Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live St. Louis sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live St. Louis sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Bring your Cards, Blues, Mizzou, SLU and MLS questions and comments, and talk to columnist Jeff Gordon in his weekly live chat.

    Defensemen are always in demand and none of this contracts are ridiculous, like the Erik Karlsson deal. So, yes, the Blues could reconfigure their blue line if the franchise goes into retooling mode.
    SO the Blues Coach, GM etc can talk all they want but if the players don't play up to their potential nothing will change.
    That is true. Pep talks didn't prevent Ryan O'Reilly from trying a doomed home-run pass at the end of a penalty kill and they haven't prevented Nick Leddy from deflecting pucks into his own net.
    Love the chat. Some of these comments are harsh.. Fire Chief? It's is 6 games. Right?

    I am curious if the coach or the team has commented on the new approach to zone defense and if that has any impact on our play in our own end. Seems like several goals have happened with a D man in the area not sure who to cover
    The Blues made adjustments trying to cut down on the amount of chasing around that was occurring in the defensive zone. And yet there is still lots of chasing around. Also, there are guys not boxing out, guys not tying up sticks and guys not denying passing lanes that are within their reach. So to me, more focus/effort/cohesion than the basic Xs and Os.
    Blues can finish in the bottom 5 of the league by not doing anything. So I hope Army starts the retool asap.
    As I noted earlier, the trade market in the salary cap era forces GMs to be patient this time of year.
    Now that you're open to discussion, are you willing to discuss the Blues shouldn't invest anymore in Charmin soft players like Parayko for long term and decent dollars? It was pretty obvious that Armstrong needed to wait until Parayko actually showed her could play as well as he did in his first few seasons. This is a highly competitive, physical game - you can't give security to players who don't lead by their play on the ice. He didn't learn his lesson, and the Kyrou deal proved it. Another long term deal given to a player who hadn't proved they have the complete level of a leader. Yeah, it's nice that Colton is a swell guy. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean much when the puck drops. If this team is going to retool, then it's time they get rid of players who don't want to get their nails dirty. This is still hockey.
  • When you win  a Cup, as the Blues did with Parayko, or finish with 109 points, with Kyrou scoring lots of points last season, there are the sorts of players good franchises lock in. while knowing that prices for front-line talent will climb precipitously once the salary cap resumes its climb.
    There are a lot of GMs hoping that Doug Armstrong acts like a fan and gives up on players like these two.
    Hate to say it but looks like the Astros found their pitching.
    It was always there. Guys just pitched to their ability with everything at stake. Either you or you don't and they did.
    It seems we are heading for a rebuild on the Blues. I am guessing some of the veterans will waive the NTC to get off a rebuild. So to a decent competitive team most of the veterans are probably available. Maybe that will help the cap situation. Something has to give. 9 games of this type of play have been plenty.
    The first three games were fine, the last six not so much. But if it turns out that a retool is in order, Armstrong will have plenty of options as he ponders change.
    Should we dislike Scott Boras? If you know he's history and what he tries to do for the players, it's hard to.
    Scott Boras is very good at what he does. The one issue I have is how willing the players, as a whole, are willing to buy into his vision of economic success for them: $30 million to $40 million annual deals for superstars and not so much money for younger guys and the working class veterans. Once again the players failed to get a collective bargaining agreement that spread the wealth a bit.
    Blues off to a terrible start but it's only 10-12 games? Let's cool the panic talk.
    This is a live chat. Panic is what we do here.
    If DeWitt wants to win, his days of being shy with his money have to be over. If he won't sign a Mad Max when he was in his prime because he was too scared of the term, then you can't be shy paying primo bucks for a short term deal for Verlander. They haven't had a true ace since Waino had Tommy John(I love Waino but look at his stats post Tommy John - he wasn't nearly as good). And when the Cardinals were humming under Tony they had two aces in Carp and Waino. That's the way the game has always been. Wanna win a title, you must have a few thunder bats and 2 aces. They have one bat in Arenado and no aces. Until they go out and develop that talent, or sign it, the Post needs to quit blowing smoke up their subscribers butts year after year, swearing the Cardinals are really competing to win championships. It's time for some honesty. They're all about making the playoffs. Playoffs = 3.0+ at the gates. That's what really matters. Really competing for championships is not what their business model is. That costs too much money. Tired of the Post gaslighting fans on the Cardinals commitment to winning titles. It's tiring and makes me wonder if I should support the paper is they're not going to report the whole truth.
