Join Blues beat writer Jim Thomas for his live chat at 1 p.m. Wednesday

Join Blues beat writer Jim Thomas for his live chat at 1 p.m. Wednesday

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

    Hello again everybody. Been a while since I've been on the chat. So let's get to it. . . .
    Is it possible that Perron can be resigned through the same type of incentive laden contract that was used with Bozak to limit the impact of the contract on the cap? What is the age limit to that type of agreement. That you for the chat.
    Unfortunately no. Such incentive-laden contracts are only for players 35 and older. Perron is 34.
    I was at game 6 which does not make me an expert, I’m just reporting what I observed and perceived. From 5:30 left of the third period I felt like the Blues were playing for overtime. I suppose that mind set is okay as long as you smother the other team in order to force OT. That is not what happened. The Blues laid back and tried to burn time off the clock. That worked until the last 5 seconds. That is my take.

    Now, from your take, what will (or should) the Blues learn from this series? As players, coaches, and as an organization? I personally don’t believe that Armstrong is as content with the team makeup as he makes out. But, of course, that is part of his job.

    Things I believe. I believe that Kadri did not set out to injure Binnington. I believe Kadri was trying to provoke the emotions of Binnington. I believe that Binnington has set himself up for such treatment. I believe that if buzzing the tower that time did not work that they would have kept trying. I believe the Avs were pleased with the outcome of the contact. I believe that if Binnington did not get hurt that the Blues would have won the series.

