Greg Wyshynski

  • Coyotes moving to Las Vegas? Bettman calls report ‘garbage’

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago

    The New York Post reported late Tuesday night that the Arizona Coyotes were being sold to billionaire Bill Foley and moved to Las Vegas for the 2016-17 season. 

    NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, well, refuted the report.

    "The Post was told the story was completely untrue. They ran it anyway. The story is garbage. Team is staying put,” said Bettman, via Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona.

    Anthony LeBlanc also offered a strong denial. "The article in the Post is 100 percent false. No truth to it whatsoever. I'm not an unidentified source, I'm a principal, so I think I should know."

    Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, sounded the same tone with a statement to TSN:

    “The most ridiculous and irresponsible story I’ve ever been associated with. (The idea) has never been contemplated or discussed. Not even notionally.”

    The report comes at an interesting time for both the Coyotes and hockey in Vegas.

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  • Kevin Bieksa excited to be Plan B after Beauchemin prices out of Anaheim

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago

    The Anaheim Ducks wanted free-agent defenseman Francois Beauchemin back next season. General Manager Bob Murray even called him “a warrior.”

    Francois Beauchemin wanted to return, too, but on his terms. And those terms started at three years at $5 million annually, which was allegedly an offer on the table for him from another suitor.

    These were not terms Murray felt were all that favorable for the Ducks. So he started to explore a Plan B, and that led him to talks with the Vancouver Canucks involving defenseman Kevin Bieksa at last weekend’s NHL Draft.

    The Canucks, however, were in talks with the San Jose Sharks regarding Bieksa. Vancouver wanted a second-round pick in the 2015 draft; the Sharks balked. So the trade was off.

    Meanwhile, Beauchemin appeared on the way out of Anaheim.

    “After we had discussed a few things, we made them a 1- or 2-year offer and it wasn’t good enough,” said Murray. “I was told they were going to the market early his morning. He told me what he was going to get in free agency, and I couldn’t get anywhere close to it. We had prepared for that circumstance and made the move for Kevin.”

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  • David Poile defends ‘family man’ Mike Ribeiro, talks civil case

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago

    It’s gotten to the point where listening to Nashville Predators GM David Poile flailing about trying to rationalize re-signing Mike Ribeiro is downright painful. 

    Most painful, obviously, is the way he speaks about Ribeiro’s vital place on the roster while the centerman faces a civil suit alleging that he sexually violated an 18-year-old nanny to his children a few years ago.

    If Ribeiro didn’t re-sign with Nashville, “that changes a lot,” Poile told 102.5 The Game in Nashville on Tuesday. “It’s a good fit for us, in where he plays in our line up,” he added, wondering where he could find another center of Ribeiro’s caliber.

    Equally as painful is the way he draws a line in the sand between the Mike Ribeiro that is alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman in her sleep and then forced her down when she attempted to flee, and the sober Mike Ribeiro that played for the Predators last season.

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  • Kevin Bieksa traded to Anaheim in Pacific Division stunner

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago

    Hey, remember when Kevin Bieksa was going to be traded to the Sharks? It almost happened, but the Sharks wouldn't give up a second rounder in the 2015 NHL Draft. 

    So the Vancouver Canucks did the proper thing, which was to spite them by trading Bieksa for a 2016 second-round pick and sending him to the Sharks' rivals. Hence, Bieksa is now a defenseman for the Anaheim Ducks. 

    From the Ducks: 

    The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired defenseman Kevin Bieksa from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.

    Bieksa, 34 (6/16/81), scored 56-185=241 points with a +22 rating and 879 penalty minutes (PIM) in 597 career NHL games with Vancouver. Among all-time franchise defensemen, Bieksa ranked sixth in scoring, assists and games, and fourth in PIM. Among franchise playoff leaders for defensemen, he led in goals (10), ranked third in appearances (71) and sixth in scoring.

    Quack quack @kbieksa3

  • The 10 most awkward 2015 NHL Draft rookie photographs (Gallery)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 17 hrs ago

    SUNRISE, Fla. – While Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and the Boston Bruins’ front office received the most attention at the 2015 NHL Draft, there was another annual tradition we here at Puck Daddy had our eyes on in Sunrise, Fla.: 

    The 2015 NHL Draft awkward rookie photographs!

    We covered this bizarre ritual in 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and 2014. Alas, over time, the NHL and its photo editors have sucked much of the fun out of the posed images. Not a single one of Jack Eichel leaping through a curtain to scare us!

    And here … we … go.

    10. Nicholas Merkley, No. 30 overall, Arizona Coyotes

    “OMG THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BE PLAYING IN QUEBEC CITY!!!”

