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?

  • No creep to Brooklyn? Theory on New York Islanders staying at Nassau Coliseum

    Getty ImagesBruce Ratner is the real estate mogul behind Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the NBA’s Nets play and where the New York Islanders are expected to play one day.

    This week, we learned a few things from Ratner about the Isles: That they’re expected to remain in the dilapidated Nassau Coliseum until at least 2015; that he expects they’ll play a few games on Long Island even after they relocate boroughs; and that he was selected by Nassau County to privately fund the redevelopment of the Coliseum, which could one day house the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders’ minor league affiliate.

    That is, if it doesn’t still house the Islanders for years to come.

    That’s the theory by Tom Van Riper of Forbes, at least: That a scaled-down, renovated Coliseum as the centerpiece of a community development plan is “enough to make you wonder if a deal is bound to be struck at some point to keep the Islanders at home.”

    Seriously. After all the Lighthouse Project wars and Brooklyn talk, the theory is the Islanders would remain on Long Island, because their future landlord is going to re-imagine their current land.

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  • Hockey boycott of Sochi Olympics to protest anti-gay laws? Yeah, not so much

    Getty ImagesWhen it comes to the Sochi Olympics and Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws – criminalizing everything from gay pride parades to positive comments about the LGBT community to minors – there’s a variety of opinions on what athletes can, or should, do to protest them.

    Pierre Martin is a professor of political science at the Université de Montréal, thinks the best protest is invisibility.

    Martin, writing in the Toronto Star, believes that if hockey players from the U.S. and Canada boycott the 2014 Games – draining the centerpiece event of the Winter Games of star power – it would send an effective message to Vladamir Putin and the Russian government.

    It’s also, like, the exact opposite of what should happen.

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  • Nashville Predators, National Hockey League of Nations

    (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 Jeremy K. Gover, Section303.com

    Canada: Shea Weber

    Shea Weber is not only the best Canadian player ever to don a Predators sweater but he’s the best player, period.

    Weber’s 291 points all-time is fourth-most in franchise history and his 108 goals is third most. Only Kimmo Timonen has more points from the Nashville blueliner (301) and Weber should pass him in the first part of the 2013-14 campaign.

    But Weber’s value is much more than just stats. He’s the first home-grown captain in club history, he’s a two-time Norris Trophy runner-up, he’s one of the faces of the franchise locally and he’s one of the few players in Music City that would actually be recognized as one of the faces of the league. He formed one of the best defensive pairings in the NHL alongside Ryan Suter but, when Suter jumped ship, Weber didn’t miss a beat skating with young Swiss-phenom Roman Josi. He’s in the prime of his career at 27 years old and – as much as Philadelphia Flyer fans would love to believe otherwise – he’ll be leading this team for a long time.

    There’s still a long way to go, obviously, but the Predators have been in existence for 16 years now and Weber is their first legit shot at a Nashville-drafted and developed Hall of Famer.

    FINFinland: Pekka Rinne

    Read More »from Nashville Predators, National Hockey League of Nations
  • Bryan Murray is a cheater but the NHL doesn’t care

    Getty ImagesThe National Hockey League, apparently, has a statute of limitations on cheating.

    Riddle me this: If a general manager admits, on the record, that he circumvented the salary cap with a contract to an aging veteran -- a deal with a $1 million year at the end that team and the player agreed he wouldn’t play out -- wouldn’t you expect some semblance of punishment to befall that executive and his franchise?

    During the back-and-forth between Daniel Alfredsson and Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray on Thursday regarding the timeline for the star winger’s departure to the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent, Murray admitted he intentionally circumvented the salary cap in signing Alfredsson to a 4-year contract in 2009.

    From Alfredsson:

    “When I (signed) my last contract, for four years ending in the 2012(-13) season, I was asked to help the team manage the salary cap by adding on an extra year to my contract. I agreed,” said Alfredsson. “Each side fully expected I would retire and not play the 2012-13 season.”

    From the Toronto Sun, Murray said:

    "He said we asked for another year to make it cap friendly? He asked for a four-year deal with up-front money. It so happened there was the fourth year at $1 million. Both of us talked and he didn't anticipate playing and J.P. didn't anticipate him playing so I said, 'That's fine.' He played."

