Greg Wyshynski

  • Merry Christmas hockey fans! Time again for The Funeral Burgers

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago

    Merry Christmas, hockey fans! 

    As is tradition here on Puck Daddy, we'll be kicking back with presents and cookies and cookies we got as presents on Dec. 25. But no eggnog. Bleech ... eggnog is gross. Just give us the booze without that painty goop. 

    While we'll only be posting for breaking news, we do have to publish our annual Christmas tradition on PD ... THE FUNERAL BURGERS.*

    In 2008, the story of the Chicago Blackhawks' surprise bus trip to the wake of then-General Manager Dale Tallon's father, and subsequent visit to a small-town McDonald's in Canada, became a national sensation after an anonymous email spun a tale of rickety bus rides (no heat!) and frozen landscapes and acts of generosity.

    Merry Christmas from your friends at Puck Daddy, and thanks for reading and supporting this silly blog.

    *As some might remember, this video used to have images to go along with the story. Alas, that video's gone missing on YouTube. Please just enjoy Wes's golden pipes. 

  • Hockey Christmas decorations gallery: Saint Claude Giroux and others fan traditions

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    As I look over at this tree to my left, I spy a few essential ornaments we hang from the branches every December.

    There’s the baby’s first Christmas ones – the ratty ball of thread from my first, and the ceramic handprint from my daughter’s.

    There are glass ornaments with the mirrored center that I used to pretend were gun turrets on a COBRA base when I’d play with my G.I. Joes during winter break.

    There are the ones that symbolize relatives I’ve lost, ones that symbolize loves I’ve gained. And yeah, there’s always room for that aluminum hot dog and that six-pack of beer with the piece of holly on it.

    But there’s also room for our hockey ornaments. Being a two-team house, there’s a penguin in a Santa hat with a Chicago Blackhawks logo on it and a red ball celebrating the New Jersey Devils’ 2000 Stanley Cup championship. (One is more prominently displayed than the other, thanks to their current lots in life.)

    For many of us, the things we display every holiday season are representative of who we are. So that’s why we wanted to know what hockey-centric decorations you bring out for this festive season.

    Like this Philadelphia Flyers tree-topper from Lisa Waldschmitt:

  • EPIX Road To NHL Winter Classic Ep. 2: Death in the family (Review)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago


    Formulaic television can be comforting in its predictability. 

    For example, every episode of the NHL’s Winter Classic reality show franchise opens and closes with a soliloquy from the narrator, capturing the spirit of the road or the brutality of the sport or some other aspect of hockey life. It’s like reading a novel: We hear the opening chapter, and then 56 minutes later our eyes scan the final words and close the book.

    Breaking that formula, then, can be dramatically jarring. Which is why the end of Episode 2 of EPIX’s “Road To The NHL Winter Classic” was so devastating.

    This episode covered the sudden death of Clint Reif, 34, the Chicago Blackhawks’ assistant equipment manager. He traveled with the team from Columbus back to Chicago, and the players found out before a home game against Toronto that he had died.

    (Because Ross Greenburg’s shows are so damn good at collecting every shred of footage it can, there’s actually a segment introducing Reif to us before his death.)


  • P.K. Subban stuns kids in disguise as security guard, wins Christmas (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    PK's Holiday Surprise from PK Subban on Vimeo.

    This is the greatest.

    P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens decided to lay a holiday surprise on a group of local children. He was going to put them on a bus, take them to the Montreal practice rink, give them some quality swag (including Subban jerseys) and have them skate on the ice.

    Oh yeah … he was also going to dress as an elderly security guard named Karl and shock the hell of them by ripping off the disguise and taking the ice.

    Mission accomplished.

    How great was that scene when the kids catch wise to his ruse as he’s shedding his “Karl” outfit? How great was P.K. with those kids, playing without a stick?

    And how great was that disguise?

    (Extra points to Subban for the “soul glo” reference. Randy Watson would be proud.)

    Remember during Subban's contract talks when we said you can't put a price tag on what he gives you off the ice? This is what we were talking about. 

  • NAHL team wins 20-round shootout on night after owners quit (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    In any other season, the marathon 20-round shootout between the Keystone Ice Miners and the Johnstown Tomahawks in the North American Hockey League would have blown up, in a “leading off SportsCenter” kind of way. 

    Alas, it happened in the shadow ofthe 20-round, NHL-record shootout between the Washington Capitals and the Florida Panthers. Which is a little like opening an indie film about an obscure superhero on the same day as “The Avengers: Age Of Ultron.”

    But this shootout from Saturday night in the junior league had its virtues.

    About eight minutes in, during Round 11, there’s some great drama. Cameron Smith of Keystone puts on a brilliant move – forehand, backhand, forehand and boom, into the net. Only it’s waved off! The only thing we can figure is that he didn’t have forward motion through the move, but still, tough one to see get erased.

