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?

  • Lou Lamoriello admires Jaromir Jagr’s big rear end

    Getty ImagesAfter running out of steam at the end of the last two seasons, including a goal-less playoff run with the Boston Bruins last postseason, there’s some question about how 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr will fit with the New Jersey Devils and what the Devils can expect out of the legend this season.

    Devils President/GM/Ruler of All He Surveys Lou Lamoriello likens Jagr’s presence to that of Hall of Famer Peter Stastny when he played for Jersey from 1989 to 1993; which, one assumes, slow-motion skating but still-brilliant hands.

    But both Lamoriello and coach Peter DeBoer said this week that Jagr’s asset will be on the power play, and Lamoriello was rather specific about his assets. Via Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record:

    “Jaromir, he knows where he’s at and I know one thing, when we played the Bruins last year we were worried about him on the power play. We were worried about that big rear end of his wherever it was standing and that long stick and how he could thread the needle.”

    Big rear and a

    Read More »from Lou Lamoriello admires Jaromir Jagr’s big rear end
  • Buffalo Sabres reveal perhaps the NHL’s worst jersey: Pass or Fail?

    It’s our fault. We trusted them. We assumed the Buffalo Sabres had learned the error of their ways, gained insight from their fashion faux pas from the past and would never again unleash an eyesore of a hockey sweater that makes one want to take a scouring pad to one's retina.

    And yet this was revealed on Wednesday as the long-awaited new third jersey for the 2013-14 Sabres:

    @otterN9NESomewhere, the Buffaslug sneers with glee. The Islanders Fisherman laughs. The ghostly Burger King nods knowingly.

    Read More »from Buffalo Sabres reveal perhaps the NHL’s worst jersey: Pass or Fail?
  • Nazem Kadri walking the bridge to vilification

    Getty ImagesNazem Kadri hasn’t exactly been vilified during his restricted free agent negotiations with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but training camp hasn’t exactly been right around the corner during that process.

    No contract, no camp. No camp, no sympathy from a number of fans and pundits that are increasingly seeing Kadri’s reported demands as somewhat delusional, given his work history and the economic realities of the NHL.

    “It’s definitely pretty unfair,” Kadri told the Toronto Sun, talking about the “shut up and sign already” catcalls. “It just seems like everyone who doesn’t know the situation seems to know what’s best for me. I don’t think that’s the case. Hopefully we can come to an agreement soon.”

    That frustration is starting to manifest publicly more and more for Kadri. He’s mentioned he’s not to blame for the Leafs having roughly $5 million to sign him and defenseman Cody Franson before the season. On Tuesday, he even dared not kiss the ring of Bob McKenzie, refuting the TSN news maven’s report via Twitter:

    NOBODY CALLS BOB MCKENZIE ‘BOBO’ AND LIVES TO DO IT AGAIN…

    Leafs GM Dave Nonis joined the counter-offensive through TSN Radio on Monday, claiming that the offer to Kadri is fair and unrelated to anything but Nazem Kadri.

    “The offer that we would make to Nazem Kadri is the same if we had a $64 million cap or an $80 million cap. It’s a fair offer for what he’s done,” he said.

    Nonis also noted that players who miss significant time in the preseason, or the beginning of the regular season, are only hurting themselves.

    “It generally doesn’t help a player,” he said.

    Well, save for that guy in Montreal who went from a restricted free agent contract dispute to his first Norris Trophy. Even Nonis admits that PK Subban “did pretty well” but “if you look back historically, it’s not helpful.”

    Which is to say that Kadri isn’t Subban, which is true on several levels, none of them helping Kadri’s public case.

    Read More »from Nazem Kadri walking the bridge to vilification
  • Flyers’ Riley Cote fighting for your right to grow hemp in America

    Riley Cote has a problem with marijuana.

    More to the point, he has a problem with the people who confuse marijuana with hemp, which is like assuming Riley Cote is Claude Giroux just because both wore Philadelphia Flyers sweaters. They’re different varieties of the same plant. Try smoking industrially grown hemp; you’d get a greater high from drinking a Slurpee.

    “People hear ‘hemp’ and right away they think marijuana, and it’s not. Hemp is a very viable renewable resource that’s not being farmed and grown in America. It can replace pretty much everything we use on an everyday basis – plastics, fibers, textiles, fuel. The list goes on and on,” said Cote.

    “There’s no drug value. There’s no THC.”

    This is now Riley Cote’s fight, after a brief NHL career that saw him participate in plenty of them on the ice: 51 bouts, according to HockeyFights.com, in only 156 regular-season games with the Flyers from 2006-2010, before his retirement from hockey at 28 years old.

