Folks: Thanks for your patience. Jim Thomas will be here soon as he finishes a few reporting/writing tasks.
Sorry for the delay. Caught up with Mike Yeo before the Flyers morning skate and just filed a blog on his thoughts about getting fired by the Blues and what lies ahead. Let's get to the questions. . . . .
He says he gets teased about the cough drop commercials all the time and doesn't mind it. As well as he's played, I don't think we should get too carried away after four games. Very small sample size. But it certainly looks _ right now _ like he's got a bright future in this league. Berube obviously likes what sees, otherwise he wouldn't keep putting him in the lineup. But if this keeps up somebody has to go sooner or later. If I had to pick between the too, I'd say Bortuzzo stays and Gunnarsson goes. As effective as he's been Gunnarsson has had trouble staying healthy this season and last. Plus, I think Berube likes the physical edge Bortuzzo brings. In the near future, we're only talking about a month until the trade deadline comes and all teams can have expanded rosters. But if something needs to be done in the interim, it's always possible that Mikkola gets sent down for a few weeks.
Yes, and there are some Blues fans in PHilly.
Still lobbying for that song?
There's no doubt that Armstrong will have to do some cap finessing, which he's been known to do in the past. I think it will be closer to $10 million of space and possibly more if the cap goes up _ as it always does. It may come down to if the Blues can afford to keep both Jake Allen ($4.35 million) and Alexander Steen ($5.75 million). Or they simply may not be able to re-sign Alex PIetrangelo. Perhaps they move Gunnarsson, although his modest salary ($1,75 million) means the Blues won't be able to save much money there.
Well, the Blues are currently a team that may have a surplus of defensemen.
Yeah, but that's been done already, circa 1982 baseball Cardinals.
Boy Krieder's name sure comes up a lot when it comes to the Blues. Are you talking about just a rental here, because given the team's current cap situation, it's hard to imagine the Blues doing anything long term. And one more thing: I'd be very careful about messing with the chemistry of this team. The Blues are on top of the standings, they're scoring more goals than they did last year, and they're about to get Blais back in a couple weeks. They've got Kyrou waiting in the wings. One of the best moves Armstrong made last year at the deadline was doing nothing. Now, if the goal-scoring suddenly dips, or more injuries occur, that's another matter.
I was surprised _ even realizing that the shelf life of NHL coaches is about the same as the bananas you just brought home from the grocery store. He was named to the all-star game to coach the Pacific Division less than two weeks ago because the Knights were on top of the division. Now he's out of a job. The man got them to a Cup final as an expansion team. But I was also surprised by DeBoer getting let go by San Jose and Laviolette getting canned in Nashville. Seven coaches gone and we're barely past midseason. I wonder if there's a Berube Effect here, with organizations thinking an in-season coaching change can work wonders.
My impression of Army is that he never says never. That he's always talking to people and working the phones. In saying that, there are cap constraints to making a move, and this team _ after all _ is at the top of the standings. But there's a lot of hockey to be played between now and the trade deadline _ I think 17 games. Stay tuned.
Yeah, a few of us talked to him about it the other day. It's something new and he thought he'd give it a try. He hasn't used it every day since he got it, but he has used it some in games. I'll try to go through the interview and get something in print/online about it.
Nope. And how would you cheat? Unless you had a bug on the other team's bench during games? Practices are open in the NHL and on game days, it's easy enough for members of one team to watch the other skate.
How about St. Louie by Nelly?
I haven't talked to Blais in about a week or so. I think he's still on schedule for an end of January/early February return. Again, keep in mind that after the trade deadline the rosters can be expanded. But if push comes to shove, I would think Brouwer gets trimmed on the roster. He has played only once since Dec. 12. As to who goes out of the lineup? Even with his strong showing the other night, I think Sanford would still be the top candidate.
I think Armstrong pretty much is a one-man band here. And I'm sure he'd be talking only with other clubs (GMs, execs) at the moment. No need to talk to the agents unless the deal is contingent on having a contract extension in place as was the case with Justin Faulk. And the extension talks only came into play after the trade terms had been agreed upon. As far as talking to other teams' execs, I don't think there are any restrictions there.
We asked Berube about this about a week or so ago. He said Tarasenko had been around, but that the team had given him permission to leave St. Louis for a while. (I think for the holidays.) Don't know if that meant going back to Russia for a visit or going somewhere warm with the family. He may be back now. But personally, I haven't seen him.
Again, at what cost. And are you talking about strictly a rental.
First off, I doubt if Calgary is going to let Thachuk go. I believe he's under contract through the 2012-22 season. As for Kassian, I guess there are a few guys like him still around in the NHL. I'll also add, that we all admire Tkachuk, but he's no choirboy.
I think that's the logical move. No need to do anything right now, because the Blues aren't over the roster limit. Not sure if there would be any kind of demand for Brouwer _ he was out of the league until Nov. 20.