I'm wrapping up the Morning Skate blog from Winnipeg. I'll be joining soon.
OK, thanks for your patience. When we're done chatting, please check out the blog. The headline for tonight's game is the debut for Zach Sanford, who is the player the Blues acquired in the Kevin Shattenkirk trade. I'm sure that will come up today. So again, sorry for the delay and let's get chattin ...
Glad to you could join us and I hope your boss isn't paying attention. I don't want to you lose your job over this. Before I answer your question, do you feel some guilt, though? I don't know what you do, but are we talking burritos aren't getting made or clients aren't getting their claims processed. I'm interested. Probably more in that than I am your question.
I'm kidding. I'm with you, I don't care what the Blues call it: transition, retool, whatever. It is what it is. But I don't think they should just throw the kids out there (Barbsashev, Sanford, Schmaltz, etc.). This team is still within reach of the playoffs. They owe to the fans to finish out the season strong and try to make the postseason. Yeah, there are some players that aren't up to snuff, but you can't just sit them or hope that they get picked up by Vegas. Doug Armstrong made his bed with some of the contracts and the Blues are going to have to play them or find a way to move them. But not now, they've got to put the best lineup on the ice and I know this is doesn't make a lot of sense but some of those guys give you a better chance than the unknown with the younger players.
Honestly, I don't think Bishop would be interested and I don't think the Blues would be either. They could have had him before the deadline, but didn't bite. Allen was struggling, for sure, but he seems to have gotten through it and the Blues have him under contract for the next four years. Even with Bishop at a discount (why would he do that?), I don't see a match.
Probably about 3 1/2 hours. Let's not. It's a game day. Plus, the way these fat fingers are typing today, I don't know that I'll make it through the hour.
Not completely surprised. If he's a vet, sure, you pop him in there right away. He's a 22-year-old who's played 26 games this season. I thought the Blues might give him another practice or two. They don't absolutely need him tonight. They could play Brodziak on the fourth line and move Barbashev back to wing on the third line, but this obviously says they want to get Sanford up and running and see what he's got. Again, read today's blog because I've got some comments from Sanford and Yeo on this.
He's obviously a big body. I thought he skated pretty well but it was one practice. They did some 3 on 2 drills in the practice and Sanford said today that he felt like he had some chemistry with Berglund. Hard to tell, we'll get a much better feel tonight.
I mentioned it in the notebook recently, but I haven't spelled it out like this, so thanks. Yes, NHL teams only get four call-ups after the deadline, and the Blues have one left, as you said. For people thinking that Barbashev and Sanford were here already so why do they count. Well, the Blues had to file paperwork this week that made those two eligible for the AHL playoffs and then recalled them. Then they called up Schmaltz, so he's the third. They have one more, but even if they used it, they also have emergency recall at their disposal. To your point, though, they can't just call up two or three more guys and play them. That's what the rule was intended to do, help veterans stay in the lineup and not allow teams to play all of their prospects.
A couple of reasons. First, Schmaltz was a 2012 pick and Dunn was 2015, so Schmaltz has been waiting a while. I've mentioned that Dunn has probably past him on the depth chart, but part of the reason Schmaltz hasn't been called up until now was because he had Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk and Parayko ahead of him the past two years. So, the Blues want to see what he can do. I think he'll get into one of these next two games on the road. Also, Schmaltz is a right-hand shot and I think that's what they want right now. Dunn, who looks like he'll be a real good NHL player, is a left shot.
I don't see an upside right now. I see a player struggling to stay in the lineup, and when he is, I just don't see what he's adding. He's only 23 but he's played 182 games in the NHL. There should be a few more flashes than we see.
There is a big difference assembling the two rosters and I think Armstrong is finding the one in St. Louis a much tougher task.
I don't mind the deal. We said that if Shattenkirk went as a rental, the Blues would get a first-rounder and a prospect, and they got that. You probably would've liked a prospect with a little more hype, but teams weren't giving that guy up. I think when it got down to it, there wasn't as big of a pool of teams that were in position to make the deal and wanted to make the deal for Shattenkirk as Armstrong hoped. I suppose there's some room for criticism as to how it was handled over the last 1 1/2 - 2 years, but he tried to engineer a sign-and-trade and couldn't pull it off. If that wasn't going to happen, I think they did about the best they could.
I'm heading to lunch after this, and there are a few good spots on the walk back to the hotel.
Will somebody please tell this person what the mere mention of Sobotka's name does to me?
He has a no-trade clause. I think there's more of a chance than anyone believes they could try to move him, but I don't know what's going to happen.
Husso has made some good strides this year. He was OK in camp and then couldn't stick in Chicago, so he went to the ECHL for a bit. But then when Binnington got suspended for a game, the Blues sent Husso to the AHL and he's been good. Copley was playing a lot of the games, and deservedly so, but Husso was the goalie of the future. Copley was going to be a free agent this summer and the Blues weren't going to lose him for nothing, so that's why they included him in the deal with Washington. But it does say something about Husso that they moved Copley and are giving Husso even more opportunity. Giving a timeline with goalies is so hard, though. I would say at least 1-2 more years.
It depends. If you're Tom Stillman and your chief concern was piggy-backing on the success of last year, then you're probably pretty disappointed. But if you were in the know on the decision-making process on some of the contracts, etc., and knew this would be a transition year, then you're probably a little more understanding. Did Stillman want this to be another good season? Obviously. But if he, like Armstrong, didn't believe that re-signing Backes was a good idea and that trading Shattenkirk was a good idea, then he probably has to understand what's going on. It doesn't mean you like it. But Stillman, like Armstrong, probably believes the Blues are going to be better off in the long run for some of the decisions this year that have caused the setback.
I didn't put any stock into it. Every GM around the league feels the same way in his city. Shattenkirk was the top guy at the deadline, there is no reason it shouldn't have felt like a huge decision for the team that had him, especially a team that went to the Western Conference final last year and was in the playoff picture when making the decision to move him. I thought it was crazy to think it was crazy.
I don't want to be rude and not answer that other person's question about Sobotka. The Blues would have to protect Sobotka in the expansion draft if they wanted to keep him. To answer your question, Sobotka owes St. Louis one season when he comes back at $2.725 million, unless the Blues trade his rights, or leave him unprotected and he gets claimed by Vegas.
I think there's a decent possibility.
The heat from who? Ownership? Media? Fans? I think it's pretty obvious that the general spotlight has focused on him.
I wish I would've known, I would've stayed home.