    We tell you what the team's operating model is. We point out that the model has worked very well for Bill DeWitt Jr., whose franchise has outperformed every other mid- and small-market franchise in the industry. He understands that perennial contention translates into steady revenue for not only his ballpark, but also all of the related businesses. He has enjoyed remarkable franchise appreciation. The cash flow has remained steady, except for the pandemic years, and the team has reinvested money into downtown St. Louis when not a lot of folks are lining up to do that. 
    So we point out that he has no motivation to change that model. That's just reality. Some people live in a pretend world, but I don't. Some fans hate how the Cardinals operate, but attendance numbers don't lie. It's like a restaurant. Maybe you don't like the food because it's just reliably good instead of amazing, but if the restaurant is busy all the time, even on Tuesday, then the owner is not likely to roll the dice with a more daring approach. He will keep doing what he is doing.
    Fans can come into our chats and rage about the model, but that won't change it. Fans can try to stage boycotts, but good luck with that.
    Could DeWitt spend more money on talent. Sure. We've all written that. Is he going to suddenly spend $250 million to $300 million per year on talent and run an operating deficit to create a better-looking team on paper and appease the unhappy minority? That's super unlikely.
    Hey Gordo: Is hockey's abbreviated pre-season - with the team only playing one or two pre-season games with their full roster - a reason the Blues are out-of-sync? For instance, I'm sure O'Reilly and Kyrou could develop chemistry together, but is ten games enough to know? Same for the other lines and D combinations...IMO fans should step back off the ledge and give their team some more time to figure it out.
    The NHL had a longer preseason this season with more games. Obviously the Blues didn't run their starters out there for exhibition after exhibition and take the needless injury risk. I mean, this is pretty much the team they finished last season with -- so it's not like they just met on the first day of camp. They have played lots of hockey together.
    Should MO start thinking outside of the box concerning pitching? Six man rotation? Those same pitchers could piggyback in the playoffs. How successful would a Flaherty, Pablo Lopez, Mikolous, Montgomery, Wainright, Quintanna six man rotation be? Matz could become that LH reliever/spot starter Mo is currently looking for. $11 million is a lot for a relief pitcher but that is the current market we live in. Would you agree great pitching is Expensive, injury prone and rare?
    I have been advocating the six-man approach for the reason you advocated. This would add protection, take strain off the bullpen and make mid-level investments more likely to succeed.
    Does John Mozeliak hide his face and hiss, like a vampire in an old movie when they see a cross, if a market value contract for an elite player is placed in front of him? That’s what I always picture in my mind.
    Well, the Cardinals agreed to pay Paul Goldschmidt top dollar. And even after Colorado's help, the team is paying Nolan Arenado a lot of money.
    And remember, Bill DeWitt Jr. ultimately sets the budget and gives thumbs up or down to the bigger contracts.
    Mr. Gordon: I am interested in your opinion regarding the checked swing rule interpretation in MLB and whether or not it should be clarified or otherwise altered to make more sense. There have been at least two or three dubious checked swing calls in the postseason, and it seems that this particular rule and calls made from it are confounding most of the time. Thoughts?
  • Here's the thing about the checked swing call: On close calls, the umpires are just guessing. They might as well just flip an actual coin before making their call from behind the plate or up at third or first base. Maybe someday they will figure out how to make those calls electronically with the same technology to call balls and strikes.
    I can’t believe Army used the R word 8 games into the season. Does that suggest he didn’t really believe in this team from the beginning? I know there was speculation that there might be some trades in late 2018, but I don’t remember Army hinting that a rebuild could be in the offing.
    The Blues have been shockingly bad and their body language screams "capitulation" whenever games turn against them. That is what triggered the warning sirens.
    Gordo -

    To expand on my previous question RE: defensive contracts hamstringing a rebuild. Here are the contracts we're looking at on this team's blueline.

