Greg Wyshynski

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Greg Wyshynski is the editor of Puck Daddy. A former managing sports editor for The Connection Newspapers, he's written for Deadspin, AOL Sports and is the author of "Glow Pucks & 10-Cent Beer: The 101 Worst Ideas in Sports History." Born and bred in New Jersey, living in Northern Virginia. Did we mention he likes booze?

  • Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings out of Mike Babcock derby

    The Mike Babcock Watch (a.k.a. #Babwatch) has consumed the hockey world on Wednesday, and that world shook with this news: 

    The Buffalo Sabres are out of the Mike Babcock business.

    Yes, with Jack Eichel on the way, and an old friend from the Anaheim days in Tim Murray, and all of the money that owner Terry Pegula was dumping on his lawn … Mike Babcock will not be coaching the Sabres, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun.

    That’s right around when Aaron Ward of TSN also reported that Babcock would not be returning to coach the Detroit Red Wings. This was seconded by Kevin Allen of USA Today.

    That leaves the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were mentioned as a finalist early on Wednesday after appearing out of the running earlier in the week; the St. Louis Blues, where Babcock could take over as coach and have friend Ken Hitchcock move upstairs; or San Jose, which was in talks with Babcock, although their seriousness wasn’t established. (And that would mean replacing former assistant coach

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  • Don Sweeney hired as Bruins GM, proving this is Cam Neely’s show

    The Boston Bruins named Don Sweeney, their assistant general manager, as the team’s next general manager, ending weeks of speculation that the Bruins would hire Don Sweeney, their assistant general manager, as the team’s next general manager. 

    Oh, there were other candidates. Former Washington Capitals GM George McPhee was in the running. So was Nashville Predators assistant GM Paul Fenton.

    The Boston Globe seemed convinced that the Bruins were going to wait out New York Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton, their former assistant GM, who is credited with building the Rangers into a Cup contender. He reportedly had the backing of the Jacobs family and former GM Harry Sinden, who was advising team president Cam Neely in the GM search.

    But for whatever reason – timing, or perhaps the Rangers’ or Gorton’s desire not to have him slip to the Bruins – it’s not Gorton. It’s Sweeney.

    Seriously, how anticlimactic? OK, it could still be climactic if Sweeney decides to fire coach Claude Julien, who

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  • Todd McLellan dreams of Connor McDavid, leaves Sharks behind

    Todd McLellan, left, and Peter Chiarelli, President of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers, hold up a jersey during a news conference after the Oilers announced McLellan as their new head coach, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDITTodd McLellan, left, and Peter Chiarelli, President of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers, hold up a jersey during a news conference after the Oilers announced McLellan as their new head coach, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDITIt took a startling amount of time for Connor McDavid to become a conversation topic during Todd McLellan’s introductory press conference with the Edmonton Oilers. It was like having a holiday party without acknowledging the Lamborghini Veneno wrapped under the tree.  

    But when he was asked about coaching the Oilers’ next franchise player … well, McLellan was like a kid on Christmas Eve.

    “I have had a chance to think that. Quite regularly. Putting my head down on a pillow in Prague, I had plenty of thinking time,” said McLellan, who coached Canada to a gold medal in the IIHF world championships.

    Part of that championship team was Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, whose brain McLellan picked about McDavid. What was it like to be “The Next One” at the top of the draft? How was the transition to the NHL? What did you need to ease it?

    McLellan came away understanding that McDavid won’t need to be coddled, but would need support. “Not a protecting environment, but making sure that

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  • MVSW

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

    It's a (I don't like) Mondays 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: Brian Hayward joins us to talk about Game 2 of the Ducks vs. Blackhawks series. 

    • The Conference Final coverage!

    • Stanley Cup Playoffs

    • Hockey News and Views

    Question of the Day: Tell us something we don't already know about Tyler Johnson. 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!

    Read More »from Marek Vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Brian Hayward on Ducks vs. Blackhawks; Tyler Johnson
  • Mike Babcock Watch: Maple Leafs out, staying in Detroit?

    According to Ansar Khan, Mike Babcock is done speaking with other teams outside of the Detroit Red Wings, with whom he’ll have one final chat on Tuesday. 

    "I learned a lot. I talked to lots of good people," Babcock told MLive.com. "I kept Kenny abreast the whole time. We'll talk one more time (Tuesday) and then I'll sit down with my family one more time (Tuesday) night and make a decision."

    So he’s totally staying in Detroit, right?

    A lot of people gleaned that when he and GM Ken Holland did a sitdown with TSN’s Darren Dreger from Prague, sporting very stylish flip-flops. Granted, they wouldn’t be the first celebrity couple to give an interview right before the divorce, but it didn’t have that vibe.

