Each team will lose one player.
We've addressed this a few times in the chat and I don't know that I can add much more. I think once he's established himself as one of the go-to players on the team, and he understands his shot is fairly important to the team's success, we'll see it more. It's hard for a young player, especially one as bashful as Parayko to come in and start ringing off shots left and right. We've seen a lot of young guys come up and defer to the vets. Blues coaches have told Parayko to let it rip, but I think it's going to take some time before he's completely comfortable taking those shots, and comfortable that his stick is going to hold up and it's not going to be an odd-man break the other way.
Even though Kelly Chase won't believe you saw me in a gym, yes, I do stop in occasionally for the free muffins .... I've heard that Sobotka has asked Omsk for an early release from his contract that expires April 30 ... and on Thompson, I've heard it's been a bit of a struggle for him early on. I don't think it's anything to get alarmed by, as he's getting used to a new league.
I think there's probably 1-2 losses in there. Sunday against Nashville is going to be tough obviously, but if I had to pick one, I'd say Carolina. What is the Hurricanes' point streak up to ... 12 games? They're playing really well.
Armstrong said a few weeks ago that Fabbri is working hard to be ready for training camp next season.
Sorry, I should have given a brief synopsis for those who missed it. She's a young girl (10 or 11?) whose battled cancer several times and she's a big Blues/Tarasenko fan.
We work it out where I do about 30 games and he does 10-12, but that's not a hard and fast rule. We try to do what makes sense for the Post-Dispatch and both of us.
I've said this before: Tom Stillman has been impressed with what Armstrong has done to build the Blues into a contender and keep them there. He also likes what Armstrong has done with Team Canada and the experience that has given him. I'm telling you that in several conversations with Stillman about Armstrong, I'm of the belief that ownership is supportive of Armstrong and an extension is likely.
Gunnarsson has two more years left on his deal at $2.9 per year. I'm not saying the Blues won't consider moving him, but those names that you mentioned are all young players. Will they be ready in the next year or two? Let's stick to the lefties: Lindbohm seems ready, but the Blues haven't seemed willing to use him. Dunn might be ready next year. So there's a chance. But I think the Blues view Gunnarsson, despite his flaws, as a relatively inexpensive veteran who can help bridge the gap until those guys are ready.
Again, possible, but two things: If you get to protect three, who else do you need to protect? You're probably protecting Pietrangelo, Bouwmeeter and Edmundson. Parayko doesn't need to be protected. You've got to expose one defenseman who meets the games played criteria, which will probably be Bortuzzo. Secondly, do you have a backup plan if Bouwmeester gets taken? I know, I know, many fans want him gone and don't care who replaces him. They say, 'You've got Lindbohm, Walman, Dunn, etc.' Well, I don't know how a playoff teams says we're going to replace a guy who plays 24 minutes with a rookie. You could say it frees up $5 million and you go find a guy. Fine, but who?
You've got to ride the waves. That's why it's probably not a fun job, or if it is, you've got to view things from 30,000 feet like Army likes to say and not get caught up in the daily criticism. He's had his share of things that haven't worked out, but you mention a few that seem to be turning back in his favor.
I think Yeo would for sure move Steen back with Berglund and Perron. Steen can handle center but it's not ideal. He's better on the wing.
That's speculation on my part. Drouin is obviously going to cost a team, both from a trade standpoint and a payroll standpoint. The Blues do have a little wiggle room with $6 million in projected cap space as we sit here today. They will have to re-sign Parayko and you have guys like Upshall, Paajarvi and Yakupov. But as you mentioned, you can could send some salary back the other way in a deal with Tampa or make other moves that free up some space.
I did not see it. I will give it a read.
There's no way of telling when the time table is week to week. There are 10 days left in the regular season and another couple before the playoffs start. So I don't think we're in a position to be ruling him out for Game 1 of the playoffs yet, but the key will be when he can skate and how long he'll need to get ready. If he can't skate for another week, then yeah the early part of the series will be in jeopardy.
Yeah, this is certainly an area that doesn't get recognized unless you're missing a guy like Stastny and then you see what he really means on faceoffs. In the game Stastny got hurt (March 21), the Blues only won 38 percent of the draws. In the last four games, they've won 46, 53, 53 and 53 percent. So they've done better lately, but not as good without one of the league's top faceoff guys. Players work on it, yes, but it's something that you're either really good at or takes a ton of work. It's not something where you take a few extra faceoffs, like you do a few extra shots, and now you're better. It takes years of experience and taking notes on the opponent, etc., to get to the top. The Blues certainly miss Stastny.
The good folks in Chesterfield are attempting to raise money and get funding for a new complex. Also, the Blues are well into their plans for a new complex in Creve Coeur. So yeah, it's not exciting to lose the Hardee's IcePlex, but if the two complexes can get built, the area should be in good shape.
In a couple of conversations I've had with director of amateur scouting Bill Armstrong, they love him. Speed and skill.
I don't define it by points or anything like that, and I don't think many do. I think you define it by minutes played, particularly at even strength. Who is the coach sending out the most and in critical situations? Let's use left wing for example: the Blues could have Schwartz, Fabbri and Steen as their left wingers. Who's 1-2-3? They could all have similar points. I think you go by minutes. Also, keep in mind something I've preached many times, coaches like balance in the top nine. So Fabbri might not be the Blues' No. 1 left winger, but if the Blues are looking for balance and Fabbri has chemistry with Tarasenko, they could be considered the top line. I've used 1-2-3 or reference "top line" before, but I think people read way too much into it.
The story with the Blues inviting the Locomotives to Scottrade Center was another poignant one. If you didn't see that one recently, the team surprised a club of physically challenged hockey players to the rink for a game. They had uniforms waiting for the players when they arrived, and if you haven't seen the video, go find it. Great stuff. I've talked to players about this over the years, but nothing that has really stood out. The part that I like seeing is players who are genuinely excited about helping, as opposed to those doing it because it's expected of them. You see a real thrill in the players who are doing it because they get a jolt out of it, too.