It definitely seemed as if they didn't like him. And he's a nice guy.
Does Sundqvist still count as a role player now that he's the second-line center? If so, he's on the list. And in between Schwartz and Perron, he's in prime position to do something. On defense, there's only six guys to choose from, and all are doing well. Dunn's not underappreciated or a role player, but if he continues to be on the pairing with Pietrangelo, he's going to be called on to do a lot, and he'll have to do more defensively than has been expected of him in the past. Goals from Dunn are expected. Goals denied by Dunn are a big bonus. When Edmundson comes back, I expect Dunn to move back to the third pairing with Bortuzzo, but until then, he's got some big responsibilities.
I don't drink coffee, but I have been eating lunch during the chat.
How do you want to rank them? Offensively, they're among the best in the league. If you were to rank defenses by their top four, the Blues aren't the best, but they're up there. If you go as a six-main group, going both ways, they're up there with the best. It's a good group, and the fact they have done so well without Edmundson has been no small accomplishment.
I didn't ignore it. I just haven't answered it yet.
There was some inevitable leveling off in his game as it went on and the Blues liked what they saw from Sanford more, though Berube has also said they want to see more from Sanford. Someone was going to have to come out when players like Perron came back from injuries, and it was MacEachern was the guy. With the general pleasure with the configuration of the fourth line, Double Mac figures to be watching, but I wouldn't rule out him getting in a game at some point. I think he's more likely to get in a game at this point than Fabbri.
I was figuring there would be some disappointment that the Blackhawks were eliminated last night, depriving the Blues the chance to do it tonight.
Edmundson's season has not made this an easy one. He was a healthy scratch three times during the season and has missed 15 games to injuries. Healthy scratches are never a good thing for a player in a contract negotiation, but he seems, when healthy, to have recovered from that. He's making $3 million now, so he'll get a raise of some sort, maybe to $4+ million a year and I can see them going four years for him. Parayko's at $5.5 million, so he'll get less than that.
They were in the running for Jimmy Schuldt, a defenseman with St. Cloud State who was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, but he signed with Vegas today.
I think at this point, Armstrong will leave things alone, but a move like that would certainly have a motivational affect. With little time between the end of the season and the start of the playoffs, contract negotiations might be seen as a distraction for the coach.
Ryan O'Reilly's contract runs through 2022-23, the same as Tarasenko's. So he's got some time ahead of him. (I inadvertently deleted some questions; turns out the delete button is at the bottom of the question file rather than the top.)
Remember that tooth story I did at Christmas? I actually first started working on that in the season the Blues won the Presidents' Trophy, envisioning a break between rounds. And then the Blues lost in the first round and the story got put on the shelf. Many years later, I re-reported it and revived it.
I think if I'm rebuilding Edmonton, Draisaitl and McDavid are the guys I build around.
Gunnarsson's health makes him tricky to re-sign. It's too bad because he made for a great pairing with Pietrangelo when he was healthy. The Blues have done well enough without Gunnarsson that they can handle him. Replacing Bouwmeester on the team's top shutdown pairing will be a challenge. Bouwmeester has logged some high quality, high pressure minutes, and handled them very well. The fact that keeping him is even being discussed makes me feel as if I'm living on a different planet than I was in November.
I said this on the podcast last week I think, and may have written it in a story too, but right now, the Blues would be the team nobody wants to play. Except maybe for Dallas.
Well, if he made $7 million, he wouldn't be getting more than O'Reilly, who makes $7.5 million. And he's not greedy.
We're entering the home stretch, so if you've got a question, now's your chance.
I'll go with Maroon. As a St. Louis guy, it's probably a point of pride for him to fight in Chicago. Though interestingly, the only Blue to fight Chicago this season was Ivan Barbashev.
Regardless of how the contract is structured -- O'Reilly's was front loaded and pays him $6 million over the final four years -- if Schenn got $7 million a year, I wouldn't consider him to be making more than O'Reilly. That's how I see it. Your mileage may vary. As for being greedy, I do not begrudge any professional athlete trying to maximize his salary. Asking for $7 million rather than $6 million is not being greedy.
OK, let's call it a day. There's a game tonight to get ready for. I'm not exactly sure on the timing for next week's chat. We'll have to see how the playoff schedule works out. The only thing I'm fairly sure of is that if the Blues open the playoffs at Nashville, the series will start on Wednesday, because there's a concert there on Thursday. Enterprise, meanwhile, is wide open, so if the Blues are hosts, it can start Wednesday or Thursday. Thanks for the questions and the participation. It's been a fascinating season and it figures to be an interesting postseason as well. Take care one and all.