Chat all things Blues with Tom Timmermann at 11 a.m. Wednesday

Chat all things Blues with Tom Timmermann at 11 a.m. Wednesday

Get your questions ready and join in at 11 a.m. Wednesday for our weekly Blues chat.

    Thomas has to be protected, Kyrou doesn't. I think the league has had to make some adjustments on numbers that affect eligibility because of the shortened season, but I don't know that anyone on the Blues was that close that it matters. You can go to capfriendly, click on the Blues icon, and see who has to be protected and who doesn't. And keep in mind if the Blues were to sign a long-term deal with Hoffman before the draft, that's one more player they would have to protect. 

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    I agree with the idea of the Blues wouldn’t be in the opening night triple header on NBCSN if they weren’t good.... but the Blackhawks suck (& even more so now that Toews is out) and they got the premier matchup against the Champion Lightning. Why the heck wouldn’t the NHL pair them up against a quality team for a good game (we faced the Capitals in our opener last season)
    Maybe people will tune in to see just how bad the Blackhawks are? When the game was scheduled, they didn't know about Toews, at least not for sure. The only other appealing team in the Central for Tampa Bay to play from a rating standpoint is Detroit, and they're even worse than Chicago.  
    Don't you think a lot of west coast games will start at 6 PCT since there are no fans? Unless it's national TV the NHL will have to work this out on starting times.

    They can't start them too early because the regional sports networks out west won't want 6 p.m. starts out there during the week. I would expect to see earlier games on the weekends, but still late games on weekdays, unless it's a holiday.
    As hard as Tarasenko tries to rehab that shoulder it is still going to be a long time before he 80% let alone 100% Look how long he had the last time and it didn't work. Isn't this 3rd surgery time span less than the 2nd surgery and when he played in a game?
  • Had the pause not hit last March, Tarasenko would have been out about five months -- he got hurt on Oct. 24 -- so it should be about the same this time. But yes, shoulders seldom get back to their original condition after surgery, and are even less likely after multiple surgeries. And there's a definitely a difference between being cleared to play and playing like you did before you got hurt. With knee injuries, six months is a good rule of thumb until a player is back to normal, and in Tarasenko's case, that would pretty much mean next season. But he's got to play these games to get back up to speed. He can't do it just in practice. So I would not expect some gangbusters season from Tarsaenko, but would expect to see some progress being made as the season goes on.
    Thanks for all the coverage of Blues and MLS. Like many I am in limbo about what TV streaming service I will be able to watch the games this season. Hear that Sinclair is looking to start their own service at some point. Can I plant the idea of doing a story about when contracts are up (I know Hulu and YouTube have already been dropped). Would sign up for AT&T, but they require a two-year commitment and I have no other use for it if Fox Sports Midwest isn't on it. Thanks!
    So noted. I have a brother in Los Angeles who has barely seen a Dodgers game in the past several years because of all their carrier issues out there.
    What is your gut reaction to the Tarasenko comments in the Russian Article? Seems to me people are making this a bigger deal than it is. Fans always want quotes from athletes then they get mad at the answers. How bad would it look if 91 flat out says I don’t want to be the captain? Lose....Lose for him
    There are some questions that are tough to answer, and I always appreciate a player who is candid about his feelings. I doubt it will cause any rift in the room.
    With Army pulling strings to get a premier finisher like Hoffman the pressure is on Binnington and the D-men to play their A game every night.

