Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
– In which Jeff educates us all about why Rogie Vachon is actually a Hall of Famer.
– Debating the Eric Lindros induction.
– Why the Hall of Fame ignores Don Cherry.
– The Canucks get fined.
– Stamkos watch.
– News and notes from around the NHL.
The Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast is hosted by Jeff Marek of Sportsnet and Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports, breaking down the NHL on a (somewhat) daily basis with their particular brand of whimsy and with guest voices from around the hockey world. MvsW streams live while its being recorded: LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn’t work, try here.]
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago
What Kyle Okposo provides a team is a rare commodity.
Sure, you can find other 6-foot, 217-pound wingers. And maybe they’re around 28 years old. And maybe they can get you between 22 and 27 goals in a good season.
But can they provide you with the versatility that Okposo can? Can they be an effective possession winger that can move up and down the lineup, but most importantly can hang on your first line as the quintessential co-star to your superstar player?
John Tavares has scored 127 points at 5-on-5 over the last three seasons. He scored 73 of them playing on a line with Okposo. But Okposo actually played more with Frans Nielsen last season than with Tavares, and excelled in that role too – 52.8 Corsi rating when they played together at even strength.
Meanwhile, Okposo has 67 goals and 117 assists in 201 games over the last three seasons, with 56 points on the power-play.
All of this is why Okposo is going to be, outside of Steven Stamkos, the most heavily courted player in free agency this summer.
(Weird how one teams sees splitting with Okposo as a means to a serious upgrade and other teams see Okposo as the serious upgrade…)
Where does Okposo end up?
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago
When it comes to Steven Stamkos and his free-agent motivations, you hear a lot of things. Like how much he desires to be closer to Ontario, or the weight he gives to winning a Stanley Cup or playing his natural position at center.
But in the end, Steven Stamkos is potentially the biggest free agent to ever hit the open market at 26 years old. He might only get one shot to cash in on this historic level. So the money matters. Of course it does.
The money matters to the Tampa Bay Lightning as well. What Stamkos signs for affects what Victor Hedman signs for, as well as a slew of other key players. And they need Stamkos to sign for their number due to previous overpayments, too, like Ryan Callahan.
The long-rumored offer to Stamkos from the Lightning: $8.5 million over eight years. They’re the only team that can offer him that eighth year, per CBA rules.
So let’s say the ego is unchecked and Stamkos weighs the financial gain rather heavily. Could the Lightning still retain him?
As Jaromir Jagr will tell you, the tax benefit of playing in locations like Texas and Florida is a draw for some free agents.
Roughly 26 years before Eric Lindros became a Hockey Hall of Famer, he was already being treated as such.
He was “The Next One.” He was a player whose combination of strength, size and offensive gifts was unmatched for a young player.
To understand the hype, the anticipation, the mania surrounding Lindros as he neared entrance into the NHL, just open up a wax pack of hockey cards, circa 1990.
That was when Score, the trading card company, made the unprecedented move of signing up Lindros to an exclusive endorsement deal as a junior hockey player. So a year before Lindros was eligible to be drafted, his “FUTURE SUPERSTAR” rookie card depicting him as a member of the OHL Oshawa Generals was already being coveted, as a part of a multi-card set.
This is not how things were done.
Again, this is not how things were done.
“There’s a void there,” admitted Lindros about his lack of a Stanley Cup ring.
Again, this is not how things were done.
“It feels full circle, if you understand that,” said Lindros.
Full circle, indeed.
I mean, there are few greater narratives to apply to a boy form London, Ontario ...
Eric Lindros is a Hockey Hall of Famer.
Lindros, who dominated for a stretch of years with the Philadelphia Flyers before concussions cut his years short, was elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday along with Sergei Makarov, the long-time Russian scoring champ; Rogie Vachon, long-time NHL goaltender; and coaching great Pat Quinn as a builder.
Lindros is 19th in NHL history in points per game average with 1.138. He won the Hart and the Pearson in 1995. He has just 760 NHL career games, however, in a concussion-plagued career. But after Cam Neely and Pavel Bure made the Hockey Hall of Fame, the lack of games-played became less controversial. And as Bure showed, the operative word in the title of the place is FAME.
Lindros had it. He changed the game in the 1990s. He belongs here.
Quinn was a given, and gets in over Don Cherry as a builder. He won the Jack Adams twice (1980 and 1992), Olympic gold in 2002 and other titles. He has 684 coaching wins, seventh all-time. Quinn passed away in Nov. 2014.
