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.

    Hi Tom, I did hear a comment that NHL would draw the line on the ads for uniforms at it needing to be tastefully done....like NASCAR, I'm kidding sort of but I do think that's where this will end up. For my question - I hear/see lots of rumors that the Blues are having trouble getting Thomas signed because Thomas/his agent are looking for the big contract now. Any truth to that or just idle speculation?
    The issue on Thomas, I would theorize, is that his contract comes with a lot of permutations. A long-term contract and a short-term contract would look very different for him, especially if you start buying out UFA years. So it's a lot easier to deal with a Sanford or a Kyrou where you're not thinking about those things, since you're not going really long term. There is a case for a longer term deal for Thomas; there is also a case, and maybe a better one, for taking a more measured approach to his contract.
    so, what stops the blues from imposing a salary of $1.5MM on Robert Thomas? Obviously, it doesn't create great feelings---but, does he really have any leverage? thoughts?
  • He is not arbitration eligible, so he doesn't have any real leverage. It may not be the way you want to treat a guy who could be a top six forward for you for years to come. Though he is still yet to prove that, which is likely where the hang up comes.
  • Lost in the outrage of the ada on jerseys -THE ADDIDAS LOGO HAS BEEN ON THE JERSEY THE WHOLE TIME. Sports fans love complaining.
    For years now, more prominent ads on jerseys have been as inevitable as tomorrow, only not quite as imminent. And they will come to the NFL and MLB. If European soccer clubs that rake in the money do it, American sports can too. Though European soccer clubs also spend money like there's no tomorrow.
  • Do you think the reason Robert Thomas hasn’t been signed yet is he would be in a deal to trade Tarasenko?
    I don't think the two are connected. I have said all along that a Tarasenko trade would not be easy, and Thomas' contract would be complicated for the reasons listed below. But once a Thomas deal is done, that may simplify a Tarasenko trade because the Blues would then know how much salary they could keep to make a trade and get under the cap.
    Hi Tom, thanks for being here. Have you heard anything about Robert Thomas? What are the odds that he might get traded?
    At this point, I don't think a Thomas trade is likely.
    are the blues in play at all for Jack Eichel? Not sure why as we have other needs and he's too expensive but just wondering what people are hearing. Thanks.
    Not really. That would be really complicated to pull off, especially since Buffalo is going to want actual players back. He makes sense for a lot of other teams before the Blues.
    Tom I don't understand why the players want to play in the Olympics so bad. I understand the league does not want to go to Beijing. It's the players union pushing for it and the NHL refuses to pay the insurance bill. So the players association has to pay for the insurance which is hefty. If I'm a player I rather rest during the all star break and forget about the Olympics. Is it the Canadian players driving this? They' re very patriotic. The USA players aren't as much correct ?
  • Players want to go to the Olympics because it is another mountain to climb, a pinnacle in the sport. And, if you play on a bad team, it's a chance to win something. The league has been reluctant for a number of reasons, including having to have a three-week gap midseason and the risk of a player getting hurt while not playing for your team. So insurance is a big deal, but even that goes only so far. The money would be nice but if you have a team that's a contender and you lose your star player, that is not good. And lastly, the IOC is massively stingy with image rights. NHL teams can't use pictures or videos of players in the Olympics because the IOC won't let them. American players are every bit as patriotic as Canadians, but being chosen for the Canadian national team is a really big honor because the competition is so great. Canada could probably field a gold and silver medal winning team.
    If the Blues clear 7.5M in space and settle with Thomas, any chance they have room to pursue a guy like Alex Galchenyuk, who might benefit from a change of scenery and shouldn't cost much? Or are they pretty stocked up on offense?
    At this point in time, it seems unlikely the Blues will clear $7.5 million of space by trading Tarasenko. Some money will have to be retained. It would appear that the Blues are well stocked on the top two lines at this point -- O'Reilly, Schenn, Buchnevich, Saad, Perron, Kyrou (or Thomas) -- so anyone they get would be targeted for the third line (or would have to bump one of those other players down). But I suspect that there will not be a lot of cap space left after a Tarasenko deal is done. 
