Senior Olympics? I'm going with the NHL. Kidding aside, he can still play and I'm hoping he gets a shot somewhere.
I think there are a few things at work here: he raised the bar when he scored 33 in 2013-14 and I don't think he's a 30-goal guy, so it's hard to live up to that. No. 2, he's been a guy that has had to bounce around on different lines to do whatever benefited the team, so it's hard to develop the needed chemistry. No. 3, he's been banged up a bit, especially in the playoffs the past couple of years. No. 4, he's paid a large salary because he's a good two-way player who's seen as a veteran leader, but because of the big number people are looking for more offense. And No. 5, he's 33 with a new four-year contract, so that leads to more pressure. All of that taken into account, he has to produce. He can't continue to regress production wise or that's going to be a bad situation for that Blues.
There's still three years before another potential lockout in 2020, but as we've seen in the past, that time seems to fly by. The NHL and the NHLPA always seem to be at odds, like we see in the NFL as well, and it always seems like they add flames to the fire with decisions like the Olympics. Look, everything in the sports world is about negotiations. Behind the scenes, as has been touched on in reports, the NHL wanted to get commitment from the NHLPA that it would extend the CBA past 2020 in exchange for certain concessions likely including the Olympics. That happens all the time, it's part of big business, and unfortunately the fans, who invest so much time and money into the sport, have no control over any of it and wind up getting shafted in the long run. We're just going to have to let this play out and see what the temperature is between the two sides as we get closer to 2020, but as we sit here today, there's probably no one who would tell you that the league will be fine and there's won't be a stoppage.
Thanks for asking, I should be clear: the Blues wanted to wear the Winter Classic uniform on a semi-regular basis in the future, like they did after the outdoor game. I was told that the league said no because it was a specialty jersey. Let's keep in mind, though, that there has been a lot of uniform uncertainty around the league because of the changeover to Adidas and the hiatus of the third jerseys in 2017-18. So perhaps the league vetoing the idea had a lot to do with that and the Winter Classic uniforms could be back in 2018-19. We'll see ...
Barbashev may get a look as the third-line center. But they really like what Fabbri brings to the table as a potential NHL center and if you've got Stastny, Schenn and Fabbri, there's no room for Barbashev. Like I said earlier, that's when the variables come into play. What if Schenn doesn't look good at center? Maybe they have Stastny, Fabbri and Barbashev. We've got to get to camp.
I had to put my tall boots on when I was doing the interview with Army.
I'd go Tarasenko, Allen, Blues Cup, Pietrangelo ... and the weird part is I think Pietrangelo should receive a ton more attention for the Norris. He does a lot of stuff very well. I'm only listing Pietrangelo-Norris last because I don't think people will ever give him enough credit. Also, I went with Allen-Vezina before Cup just because I think it's easier for him to have a great season than it is for the team to win the Cup.
Why are you putting me on the spot like this? If you're starting a team today, I think you have to take Parayko. Honestly, that is no slight to Pietrangelo. I think he's great. But Parayko is three years younger, he's got more offensive upside and he's got a contract for the next five years. Very, very tough call, but I think you've got to go with the younger guy with massive upside.
I will always make time for LeGrands.
Are you implying that people put misinformation on fan sites. If that ever did happen, I might do what you're suggesting, but I don't think that would ever happen.
Yes, Bernie Federko's autobiography will be out in late 2018.
I cringe when anyone in sports refers to a player or as a "cancer" in the locker room. There are a ton of other ways to express the point.
I agree, but for the record, I'm not agreeing because it's true. I'm agreeing because I've disagreed with Kerbs in the past and he will talk my ear off until I agree. So I'm just going to agree and save myself. Lol.
I haven't yet, but plan to get over there soon. Is there a shopping center nearby? Sounds like a great plan, dropping my wife off at a store and heading to the brewery until she texts me.
Ha, that one sure got us through a few lean weeks the past couple of summers.
This was the last chat for me, but you will be in great hands at the Post-Dispatch moving forward. I don't know what the plans are, but I'm assuming they include Tom Timmermann, who is one of the most reputable, gold-standard humans you will ever meet. His humor and wit is off the charts, and so if he's in charge of the chat moving forward, please log on each week and give him your attention. You guys have given me a ton of credit over the years and I appreciated it, but more needs to be directed to writers like Dan O'Neill and Timmermann, who made life easier.
One final thanks before I sign off for good: Many of you took time out of your day today to send a message of "thanks for the chats, best wishes, or good luck." I didn't publish one of them, but I read every single one. Thanks for that. It meant a lot. I'm sure that I will run into many of you in the future and I want you to please say hello. I had fun doing this, and I want to thank the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for this opportunity. Without the newspaper, I would have none of this. Thanks! Time now to go pick up the kids from school and explain to them why daddy has watery eyes.