    I believe that the team defense made one too many mistakes.
    Interesting thoughts. As for what the Blues learned from the series, I would say a lot, including:
    1,) Speed, skill and puck-moving defensemen are the present and future of the game. Oh, you still need size, grit and physicality, but such qualifites alone aren't enough anymore.
    2.) They've closed the gap on Colorado, but there's still a gap.
    3.) Details matter. Like putting a check on somebody to prevent the Avs' from scoring with 5.6 seconds to play in overtime. Absolutely no excuse for that.
    4.) The defense improved in 2021-22, but still needs to be better.
    Jim, the Blues had a successful season finishing 10 points behind Colorado. The team though, seemed to play to the level of its competition at times, or below that. Losses to Anaheim (twice), Detroit, Arizona, Chicago, New Jersey (twice), Ottawa, Montreal & Philly, all sub .500 teams. I understand you’re not going to win every game, but you must beat the lesser teams. Colorado only lost six times to sub .500 teams. We lost 13. It drives me crazy when I hear announcers say after a loss, “it’s only one game. It’s a long season”. The games in October are just as important as the ones in April. You think Vegas can’t go back to October/November and find two games they should have won that would have put them in the playoffs. It’s a long season alright… until it’s not.
    I’m sure you will be asked a lot in the chat today “who’s staying and who’s going”. I won’t ask you to do that. I would love to see the Blues trade Parayko and resign Leddy. Ottawa is willing to trade its first-round draft pick (#7 overall) for a top four defenseman. We haven’t drafted in the top 10 since 2008. To me Parayko lacks intensity and makes too many lackadaisical plays that end up with the puck in our net. Shooting it over the glass in game six was the final straw to me. That just cannot happen. Nikita Zadorov, who is an UFA would be a great pickup for half the cost of Parayko. Zadorov is the same size, plays roughly the same number of minutes, skates well and is mean, hard to play against. Don’t get me wrong, Parayko is a good player, but he’s not worth the money the Blues are playing him. In seven season he has not made the All-Star team once. There is better, more cost effective options out there.
    Alas, a few questions into the chat and I've already posted two questions at once. I'll answer the question about playing down to the level of the competition first. Berube said Tuesday on exit interview day, that he thought the Blues could have finished with 116 points. So by his estimate, the Blues left seven points on the table. That would have gotten them home ice advantage against Minnesota _ as it turned out, home ice didn't matter in this series. It would've had them second in the conference instead of fourth. But it wouldn't have put them ahead of Colorado in the standings. And as we saw, home ice meant next to nothing in that series with the Blues winning 2 of 3 in Denver and losing all 3 in St. Louis.
    But I think your overall point is valid. The Blues didn't do as well as they should against the league's lesser lights. Their record again playoff teams was almost as good as they're record against non-playoff teams. While that's admirable in a sense, that should never be the case.
    As for the trade Parayko quesion, I understand your frustration, but I don't think the Zadorov comparision is a good one. He averaged 16:55 ice time this past season; Parayko averaged 23:33. That's nearly 7 minutes more per game which is a ton.
    Can you please tell me why so many dislike/hate Krug. Thanks for doing this.
    I wasn't aware that was the case with Krug. The Blues clearly missed him on the power play in the playoffs.And I think he was better defensively this season.
    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for doing this.
    Despite Army’s tweaks but no overhaul comment, I wonder if he’ll make a play for Chycrun of Arizona. The Blues defense is okay, but not great. Faulk is the only guy who had a great season. Adding a big, mobile, tough, and skilled (and still relatively young) guy like Chycrun could elevate the unit. Leddy was great, but if the choice is signing him or getting Chycrun, which would be expensive, I say go for Chycrun. Barbashev, Kostin, and a 1st rounder, perhaps?
    Educate me on this, please. Exactly what does Chychrun bring to the table defensively?
    I'm still stuck at a point "what if Jordan Kyrou had played a lick of defense" on the third goal against in game 6? It wasn't a mistake on his part, but a ;lack of effort. Even Berube pointed it out, without naming names. My question is, what can the Blues do to get this kid's head into the entire game?
    Yep, it was a very costly play. And it's not the first time something like that has happened with Kyrou. Kyrou made tremendous strides this season, but he obviously has to be better when he doesn't have the puck. Berube and the coaches are constantly in his head about that.
    If I understand correctly, the Blues have 9M in cap space w/o any roster moves. As you see it, what are the players most important in bringing back. I believe Perron and Husso, Leddy would be nice as well imo.
    It's closer to $10 million. At best, I believe Blues will be able to re-sign only two of the three. And it's probably more likely they re-sign only one of the three unless they free up some cap space elsewhere. Losing Husso would concern me the most, for these reasons. As good as Binnignton was in the playoffs, what's to say he doesnt have another big slump in teh regular season. Do you trust Lindgren as your backup next season - if he's re-signed that is. (He's a pending UFA.)
    Hofer is only 21, has only 50 minor-league games, and probably needs anotehr year in the AHL. I think it would be risky having him as the backup next season. He needs games.
    Hi Jim.
    Thanks for doing this, as always.
    Your season wrap-up hardly mentioned Kyrou, a potential superstar after a breakout season. As your colleague Tom T. points out, Kyrou is a risk-and-reward player — he’s going to commit turnovers as part of his highly skilled offensive game. Do you see Kyrou putting in the off-season work to make him stronger on the boards and in puck battles, and do you think he has the competitive commitment to be a truly elite NHL player?
    The purpose of the season-in-review article wasn't to name and evaluate ever player. We'd need a lot more than 1,500 words to do that.
    Just because Kyrou is a high-risk/high-reward player now doesn't mean that's what he'll be forever (as a player). Even now, I think the rewards easily outweigh the risks. I think Kyrou will continue to work on his game; he wouldn't have made the All-Star Game at age 23 if that wasn't the case.
    If the Blues can clear out an additional $4-5m in cap space, what FA would you like to see the Blues go after.
    That's an odd number you've thrown out there - $4.5 million. I think I'd go for a top 4 defenseman if that were the case. Someone who can play defense. But with another $4.5 million, maybe I just make sure Leddy gets re-signed.
    How do you view Jacob Chychrun? Is he a true number one defenseman that offers a legitimate upgrade over Leddy? If so, what do you think it would take to get him? More than Kostin and a first?
    Yes, I think it would take more than Kostin and a first-rounder. I'm not sure what Chychrun brings to the table defensively. I guess that's my biggest concern. I don't know enough about him.
    Hi Jim, thanks again for the chat. I would like your thoughts on this proposed trade. Vladimir Tarasenko and Torey Krug for Matthew Tkachuk. This would give them the money they need to sign him give Calgary Krug which is better than a draft choice at the end of the year they would have a good player. The blues could just move Perenavich into his slot. They with us have money to resign DP 57 and leftover money for another defenseman. That would make them younger and faster considering that is way the NHL is headed anyhow. I really don’t want to trade Vladimir Tarasenko but you’ve got to give up something to get something and he’s not gonna get better as he gets older. They need to star player that was evident when they played Minnesota and Calgary. Of course this is all assuming Calgary can’t resign Mathew.
    I guess Tarasenko and Krug would be something to think about. That leaves a hole on defense, and I think it's pretty optimistic to think that Perunovich can step right into Krug's role. As for your remarks about  the Blues' lack of star power hurting them against Minnesota - wasn't Tarasenko's 5 goals good enough for you in that serie?
    During the media day interviews, Armstong was asked if he felt Tarasenko would be "part of the Blues roster next year". Armstrong admitted he's already read articles speculating that #91, or potentially 90 or 49 (who will all be on their last contract year in 2022-2023) will be traded during this offseason in order to benefit the team in the future. His comments were pretty strong, and seemed to be directed towards media reporters. He stated that right now he's worrying about 2022-2023, and not 2023-2024 or beyond. Are we to take him literally, or was this simply his attempt to quell trade speculations for his star players?
    Both. He wants to quell speculation. But his focus is on next year at the moment. I don'tt hink there's anything more to that at this point. Although I learned pretty early on the beat to never rule out anything when it comes to Armstrong.
    I've watched the replay that injured Binnington a few times and I simply don't see Kadri putting on the brakes in any way that suggests he was trying to avoid contact. There was no slow-down and attempt to scramble for the puck. He simply plowed Rosen into Binnington and somehow got away with it.

