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.

    Are you surprised PK Subban called it a career? Does he have a upcoming gig on Hockey Night in Canada where the pay is good and work conditions are better (than having to take body checks etc)? Professional ice hockey is a tough way to make a living.
    I was surprised because his game hasn't fallen through the floor and a lot of guys hang around a lot longer. He didn't, and he's certainly got a lot of post--playing options. People who follow him on Instagram (I think that's where it was) noted that his offseason pictures were more of him traveling the world than him working out which had been in the case in the past.
    “That seems a rather drastic step, but that's your privilege.”

    Privilege? lol awful word choice. But libs like you use it as often as you breathe.

    I bet you, Cash Grab, and Bettman would all sell ad space on your foreheads if your faces were attractive enough to entice people to look.
    I believe we will find Perunovich is too small to stay in the lineup, unless Chief plays seven D and he is a PP specialist. Look at Krug, same height but a sturdy 200lbs and he finds it hard to stay in the lineup. Again, the NHL is a tough way to make a living. Neighbors will at least have a chance to stay in the lineup and contribute.
    That's certainly a valid opinion, especially considering Perunovich's injury history so far, but Krug has played 638 games over 11 seasons, and if Perunovich lasted that long, the Blues would be fine with it. And if the game moves to a more open style, maybe there's less crunching going on. Right now, it's hard to see what Perunovich can do because we've seen so little of it.

    Thanks for the chat!!

    are you aware of any publication that does NHL owners rankings? I would Stillman would be near the top of the list---spends to the cap (usually over, with LTIR), stays out of Armstrong's way (it appears), etc.

    As far as the "Money Grab" moniker----I think adding the ads to the uniforms was a league decision. overall---he almost has to do it, since revenues are split with the players---that creates an obligation to increase revenue......
    The Blues as a team do not make a lot of money. Many years they have not made any. The Blues are a small market team. If the NHL says you can make additional money by putting a patch on your jersey, the Blues are going to put a patch on their jersey. Though even the teams that make money are going to do it. Toronto is doing it. 
    Down the line, there will likely be more ads on jerseys. 
    My biggest concern about the Blues going forward is I don't know what their personality will be. It's certainly not a big grinding team nowadays, but also not fast and skilled. It's a good squad, but I think nondescript.
    The Blues are in between, but I think their identity is still, for the time being, going to be a team that is heavy on the forecheck. Thomas and Kyrou are the vanguard of the new direction, but in the Blues situation, they will probably find it easier to stock up on forechecking types rather than speed demons, unless the talent pool noticeably changes.
    How many point-per-game players did the Blues have last season... four right? Will those same 4 do it again and will anybody else get there this year? Will the remaining, non-Perrons, all score 20 goals again this year? Will anybody else get there?

