Greg Wyshynski

  • Puck Daddy's 2015 NHL All-Star Game Live Chat!

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 48 mins ago

    It's the 2015 NHL All-Star Game from Columbus and the Yahoo Sports crew is here to chat it up!

    Team Foligno vs. Team Toews!

    But the real intrigue is with some of the first timers at the game. 

    Twelve 2015 NHL All-Stars are under age 25. Thirty-two of the 41 players have yet to celebrate their 30th birthday. The youngest 2015 NHL All-Stars are 18-year-old  Aaron Ekblad  (2/7/96) and 20-year-old  Filip Forsberg  (8/13/94). Ekblad will be the second 18-year-old to skate in the past three NHL All-Star Games, following  Jeff Skinner  in 2011 in Raleigh, N.C.

    So join the Puck Daddy crew and your Yahoo Sports friends for all the action at 5 p.m. ET.

  • Does Rick Nash deserve credit for Columbus hockey fan boom?

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – In 1997, John H. McConnell gave the city he loved a franchise in a sport he didn’t love yet.

    “I can't say I'm a fan because we never had hockey here,” said McConnell, the steel industry magnate who brokered a deal with the NHL to bring the Columbus Blue Jackets to reality.

    But that’s how you make hockey fans, right? You bring hockey to them, bring them into the arena, get them hooked on a game whose addictive qualities are a natural fit for a Midwest U.S. town with cold weather and sports obsessions. (See Buckeyes, THE Ohio State University.)

    Starting in 2003, Rick Nash was central to that recruiting mission. With due respect to Ray Whitney and Geoff Sanderson, Nash was the first star the franchise had – a hulking forward taken first overall in the NHL Draft, and a player GM Doug MacLean traded up to select.

    He worked hard at growing the Jackets, growing the game and connecting with fans until 2012, and a contentious split between the franchise and its franchise player. Nash was traded to the New York Rangers, and the cheers turned to boos whenever he stepped on the ice.

    Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, echoed that sentiment this weekend.

    MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

  • Nikita Gusev scores ridiculous spinning lacrosse goal in KHL all-stars (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 hrs ago

    Nikita Gusev is a 22-year-old forward in the Kontinental Hockey League, drafted at No. 202 overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012.

    He made its all-star squad after 28 points in 45 games for Yugra. He was an entrant in their shootout skills competition this weekend and, well, he stole the show.

    Gusev put the puck between his legs and pressed his stick blade down behind him,  trailing him like a tail. He then lifted the puck back through his legs on his stick blade, spun to his right and fired a lacrosse shot into the net with his blade facing downward.

    In real time, it looked like an attack move out of Street Fighter.

    It was awesome.

    It also made us wonder where the heck the spin moves were this weekend in Columbus during the shootout events. Like, it’s banned in the NHL, but does that mean that it’s banned in the skills competition exhibition too? Because, you know, they allowed players to use little kids and blindfolds and such.

  • Zemgus Girgensons wonders if he belongs in All-Star Game, despite votes

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 6 hrs ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Think of Zemgus Girgensons like a political candidate who won a Senatorial election without actually campaigning. 

    So he walks into Congress, looks around at the famous (and infamous) faces, and wonders ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ while at the same time acknowledging that, in the end, they’re all just politicians and he should just enjoy the rest of his term.

    That’s pretty much the Buffalo Sabres forward’s 2015 NHL All-Star experience.

    He admits to wondering if he belongs here, and it's a question some in the media have asked as well.

    He’s 168th in the NHL in points at 22 and 61st in goals at 13, meaning most of the defensemen here have better offensive credentials. In an event typically reserved for the League’s elite performers, Girgensons … well, is not one.

    “I have thought about it,” he said, “but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter,''

    It doesn’t matter because Girgensons has another number attached to his name: 1,574,896.

    “They’re crazy fans, I can tell you that. They always cheer no matter what the score is,” he said.

  • Team Foligno blows out Team Toews in wacky skills competition

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2015 NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition featured some friendly rivalry, dazzling individual performances and the goofball wackiness that’s come to characterize the event. 

    Here’s how it shook out for captain Jonathan Toews and captain Nick Foligno's teams:

    Fastest Skater

    Jonathan Drouin won’t be playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game, so he did all of his work during the Skills Competition. The Tampa Bay Lightning rookie won the Fastest Skater competition with a time of 13.103 seconds.

    The event featured an opening leg battle between Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel, one night after the two were traded for each other. Well, again. Kessel got the best the Dallas Stars star, 13.596 to 13.631.

    Breakaway Challenge

    The goofiest event of the night featured some of the greatest highlights.

    Shot Accuracy

    Team captain Nick Foligno was second overall with a time of 13.674.

    Skills Relay

    Shootout Relay

  • Johnny Gaudreau’s fire stick idea nixed, but living All-Star dream

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition has an event called the Breakaway Challenge that affords players the chance to act like prop comedians. 

