Time for this week's chat, which we dedicate to Carl Gunnarsson, who announced his retirement today.
That description fits the Blues. Put the puck in the zone, forecheck to get it back, establish zone time, wear the other guy down, score, and don't allow a lot of goals at the other end. As the Canadiens are showing, it also helps to have a goalie playing well. More than anything, you need a goalie playing well.
Craig Berube is now 11th in the NHL in longevity, Jon Cooper is the current long timer at eight seasons. The average coach goes about 3 1/2 years; the median is lower. The league grinds through coaches faster than any one in North America. (European soccer coaches have ridiculously short terms.) I don't have an over-under on Berube, but history ways we're not too far from the point where if the Blues aren't doing well that Armstrong makes a move, though the Stanley Cup adds some extra time. A lot will depend on how good a team the Blues are putting on the ice next season. If they're a team that looks like a Stanley Cup contender, that will up the stakes. If it's another season like this one, with lots of injuries to key players, that can extend matters. Berube will need some longer postseason runs to get the longevity some coaches have.
They're different kind of players who do different things. I think that's an assessment that has to be made independently. One thing they both have in common is that Berube looks at them as third pairing defensemen. Also the Blues gave up on Edmundson because they didn't think he was worth what Edmundson's camp was asking. The same may be happening with Dunn. It's one thing to keep a guy around while waiting, it's another to pay him more than you think he's worth during that time.
What does Calgary gain from that trade? In two years, Tarasenko is an unrestricted free agent, and if he walks, Calgary potentially has nothing to show for that trade. There would have to be a lot more pieces involved, involving younger players who Calgary would control for some time. Trading Tarasenko right now would be a very, very hard thing to do. Plus, he has a no-trade clause, so he gets a say in any move.
I think Buffalo is going to want a forward a bit more established than Robert Thomas. And I think the Blues are committed to Torey Krug.
The league hasn't come out and said when it will be restarting its outdoor events, though next season looks promising, but I would think Minnesota will get the Winter Classic and there shouldn't be any reason the Blues can't be their opponent, unless something has happened in the past year to make the league think another team would be better.
Armstrong's current contract runs, if the Blues pick up his option through 2022-23. I see no reason he won't be there then, and I see no reason the team wouldn't try to extend him after that. He and Stillman get along well, the team has had success. There's no good reason to break it up.
A B? He couldn't keep Pietrangelo, but he got two solid defensemen in Faulk and Krug. He took a gamble that didn't pay off on Hoffman, but it was a move at the time that everyone thought was a master stroke. He was willing to take a risk, and one that cost the team money. Sometimes those things don't pan out. What he needs to do this summer is make the right decision on Schwartz, whether to re-sign him or let him go, and if they do let him go, to make the appropriate change to the forward unit. A key thing right now is going to be to adequately assess what the Blues have and what they need.
Yes, because the Blues defense won't work without Parayko. There's no low-cost option there, as this season showed, unless the Blues have another Parayko type in the system making entry-level wages, which they don't. If the Blues don't re-sign Parayko, that leaves just too big a hole to fill. When he's healthy, he can be one of the best in the league. The Blues can have three highly paid defensemen.
I do not. It's likely going to be one of those things that goes slowly, then quickly.
Over the years, he made several trades with Jim Rutherford in Pittsburgh, but he's not there any more.
Not that I know of. He played long enough that he's qualified for any union benefits that are out there as far as medical care. If anything, his retiring means the Blues wouldn't have to let him use their practice facility, I would think, for rehab. Seems like he just got to the point where he realized the time had come. He wasn't going to be ready to play until late November, he thought, which would make it really unlikely anyone would sign him as a free agent, and it seems clear the Blues aren't going to re-sign him. The road to another season for Gunnarsson was going to be a tough one.
Greetings to the late arrivals to the chat as we push on into Hour 2 of the chat.
Ryan Reaves is 34 (and will turn 35 the middle of next season), so by any standard, he's nearing the end. Reaves has done a good job of reinventing himself. He's no longer just an enforcer, as he once was, and has shown he can play some role in the offense. But not enough that if a team is in need of scoring that a coach will want him to play more. Vegas right now needs goals, so Reaves is expendable, especially when he's playing 10 minutes a game.