    Thank you for providing me with the opportunity, which I also consider a privilege, to ask you these questions!
    The Blues had four point-per-game players last season: Tarasenko (82 in 75), Thomas (77 in 72), Buchnevich (76 in 73) and Kyrou (75 in 74). Schenn came close with 58 in 62. (Kyle Clifford also just missed, with 1 in 2.)
    Scoring was way up in the league last season. If that continues, Tarasenko, Thomas and Kyrou could all do it again. That was a big jump in goals for Buchnevich relative to the rest of his career, so I'd be less confident on that one. Schenn and Barbashev had incredible shooting seasons, way above their averages which are almost certainly bound to come back to earth. So they very easily might not get to 20 again. Thomas might not just because scoring isn't his schtick. Setting up scoring is.
    As for anyone new getting there, I don't see any of the D doing it, so unless Neighbours does it, I don't think there are many options for adding to the club. 
    Putting ads on the uniforms is going to look terrible I don’t know why everybody seems it’s going to be OK ballpark still look like crap because of that! Bush stadium looks like a bunch of billboards can’t stand these new parks with all that stuff in it! Maybe if the owners and players weren’t so damn greedy they wouldn’t have to do that and they could make the place pure again instead of bastardizing it. Just my thoughts thanks for the time
    Yeah, though it's weird to look back at NHL games from the 70s and see nothing on the boards and that seems quaint. (I'll always remember watching Wide World of Sports and they'd show some figure skating from Europe, which had ads on boards then and there was always one that read "Ei, ei, ei, Verpoorten.")
    I hope the NHL, and other major sports, have the self-restraint to not go all NASCAR, or even European hockey, and have jerseys covered in ads. Most European soccer teams have a bigger company name on their jerseys than the team name.
    I believe it was Bill Veeck who once said that if you try to run a baseball team by only appealing to baseball fans, you'll be out of business by Memorial Day. Teams nowadays need additional income streams. Yes, they make money off it but a lot of that is essential to the running of teams nowadays.  
    “Cash grab” Stillman? LOL. Apparently Jimmy dies not realize if it was just about money for Tom and his group, they could make a HUGE profit on their investment just by selling the team. I believe he’s a great steward for our hockey team.
    In general, the way most owners make money is by selling the team since they generally appreciate in value over time.
    Hey Tom!! I look at Colorado's lineup, and one of the things I notice is the sheer depth of talent then have, across the board. I know they had a few lean years, and picked high in the draft, but they have also hit on some picks later in the draft... Other teams have done the same.. Are the Blues behind you think in finding hidden 'gems' in the later rounds? They seem to be picking a lot of guys that are predicted to be 3rd/4th line players, 7th defenseman.. Parayko was a 3rd rounder. And yes, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. But it seems they have had a lot of misses the last few years in those later rounds... Scouting?
    I think the Blues have done a good job of good players later in the first round or early in the second. Thomas was 20th. Kyrou 35th. Tage Thompson was 26th. Ivan Barbashev was 33rd. Those were all in the Bill Armstrong era and the jury is still out on the Tony Feltrin era. I think the Blues success in later rounds is comparable to and probably better than some other teams, but it gets tough at that point. Mikkola, Husso, Toropchenko were all later round picks. I think the bigger issue for the Blues is they've traded a lot of those picks away to get more immediate help.
    How does roster turnover with the Blues compare with other teams in terms of yearly %.
    I think it's comparable. It often goes in cycles, as team spread out contracts or try to go all in having the same group together for several years. I think if you looked at most Stanley Cup champs, you'd probably find the same rate of attrition in terms of their roster over the next three or four years. This was a very quiet year on that front for the Blues with not a whole lot of guys leaving. Next year will likely see more.
    With the flexibility to send down and recall Neighbors, doesn’t it make sense to let him get some seasoning by playing 20 minutes a night including PP and PK in Springfield. Beyond the possible growth in his game, it will give the Blues more NHL games to use Brown and or Kostin in the top 9. They have to see if they are assets.
    It's an option, but at this point it's also possible that the best way to grow his game is to have him play in the NHL and get 13 or 14 minutes a night. The other question is what are the alternatives? Do they get more offense from Kostin or Brown than they do from Neighbours? Camp will tell on that. The Blues did that with Perunovich last season, sent him down so he could get a lot of playing time and he came back much faster than Armstrong anticipated.
    Did Ellis slip down to the ECHL or does the Blues prefer for a prospect to be a starter even in a lower league than a backup?
    I'm sure the chance to get both guys 50 or 60 games rather than one 50 and other 30 is a major factor.
    I don't understand the criticism of the Blues prospect rankings. Unless you tank or miss the playoffs for 3 to 5 years, you generally don't have an opportunity to draft the MacKinnon's, McDavid's, Matthew's or the Makar's. The teams with deep prospect pools are the teams that usually don't make the playoffs. It's hard to have it both ways.
    The Blues couldn't have been as consistent as they've been without drafting well and without finding players like Thomas and Kyrou outside the top 10. They are in a lull now, in part because of players traded to get immediate help. The guys they got are still a ways away. They also have scooped most of the best young players already into the NHL mix, which pulls down the prospect ratings because they're not prospects anymore. But after Neighbours, I don't know that anyone who played at Traverse City this season is NHL ready right now.
    Tom, in preseason, do you think the Blues will emphasize the players on the edge who have a chance or get the vets warmed up. Will the emphasis lean more toward one of the other this year? Thanks.
    I think they'll be looking at depth, at which guys at Springfield can help this season, like Kessel or McGing or Alexandrov, as well as test driving some offensive lines, which will be scrambled with the departure of Perron. These guys all come to camp in great shape -- other sports marvel at how quickly the NHL starts playing preseason games -- but I think one of the big concerns in camp will be finding who they can call up if things happen.
    Neighbors is not trying g any heads at Traverse City. So he did well in his 9 day trial LAST YEAR!! He could be wearing down a bit he played a lot since then. No way he should get a slot over Kostin. Neighbors is already over hyped without substantiation. He should have stood out or dominated at TC ! He didn't come close to that.
    We haven't seen all of what Neighbours can bring. Right now he warrants a look, especially compared to Kostin, who we have gotten a look at.
    How concerned should Blues fans be about the seeming lack of talent in the minor league levels for the organization? Are there rankings for the NHL prospects and junior players that each team has and, if so, where do the Blues rank?
    It's certainly an issue to watch, since next season, if the Blues are squeezed by the cap, they'll need more low-cost players.
    From Gordo's column today:

