Greg Wyshynski

  • Blackhawks confident salary cap casualties aren’t calamitous

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, NY – No matter where Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman went, he always felt suffocated against the ceiling. But after the first round of Friday’s NHL Draft in Buffalo, he had finally found some space to breathe. 

    “We have enough cap room now. We don’t have a salary cap problem,” he said.

    In the last week and a half, the Blackhawks purged forwards Bryan Bickell, Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw from their payroll, the latter sent to the Montreal Canadiens to kick off the draft in exchangefor two second-round picks. In the process, they opened up what is now $6 million in cap space with a few forward spots yet to fill.

    Specifically the ones that Shaw and Teravainen occupied last season.

    “We’re trying to look forward. We’re trying to make the situation as best as it is with the salary cap,” said Bowman.

    “Roles change. Opportunities are there. You have to give next year’s team a chance to forge its own identity. It may not match up exactly with last year’s team, but that’s OK.”


  • The 10 biggest stories from 2016 NHL Draft’s first round

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 6 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, NY – The first round of the 2016 NHL Draft is over, the cheers of Toronto Maple Leafs fans and the jeers of everyone else having finally died down. 

    What were the biggest moments and surprises in the first round? Here’s a look:

    10. Jakob Chychrun Tumbles, Happily

    Chychrun, the son of former NHLer Jeff Chychrun, was projected to go has high as seventh overall to the Arizona Coyotes and be the first defenseman taken in the NHL Draft. Instead, the Sarnia Sting standout tumbled down to No. 16 overall where he was taken … by the Arizona Coyotes, who traded up to take him as part of their taken on Pavel Datsyuk’s cap space (more on that later). So it all worked out!

    9. Olli Over Tkachuk

    Matthew Tkachuk fell to No. 5 in the draft, prompting some to assume that would be the choice for Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning. Instead, it was Finnish defenseman Olli Juolevi, arguably the best offensive D-man in the draft, going there with Tkachuk falling to the Calgary Flames at No. 6. Bit of a surprise. 

    8. Finns Up, D Down

    7. Montreal Makes Trades (But Subban’s Safe)

    3. USA!

  • Auston Matthews reawakens both Toronto hope, Leafs hatred

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, NY – Auston Matthews breeds hope. Hope breeds swagger. Swagger breeds “Auston 20:16” shirts and a “Matthews [greater-than] Eichel sign” at the NHL Draft in Buffalo.

    “I think Auston Matthews is going to be a better prospect in the long run. Jack Eichel is going to be a great hockey player, but Auston Matthews is going generational talent," said Ryan Westlake, one of the true believers.

    Westlake was one of three busloads of Maple Leafs fans to whom the team provided tickets to Friday night's Draft and shipped over the border. Over 160 of them. Former Leafs Darcy Tucker, Rick Vaive and Shayne Corson joined them, and everyone hit the bars before the event. 

    There was no doubt Matthews was going to be the name uttered by Leafs director of player personnel Mark Hunter, but one could still feel the emotional catharsis the obvious provided the Toronto fans in attendance.

    Their bellowing roar when Matthews was formally theirs was fueled by a season of intentional failures and decades of involuntary ones. They waived Leafs flags. They chanted “Go Leafs Go!” They were booed lustily by everyone else in attendance.

    “Hockey’s a team game. There is really no savior.”


  • Coyotes stun NHL Draft with Clayton Keller pick

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's fair to say Clayton Keller going seventh overall to the Arizona Coyotes was a bit of a surprise.

    “Any doubts about Keller's ability to compete against top competition were quashed at the U-18's with his two-points-per-game pace and solid all-around play.

    "Keller led the tournament in assists, and many were of the highlight variety.

    “Keller also exhibited an ability to effectively kill penalties due to his elite anticipation and overall hockey sense.  When combined with his speed and agility, concerns about him being able to handle a top-two center role were appreciably diminished."



  • Brian Elliott traded to Flames; why did Blues deal fan favorite?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, NY – Marc-Andre Fleury would have meant trading a first-rounder. Ben Bishop would have meant a significant investment in both trade assets and cap space. 

    But Brian Elliott? Right cost. Right return. But is he the right goalie?

    The Calgary Flames traded a second-round pick, No. 35 overall and a conditional third-rounder in 2018, to the St. Louis Blues for Elliott. Elliott, 31, has one more year on his contract with a paltry $2.5 million cap hit before he goes UFA. The third-rounder goes to St. Louis if he signs with the Flames or they trade him. 

    Elliott played 180 games with the Blues over five seasons, going 104-46-16 with a .925 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against average behind coach Ken Hitchcock’s system.

    Elliott is coming off the playoff season of his life in 2016: .921 save percentage, 2.44 goals-against average and series wins against the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars, both in Game 7.

