Greg Wyshynski

  • NHL free agent best signing, worst signing and Phil Kessel breakdown (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago

    The 2015 NHL Free Agent Frenzy lived up to its name, although it wasn't a signing but a trade that stole the show.

    Here are Greg Wyshynski and Sean Leahy of Yahoo Sports' Puck Daddy blog, revealing their favorite moves, their least favorite moves and a breakdown of the trade that saw Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel go to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a blockbuster deal. 

    Check out Puck Daddyfor complete coverage of Day 1 of the Frenzy. 

  • On Phil Kessel, Jim Rutherford and silencing the haters

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago

    Toronto won’t have Phil Kessel to kick around anymore, which means we might have to pitch in and get Dave Feschuk a ball or a can or Dion Phaneuf or something, since the annual target of his indignation is now a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    How to describe Feschuk’s coverage … well, it was as if all the criticism of Kessel became sentient, took on human form and acquired a byline in the Toronto Star. There was the TRADE KESSEL column of June 2013. There was the time he used an assistant coach’s comments at an offseason clinic to crucify Kessel as un-coachable. He confronted Kessel with that theory when Randy Caryle was fired; Kessel called him an idiot and stormed out of the dressing room.

    How could Shanahan not want to eradicate Kessel’s joyless, uncommitted presence from Leafland, and pronto? Surely it’s a fait accompli.

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  • Phil Kessel trade: Winners and losers of Leafs, Penguins blockbuster

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs, along with Tyler Biggs and defenseman Tim Erixon in exchange for Kasperi Kapanen, Nick Spaling, Scott Harrington and a 2016 third-round draft pick previously acquired from New Jersey, as well as a complicated scenario in which other picks will change hands. 

    Who won the trade? Who lost the trade? Here’s our take:

    WINNER: Phil Kessel

    Since he arrived in Toronto, only four players have more goals that Kessel’s 156 in 446 games. The idea that his setup man will now be either Sidney Crosby (most likely) or Evgeni Malkin is indeed a scary thought. Granted, we still have to see how his style – he and Crosby both like the puck – meshes with his new teammates, but 40 goals is the floor for what to expect from Kessel. 

    LOSER: Phil Kessel

    WINNER: Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin

    LOSER: Tyler Bozak

    WINNER: Jim Rutherford

    LOSER: Pittsburgh’s Depth

    WINNER: Leafs Salary Cap

    LOSER: Chris Kunitz

    WINNER: Gary Roberts

    LOSERS: Toronto Mitten-stringers

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  • Phil Kessel trade: Penguins put disaster insurance on pick sent to Leafs

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 15 hrs ago

    The Pittsburgh Penguins made their trade of Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel official on Wednesday: Kessel, forward Tyler Biggs and defenseman Tim Erixon in exchange for Kasperi Kapanen, Nick Spaling, Scott Harrington and a 2016 third-round draft pick previously acquired from New Jersey for their signing of coach John Hynes. 

    The deal also involves two conditional picks. And that’s where it gets a little complicated:

    *If Pittsburgh qualifies for the 2016 postseason, Toronto will receive the Penguins’ 2016 first-round draft pick; and the Penguins will receive Toronto’s 2016 second-round selection. The second-round pick would be the one Toronto originally acquired from Pittsburgh for Daniel Winnik earlier this year.

    *Should Pittsburgh miss the 2016 playoffs, Toronto will INSTEAD receive the Penguins’ 2017 first-round pick; with Pittsburgh getting Toronto’s 2017 second-round selection in return.

    *If the Penguins were to miss the postseason the next two years, Toronto would receive Pittsburgh’s 2017 second-round draft pick and Pittsburgh would not receive a draft pick.

    Everybody got that?

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  • Barret Jackman joins the Predators on 2-year deal

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago

    The Nashville Predators signed former St. Louis Blues defenseman Barret Jackman on Wednesday to a two-year deal with $2 million annually. 

    Jackman had narrowed his choices down to the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville, but opted for the Preds. He was coming off a three-year, $9.5 million contract with the Blues, who opted not to bring him back. He had been the longest-tenured athlete in St. Louis at the time.

    It’s not a bad signing or landing spot for Jackman. He’s going to be a second or third pairing guy, and could be a defensive foundation for a player like Seth Jones to get his offense on. He was a strong possession player for the Blues, with a plus-1.2-percent Fenwick-Relative to his teammates last season. And he'll still drop the gloves, with five fights last season. 

    For what it’s worth, Jackman felt he had plenty left. As he told STLToday.com:

    In a limited role, this should be OK. Wonder why the Blackhawks couldn’t secure him?

     

  • Lightning make smart little deal with Erik Condra

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago

    Erik Condra was an usher at Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper’s wedding. Now, he’s going to be a member of Cooper’s NHL team for the next three seasons.

