When I started reading Puck Daddy, Yahoo Sports’ hockey-centric blog, I knew nothing about its founder Greg Wyshynski. As big of a hockey fan as I am, I admittedly turned to ESPN.com for most of my hockey news and analysis. I know, I know. ESPN really just does not care about hockey and it shows. That’s why I went out searching for a new hockey site to dive into, and Puck Daddy was what I found.
Not weeks later, Wyshynski announced the start of his brand new hockey podcast, Puck Soup, co-hosted by his buddy and avid Internet hockey presence Dave Lozo. Their immediate rapport and hilarious banter, their obsessive use of movie and pop culture reference, the fact that they often talk little-to-no serious hockey, all of this hooked me in right away.
NOTE: I’m mostly joking about the little-to-no hockey thing. They get to it eventually. Usually 40 minutes into the 90 minute episode.
What separates their podcast from most other hockey shows out there is Lozo and Wyshynski’s unabashed criticisms. They aren’t afraid to call out nonsensical rules and regulations, irrational hockey fans, players, and even the Commissioner. More members of the hockey media need to be calling out Commissioner Bettman on a regular basis like these two do.
They have no fear. Or if they do, they just ignore it for an hour and a half every week. It makes for an authentic, fun, and unpredictable show. But that’s only part of why I listen to every episode.
Most weeks, Puck Soup has a guest. It’s usually a celebrity, musician, or personality who is an avid hockey fan and it usually makes for some very interesting conversation. Lozo and Wysh joke that they’ve never had a major celebrity guest — you’ll get Margot Robbie one day, boys — but I think that’s part of what makes their guest segments work so well. You’re not going to hear your obvious celeb hockey fans like Vince Vaughn, but you’ll hear from much more interesting fans like John C. McGinley, complete with his stories about palling around with John Cusack and Chris Chelios in the 90s.
Or you’ll get Kelen Capener, the bassist from one of my favorite bands The Story So Far. An avid San Jose Sharks fan, Capener had a great segment talking about his hockey upbringing and fandom, even cracking jokes at Lozo and Wysh’s expense. Every guest just seems very relaxed when talking to two of the more influential hockey bloggers and podcasters out there. It all seems so natural and its a credit to the hosts being loose, funny, and engaging throughout it all.
I won’t name names but I’m used to hockey podcasts with the old guys, the same guys who have been doing hockey analysis for decades. And they’re great for analysis, for writing, but they’re just not that fun to listen to in a podcast format. Greg and Dave have taken the concept of a hockey podcast and flipped it upside down, focusing on the comedy in hockey and in life.
If you’re a hockey fan, do yourself a favor and check out Puck Soup. And also check out Greg’s other hockey podcast Marek vs. Wyshynski, which has a similarly loose style and an awesome cohost in Jeff Marek of Sportsnet.