Hello again everybody. Well, the NBA opens preseason play next week. College football and the NFL are plowing forward, even with lots of bumps in the road. Even college basketball has begun. Meanwhile, in the NHL. . . nothing. The economic impasse between players and owners coupled with the COVID surge have left the league stuck in neutral. Is there enough time left to have a season? What do you think?
Spoke with Doug Armstrong this morning for a story scheduled to run Friday. Tarasenko is 2 1/2 months removed from surgery and seems to be doing well. But still early in the rehab/recovery. Steen is back in St. Louis, but still not ready to go. Armstrong still says neither will be healthy enough to be on the active roster once the season starts.
That's a good question. I would think everything would be simply pushed forward a year. But I'll try to check on that.
Thanks so much for the kind words. They have been fun to write, and I do get the impression that they are popular with the readers. Blues fans seem to be pretty well-versed on the team's history and lore. Our plans are to continue running the Where Are They Now? stories, at least until the hockey games return. If you have any former players you'd like to hear about, let us know.
What you're saying makes a lot of sense. By the time the players and owners come to some kind of agreement on finances, it may be too late to have a meaningful season. And having a vaccine readily available to the masses probably won't come in time to have fans in the stands. At least not a full house. But I think it's pretty obvious that the NHL hierarchy really wants to have a season. And they usually get what they want.
I don't think there's any way the season starts Jan. 1. Early February, with camp starting mid January seems much more realistic.. And that wouldn't leave you with many games _ maybe a 48-game regular-season, which may be the league's minimum acceptable total. Remember, the league (and NBC) wants everything done by mid July, clearing the decks for the Olympics.
Well, you may be onto something because no one has clicked the "don't care" box so far. But some may view sports as less important in light of real life issues.
From what I can tell, there doesn't seem to be a ton of "negotiating" going on. Apparently the sides went more than a week without talking after it was learned the NHL wanted further concessions from the players. So something's got to give, and there isn't much more time for that to happen.
Hey, it wouldn't be a Blues chat without a question about the captains. I think it's pretty much Berube's call.. Don't know if players get a vote. I will check.
Yeah, in one sense the Blues have gone from a team that was top-heavy on the right side to one that is top-heavy on the left side defensively. But at least when it comes to the top four blueliners, the Blues do have balance this season in lefties Krug and Scandella, and righties Parayko and Faulk. That wasn't really the case last year when 3 of the top 4 were righties. I don't think it will be as much of a problem as you might think. Walman has a two-way contract this coming season, so he can be sent down to the AHL without going through waivers. Ideally, I think Perunovich spends a year in the AHL Gunnarsson's contract is up after this year. He's 34 now. The Blues could lose a D-man to Seattle in the expansion draft. And I think you have to approach the season like there will be at least one D-man sidelined with an injury at any point. In the short term, I think the guy most negatively impacted could be Mikkola _ because he seems ready now.
Sure seems strange to be in the holiday season with no pucks. How'd you hit 'em?
I wouldn't put it past those two!
Always good to hear from you Barry. How are things in Orlando? I don't think there's time for Return to Play info to come out bit by bit, although a certain amount of that is unavoidable _ it's just the nature of the news-gathering business. But for the most part, I think we'll have an announcement: Practice starts in 2 weeks and then _ bam _ the season starts two weeks later. I think 25-50 percent capacity could be realistic for the second half of the season and playoffs. You know, April, May, June, if these latest reports on the vaccine are accurate. Maybe you go without fans in January, February and March. Obviously a fluid situation COVID-wise.
Yes, Patey's hockey characteristics certainly seem to to have transferred over to "civilian" life. I don't think that's necessarily always the case. Passion for what you're doing always helps. In the NHL, we see that in play every season in the playoffs. You know, how bad do you want it?
Less travel also decreases the chances of COVID. With your six teams in a division, one of them would have to have an odd number of teams (seven) because there are 31 teams in the league. No matter what, it looks like they'll be playing each other a lot, which breeds rivalries, which are fun. I think the plan is for no games being played out of your division. So imagine, let's say, a 50-game schedule. If you're in a six-team division, you would end up playing each of the other five teams in your division 10 times, which would breed some ill will.
We have not done a Perry Turnbull "Where are the now?" We'll put him on the list. Appreciate the suggestion.
I voted for Binnington for the Conn Smythe, although O'Reilly obviously was very deserving. I can't recall a goalie being team captain. (Can anyone help me out on this?) I still think O'Reilly's the heavy favorite.
That would certainly bring out the fans. Call me naive, but aren't the vaccines supposed to be free?
No memorabilia? That does seem odd. What kind of crowd was there? Was there social distancing?