    Justin Faulk - $6.5 million per year until 2027 (age 35 season)
    Colton Parayko - $6.5 million per year until 2030 (age 37 season)
    Torey Krug - $6.5 million per year until 2027 (age 36 season)
    Nick Leddy - $4 million per year until 2027 (age 35 season)

    I agree, none of those AAVs are super prohibitively high, but the term is long for each and you have to wonder how their respective values take a hit given the implosion so far this year. Especially with most teams close to the salary cap, you have to figure we'll be taking on bad money in return for any of them and may have a hard time getting meaningful draft picks as well. Or am I underestimating their value?
    No, these guys are not helping their trade value at the moment. But Faulk is playing at a high level, Krug has an excellent career track record and teams would be less concerned about Parayko's age than his back. If teams believe he is beyond his back problems, then he has mileage left since he played three years of less demanding college hockey He is at 507 regular season NHL games at age 29.  At age 30, by comparison, Faulk is up to 769 games. Drew Doughty broke in the NHL at 19 and began suffering injury issues the past three years. As he nears 33, he has 1,027 regular season games in.
    I hope no one is terribly shocked with the Blues so far. Too many times the last couple years you saw Blues players standing around watching, not moving their feet to make plays.
    Plenty of players were sent down or scratched because that's how they were playing. Now they have a team full of them.
    What was the knock on Kyrou and Thomas who just got fat contracts? Too much watching and not enough moving without the puck and playing defense. Now you have them for 8 years each eating up a chunk of payroll.
    And you have the four top defensemen who are better on offense than defense. That's on Army. Don't tell me what they've done in the past or what they're capable of because it's not happening on the ice. Faulk was offense first in Carolina. Krug was offense first in Boston. Same for Leddy with Detroit. Parayko makes it up as he goes. He could be a Blues legend by the time his contract is up but I don't see the "want to" in his play. Can they play physical? Sure, but they rarely do.

    Army built this team and it has"soft" written all over it. Gone are the grit guys like Perron, etc.
    I agree that the Blues needed to invest in a more defensive-minded D-man instead of another offensive defenseman. And yes, they do miss Perron. But dismissing the whole team as soft is a bit extreme, given its 109-finish last season. Right now the collective vibe is terrible, which is why we're having all this retooling talk, but you would be surprised at how well most of these guys who play, immediately, if plopped onto a team that was rolling along.
    The way the Blues are playing, negative comments are warranted. Having said that, I think all Blues fans will be pretty excited about the contracts Thomas and Kyrou signed in just a short year or two. 8.5 million sounded like a lot before the pandemic. Once that salary cap rises, those types of players will be in the 10s easily. You can't teach what either of these guys bring to the ice. Its a rocky road at the moment, but these are two exceptional talents that we'll have the pleasure of watching for the prime of their careers.
  • One consideration for Armstrong is to prevent this team from getting completely ugly because that could leave a mark on Thomas and Kyrou. And these two are the future, whether some fans can live with that or not.
    Its time to put some meat on the burner!
  • The Professor never had to deal with the salary cap.
    Okay, we've seen your replies to quite a few of the reader comments and most have you favoring the Blues players and not doing anything rash.
    So what's your prediction if Army sits on his hands and lets things play out?
    I'm saying this team won't finish above .500
    And as far as the playoffs, cue up Herm Edwards.
    Doug Armstrong will not sit on his hands if the team doesn't reverse direction. But making big trades in November in the salary cap world is not easy. He will have no choice but to be somewhat patient.
    So far the Blues are $28 million + into their (failed) attempts to replace Jay Bouwmeester as Parayko's partner. Is Parayko without Bouw the equivalent of Murray Baron without MacInnis?
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