Greg Wyshynski

  • Kris Versteeg leaving NHL for Switzerland: Report

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago

    Kris Versteeg was one of those names still floating in the unrestricted free-agent pool that surprised you.

    He split last season with the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings, amassing 15 goals and 23 assists in 77 games, playing an average of 15:23 per night. (His Kings average brought that down, as he was a spare part after the deal.)

    Versteeg is a serviceable and versatile winger, having bouncing around six different teams since 2007, including two different stints with the Chicago Blackhawks. He could have helped someone’s top nine, but perhaps that’s the issue: Versteeg, 30, might not want to latch on with a lottery team, and many contenders that could use him are pushed up against the cap.

    Plus there’s that whole “seemingly traded every season” thing, which must get tiring.

    Rather than wait on PTO season, Versteeg is taking his talents to Bern.

    According to Darren Dreger, Versteeg is expected to sign with SC Bern of National League A, a.k.a. the Swiss League.

    Just speculating here, but we wonder if Devin Setoguchi might have put a bug in Versteeg’s ear about this move.

  • Evander Kane arrested for criminal trespass, other charges

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

    Evander Kane of the Buffalo Sabres has been arrested for “misdemeanor criminal trespass” among other charges, according to the Buffalo News.

    Police sources had said that Kane was facing “non-criminal harassment charges” after a June 24 incident involving two women at a local club called Bottoms Up. (A third woman involved in the incident had yet to come forward to police as of early July.

    Kane had been in Canada, and voluntarily turned himself in when three Buffalo police detectives met him outside City Court around 11 a.m. on Friday.

    #Sabres forward @evanderkane_9 getting cuffed in downtown Buffalo. Photo by @kwiatkowskiBN https://t.co/T53wUWMhTp pic.twitter.com/WFNWcesvAP

    — Aaron Besecker (@AaronBesecker) July 22, 2016

    From the Buffalo News:

     

  • Rangers win big on Chris Kreider contract, at the buzzer

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 19 hrs ago

    This is what the New York Rangers and Chris Kreider do. They wait until the door to the arbitrator’s office is nearly open and then end the drama with a new contract before walking in.

    Two years ago, it was a two-year deal with an annual cap hit of $2.475 million. On Friday, it ended up being a four-year contract with an annual cap hit of $4.625 million.

    After a controversial trade earlier in the week, this one is a slam-dunk for GM Jeff Gorton and the Rangers.

    First off, it was imperative to head off arbitration, which would have resulted in a one-year deal that would have really given Kreider, 25, some leverage on his next contract, with unrestricted free agency looming.

    Recently, Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues received five years at $5.35 million per season. Alex Killorn of the Tampa Bay Lightning went seven years at $4.45 million. So Kreider falls in between those recent contracts, despite the Rangers getting a shorter term on it.

    That’s a win.

     

  • Has the NHL killed creativity in hockey?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 20 hrs ago

    DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 27: Detroit Red Wings center Brad Richards (17) celebrate his game winning goal with Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening (41) during the third period February 27, 2016 at Coors Field. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-3. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

    Brad Richards had 932 points in his NHL career, which began in 2000 and ended officially this week with his retirement. He’s one of those offense stars who straddled two eras – the methodical trap years before for the 2005 lockout, and the NHL 2.0 rules changes that stretched the ice and mandated speed.

    “The game has changed so much from when I came into the League,” Richards told TSN Radio 1050. “I don’t want to sound older, and ‘everything that’s better back in the day,’ but a little bit of creativity is gone from the game.”

    Here are Richards’ full comments on the state of the game:

    Richards said the most fun he’s had in recent years is playing 4-on-4 and 3-on-3, which is very much not “get pucks to the net/create rebounds.”

    But that said: Isn’t that, like, hockey?

  • Winners, losers in NBC Sports’ 2016-17 NHL TV schedule

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    NBC Sports Group announced its 2016-17 NHL schedule on Thursday, with 106 NHL regular-season games spread between the networks.

    Some teams made out great. Some teams … not so much. Here’s a look at the winners and losers in NBC’s 2016-17 TV schedule. (And here is a look at last year’s winners and losers.)

    WINNER: Wednesday Night Rivalry Night

    It does appear that most, if not all, of the games scheduled for Rivalry Night feature honest-to-god rivalries.

    Although that Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks one is a little suspect.

    LOSER: Nashville Predators (and by proxy, us)

    You can’t always account for late-breaking news when constructing a broadcast schedule, but what a bummer that the Preds get a chance to bring P.K. Subban to American TV audiences and their total appearances are actually cut in half from four to two.

