Sitting right fucking there

That guy right there. He's the CapGeek guy. He's on The Hockey News's list of influential people. Sitting right fucking there.

I can still remember that night, at the Metro Centre here in Halifax. It was some forgettable game for the Halifax Mooseheads and during the first intermission, everyone in the press box was rushing to grab a sandwich before the healthy scratches got there. And one of the scouts at the game, looking down at a beat reporter typing notes into his laptop, dropped that line in absolute amazement. Because he just figured out Matt Wuest's "secret identity".

I had credentials for the Mooseheads for about half a dozen years or so and Matt was there working for the Daily News and then for the Metro for most of them. But that scout's incredulous reaction is a testament to how he went about his work. He was quiet, worked hard and let his work speak for itself. He also never hesitated to help, whether that was a question about Red Wings prospects, NHL contracts or QMJHL players.

CapGeek is what he'll be remembered by and it's through CapGeek that his passion for the sport of hockey becomes clear. After he made the decision to shutter the site, I, like many people I'm sure, had the conversation with some of my more technically inclined friends about being able to fill that void. We looked at it like a project and tried to do a bit of due diligence. The nuances of the NHL's CBA and the different clauses and rules, the daily transactions and calculations with everything from contract bonuses being carried over to the next year to long term injury reserve to buyouts, etc etc. Plus the quality of the information coming in, which was the lynchpin, as the site would be worthless if it wasn't accurate.

And that's the thing, when you look at the amount of work he put into CapGeek and consider that it was his hobby, the thing he did when he wasn't working, that's where the realization of his passion for the sport really hits home. That's the incredible part of it.

Thank you, Matt.


One other thing to add:

Last summer, CapGeek sold their "Armchair GM" shirts with proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. By that point in time, Matt would have been sick, but that wouldn't have been known by practically anyone. Consider donating to the Canadian Cancer Society here.

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Maybe Jane Seymour was right

Many year's ago, shortly after I first moved to Halifax, I went to a Mooseheads game. As luck would have it, Jane Seymour was in town filming a movie and I happened to be sitting a few rows behind her and what I can only assume was her husband and her children. As it sometimes happens with hockey, and often happens with junior hockey, a fight broke out on the ice and as everyone else stood up and strained to watch, I can distinctively remember Seymour staying seated while her male companion motioned for others to sit down and loudly booed. It seemed that aspect of hockey wasn't their cup of tea.

A few years later, as I got into actually covering junior hockey, my views started moving closer to those of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. There were the jokes about watching 16-year-old boys beat each other up, which masked the reality of that being exactly what it was. I stopped cheering when the gloves dropped, I viewed it more of an uncomfortable inconvenience.

How things have changed in a decade and a half. Hockey fans have watched a parade of tough guys die young; we've seen a series of star players fold up their careers early after one, or three, or 40 too many hits to the head. We've started debating the role of fighting in the game, about how best to combat headshots. We–some of us, at least–have felt a trickle of guilt at the cheers when the gloves hit the ice.

What Happens To Enforcers When Hockey Uses Them Up? 

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