    Condra left the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, and is going to cost the Tampa Bay Lightning just $1.25 million against the cap, which is outstanding.

    Condra had 23 points in 68 games last season, going from a healthy scratch early in the season to being a vital part of a line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Curtis Lazar. Condra, 28, was a 50 percent Fenwick player last season, slightly better than average on possession for the Senators.

    He’s going to be used in a defensive role down the lineup for the Lightning, able to play either wing. (One assumes this is just a straight-up younger model replacement for Brenden Morrow.)

    Just a smart, smart play for GM Steve Yzerman. And of course a reunion with Cooper and Condra, whom he coached as a 17-year old with the Texarkana Bandits of the NAHL.

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  • Phil Kessel is a Pittsburgh Penguin

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 17 hrs ago

    The Pittsburgh Penguins wanted to add top-end offense talent to their roster. GM Jim Rutherford added one of the best pure goal-scorers in the NHL, if also one of the most maligned. 

    Phil Kessel is a Penguin.

    The Penguins and the Toronto Maple Leafs finally came to terms on a deal that sent Kessel to Pittsburgh for forward Kasperi Kapanen, defensive prospect Scott Harrington, depth forward Nick Spaling, a 2016 first-round pick and a third-rounder. Along with Kessel, defenseman Tim Erixon, forward Tyler Biggs and a second-round pick were sent to Pittsburgh so the roster numbers worked. 

    Kapanen was a first-round pick for the Penguins last season.

    The Leafs will eat $1.2 million of Kessel's $8 million cap hit through the contract. Phil Kessel for $6.8 million is a lot easier to stomach than $8 million. 

    This is a much different deal that what was rumored to be rejected by the Leafs at the draft, via Rob Rossi: 2016 1st round pick, Derrick Pouliot, Rob Scuderi and Chris Kunitz for Phil Kessel.

    What a chance for Kessel to prove that the problem was Toronto and not Phil Kessel. 

  • Sharks land Paul Martin for four years, Larry Robinson reunion

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 17 hrs ago

    The San Jose Sharks finally landed their veteran defenseman on Wednesday, and it’s someone with whom Larry Robinson is familiar. 

    Robinson, still a member of the Sharks’ braintrust, worked with Paul Martin when he was a young defenseman in the New Jersey Devils organization. Martin signed a four-year deal with the Sharks on Wednesday with a $4.85 million annual cap hit, giving them a 34-year-old lefty with a lot of experience in the regular season and playoffs.

    Martin was given some grief as a member of the Penguins, but he was never going to be worth the $5.5 million over five years the Pittsburgh Penguins handed him as an unrestricted free agent in 2010.

    He’s a player that’s good for around 25 points. He handled the puck very well, can get you upwards of 24 minutes a night and is smart in his own zone. Best of all: He can be the defensive rock in a paring, as he was with the Penguins playing with Kris Letang last season.

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  • Francois Beauchemin signs 3-year deal with Avalanche

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

    Guess we know who set the market rate for Francois Beauchemin. 

    The free-agent defenseman’s agent said that his client had a 3-year deal on the table from a suitor. That was too rich for the Anaheim Ducks’ blood, and they opted to trade for Kevin Bieksa from the Vancouver Canucks rather than give Beauchemin that term.

    On Wednesday, moments after NHL free agency kicked off, the Colorado Avalanche announced that Beauchemin had inked a 3-year deal with $4.5 million annually.The contract has a no-movement claus.

    (The Ducks, meanwhile, signed Bieksa to a 2-year deal with $4 million annually that kicks in for 2016-17.)

    That’s a million-dollar jump for Beachemin, who will be 38 years old at the end of this contract.

    Beauchemin becomes the third defenseman over 32 years old on the roster next season, along with Nate Guenin (32) and Brad Staurt (35).

    It’s not a bad signing at all for Colorado, which had a pay a little more to land him.

    He can only help a blue line that really needed some last season, and Beauchemin's going to be a good partner for a younger D-man. 

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  • Karri Ramo signs with Calgary Flames again for $3.8 million

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

    The combination of Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo was surprisingly effective for the surprising Calgary Flames who surprisingly made the playoffs in the Western Conference. 

    So Calgary decided not to fix what isn’t broken, and brought Ramo back at a $3.8 million cap hit for one season.

    Ramo, 29, had 34 starts last season and was 15-9-3 with a .912 save percentage and a 2.60 GAA. Overall, the Flames had a 2.60 team GAA, good for 17th in the league last season.

    The only curious thing about this signing: Goalie prospect Joni Ortio, who has a one-way NHL contract and will have to pass through waivers to get down the AHL. The risk, apparently, is one Calgary will take.

    Here’s Matchsticks and Gasoline’s take:

    Not a bad signing. Again, not broke, don’t fix it. And the Flames have other financial commitments to worry about.  

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