Greg Wyshynski

  • Chris Pronger bends the rules one last time

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 hr 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 16 hrs 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 18 hrs 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.

     

     

  • Marek Vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Hockey Hall of Fame 2015 debate!

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago

    LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn't work, try here.]

    It's a (I don't like Mondays) 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: Chris Johnston of Sportsnet. 

    • NHL Draft preview.

    • Hockey Hall of Fame!

    • Hockey News and Views

    Question of the Day: Who is the Class of 2015 in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Email puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarekClick here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!

    ***

    BUY THE MvsW T-SHIRTS! SUPPORT HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER!

  • Would Maple Leafs retain salary to trade Phil Kessel?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago

    According to Andy Strickland, the Toronto Maple Leafs have told at least one team that they will retain up to $2 million of Phil Kessel’s salary annually in order to trade him this summer. 

    Kessel has an $8 million cap hit through 2022, which makes finding a dance partner for a trade a bit of a challenge. You look at a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins, for example, and they have $11.57 million in cap space but only have 14 players under contract. Two million in cap savings could mean two players added to that roster.

    While we’re not refuting Strickland’s report, we’d say there’s a much better chance the Maple Leafs take on someone else’s bloated contract back in a trade to make the money work, rather than have that money on their cap until 2022.

    Again, on the Penguins, since they seem like they’re in the hunt: Chris Kunitz ($3.85 million through 2017)?

  • Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015: Who gets in?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    The Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its 2015 class on Monday, and here’s what we know for sure: Nicklas Lidstrom would be in already were it not for a mandatory waiting period.

    There are a couple of other presumptive locks for this year, although they carry their own caveats in ways that Lidstrom doesn’t.

    Here are the odds for the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015 as we see it. Along with the players mentioned here, we expect Pat Quinn to be posthumously inducted in the “builder” category and Angela Ruggiero, U.S. women’s hockey legend, in the as a women’s player.

    Keep in mind that the Hall of Fame eligible goalies will have played a minimum of 400 NHL regular season games, won over 200 NHL games, or recorded 25 or more NHL shutouts. The 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.

    And here … we … go.

    1/1 

    Sergei Fedorov

    Nicklas Lidstrom 

    2/1

    Chris Pronger

    4/1

    Eric Lindros

    Mark Recchi

    6/1

    Dave Andreychuk

    Phil Housley

    Jeremy Roenick

    10/1

    Chris Osgood

    Yes, this one again.

    12/1

    Curtis Joseph

    Paul Kariya

    Alexander Mogilny

    Bernie Nicholls

    Owen Nolan

    Keith Tkachuk

    20/1

    Peter Bondra

    Tom Barrasso

    Kevin Lowe

  • Dougie Hamilton was ‘uppity kid’ as post-Bruins character attacks begin

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    SUNRISE, Fla. -- Perhaps Dougie Hamilton owes Tyler Seguin a phone call.

    One imagines the Dallas Stars center might have some sage advice on how to handle the door slamming you on the backside as a bus rolls over you, which is what happened when the Boston Bruins traded Seguin in 2013. The tales of partying, criticism of his work ethic and other forms of character assassination sprung forth from unnamed sources and were passed along in the media. Hell, even a Fourth of July party he had on the day of his trade was scrutinized. How dare you have a party on the day everyone has a party! 

    Anyway, Hamilton was traded by the Bruins on Friday, and his sins are far worse: He actually wanted a contract that mirrored his value as a restricted free agent defenseman; and the price, and the fear of an offer sheet, was too high for the cap-strapped Bruins to retain him. So they shipped him to the Calgary Flames.

    OK, let’s take this one at a time:

  • Flyers’ Sam Gagner ‘can’t play center at NHL level’ says Coyotes GM

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    SUNRISE, Fla. – Sam Gagner is now a member of the Philadelphia Flyers after the NHL Draft’s final big move on Saturday, when a team formerly owned by the National Hockey League traded for a league employee and his dead cap space. 

    Where will he play for the Flyers?

    Hopefully not at center. Because according to his former general manager, he kinda sucks at it.

    "At the end of the day we just didn't think he could play center at the National Hockey level for us," GM Don Maloney told the Coyotes website. "And (we) thought by moving his money around — we have a couple of young players that can put in his place that we can grow with and so we decided to move on."

    Gagner had 15 goals and 26 assists in 81 games for the Coyotes last season.

    From The Hockey Writers in January:

    This trade, man…

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  • San Jose Sharks GM targets ‘mystery goalies’ for trade

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    SUNRISE, Fla. – There are goaltenders that are mentioned in the media by name as potential trade targets, like Cam Talbot and Robin Lehner, who both moved during the NHL Draft to Edmonton and Buffalo respectively. 

    Then there are other goalies. Ones whose names aren’t in the rumor mill. Ones that general managers mull over in conversations, but whose availability isn’t always advertised.

    “As we look at it, there are more goalies than teams,” said San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson. “And there are more people available in discussions than you guys hear about.”

    Mystery goalies!

    “There are teams that are looking to do things for cap reasons or whatever, we’re in all those conversations,” he said.

    The Sharks are looking for a netminder for next season, having traded the rights to pending free agent Antti Niemi to the Dallas Stars during the draft. “Dallas approached me, asked for his rights for a couple of days,” said Wilson. “On July 1, he’s a completely unrestricted free agent again.”

    Wait, so could Niemi actually return to the Sharks?

    “You don’t rule out any options,” said Wilson.

    Mystery goalies!

    “We move to the next phase. We have lots of assets. Lots of cap space. Lots of time.”

  • Andong Song becomes first player from China drafted in NHL

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    SUNRISE, Fla. – When Andong Song was a six-year-old boy growing up in Beijing, he kept getting sick. So his mother suggested he try playing a sport. 

    “Hockey came up as one of the options,” said Song, “and I just fell in love with it.”

    On Saturday afternoon in Sunrise, Fla., that love of hockey led to an historic moment for hockey: Song, 18, became the first player born in China to ever get drafted by an NHL team, selected in the sixth round, No. 172 overall, by the New York Islanders.

    “It feels great. Unbelievable experience. Really honored to be the first,” he said.

    Song said his agent had an inkling that the Islanders would select him, but that the tension grew as the draft dwindled to its final rounds.

    “I wasn’t really nervous until the Islanders got their fifth-round pick. After that, I was on my toes,” he said. “It’s the draft. You never know.”

    The Islanders are part-owned by the Chinese-born Charles Wang, whom Song said he's yet to meet.

    When the Islanders called his name, a large group around Song in the Florida Panthers’ home arena exploded in cheers – friends, siblings and his mother and father.

    He had come a long way from his humble beginnings as a player.