Chat with Pierre LeBrun
Based in Toronto, LeBrun joined ESPN in September 2008 after spending 13 years with The Canadian Press as its national hockey columnist. LeBrun was also a contributor to Rogers Sportsnet and a regular guest on CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada."
Send your questions for now and join LeBrun in The Show on Thursday at 5 p.m. ET!
Pierre LeBrun (5:01 PM)
OK puckheads, just arrived in Montreal for the big Patrick Roy weekend here. It's also Grey Cup weekend here. That's CFL football for my U.S. friends ! Let's get it on
matt fresno ca
who should i start this week Big ben or B quinn ????
Pierre LeBrun (5:02 PM)
Claude Julien (Boston MA)
After being canned twice after/during winning seasons, and having the Bruins play disciplined, two-way hockey, can I now be considered one of the elite coaches in the league?
Pierre LeBrun (5:04 PM)
Claude, good to hear from you. Thanks for taking time away from the Bruins to post a comment. Seriously though, as I stated earlier this week in my Question of the Week blog, I hope people finaly take Claude Julien seriously. The guy is a great coach it's bizarre to me that two quality organizations like New Jersey and Montreal didn't hang on to him longer.
Chioke Hassan Baltimore,Md
Dear Pierre Could you see this being Wayne Gretzky's last season with the Coyotes?
Pierre LeBrun (5:05 PM)
No, I can tell you he's really excited about being with this young emerging core. It's taken a long time to get it right in the Desert and I think he wants to stick around for a bit longer now that they've drafted some good young studs.
Travis, In Northern Ontario Du Canada
Pierre, not going to rub it in or even make you eat crow somewhat, but go back two/three weeks ago, when I asked if you were concerned about the Mullet coming back looking for his old job at ESPN. Now as I remember it you told us hockey fans how the Lighting will keep the Mullet around because he just signed a three year deal to coach their young club, I guess I know more people in the T.B organization then you do. Haha
Pierre LeBrun (5:06 PM)
Point well taken. Of course, it was someone in the Tampa organization who had told me that. Go figure !
Ronnie, Los Angeles
The Sharks are off to a great start and it makes every Sharks' fan happy to see Marleau returning to form. But what is going on with Cheechoo? I know the injuries have plagued him, but do you ever see the Rocket winner returning to the form that made him one of the top goal scorers in the league?
Pierre LeBrun (5:07 PM)
Total mistery to me Ronnie. I was just thinking the same thing the other day. Watching a Sharks game last week I rememder thinking he didn't seem to have the same quickness as before. I'll look into it over the next few weeks and make sure to ask me again
Chris (Sunnyvale, CA)
What do the Sharks do when Nabokov is healthy? Everyone knows in the long run Nabokov will be in net, but after 20 games, Boucher's numbers are much better. Besides a few over-zealous plays against Nashville and Chicago, he's been much more reliable save-to-save then Nabby has this year? Does Mac stick with the hot hand now or is Nabokov permanently reside as the number 1, regardless of form?
Pierre LeBrun (5:08 PM)
Easy one _ Nabokov goes back to No. 1. We all love the Boucher story and he's a great guy, but he's clearly the backup
Chris (Sunnyvale, CA)
What is up with Derek Roy this year? His offensive numbers are way down, his plus/minus is pretty terrible (especially by his standards), and he just looks like he's being taken out of games nightly.
Pierre LeBrun (5:10 PM)
Interesting, I was talking to Lindy Ruff on Tuesday and Roy is one of the first guys he singled out. Looks to me like his confidence is shaken a little. But I suspect he'll come around. Things aren't good right now in Buffalo. Ruff is trying to make the team more defensively aware _ and they were in the opening seven games of the season _ but they've slipped back to their sloppy ways.
Chris (Sunnyvale, CA)
Being a West coast hockey fan, it's tough to read blogs and watch hockey analysis segments and watch my division (Pacific) continue to get the shaft as far as respect. The Sharks are in the midst of one of the best starts in the past quarter century, yet all pundants seem interested in is the latest updated on Burke to Toronto or where Sundin will play this year. These are important stories, but what will it take for 'experts' to accept the Pacific as a legitimate hockey market? I was hoping the Ducks winning in 2007 would bring us back into the picture, yet one year removed we're back to square one. Is this simply a product of playing later games or is this snob tactics?
Pierre LeBrun (5:12 PM)
Chris, guess you didn't see me: A) pick the Sharks to win the Cup in my pre-season picks B) Have already posted a pair of blog entries this season on the Sharks. I believe in your team !
Chris (Sunnyvale, CA)
Hey Pierre, just wanted to say that I really enjoy your work. I'll watch you on Hockey Night in Canada (via Center Ice) and you are by far the most reasonable and credible reporter on that show. Yes, it's fun to watch some of the other guys go crazy at each other, but I appreciate you level-headed, fact-based reporting and look forward to your daily blogs. Keep up the good work!