    WINNER: Boston Bruins

    The Bruins go from 12 games on NBC and NBCSN last season to 17(!) this season, as obviously the acquisition of David Backes means eyes on glued to the B’s. Or maybe they’re just a gigantically popular regional team.

  • Watch Phil Kessel’s grandma chug booze from Stanley Cup (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Via @karikessel

    Phil Kessel winning the Stanley Cup is glorious for so many reasons. One of the primary ones, of course, is that he was able to take his time with the Stanley Cup and make the most of it.

    Last Sunday, Kessel had the Cup in Madison, Wisconsin. He took it to a children’s hospital. And then he partied with friends and family, which meant a chance to drink from the Cup, as his sister Amanda Kessel of the NWHL’s New York Riveters did.

    But she wasn’t the only one.

    Grandma Kessel, get over here!

    Hi, here's a video of Phil Kessel's grandma chugging champagne out of the Stanley Cup last weekend. #CupTracker pic.twitter.com/m4oyvVSoVc

  • Islanders planning Brooklyn escape to Queens: Report

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Are the New York Islanders planning their escape from Barclays Center?

    The Islanders are in talks with the Wilpon family, owners of the New York Mets, about building an arena adjacent to Citi Field in Queens, according to sports columnist Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News, who is the first mainstream source to report rumors that have been kicking around New York recently.

    From Bloomberg:

    Willets Point is emerging as a persuasive alternative to the team’s current home at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center if the Islanders’ owners and arena officials can’t agree on a series of hockey-specific improvements, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the negotiations are private.

    The Islanders, who are owned by Value Retail Plc founder Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky, and Sterling Equities, which owns the Mets, have been discussing a possible move to Queens for months, said the people.

    Now, there’s a lot to unpack here.

    Translation: leverage.

    So, do the math.

  • Why NHL fired arbitrator from Dennis Wideman case (repost)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    James Oldham has been the neutral arbitrator for the NHL and NHLPA for over a decade, hired to preside over grievances concerning the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    But he no longer will. Oldham confirmed to Sports Business Daily’s Liz Mullen that the NHL had dismissed him after he overturned Gary Bettman’s ruling on one of the most controversial cases in NHL disciplinary history: Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension last season for attacking an official.

    From SBD:

    When the League and the players agreed to a new suspension appeals system in 2013 – giving players who are suspended six or more games the chance to appeal to an arbitrator if Bettman rubber-stamped the suspension his League handed out – Oldham’s role became more prominent. Or, at the very least, we heard his name with more frequency.

    Oldham said that was the wrong conclusion, in his summary statement on the suspension reduction:

    And then Oldham was dismissed.

     

     

  • Marcus Johansson, Capitals meet in middle on 3-year deal

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

     

    It’s always heartwarming when a player and his team avoid some bitter arbitration hearing and work things out beforehand, isn’t it?

    Marcus Johansson wanted $5.25 million in arbitration. The Capitals were offering $3.85 million. On Wednesday, they agreed on a new three-year deal that pays the winger $13.75 million, or a $4.583 cap hit.

    According to the team, Johansson will earn $4.25 million in 2016-17 and $4.75 million in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

    The man they call ‘MoJo’ scored 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists) in 74 games with the Capitals last season. He ranked tied for 11th in the NHL and second on the team in game-winning goals, for whatever that’s worth. Johansson ranked third among Capitals skaters in power-play goals, fifth in assists and sixth in points.

    He didn’t have the best possession season (49.60 Corsi, 5v5 score adjusted) , but he’s been a good solider for years for the Capitals and clearly GM Brian MacLellan likes him.

     

  • Wild try to shame Jordan Schroeder into contract surrender

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    Getty Images

    Jordan Schroeder hasn’t exactly lit the NHL on fire during his four-year career, after being taken 22nd overall in 2009 by the Vancouver Canucks. He has 27 points in 107 games, including four points in 26 games with the Minnesota Wild last season, playing an average of 9:25 per game.

    But it’s within the 25-year-old restricted free agent’s rights to file for arbitration against the Wild, which he did early this month. This issue? He wanted a one-way contract or, sparing that, a two-way contract that would have paid him a bit more to give up that stability.

    It was also within the Wild’s rights to do what they did on Tuesday: Dropping Schroeder on non-buyout waivers. Why did they do this? As Michael Russo notes, it’s to build their own case in an attempt to strong-arm him into the contract they want him on, as he’ll still be an RFA headed to arbitration when he clears:

    — Michael Russo (@Russostrib) July 19, 2016