Hello one and all. After a few weeks of down time it's good to be back in Chatville. This is the quiet before the storm in terms of the offseason. The Blues - and the rest of the NHL - must turn in their lists of protected players a week from Saturday for the expansion draft, and things will be busy for the rest of the month with the expansion draft, NHL draft, and free agency. coining right on top of each other. So we're about to see how the future of the Blues skakes out for 2021 and beyond. And now, to your questions. . . . .
Are you sure this is the only reason why the ratings are low - that the officials (as usual) aren't calling much in the postseason, which inhibits scoring? I think a Colorado-Tampa Bay or Vegas-Tampa Bay final would have drawn more viewers. And we're nearly a month later into the calendar year than usual for the completion of summer - that could have something to do with the ratings as well. Not only are we into the heart of summer, but with the pandemic easing in the U.S., I'm sure more people are flocking outside. I do think your overall point is valid, however. That most fans want to see offense and watch star players doing their thing. And that's just not the case this postseason.
I know fans love to play fantasy hockey, and this is the best time of the year to play that that game, but I still have a hard time believing that Calgary is willing to part with arguably it's best player. What are you willing to give up for Matt T?
I need to see your $1 million first.
I don't know if you're including Kostin on your list of "recent draft picks," but he absolutely, positively has to be on the opening-day roster this coming season - on the third or fourth line. It's his time. Among other prospects, Dakota Joshua has at least gotten himself on the radar. Alexei Toropchenko could get a look as a 4th-line guy. Nikita Alexandrov and Jake Neighbours are better prospects than Joshua or Toropchenko, but both are probably a year away from being legitimate candidates to make the varsity.
One thing to keep in mind: There is a trade/waiver/signing freeze for 5 days _ from July 17-21 _ while the expansion draft process plays itself out. So that leaves only about a week to 10 days from the end of the Cup Final to the expansion draft period. So we could see some moves in that time period.
I believe they're all under contract for the upcoming season.
The problem this past season is that much of the Blues bottom 6 talent was injured for long stretches of the season: Barbashev, Blais, Bozak, Sundqvist in particular.. If that group stays healthy (and not knowing if Bozak will be back), I think you'll be fine.
Tarasenko's trade value certainly is low, given the combination of his recent injury history/low production and his big contract. Nashville got a second- and third-rounder from LA for Viktor Arvidsson. Can't see the Blues getting more than that for Tarasenko..
Yes, on the Bozak & Schwartz combo. But I think Bozak would have to come in at about $3M a year on probably a one-year deal, and Schwartz at maybe $5M year on maybe a 4-year deal for that to happen. And barring a move that sends Tarasenko elsewhere, I think that would preclude you from re-signing Hoffman (which I still think is a longshot anyway).
I think you have to protect Perron.
Interesting question. Being a bench coach involves a lot of work hours - more than the considerable hours that players put in at the NHL level. A lot of times players - especially highly-successful players such as Steen - aren't interested in logging those kinds of hours after a long playing career.
Interesting proposition. First off, Lee's injury took place in late March so with an ACL injury he'd almost certainly miss part of this season. He's 2 years older than Tarasenko at age 31, and you'd be inheriting a contract that has 5 years left - which at $7M a year could be problematic in the final couple of years. The Islanders are tight against the cap, so they might not want to trade a $7 million contract for a $7.5 million one.
Kostin, Walman, Sanford and a first-rounder for Tkachuk. You've at least given me something to think about. But I think if I'm Calgary I want to receive more in the way of proven talent. Kostin, Walman, Sanford have a combined 40 NHL regular-season goals; Tkachuk has 110 in five seasons - two of which were shortened by COVID. If I'm Calgary, I'm asking about Thomas or Kyrou.
Off the top of my head I don't see anybody on the horizon. Petro maybe down the line, but that's more than a few years away, I would think.
None that I'm aware of, but maybe it's in part because all 3 wore the jersey. Could you retire a jersey with 3 names on it?
It took forever for the PP unit to gain anything resembling consistent success, although by season's end (23.2 percent) they were ahead of their Stanley Cup power play (21.1 percent), and not far off from the 2019-20 club (24.3). So I'd give him a C+. Krug was playing pretty well over the final stretch of the season, so I don't think it's being overly optimistic to expect him to be better in '21-22.
With Gunnarsson retired, you're only talking about Bozak, Schwartz, and Hoffman. and we're only 10 days away from the July 17-21 signing freeze. So maybe Schwartz or Bozak, but I would not be surprised if none of the three were signed by then.
Not sure you can read much into the strength of divisions based on a couple of playoff series. But congrats to the Canadiens on their playoff run - no matter what happens tonight. It's proof once again that in the NHL more than any other sport it's all about just getting into the playoff field. After that, almost anything can happen.
Not sure exactly how any of that works. But obviously it's complicated. And if either the Islanders or Kings in our example decided they wanted Tkachuk, I guess the Blues would then be out of the equation.