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?

  • Why Sidney Crosby should skate over to the KHL

    Getty ImagesSidney Crosby is making more noise about leaving for Europe than he has in weeks, which is either a harbinger of doom for the CBA talks or indicative of Crosby's competitive desire having overtaken him.

    Here's Sid to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com, after arriving in Phoenix to skate with some NHLers that are training there:

    "At the end of the day, I'm a hockey player and I love to play," Crosby said. "Don't get me wrong, I don't mind practicing but I've been practicing a lot for the last couple of years. I just want to play. If there's nothing really happening as far as getting a deal done, then it becomes much more important to play games and finding out where that makes sense."

    Crosby spoke about his options, including Europe, with agent Pat Brisson on Monday night.

    "Sidney is seriously looking at his options in Europe," Brisson told ESPN.com Tuesday. "He needs and wants to play hockey. It will be difficult to go all year without playing after what he's gone through the last two years. Over the next few days I'm going to make more calls and continue to explore Sidney's options."

    Crosby's longing to play again is palpable. This is a player that's missed more games than he's played over the last two seasons, and one whose last game in 2011-12 campaign ended an embarrassing series loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

    That he hasn't left for Europe yet has been intriguing but understandable, giving everything from health to insurance concerns. But more than anything, it's understandable because he's Sidney Crosby.

    [Also: Maples Leafs are first NHL team worth $1 billion]

    Look, we all know Alex Oveckin's jetting to the KHL the moment the owners lock him out for various reasons. Crosby's different: He's the poster child for the League, and Canada's Golden Boy. If he leaves North America to play in Europe, it becomes a global hockey story and a "canary in a coal mine" one at that — how bad are things if Sidney Crosby would take his fragile neck to play in what amount to professional scrimmages in his eyes?

    His leaving would have optic and political fallout. Frankly, it'd be an embarrassment to the League that it's gotten this far.

    Let's say this isn't bluster from Brisson and Crosby. Let's say Europe is on the horizon. There's really only one place Crosby should play to maximize the impact of his decision — and that's the Kontinental Hockey League.

    Read More »from Why Sidney Crosby should skate over to the KHL
  • Watch terrible own-goal in Swiss League, courtesy of goalie glove fail (VIDEO)

    One of the squirmiest aspects of own-goals is the seemingly innocent way they're set up. It's like watching a horror movie where the first 20 minutes take place in an idealistic suburb; then someone sees a spooky shadow, things get creepy and suddenly a goblin jumps out of a mirror and eats the family dog (Mr. Scruffles, nooooo!).

    Such is the case in this own-goal from a recent Swiss B League game: Pedestrian dump-in off the end boards from the other end of the rink; rebound off said boards to the goaltender … and then the proverbial goblin eats a dog moment:

    That was goalie Damiano Ciaccio of La Chaux-de-Fonds, attempting to play the caroming puck with his glove before accidentally tucking it into his own goal with his glove.

    Andy Furrer of Visp was credited with the goal, and hopefully purchased a bottle of Ciaccio's adult beverage of choice as a thank you.

    No wonder Tyler Seguin's a goal-a-game player in Switzerland …

    s/t Swiss Habs

    Read More »from Watch terrible own-goal in Swiss League, courtesy of goalie glove fail (VIDEO)
  • Getty ImagesIs the strange, sad, frequently stupefying ownership saga of the Phoenix Coyotes finally reaching its finale?

    The Glendale City Council voted 4-2 on Tuesday night to approve a 20-year, $320 million arena lease management agreement that should clear the way for former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison's ownership group to purchase the team from the National Hockey League.

    Who's in that ownership group? No one knows. But that argument has been that getting his financial team in order was difficult with the uncertainty over the Jobing.com Arena lease deal.

    He's got his deal. The Coyotes, through all this madness, appear to be remaining in Phoenix under new ownership, putting an end to the constant relocation talk that's haunted the franchise and stunted its momentum even as the team thrives on the ice.

    And Shane Doan breathes a sigh of relief.

    Read More »from Phoenix Coyotes lease approved by Glendale City Council, clearing way for Greg Jamison purchase
  • VENT-LARGETHE VENT is a forum for rants, raves, pleas and laments from hockey fans across the world about the NHL lockout. It runs every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. If you've got a take on the lockout and need to let it out, email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com, Subject: The Vent.

    Please allow Angela a chance to vent:

    I am a Bruins season ticket holder, which at this moment means I'm investing a large sum of money in an organization that isn't giving me anything that I signed up for except 3 percent interest towards my refund for games they refused to provide. As part of my "fanatic" package, I had the opportunity to have my picture taken with the 2011 championship banner this past Saturday afternoon; and what I saw while I was there is the exact reason a boycott of any real impact would never be possible.