    Now he’s battling the stigma attached to, and the laws prohibiting, the growing of hemp in the U.S.

    Cote is the founder of The Hemp Heals Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to educate the public on why “hemp is much more than a nutritional powerhouse, it is the world’s most perfect plant.”

    On Sept. 7, for the second straight year, the foundation is sponsoring the Hemp Heals Music Festival at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia featuring Rebelution, Matisyahu and others. Tickets are on sale here.

    “It’s a human rights issue,” said Cote in a phone interview last week.

    “We live in a toxic, chemical world. Everything that’s bad for you is legal, and yet they outlaw nature.”

    Read More »from Flyers’ Riley Cote fighting for your right to grow hemp in America
  • Buffalo Sabres, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)

    (Ed. Note: It’s an Olympic year in the NHL. So, naturally, we decided to use the trappings of the Winter Games to preview all 30 teams for the 2013-14 NHL season. Who takes the gold? Who falls on their triple-axel? Read on and find out!)

    The season began with Thomas Vanek involved in pretty much every scoring play for Coach Lindy Ruff ... and ended with Vanek (and Ryan Miller) on the trading block, Ruff fired and the Sabres outside the playoffs for the second straight season.

    The story, of course, was Ruff’s dismissal after 16 years at the head coach of the Sabres. About 170 coaches had been fired between his hiring by Buffalo and his firing on Feb. 20, replaced by interim coach Ron Rolston of the Sabres’ AHL affiliate. That signaled Buffalo was headed into rebuilding mode, which continued into a trade deadline selloff of players like captain Jason Pominville.

    GM Darcy Regier orchestrated those deadline deals, and stayed on with the Sabres after his friend Ruff took the fall. He made it clear that Miller, Vanek and other veterans could be sacrificed in the name of rebuilding, but both veterans remained with Buffalo through the summer, as their final contract years loomed.

    Buffalo was 21-21-6 last season, good for 12th in the East. Are they destined for another year in the lottery, or can these Sabres surprise the Atlantic?

    Read More »from Buffalo Sabres, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)
  • Getty ImagesSimon Gagne might get a tryout from the Philadelphia Flyers this month, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He had 16 points in 27 games for the Flyers last season and could be slotted as a third-line winger for Philly; yet he’d attending training camp without a contract.

    Why? Sam Carchidi writes it’s cap space in Gagne’s case:

    "The Flyers are about $1 million over the $64.3 million cap; they will gain $4.9 million of cap relief, however, when Chris Pronger is put on the long-term injured list when the season starts. That would give them more than enough room to sign Gagne, 33, who collected five goals and 11 points in 27 games after being acquired from Los Angeles last season."

    Gagne’s one of the lucky ones. If he doesn’t latch on with the Flyers – and based on the numbers and Paul Holmgren’s affinity for him, one assumes he will – Gagne will find a home somewhere in the NHL.

    Others aren’t so lucky. It’s going to be an interesting month at NHL training camps, as a number of familiar names might have to join teams on professional tryout contracts.

    Read More »from Simon Gagne and the impending wave of NHL veteran training camp tryout invitations
  • Enough with the Alex Ovechkin envy, KHL

    Getty ImagesTo: The Kontinental Hockey League

    From: Your Friends At Puck Daddy

    Hi, Vladimir, Sergei, Slava and our other comrades. We hope this memo finds you well.

    Congratulations again on enticing Ilya Kovalchuk to retire from the National Hockey League and play for SKA. It just goes to show that by combining homesickness, national pride and a salary equivalent to the gross national product of Belize, the KHL can lure any player to Russia that was eventually going to come over anyway when his base salary dropped like the Freefall ride at Six Flags.

    Ah, but poaching one NHL star in his prime wasn’t enough, it seems. Last week, Dynamo Moscow’s general director Andrey Safranov told a gathering of fans that his team would explore the possibility of getting Alex Ovechkin to quit the Washington Capitals and play for the KHL’s oil money.

    From Russian Machine Never Breaks, via the original Russian report from TASS:

    “Ovechkin has a current contract with the Capitals. Can we try to pull him out? We’ll talk, we’ll look at each other and will have some result. Right now all Russian national team players want to come back to their homeland. KHL shows its force and credibility. And finances are important too. Taking taxes in account, playing in Russia has become way more attractive for players.”

    Ovechkin, as you noted, has a contract and has eight years and $79 million remaining on that contract. This obligation obviously didn’t stop Kovalchuk from departing, but there might have been some reason why the Devils wanted to reduce their debt load and hence didn’t fight the contractual abandonment from their star player.

