Chat all things Blues with Tom Timmermann at 1 p.m. Wednesday

Chat all things Blues with Tom Timmermann at 1 p.m. Wednesday

Get your questions ready and join in at 1 p.m. Wednesday for our weekly Blues chat.

    Greetings on and all and welcome to this week's chat. The Blues are on the ice for their morning skate right now in Los Angeles, but because of COVID restrictions, no one else is allowed in the building, so exactly what is going on there is unknown. And considering that Berube is speaking to the media right now, it's probably an optional, which is to be expected after two days of practice. So if I'm slightly distracted for the first few minutes here, it's because I'm listening to Berube talk while answering questions. But answer questions I will! Since there are some already waiting for me, I'll dive right in, and probably be typing some updates from Berube as we go.
    Hi Tom. Couple questions here so I’ll be quick. Any word if the Pronger jersey ceremony is pushed back?
    Could the Blues put Perunovich on IR? I see he’s still on the taxi squad according to cap friendly.
    Also is de la Rose going to be taken off IR since he looks to be available? Thanks!
    Since right now no one can be on the ice level other than those who have to be there, that alone would be a reason to delay the Pronger ceremony until he could be on the ice to see his jersey raised to the rafters. And they'll want to do it when there can be a full house to join in the festivities.
    The Blues don't need to put Perunovich on IR because he was never on the roster. I don't know if there's a taxi squad IR, but I think having him there hasn't cost them any cap space.
    Berube just said seconds ago that de la Rose could play tonight, but he won't. In fact, I think because of cap issues, he may go straight to the taxi squad. 
    Berube just said that Bozak is in tonight, Schwartz isn't. And as I said in the previous answer, de la Rose is available but won't play.
    And Dakota Joshua is still in the lineup tonight, presumably centering the fourth line. Since we're not able to see practice, we can't be sure exactly where or what the lines are. Big vote of confidence for the youngster. Presumably he'll be coming out if Schwartz returns on Friday in San Jose.
    What moves/trades need to happen when fully healthy in the coming days/weeks
    If you're asking what needs to happen cap-wise, there's a lot of moves on paper and the callups being sent back to the taxi squad or Utica. The Blues will be a little bit over, $700,000 or so, when Bozak comes off LTIR, but they can get around it by moving Parayko onto LTIR until Schwartz gets back, and then they can send other guys back down to open up the needed space. Joshua and Walker will be headed back to Utica or the taxi squad soon. Or they can activate de la Rose and then put him on the taxi squad. . 
    If you're asking from the point of view of making the team for the stretch drive, probably nothing since the Blues don't have the cap space to add a player. If the Blues were to make a deal, it would be for a draft pick or a prospect, but no one who would figure in this season. (Barring something really strange happening.) Assuming the Blues are adding people rather than subtracting, it will just be a matter of making the existing components play their best. 
    Sorry, listening to Bortuzzo on Zoom at the moment.
    What are your thoughts on Husso?
    He's got the potential to be good. I've seen him play some great games in the preseason. And he's shown in the second and third periods of games that he can make some big saves. I don't know that I've seen something like what he goes through at the start though. Six goals given up on one of the first three shots he's faced, three on the very first. That's amazing. Most of those early goals have been the results of turnovers or gaffes that have put him in a tough spot, but those are the saves you have to make that really give your team a jolt. It's way too soon to give up on him, but if he could just find a way to get through the opening minutes, Because it sets a tone not just for him but for the team.
    I’m a fan of Kostin. He’s big and can skate. That said, shouldn’t pump the brakes on expectations for him, especially this year? He seems more like a bottom 6 guy, not a top winger.
    Certainly what he can do for the Blues this season should be viewed with caution, since he won't be around for much of it. I believe the next round of KHL playoffs for him start tomorrow, and they play every other day. So he couldn't be in St. Louis playing for a month, and which leaves you with about three weeks of the season, and then he'll have to adapt to playing on the smaller ice. He might find his niche on the third line, but he's also someone who could plug in as a power forward on a top line, digging pucks out of corners. Maybe not all the time, but he can play there. It will be very interesting to see how he looks in the NHL after what Armstrong has said was a successful season in the KHL.
