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?

  • What if the NHL expansion draft was held today?

    According to the NHL at its general managers’ meetings, there is finally a plan for an expansion draft should either Las Vegas or Quebec City or both join the League for the 2017-18 season. 

    The current plan, according to the NHL: Teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie, or eight skaters and a goalie. Rookies and second-year players are exempt.

    NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said this isn’t “set in stone,” and he also said there are going to be a few wrinkles. “The other variation that makes this expansion draft different is we would contemplate having some thresholds based on salary to make sure that the expansion club can be competitive based on the ranges we have in the CBA. Teams would have some obligation to expose a level of salary. And in terms of drafting players, teams would have to draft a certain threshold of salary,” he said.

    Plus there’s that thorny question of no-move clauses and the expansion draft, but let’s go ahead and assume that if it’s

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  • Can Detroit Red Wings save their 24-season playoff streak?

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 15: Petr Mrazek #34 of the Detroit Red Wings pauses after giving up a goal to Michael Raffl #12 of the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:01 of the third period at the Wells Fargo Center on March 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 15: Petr Mrazek #34 of the Detroit Red Wings pauses after giving up a goal to Michael Raffl #12 of the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:01 of the third period at the Wells Fargo Center on March 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    “Go do the job.” 

    That was Dave Hakstol’s marching orders to his Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

    Unfortunately, the Detroit Red Wings missed their alarm or hit traffic on the interstate or maybe there was a really long line at Starbucks because everyone was ordering Frappuccinos for some reason. Because they were late for their job, giving up 23 shots in the first period, registering only three of their own and eventually losing a 4-3 decision that left the Wings one point up on the Flyers for the final wild card spot, with Philadelphia owning two games in-hand.

    "The first five minutes we were good,” said coach Jeff Blashill. “There was nothing wrong with us until we got scored on. Once we got scored on we got on our heels way too easily. We didn't show the resilience that you need to show after getting scored on. They gained momentum off it but we got to make sure we quell the momentum."

    They didn’t, and while the Wings showed some spark here and there in the second and third

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  • Dalton Prout gets baffling one-game suspension for sucker punch (Video)

    Occasionally, the contorted logic of this inherently violent game of ours gets to be a little comical. Such is the case with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety video explaining the one-game suspension of Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets for injuring Evgen… uh, er, landing a punch on unsuspecting Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.

    From the NHL:

    Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout has been suspended for one game, without pay, for punching an unsuspecting opponent, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, during NHL Game No. 1031 in Columbus on Sunday, March 13, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

    The incident occurred at 7:38 of the second period. Prout was assessed a minor penalty for roughing and game misconduct.

    Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Prout will forfeit $5,779.57. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

    Now, as the video

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  • Paul Holmgren would like to kidnap Dylan Larkin, stuff him in bathroom

    USA Hockey announced on Tuesday that it’s bringing the CCM USA Hockey All-American Top Prospects game to Philadelphia on Sept. 22, as the top U.S. hockey talents eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft will be on display. 

    The press conference was held hours before the Philadelphia Flyers were set to host the Detroit Red Wings in a key Eastern Conference battle. The president of the Flyers, Paul Holmgren, was one of the speakers at said press conference, and he celebrated the occasion with one of the most bizarre off-the-cuff remarks in recent memory.

    After Dave Fischer of USA Hockey turned the mic over to him, Holmgren began his remarks with the following:

    “I’d like to be a kidnapper right now and kidnap Dylan Larkin and stick him in a bathroom or something, at least until after the game tonight. But I’m a little late there.”

    Um …

    Anyway, we can report that Dylan Larkin is safely in the custody of the Detroit Red Wings ahead of their game this evening. Teams of police are sweeping the

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  • NHL three-point wins and their many complications

    There’s a cause and effect for NHL rules changes. 

    The biggest catalyst, and hindrance when it comes to things like goalie equipment, is player safety. Then there’s increasing goal-scoring and, of course, the annual closing of loopholes based on one or two egregious incidents (i.e. enacting a coach’s challenge review process for offside plays after that Matt Duchene embarrassment).

    For the most part, none of these standards apply to tweaking the point-standings format, which has been a topic of discussion here and there over the years. The forced parity that’s been created with the current format, thanks to the charity point, hasn’t exactly created the appetite for a radical reinvention of the standings. To that end, Gary Bettman said the current standings system “works extraordinarily well.”

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today]

    Which is to say there isn’t a rabid desire for the three-point regulation win for which many fans have clamored.

