Join Blues beat writer Tom Timmermann for his live chat at 11 a.m. Wednesday

Join Blues beat writer Tom Timmermann for his live chat at 11 a.m. Wednesday

Get your questions ready and join in at 11 a.m. Wednesday for our weekly Blues chat.

    I've gone back and forth on this. Bozak has the advantage of being the cheapest of the bunch; the bidding war for him will be smaller than for others. So he may be the most likely. It's simpler to fit in a $2 million guy than a $6 million guy, which is what you could be paying for Schwartz or Hoffman.
    Many may not agree, but I think losing Dunn in the expansion draft is the best case scenario. He seems completely redundant to Krug & Scott P.

    I was actually more concerned about losing Mikkola. He’s the big defenseman style player the Blues don’t have enough of at this point.
    Mikkola would have been really going off the boards for Seattle, because he just doesn't have much of a track record. They would have had to have someone who really thinks Niko Mikkola is great to choose him. In some ways, once you got past exposing Dunn and Tarasenko, the rest of the list ma not have mattered. The Blues ended up protecting Barbashev, but there was close to a zero chance Seattle would have taken him.
    Dunn may be redundant eventually, but Perunovich has not played in the league yet, and may not play there much this year. So until Perunovich arrives, and shows what he can do, Dunn was a definite asset.  
    TT, I would like to be the 2nd to say... Well Done... on your comments to “who cares”.
    Thank you for your insight.
  • Any word if the insanity will continue into 2021-2022....the coaches have to wear masks regardless of vaccination status?
    The league hasn't released any guidelines for next season, but I suspect those will be gone.
    If you're GM DA who are you realistically targeting with that 16M purse you're expected to have? I'm assuming Landeskog will reach 8.5 to 9M/year for 6-7 years.
    That may be a bit high. I'm thinking more around $8 million, but when the numbers are that high, hey, what's another half million dollars? Either way, it would make him the highest-paid Blue.
    Blues sign D-Man Dougie Hamilton to a deal? He is making $6 million now and will get a raise. Alec Martinez? Both are long shots but the Blues would have the money without all the Blues players you mentioned earlier. Conventional wisdom is you build starting with the goalie to d-men to forwards.
    The problem with another high-priced defenseman, is the Blues already have three of them in Faulk, Krug and Parayko. Hamilton would be a great addition, but all of a sudden, you have a third of the cap tied up in four defensemen. I think that makes the case against a really splashy D-man play, unless they're cutting ties with someone else. Martinez will come cheaper because he's older and Hamilton is the better player.
    Hi Tom. Do the Blues really give Sanford another chance? I know a lot of fans, myself included at times, think he is replaceable. Is it just a matter of they need bodies and can’t get rid of him or do they really think he can help the team?
    It wouldn't surprise me if he was traded because I think other teams will be interested in him, but Sanford does enough good things to keep the Blues interested. He's a good defensive forward and has shown some offensive capabilities. He can be a 20-goal scorer, and he's the kind of that runs the risk of being traded to another team and then shining. I don't know that he'll be a star, but he can be a solid, dependable player. Right now, of course, Blues fans would say he's not dependable, because he sometimes makes spectacular goofs. But that seems fixable, which is no doubt part of the allure. He is, looking at some of the analytics, better on offense and defense than Barbashev. Way better on defense. So they think he can help them. Though that help may come by bringing them something they need in a trade.
    Hypothetical situation here. Assume all our forward UFAs and Tarasenko are gone, and Army signs Landeskog. Do you load up a top line of him with O'Reilly and Perron, leaving a 2nd line of Schenn, Kyrou, and Sanford/Sunny/Blais? Or balance them out by putting Landeskog on Schenn's line? Personally I think a beer leaguer like myself could probably net a few playing with 90 and 57, so I'd like to balance it out and see what one of those young guys could do playing with them and have a pretty good 2nd line of schenn landeskog and kyrou.
    Well, from what I've seen, if the situation presents itself, you'll see both because there's no way Berube sticks with one line for the whole season. I could see Landeskog starting out on a line with his old teammate O'Reilly.
    To answer your question on Bozak, I see a line of Sunny, Bozak & Barby workign really well as a shut down 4th line and he's a good penalty killer. He can play up you lineup as injuries require too. I think he would sign with the Blues for not much more than a depth guy to stay put and play - 2 years @ $3.5M or 1 year @ 2M.
    Bozak is certainly a guy you can move around, which has its value, and he's very good on faceoffs. Do you need someone on that fourth line like Clifford or MacEachern who's going to do more banging? Who's your designated fighter?
    Army has been a magician in the past pulling off some really incredible moves. Some that I'd never imagine in a million years - aka jori leterha for brayden schenn, bergy and prospect I can't remember for ROR. Any chance we see more magic like that this summer? Any prospects we might see on the move to put us in a better position to capitalize on the weak division (neighbors, perunovic, etc)? I imagine the protected lists gave the whole league a unique look at who some teams consider expendable.
    No one saw those other deals coming, so if one does happen, it's hard to project it. If Army can find a team just dying to have Sammy Blais, who knows what can take place? Perunovich has too much of an upside for the Blues to be in all but the most spectacular trades. Just about everybody else I would think is fair game, though I don't know how much any of them move the needle dramatically for other GMs.
    What level of scoring does an above average third line provide for a contending team? What level of scoring do the Blues need out of their third line? It would be awesome if Sunny and Barby were on the fourth line, but with a good third player, I think Sunny and Barby can provide pretty good scoring for a third line. I think there are plenty of guys to fill a 4th checking line, but goals might be hard to come by for them. Thoughts?
