Surely there has been a time in the past where you’ve been curious about where your favourite National Hockey League team sat in relation to the salary cap, the details of a specific player’s contract or something else related to the salary ceiling. In that situation, you’ve likely found yourself visiting the go-to website for the aforementioned information,
Founder Matthew Wuest has added many features to a site that continues to grow ever since he founded it multiple seasons ago. Some of the site’s most recognizable features include the many calculators, the daily tracker and the trade machine.
One quick glance at the site is enough to make it obvious that a lot of time and hard work is put into building and maintaining it. But even when asked if he would do something a different way if given the chance to start over again, Wuest took a more reserved route.
“Nothing significant comes to mind,” he said in an interview with The Hockey Writers.
Although the site has done so well, that answer may come as somewhat of a surprise given its size and popularity.
Wuest, who is also a hockey writer and one who has been published with The Hockey News, ESPN, TSN.ca, NHL.com and others, manages to get enjoyment out of all the work he puts into being the man behind one of the most popular hockey websites that exist.
“Anyone who has tried to read the CBA knows the salary cap isn’t easy to understand, coming with a lot of tricky rules and time-consuming mathematical formulas,” Wuest said. “It’s enjoyable to simplify number-crunching for fans and also to get them answers to their questions about the cap. It’s also enjoyable providing them with detailed salary numbers they can trust, since the cap is such a big factor.”
Perhaps his tremendous work ethic and hunger to serve the fans is one reason why Wuest was named the 98th most influential/powerful person in hockey by The Hockey News in 2011. That’s quite an accomplishment for a man who is someone many of Cap Geek’s viewers unfortunately may not have even heard of.
Aside from all of that, Wuest shares something in common with all hockey fans that doesn’t involve running a website centred around the sport: The simple love for the game of hockey.
“Watching a hockey game is always more fun than adding up a list of salaries,” Wuest said when asked if he is more of a hockey fan or a fan of the salary cap/the business of hockey.
Wuest can also relate to those who love hockey statistics, not just player salaries and cap numbers.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a great interest in hockey numbers, although more player and team statistics than salaries,” he said. “When I was really young, it was the stats off the back of hockey cards, and when I was a teenager, I had my head stuck in sports almanacs and read The Hockey News from cover-to-cover every week.”
A man who, rightfully so, seems relatively tied to The Hockey News, Wuest gave a somewhat traditional journalist answer when asked if he has a favourite team, and more power to the guy for it. No matter your opinion on writers and broadcasters, you have to respect a man who transformed the salary cap into more than just numbers for hockey fans all around the globe.
“I just enjoy watching hockey─and many other sports, for that matter─regardless of the level. That’s why I became a sports journalist.
“That said, I often root for an underdog or a ‘good story.'”
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Lukas, a student at the University of Ottawa, covers the Toronto Maple Leafs on a part-time basis for The Hockey Writers. Contact Lukas at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter, @LukasHardonk.