The last time Jim reached out to him, he said he wasn't ready to talk yet.
They're sellers, unless the Central Division does a full 180. Can't see where the Blues would trade away any prospects to make a run at this season, as much as they would like to make the playoffs. I think if you're about to be an unrestricted free agent, you should keep a bag packed.
If the Blues' pick becomes a top 10 pick this year, the Blues have the choice on whether to keep it or let Buffalo have it (and I think they have right up until draft day to make that choice). If they choose to keep it this year, then Buffalo gets next year's pick, no matter where it falls. If the Blues' pick is 11th or higher this season, then Buffalo gets it.
I think with them all of a sudden being back in the playoff race, they will be less aggressive, because making the playoffs is better for the bottom line. Which is not to say they won't make trades; potential UFAs have a strong chance of being moved. But a big shake-em-up trade seems less likely. Not too long ago, the thought of a playoff spot seemed remote. Now, it's not so remote.
By the way, while we wait to get up to speed here, the Blues are having an optional skate today in Boston, so we might be getting updates on the health conditions of some players here during the chat. Jim is on the case in Boston.
As someone who grew up in Southern California, it's a weird feeling right now. I spent the first 15 years of my life rooting for the Los Angeles Rams. Well, maybe not years 0 through 5.
Dunn is usually on hand for optional skates, though last night's events might be answered better with a film session than with on-ice work. Dunn ended up a plus-1 last night since he got off the ice before the OT goal was scored. Pietrangelo got the minus on that goal.
The Dad's trip this year is on the Florida trip. Can't say the team wasn't thinking on that one, and it works out well since the team two days off on the road between a game in Columbus and one in Sunrise, so they can squeeze a full, or mostly full, off day in there. The Dallas group was a season-ticket holder/fan group, I believe.
As with most things, it's a combination of things. They can get a more physical presence from Sanford on the O'Reilly line, they can ease Fabbri back though at the same time, his game isn't where it needs to be. Unless I've missed something, Fabbri hasn't been credited with any hits in his seven games since coming from his shoulder injury. You can't blame the guy considering how he hurt his shoulder, but it looks like he needs some time to work into his game.
He's not on this road trip, so no updates on what he's doing. We'll see if he's on the ice when the team gets back on Friday (or Saturday, since they might take Friday off). The earliest he can come off IR is Saturday, but with three days between then and the long All-Star/off week break, we might not be seeing him until the other side.
I said on the podcast this week that Kyrou needs to play on the top three lines or be in San Antonio. As for playing him with Perron and O'Reilly, they've got the right-shot Perron out there, so maybe they're trying to spread around right-hand shots. Kyrou had 7:11 of ice time in his first game, 10:14 last night. The Blues continue to be hesitant to give him too much ice time. (And in that 10:14 last night, which included 1:46 on the power play, he had no shot attempts.)
This looks like the case. The team is playing more like was expected of them at the start of the season. And there figure to be enough teams below them that will definitely be unloading talent that the Blues are going to be longshots for a good draft pick. If you were to rate all their end-of-season possibilities right now, it's probably the scenario where don't make the playoffs and don't have a top 10 pick.
Blues have an optional skate today, so we may be getting an update then. Berube said after the game he saw Sanford and he looked OK, but it remains to be seen. It would be a tough game for Sanford to miss; first game back in Massachusetts since his father's funeral
Parayko has been rolling up the minutes lately (though last night, he played just under 18, one of his lowest totals of the season. He's been logging as much ice time or more than Pietrangelo in most games. And the first goal last night was the first one he had been on the ice by an opposing team in a long time. He's been playing very well. People tend to think of Parayko in terms of offense because of his shot, but he's doing a job defensively that has been excellent. Coaches have always valued his defensive game, his big reach and facility at getting the puck out of the defensive zone. He's doing a good job on both sides of the puck now.
Sorry for the delay. Had to get lunch out of the oven.
Nope. Still up top, at least at the start. He does move up and down. Seems like the passing has been better, finding open players, less keeping it on the perimeter.
The Blues will never get more for Schenn or Pietrangelo than they will right now. Make the move next year, they're a rental and you get a rental return. Make the move now and you can get a player or two in return. But the question is if the team feels they can get the right return for them, and if they don't, then trading them is a bad idea, especially Pietrangelo, who would be very hard to replace because of the many things he does. The salary cap should go up next season, and some contracts come off the books to free up some space, so they will have some room to maneuver.
What do you mean by technically? Yes, they could put them on waivers to try to send them to San Antonio -- both have no trade clauses, but not no-movement clauses -- but that doesn't seem like very good asset management and I don't know that it makes this year's team more likely to win, which is what it seems they're trying to do right now.
As far as I can tell, yes, they'll have to protect them. The rule last time around, which I think will be the rule next time around, is you're exempt with two or less professional seasons, and it doesn't matter the level. And this is Kostin's second season.