    The Blues were at their best last season when Sundqvist and Barbashev were on the fourth line, because it meant they had three good lines ahead of them. Once those two started moving up into the third, or second, or first line, it spoke to the condition of the team, that their better offensive players were gone. They can help in short stints, but I don't know that you want them there the whole season. Being able to throw out a fourth line with that much talent was a plus. Once the fourth line had MacEachern and Joshua, it was high on energy but low on creating chances. Sundqvist and Barbashev also meant it was a fourth line you didn't have to be scared about if they got stuck out there against another team's top line, which happens.
    For Tkuchuk, the original rumor was Thomas, Sanford, Dunn & the Blues 1st. It was from one of the national hockey writes, although I don't remember which. The value seems about right, but now you need to fill in for Dunn. Is that another high draft pick, I think that's all the Blues have left that they can afford to lose. I say wait until trade deadline before he's UFA. If he really wants to play here he will be available & the price should be rental value then.
  • And that's a lot of players to give up for one guy. Much would hang on how enthusiastic Calgary is about Thomas. It's tough to give up a star and get only average or slightly above average guys back in return. (Though, come to think of it, that's what Buffalo did in the O'Reilly trade.) Calgary is going to want some pop.
    Tom, Tkachuk will be a free agent after this season. He is owed $9m this year. I'd prefer to wait until closer to the trading deadline and see if Calgary is more motivated to move him then. Probably wouldn't have to part with as much either. If nothing else wait till the end of the season and sign him as a free agent next year. It's certainly not going to cost you $9m. You could probably sign him 4 years $17m.
    He's only an RFA after next season (which I guess is now this season), so he's not on the open market just yet. The longer Calgary waits to trade him, the less their return will be.
    It seems clear based on the current roster (UFAs excluded) that someone unexpected will almost inevitably step up. Barring significant additions, where do our goals come from? We can't get shutout every third night, so goals will have to come from somewhere. Do you see Sanford realizing his scoring potential? Maybe Blais shows those silky mitts more consistently and becomes a legit 15-20 goal scoring threat? Or is Kostin going to be our big surprise this year?
    Ay, there's the mystery. The Blues have scored without Tarasenko, and they've scored without Schwartz, so it can be done. Hoffman finished the season well (he also finished scoring chances well, probably better than anyone else on the team), and while he had an off year offensively, there's a case to be made that if used differently, he would have been more productive. So that's the upside to retaining Hoffman, but, again, Berube would have to commit to using him differently. (Which could translate to using him more.) I don't see anyone currently on the team expanding to fill that void entirely. Sanford is not going to get 30. Kostin isn't going to get 20, at least I don't think. Same with Blais. The Blues are going to have to go out and get at least one goalscorer.
    I know a lot of people are saying that Landeskog will be back with the Av's, but from what I have read, they are trying to low ball him due to the other players that are coming up for new contracts. The Blues maybe able to grab him for the same contract they gave Tank.
    What do think about giving up Dunn and keeping Krug ? Dunn is a tough young player who played well with a broken jaw! I think Krug and Dunn are about the same level of talent - number 3 or 4 defenseman. I would keep Dunn and expose Krug . If he is taken you have plenty of money to replace him.
    Colorado is going to have a hard time getting everyone in under the cap. Landeskog could be a casualty of that effort.
  • Not sure how that Krug/Dunn question slipped in. The buttons on my keyboard aren't cooperating. 
    The Blues clearly value Krug higher than they do Dunn. But Dunn has one big attribute in that he has many more years ahead of him in the league than Krug. 
  • I know it's pure speculation, but do you buy the medical staff issue as being the true reason Tarasenko wants out? I mean, I believe it was last year there was an article about how much Tarasenko and his family loved St Louis. It just feels like a really odd situation.
    Well, it does seem evident that something happened on that second surgery that didn't go as planned, necessitating the third. And I can see why that would leave a player a bit frustrated. When things are going well, it's easy to enjoy everything. My lawn is greener, my neighborhood sunnier. And when things aren't going well, things look worse. When you have to explain why something isn't working, every thing is fair game.
    Which reminds me: from time to time, people will complain that a player waited too long to have surgery, and because of that is missing some part of a season. "Why did he wait those two months rather than having the operation the last day of the season?" There's a reason to wait as long as you can to have a surgery. Things happen when you start going inside the body. The body doesn't always like it. Sometimes it's great. Sometimes it isn't. And sometimes the long-term situation is better when you don't have the surgery. 
    With Paryko hopefully healthy and Krug a little more comfortable with the Blues system. Regardless of whether or not Dunn is a Blue, isn't it reasonable to expect a better year from the blue line?
    It is reasonable to expect that. The biggest problem on the defense last season, other than it not having Pietrangelo, was not having a healthy Parayko for a good part of it (and not having any Parayko for some of it). If Parayko is healthy, and if Krug picks up where he left off -- he was doing much better at the end of the season -- that bodes well. Dunn is a piece, but only a piece, and it will be seen if Mikkola and Walman can step up their game given more ice time.
    The expansion and entry drafts and upcoming free agency have made this summer very exciting for hockey fans Can't remember a better off season except for 1991 when the Blues signed Stevens. Down here in Florida its 90+ degrees with 75% humidity, no fun.
    The next week promises to be very interesting. A lot of teams will look very different between now and July 28.
    TomTim,

