- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
Jake Gardiner gets mentioned more frequently in trade scenarios than conditional draft picks, and that might not end despite his new 5-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The restricted free-agent defenseman signed a 5-year, $20.25-million deal that’ll give the Leafs $4.05 million against the cap.
So it’s a very cap-friendly deal for a puck-moving 24-year-old defenseman, which brings us to the most salient point: There’s no trade or move protection in the contract, according to Chris Johnston, which obviously keeps the door open for a potential move down the line if the opportunity presents itself.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
Peter Mueller signed a 1-year, two-way contract with the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, getting another chance to revive an NHL career that was devastated by concussions.
Mueller spent last season with the Kloten Flyers of the Swiss-A League, notching 46 points in 49 games, good for second in the league in scoring. (Matthew Lombardi, who led the League, earned a 2-year contract with the New York Rangers earlier this summer.)
His journey in the NHL has been fraught with frustration.
He was a No. 8 overall pick for the Phoenix Coyotes in 2006, scoring 54 points in 81 games in his rookie season and then never hitting that total again.
He was traded with Kevin Porter to Colorado Avalanche for Wojtek Wolski in 2010, and then entered concussion hell. A hit by Rob Blake concussed him late in the season, and then he had another one in the following preseason. Post-concussion syndrome plagued him during his last season with the Avs. and they chose not to re-sign him.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
NBC Sports released its 2014-15 NHL schedule last week, and the reaction was that annual combination of celebration and befuddlement.
The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks getting on 13 times each? Bravo. The Columbus Blue Jackets getting one game, and John Tavares getting a goose egg? The aforementioned befuddlement ...
One interesting aspect of the schedule: The lack of Monday night games on NBC Sports Network. There are three of them scheduled before the end of the calendar year; contrast that with 10 games before Dec. 31 in the 2013-14 season.
Steve Lepore of Awful Announcing spoke with Jon Miller,NBC Sports’ President of programming, and found out that “Monday Night Football” still has some sway over the sports landscape on ESPN:
SL: Your NHL schedule was just released, you’ve kind of moved away from Monday nights this year in favor of a lot of west coast games on Wednesdays.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
Eric Staal has a lot to prove next season.
The Carolina Hurricanes captain already had his news coach, Bill Peters, call him out this summer for an “unacceptable” one goal on the power play in 2013-14. He’s coming off his worst points-per-game season (0.77) since 2003-04.
So he’s working hard this summer. He’s been like a human training montage, complete with generic 1980s rock soundtrack. He’s pushing it to the limit! He’s got the burning heart! He’s got the touch, he’s got the power!
Annnnd he injured himself.
Hurricanes GM Ron Francis revealed on Tuesday that Staal underwent surgery to “repair a core muscle suffered during off-season training,” a procedure performed by the venerable Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Kyle Dubas is being seen as a game-changing hire for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Original Six team brings on an assistant general manager that’s 28 years old, didn’t take the traditional path to the job (i.e. wasn’t an example of cronyism) and fully embraced the use of advanced analytics while the GM of the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL.
But perhaps most importantly, he attended the Marek Vs. Wyshynski NHL Draft Party at Foley’s in New York City last summer. Which we assume is what got him this sweet new gig with the Leafs.
Dubas joined us on MvsW on Monday to talk about his new gig, his player personnel philosophy, the criticisms of his hiring, the good and bad in hockey analytics, the infamous Nick Cousins case in the Soo (one relevant today, considering the Ray Rice suspension) and a few other topics.
Take a listen here:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
EA Sports’ “NHL 99” isn’t often mentioned in the pantheon of greatest hockey video games of all-time, at least not in the same breath as a game-changer like “NHL 94”.
But what they did have for systems like PlayStation and Nintendo 64 was one of the most memorable opening videos in the history of the series, especially if you place David Bowie’s “Heroes” on an altar and worship it as a seminal rock classic (like yours truly does).
Take a look back:
Chillllls. That CuJo save. All day, all night.
Now, we know what you’re asking: Would this intro be improved if it featured a collection of marginal talents, below-averaged goaltending and foreign announcers?
The Kontinental Hockey League provides the answer in this recreation of the “NHL 99” intro.
As the KHL writes on YouTube: “Here's a little fantasy on what hands down best sport intro in the history of video-gaming would look like if EA Sports NHL 99 had used KHL highlights.”
OK, so they couldn’t figure out how to erase some of the glowing NHL logos from the graphics, although there is a bit later in the video where it’s a collection of glowing KHL logos.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 days ago
P.K. Subban has yet to lead the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup. But he's led Seth Rogen to the Stanley Cup, through the siren’s song of Canadian beer.
Rogen’s “Hilarity For Charity,” which seeks to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, was in Montreal as a part of the Just For Laughs festival, holding a late-night gala. On Saturday night, Rogen hit the stage with the apparent intent of creating the most Canadian moment in the history of Canada or moments.
Not only did Rogen have Youppi, the beloved Montreal Expos mascot, come on stage with a wheelbarrow of Timbits, but he had the Stanley Cup on stage (right-side-up, Def Leppard).
(Why was the Cup there when no Los Angeles Kings were present? Apparently everyone in Hollywood is eligible to have it for a day, per bandwagon rules.)
He vowed to fulfill a bucket list moment by drinking beer out of it.
Enter P.K. Subban with two pitchers of brew.
Enter beer, into Seth Rogen’s stomach.
Here’s a fan-shot video of the moment:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 days ago
For the most part, the hiring of Kyle Dubas by the Toronto Maple Leafs was greeted with pom-poms and champagne corks, and it’s easy to understand why.
The advanced stats advocates lauded it as a major advancement, as one of their own became a Leafs' lottery-pick-finish away from ascending to Dave Nonis’ seat. The media welcomed a new voice to the NHL conversation. Maple Leafs fans embraced it, as they do any move with the fait whiff of ingenuity and positivity.
There were a few voices of dissent, the loudest being Gare Joyce of Sportsnet, who offered a critical evaluation of Dubas’s time as GM of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Alas, it was buried under a dozen paragraphs of slightly bitter, ageist denouncement of Dubas as the flavor of the moment, a slick interview, a “whiz kid” who was eight years old when Joyce began banging out hockey tales at the Globe & Mail.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 days ago
When it became obvious that the New York Rangers were going to buy him out, Brad Richards pitched a potential new NHL home to his agent Pat Morris: The Chicago Blackhawks. Morris reminded him that the Hawks had little money against the cap with which to spend on a center, despite their need for one.
Then GM Stan Bowman came calling for Richards, and the veteran decided he’d make this work at the Blackhawks’ price.
Of course, making $51 million off his Rangers deal helps soften the blow of making just $2 million next season.
Richards spoke with Bob Verdi of the Blackhawks’ website about that recently:
You received a substantial amount of money so the Rangers could clear salary cap space, not an uncommon occurrence in the NHL now. Did that figure into your decision to sign with Chicago for one year at $2 million?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 days ago
It’s clear, at this point, that hockey loves Christmas.
Maybe a little too much.
Now the NHL has decided to bring hockey’s painful brand of yuletide cheer into your homes, office parties and the lives of your ironic hipster friends.
Created by Forever Collectables, the NFL was the first out of the gate with ugly Christmas sweaters, because Mike Ditka must be clothed at all times. The NHL sweaters were unleashed upon an unsuspecting public later.
Let’s take a look, shall we?