Join Blues beat writer Tom Timmermann for his live chat at 1 p.m. Wednesday

Join Blues beat writer Tom Timmermann 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.

    Greetings. The Blues chat marches on. There are questions waiting. Let's go
    Hi Tom, do you think the Blues approach to improving the team in the off-season would be different if Colorado tore through everyone to win the cup (like everyone said they would), as opposed to what they might do now with them losing like they did to Vegas?
    Not really. Vegas won't be in their division but will still be in their conference, so that will still get their attention, and Colorado is still going to be a pretty good team, though what they look like next season with all the free agents they have is a bit of an unknown. I don't think Armstrong would say, "now I can get away with one piece but not two." It wouldn't have taken a whole lot for that Colorado-Vegas series to go the other way and for the Avs to be heavy favorites to win it all.
    The goalie interference call on Tampa was awful(..did you see it? - he was clearly pushed by the Islander player IMHO . and by one of the more experience refs) - this kind of thing has to drive coaches crazy - fortunately it didn't hurt Tampa. Any thoughts on how things like this can be handled other than "part of the game"?
    I was covering the Cardinals last night but that play made its way into the press box. A bad call all around. That will teach Brayden Point to get crosschecked. But what are you going to do? Have replay review of every penalty? I don't think that's a road you want to go down. Offsides reviews are bad enough, and goalie-interference reviews remain cloaked in mystery. Having every minor penalty looked at is going to send us to places we just don't want to go, and only make matters worse. Better officiating is the answer, but no matter how good they are, every now and then you're going to get just a truly bad call. It's just a shame when it leads to a goal like it did. You often hear the saying "Ball don't lie" or "Puck don't lie," but in that case, well, it did.
    The blues appear to need another top 6 wing even if they keep Schwartz, can they count on either Thomas or Kyrou to fill that slot next season?
    Kyrou showed at the end of the season that he can be a top six forward. He may have to win over Berube about his defensive focus to fully settle in there, but he made definite inroads in that over the course of the season. So yes. For Thomas to be a top six, he'll need to be better on faceoffs. The Blues are counting on him to be a center on a top two line, not a wing, and he's shown some great playmaking ability. But he's still getting there. Kyrou is far more likely to be a top six wing next season. If the Blues are using Thomas as a top six wing, it means something somewhere has gone wrong.
    Can the Blues start(or are they already) talking with people like Schwartz, etc.?
    Until free agency begins, the Blues are the only team that can talk to Schwartz or any of their other free agents, unless they give permission to someone else. At the same time, the Blues can't talk to any other team's unrestricted free agents, unless they are given permission. There are reports that Carolina is allowing other teams to talk with Dougie Hamilton, both as a possible precursor to a trade and sign deal or for him to see that Carolina's offer is as good as anyone else's.
  • All of the semi final teams have a core of big lanky defenders similar to the Blues in 2019. Is this the model the Blues must follow, what do the blues need to add to Parrayko, Faulk, Krug to have a contending D?
    A writer in Edmonton, I think, figured that over the past 20 years, the average defenseman on a Stanley Cup finalist has been 6-2, 219 pounds. Though the Blues used a lot of combinations over the course of the season, if you took Faulk, Krug, , Parayko, Scandella, Walman and Bortuzzo, that group averages out to 6-2, 211 pounds. If you substituted Mikkola for Bortuzzo, the height stays the same and the weight comes down a bit. Put Dunn in there for anyone beside Krug and both come down a bit. So the Blues D is pretty much in that ballpark, though Krug and Faulk, two prime players, don't have the size that Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester brought in 2019. If you want to add a big lanky defender to play in the top four, you're looking to find a better Scandella. It's possible Mikkola is that guy.
    I am seriously hoping that the long shot that is Montreal can make a series out of it against Vegas. (Just don't like the cheap shots I think Vegas gets a pass on). Any hope for Montreal in your opinion?
    It's really hard to look at Montreal as some sort of sentimental underdog, considering that club's history, but that's the role they've ended up in in this postseason. I don't hold out much hope for Montreal against Vegas, but it's postseason hockey, anything can happen. Numbers people have found that for the better team to consistently win in the NHL postseason, you'd have to play a best of 51 series. Any thing less is still a crapshoot. So Montreal has a chance, but it's not a very good one.