    Galchenyuk has played on five teams in the past three seasons (and six in the past four), so he has not lacked for changes of scenery. He was a third liner most of last season. 
    To trade 91 and his $7.5m 2 year deal would seem difficult if all was well, $7.5 m is a fair price for a 30 goal forward. Trading the contract for a 20 goal scorer may require the Blues to take part of the cap hit or a player back that the other team didn’t want. When we traded Fabbri we took back a 4th line center and his contract. To trade 91, his contract, questions about his shoulder and now possibly attitude, how much do the Blues have to take back, how big of a problem from the other team do the Blued need to swallow?
    At this point, the jury is still very much out as to whether Tarasenko is still a 30-goal scorer. I don't think he is. I would look at him as a 20-goal scorer, maybe 25. Which is pretty good, but maybe not $7.5 million good. At this point, I could see the Blues retaining $4 or $5 million of salary to get the deal done and get the cap space. But, as I've said before, at that point, you have to weigh whether the potential distraction of having Tarasenko around is worse than the scoring potential. If you're going to be spending $4 or $5 million for him to play for someone else, there could be a plus to having him around.
    Don't the Blues really have $2.25M to spend on Thomas; they will have to send Santini down to the minors because of numbers. This will clear another $750K. Thomas's only leverage is not to report to training camp & eventually the season. See Jonathon Drouin for an example of how that ends.
    Yes, but if you look at the numbers on Capfriendly, while they would send down Santini, those numbers don't include Kostin, who will make $863,000. Right now, the Blues have only 12 forwards under contract. So unless they're going to go through the season with only 13 forwards, which they have done at times in the past, there's going to be another forward on the roster.
    I think last week you stated that if the Blues were to send 91 to the minors they would still be hit with the cap of 7.5M. How does that work? Is that because he is on a one way contract or what? Seems there are many players in the minors that do not count against the cap. I understand he would have to go through waivers but how does this work for some players and not others? Is it a number of games thing?
    To be precise, the Blues would be on the hook for $7.5 million minus the league minimum plus something like $300,000. So there would be about $1 million of cap relief. That's why most of the guys in the AHL don't count against the cap, because they make less than $1 million. For instance, if the Blues sent MacEachern, who makes $900,000, down, he wouldn't count against the cap because his salary is so low.
  • How long can David Perron keep on doing what he's doing? He's a UFA after this season. What does his next contract look like?
    Fun fact: Every NHL contract that Perron has signed has been with the Blues. Edmonton, Anaheim, Pittsburgh, Vegas, were all under his various Blues contracts. So that alone should say that it's very likely he re-signs with the Blues when his contract runs out. He's getting older -- as noted earlier, as we all are -- so he's going to hit a wall at some point, and it could come at any moment. If this season is consistent with his previous few, I could see a two-year deal for a little less than he's making now, which is $4 million. But also, maybe all the time he lost to concussions he's getting back at the other end. So maybe he's 33 going on 31. Doug Armstrong clearly likes having him around, and Perron seems to enjoy St. Louis, or otherwise he wouldn't keep re-signing here.
    Hello Tom, would the reason be nothing is going on is that most GM's are on vacation? Once FA is over and that followed the draft these guys took some time off. That is why it is quiet.
    There is less motivation to make a trade right now because the conditions today are pretty much the same today as they were two days ago. So if, pick an imaginary team, the Rangers for instance, didn't want to make the trade yesterday, there's no reason for them to change their offer, or for the Blues to change their offer, until something happens. And yes, this is vacation season in the NHL, but these guys do have cellphone service at their cabins -- at least I think they do -- and some other business, like negotiations with players who have filed for arbitration, going on, but there's little to stir the pot right now
    Who's the best Blues goali of all time?