  • Mike Richards focus of Canadian police investigation: Report

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 19 hrs ago

    On Monday night, Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports confirmed that the termination of Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards’ contract this week stemmed from an incident at a border crossing. 

    Which border? The Canadian border, of course! Which is why the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating that incident, according to Katie Strang of ESPN.com:

    A spokesperson for the RCMP in Manitoba told ESPN that, as of Tuesday, no charges have been brought against Richards but declined to comment further. The source said that Canadian Border Services is also involved in the investigation, but a spokesperson declined comment, citing Canadian privacy laws.

    A denial from the Winnipeg RCMP on Monday was reversed on Tuesday, according to TSN’s Rick Westhead, which is now saying they can’t confirm or deny he’s under investigation.

  • Don Sweeney says Bruins aren’t rebuilding, defends trades

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 20 hrs ago

    To call Don Sweeney “much maligned” in his early days as Boston Bruins general manager would be an understatement. Everything from his ability to maximize value in trades to the direction of the franchise has been questioned based on 72 hours of controversial transactions. 

    So after trading forward Milan Lucic and defenseman Dougie Hamilton, are the Bruins in a rebuild?

    “No, I don’t think it’s a rebuild,” he said on Tuesday. “We have a tremendous core group of guys that will carry and even more tremendous load while we wait for these young players to find their footing.”

    OK, so maybe it’s a “build” instead. Sweeney boasts that the Bruins are bringing back five of their six defenseman from last season, although that back-end saw the Bruins’ team GAA go from a 2.08 to a 2.45 year to year. (Injuries were a factor.) In that group is Adam McQuaid, whose contract received an 'F' on a Bruins draft weekend report card. 

    “I would look at players that have the ability to score some goals, jumping into that next level of scoring or have a full body [of work],” he said.

    OK then.

  • Chris Pronger bends the rules one last time

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago

    Chris Pronger was asked about it several ways, but he wasn’t going to acknowledge it. 

    How surreal it was to still have an active NHL contract and be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. How surreal it was to actually have been involved in an NHL trade less than 48 hours before his selection. How surreal it was to have the gatekeepers to immortality change their bylaws to grant him access, because his circumstances – a stick to the head in 2011 and post-concussion syndrome ended his career, but not his contract – were extraordinary.

    "I think nothing I've done has been the easy way. I guess this would follow suit,” was the best he could muster.

    All of it must be humbling for Pronger. And awkward. And frustrating. Were it not for a Collective Bargaining Agreement that has more loophole’s than grandma’s knitting, the games being played with his contract would cease. Were it not for the injury, he would still be patrolling a blueline somewhere, elbows out, stick ready to turn opponents into a kabob.

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  • Sergei Fedorov and the offer sheet that ‘cost’ Carolina Hurricanes Stanley Cup

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Sergei Fedorov and Peter Karmanos, Jr., are two members of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2015. Karmanos, the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, said of Fedorov that it was “pretty obvious that he was going to be a Hall of Famer.” 

    Which helps explain why he was willing to hand him $38 million back in 1998.

    The Carolina Hurricanes were a money-losing team as the franchise moved from Hartford to Raleigh.Estimates were that the team was $25 million in the hole that year.

    So what did owner Karmanos do? He put a six-year, $38-million offer sheet on Fedorov, a superstar with the Detroit Red Wings who had been unsigned during a bitter restricted free-agent negotiation with the team.

    Oh, and it was a doozy of a contract, according to this 1998 piece by Michael Russo:

    So this was a level of revenge. But the ultimate chance to defeat Ilitch came in 2002.

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  • Hockey Hall of Fame 2015: Lidstrom, Fedorov, Pronger, Housley, Ruggiero

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee announced its Class of 2015 on Monday: Detroit Red Wings legends Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov; former Buffalo Sabres great Phil Housley; current Arizona Coyote Chris Pronger; former Hockey Hall of Fame chairman Bill Hay and Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, Jr. in the Builder category; and U.S. Olympic great Angela Ruggiero in the women’s player category.

    Hall of Fame forwards and defensemen will have played a minimum of 800 NHL regular season games or recorded a minimum of 300 goals, 400 assists or 700 points. 

    It’s an incredible class of NHL stars.

    The word “legend” gets tossed around a little too much in sports, but it’s hardly ever more applicable than in discussing defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.

    He won seven Norris Trophies in his 20-season career. He won four Stanley Cups. He won the Conn Smythe. He won Olympic gold in 2006. He has 1,142 points in 1,564 games, including 878 assists, fifth highest for a defenseman in NHL history. His postseason performances were epic, including a plus-61 all-time in the playoffs, an NHL record.

    He was nicknamed “The Perfect Human,” and that might have been an understatement.