Hi everybody. I'm here, and I've got a busy day ahead of me -- I may have to step away for an interview mid-chat -- but let's get started.
This was a move that was likely to be made regardless. The Blues need to re-sign Dunn and other guys, and Husso is an available option they think is ready. This gives them some flexibility. It's the one move Armstrong could make that doesn't really close many doors. Allen was unlikely to be back after next season anyway. The next step is going to be trickier. They still need to free up another five million or so to re-sign Pietrangelo.
It was a deal they needed to make. Frees up salary cap space. Husso has looked ready for a while. Jake is a quality person and a great teammate and a great resource for reporters when we could go into the room and talk to players. Candid, objective, realistic, cooperative. He was a great teammate, not complaining, at least publicly, when he lost his starting job. (And was playing pretty well at the time.) Again, the Blues needed the salary cap space. That's the main driver here. Ultimately, Pietrangelo will be a more important player for the Blues than Allen because of how much he plays. So the Blues need to do what it takes to keep him.
TSN in Canada put Dunn on their trade bait list for this offseason. I think the Blues will do what they can to keep him, because if not, you're looking at almost a total overhaul of the defense corps. Trade him and don't re-sign Pietrangelo and you're down them, plus Bouwmeester and Edmundson from the Stanley Cup group. And Gunnarsson is gone after next season. That's a pretty big change, and not one I think the Blues want. He's mostly cost-controlled in the years ahead, and a lot cheaper than the alternatives. So I think the Blues first choice will be to keep him.
The Blues don't want any current players in return. They need to save salary cap space, and taking on even a minimum salary defeats that purpose. With that being the case, that must have been the best Armstrong could get. Armstrong said some teams he talked to liked Allen as a goalie but didn't want to give up any assets. If someone had offered a second, he would have grabbed that. But the Blues have done well with third round picks in the past.
I'm listening to Jake Allen talking to Montreal reporters at the moment, so I apologize if I seem distracted or my answers are shorter.
Oreos. It's a bit of a mess today.
I don't think it's realistic at all. The guy will be coming off three shoulder surgeries. He'll have to prove what he can do before other teams give anything in return that would make it worthwhile for the Blues. And it's only worthwhile for the Blues if Tarasenko isn't performing, at which point it's not worthwhile for other teams.
I think a Tampa-Vegas final would be pretty entertaining. Or Colorado. I'm at a point now where I can root for what's the most entertaining series.
Well, they could, but Seattle doesn't start until the 2021-22 season, so that doesn't do them any good right now.
This is the tricky part of signing Pietrangelo. He's worth it now, but for how many years? That's going to be the tradeoff. I would expect him to be worth it for the next four or five years, which wouldn't be too bad. The Blues are going to have to overpay on those final few years of the contract. That's the way it works. If Pietrangelo were to accept a five-year deal, that would be great, but he's going to try to get the longest deal he can. Ultimately, term will probably be more important than dollars. Those last few years could really leave the team handcuffed. On the other hand, it gives them a really good chance over the next few years, and that's a pretty good thing to have. The Blues have a chance to win now, so I'd suggest taking advantage of it. Deal with the problems of 2027 later.
The least painful moves to make would involve Steen ($5.75 million), Bozak ($5 million) and Gunnarsson ($1.75 million). All of those guys have one more year to go on their contract, so you're not mortgaging your future by trading them. But none of those have tremendous value to other teams, and with the flat cap, there are probably going to be fewer teams looking to take on money like you used to be able to count on Arizona to do. Schwartz is the next option, since he's got one more year to go too, but you would like to get something solid for him in return and right now, they want only draft picks. I don't know that Pietrangelo is looking for a one-year deal, unless there is absolutely no other interest in him, which seems unlikely.
I don't know how to explain that. Some of the guys had been laid low by COVID-19, and in some other cases, it could have been timing. No one was quite sure when the season would start, so it was tough to taper one's training to be ready. Other teams were able to. I don't think it's work ethic, since these guys wouldn't be where they are if they didn't have a great one. But the team had a tough time getting to where it needed to be. Berube has vowed that won't happen again, but it will be another challenge since who knows when next season will start.
We're running low on questions, so here's your chance.
A prospect and a draft pick is going to be the return on pretty much any trade Armstrong considers from here out. Any Steen trade may require him to be part of a package, but keep in mind: The Blues really like him, and he contributes in the room and on the ice in ways it's hard to fully appreciate from a distance.
Yeah, that did seem odd. Seventh-round picks are like loose change. Teams throw them into deals without much thought. Montreal must have wanted that pick. I was looking at the Canadiens draft situation in coming years. They've got a lot of draft picks.
If Pietrangelo re-signs, Faulk will be left exposed in the expansion draft after next season. Moving him this offseason would be tough. That's a lot of contract and a lot of years. Faulk played better in the postseason and I would expect him to play better next season. The Blues just have to find a place for him. Until they do that, he will seem a bit part because that's how he's being treated. Admittedly, it will be easier for them to find a space for him if Pietrangelo isn't on the team.
The draft is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 9 and 10. It could change if the end of the NHL playoffs changes. There are some very good prospects up top, less when the Blues will pick in the 20s, though they've done a good job of finding talent late in the first round. Seattle is still a year away, so it shouldn't change anything.
He does, but that doesn't mean he can't be traded. It just means you have to ask him first and he gets a say in where he wants to go. If a team is actively trying to move a player and can tell he isn't wanted, that's usually a good incentive to try to find a good landing spot elsewhere
No one knows. The league is aiming at camps starting in November and the season starting on Dec. 1, but I would bet against that. There's too much uncertainty, and if the league can shift the date back and sell tickets, even for a partial building, they will do that. Multiple scenarios are being thrown around. Divisional bubbles. An all-Canadian division so teams don't have to cross the border, which is still an issue. The league will look at how the European leagues that are starting up do and what the numbers look like there. If the start of the season gets pushed back into 2021, an 82-game season becomes increasingly unlikely. They'll try to play as many as they can. Seventy or so is the number thrown out because that's the number in teams local TV contracts. It's going to be very complicated. Another complication will be that there may not be an AHL season if they can't sell tickets. In which case, you have to expand NHL rosters so you have enough bodies to around.