Blues chat with Jim Thomas

Blues chat with Jim Thomas

Bring your questions about the Blues and the NHL, and talk to Post-Dispatch hockey writer Jim Thomas in a live chat starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday.




  • I didn't know anything about a polar vortex, but it is cold.
    Allen will get some starts with the way the schedule is laid out, but you HAVE to ride Binnington until he shows you otherwise. Even a small 1-2 game slide should not cause a switch back to Allen. Right now Binnington is the best bet for consistent goaltending. Let the team play right up to the trade deadline. If they are playing well go for the playoffs. If not, then there are no untouchables. Get whatever you can, but it HAS to include at least one first round pick to replace the one for O'Reilly, which was still a great trade. Your thoughts?
    Hard to argue with what you're saying. Logical, concise. And you make a good point as far as picking up a first-rounder this year.
    What would Berube need to do to keep the coaching job permanently? BLues are playing considerably better with him, but they dug such a big hole under Yeo if might be hard to climb out of. Does Berube have to make the playoffs to be under consideration for permanent coach?
    Yes, I think the minimum requirement to retain Berube is that the Blues make the playoffs. And if they kind of stumble in, then it's still debatable. Even though the team has played better lately, Berube's overall record as head coach is only 15-13-2, hardly the kind of performance that calls for a parade _ or  a new contract.
    Out of Colorado, Dallas and Minnesota, who do you see the Blues catching and not catching?
    I assume you mean "outside" of Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota. That leaves the four playoff contenders in the Pacific _ Vancouver, Anaheim, Arizona, Edmonton. The Blues have played one fewer game as we sit here than Arizona and Edmonton, and two fewer than Anaheim and Vancouver. The Blues have two games left with Arizona (one home, one away) and one game apiece left w/Anaheim (away), Edmonton (home) and Vancouver (home). I see the Blues catching Anaheim and Edmonton (technically, they're ahead of the Oilers now). Not so sure about Vancouver and Arizona, both young, fast teams that are a combined 3-0 against the Blues this season.
  • It just seems to me this team is in a "trick box". Lots of under performing players who will be hard to move for what the team views as value received. So, in effect stuck with them unless they can get a guy who might do well with a change of scenery, which maybe could be said about our under performers. Such a scenario screams to blow it up and go young
    Again, I don't think Armstrong wants to blow it up and go young. That approach means it's probably going to take more time. And I don't think Amrstrong wants to go down that path.
    "Hockey Trades" don't generally happen at the deadline. The fans who want the trades will be disappointed. If AP and Schenn are moved in would be more likely in the offseason, the only hockey trade to be made would maybe scehnn for a Hamilton type and AP for a top 6 forward, other than that would only be Jaybo or Maroon. But its more likely any big moves would be the offseason as it seems the core Army challenged and really did not respond, he is doubling back on, maybe because he didn't get the offers he thought he would.
    Could be. Trading under-performing players obviously isn't a blueprint to getting maximum value in return.
  • Jim, thanks for the informative weekly chats. Just finishing Bernie Federkos book and have already read JR's "100 Things..." What sports related book that goes behind the scenes would you suggest I read next?
    You know, one of my favorite sports book is "Bootlegger's Boy" the Barry Switzer story. If you're into college football give it a try.
    Do you know if Berglund leaving Buffalo affects the draft pick situation?
    It has nothing to do with the draft pick compensation that was part of that trade.
    well that is a double edged sword because of they were performing well who there wouldn't be a need to trade them would there?
    Perhaps. But O'Reilly was performing well in Buffalo and got traded. Maybe it would be better if some of these Blues were just slightly under-performing instead of all being between 12 and 20 points off their 2017-18 production at this point in the season.
    Good afternoon Jim. First, I wanted to say I appreciated your answer to the question last week about whether you wanted to cover the Rams in the Super Bowl this weekend. Looks like you treasure the good memories you had covering them, but aren't living in the past and enjoy what you do now. Good way to live, in my opinion. One football question before I ask you a hockey one later: Would it be fair to say that "The way Kroenke and the NFL acted leading up to the Rams reallocation was appalling and Kroenke's comments bashing the city were low class, but at the same time, St. Louis set itself up for this by screwing up the expansion process in the early 1990s (otherwise, Kroenke likely isn't even brought in), building a stadium that was out of date almost from the time it opened and not providing a good funding mechanism for it, and agreeing to that terrible lease." Is that a fair read on this bit of history? I felt bad for a guy like you when they left, but it seems like St. Louis helped put itself in this bad position. That does not excuse Kroenke's actions, however. Thanks for your response.
  • Well, St. Louis certainly didn't help itself throughout the process. Had St. Louis gotten the expansion Stallions we would've never been in this mess. The problem was, in part, that by the time the never-ending expansion process wound down in the early '90s, Jerry Clinton no longer had enough money to pay the expansion fee and run a team because the price tag kept getting higher as the years rolled by. He brought in money many James Busch Orthwein but Orthwein _ and I think rightfully so _ said if he was going to pay for the team, he wanted the final say in decision-making. This led to the stadium lease squabble and the ultimate demise of the St. Louis expansion bid. You may recall, Kroenke was brought in very late to be the money man in the expansion bid. As for the first-tier provisions in the Rams stadium lease, yeah it seems like a pretty stupid provision nearly 25 years later. But you have to understand how desperate St. Louis was to get a football team at the time. They had a $300 million stadium that was already under construction when the expansion bid collapsed. So St. Louis was on the verge of having the world's most expensive venue for tractor pulls. Personally, I would have never agreed to a "first-tier" provision of eight stadiums. I would have made it a "top-half" provision, in which the stadium would have to be held to the same standards as the top 16 _ or top half of the stadiums in the NFL. (And maybe that too would have proven too expensive.) And lastly, I think the powers to be in St. Louis totally underestimated the possibility of Kroenke building the stadium with his own money. (I know I did.) Even so, St. Louis came up with a plan that would have provided several hundred of millions of dollars of public money to Kroenke and a pretty good stadium plan. The relocation guidelines stated clearly that NFL owners weren't allowed to move simply to enrich themselves. As we later learned, the relocation guidelines turned out to be rubbish once Jerry Jones got to the other owners behind closed doors the day of the relocation vote. Also, in terms of the first-tier provisions, no one anticipated the onslaught of new stadium construction after the St. Louis stadium was built, not even Rams president John Shaw.
