Episode 12

Published on:

9th Apr 2024

EP 12 Talking NY & Canadian Hopes with Nick Kypreos

Hosts Neil Smith and Vic Morren discuss the latest developments as the regular NHL season nears its end, analyzing the playoff prospects for both the Eastern and Western Conferences. 

Special guest Nick Kypreos provides insights into the New York Rangers' chances in the playoffs and discusses the ongoing drought of Canadian teams not winning the Stanley Cup. 

The episode also touches on the Dallas Stars' strengths, Artemi Panarin's playoff performance expectations, and the underdog status of teams like the Vancouver Canucks. 

In addition, the hosts explore the human Side of hockey, from the everyday lives of players and their families to the reality that referees, too, are susceptible to the game's physical dangers.


  • [01:35] One Timers: Playoff teams change from 2023 & Dallas primed to top Western Conference
  • [05:31] Exploring the Rangers' Playoff Prospects with Nick Kypreos
  • [07:00] New York Rangers' current team and its potential compared to their 1994 Stanley Cup-winning team.
  • [08:00] Nick Kypreos discusses the New York Rangers' chances in the playoffs and compares them to other teams.
  • [09:21] Discussion about the Rangers' playing style and their potential success in the playoffs.
  • [12:09] Artemi Panarin's performance in the playoffs and his importance to the Rangers.
  • [16:57] Conversation shifts to identifying a key player (a "horse") for the Rangers in the playoffs.
  • [17:27] Evaluation of Matt Rempe's potential impact on the Rangers' playoff lineup.
  • [22:09] Canadian Teams' Stanley Cup Drought Discussion.
  • [29:53] Insights into the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets.
  • [36:03]  Discussion about Evander Kane needing to step up for the Edmonton Oilers.
  • [39:18]  Nick Kypreos mentions his work with Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada.
  • [41:28] Reflecting on the Human Side of the Story - players are people too.



  • Nick discusses the current New York Rangers team, expressing optimism about their potential to compete for the Stanley Cup. Despite acknowledging the presence of strong teams like the Vegas Golden Knights, he believes the Rangers have the talent, depth, and toughness to be contenders.
  • Player Focus: The discussion highlights Artemi Panarin's significance for the Rangers' playoff prospects. Nick stresses the need for leadership and character growth in players like Panarin, alongside the importance of consistency from Chris Kreider.
  • Playoff Strategy: The conversation also touches on the strategic decisions needed for playoff success, including the balance between lateral passing and straight-line attacks.
  • The human aspect of professional hockey, emphasizing the personal lives and emotions of players underneath their uniforms, shedding light on the impact of career-related events on the players and their families.


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Nikos "Nick" Kypreos (born June 4, 1966) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey left winger who played eight seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. He is currently the co-host for the Real Kyper and Bourne Podcast.

#NHL #Hockey #Podcast #Sports #Broadcasting #StanleyCup #Coaching #Media #Management #ESPN #TNT #Playoffs #Championships #NeilSmith #VicMorren #NickKypreos #NYRangers #ArtemiPanarin #VancouverCanucks #RealKyperandBournePodcast

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About the Podcast

NHL Wraparound Podcast
Neil Smith & Vic Morren
Breadth and depth.
Contemporary and historical.
Straight-forward and experienced.
The NHL Wraparound podcast features Neil Smith, President-General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers and longtime ESPN/NHL veteran Vic Morren sharing no-nonsense opinions on news and issues around the National Hockey League.

Bringing decades of experience from their respective fields, Smith and Morren create a unique partnership that examines the NHL from multiple perspectives. Additionally, as hockey historians, the pair can delve into any topic in today’s game and enlighten the audience with connections to events from previous years. To truly appreciate where hockey stands today, one needs to understand its past.

With 2024 marking the 30th anniversary of the Rangers last championship season, a special five-part series is planned to commemorate that magical run. Expect fascinating behind-the-scenes stories and special guests with particular focus on the GM who pushed all of his chips into the middle of the table amidst the most pressurized environments – and came out on top.

Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned fan, each episode of NHL Wraparound will leave you entertained and informed.

Neil S. Smith, highly regarded NHL executive, served as the President and General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers. During his eleven years with the team, they achieved significant success, including three division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies, one Eastern Conference Championship, and a historic Stanley Cup victory—the franchise’s first in 54 years.

Known for his expertise in professional sports franchise economics, Smith played a pivotal role in management decisions under four different Rangers owners.. His tenure saw iconic trades and acquisitions, including Hall of Famers Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky, as well as successful drafts and free-agent signings.

Starting as a pro scout, Smith's career highlights include the impactful 1989 draft for the Detroit Red Wings and bold trades that shaped NHL history. He briefly served as GM for the New York Islanders in 2006, later working as a consultant for the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

A Toronto native, Smith's hockey journey began in junior leagues before a distinguished college career at Western Michigan University. He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including induction into the University's Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Vic Morren: Born in New York City close to the Old Madison Square Garden, Vic Morren has had hockey in his blood his entire life as a fan, player and television production manager.

A graduate of William Paterson University, Morren skated for three seasons with the Pioneers hockey club and became the first statistical analyst to apply his craft to telecasts working New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils games from 1984-87. He co-authored two NHL-based statistics books within that span before moving to ESPN in 1987 and working the final season of the original deal the network had with the NHL.
After departing in 1990, Morren worked as a studio producer for SportsChannel America’s NHL coverage and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics before returning to ESPN that fall where he worked all 12 seasons on the second ESPN/NHL deal and the first season of the most recent contract in 2021-22. Morren has also earned a Sports Emmy for his work on Sunday Night Football coverage in 2003.

His relationship with Neil Smith dates back 33 years through their mutual friendship with the late ESPN/ABC commentator John Saunders. Morren looks forward to NHL Wraparound and collaborating with Smith with the goal to provide an experience of contemporary viewpoints, historical spin and an overall enriching podcast experience.