    Getting healthy for next year doesn’t fill my “need for a trade because we exited again in the first round” but with so many players not available in around 1, it’s hard to imagine any team doing well. With that said, does your gut tell you Army is going to do something “big” this off-season?
    I do expect to see a significant change or two, but what those might look like, I don't know. Not signing Schwartz would change the look of the team, and how that money is used would be another change. There will definitely be one significant loss when someone goes in the expansion draft. I don't know if a blockbuster trade can happen because of the cap issues and that it will be hard to trade some of the team's biggest salaries and that you need players like Blais and Sanford and Barbashev to fill out the roster. You can have only so many guys making $6 million. I'm inclined to say the bigger changes would happen at forward because it's easier to change things around there, especially with the commitments in place to Faulk and Krug and the one coming soon to Parayko.
    Do the Blues have any scrappers or heavyweights coming up through the minors? I was excited about the Clifford signing but then not so much after I saw him play. I enjoyed the goals but feel like we need that Reeves/Maroon presence.
  • Not really, but players like those are easy to find on the market, and generally don't cost a whole lot. Clifford is making $1 million for one more year. It wouldn't be hard to get someone. Clifford, by the way, actually had a decent year by the numbers. By at least one measure, he was one of the team's better defensive forwards.
  • Your opinion will the rules ever change to give the goalie there blue area back as in no goal if in that area. I hope so give them a chance the way it is at the moment a free for all up to the goal line
    The NHL isn't going back to the days of zero tolerance for a player being in the crease. That was way more trouble than it was worth. They have increased enforcement of goalie interference with video challenges but I think the NHL would rather the stars of the game be the guys scoring the goals than the ones stopping them.
    What do you think are the chances that the blues would resign Hoffman and let Tarasenko go in the expansion draft?
    I think the chances of re-signing Hoffman are low. He scored a bunch of goals late, but he just wasn't a good fit for Berube's style. And Hoffman will be looking for a longer term deal; he's not going to do another one-year deal and the Blues committing to him for multiple seasons may not be the best fit.
    As for Tarasenko, the Blues can't just let him go in the draft. Seattle would have to take him. Seattle might well like someone else on the Blues unprotected list, like a 24-year-old defenseman such as Dunn rather than a 29-year-old forward with three shoulder surgeries. Also, if the Blues are going to part ways with Tarasenko, they'd like to get something in return besides the cap space. (Which isn't a bad thing, but they would have a chance to get that and more.) Tarasenko does have a no-trade clause, but that just means he would have some say in where he went. 
    Both teams in last night’s Lightning/Isles game reminded me of the games played in the 70’s by the Bruins and Flyers. They better have policemen between the benches, I can see a riot on the ice and in the stands. Great hockey but scary what the players were doing to each other. Is this kind of stuff good for hockey?
    Some like it. Others don't. That old-time hockey stuff can be fun from time to time. Other times it can be pathetically comical. People here may hate them, but I thought it was fun to watch the Avalanche play. It's fun to watch Tampa Bay play. On the whole, I'd rather watch 60 minutes of fast-paced play then normal play with a brawl thrown in. I may not be alone in that.
    Would Seattle be wise to think of grabbing a defenseman like Walman instead of Dunn? They are about the same age and have comparable skills, but perhaps Walman could be better cost controlled for Seattle.
  • Much will depend on what they get from other teams and how the group comes together. If they can get a power-play running defenseman from another team, they can go another direction with who they take from the Blues and Walman would be an option. There are situations where the Kraken might want to take Marco Scandella. Or maybe a forward like Zach Sanford. It's one big puzzle, and one decision will trickle down through all the others. Dunn with his age and experience might be the best candidate to go, but Seattle may have identified a different need.
  • Why didn’t Army match the Vegas offer for Petro or did Petro just want out of St. Louis? If he wanted to stay and Army didn’t improve his offer that was a huge mistake. Thanks
    The dollars were ultimately close. Pietrangelo really wanted a no-movement clause. Armstrong didn't want to give him a no-movement clause. Vegas gave him a no-movement clause, and also structured Pietrangelo's contract to make him essentially buyout proof. Armstrong is quite adamant on not giving out no-movement clauses. It was a line he wouldn't cross. Pietrangelo also drew his line in the sand. When Armstrong said no, Pietrangelo's choice was to stand firm and take another offer or back down. He didn't back down, and got what he wanted in Las Vegas.
    what do you think the Blues need to do next season? did they really have the pieces to win this year but just did not perform, or do they need to make a change
    They need to consistently score goals. A healthy Tarasenko could help, but that's still a dicey proposition and I don't know that Schwartz can be counted on to be that guy either. So finding a goalscorer other than Mike Hoffman is probably a priority. 