    Ok Jim, enough of the Rams, here's my hockey question: In your opinion, what has gone wrong with Jaden Schwartz? Early last season, I truly thought he was an MVP candidate, but he hasn't been the same since that injury in Detroit. Did that mess with him mentally as well as physically or is something else going on? Thanks. I'll hang up and listen.
    He is the definition of someone that is pressing.  Squeezing the stick too tightly as hockey players say. It's clear that he's lost confidence in his shot. A couple of other things. 1.) Like Schenn, he's not getting as much power play time as he did a year ago. 2.) Since his latest injury _ the puck to the hand that cost him 11 games from mid November to early December _ I haven't seen him go to the net much, which always seemed to be a big part of his game despite his smaller stature..
    Oreilly was playing well on a losing team, they needed too make a change, the point is if these guys were playing well for us we would be in a playoff spot and all the trade talk would be about being a buyer and not changing the core.
    The Blues in their 51 years have never blown up the roster to start over....we've been a franchise that was always in the playoffs but most years were never a serious threat to drink from the cup (other than a handful of years) and don't count 67' to 70'. Its time to take a new approach....Army overestimated this group had a window of opportunity. I anticipate two years and we will be a threat to win....we have a core of young guns coming up and the captain of the Russian squad from last month's tourney. Add young studs around Binner and you have a winner! (You can use that)
    Basically half of the forward line was replaced after last season. You changed head coaches this season in November. Those are pretty significant changes. I don't think making massive changes just to make changes is necessarily the answer. If you made the right two or three moves, either at the trade deadline or during the offseason, wouldn't that be enough? Or do you think it's that hopeless?
  • Why all the panic, there is a lot of new faces on this team from last year, they needed to gel, i think you will see better results in the second half, and this team can win in the playoffs, remain calm and don't blow them up
  • There was an article recently that stated quite a few teams have been scouting Bouw; do you know which teams are interested and what return we can get for him.
    There were a couple of games in late December and early January where there were about a dozen teams scouting the Blues at Enterprise Center.  On a couple of occasions, a team had two members of its scouting/personnel department there which always catches your eye.  As I recall, Montreal was one of those teams with multiple representatives. The teams and the names are easy enough to spot _ they're on the seating chart posted in the press box.. But I should caution, just because they're on the seating chart doesn't always mean they actually showed up. for the game.
    How about we trade Army and an assistant coach to be named later for Coach Q? I don't trust Army to rebuild this group, he's the one who built it in the first place. Yes, he is under contract for 4 years, so....
    No trade necessary. Quenneville's the coaching equivalent of a free agent.
    Regardless of how the Blues play coming out of the break this core group is still not performing at the level they are supposed to be. Is Armstrong gonna shake things up or keep giving us lip service? If you can get a mid-level draft pick for Steen take it. Three points out of a playoff spot is nothing more than Fool’s Gold.
    True, this is still an underachieving team. And one of the only reasons the Blues are still in contention is the fact that the Western Conference is weaker this season. It took 95 points to make the postseason in the West last season; 90 points might get you in this season. Then again, I believe Nashville made the Cup finals a couple of years ago as a 7 or 8 seed. I think the LA Kings won a couple of Cups as a 7 or 8 seed. In football a 9-7 Giants team beat New England in the Super Bowl. In 2006, the Cardinals stumbled in with an 83-78 record and beat the Tigers in the World Series. So there's a lot to be said for just getting in the tournament.
    "Hockey Trades" don't happen at the deadline, or around the deadline, those are more offseason moves, the blues at most might move Maroon or Jaybo, but other than that fans shouldn't hold their breath an expect a big move. Its just weird the same core he said was not getting it done, still isn't getting done but he has changed his tune on them. Offers must have been low. The only scenario I could see in season is Schenn being traded for a Dougie Hamilton type and Petro traded for a top 6 forward. Otherwise any big changes will be made in the offseason.
    Maybe you're right on the offers not materializing. But I don't necessarily think he's changing his tune.
    Do you think Tarasenko and Petro are safe for now (in terms of of possibly being traded)? I think Tarasenko has recovered after a slow start.
  • Tarasenko has come on lately. I'd be surprised if he was traded. I kind of feel the same about Pietrangelo. I think Bouwmeester and quite possibly Gunnarsson won't be back next year, so you're not going to be as deep on defense as you think.
    I’d love to the Blues make a Schenn like trade with Columbus for Panarin. Basically package steen or bozak with a good prospect like Kostin + maybe another roster player like Blais or Sanford and maybe a pick.

    Best case scenario you have a dynamite first line Panarin O’Reilly Vlad and you can convince Panarin he likes his situation.

    Worst case scenario Panarin leaves and you have tons of cap room from dumping bozak or steen and still have plenty of prospect depth. I would Columbus would be interested due to getting higher end talent than a normal rental would provide for a player like Panarin
    I don't buy the idea that it takes a long time for a team to gel with a few new players. How long did it take for the Las Vegas Golden Knights to gel last year? That blows that whole discussion up
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