    Now being distracted by Perron talking.
    Happy soggy Wednesday Tim. Are you kind of surprised that there hasn’t been more trades at this point of the season? I assume player would have to quarantine for ten days before joining their new team. I would have expected trades to occur well before the trade deadline this year because of this.
    I thought there wouldn't be many trades just because of the logistics of it, particularly trades between U.S. teams and Canadian teams because of quarantines. Because of that, it would be tough to quickly address issues. Same with waiver claims. You're looking at a seven-day quarantine in most cases, though there are some ways around it. Vancouver claimed Jimmy Vesey off waivers today, and by him driving from one team to the other, he doesn't have to quarantine. Or if you make a trade while you are in the same city as the team you're trading with, the players can just join up right away with the new team and avoid quarantine. So it will be a weird trade deadline coming up.
    OK, Blues are done talking. You have my full attention
    Kyrou has been struggling on the defensive side of the puck. Do you think it is a lack of commitment or just a young player still learning the game?
    by Do you think Kyrous defensive lapses are due to b 3/17/2021 6:34:28 PM
  • Well, it's a young player learning that he has to have a full commitment to defense. He's been an offensive player his career and got where he is because of that. In juniors, you can get away with that. Now, he's learning, you can't. But I don't think it's anything he can't learn. He's going to have to.
  • Is Zoom the only way to interview players and coaches?
    Zoom this season is the only way to interview players and coaches. Locker rooms are closed. It's not a good situation, because it really limits who you can talk to, particularly on off days. Gone, hopefully not for much longer, are the days when you could work the room and just talk to guys.
    Who's out with injuries?
    So the injury situation is now this;
    Schwartz should be back Friday.
    Thomas is skating, could be practicing with full team on Thursday or Friday, but in any case soon.
    Parayko is getting closer to rejoining team.
    Barbashev still has a month to go.
    Haven't gotten any MacEachern updates.
    Bozak and de la Rose are cleared to play. Bozak will play today, de la Rose won't. 
    What are your thoughts on Mike Hoffman? As advertised or ? Does he fit this team? Would you bring him back?
    Seven goals in 27 games is essentially a 21-goal pace for 82 games, which would be his low for an NHL season. So to that end, a bit disappointing. His shot totals were way down from the end of February on, before getting a boost in the last Vegas game. Berube said he just wasn't getting to the tough spaces to get the puck and get shots. Hoffman is a volume shooter. When he's getting five or so shots a game, that's when he's scoring goals. If the Blues could bring back, sure, but that's going to be very hard to do. The Blues would have to clear cap space and he would have to take a lot less money than he's probably going to get on the market. If the Blues could get him back for $4 million, he'd be worth it, though that would also mean he probably had a bad year, relatively speaking, and demand for him was low. If he's making $6 million or so, the Blues can't fit him in.
    Poor organization to have a chat during a chat. I'm out.
    Thanks for stopping by.
  • If we continue to see Good Zach Sanford, are we getting a top two lines of Schwarz-Schenn-Tarasenko and Sanford-O'Reilly-Perron? And how does the third line shake out -- it would be fun to see the talent of Hoffman-Thomas-Kyrou, but don't we need Bozak's D?
    Sanford fits in the top two lines only as long as he's producing or when someone else isn't. When Thomas comes back, giving them four centers in O'Reilly, Schenn, Bozak and Thomas, someone is heading back to the wing, most likely Bozak. I think Thomas was at his best this season when Bozak was on his line, so those two will probably stay together, especially sine they need someone who can win faceoffs. When the Blues signed Hoffman, I don't know that Doug Armstrong was envisioning him as a third-line forward, but that's how it's shaken out. In any case, I wouldn't get married to any particular combination of lines. Berube is going to rearrange them all season long to keep things moving.
    Which players would you identify as the core moving past the expansion draft? How many more seasons until the cup window closes? Do you think the Blues would tear it down or try to retool on the fly?