    I understand I was only privy to what I saw of the folks that had tickets during my late afternoon timeslot but I can tell you this — there were a lot of people and they were all wearing some form of Bruins merchandise and they were ecstatic to be there and get a tour of the renovated locker room — before the players have even seen it! Knowing that we were standing in the same room the players should have been walking into to prepare for a game against the Penguins was dispiriting enough, but being reminded that the players have yet to see it ticked me off!

    Everyone in that room just seemed so OK with the fact that they're not getting what they paid for during yet another lockout, and were happy to have the tour, their picture taken and at least some sort of Bruins interaction. I understand where they're coming from, but it's not like it was some sort of sneak peek for luxury ticket owners - THEY GAVE US A TOUR OF A ROOM WHEN THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLAYERS IN IT PREPARING FOR A GAME BUT THOSE PLAYERS COULDN'T BE THERE BECAUSE THE OWNERS LOCKED THEM OUT!

    I'm sorry, but that is more of a slap in the face than the 'Thank You Fans' they probably intended…  Any other NHL organizations planning some sort of non-game related event should probably think about planning it on a day/time there wasn't supposed to be a game played.

    As a fan I don't even know how to feel anything but annoyed anymore, both sides claim they care, but those are just words. The game has grown over the years and so has the price of my tickets.  I am one of the reasons both the NHL and NHLPA can survive but I am treated as an afterthought along with the rest of the fans.

    I am tired of receiving emails from an organization letting me know games are canceled while claiming they value my loyalty and patience as they work through a resolution, only to hear report after report that negotiations aren't going anywhere. GET IT TOGETHER!  If this lockout continues past this last round of cancellations, something's got to give because I think I'll go from annoyed to apathetic. [Insert heavy sigh]

    Many of us are already there, sadly.

    Read More »from Stop blaming Gary Buttman, er, Bettman; love for AHL during NHL lockout (THE VENT)
  • Tyler Seguin has 20 goals in 20 games in Switzerland

    NESNIs Tyler Seguin the best player in European hockey right now?

    That's the declaration from CBC Sports in its roundup of NHLers taking jobs away from players tearing up the Euro leagues during the lockout.

    There's competition for that moniker from players like Evgeni Malkin (33 points in 24 games) and Jaromir Jagr (36 points in 22 games, along with signing paychecks as owner of his Kladno Czech Elite League team).

    But Seguin's on a hell of a pace with HC Biel in the Swiss National League: 20 games and 20 goals.

    Read More »from Tyler Seguin has 20 goals in 20 games in Switzerland
  • Myth of the career-ending NHL lockout

    Getty Images"If this goes on for a year or two then I'm probably done and I have to go back to working for a living."Shawn Thornton, Boston Bruins

    The last time Gary Bettman turned the keys and locked out the National Hockey League's players, it marked the last time Mark Messier, Scott Stevens, Al MacInnis, Adam Oates and Ron Francis played professionally.

    They retired, as did others. The lockout "stole" their victory laps from us. As Ron Tugnutt told the Columbus Dispatch:

    "Some of those guys — Messier, Francis (and) MacInnis, for sure — were players worthy of a farewell tour," said former Blue Jackets goaltender Ron Tugnutt, whose career also ended with the lockout. "It's pretty sad when the guys the league should be celebrating are allowed to walk off into the sunset without so much as a standing ovation across the league."

    In the current work stoppage, there's similar concern that a wiped-out season means a forced finale for elite players like Daniel Alfredsson and Teemu Selanne (noooooo!) and role players like Thornton and Matt Cullen.

    As Brian Rolston, veteran of three lockouts, told the Star-Tribune:

    "I'm realistic. I'll be 40 years old," Rolston said. "If there's half a season, maybe somebody will be willing to sign an older player. But I'm not holding my breath. I'm content if I have to retire."

    The lockout is thus seen as a Great Purge in the NHL, as veteran players lose their desire to press on after sitting out a year, clearing the way for younger and cheaper talent to better fit under the financial restrictions of a new CBA.

    But is the mass exodus of players from the NHL because of a work stoppage actually a myth, compared the typical rate of attrition?

    Read More »from Myth of the career-ending NHL lockout
  • Will Roman Hamrlik pay for speaking out against NHLPA and Donald Fehr?

    135513684Martin Brodeur is two years older than Roman Hamrlik. Both players have careers that span decades, which means that both players have now been through multiple work stoppages under NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. At 40, Brodeur is near the end of his career; at 38, so is Hamrlik.

    The difference between them? Brodeur hasn't been a militant voice during the NHL lockout, having come to grips with its inevitability when he pulled a second contractual year out of Lou Lamoriello as a free agent last summer.

    Meanwhile, Hamrlik has become the face of players union fracturing after his caustic comments about the NHLPA and Donald Fehr in a Czech-language interview:

    "I am disgusted. We have to push Fehr to the wall to get the deal. Time is against us. We lost 1/4 season, it is $425 million. Who will give it back to us? Mr. Fehr?

    "There should be voting between players. Four questions - YES or NO - then count it. If half of players say let's play, then they should sign new CBA. If there is no season he should leave and we will find someone new. Time is our enemy."