    The most popular format change

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  • Michel Therrien will return to coach Montreal next season: Report

    Maybe the exit signs in the foxhole aren’t all that well lit. 

    Maybe the options are so limited due to expectations and cultural requirements that there’s no clear line of succession.

    Maybe that three-year “mega extension” Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin used to double-down on his now-embattled head coach Michel Therrien tethers them together, to the point where Bergevin tumbles over the edge of the cliff with him if Therrien is dumped. 

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today]

    Or maybe the Habs are just screwed.

    Whatever the case, Renaud Lavoie of TVA reports that Therrien will return to coach the Canadiens next season.

    Bergevin already stated that Therrien was safe for the rest of this squandered season, one in which reigning Hart and Vezina winner Carey Price has been limited to 12 games and sparkplug Brendan Gallagher was out of the lineup for 17 crucial games.

    Price’s injury has apparently handed Therrien a do-over. There’s some merit to that: The Canadiens’

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  • NHL Three Stars: Tricky night for Neal, Frolik and Silfverberg

     

    No. 1 Star: James Neal, Nashville Predators 

    Neal was the Predators’ offense against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, tallying a hat trick in their 3-2 win. All three goals came at even strength, including the game-winner to break a 2-2 tie in the third period. Neal now has 26 goals on the season.

    No. 2 Star: Michael Frolik, Calgary Flames

    Frolik scored two key third-period goals to complete a hat trick and ice the game for Calgary in their 7-4 win over the St. Louis Blues. Frolik scored in the first period shorthanded, added another shorthanded goal in the third period with the Blues in the midst of a rally, and then scored an empty-netter to top the scoring.

    No. 3 Star: Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks

    The winger had a four-point night in their 7-1 demolition of the New Jersey Devils. He assisted on Andrew Cogliano’s goal in the second period to open the scoring. He then notched a hat trick, including a third-period power-play goal for the Ducks’ final tally. He now has 12

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  • Jacob Markstrom saves puck barehanded vs. Jets (Video)

    At the NHL general manager meetings this week, there’s a raging debate about goalie equipment and whether reducing it would increase scoring. 

    So how many GMs took their notes and tore them into confetti when they saw Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom stop a puck with his bare hand on Monday night?

    Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ben Chiarot skated in front of Markstrom and fired a shot. The goalie fought it off and suddenly there was a scrum for the loose puck. In the chaos, Markstrom lost his blocker and stick.

    The Jets controlled the puck again, and Markstrom sprung back up into position, his bare right hand tucked behind his thigh. Alexander Burmistrov fired the puck to the crease where Marko Dano was waiting to make a play.

    The puck trickled into the blue. Markstrom spun and lunged for it with his hand, covering it up and getting a stoppage in play.

     

    Another look:

    Alas, the Jets would go on to win the game, 5-2, with Markstrom on the hook for all five goals. Obviously he

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  • Referee perfectly sets up Paul Stastny goal vs. Flames (Video)

     

    In the first period against the Calgary Flames on Monday night, Paul Stastny scored his eighth goal of the season for the St. Louis Blues. Officially, the assists went to Robby Fabbri and Troy Brouwer. 

    But that’s only because referee Frederick L'Ecuyer was ineligible for one.

    Brouwer fired the puck on Flames goalie Joni Ortio, who saved the puck to his right. Alas, standing to his right was L'Ecuyer, and the puck deflected off of his skate back towards the crease.

    Stastny, showing some expert hand-eye coordination, smacked the puck out of the air on his backhand and into the open net for the Blues’ goal.

    That open-arm shrug and stare from defenseman Dougie Hamilton tells you all you need to know about that bad puck luck for the Flames, who earlier saw Scottie Upshall convert a rebound off the end boards into a goal.

    --

    Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on

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  • NFL just made Gary Bettman’s life uncomfortable on CTE claims

    The big news on the sports concussion beat on Monday was that the National Football League, for the first time, acknowledged the link between its sport and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE – a degenerative disease linked to head trauma, found posthumously in the brains of countless athletes. 

    That admission came from Jeff Miller, the NFL's senior vice president for health and safety, who said during a roundtable discussion on concussions convened by the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy & Commerce that the “answer to that question is certainly yes” when asked if a link between football and CTE had been established.

    The testimony was first reported by ESPN.com.

    Miller cited the work of Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University neuropathologist, in making the case. Said McKee to the roundtable:

    "I unequivocally think there's a link between playing football and CTE," McKee said. "We've seen it in 90 out of 94 NFL players whose brains we've examined, we've found it in 45

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