    It's easy to see who the team sees as the core, the guys with the long contracts: Krug, Faulk, Binnington, Schenn, Tarasenko, O'Reilly. Parayko will when he gets a long-term deal after next season. O'Reilly is the oldest of those guys at 30, so you've got a couple seasons, maybe three, with that group. I don't see a tear down coming; that hasn't been Armstrong's style. The challenge will be if and when these contracts start catching up with the Blues. Some of these long-term deals may be an anchor in their closing years. That could limit Armstrong's ability to put a competitive team around those guys. But that's a problem for a few years for now and, as Armstrong said when he signed either Schenn or Faulk, I forget which, maybe for a problem for the next GM.
    Will the Blues be healthy by the playoffs?
    If no one else gets hurt, it looks that way. But based on how this season has gone, the likelihood of no more injuries happening seems remote. Tarasenko has looked better in his four games back this time than he looked in his four games back in the bubble, which is a good sigh.
    tough schedule in April, how do you predict the west standings April 30th?
    1. Vegas
    2. Colorado
    3. Blues or Wild
    4. Wild or Blues
    Tough for me to say who gets third without having seen the Blues and Wild play. Sure doesn't look like the Blues can catch Vegas or Colorado. In any case, the Blues will have their hands full in the postseason, but in a seven-game series, anything can happen. 
    What are the chances the Blues trade Hoffman to try and add picks to replenish our farm system. With our cap situation there is little chance we can resign him
  • I don't think they would trade him. The Blues don't have the goal-scoring depth to do that. While Hoffman hasn't scored much so far, he has the potential to do it more than anyone on the team. That's something you this team can't overlook. The options if he comes out of the lineup, like Blais, don't help their scoring very much. And I'm expecting a quiet trade market anyway. But as to the second part, yes, there seems little chance to re-sign him. It increases slightly though if they can't re-sign Schwartz.
    As noted the Blues 5 on 5 has been steadily declining in both plus minus and zone time. Don't you think the only chance of improvement is for Paranko to return or a trade for an upgraded defensive D. Forwards injured coming back should help a little but looking at our present D makeup (#1.Faulk-Krug good but not a shut down pair. 2. Scandella-Dunn, Scandella good when's he's played left side but now not as strong playing right side which he's forced to do w Dunn who is below average defensively. 3. Mikkola is average at best w Bortuzzo being an above average #3 D). No wonder our goalies are under siege and giving up more goals.
    Parayko coming back, being healthy and playing at his best is certainly the simplest way to improve the team five on five. When he's at his best, that makes an awful lot of troubles go away. He can skate his way out of a lot of jams, but we haven't seen that this season. Don't underestimate the importance though of some of the forwards coming back. Bozak and Schwartz (Barbashev too, though he's a ways off) have a strong defensive presence and in late-game situations, Berube can turn to them a lot. Blues goalies have faced a pretty good level of shots this season.
    Given the $ the Blues have had on IR, do you have any insight on how teams handle these expenses? Do they have some sort of flat insurance program to help offset when a team has tens of millions of dollars on IR? Seems like a lot of dirty hits around the league this season (several in the Boston game last night) - I know you have expressed confusion on the player safety pronouncements. Do you think there will be any push by teams to make changes, start enforcer role comeback, anything else . Thanks for the chats
    There are insurance policies only in extreme situations, and then for players rather than teams. In general, if you have to put guys on IR, that's life and you have to pay the extra money, though you're only paying extra money if you're putting someone on LTIR. Guys on IR still count against the cap, so it's just money you're paying for nothing. 
    As for changes to stem dirty hits, no. The league wants to move away from the old enforcer system, and it's not coming back. Does the player safety system need to improve? Yes. But on any given situation, half the teams usually agree with a decision and the other half disagree. Vegas, for instance, wasn't complaining that there was no supplemental discipline on Stone. Laviolette was defending Tom Wilson in Washington. And increasingly, non-enforcers, such as Faulk and Schenn on the Blues, are more than willing to step in and try to set things right. 
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