- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy56 mins ago
One of the great features on Yahoo’s fantasy sports is the ability to avoid certain players like the plague. If you’re in a manual draft, that means you just don’t select them; if you’re in an auto draft, that means you move them over to the Column of Shame and let the computer know it’s not allowed to add them to your roster.
This has been an annual rite for my fantasy football team, the French Kissing Namaths, for quite some time. I’m not going to spend four months cheering for Tom Brady, because I’m a Jets fan and not a masochist, so I don’t draft him. Ever. This year, that ban extended to Ray Rice, because [expletive] Ray Rice.
When it comes to hockey, there’s no doubt some of that thinking creeps into my drafting, in different ways. I actually don’t mind owning a Flyer or a Ranger as a Devils fan, especially if they’re fantasy beasts: Wayne Simmonds leaps to mind. I actually try not to own many Devils, because who needs frustration on top of frustration when Ryane Clowe doesn’t score for three weeks?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
In New York’s East Village, steps away from a 24-hour Ukrainian diner that serves up pierogi as addictive as crack rock, is something a little less comforting: a memorial, adorned with the blue and gold flag of my ancestors, created in February to mourn those who died in the nation’s internal conflicts earlier this year.
(Yes, I’m Ukrainian. I’m only Polish for comedic effect.)
It saddens me. It also makes me disappointed, in myself, for not giving this humanitarian crisis more attention, considering my heritage. But then again, I’m an American – we could barely give Ferguson airtime until the reporters started getting thrown out of McDonald’s.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
The Augsburger Panther held their “hockey day” on Saturday, in which the Deutsche Eishockey Liga’s players competed for who had the hardest shot, the fastest stride and could eat the most saurerbraten in one sitting. (Honestly, we’re a little hazy on the details.)
Patrick Seifert is a defenseman for the Panther. We’re not sure how often he’s called upon for shootouts, but this move makes a compelling argument for his future participation.
A little between the legs action had the goalie thinking he was about to be Hertl’d, and then Seifert brings it back to the backhand for the finish. Which is rather nasty.
Seifert has played for the Panther since 2009 and has 18 points. So yeah, maybe he caught the netminder a little off-guard.
Side note: Any chance this team has had an Augsburger Sex Panther Night? It's illegal in nine countries, but we're not sure about Germany. It's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 days ago
The Columbus Blue Jackets open camp on Sept. 18. Their best centerman, and arguably their best offensive player, isn’t expected to be there.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch doubts that Johansen will be on the ice to start camp – a negotiating tactic from agent Kurt Overhardt as the two sides battle over a new contract for the restricted free agent.
Here’s how he handicaps the current talks:
The two sides can't agree on much, it seems, except this: There is nothing new to report. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
The Blue Jackets' position: Johansen does not have arbitration rights. He does not have an offer sheet from another club to sign. He has had one productive NHL season and will be paid accordingly. Here's $3.5 million per year for two years. Blow us away and we'll talk motherlode, long-term contract in 2016.
Johansen's position, through agent Kurt Overhardt: Johansen is 22 years old and he's one of the top centers in the NHL. He is a budding superstar, the likes of which your franchise has NEVER seen. He will be paid accordingly ... $7 million per season.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 days ago
The Melbourne Mustangs of the Australian Ice Hockey League captured the Goodall Cup over their archrivals the Melbourne Ice on Sunday, the first title in franchise history.
The celebration was expectedly raucous, the combination of championship elation and Australian birthright. There was booze, laughter, an ice bucket challenge and one of the more, ahem, stimulating postgame images we’ve seen from the Mustangs’ locker room:
Well that redefines "Cup raise."
We’re still waiting on Australian hockey super-fan Sasky Stewart, who had the photo, to I.D. the player, but out best guess from the roster is Michael James, not only because the face seems to fit but because this is totally a goalie thing to do. (Update: The Mustangs confirm it's James.)