    It was a surprising move given those efforts, and the fact that the Blues had committed to one more run with Hitchcock behind the bench.

    Watch we did, and away went Elliott.


  • Andrew Shaw traded by Blackhawks to Montreal for picks

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, NY – The cap purge continues for the Chicago Blackhawks. 

    Forward Andrew Shaw, a pending restricted free agent, was traded in the first moments of the NHL Draft on Friday night to the Montreal Canadiens, who traded two second-round picks in 2016 (including one that was owned by the Minnesota Wild previously). They’re Nos. 39 and 45 overall.

    Shaw, 24, played 322 games for the Blackhawks and scored 137 points, playing a vital role on their 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup teams. His physical play and presence around the net will be missed.

    But in the grand tradition of Blackhawks postseason purges, his ask proved too rich for them. Shaw was looking for around $4.5 million against the cap. To pay him would be to say goodbye to Marcus Kruger, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Hawks seemingly didn’t want to do that.

    So Shaw is now Canadiens property, and the Blackhawks get some cap breathing room. Question is, for what?

  • NHL Draft stars build their perfect sandwich (Puck Daddy Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago


    Sandwiches. Sweet, wonderful sandwiches.

    What you put on your sandwich tells us a lot about you. It’s a window into your soul, through your mouth.

    So what have we learned about some of the top prospects in the NHL Draft now that we’ve heard what, in fact, they like on their sandwiches? Of those prospects who like sandwiches, that is.

    Here are Patrik Laine, Matthew Tkachuk,Olli Juolevi, Logan Brown and Jakob Chychrun what would be on their signature sandwiches. Interviews were conducted in Buffalo at the NHL Draft. 

  • NHL Draft’s Jesse Puljujärvi battles language barrier to stardom

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, NY – Jesse Puljujärvi has the kind of charisma and charm that envelops those around him. In speaking to him, the 18-year-old forward from Finland smiles widely, and you anticipate he’ll answer whatever inane question is posed to him by the media in a way that defies its inanity. 

    But the words aren’t there for him. He knows them, in his native language. But he doesn’t know enough of them in English to allow that charm to translate, yet. 

    “Tomorrow is a big day. Nice,” he says, when asked about Friday night’s NHL Draft.

    Does he expect to be drafted at No. 3, where the Columbus Blue Jackets are picking? Does he expect they might trade the pick, as has been speculated?

    “I don’t know at all. Exciting day. Big day,” he says.

    But where Laine and Puljujärvi are really separated isn’t their hands or the feet. It’s their mouth.

    “He’s getting better. So much better. It’s nice to see him now. He can say some words. He’s trying hard,” said defenseman Olli Juolevi, a fellow Finnish draft prospect.

    “Little bit, yes,” he said.



  • Kevin Shattenkirk derby could be NHL Draft day’s costliest

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 20 hrs ago

    Kevin Shattenkirk’s future was just determined by Keith Yandle. 

    When the Florida Panthers signed the defenseman to a seven-year, $44.45-million deal, that set the rate for Shattenkirk, who is going into the final year of his deal with the St. Louis Blues. The Blues have Alex Pietrangelo ($6.5 million) and Jay Bouwmeester ($5.4 million) locked up long term. They have Colton Parayko coming off his rookie deal in 2017. Paying that rate for Shattenkirk is possible, but it isn’t feasible, and so he’s likely to be moved this summer and as early as Friday night.

    But where?

    The Shattenkirk Derby already includes the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers (Yandle’s former team) and Arizona Coyotes, who some believe are the front-runner for him as they continue to spend to improve their blueline after signing Alex Goligoski this week. The Buffalo Sabres are also in the mix, but have been most recently linked to Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks.




  • Canadiens GM insists P.K. Subban not shopped, despite teams' pursuit

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    BUFFALO, NY – Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin rolled his eyes and tossed his head back when asked what it would take for him to trade star defenseman P.K. Subban. 

    “I wouldn’t even want to go there,” he said.

    “You never say never. If someone offered me half of their team, you know, you gotta make it work. But it’s not my intention.”

    Yet the chatter continued, and intensified, at the NHL Draft in Buffalo. That the Canadiens are “open” to the possibility of trading him. That, according to former Hab Georges Laraque, the Canadiens actually did some negotiating with the Edmonton Oilers about Subban, asking for center Leon Draisaitl and the No. 4 overall pick for him.

    Bergevin downplayed the idea that anything was in the works now for Subban, whose full no-move clause kicks in on July 1, a deadline that’s been the catalyst for much of this trade scuttlebutt.

    How long are these conversations?

    “They’re pretty short,” said Bergevin.

    Is it realistic that a P.K. Subban trade could happen this summer?

    “I would say no.”