    On Saturday night in Columbus, Johnny Gaudreau was that aforementioned prop.

    Ryan Johansen, the Columbus Blue Jackets star, did was fan favorites do and invited a child to participate in his shootout routine. He skated the puck near the crease, stopped, retrieved the son of his team trainer, and then had him shoot the puck home. It was all quite adorable. 

    Jakub Voracek, the NHL’s leading scorer from the Philadelphia Flyers, needed some way to trump that attempt. So he decided to borrow that idea by using the smallest skater he could find to take the shot.

    That would be the diminutive Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau.

    “He came up and asked me first if it was all right. I thought it would be pretty funny to do something like that,” said Gaudreau.

    “To be honest, it was actually Ryan Suter’s idea. He came up to me and he said I should do it,” said Voracek. “I think that little kid was bigger than [Gaudreau]. Let’s be honest."

    “I asked one of the player safety guys here and they said no,” he said.

  • New NHL player tracking system will revolutionize TV coverage, stats

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 20 hrs ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the 1996 All-Star Game, the NHL debuted something that it felt would revolutionize its product on television. 

    But the less said about the FoxTrax glow puck, the better.

    Nineteen years later, the NHL’s debuting another technological leap during All-Star weekend. It involves the puck. It involves lasers. But this time, they may have gotten it right and, in turn, changed the way we’ll watch hockey ... and quantify it. 

    “We’re trying to bring that in-arena experience to the living room. We’ve talked about it for years and years. And as the technology gets better, the closer we get to it,” said Mathieu Schneider of the NHLPA.

    The NHL and the NHLPA debuted their new player tracking system during the skills competition, and plans on expanding it during Sunday’s All-Star Game. Sportsvision, the company behind real-time tracking and graphics in NASCAR and the NFL, embedded chips inside pucks and players’ jerseys that can measure quantitative data, puck and skating speed, puck trajectory, puck and player location, and ice time.

    The technology could change the way we follow the game on television and on second screens.

    In fact, it might. 

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  • Puck Daddy 2015 NHL All-Star Skills Competition Live Chat!

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago

    It's the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena in Columbus!

    A fan favorite that has showcased hockey’s top talent at NHL All-Star Weekend since 1990, the event will be broadcast live on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada at 7 p.m., ET.

    Team Foligno, captained by forward Nick Foligno of the All-Star host Columbus Blue Jackets, will compete against Team Toews, led by Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, throughout the night for points in the overall team vs. team competition. Individual champions also will be crowned. The NHL All-Stars and rookies will participate in six events.

    Here's the field for the event.

    Join your friends at Yahoo Sports for a live chat starting at 7 p.m.!

     

  • NHL expansion: Seattle, Las Vegas would get looks before Quebec City

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Hockey League hasn't formally started the expansion process yet. But when it does, they will look ouest before nord.  

    “To the extent our board makes a decision that expansion is something they’ll consider or pursue, which they haven’t yet, as an initial matter we have to look West first due to the geographic alignment of our teams,” said deputy commissioner Bill Daly, at the All-Star Game’s State of the NHL address from Gary Bettman.

    “We have 14 teams in the Western Conference, 16 teams in the East. That’s an imbalance that we’ll want to remedy.”

    That response was to the annual question from the French-language media about the NHL’s return to Quebec City, which is in the process of building a new arena. But when Bettman spoke about potential expansion, Quebec wasn’t mentioned in his remarks.

    Las Vegas and Seattle were.

    “I really have nothing new to report that I haven’t previously reported. Las Vegas is getting ready to launch the season ticket campaign,” said Bettman, “and we continue to get interest from others including Seattle. Their mayor visited and we had a nice chat.”

    (Keep in mind the NHL celebrates its centennial in 2017.)

  • NHL World Cup of Hockey 2016: Everything you need to know about teams, format

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Before announcing the return of the World Cup of Hockey, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman showed a highlight reel of past World Cups. The Canada Cups of the 1980s. The American’s World Cup win in 1996. History being made. 

    The 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which will run at the Air Canada Centre from Sept. 17 to as late as Oct. 1, is seen by many critics as a “World Cup In Name Only.” Nostalgia for those moments can’t quite square with the product presented by the NHL on Saturday afternoon in Columbus, which features six nation teams, a “rest of Europe” all-star team and a team made up of 23-years-old-and-younger players from the U.S. and Canada.

    “We think this will prove to be the most competitive tournament of this type ever played,” said Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA, before ripping off his suit and diving into a swimming pool of gold coins. 

    (Sorry, just daydreaming.)

    If not the most competitive tournament, then the most profitable. The League will control the tournament. It will be played on NHL ice with NHL officials calling penalties on NHL players – well, for the most part.

    - Now, about that Youngstars team.