    EP Rinkside ranks the Blues prospect pool at 26th in the league. The Athletic’s Corey Pronman ranks the team’s pipeline at 29th — down from 24 in 2021.

    His grading did not include 24-year-olds Jordan Kyrou, Scott Perunovich and Logan Brown or 23-year-olds Robert Thomas, Klim Kostin and Alexei Toropchenko, so it’s not like this franchise is devoid of youth.

    You can read the full column here:

    Gordo: Blues must fortify their supply chain to ensure enduring success

    STLtoday.comThe Blues have remained in the NHL’s upper tier during general manager Doug Armstrong’s highly successful tenure.

    Forgive me if this has been asked and answered but, di many Russian players go back to Russia during the off season and if so, has there been any scuttlebutt about issues with them returning? I'm quite sure some of them have not fulfilled their military obligations and I'm sure the government will make them pay a substantial fee to avoid military service. Your thoughts?
    Many do -- let's face it, if you're going to visit Russia, summer is probably the time to do it and if you're a hockey player it's the only time -- and there was concern early on about some players, mostly who had been affiliated with the Red Army club (now CSKA Moscow) in some way -- having trouble getting out, but looks like everyone has gotten back in time for the season. 
    I think this summer was the first time for a lot of guys to be able to go back in a while because of COVID travel restrictions. 
    Any chance the Blues broadcast their preseason games on YouTube or their website like they did for Traverse City?
    I thought I saw some plans to do that on a few games, but the actual situation escapes me at the moment. A lot of times it's just an accomplishment to get the games on the radio.
    Does Thomas hit 20 goals again, seems like a prerequisite for a 1C. Does Kyrou break 30, exceed 35?
    He has been told by everyone on the planet to shoot more and he said when he got his new contract that it was something he needed to improve on. If he can do that, he can hit 20 again. But I would never expect him to get very far over it. And last season may have been an outlier season in the NHL with so many goals being scored. 
    Kyrou has a decent chance at 30 and if this season is like last season, with lots of offense, he can hit 35. For a long time, 30 was a major accomplishment. It became a bit more commonplace last season, when 51 players did it. 
    Where did Scandella rank among Blues D on PK Min/Game? Who do you think will be replacing those minutes? Did Leddy have similar level of PK Min/Game once he came to the Blues? Thanks for hosting!
    Scandella led the team in PK minutes per game at 2:11, right ahead of Bortuzzo at 2:08, and there's a decent chance neither of them are regulars on the penalty kill this season. It will be Parayko and Mikkola logging most of the defensive minutes, along with Faulk, who was at 1:46 per game last season, so not all that far behind. Mikkola, at 1:27 last year, will probably make the biggest jump. 
    Leddy did not do much penalty killing when he joined the Blues last season. He averaged 30 seconds per game. 
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