Greetings to another chat session. Questions are already starting to flow in. And there were some I didn't get to last week, though they don't carry over, so if I didn't get to yours, send it in again. But let's get going.
He almost certainly will be exposed in the expansion draft, and after that, it's up to the Kraken. Based on age and skills, he probably will be one of the better players on the Blues list, but there's always the chance Seattle is looking for something else and goes in a different direction. If Seattle doesn't take him, Dunn could be a trade chip as they look to make moves and change the roster around, since he probably has a decent value on the trade market. Or they could keep him, because he does some good things. Options are plentiful for the Blues and Dunn right now.
Probably not that big a deal. The better players were never there, having been put on the taxi squad. If quarantines and isolation didn't exist, a guy like Sam Anas might have been called up by the Blues, but it didn't affect his ice time in the AHL. It was probably hardest on the goalies. Fitzpatrick didn't see a whole lot of action because that ice time had to be divided up. And while it may have kept the prospects from being part of a "team," there was so much going on down there that if it was in Springfield or Utica, it wasn't going to be the same anyway.
I've been wondering about that possibility, because Thomas could give you a pretty solid return, I would think. The reasons not to would be that good young centermen are hard to develop, Thomas is cost-contained for a few more years and there are times when Schenn plays the wing and then you need a No. 2 center. But if the coaching staff is prepared to commit to using Schenn only at center, then it's an option. Thomas had some good numbers this season and some bad ones. He's got to get better at faceoffs if he's going to be a two-way center. Right now, he's not going to get many defensive zone starts.
They have made some provisions, such as putting up the glass behind the bench, so it's possible. I think in a lot of things that don't directly affect players, the league is willing to let the season finish and then change for next season. But it does seem odd that the coaches still are wearing them.
They could, but the Blues are fast approaching the point where they're going to have a lot of money tied up in very few players if they did that, especially on defense, where Faulk and Krug already make $6.5 million and Parayko is about to make that much. That really starts tying a GM's hands when that happens. And even with a flat cap, Hamilton will command a big salary. He will be in demand.
Didn't see that one coming. Certainly losing Scheifele didn't help. Hellebuyck played really good, maybe even better than Price, but Winnipeg's offense just didn't do much. I don't give Montreal too much of a chance against whoever wins the West, but miracles seem to be happening.
With everything going on, the Blues are best served by keeping their backup goalie costs low, which means another season of Ville Husso.
I don't see a scenario in the near future where the Blues own a team. If someone in Kansas City wanted to have an AHL team, I'm sure the Blues would be interested in signing on. But AHL teams don't make money and the Blues pockets aren't that deep.
Well, I had been picking the Avalanche to win the series, and the whole thing, but that's looking a little shaky after the past four games. Colorado certainly could have won Game 5 and didn't, and now is in a big hole. They still have the talent to win though. So I'm going to be consistent and stick with them until they're out. Don't know if the Avs needed a bigger push in the first round, though teams that sweep in the first round have a bad history going against teams that went seven games in the first round. Vegas was the second best team in the league behind Colorado. They can do things against the Avs that the Blues couldn't. Avs came out pretty well in the first game of the Vegas series, so they looked ready there.
The Blues will have had to make a qualifying offer on a restricted free agent before the draft in order to protect him. The Blues will do that with Dunn and all their RFAs, because it's asset management and that's what you do. They won't have to have signed him, or he won't have to have signed.
The Blues gave Sanford so much top 6 time because he was a good fit for it when they were low on forwards. He can score. He can win the puck. He can play defense. (He was fourth on the team in total penalty kill time.) He can do a lot of things quite well. He also can disappear for long stretches too and make silly turnover. But he's a better fit than a lot of guys in there. In an ideal world, he's on the third or fourth line, because that would mean all the Blues real top 6 forwards are healthy. The Blues will re-sign Sanford. They could very well trade him, and there would certainly be teams interested in him, though at what price, I'm not sure, but I think he would certainly bring a higher return than Fabbri did. And given the right situation, Sanford could do quite well. He also will be unprotected in the expansion draft.
If the Blues haven't done those two by now, I don't see it happening. If you haven't done it in 40 years, it's not happening .(And Berenson runs into that complication of you have a bunch of good players who wore 7.) Once Pronger's number goes up, don't know who would be next. Don't know that Steen or Backes rose to that level, and Pietrangelo will be a topic for discussion years down the road when he retires in Vegas.
Kyrou is a very fast skater, though it's hard for me to compare him with players like MacKinnon. So much of it depends on the situation. Players like MacKinnon get up to top speed really quickly. Kyrou had a lot of good analytics numbers this season, which bode well for his future. His defense has to get better. At hockeyviz.com, his isolated impact on offense is 10 percent above the league average. But on defense, opponents are seven percent better when he's on the ice. Getting that number into negatives would be a big jump, something not a whole lot of players do, but the closer he can get that to zero, the better he will be.
I really don't see either happening, though I guess the trade is more likely because you see trades but hardly ever see offer sheets. Neither of those guys will come cheap, and both of their teams would find them hard to replace.
The Blues didn't keep Maroon because they had younger forwards they wanted to play and were expecting to get that big body contribution from other players. Maroon averaged just 11:35 per game at Tampa this season, so about 80 percent of the game is being played without his presence there. So Tampa is doing a lot of good things without him out there.
Add in Tkachuk and the No. 7 banner starts getting crowded
Had the Blues won earlier in their Cup window, repeating would have been easier. Those other teams have had their foundational players, Crosby, Malkin, the Perfection Line, stay together. The Blues won their Cup and had the second best record in the league when the COVID shutdown hit, and then started losing key players and haven't been quite the same. In some ways, it's a rebuild on the fly in their case. Losing Pietrangelo was a big thing, and has set a lot of other moves in motion. With everything going on, it's probably a time when a few moves along the perimeter are easier to deal with. Assuming he was healthy, the Blues this season almost certainly would have been better this season with Pietrangelo.
Well, I've had people in these chats over the past few years suggest the Blues do that with Tarasenko, holding him out until the playoffs started and the cap was off. Tampa worked around the cap. Everyone knows the rules. It's a move not without risk. What if he came back and wasn't at top level? It stands out for Tampa because Kucherov is really good and that gave the team a whole lot extra money to work with. But it's a pretty isolated case. I can live with it, but then, I wasn't in the Central Division this season. I can see where fans would have issues with it. But I don't know what the solution is. Having a cap in the postseason would complicate a lot of other things.
They were pretty close statistically this season, and it was a subpar season for Scandella. Scandella is a year younger than Cole, who isn't the youngster we recall from his time here.