A lot. You're asking a team to take a guy for five years at $6 million per year. If you're a rebuilding team, a GM is going to have to be showing significant results in that time frame, so by year three or four, that will be a lot of money still tied up in Binnington. And if you're a contender but need to add a goalie, say Edmonton, what would be your preferred goalie solution: trade for Binnington or sign Husso as a free agent? It's very possible that Binnington gets his game back, but it's going to be a big leap of faith for another team to undertake that assignment, because if it doesn't work, you're stuck in the same way the Blues are right now.
The Blues are right up against the cap, and so when Bozak comes off LTIR, barring intervening events, someone has to go. Assuming Krug comes back first, they'll send Rosen out (because he won't be playing any more) and that would solve things. MacEachern will have to clear waivers again because he's been in more than 10 games. Right now, Walker doesn't, but his 10th game will be Friday, and after that, he will. Toropchenko is the only current forward who is waiver exempt. If, for some reason, Bozak is back before Krug, they could put Krug on LTIR to buy some time.
Bozak is likely gone after this season, though at the league minimum, he's the least of their worries. But that spot will be needed for someone like Neighbours. The Blues right now have $71 million committed for next season, with a cap likely at $82.5 million. (Thanks as always to capfriendly.com.) There will also be $1 million of Tyler Bozak bonus money from this season that will go against next season's cap. So the Blues would have to fit in Perron, Husso and new deals for Perunovich and Mikkola into that $11 million, notwithstanding any other moves they might make.
You can not re-negotiate NHL contracts. Once they're signed, that's it until they're done. The Blues can start talking extensions with Tarasenko and O'Reilly after July 1, but the terms of those contracts would not change the terms of the existing contract.
At any point in time now that the Blues want to send Logan Brown to the minors, he will have to clear waivers. So if he does not make the team out of camp next season, he would have to go through waivers in the same way he did this season.
This is why the Blues getting Binnington to play better is the best, and pretty much, only option. Armstrong, since he's been with the Blues, is the only NHL GM not to have bought out a contract, and buying out Binnington's contract is so expensive for so long, it just is not going to be something the Blues will do. They could eat part of his contract on a trade, but with five years to go, again, that's a lot of money to tie up for a long time and again would be unpalatable. Maybe there's a GM out there who thinks Binnington will turn his game around and will answer their goalie problems. If so, Armstrong would probably like to hear from him. The Blues could send Binnington to the minors, which would give them a very small amount of cap relief, but isn't going to solve the problem. Jake Allen put some pretty good numbers in the 2019-20 season after losing his job to Binnington in 2018-19. There's no reason Binnington can't do that too.
Not sure if this serious or not, but with a bunch of aging forwards on the team in Perron, Tarasenko, Schenn and O'Reilly, this seems unlikely and ill-advised.
The fact no one has done one makes me think you can't.
The league talked at its recent GM meetings about preventing teams from doing what Tampa Bay did, by continuing to have unlimited rosters in the postseason but by imposing the cap on each game-day lineup. So right now, a team couldn't have more than $81.5 million in salary on the ice for any one playoff game, but that wasn't passed. Vegas is showing that while the rewards are high for that kind of strategy, the risks are high too. Vegas will be in much better shape if they make the playoffs. But they might not get there.
I don't think there's a rule that would require them to play the puck if the other team isn't contesting anything -- I think Pronger once did that for an extended period when he was in Philadelphia -- but the nature of the game is such that taking 30 seconds off the clock when there's 18 minutes to go a close game probably doesn't gain you a whole lot, and if your long pass doesn't work, you could be looking at an icing call, which I've seen happen with Parayko more than once. I don't know that any team has come up with a way to turn it into a sure-fire positive.
The little counter on my screen says right now there are 59. This last hour is usually when the number is at its highest.
There is certainly the argument that a change of scenery could be good for Binnington, but again, the problem is that with five years to go on his contract, the other team has to be pretty sure that that's the solution. There is a good chance this is an off year for Binnington. This right now projects as his first season where his actual goals allowed exceeds his expected goals allowed .
Firing Nash over that may be a bit much, but it's certainly a sentiment that is more reflective of the NHL's past than its present. The NHL has greatly reduced the amount of fights in games, and it would be great if they could eliminate them all, since in every other sport, you don't see them. I mean, you would think there would be reason for NFL players to fight after every play and they clearly don't. (Though I suppose NFL helmets and gear reduce what you think you might gain by hitting someone.) I'd be fine with fighting stopping.
If Bettman is looking at the chat today, he knows how you feel.
He's going to be out until at least May 4, so unless the Blues were to make a long playoff run, he's not playing this season, and even then, it seems unlikely they would put a guy in at that point who hadn't played in two or more months. He'll be in the mix for a top six role in camp next season.
Players mature at different stages and it often takes tall players a bit longer -- Tage Thompson is proof of that -- so there's a chance that Brown's game comes around, which is why the Blues took a chance on him. Ottawa didn't seem to handle him very well, and he carried high expectations as a first-round pick. I've been generally pleased with Brown's game, though at the same time I don't know who I would take out to play him more considering the quality of the Blues' top nine and him not being a fourth line kind of player. I don't know that there's the potential for a lot more ice time for him this season, but this is his best season so far in the NHL. In some ways, he's starting over this season.
Ask me again in two weeks after they have played two more times. I think the Blues can hold their own against Minnesota. The Wild has gone all in this season, because their cap situation is about to get very bad. The Blues have guys who can be physical.
Certainly the defensemen unit is a bit heavy with puck movers rather than stay-at-home types, which is why they were looking for a big left-side guy at the deadline. The events of the past two weeks are clear that they don't see Mikkola as the guy right now, and if Perunovich enters the mix next season, he's another puck-moving type. The challenge for Armstrong will be addressing that.
Another opinion on ESPN+.
I don't know that he'd go along with that, and I don't know that it would get the Blues closer to a solution to their issue. Yes, LTIR would create cap space.
105 seems a bit much. They've had over 100 points in four of the past 10 seasons (two of which weren't full seasons). Their high in that span was 111.
A good one, with the added benefit of getting rid of Jori Lehtera. It's behind the O'Reilly trade, I'd say.
Not much they can do this season because they can't afford to play him and not win. He's going to need a busy summer with a lot of work, which he'll probably welcome because he didn't get a whole lot of work this season. He's got to push a refresh button and try to start all over again.
OK, it's about time for me to head back to the rink. Thanks for stopping by. Seems like Binnington is on everyone's mind this week. May not be a whole lot more data points on that before Jim is in the chat chair next week. Thanks to one and all, and sorry for the questions I couldn't get to. Jeff Gordon will be on hand on Friday for a chat, and will probably be looking for a break from the Cardinals questions he'll be getting, so be sure to weigh in there. Until later, thanks again.