    A) Mike Liut
    B) Glenn Hall
    C) Jordan Binnington
    D) Roman Turek

    You tell us the answer Tom.
    Jordan Binnington had an amazing season and won the Blues a Stanley Cup, so I think that puts him pretty high on the list. But if you were to rule out that one season, it becomes a different question. Would the Blues have won the Stanley Cup if Glenn Hall's career was magically transferred 10 years into the future? Maybe he's the difference at that point. 
    However, I will rule out Turek. 
    At this point, I really don't understand the urgency to trade Vladi. The need of cap space was greater at the draft when trades happen and the beginning of free agency. The Blues biggest need continues to be a LH top 4 defenseman and that could only come via a trade, which may be part of a future Vladi trade or a separate deal. In the mean time, the team doesn't need to be cap compliant until the season starts.
    At this point, the question for the Blues is how much of what figures to be a Tarasenko sideshow if he's still around are they willing to put up with? 
    I also at this point would be very surprised if the Blues got much in the way of a breathing human being back. Maybe they would get a draft pick or two from the other team, but if they got a player back in return, it would probably be a salary dump for the other team. So if the Blues are going to get a top-four left-handed defenseman, it's going to come in a separate deal. 
    Hi Tom. Last week when I asked about a development camp, you said the Blues weren't doing one. I see a lot of other teams doing camps. Do you know why? (Hopefully they're not using COVID as an excuse). And what prospect (Alexandrov, Neighbours, Perunovich, guys like that) do you think would have an outside chance of seeing action with the Blues this season? Thanks!
  • I think COVID is a reason because right now, getting a lot of those players over from Europe is I think still complicated and without them, they may not feel they have enough numbers. 
    Perunovich is the most likely, and maybe the only one. (Assuming we no longer count Kostin as a prospect.) Keep in mind that most of these young guys barely played last season, so as far as their development goes, it's been on hold. So this could be a season to see more of the AHL veterans like Anas or Walker than someone like Toropchenko or Alexandrov getting a big bump. If I had to pick anyone else, it would probably be Tyler Tucker. Though a lot would have to happen for him to show up. But then again, a lot happened last year. 
    Andy Strickland has tweeted recently that the men's program at Lindenwood University will be moving to the NCAA D1 level (they currently play ACHA hockey). Do you see this making an impact on other amateur programs in the area?
    I wrote about Lindenwood hockey last year, and how they've been waiting for this a long time. It would be great for them, but I don't see it moving the needle much elsewhere locally at the college level. Hockey is an expensive sport, so I don't think any other colleges would add a team, especially when those other teams had to start renting ice for practices and games. It could help at the amateur level if more local kids had a DI program to look to. The more hockey the better, though. And I think it's easier for people to rally around a college team than it is to rally around a junior team.
    Tom, any chance the Blues sign Chara? I think he'd make a great pairing with Parayko on defense.
    Always possible, but I think he's going to want to stay close to home in the northeast. Krug noted last season that the travel in the Western Conference is a whole lot harder than it was in the East. Teams like the Blues are away from home a lot more nights than teams in the East. At 44, going on 45, that's probably not high on Chara's list.
    What are the team's expectations for Perunovich this season?
    They'd like him to get in position to help. He played zero games last season at any level. So much of the early going will be him getting back up to speed, and then getting ready for even more speed in the NHL. He could be in line for some callups at various points in the season if someone gets hurt to get a feel for things, but if he's playing significant, he's either a very fast learner or the Blues have had a lot of injuries.
    How many Blues Alumni live in StL year round (or at least most of the year) and how does that compare to the Cardinal alumni?
  • I don't know exact numbers, but there's enough that the Blues Alumni have their own dressing room at Centene. Over the last 15 or 20 years, the Blues are probably higher than the Cardinals.
  • Even before his injury plagued season, it appeared that Parayko had leveled off and stopped improving. Has he reached his peak?
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