    If Rosen weren't there and Kadri did the exact same thing... is THAT a penalty and game misconduct?
    I saw what you saw. If anything, Kadri sped up a little when he saw the puck pop out of Binnington's glove. And I'm not suggesting Kadri should've gotten suspended or anything on the play. But a 2-minute minor would've been nice.
    It is easy to get caught up in certain moments that might have altered Game 6 - what if Kyrou shoots at the empty net before the Avs player is in position to block the shot? What if Parayko doesn't take that delay-of-game penalty? But the bottom line is, the Blues were stifled by the Avs. They could barely get through the neutral zone. They got hemmed in their own zone (Leddy had a shift where he couldn't get off the ice for almost 4 minutes). After game 5, I was surprised the Blues didn't come out in the first period of game 6 with their hair on fire (to use an Adam Wainwright phrase). I expected the Avs would have to weather the storm. Instead, the Blues were on their heals. Why do you suppose the Blues didn't come out with more energy to start game 6? Was it something that Avs did or something the Blues didn't do?
    Good question. I expected a better start to Game 6, and I'm sure so did Berube. Give Colorado some of the credit. They have a very good team. But it was puzzling/disappointing.
    Thought the turning point in game 6 was the terrible delay of game penalty Parayko took. Ice was wide open. Did you get a chance to ask him what he was thinking? I try to be fair but he had a terrible game. Thanks
    I wouldn't call it a terrible game. But he certainly had two very costly plays. One was the delay of game penalty as you mentioned. He had time to do something else. The other bad play came earlier in the game, when he banged the puck off the side boards attempting to clear the puck. Colorado kept the puck in and kept Parayko and Leddy on the ice forever before scoring its first goal. Parayko could've gotten some help from his forwards on this play - coming back - but didn't. Even so, he could've simply skated the puck out of his zone. And no, the question wasnt asked. I can't speak for the other reporters at the end-of-season media session but at that point - 4 days after the game - my mindset was more looking ahead.
    A lot of talk about the Blues roster and the gap with Colorado, but what is the status of the players on the Avs roster? Many UFA and/or cap issues?
    The Avs are in just decent shape. They have $20 million of cap room left - or twice as much as the Blues.
    But they have 6 forwards who are pending UFAs, among them Nazem Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin and Andre Burakovsky.
    Artturi Lehkonen is an RFA with aribitration rights.
    Goalie Darcy Keumper is also up, as is defenseman Josh Manson.
    Armstrong mentioned that there will be some roster changes. That's just the nature of the cap-environment. I think the Blues only have 11 players remaining on their roster from the Stanley Cup championship. Do you think we might lose a few more Stanley Cup champs this offseason?
    Hello Jim:

    I, like other Blues fans, hoped the team would move on, defeat Colorado, and recreate mew memories ala 2019…However, last night’s COL-EDM game was a blast!

    Last night is another example of how the NHL has accomplished its goal of opening up the game - clutching and grabbing (and unnecessary brutality) has been mostly minimized, and game play is fast-paced, exciting, and scoring is up.

    I’m old school (or just old) and miss the fights and other macho aspects of the game, but I can gladly accept this new dynamic style of play due to its hugely entertaining quality.

    Thanks for your excellent hockey coverage and hope you have a great summer!
    Sorry, two questions posted at once again.
    First on the possibility that more 2019 Cup members depart. Obviously, it's possible that Perron signs elsewhere. And once again, it's possible that Bozak either retires or is not offered a contract.
    Now, for the second question about the entertaining Colorado-Edmonton game. I think you'll see a totally different style of play tonight when Tampa Bay takes on the NY Rangers - namely the best goalie in the game - Vasilevskiy - vs. the best young goalie in the game - Shesterkin.
    But your overall point is valid. The game is opening up and skil and speed is what it's all about at the moment.
    Jim, Armstrong admonished all of you guys not to ask questions about trading Tarasenko. He even tried to convince everyone he only thinks of one year at a time, and not seasons in the future. Do you believe that? Seems unlikely Armstrong would only focus on the season at hand.
    I think his point was that two years from now is a lifetime in sports. Of course, he's not neglecting the big picture, but I'm sure his primary focuse at the moment is the present.
    Jim, I think you have to "sell high" on Barbashev. This was probably his career year. As for Tkachuk goes, I just don't see Calgary letting him walk away. Not for Vladdy and Krug anyway.
    Obviously, Calgary will try to do everything to keep Tkachuk. I think that goes without saying. As for Barbashev, he's still relatively cheap labor at $2.2 million. What do you think he'd bring in a trade?
    JT, do you think the Blues are gritty enough or do you think they need to sign someone to fit that Pat Maroon/Kyle Clifford role?
    I'd like to see them get to the net more. They have plenty of people that will hit someobdy. As for someone who will fight someobody, that's never been less important in the game as it is now - although it's always nice to have somebody like that around. And I'll just mention your Clifford example - I never saw him be that type of player on a game-in, game-out baiss while he was with the Blues.
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