    Again: Both parties conspired to build a fictitious year into Alfredsson’s contract to bring down the cap value. Year 3 was at $4.5 million base salary; Year 4 was the $1 million year. Take that out, and it’s a cap hit north of $6.1 million for a 3-year contract, or over $1.2 million more against the cap annually than his 4-year deal.

    That’s a Nick Foligno cap hit’s worth of savings.

    So boom!, roasted!, how much is the fine for Murray, right?

    Wrong. Evidently, the NHL has decided the era of cap circumvention has been punished enough.

    Read More »from Bryan Murray is a cheater but the NHL doesn’t care
  • Sunburn hockey jerseys: NHL dedication and potential skin cancer!

    Brian Floyd is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, facing the same problem every puckhead faces during the summer: It’s just too damn hot to rock an NHL sweater, even in that Kevin Smith-shorts-and-a-jersey look.

    Problem solved, via Floyd’s sun-burnt back:

    @YourFavRadioGuyYes, it’s a tribute to James Reimer, Leafs (back-up?) goaltender, as Floyd fashioned a “jersey” with some creative placement of lotion and the intense power of the sun’s rays.

    Read More »from Sunburn hockey jerseys: NHL dedication and potential skin cancer!
  • Claude Giroux suffers the manliest golf injury in hockey history, out 5-6 weeks

    Not since Erik Johnson’s 2008 season was derailed by a demonic golf cart (or a hapless game of golf polo) has the National Hockey League seen a good walk spoiled by an offseason injury to a star player.

    That is, until Thursday’s news that Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux will miss up to six weeks after finger surgery following … well, just read the team’s statement:

    "Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux had successful surgery this afternoon on his right index finger performed by Dr. Katherine Boyd at the Ottawa Civic Hospital in Ottawa, Canada. Giroux was golfing today when his golf club shattered and splintered into his index finger. Although there were no broken bones, there was some damage to his extensor tendons in his finger. He is expected to have a full recovery in 5-6 weeks."

    First off, it’s good to know it was Giroux’s index finger that was injured. He can live without pointing and laughing; but had it been his middle finger, we can’t imagine how hard it would have been to effectively communicate with other Philadelphians in their native language.

    If you’re like us, you assumed any hockey player getting injured during a round of golf might have been conked on the head by the windmill or, perhaps, suffered an unfortunate ricochet off the clown’s mouth.

    But not Giroux. In fact, is this not the manliest, most bad-ass golf injury we’ve ever had in hockey?

    Read More »from Claude Giroux suffers the manliest golf injury in hockey history, out 5-6 weeks
  • Montreal Canadiens, National Hockey League of Nations

    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 Erica Taddeo, Hab It Her Way

    Canada: Jean Beliveau

    Choosing the greatest Canadian Canadien is like picking your favourite pun in a Fozzie Bear routine. You just can't do it.

    But since that is the point of this challenge, I had no choice but to pick one. Jean Béliveau has got to be the best Canadian-born player this franchise has ever seen.

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  • Why Josh Harris decided to own New Jersey Devils, and Lou Lamoriello’s future

    DevilsWhy did Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris decide to buy the New Jersey Devils with partner David Blitzer?

    They both have ties to the Garden State. They both obviously have the finances to pull off the reported $320 million sale of the team – a figure NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman hinted was speculative. Both wanted to own the Devils, beginning the ownership process months ago.

    But in listening to their introductory press conference at Prudential Center on Thursday morning, one got the sense their ownership of the Devils speaks both to their drive for success and their more altruistic affinities.

    In other words, there’s no denying the Devils are a successful NHL franchise in the arena, and that they play in a city that’s still struggling outside its walls.

    “I love sports. I enjoy winning. I think this is an excellent platform to win. And I think the NHL is going to experience long-term growth, and I want to be a part of that,” said Harris.

    “But I want to make the world a better place and help communities.”

    The Devils haven’t always had the friendliest relationship with Newark, from disputes over money to the debt load the team carried from the arena investment to some (frankly overblown) safety concerns from fans who used to attend games at the Meadowlands but are hesitant about taking the train into the city.