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There are plenty of reasons why there were lackluster ratings for Sportsnet’s second season of its billion-dollar deal with the NHL. Chiefly, it’s because it's a Canadian network covering Canadian teams that all finished outside the playoffs; and in the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the primary team it covers was intentionally attempting to lose as much as possible.
But this is a $5.2-billion, 12-year NHL deal. Which means anything that doesn’t meet lofty expectations was going to necessitate changes. And the changes have arrived.
We already learned that George Stroumboulopoulos would be replaced as host by the host he replaced, Ron MacLean. In fact, Stroumboulopoulos has left the company.
“George is an extremely versatile and creative broadcaster and we value the contributions he made to Hockey Night in Canada. We look forward to seeing what his next great project will be,” said Scott Moore, President of Sportsnet & NHL Properties, Rogers. “We are continually evaluating and evolving our broadcasts to deliver the best experience for fans.”
One of the biggest storylines from the revival of the World Cup of Hockey is the revival of the NHL’s relationship with ESPN.
It’s not always been the smoothest relationship: The lowball offer that led the NHL to cast its lot with Comcast and NBC; the lack of coverage through the years because it wasn’t an ESPN rights property; and, going back a few years, the way hockey was shoved aside for flavor-of-the-minute things like poker tournaments, irking fans.
So what will the coverage look and sound like when the World Cup returns to the World Wide Leader in September?
ESPN released the details on Monday:
NHL studio analyst Barry Melrose, SportsCenter anchors Steve Levy and John Buccigross and former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes will call ESPN’s telecasts of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre from September 17 – October 1.
On the studio side, I don’t get it.
The Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its Class of 2016 on Monday afternoon. It’s one of those classes that considered a “down year,” in that the first-time candidate crop is rather paltry (or in one instance, “Palffy”). This opens the door for some holdovers from previous years, including that paragon of controversy, Eric Lindros.
The following odds were established through previous votes, discussions with those around the hockey world and a feeble attempt at trying to guess what’s on the minds of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
Keep in mind that there are also categories for Builders and Women’s Players. Don Cherry, Pat Quinn and Viktor Tikhonov are all eligible in the Builder’s Category. Please keep in mind that the Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto.
Here are the latest odds for the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2016:
If it’s ever going to be Eric’s year, it’s going to be this year.
The bottom line is that Lindros belongs in the Hall of Fame. And, frankly, in a season that lacks a true star name to build a weekend around, the Hall of Fame could use Eric Lindros in 2016.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
When we last left Alexander Radulov, the 30-year-old former Nashville Predators sniper was leaving the Kontinental Hockey League after four seasons for the NHL.
The Detroit Red Wings were courting him, offering him a one-year deal in the neighborhood of $5 million, according to MLive.com. Radulov, however, had a different number in mind for his talents: TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Radulov was actually seeking a two-year commitment for a whopping $7.5 million per season.
That’s Jason Spezza money for a guy who hasn’t been in the NHL since 2012 and whose lasting legacy is missing curfew.
So Radulov shopped around and, to the surprise of no one not named “Alex Radulov,” apparently couldn’t find an NHL team that met his asking price.
According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, “Alexander Radulov could not find an NHL team willing to pay his asking price. He has signed with KHL Salavat.”
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
BUFFALO, NY – One of our favorite moments of the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo was when the Philadelphia Flyers announced they were taking “Daniel Bernhardt” when they meant “David Bernhardt” and then someone at their draft table said “my bad” afterwards.
Because “awkward” is a mandatory part of the draft experience. Especially when it comes to the posed rookie photos they make these poor kids take.
Here are the 10 (or so) Most Awkward 2016 NHL Draft Rookie Photos, continuing our annual tradition:
10. Artur Kayumov (No. 50, Chicago Blackhawks)
That moment when you realize your team just drafted Jason Schwartzman from RUSHMORE.
9. Rasmus Asplund (No. 33, Buffalo Sabres)
"MAY I INTEREST YOU IN THIS STICK? IT IS MADE OF ONLY THE HIGHEST QUALITY MICRO-FIBERS. NAME YOUR PRICE, SIR, BUT I ASSURE YOU THAT MONEY SHOULD BE NO OBJECT WHEN IT COMES TO A PIECE OF THIS EXQUISITE NATURE."
8. Jakob Chychrun (No. 16, Arizona Coyotes)
GM John Chayka looks on in horror as his first-round selection, David Beckham by way of David Bowie, accidentally stuck a secondary pair of tiny mutant dinosaur arms through his jersey sleeves.
"I see that it just did."