    That’s hockey for you. 

  • The disaster that is Coyotes goalie Mike Smith

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Every day at practice, Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett watches Mike Smith work.

    He sees that goalie whose potential was evident when Smith was a rookie and Tippett was head coach of the Dallas Stars. He sees that goalie who put together a career year in 2011-12, finishing fourth in the Vezina voting and back-stopping the Coyotes to the Western Conference Final. He sees that goalie that the organization rewarded with a 6-year contract worth $5.67 million annually.

    Then the Coyotes take the ice against an opponent, and he doesn’t see that goalie any longer.

    Smith has been, statistically, the worst goalie in the NHL this season. There isn’t another netminder that’s faced at least 600 shots that has a save percentage as low as Smith’s .884 or a goals-against average as high as his 3.48 in 23 games. Ditto his .886 save percentage at even strength. In adjusted save percentage – which takes into account quality of chances – only Darcy Kuemper of the Minnesota Wild has a lower one (.887) than Smith (.897) this season at even strength.

    The question is how much blame he should take, and how much his teammates and coach should take.



  • Puck Daddy’s most popular posts of 2014

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    The hockey world produced an eclectic collection of stories in 2014 and Puck Daddy was there to cover them – from the hard-hitting to the sublime, from the heartfelt to the ridiculous.

    Here are the 20 most-clicked Puck Daddy posts of 2014; keep in mind that many of the hockey stories from the Sochi Olympics ran on Fourth Place Medal and Yahoo Sports’ news section, like Canada’s stunning win over the U.S. women and T.J. Oshie’s masterful shootout against Russia.

    But here are the most popular stories on Puck Daddy this year:

    2. Hockey fight ends with hug, beer toast, peace sign and no punches  (March 30)

    deadspin_6742 by dm_4fe989d445655

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  • Creator Ross Greenburg answers critics of NHL’s new EPIX show

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    Like any critic, I had my likes and dislikes of the NHL’s new “Road To The Winter Classic” program on EPIX. OK, maybe more dislikes than likes. Substantially more, actually. 

    And like any content creator, producer Ross Greenburg didn’t exactly agree with that criticism. At all. When we hopped on the phone last week, Greenburg insisted that Puck Daddy's review was the only negative one he'd read. Although I'd argue it was "middling" rather than a thumbs-down.

    “I’m not going to sit here and defend anything,” said Greenburg, the former president of HBO Sports that created their revolutionary “24/7” series. “I’m proud of what we were able to create in 2010 with '24/7.' Many of the same people are working on this show. The music was as good as anything we did on ‘24/7.’ I guess you didn’t catch the theme, but the theme carried throughout the show.”

    I missed the original songs. So I asked Greenburg about the music, and he gave me two different justifications for the change.

    OK, I guess she did last weekend ...

  • Aleksander Barkov’s sick one-handed shot defeats Penguins (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    The Florida Panthers played in front of their largest crowd of the season against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night – 15,947 – and they witnessed one heck of a move by center Aleksander Barkov to win in the shootout. 

    In the seventh round of the shootout, Barkov skated in on Marc-Andre Fleury. He went from this forehand to his backhand. Fleury expected him to bring the puck back to his left, perhaps to go five-hole. Barkov, instead, just flicked the puck past Fleury’s left pad for the game-winner.

    The Panthers won, 4-3.

    "This was a big win for us,'' Barkov said. "The past two games have been like playoff hockey.''

    Granted, the Penguins were down around 10 regular players, including three sent back to Pittsburgh under suspicion of having the mumps.

    Youth might have been on Barkov’s side. He’s 19 years old. Fleury said after the game that he’s familiar with some of the Panthers shooters; but “that last one, I didn’t know about that one.”

    Now he knows. 


  • Marian Hossa in an ice bath; thanks, Reebok’s Winter Classic ads (Photo)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    With the saturation of outdoor games and no semblance of rivalry between the two participants, many of us have no doubt wondered how the 2015 Winter Classic could be marketed to maximum effect.

    The answer, really to anything in life: Marian Hossa in an ice bath.

    Katie Brown of District Sports Page discovered these Winter Classic one-sheets at the Navy Yard Metro station, as Reebok puts the spotlight on Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals and Hossa, the star winger for the Chicago Blackhawks.

    This is honestly the weirdest direct-to-video knockoff of “Hot Tub Time Machine” we’ve ever seen.

    The ads use “Winter Is Coming,” the classic tagline from “Game Of Thrones.” That, combined with the beckoning look of shirtless athletes in ice baths … well, we’re glued to the TV on Jan. 1, don’t know about you.

    Here’s another ad featuring Ward and Hossa:

     Incidentally, the current long-range forecast for Winter Classic Eve is 38 degrees with evening snow showers. So save those “they might as well be in a swimming pool instead because the game’s in D.C.” jokes. At least until they release the five-day forecast.