    With that comment, many viewed Hamrlik as the enemy of the NHLPA.

    "I don't think he ever addressed it inside of our locker room as far as the PA's concerned, and he has to go out in front of the media and show a sign of weakness," said Brodeur, "from a player that should know better at his age."

    Read More »from Will Roman Hamrlik pay for speaking out against NHLPA and Donald Fehr?
  • Hockey mascots serve some vital functions during the game. Who else can get the crowd clapping, or fire T-shirts into it? Who else can dump popcorn on the heads of visiting fans? Who else can inappropriately touch female patrons during photo ops? (OK, the players might have that last angle covered.)

    Who else can dance like there's no tomorrow? MASCOTS, that's who. Mascots like Sharky, who entertains the crowd at Kölner Haie (Cologne Sharks) games in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. By getting crunk. (NSFW warning: Song played in the arena contains some adult language.)

    Would anyone be surprised if we sliced up Sharky's stomach and discovered a license plate, a tire and the Jabbawockeez?

    Sharky is part of a legacy of hockey mascots with a mastery of the dance. We eagerly await the day when the KHL expands to Germany, so we can see Shark vs. Satanic Snowman in a viral Gangnam Style clip. (Not for nothing, but Shark vs. Satanic Snowman is on SyFy this weekend, starring Deborah Gibson and Antonio Sabato, Jr.)

    Read More »from Sharky the Hip-Hop Dancing Shark: Great hockey mascot or greatest hockey mascot? (VIDEO)
  • If only the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service could settle the NHL lockout as quickly as it dropped Guy Serota from the mediation.

    On Monday afternoon, Serota was named by the independent federal agency as one of three mediators assigned to the collective bargaining dispute between the NHL and the NHLPA.

    Within moments of the announcement, intrepid hockey fans had discovered Serota's Twitter feed, which identified him as "Commissioner with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, United States Government." Serota's worked with the FMCS for 15 years.

    The feed featured several partisan political comments, referencing "Karl Rove and Republican math" and "Great morning here in USA! Obama is still President. Restores my faith in the American voter (after 2 terms George W)."

    But it also featured a slew of off-color jokes; some inspired by late night talk show host Craig Ferguson, whose term "ass mode" was cited by Serota out of context (and the amusement of others); and this one that referenced comedian Sarah Silverman in a clunky, uncomfortable tweet:

    SEROROORRAYeah …

    The hockey Twittersphere gleefully piled on Serota, mocking the sudden celebrity. He deleted his Twitter feed, although it was soon resurrected with a message claiming the feed had been hacked.

    ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reached Serota, who said his feed had in fact been hacked and that he was not running his new Twitter account, i.e., it was an imposter who scooped up the I.D. when Serota deleted the account.

    The FMCS apparently had seen enough, however. In one of the least surprising moves of the NHL lockout, Serota was removed from the case, just over two hours after the initial announcement of the NHL mediation.

    Read More »from Guy Serota removed from NHL lockout mediation, thanks to Twitter hack or terrible jokes
  • Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

    Twitter• Guy Serota is part of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service mediation team that will hopefully facilitate an end to the NHL lockout. He also had one hell of a Twitter feed before he hastily deleted it when hockey fans found it. Anyhoo, this tweet and these tweets and also these tweets help maintain the legacy. The Sporting News has more.

    • David Backes, Kevin Westgarth and Mathieu Schneider held an NHLPA 'ask me anything' on Reddit today. Among the highlights was Westgarth on why there wasn't a new CBA this summer: "We were available throughout the summer, unfortunately it seems the NHL was hell bent on putting pressure on the players with the Lockout. I wish it was as simple as spending a certain amount of time together, negotiating, but its very frustrating to see how little progress can be made with a seemingly unwilling partner. [Reddit]

    • A handy guide to decertification by the New York Times. [NYT]

    • A handy guide to decertification from Eric Macramalla, for TSN. [TSN]

    • The SB Nation blogs had an airing of grievances today about the NHL lockout. [SB Nation]

    • Detroit Red Wings winger Todd Bertuzzi is not what you'd call optimistic about the fate of the 2012-13 season. As in he doesn't believe there's going to be one. [MLive]

    • Did the NHL ask NBC to ignore the "Operation Hat Trick" charity game in Atlantic City? [NY Rangers Blog]

    • Ken Campbell on outspoken players: "Players might want to keep that in mind the next time they go to their computer or phone to vent their anger with the rest of the world. There's nothing to be gained by wishing Bettman dead or complaining about missing paychecks. Winston Churchill once said the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. Sadly, he was right." [THN]

    • Fair thee well, Mark Parrish. [PHT]

    • Taylor Hall took the player of the week award from some poor under-appreciated AHL player. [NEWSOK]

    Read More »from Guy Serota, NHL mediator, had interesting Twitter feed; Bertuzzi sour on season (Puck Headlines)

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