TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings and training camp event organizers in Traverse City announced today that the trophy awarded to the champion of the NHL Prospect Tournament has been renamed the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.
Matthew Wuest (pronounced WEEST) was best known for developing the website CapGeek.com, which tracked salary cap data for all 30 NHL teams in real time. The site was widely-used by scouts, general managers, media and fans before it ceased operations in January 2015.
Along with his work on CapGeek, Wuest also developed and maintained RedWingsCentral.com (RWC) which provided rankings, scouting profiles and features focused on Detroit Red Wings prospects. Launched in 2001, RWC became widely-read by scouts and fans alike before it shut down operations in 2014.
RWC’s exclusive coverage of the NHL Prospect Tournament and Detroit Red Wings training camp were one of the most read sections of the site. With the help of an on-site contributor, Wuest provided statistical data on the participating teams and players along with exclusive box scores before the use of an online system was employed. Without his early efforts, the tournament would not have accurate historical statistical data or a complete list of tournament winners, spanning back to the inaugural tournament in 1998.
Wuest also contributed multiple articles to the Detroit Red Wings training camp programs, lending credibility to the publications with his knowledge of Detroit’s prospects.
Succumbing to a two-year battle with colon cancer, Wuest passed away in March 2015 at the age of 35. The Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup recognizes his significant behind-the-scenes contributions to the growth and development of the NHL Prospect Tournament, along with his overall impact on the hockey community.
About the NHL Prospect Tournament
This year’s tournament, the 17th hosted by Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich., will run September 11 to 15. Participating teams include Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, New York and St. Louis. The tournament, which began in 1998 with just four teams, has more than 475 alumni who have or are currently playing in the NHL, totaling over 80,000 NHL games played. The highest-scoring alumni include Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, Dany Heatley, Henrik Zetterberg, David Legwand, Scott Hartnell, Martin Erat, Alexander Semin and James Neal. Twenty-two players who participated in the tournament in 2014 skated in at least one NHL game during the 2014-15 season.
The tournament divides the eight-team field into two four-team divisions. Teams will play each team in their division during the round robin before a crossover on the final day of the tournament, capped off with the first-place finishers in each division meeting for the championship on Tuesday, Sept. 15, with the awarding of Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup at the conclusion of the game.