    If anyone doubts Mike Hoffman‘s ability to score goals go to YouTube and search for “Mike Hoffman‘s goals 2019-2020 season” to see each one of his goals last year. The guy can put
    the biscuit in the basket.
    Hoffman is one of the best finishers in the league. As I said on the podcast, if Jim Montgomery is in charge of the power play, he just got a whole lot smarter.
    Hi Tom. Happy New Year. It appears with the addition of Clifford and Hoffman that the Blues will be able to roll four lines again this year. Defense looks strong again. Do you think this season comes down to our goaltending, specifically what Husso does on the 15 - 20 games he gets to play? Thanks
    Seasons are usually decided by goalies in the playoffs. The team with the best goalie in the playoff is the team that wins, though usually you don't know who that is until the season is over. To win the Stanley Cup, the Blues had to beat Rask in the Final. The Blues would seem to have the bodies on offense. There remain some questions on defense, just because we haven't see this unit and losing Pietrangelo changes a lot of things. I've said this before that it now becomes a parlay: Before, you knew what you would get from Pietrangelo in all aspects of the game. Now, you need Parayko to step up as the boss on defense, you need Faulk to establish himself again, you need Krug to run the power play. There are three things that need to happen to fill the space Pietrangelo used to take care of. All three are fairly likely, but if one doesn't happen, there could be problems. Unless Husso is a total dud, the big question in goal will be is 2018-19 Jordan Binnington back? If he plays like he did that first season, the Blues should be in good shape with the other components they have.
  • Tom, it has been said that Hoffman would take a 1 year deal with the Blues for this year. When his contract is up, what would be the chances of the Blues trying to resign Hoffman in the offseason?
    The chances of Hoffman sticking around could depend on other factors, such as what happens with the contract of Jaden Schwartz and do the Blues lose a big-dollar contract in the expansion draft? The Blues right now have about $25 million to play with for the 2021-22 season, and Binnington and Schwartz are UFAs, plus Robert Thomas' contract running out and a few other guys. If Hoffman has a big season, he could go back on the market and maybe get the huge deal he didn't get this season. Teams didn't have time to react this season to the flat cap, but they will next season. But the Blues will definitely try to re-sign him, and it's not out of the question for Armstrong to strike early, signing Hoffman as soon as he can -- usually on a one-year deal, you can start negotiating an extension on Jan. 1; I'm not sure what that date is this season -- and worrying about the rest later. That seems to be a Doug Armstrong type deal.
    Why are people penciling in Clifford for 4th line? I view him more as Chris thorburn role. Put blais on the 4th line and see what kyrou can do on the third line.
    The fact they're penciling him in rather than inking him in is significant. The Blues signed him for a reason and that's to play him on the fourth line and be a physical presence they need. He's not someone I would expect to see in 56 games, so there likely will be times Blais or someone goes in there. But on opening night, I would expect to see Clifford in there.
    Oskar Sundqvist (sp) has become one of my favorite Blues players primarily because of the grit and tenacity he displays on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice. Prior to his big jump of the Stanley Cup run he was considered a fringe journeyman type player. He exceeded most everyone’s expectations. My question is did he slip somewhat last season or is that just my perception? Also, what can the Blues expect out of him this coming season? Thank you
    I think it's reasonable to say Sundqvist did not play as well in the playoffs in 2019-20 as he did in 2018-19. But the Blues are usually a much better team with him in the lineup. I remember asking Berube late in the season if it was a coincidence that the team went on a win streak -- eventually eight games -- when Sundqvist came back in the lineup and Berube said, No, it's probably not a coincidence. He has shown a knack for getting hurt. If he can avoid doing that, stay in the lineup and play the way he likes to play, it will be a good thing for the Blues. There's no reason he can't play the way he showed he could in the Stanley Cup season.
    Hi Tom: I say kudos to Doug Armstrong for his slick maneuver in bringing in Mike Hoffman. I'm curious as to what would happen if Hoffman were injured prior to the season starting. And, also wondering your thoughts on Hoffman fitting in with Berube's system and defensive expectations.