    Instead, the vibe was that the Detroit Red Wings were the front-runner for his services. The vibe has been that the Buffalo Sabres are the only other viable suitor, with the Philadelphia Flyers having decided not to dabble in the dark arts of Babcock and hiring North Dakota’s Dave Hakstol

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  • Tyler Johnson, playing bigger than his narrative for Lightning

    NEW YORK – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Because if you've watched the Tampa Bay Lightning in the last two seasons, you’ve probably heard it every time Tyler Johnson does something amazing, which is quite often this season. 

    Tyler Johnson, 24, was an undrafted rookie. Tyler Johnson is listed at 5-foot-8, which may have been a measurement taken while he was standing on a stack of media guides. His undrafted status and small stature and tenacious play is all reminiscent of another former Lightning star, winger Marty St. Louis of the New York Rangers, who skated with Johnson before his trade last season.

    That’s the preamble for who Tyler Johnson has become in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is the NHL’s leading goal-scorer with 11 tallies, the reverser of the Lightning’s bad fortunes and someone that’s greater than the sum of his well-worn narratives.

    “Johnny’s his own player. I know the comparisons are going to be there [to St.

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  • NHL Three Stars: Johnson’s trick leads Lightning

    No. 1 Star: Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning

    The center tallied the first hat trick in franchise history, increasing his goal total to 11 for the playoffs in the Bolts’ 6-2 win over the New York Rangers. 

    No. 2 Star: Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning

    The blowout really got rolling in the third period; before that, it took a strong effort by Bish in the second period to maintain the lead. He finished with 35 saves.

    No. 3 Star: Chris Kreider, New York Rangers

    Kreider had a goal and an assist in a losing effort, that included a roughing penalty in the first period.

    Honorable Mention: Alex Killorn had two goals and an assist for the Lightning. … Steven Stamkos has a goal and an assist. … Nikita Kucherov had three assists. … Derek Stepan had the Rangers’ other goal.   

    Did You Know? The Rangers have split the first two games of a series in eight of their last 12 series.

    Dishonorable Mention: Dan Boyle and Martin St. Louis both had two assists and were a minus-2. … The teams combined for 12

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Johnson’s trick leads Lightning
  • Tyler Johnson hat trick fuels Lightning’s Game 2 rout of Rangers

    NEW YORK – The Tampa Bay Lightning emphatically thumped the New York Rangers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Final, as a Tyler Johnson hat trick and four special teams goals fueled a 6-2 victory to even their series at 1-1. 

    It was the first time in 14 postseason contests that the Rangers didn’t play a one-goal game. It was the first time goalie Henrik Lundqvist had given up four or more goals since Game 2 of their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Overall, Lundqvist had given up two goals or fewer in 11 of 13 games, but the Lightning got through him in Game 2, thanks to a dynamic performance by the playoffs’ leading goal scorer.

    Johnson was as good as it gets in a playoff performance for the Lightning, notching the first playoff hat trick in franchise history. He went to the net hard twice for goals and sniped another, getting three-fifths of the “Mario Lemieux Hat Trick” – scoring shorthanded, on the power play and at even strength. He also made tremendous

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  • Lightning beat Lundqvist on crease-crashing goal in Game 2 (Video)

    NEW YORK – The Tampa Bay Lightning could only beat New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist on the power play in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Final series. In Game 2 on Monday, they also scored on special teams -- drawing first blood on the penalty kill.

    The Lightning took a 1-0 lead at 5:38 of the first period on a rarity: a shorthanded breakaway on a 5-on-3 penalty kill.

    With Brian Boyle (holding) and Jason Garrison (delay of game) in the box, Dan Boyle hit Marty St. Louis in the high slot with a pass that would have left the Rangers winger wide open for a chance. Instead, he lost an edge and two Lightning forwards were off to the races: Center Tyler Johnson on the breakaway, with Alex Killorn trailing.

    With St. Louis hustling back to defend, Johnson fired a shot on Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who made the save; but the puck rebounded to Johnson’s skate as he crashed the net. It crossed the goal line before a diving St. Louis knocked the net off its moorings, and the

    Read More »from Lightning beat Lundqvist on crease-crashing goal in Game 2 (Video)
  • What were the Flyers thinking with Dave Hakstol hiring?

    At some point after the dismissal of Craig Berube, a head coach he inherited, Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall took a list of replacement candidates to owner Ed Snider.

    There were big names, familiar names. And there was also Dave Hakstol, who had never coached in the NHL nor played in the NHL, having spent the last 11 seasons as head coach of the University of North Dakota Fighting, er, Dakotans, or whatever. 

    Hextall knew him a bit, as Hakstol coached his son Brett at North Dakota for three seasons from 2008-2011. He had kept Hakstol in mind in the years since then, believing he was “destined” to coach in the NHL one day. So when he fired Berube, he revisited Hakstol as a candidate.

    (Hockey Dads: Next time you’re impressed with yourself for getting your kid an extra shift or two by slipping the coach a six pack of beer, let it be know that this Hockey Dad just hired his kid’s coach for the Flyers job. The bar has been raised…)

    “Every box was checked except for NHL experience,” said

    Read More »from What were the Flyers thinking with Dave Hakstol hiring?

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