Matthew Nicholas Wuest
Born: 1979 (Stanley, New Brunswick)
Died: March 19, 2015 (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Matthew Wuest was a sports writer who founded the website CapGeek.com, which tracked NHL player salaries and analyzed the effects of trades on salary caps. His death, at age 35, came nearly three years after a diagnosis of colon cancer.
Wuest’s website became an essential tool for those covering hockey, offering as it did fingertip information on the sometimes complex and bewildering implications of the NHL’s salary cap. The founder himself, a quiet and humble man despite his entrepreneurial success, readily aided fellow hockey reporters, including such well-known figures as Bob McKenzie, with information.
His death brought an outpouring of praise and grief from the hockey community, most notably from those writers who have sought to incorporate advanced statistics into their reporting.
A decline in health forced Wuest to suspend the website’s operation in January, a shock to many on the hockey beat. What he jokingly called the “CapGeek offices” operated from his home in Halifax’s north end.
Wuest founded the site in 2009, compiling an NHL salary database, as well as creating a cap calculator for his online site dedicated to Detroit prospects, called RedWingCentral.com. After he incorporated the calculator for all teams, based on salary information gleaned from public accounts and his own sources, CapGeek.com became an instant hit.
“I loved Cap Geek,” Greg (Puck Daddy) Wyshynski of Yahoo wrote earlier this year. “Not just as a source of invaluable information, instantly creating an army of insiders every time a transaction was made — and, frustratingly, not always cited as the source of that information — but because it tore down the wall between fans and teams when it came to the salary cap.
“And when you think how every single decision a team makes is tied to that cap, to have that information readily available from Cap Geek meant adding several levels of insight to every debate.”
A dogged reporter, Wuest covered the Halifax Mooseheads for Metro Halifax and earlier worked at the Daily News, a now defunct Halifax newspaper. He also covered university sports. He appeared on TSN and contributed to The Hockey News. In 2011, Wuest ranked No. 98 in The Hockey News’ annual “100 People of Power and Influence.”
Wuest graduated with a degree in computer science from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton in 2001, Three years later, he completed a journalism degree from the University of Kings College in Halifax.
He died at Victoria General Hospital in Halifax. He leaves his wife, Melanie Patten; a brother; a sister; and, his parents, Judy Wuest, a retired professor in the nursing faculty at UNB, and Lawrence Wuest, a wood sculptor.