    Would Ted Leonsis be as forgiving? Of course he would! He would obviously allow the most marketable player in franchise history to abandon his contract and play in Russia without (a) fighting the move via what one assumes will be a new transfer agreement between the sides and/or (b) tolling the contract to ensure that Ovechkin could never return to the NHL.

    Right? Right?!

    Of course not. Leonsis would smother you like a mountain of un-mailed AOL dial-up CDs, and Ovechkin would either be a Capital or stuck in hockey purgatory until the dispute is settled.

    Speaking of marketability, we should probably address what Ovechkin would be giving up were he to leave for the KHL right now.

    Read More »from Enough with the Alex Ovechkin envy, KHL
  • Anaheim Ducks, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)

    (Ed. Note: It’s an Olympic year in the NHL. So, naturally, we decided to use the trappings of the Winter Games to preview all 30 teams for the 2013-14 NHL season. Who takes the gold? Who falls on their triple-axel? Read on and find out!)

    In their first full season – OK, lockout shortened – with Bruce Boudreau as head coach, the Ducks sprinted out to lead the Pacific Division, keeping pace early on with the streaking Chicago Blackhawks in the conference. They finished with a 30-12-6 record and 66 points, earning the No. 2 seed in the West and a first-round matchup with the Detroit Red Wings.

    Oh, and what a matchup it was: The teams went seven games, including four overtime games, before Detroit eliminated the Ducks in a series in which Anaheim had two chances to close out the Wings.

    So, in the end, Boudreau failed to get a highly-seeded team out of the first round. Again.

    Off the ice, the Ducks committed to both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf with 8-year blockbuster contracts; but the third member of that trinity of offensive stars, Bobby Ryan, was shipped to Ottawa.

    The Ducks have strong goaltending, stars to build around and an impressive collection of young players. Does that translate into another playoff berth?

    Read More »from Anaheim Ducks, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)
  • Now this is how you troll the visiting team

    Hockey fans have seen attempts to emasculate opponents, from the local paper putting them in a dress to awkward moments when the arena Kiss-Cam focuses on the visiting bench.

    The Coventry Blaze began their U.K. Elite League season this weekend, and have a rather memorable bit of mockery on the boards of the opposing bench. Here are the Cardiff Devils, showing off their unmentionables.

    @MattyKing2110This well-placed advertisement is for Butterfly Bras, which fulfills all the lingerie needs for the good people of Coventry and, clearly, lends its support to out-of-towners as well.

    If this brand of trolling seems familiar, please recall the Florida Everblades doing much the same thing in the ECHL last year, showing opposing players in different dresses.

    Chris Palin, the Everblades' vice president of sales and marketing, said the team “had one or two complaints about sexism” but that the overall reaction was positive.

    s/t Daniel Betts

    Read More »from Now this is how you troll the visiting team
  • Getty Images(Ed. Note: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer project, the National Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to identify the best player in their favorite team’s history for each major nationality that creates the fabric of our beloved NHL: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Rest of The World. It’s their criteria, as long as they can justify it. Read, debate and enjoy! If you want to do so on Twitter, it's #NHLoN.)

    By Ryan Blight and Arctic Ice Hockey

    Disclaimer: We here at Arctic Ice Hockey struggled with the criteria for how to do this, as the Jets 1.0 hold a special place in our hearts here in Winnipeg. And to tell you the truth, if it weren’t for the Internet, most people in Winnipeg couldn’t name 10 ex-Thrashers outside of the ones that came up to Winnipeg.

    So for the purpose of this effort, we will include all Jets 1.0 up until the move to Phoenix (because we still strongly dislike the Coyotes), the entire history of the Atlanta Thrashers, and the past two glorious years of the Jets 2.0.

    And sorry, the WHA years don’t count either.

    Canada: Dale Hawerchuk

    In one that really didn’t take long to decide, Dale Hawerchuk is the best Canadian to ever lace them up either in Winnipeg or within the Thrashers organization. The 1st-overall selection of the Jets in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft won the Calder Trophy that season, and in the nine years in the ‘Peg never finished below 81 points in a season, capping out at 130 (53 goals and 77 assists) in ‘84-85. And don’t forget the assist he earned on Mario Lemieux’s GWG in the 1987 Canada Cup victory over the Soviets. Ducky was a tremendous Jet and is very deserving of this honour.

    Honourable mentions: Dany Heatley, Shane Doan (who was only a rookie in Winnipeg during the final season of Jets 1.0), Marc Savard, Andrew Ladd, Bobby Hull (who had his WHA contributions disregarded).

    FIN Finland: Teemu Selanne

    Read More »from Winnipeg Jets, National Hockey League of Nations (including the Atlanta Thrashers!)

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