    Could they have won this year? It would have been tough because of a format that would have had them have to beat both of the two best teams in the league in the regular season in the first two rounds of the playoffs. But if the Blues had knocked off Colorado and Minnesota beat Vegas, which almost happened, well, we've entered an alternative universe where anything could happen. Upsets happen in the NHL playoffs. Get in and you have a chance. Armstrong's style has been that when the team does not get good results, he makes changes. This team did not have good results.
    Would a fully healthy Blues team have had the pieces? Again, yes, but it would have been tough. Even at full health, I don't think they were as good as Vegas and Colorado.   
    Cale Makar appears to be a future #1 D for a decade. Any chance the Blues make an offer? It would cost them $ and 4 number 1 picks, but it would be like getting Peitroangelo at the beginning of his career, and he’s clearly ready to play during the Blues cup window.
    Cale Makar will be making a lot of money very soon, all coming from Colorado. The team will fail to sign a whole lot of players to keep him.
    In what order will Seattle select from the clubs? Can they just choose over a few days as they want or is there a specific order they must follow? I know the teams must have their protected/unprotected list before the selections but wonder if the other teams may guess on what other teams may leave open for Seattle
    Since Seattle is the only expansion team, they will get the unprotected lists from the teams, and put together their roster from that. While there was some strategy involved in years where two teams came in, since there was a chance a player who was available who you wanted would be gone before you could get him, that's not the case this time. Seattle will take one player from every team except Vegas, in whatever order they want. Protected lists have to be in on July 17, and the Kraken have until the 21st to make their selections. There will be some strategy involved as teams try to figure if they can leave a player unprotected and slip him through the draft so they can protect someone else. (It's something the Blues could try with Tarasenko, for instance, figuring his injury history might scare them away.) Seattle at this point has theorized on what most teams protected lists will look like and has a decent idea of what their team will look like, though trades and free agent signings will force some changes, which could lead to other changes in who they choose. But they've been doing their homework. And they have to be prepared for trade offers.
  • Greetings from the halfway point of the chat. Cardinals and Marlins are tied 0-0 in the eighth, but we're talking hockey.
  • I know player interviews were still remote this season, but did you get a sense of the team chemistry? In the past, it felt like we had more “glue” players. Guys like Ott, Maroon, etc that could bring Some levity to the room and bring guys together. Do you feel like that’s been missing this year?
    I don't know who was the heir to the role played by players like Ott or Maroon or Thorburn, who were colorful characters who kept things light. Clifford likely would have fit that role in the locker room just based on his role on the ice. In some ways, you didn't really need one for much of the season because there was so much time spent apart. But for any number of reasons, team chemistry was probably a tough thing to get together this season, it was probably toughest for a guy like Hoffman, who joined the team on a one-year deal and didn't know a whole lot of guys to begin with. But the happiest teams are also winning teams; early in the Stanley Cup season, the Blues weren't the happiest of squads. Morale picked up a lot when they started winning. Or the winning picked up when the morale got better.
    Hi Mr. Timmermann,

    If the Blues do not re-sign Schwartz, or somehow else clear cap space, do you think Landeskog or Saad would be a possibility for the Blues? I think Colorado probably will not let their captain go, but I wouldn't mind seeing him in St. Louis.
    Either would be fine fits for the Blues. Colorado can't keep everyone, and at least one of them figures to be available. Demand will be high, and other teams may be willing to go for more money or more years than the Blues can.
    Explain to me again why Army traded Joel Edmundson. He is a top 4 d-man with the Canadians and is on the PP unit.
    The Blues did not value Edmundson's abilities the way Edmundson's team valued his abilities. The sides could never agree on a contract. If that happened as an RFA, it was definitely going to happen when he was a UFA. The Blues chose to get the most of the asset by trading him. And the analytics say he's below average in both offense and defense. (And, while he's gotten some PP time in the playoffs, he played four minutes on the power play in the regular season.)
    We also need a right side solid D man what if Parayko needs surgery? Larsson, Sevard, maybe Gollgoski he would be cheap and blocks a lot of shots. What do you think we need?
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