The NHL playoffs always have the potential for upsets, and it will be even more so in a best of five. I don't think any outcome would be considered a surprise. As I'll talk about in the next question....
I was talking to someone the other day while working on a story who said watch out for Montreal. Their underlying numbers were good, though they were really inconsistent, and they have Carey Price in goal, who is the type of guy who could get hot and change things. Would Columbus surprise people? Ultimately, I think Boston, Tampa, Colorado and the Blues are the teams that stand out.
Those are going to be weird ones. Berube has said he wants everybody to get in a game, so you'll see likely see Jake Allen in goal in one of them. And you'll likely see a lot of other guys too what wouldn't be playing if they were do-or-die playoff games. Will teams want to risk players getting hurt when playing for seeding rather than survival? Or will teams say they want to go all out in those to get the top seed and the juices flowing for the elimination rounds? I think they'll be slightly less physical. How far above exhibition level, I don't know. But there seems less incentive to risk injury. Then again, players will tell you when you try to avoid getting hurt, that's when you get hurt.
He's had 30 years or so to get in and hasn't, so I think that decision has been rendered.
They were still doing them. Looks, it's a game. Why be so serious? It's supposed to about fun. And especially in a place like Carolina, anything you can do to get fans engaged is a step forward.
One of the things Bettman has said from the start is they want to have a full 20-21 season. (Which may end up being just a 2021 season if it starts in January.) So unless that season gets extraordinarily pushed back, that's the plan. They'll bunch up that schedule by getting rid of the bye week and the All-Star Game and anywhere they can save a few days. But it seems probable that the 21-22 season will also be impacted and it will take a few seasons before they can back to normal.
The league at one point was saying they were against teams playing in their home markets, but they have backed away from that and the fact that it could end up being Las Vegas and Vancouver would make that impossible anyway. Remains to be seen the impact a team has playing at home. Even if Vegas was playing at home, they wouldn't get the last switch every time. Would they get to see their families more? That could be a factor. Home teams win about 55 percent of the time, so it's slight concern. But not a huge one.
The NHL gets the biggest percentage of revenue from tickets. After that, probably baseball and basketball. You could see from baseball's tortured negotiations that it was an issue for them.
I don't know anyone who has talked to Bouwmeester. He could play, I suppose, but boy does that seem unlikely to me. I would think he would be a high-risk player after a heart attack, and would be one of the last players who would want to have to deal with potentially getting sick. There's already concerns about the cost of getting insurance for players in case they get the virus.
Last time around, it was held a few days after the 2017 season ended, so that will be something else to deal with in the offseason before 2021-22.
I've said all along it's 50-50 because I have no idea what will happen, so I won't be surprised either way. I think his odds of staying with the Blues have gone up slightly because with the cap staying flat, there probably isn't a huge, big money, long term contract waiting for him. So if he signs a shorter deal, the Blues have a better shot at keeping him. But it only takes one team with a lot of space that really wants him to end that. It will be harder for the Blues to match that. And with everything going on, that may slightly enhance Pietrangelo's desire to stay put. But who knows?
Buffalo is a mess, and no one can blame Eichel if he wanted out. There's no reason to be optimistic about Buffalo to turn things around quickly either. But after stupidly trading away O'Reilly, can you trade away someone who everyone agrees is one of the best players in the league? Unless they feel sorry for the guy, better to build around him. But it's Buffalo, with a rookie GM. I suppose anything is possible.
They miss Maroon in the room, but they've made the forward lineup work pretty well without him. There would be less room for the young forwards. You're already looking at MacEachern coming out with Tarasenko coming back, and if you had Maroon, someone else -- Blais/Kyrou -- wouldn't be playing. Better off with getting those young guys in I think
The Blues haven't said. I would think the guys who have skated at Centene probably have, but for the guys still out there in the world, probably not, though I have to admit I don't know how widespread testing is in New Brunswick or Sweden. The league is now handling all announcements on positive tests now.
Faulk has long loomed as an expansion draft candidate, since the Blues list fills up pretty quickly with players they would want to protect more. They can keep Faulk and Pietrangelo, but would need to free up some space by trading away two well-paid players.
It's one of the many details the players and the league are working on. A lot of players with families don't want to be apart from them for up to three months. But then, having little kids, which in almost all cases they are, stuck in a hotel room for that time does not sound good to me by any stretch of the imagination. Which presumably was one of the selling points of the Toronto fairgrounds bid. Plenty of room for the kids. Some players with families have suggested they wouldn't take part, and that's another thing being discussed, what to do about players who don't want to play. Now, for a lot of players, they'll be home in less than a month. Some could be home in two weeks if they get swept in the play-in round. But some could be gone a long time, and that's a concern.
Probably not. The virus would have to totally go away, which I don't think is happening, and in any case, the lead time to get things ready in two new cities would make it a problem. If they're safely in the bubble at that point, they'll finish it there.
That probably is a good note to end it on. I haven't checked the schedule for who's here next week. But even if I'm not here, know that I'll be following along with the rest of you. And who knows what we may know by next week, Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate the questions. It was a good session. I give you all an A.