Naked escapades aside, this was a really cool moment for Aussie hockey. The Melbourne Ice have been around for 12 years and had won three championships. The Mustangs have been around for four years and made the playoffs for the first time this season.
Fun fact: The Entertainment Software Association recently revealed that more women over the age of 18 play video games than boys under the age of 18. They encompass 36 percent of all gamers in the U.S.
So one assumes one or two women will pick up “NHL 15” from EA Sports when it’s released next week. One assumes EA Sports would know this. So why the game-maker would do anything that might alienate these fans is sort of baffling.
Which brings us to selfies.
One of the big innovations of “NHL 15” is in the game’s arena detail and the actions of fans. Hell, they’ve even mastered the art of the “enemy fan,” a.k.a. that knucklehead that invades your arena and cheers for the visiting team. (i.e. “me.”)
Did you catch the stinger, with the fans taking selfies at the game? EA Sports has even designed a faux Instagram around them.
The one on the left has a woman at a Toronto Maple Leafs game proclaiming that offsides is such a difficult concept to wrap her feminine head around, but oh well she still likes the Leafs because it’s Man Crush Monday!
Jersey Fouls is our ongoing exploration of the rules and etiquette for proper hockey jersey creation and exhibition. If you spot what you think may be a foul in your arena, email a photo to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in future installment.
We begin this installment in Denver, where the Colorado Avalanche have captured the hearts and minds of fans, and in the case of the latter have apparently warped them.
Reader Amy J. checks in with this Avalanche of failure:
Snapped these at Avs vs. Wild Game 5. "Balls to the Roy" and "VarlaRoy" aren't exactly setting Denver on fire, so these two came up with those all on their own.
He used even more tape to change his old #37 Ryan O'Reilly jersey into a half-assed #33 for Roy.
So much wrongness.
“VarlaRoy” at least has some semblance of hockey relevance, given how well Semyon Varlamov played for the Avs last season. It’s a terrible pun, but at least he didn’t go with “Rendezvous with RoyMov.”
But “Balls to the Roy” sounds somewhere between obscene and the worst answer from the worst sports-related category in the history of “@Midnight”.
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
NECA created this Jason Vorhees figure based on the weird not-very-classic "Friday The 13th" NES game. This November, you can buy the mask. [Dread Central]
A classic Earl Sleek cartoon in honor of the NHL an its officials trying to work out a new deal. [John Shannon]
Craig MacTavish on the Justin Schultz deal: “I think that Justin has Norris Trophy potential and I don’t think there are too many people who disagree with me in that regard.” Aca-scuse me? [Cult of Hockey]
It's a (gettin down on) Friday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: New voice of the Oilers Drew Remenda joins us! And Game Show Friday!
• NHL expansion.
• The warning track for hitting.
• News around the NHL.
Question of the Day: By 2017, which NHL cities that don't have teams will have them? Three forwards, two defenseman and a goalie - GO! Email email@example.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 days ago
Marketing anything related to the NHL is always difficult because (a) mining the players for some semblance of individuality requires a deep-sea drilling platform and (b) once you locate that personality, it’s frequently as vibrant as a vanilla-flavored rice cracker.
So kudos to EA Sports for their new campaign featuring NHL players getting musical about their love of “NHL 15”, which hits stores next week. Because they found a couple of winners, and the results are hilarious.
Here’s Brad Marchand getting his Bryan Adams on about how “NHL 15” got him all twisted up:
We can hardly believe … this is heaven.
Because it isn’t, unless heaven is actually musical hell. Although we did enjoy that throwback to our SEARS family portraits, when it looked like Brad Marchand was dreaming of Brad Marchand.
Ah, but just like he does with the Boston Bruins, EA Sports cover boy Patrice Bergeron is here to carry the day. Check out one of the NHL’s most complete players as he completely owns the stage during a beat poetry ode to a video game:
*snap snap snap snap snap*