    With Dunn sounding like the Kraken pick, what kind of return could the Blues get for 91. Is Army looking at draft picks at this point?
    I answered this question several hours ago, but since it's almost closing time, I'll do it again. I doubt that the Blues will get a player of any significance back. Any trade would be mostly for draft choices. Tarasenko is a tricky commodity: a team is acquiring a talented goal scorer who has had three shoulder operations, has barely played in two seasons, and in any case is at a point in his career where you would expect a decline in his game. I don't see Tarasenko as a 30-goal scorer any more. 20, yes, but 30, no. Plus he makes $7.5 million a year. So when a players has that many question marks around his game, it's hard to come up with a comparable player to offer in return. So draft picks is probably the way to go. And the Blues will be happy to pick up that cap space. If they could have the return on Tarasenko be Landeskog, they would be quite happy.
    Don't be shocked if the Blues load up on players with grit and size this off-season. The team will have to have just enough talent to get into the playoffs, but they will excel in the playoffs. Example is Pat Maroon, can't win with a team full of 'em, but one, maybe two, is necessary for playoff success.
  • If those players with grit and size can score, they'll be quite welcomed by the Blues. The Blues were one of the worst teams in the league last season for getting to the net, but they were very good when they got there. There's a case to be made for some gains from an attitude adjustment.
    I saw where Chicago left Nikita Zadarov unprotected. I’ve had my eye on him since he was with the Aves. He would be a great pairing with Parayko. Imagine trying to penetrate the blue line looking at the twin towers.
    Zadorov is 6-5, so they would present a formidable obstacle, but beyond that, I don't know. Zadorov will do less than nothing for you offensively. He made $3.2 million last season and is an RFA, so you're looking at a trade.
    looks like we need a couple of left wings and maybe a right wing to fill out our top 6. who besides langenforf would you think the blues might go after I'm not convinced that kyrou and thomas are ready for top 6 minutes yet.
    On the left wing, there's Landeskog, Zach Hyman, Blake Coleman. You could play them on the right as well.
    Thomas had better be ready for top six minutes soon. Yes, he's young, but he's about to start his fourth season in the league. He would really benefit from having a full healthy season. He's had a lot of stops and starts. 
    OK, I've got an interview to do in a few minutes, so I'll sign off now. The expansion draft details will be made official shortly, and then the excitement really gets going, since that will also mark the restart of the Tarasenko trade window, and the draft is a likely time to force everyone's hands. Gordo should be around on Friday to ask about potential trade and free agent targets and once the dust settles, look for a Net Front Presence podcast. Special thanks to those of you who waited around during my brief absence, which I'm sorry took longer than I'd expected. There was a line. 
    Anyway, let the fun begin. We'll be back next week. 
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