    Thanks for the great Blues coverage!
    The Blues are technically under no obligation to sign Hoffman with the PTO, but it's silly to think a contract hasn't been discussed. If he got hurt and was out for the season, the Blues would obviously not sign him. If it was for anything less than that they would sign him and wait for him to come back. 
    I don't know that Hoffman can suddenly become a defensive maven, but I think either Berube thinks he will fit in or likes the thought of his goalscoring so much that it doesn't matter to him. The Blues aren't going to re-invent Mike Hoffman this season. 
    Assuming Tarasenko comes back firing on all cylinders, I'd like to see Bozak slide into Steen's role with Sundquist and Barbashev. I think he'd be perfect there. Then have a young guns 3rd line of Thomas at C with a mix of Sanford, Kyrou and Blais on the Wings. That makes Clifford odd man out, but what do you think of those lines?
  • Among the things to keep in mind about hockey: Sooner or later, you see just about every line. 
    The initial assumption here, that Tarasenko comes back firing on all cylinders, is the big step to make. That's unlikely to happen in January or February. He's coming back from two shoulder surgeries in less than a year. That's a lot to ask. As the season goes on, we may see that, and that's when decisions will have to be made.
    What the Blues would like is for Thomas to show he can be the center on those top two lines. They would love to have him in that spot and not worry about it. If he's shown he can do that, he could be too valuable a commodity to move elsewhere, especially when you consider that late in games, if the Blues are trying to catch up, it's that third line that doesn't get as many shifts. If Thomas has earned that spot, they'll want him on the ice.
    Bozak could play on the fourth line, and Clifford would likely be the odd man out in that case since Sundqvist and Barbashev have an offensive upside to go with the defense.
    All this, of course, assumes no one gets hurt. Someone will get hurt .We used to ask Larry Pleau about what roster moves would be made when someone came back from an injury and he'd say, let's wait till then because something always happens. And they usually do. 
  • Do you have any thoughts on the weirdness surrounding Hoffman's exit from Ottawa?
    I'm glad my wife isn't active on social media.
    So do you feel it is worth the Blues to pay Tarasenko all that money to play a handful of games to get in game shape? When if he doesn't play he gets paid but the Blues can use that $7.5 million to make the team even better with healthy plays IF needed when the time comes before the trade deadline or playoffs?
    Tarasenko is not going to get back into game shape watching, so they need to play him. And he's getting paid all that money regardless of whether he plays or not. Now, if it was a matter of him staying on LTIR another week so they can keep someone else, that's one thing. But keeping him there for four or five months? That's a big ask, and if you thought he didn't like not being given the C, he won't like that even more. There is a very high potential upside to a healthy Tarasenko, who has two more years to go on his contract. If you'd like to get your money's worth on that, he needs to see the ice this season.
    For those keeping score at home, the case against the then girlfriend of Mike Hoffman for cyberbullying the wife of Eric Karlsson was dismissed.
    Good Morning, is there any thoughts within the NHL of having home teams go back to wearing their white uniforms so that fans attending home games can see the uniqueness of each visiting teams uniform?
    Seems like the NHL's preferred method is creating third and fourth and fifth jerseys. More likely to sell those to fans than jerseys of a rival team. I like the home team wearing their more colorful jerseys. I think they look better.
    Is it accurate to say that the Blues could place Tarensanko on LTIR anytime and be salary cap compliant going into the season because they plan on him returning at some point this season but must wait until the season starts to do the same with Steen so that they can take full advantage of cap relief Steen's retirement brings?
  • I've got a similar question from BluesFanInIowa, but his is a lot longer. (And I mean a lot longer.) I have to say Jim has taken the lead on understanding the cap ramifications.
    Jim explains it in this story:

    Blues bring free agent Hoffman in for tryout

    STLtoday.comIt seems likely that the high-scoring winger won't be going elsewhere.
    The Padres are taking a page out of the Doug Armstrong Blues playbook. Thanks to him and owners Tom Stillman + others. Sure beats the Cardinals leaders. Mo and the Bill's.
    Aggressive GMs tend to be popular, right up to the point where things don't work out. But it's a lot more fun to watch them either way.
    You’ve got to love Army’s creativity with bringing in Hoffman. The Blues should consider signing him to an extension, what team wouldn’t want Armstrong guiding their team?
    Unless Hoffman provides solid evidence to the contrary, I would think Armstrong will try to do that as soon as possible. The question will be how eager Hoffman is to do that, knowing that if he goes on the open market and teams start bidding, it could mean more money for him. He will be in demand on the UFA market next season as well.
    Tom, what is your take on Tarasenko’s comments to Russian media about his disappointment in not being named captain? I think it’s bad for the club house to have this kind of talk out there for all to read. If I was ROR I’m not sure I’d be real pleased right now. I don’t think his shoulder will ever be 100%. He’s just a hit into the boards away from permanently injuring it. Once he gets healthy and proves he can play I say trade him for an elite prospect or two. I wouldn’t expose him in Seattle’s draft because you have to at least get something for him. When he does come back, not sure how he’ll be received in the room. Hopefully Berube can sit him down and talk to him. I can’t imagine he’s too happy either.
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