In 2007-08, Kane was a rookie for the Chicago Blackhawks under coach Denis Savard. At the Blackhawks Fan Convention last weekend, Savard spun a tale that perfectly captured both the hound-dog aesthetic of a youthful Kane and the siren’s song of one Miss Taylor Swift.

    From Second City Hockey:

    Another, rather topical story: rookie Kane lost his guy on the backcheck, leading to a goal against. Savard yelled at him that he must have been distracted, looking at two pretty blonde girls who were sitting behind the bench.

    After the game Kane was late getting to the team bus because he was talking to the same girls and got yelled at again. The next day Kane went to Savard’s office to give his defense: "You know who the two girls were? One of them was Taylor Swift."

    Savard still didn’t know who Taylor Swift was and had to ask his wife.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we

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  • John Hynes on coaching Devils, Patrik Elias, mastering 3-on-3 OT, pork roll

    NEWARK, NJ – John Hynes is the first New Jersey Devils coach since 1984 that wasn’t hired by Lou Lamoriello.

    You know, the year "Ghostbusters" was released. The one with the dudes. 

    The 40-year-old former Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins coach was GM Ray Shero’s first hire after he took over the Devils' GM gig from Lamoriello this year, having previously hired Hynes as an AHL coach when he running the Penguins. 

    Hynes wasn’t hired by Lou, but he had the kinds of bloodlines that would have made him Lou-approved: Born in Rhode Island; a graduate of Boston University; an NCAA assistant coach; and a head coach in the USA Hockey developmental program from 2002-09, helping that program to churn out a considerable amount of talent in the last decade.

    “There’s been a lot more pride in guys wanting to wear the USA jersey,” said Hynes.

    There’s a lot of pride in the Devils’ jersey as well, or least there used to be: New Jersey has missed the playoffs in four of the last five seasons and three

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  • North Dakota angers fans with Fighting Sioux replacements

    The University of North Dakota Sundogs.

    Yes, we know what you’re asking: What the hell is a Sundog? Does the University of North Dakota have a campus in Tucson of which we were previously unaware? 

    Well, a “sundog” refers to the atmospheric phenomenon in which two colorful halos appear on either side of the sun, as its rays hit ice crystals. “We certainly think this is something that is unique to our region,” said Karl Goehring, chairman of the UND nickname committee tasked with finally replacing Fighting Sioux.

    Something else unique to the region: THE UNIVERSITY OF FLIPPIN’ NORTH DAKOTA.

    And that’s the problem with the committee’s decision on Tuesday to put forward five nickname possibilities for a public vote: The public overwhelmingly supports the idea that the university’s athletic teams – including its iconic hockey programs – continue to be known as UND/North Dakota without a mascot, which they have been since Fighting Sioux was retired in Dec. 2012.

    From the Grand Forks Herald:

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