Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 hr ago
NEW YORK – The line wrapped around the NHL Store in Manhattan, and then around the block outside on 47th Street. Each hockey fan had their books in hand. Each hockey fan hoped for a few seconds with, and an autograph from, The Great One.
Wayne Gretzky has made the rounds recently: Appearing at the World Cup of Hockey as the NHL’s official ambassador for its centennial celebration; appearing at the opening of the Edmonton Oilers’ new arena, where he took a spin around the ice with Mark Messier and announced he was joining the team as an executive; and then appearing at the 50th anniversary season kickoff for the Los Angeles Kings.
On Thursday, he was in New York, promoting “99: Stories of the Game,” the new book written with Kirstie McLellan Day. Less a chronicle of his career than a capsule look at the history of the game he adores, Gretzky took some time to speak with Puck Daddy about his own hockey legend.
And here … we … go.
Were you ever uncomfortable with the nickname ‘The Great One?’
That’s probably about two years older than when Connor McDavid got his first nickname.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago
(WARNING: STRONG ADULT LANGUAGE AND HUMOR. LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.)
PUCK SOUP is the new hockey podcast on the Nerdist network for Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski and Dave Lozo of Vice Sports, Uproxx and The Comeback. This is a hockey podcast, in the sense that the talk about hockey, both on the ice and about fan culture. That’s the “puck.” This is also a podcast about movies, TV, fast food, life lessons and general idiocy. That’s the “soup.”
On this episode:
2:00 – Wysh saw Hamilton. No, not Dougie. Lozo hates musical theater.
8:20 – An enlightening conversation about arena bathroom etiquette
14:30 – General Fanager is dead. Long live the NHL Las Vegas team.
22:45 – Wysh is sorry he jinxed the Kings, and what they’ll do next post-Quick.
1:05:00 – Wysh loves WESTWORLD. Lozo, to the surprise of no one, does not.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
Bobby Hull chose not to attend his induction into the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame this week, in which he and his “Hot Line” linemates Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson were its first honored members. He made this decision because he knew – like we knew, like the Winnipeg Jets knew – that there’s no longer any separating the personal from the professional with Bobby Hull.
He’s a 77-year-old Hockey Hall of Famer with 913 combined goals in the NHL and WHA, and was hugely influential in the establishment of that latter league and the Jets franchise. He’s a wife-beating, Hitler-praising ghoul who openly called for “genetic breeding” to make a better human race and complained that the black population of the world was “growing too fast.” He was 59 years old at the time of those comments.
Yes, that of course is the real shock.
A celebration of the Hot Line without Bobby Hull?
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 8 hrs ago
Pittsburgh Penguins playoff savior Matt Murray just returned to practice this week as his broken hand, suffered in the World Cup of Hockey, heals up. Apparently it’s not his contract signing hand.
The Penguins announced that Murray has signed a three-year deal that kicks in after the 2016-17 season. Pierre LeBrun reports that the contract has an AAV of $3.75 million per season.
Murray, who is eligible for the Calder Trophy when he returns this season, is in the last year of his rookie deal.
This means the Penguins would, in theory, have over $9 million committed to their salary cap next season between Murray and Fleury. But with the expansion draft looming next June, the writing continues to be on the wall that Fleury’s time in Pittsburgh is at an end.
From the NHL expansion draft rules:
Goodbye MAF. Pittsburgh’s Flower becomes a desert blossom. Or maybe a Texas rose, if the Dallas goaltending doesn’t work out …
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago
NEW YORK – The New York Rangers skated in on Jimmy Howard in waves. The scoreboard at the end of the Detroit Red Wings’ 2-1 victory at Madison Square Garden read ’32 saves,’ but that was a shallow evaluation of Howard’s night: The breakaways, odd-man rushes and high-percentage scoring chances he stopped en route to that victory.
“We found a way on the road to get a ‘W’ and that counts for something,” he said after the game on Wednesday night, still catching his breath.
It was Howard’s first appearance since April 15, when he gave up four goals on 30 shots in Game 2 of the Wings’ first-round loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Petr Mrazek had moved ahead of him on the Wings’ depth chart.
