Greg Wyshynski

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  • Top 10 players of 2016 (Puck Daddy Year in Hockey)


    (Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.) 

    We begin our look back at 2016 with the top 10 hockey players of the year.

    This list is a combination of on-ice impact and what their performances meant in context. As you’ll see, this isn’t a Top 10 NHL players list, because that’s super boring – like all rankings in our Year In Hockey, we consider every league around the world. (Although for performance-based rankings like this one, we do weight the NHL quite heavily as the sport’s top league.)

    Who was the player of the year in 2016? Glad you asked ….

    10 – Alexander Radulov

    Radulov finished the 2015-16 KHL season in typically dominant fashion: 65 points in 53 games for CSKA Moscow for a plus-28, and helping to lead his team to Game 7 of the Gagarin Cup final before falling to Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

    He then left for the NHL, signing a deal with the Montreal Canadiens. There was immediate

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  • NHL Three Stars: Night of a thousand rallies

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    No. 1 Star: Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres

    There were many, many blown leads on Tuesday night. None more egregious than the Los Angeles Kings blowing a two-goal lead in Buffalo, with Eichel leading the rally. He had two goals and an assist on Evander Kane’s third-period knockout punch. The Sabres won, 6-3. 

    No. 2 Star: Mike Smith, Arizona Coyotes

    Look what Mike Smith can still do! The Coyotes goal made 37 saves to lead Arizona to a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings, leading a PK that killed four power plays. Jamie McGinn scored twice.

    No. 3 Star: Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes

    The wildest game of the night came down to the Hurricanes defenseman scoring his fourth of the season to break a 5-5 tie and then stealing a puck and assisting on Lee Stempniak’s empty goal to clinch the 8-6 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Hurricanes scored six goals in the third. Faulk had nine shots in the game.

    Honorable Mention: Goals by Sam Gagner and Cam Atkinson rallied the Columbus Blue Jackets to

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  • Jeff Carter calls Kings ‘fragile, terrible’ team after Sabres loss

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    The Los Angeles Kings had one of their most brutal losses in some time on Tuesday night, blowing a two-goal lead to the Buffalo Sabres and watching them sprint to a 6-3 win, to start a seven-game road trip on the very wrong foot.

    This did not please Jeff Carter.

    “It was just terrible hockey,” he said, via LA Kings Insider. “It’s everybody. It’s top to bottom. It’s unacceptable. You don’t make playoffs winning at home and then going on the road and [messing] the bed.”

    Only he didn’t say “messing…”

    Carter scored his 13th and 14th goals in the loss, remaining the only Kings player to reach double-digits in goals and to crack the 20-point mark on the season. He put it on the line after the game in Buffalo, calling out this collection of players – many of whom are seeking their third Stanley Cup ring – for being fragile.

    From LA Kings Insider:

    We’re fragile. We’re a fragile team. You get one bad bounce against you…You know, they’ve got good players over there. They’re going to have shifts

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  • Alan Thicke, actor and NHL fanatic, dies playing hockey with son

    Alan Thicke (center, Ducks jersey) passed away on Tuesday after a lifetime in the entertainment industry.

    Alan Thicke, Canadian actor and dedicated NHL fan, died playing hockey with his son on Tuesday. He was 69 years old.

    According to TMZ, Thicke was playing hockey with his 19-year-old son, Carter, when he suffered a heart attack. He was transported to Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank around noon local time and pronounced dead soon after.

    Thicke is survived by his wife, Tanya, and three sons: Robin, Brennan and Carter.

    With a career that spanned back to the 1960s, he was best known for his role as Dr. Jason Seaver on the ABC sitcom “Growing Pains” from 1985-92. But Thicke crafted a career that included a slew of appearances as an actor and as himself, hosting a late night talk show (“Thick Of The Night,” 1983-84) and serving as a panelist on game shows like “Match Game.” He also wrote the theme songs for shows like “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life.”

    Thicke was a lifelong NHL fan, and had a rather surreal relationship with the sport and its personalities.


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  • Zach Hyman nearly broken by Burns shot, returns to score (Video)

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    Shot-blocking is a mandatory part of the NHL game these days, even when the guy with the puck has one of the hardest shots in all the land.

    So while Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks prepared to fire on Tuesday night, Zach Hyman of the Toronto Maple Leafs moved himself in position to try and deflect that shot.

    Which he did.

    He then slid over to the boards, arching his back like an inchworm, and letting the waves of pain crash over him until managed to get up and head to the dressing room.

    Hyman looked like he was done … and then, being a hockey player, he returned about five minutes later and scored a goal, assisted by Auston Matthews:

    Hyman scored on a deflected puck. Because of course he did.

    Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.


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  • Casey Cizikas sliced by skate in scary scene (Video)

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    One of the scariest aspects of New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas getting sliced on the arm by a skate Tuesday night was the speed of it all: The literal sprint from the Islanders bench to the locker room for Cizikas and the trainer to treat his wound.

    We know the gravity of these situations. To see that level of concern just added to it.

    Just 1:25 into the Islanders’ game against the Washington Capitals, Cizikas fell to the ice during a battle with Nicklas Backstrom but continued to play the puck. But teammate Anders Lee crashed into Backstrom along the boards and, in the process, a skate cut across Cizikas’s arm.

    He rushed to the locker room with a towel pressed on it.

    Of course, this being hockey, Cizikas returned to the game at 12:02 and played three more shifts in the first period.

    Please insert your favorite “hockey players are tougher than [another sport]!” memes here.

    Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on

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  • Max Domi has surgery, out indefinitely after fight (Video)

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    The Arizona Coyotes’ season from hell just keeps getting toastier.

    On Tuesday, the team announced that forward Max Domi had successful surgery on his hand and “will be out of the lineup indefinitely.” Arizona Coyotes General Manager John Chayka indicated that Domi is expected to make a full recovery and return to their lineup “later this season,” although with Arizona sitting seven points out of a playoff spot and with a minus-28 goal differential, one wonders why.

    In reality, it’s only going to be about six weeks, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos,. Domi, 21, suffered the injury in this fight with Garnet Hathaway of the Calgary Flames and was placed on injured reserve.

    Well, at least it was a spirited scrap…

    Domi has five goals and 11 assists in 26 games this season after tallying 18 goals and 34 assists last season as a rookie – numbers he was on track to replicate even as the Coyotes have seen their goals-per-game average (2.14) drop from year to year.

    Greg Wyshynski is a

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  • P.K. Subban moves ahead of Patrick Kane in All-Star captain vote


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    By his own standards and most traditional measurements, it’s not been an “all-star” kind of year for P.K. Subban.

    He has 17 points in 27 games with the Nashville Predators, skating to a minus-9. He’s outside the top 100 in scoring this season and outside the top 10 scorers for defensemen, something to which he’s unaccustomed.

    Luckily for Subban, the NHL All-Star Game fan voting isn’t about merit, but rather which players you want to see put on funny costumes and give funny interviews and generally have fun at this superfluous annual event. To that end, putting P.K. Subban on an all-star ballot is like putting Chris Evans on a “guys who are pretty good at portraying superheroes” ballot, in the sense that they were literally born to be one.

    With that, Subban has moved up to first in the Central Division balloting with … well, the NHL has stopped giving out vote totals during the voting, which would seem to indicate they’re not keen on publicizing those numbers. But hey, at least

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  • Jonathan Toews back vs. Rangers, but for how long?

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    The Chicago Blackhawks are getting both captain Jonathan Toews and defenseman Brent Seabrook back from injury at the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. The latter player missed two games due to an upper body injury; but Toews is back after nine games, having rested up a lingering back issue.

    (The machine-like Hawks went 5-2-2 without him.)

    Toews is averaging 20 minutes and 32 seconds per game for Chicago this season. That he’s back in the lineup is an indication that he’s ready to roll, but both the player and his coach Joel Quenneville are willing to easy him back into things if necessary.

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    “It’s at the stage in the season where you don’t want to be playing through too much, because down the road, if whatever you’ve got keeps nagging you and keeps getting worse — you want to be as healthy as you can be come playoff time,” Toews said after Tuesday’s morning skate at Madison Square Garden. “It’s nice to go out there and feel like there’s nothing on my mind. I

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  • NHL fighting ban wouldn’t impact fan viewership, survey reveals

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    If the National Hockey League banned fighting tomorrow, just over half of NHL fans say that it would have no impact on their viewership of NHL games, according to a new Yahoo Sports/YouGov poll.

    According to the survey, 51 percent of current U.S.-based NHL fans said that a formal ban on fighting would have “no impact” on their viewership; 24 percent said it would make them “more likely” to watch games; and 25 percent said it would make them less likely to watch games.

    The survey is one of several conducted by Yahoo Sports and YouGov on the NHL and hockey fandom. In the coming days, you’ll see further insight on fans’ viewing habits, the state of the game and which players are considered “must-watch” by fans.

    On fighting, there was a demographic split among men and women.

    Male fans are more adverse to a fighting ban, with 30 percent saying they’d be less likely to watch the NHL after a ban vs. only 18 percent of women saying the same. Women were more likely to say that banning fighting

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