Hello again everybody. Hope you all had a great Christmas. Blues return from the Christmas break Thursday vs. Carter Hutton, Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka and the Buffalo Sabres. What's on your mind today?
Looks like Finland's Kaapo Kakko (6-4, 207), a right winger, is being projected as the No. 2 overall pick right now behind Hughes. He's playing in the World Juniors (which started today) along with Hughes. In fact, if you have the NHL Network, you can watch him tonight (9:30 p.m. start, I believe) against Sweden. Sweden by the way, has a defenseman to watch in Philip Broberg, though I don't think he's a top 5 guy. I'm hardly a draft guru when it comes toe the NHL, but other top prospects include Vasily Dodkolzin, Dylan Cozens and Kirby Dach _ all forwards.
By the end of the year? Assuming things continue as they are now with the Blues, I'll say one of the three gets traded.
That's a good point. (Pun not intended.) He seemed to be moving around more earlier in the season _ to the wing, down low. Not seeing that as much lately. Will try to ask Berube about this.
Well, I guess you'd have to say Doug Armstrong. He's the GM. He assembles the roster. He decides when and where to allocate the cap resources.
Actually, it's JT this week. But I did have a great Christmas. I say if you can get in the playoffs, you get in the playoffs. How many No. 1 overall seeds have actually won the Stanley Cup in recent years? Like a 9-7 NHL wild-card team, I think once you get in the dance who knows what can happen. As I mentioned during an earlier answer, if things continue they way they've been going so far this season, I think you have to do something about the leadership core. But as Jeff Gordon mentioned in his column today, you can't trade just for the sake of trading. You need a good return. And with so many Blues having something that would classify as well-below career years, you're not dealing from a position of strength. I believe you need players that can contribute now, rather than prospects in any trade. And it would have to be a heck of a deal to pry Tarasenko away. You may have seen the stat _ only Ovechkin has more goals in the entire NHL than Tarasenko over the past four-plus years. Goals don't grow on trees.
So if I understand you correctly, you want to pile up young talent/draft picks via trades before/at the trade deadline and then use those picks July 1 to get established players. Interesting. But that does make it a two-step process and thus a more complicated process. You could face the danger of having all these prospects, but no trade partners in July. Bouwmeester's contract is up after this season, so I don't think you have to concern yourself about him being back next year anyway. Even though he has been playing better, I don't think he'd fetch much at his age before the trade deadline. Again, I'd expect some of the other core players to be moved at some point if things don't improve. And yes, it has been an amazing roller-coaster so far. Amazing, as in hard to fathom. Not amazing, as in wonderful.
Can't recall that's it's been asked. At least not lately.
The Blues do have a sports psychologist. He's based in Toronto. He spent some time with the team when they were in Toronto earlier this season.
I think Gordo's overall point was that Pietrangelo, Parayko and Tarasenko all are pretty good players and that if you're going to deal them, you better get something that's pretty good in return. A cardinal rule of trading in pro sports that's cuts across all lines: If you think you can do better than somebody currently in your lineup, you better get someone at least as good in return. Easier said than done.
Have been told by more than one Blues player that there are next to no changes/tweaks in defensive scheme this year as compared to last. Stan, you lucked into a pretty good coach. The story I heard was that you went looking for Jon Gruden, that Gruden turned you down and suggested McVay.
It would have to be for a pretty good defenseman in return, don't you think?
1.) Sunny Sundqvist, hands down. 2) Don't think I have a most improved defenseman right now, not on a team that ranks 26th in goals-against average. 3.) Not exactly the answer you're looking for, but I'd like to see Edmundson wearing an A. 4.) Bouwmeester, as a rental, the way he's playing now could help a team that thinks it can make a deep playoff run. 5.) I think logic says O'Reilly here, but I'm still going to go with Schwartz. 6.) In terms of what the media sees in the locker room, I'll say David Perron. 7.) Think I'm gonna go w/Edmundson, w/Nolan as first runner-up. 8.) Jake Allen, honest. 9.) I don't know if this is in his career plans, but I'll say Chris Butler. 10.) Ken Hitchcock. . . .no, I think with players today, once they're out, they're out.
OK, having some issues with getting the question in order. This comes in reply to the question stating that the Calgary game shouldn't be counted as a game that shows how well the Blues can play when they're at their best. Actually, the Flames played Tampa Bay on a Thursday, so while the Blues were traveling from Vancouver, the Flames were there home resting. But I will agree that the Flames may have looked past the Blues a little (heck, they beat them 7-2 six days earlier) and they may have been a little emotionally spent from that knock-down, drag-out vs. Tampa Bay.
At the moment, I believe the Blues main push is getting an all-star game in St. Louis, which is something by the way they feel pretty confident about happening in the very near future. I think then, they might look at the World Juniors again. As for a Tom Wilson welcoming party, I nominate Jordan Nolan.
Tarsenko turned 27 on Dec. 13. Are you sure he's past his prime? You better be sure. With just one more goal last season, he's in the top 20. I know enough about shoulder surgeries to know that five months is a pretty quick recovery time. I mentioned on the chat earlier this season that I saw Tarasenko talking to someone after a game (outside the locker room), with the shoulder wrapped (and I believe in ice). Just throwing this out for consideration.
I wouldn't be surprised to see him called up at some point this year. And if he continues to build his game, I would think next year he could make a real roster push.
Can't give you a head count on who has homes and who doesn't in St. Louis. I think most of the single players have condos/apartments. And some share. Thomas, as you may know, lives with the Tkachuk family. You would think being at home would have advantages, but it hasn't been the case either this year or last. There can be more distractions, more demands on your time when you're at home. On the road, it's all hockey and you spend more time with your teammates away from the rink. I remember last year at the season-ending press conference/locker cleanout, Doug Armstrong mentioned that he was so concerned about the team's less-than-stellar home record that he'd thought about the possibility of having the team stay in a hotel on game day. Given the amount of home games in hockey (41), that would seem like a pretty radical approach..