Hello again everybody. Driving home from Traverse City _ had to find a pace to pull over for the chat. So here I am, somewhere near Holland, Mich. So sorry for the delay. Last year, by the way, I had to pull over to write about Jake Allen's back spasms. Remember? So I guess I'm getting used to these pit stops.
I wouldn't get too hung up on player rankings. I've seen others where Pietrangelo and Parayko are both ranked in the top 20. Parayko seems to finally be getting his due. I'm not so sure why you trade Pietrangelo. You have a couple of D-men who are getting up there in age, particularly Bouwmeester _ who may not be back after this season. I just say roll with Petro, and see what it takes to re-sign him.
I appreciate the tip. Under any other circumstances I would do so. (Tom Timmermann also tells me I should visit his sister-in-law who lives in the area.) But I would like to get back to StL at some point.
Yes, I believe Kendall Hanley worked in Traverse City. I didn't see her at the 2 Blues games I covered on Monday and Tuesday. I'll try to ask some of the prospects who are in the Blues' main camp back in St. Louis.
I can't tell you how it would rate. I don't think I've ever been at another team's practice facility in my short stint in hockey. But I bet it's right up there. All things being equal, maybe a practice facility has a small, small impact on a free agent's decision. But you know, it's all about the Benjamins (and the fit) _ and I don't mean Hochman or Frederickson!
Kakko (you nailed the spelling by the way) did not play against the Blues. He was sick, I believe entering the tournament. As for the Centene Community Ice Center (you almost got that one as well), I don't know if the Blues will try to host a prospect tourney. I think there's some value to getting away and Traverse City is a nice spot. But I believe there are plans to try to host a variety of youth and junior tournaments _ local, regional, national _ in the building.
Well, I'll let you know when I get there. The only time I was out there was at the groundbreaking a little more than a year ago.
I wouldn't be shocked if there was some sort of hangover effect and slow start. Human nature. But I don't think this is the type of team that will rest on its laurels _ and you're right about Berube, he will do everything possible to keep this team motivated and humble. Had a long interview with Doug Armstrong in Traverse City and will have a story in Thursday's Post-Dispatch and on stltoday.com, with his thoughts on the subject.
Nothing yet. The prospects arrived in St. Louis last night. I would guess he's getting checked out today. I spotted him briefly outside the locker room Tuesday in Traverse City, and he looked to be in some discomfort for what that's worth.
It's a big deal in town. Lots of townsfolk volunteer for the tournament to help as ticket takers, etc. Or coordinating things with the media. Traverse City is where the Red Wings train in the preseason every year, so there are lots of Wings fans here, and I would think lots of hockey fans in general. The tournament site (Centre Ice Arena) is the main rink in town _ two rinks, actually _ and there are youth team banners hanging all over the place for various accomplishments. It's a regional resort town, right on Lake Michigan. The Blues stay in a nice hotel right by the lake, on the main strip. The tourist season shuts down Labor Day weekend, and the NHL Prospect Tournament is always the weekend afterwards. Each of the two rink seats maybe a few hundred, but they're usually pretty filled _ and packed if the Red Wings are playing.
Colton Parayko hears you.
Blais is a good pick. I should have included him with Fabbri and Sanford. He's on a one-way contract now, so the days of the San Antonio shuttle should be over.
Armstrong addresses that in the story that will be in tomorrow's Post-Dispatch and online at stltoday.com around midnight. But as for Thomas, he may be limited at the start. Same with Kryou. Tarasenko should be good to go.
What can I tell you? Sports fans like talking trades.
Yes, Fabbri will be one of the top players to watch in camp and the preseason, for sure. At his best, i think the Blues regard him as a top six player, certainly a top nine guy.
Again, without a ton of organizational depth on defense, I don't think the Blues are salivating at the thought of dealing defensemen. If Edmundson returns to form he's a top four defensemen, and those guys don't grow on trees.
He turns 30 in January. What if the Blues sign him for four years _ does that make it more palatable for you?
Well, they only get one home game against the Bruins, since as you know, they're in the East. But I'll try to check on that for you.