Howard wasn’t moved. He’s back again for Detroit, a $5.3 million backup goalie.
“I never wanted to leave. On the business side of things you never know. But I never wanted to leave. I love this team,” said Howard on Tuesday.
Staying with the Wings meant wrapping his head around the backup role in a way he hadn’t last season.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
George McPhee is well aware of his reputation as the general manager who killed General Fanager.
“We read the tweets,” the GM of the NHL’s Las Vegas team told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday. “People are naturally disappointed. But we clearly made a great decision. We’re delighted to have Tom.”
Tom Poraszka was the man behind GeneralFanager.com, an NHL salary cap site that was an indispensable tool for fans and media. He created the site after Cap Geek, founded by the late Matthew Wuest, went offline. Poraszka was excited to combine his background in engineering and project management with his passion for hockey. The result was an informational-rich user-friendly site that tabulated the salary cap for all 30 teams and included several unique tools for fans to use – including one that created mock expansion drafts, something McPhee said Las Vegas was keen to acquire.
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
Marian Hossa scored goal No. 500 on Tuesday night, as the Chicago Blackhawks put a seven-spot up against the Philadelphia Flyers. Like the boss that the Hoss is, he said he only wanted to score a legitimate goal to reach the milestone – if he had a shot at an empty net, he would have passed the puck.
The goal gives Hossa, 37 years old, 500 goals and 1,093 points in 1,240 NHL games with the Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers (RIP), Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, who drafted him in 1997 and with whom he has still played the most games – although the Blackhawks will have that honor by next week.
Those numbers rank him fourth among active players in both categories. In goals, he trails Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla and Alex Ovechkin. In points, he trails Jagr, Joe Thornton and Jarome Iginla.
Is Marian Hossa a Hall of Famer?
In two games this season, the Dallas Stars have scored nine goals and given up eight.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is what the Dallas Stars frequently were last season: a team that could overpower an opponent offensively in a moment’s notice, but then give up a goal just as quickly. That they finished with a plus-37 goal differential spoke more to their NHL-best offense than their ability to hold down opponents’ scoring – only nine teams gave up more goals than Dallas (230) last season.
They visit the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET in the Yahoo Sports Free NHL Live Stream of the Day.
From Defending Big D, on the Stars’ search for consistency:
All three phases – offense, defense and goaltending – are capable of playing a full 60 minutes. With 80 games left there is plenty of time to make tweaks. And [Lindy] Ruff and company most certainly will.
Expect Kari Lehtonen to take on Pekka Rinne.
Las Vegas will populate its roster with NHL players this June via an expansion draft. It’s expected to be a catalyst for a great many things this season from a player personnel perspective.
“You’re quite aware of it, and it’s influenced a number of decisions to date,” said Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving, on the Marek Vs. Wyshynski podcast on Tuesday.
“Maybe not as prevalent that people would pick up on right away. But it’s pushed some signings that have happened to make sure that you’re compliant as far as the number of players you have to expose, No. 1. And No. 2, as time goes along, that it certainly will be the driver in the trade market, to a certain extent.”
Treliving said that teams are already prepared for what they need to do, and what their opponents are going to have to do tocomply with expansion draft rules. To that end, he said the Flames have grouped teams into different tiers.
The expansion draft’s influence will be felt greatly at the trade deadline.
Also in this edition of Marek Vs. Wyshynski, the boys are talking about:
– Reader mail!
It was dark and quiet inside Monkey Sports, a sporting goods store in Quebec, around 10 p.m. last Saturday night. That silence was interrupted by the sound of a drill, slicing open a hole in the ceiling.
A rope fell from the hole, hitting the floor near where the store’s collection of hockey sticks resided. A man in a hooded sweatshirt followed down the rope. Rather than snag whatever he could from the store — a real smash and grab job, if you will — his theft was more calculated: He seemed to select the best sticks in the place.
Soon, a collection of hockey twigs was amassed by the back door of the store, where his partner waited in a van to whisk his accomplice and the stolen merchandise away.
The total haul? According to Greg Goyer, the manager of Monkey Sports, it was estimated around $150,000.
“It’s amazing,” Goyer said. “I’m also sickened. To go undetected that way and not really have a care.”
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