    Harris sounded as committed to making a difference in the community as he did maintaining the excellence on the ice. Call that lip service or sucking up to the locals if you’d like, but something sounded genuine about that sentiment.

    Bettman pointed out that the Devils have already made a difference locally.

    “I know there’s been a lot of commentary on the team and the building’s relationship with the city of Newark. There’s not doubt there have been what I would call some ‘commercial disputes’ with the city, which were disputes in good faith. But if you’re looking at the building and the team’s commitment, there’s a youth hockey program at East Side High School. There’s a youth hockey program in Newark. At least 70 percent of the employees at the building are from Essex County, many of them from Newark,” he said.

    So that’s one aspect of Harris and Blitzer's -- are they reindeer? -- ownership of the team, after their purchase from Jeff Vanderbeek was approved by the NHL Board of Governors on Wednesday. What else did we learn about the Devils’ new owners?

    Read More »from Why Josh Harris decided to own New Jersey Devils, and Lou Lamoriello’s future
  • Josh Harris bails out New Jersey Devils, as NHL ownership bid is approved

    Getty ImagesWere it not for a certain $100 million winger’s decision to retire to Russia*, the most head-spinning financial development concerning the New Jersey Devils would have involved Forbes vs. reality.

    Last week, writer Mike Ozanian – a plugged-in guy on the Devils’ various debt crisis – wrote that the team was “likely” to be taken over by the NHL, becoming another Phoenix Coyotes boondoggle. His caveat: That the takeover wouldn’t happen if the team was sold quickly.

    Yet at the same time, Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris and his group were revealed as serious bidders for the Devils. They would take on the debt load. They would take over the arena. They would do what many predicted no potential owner would do unless the team was shuffled off into bankruptcy first.

    On Thursday, the Devils are expected to announce Harris, who is worth a reported $2.1 billion, as the team’s new owner, after the NHL Board of Governors approved the sale on Wednesday. The Bergen Record has the sale price at “more than $320 million,” which includes the operating rights to the Prudential Center.

    Read More »from Josh Harris bails out New Jersey Devils, as NHL ownership bid is approved
  • Minnesota Wild, National Hockey League of Nations

    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 Mike Berg, Jared Mason and Nick Henry of Hitting The Post

    You have to understand the mentality of Wild fans.

    We are, frankly, a fragile bunch. We love the game of hockey and we think we know it better than any other Americans (and at least 52 percent of Canucks fans). But we are also basically Atlanta-North when it comes to holding onto teams.

    The Wild organization, typically very marketing-savvy, attempts to bolster our self-confidence with the whole State of Hockey thing, which alternately stokes the embers of pride or serves as a mocking tribute to our struggles with self-doubt.

    So exercises like this are tricky for us. Because, if we are being honest, it is a little embarrassing to peruse our all-time roster. It’s a visit from the Ghost of North Stars Past, a reminder that they had to move to Texas to win the Cup, which means there’s no Worsley, Goldsworthy, Meloche or Ciccarelli available.

    It’s also a visit from the Ghost of Risebrough Past, and the string of schlubs that Lemaire’s coaching system and brilliance allowed Doug to get by with signing to one-way contracts during his reign of apathy. With all due respect to Lubomir Sekeras…you’re Lubomir Sekeras.

    And it’s also a slap in the face with the cold, dead fish of reality that, although we love the game like no other Americans, we do not have a very good track record of producing people who can play the game at its highest levels.

    Minnesota….well Minnesota produces grinders. The Sons of Minnesota are like the Shoveler in Mystery Men: we shovel very well. For every Parise we have a murder of Brotens, a passel Christians, a Wyatt Smith. Here a Mark Parrish, there a Darby Hendrickson. No, we are not a flashy lot.

    Yes, the history of the Minnesota Wild is relatively unremarkable, in pretty much all facets. Heck, many of the “best” players we’ve managed to stuff into a Wild uniform tend to have one thing in common: they peaked before they got to St. Paul (e.g. Heatley).

    But they are all we have. So here is our list.

    Read More »from Minnesota Wild, National Hockey League of Nations

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