Pierre LeBrun (5:13 PM)
Chris, please negotiate my next contract. Ha ha. Thanks for the note! And Go Sharks !
are the redwings looking to cut loose a d man?
Pierre LeBrun (5:14 PM)
It wouldn't surprise me. At some point they need to make room for Jonathan Ericsson
Travis (Laramie, Wyoming)
What are your thoughts on the Colorado Avalanche this season. They have been inconsistent to say the least, but what is up with the back line? At the beginning of the year the avs were said to have one of the more solid lines of defense in the league. With that said, what is up with the 51 shots the flames put on net against them on Tuesday?
Pierre LeBrun (5:16 PM)
Few teams in the league have been more erratic this season than Colorado. Some of it has to do with which Peter Budaj shows up. The blue-line should be their strength but you're right Travis, it hasn't shown to be true every night. Something's not right with this team.
Adam (Lake George, NY)
If you're Darcy Regier or Lindy Ruff, what are you doing to turn this Sabres ship around?
Pierre LeBrun (5:17 PM)
Ruff has to keep preaching defensive awareness to this group. They were buying into it in October but not anymore. They looked lost last night in Boston. Ruff has coached for a long time with this team. He'll get through to them. I don't believe a trade would be a cure-all for this group.
Lisa (Bay Area, California)
Pierre, do you see New Jersey trading for a quality goaltender? It seems like Weekes and Clemmensen cannot keep the puck out of the net.
Pierre LeBrun (5:20 PM)
I know that Lou Lamoriello has told other NHl teams he wanted to first see what those two goalies could do for him... Khabibulin has a big price tag. Roloson isn't that cheap either. I know Tampa has got a few calls on Olaf Kolzig but seem willing to keep him for now. Keep an eye on New Jersey and Edmonton's three-goalie problem
I am a big kings fan and in LA we love Drew Doughty, I was wondering if he gets talked about and gets a lot of hype in Canada and on the east coast?
Pierre LeBrun (5:21 PM)
In fact, look at my Calder Trophy column which I believe will be posted either tonight or tomorrow. I mention Doughty as an early season candidate. Believe me, he's garnered lots of attention up here. Amazing to see what he can do as an 18-year-old blue-liner in the NHL
Where will I be in December?
Pierre LeBrun (5:22 PM)
Adam - Arizona
The Rangers need to acquire an enforcer! Have you heard of anybody or perhaps Barnaby can hang up the mic for awhile and re-enlist!
Pierre LeBrun (5:24 PM)
It's interesting how some teams have them and other don't. The Wings don't. Didn't seem to hurt their Cup chances last season. The Habs didn't have won for a few years but went out felt the need to sign Georges Laraque. But then when Milan Lucic put half the Habs through the boards last week, the Bruins winger wouldn't drop the gloves with Laraques. Why would he? I love a good fight but I'm not sold on the need to have an enforcer.
Whats your opinion on Dustin Brown? Also could he be the future captain of team USA at the olympics?
Pierre LeBrun (5:25 PM)
Love the guy. I blogged on him in October when he was named captain. Oozing with character. The Kings finally have a leader to build a team around. Definitely captain material for Team USA 2010 although maybe Chris Drury gets the nod?
Will the Caps or Canes win the division?
Pierre LeBrun (5:26 PM)
The Light... ah, never mind. Caps
Pierre, There's a lot of concern in Hockeytown regarding Osgood. They brought in Conklin because they don't trust Jimmy Howard. What do you think they'll do about the goalie situation?
Pierre LeBrun (5:27 PM)
You're looking at their options right now. With their cap situation and the desire to try and sign some of their big-name stars to extension, notably Zetterberg, Hossa and Franzen (not sure they'll be able to keep both Hossa and Franzen), they don't have much money to spend on goaltending. I thought Conklin was a great signing that went under the radar. he had one of the best stretches in the entire NHL last season. I also would not count out Osgood just yet.
I am not a huge hockey fan, but do you believe the NHL is where it was four years ago?
Pierre LeBrun (5:28 PM)
Since I live in Toronto, tough for me really to answer your question which I presume has to do with the league' s presence in the U.S. I know one thing, the hockey is way better than four years ago thanks to the post-lockout rule changes
How good can Peter Meullar be for the coyotes
Pierre LeBrun (5:29 PM)
Big-time goal scorer. Hard to believe he's only in his second season. He got overshadowed by the Chicago guys last year and also Backstrom, but Mueller had a real good rookie year. I think he's a future 40-goal scorer
DO you think Team USA can contend for a gold in 2010 and who do you think will be the studs on that team?
Pierre LeBrun (5:32 PM)
I think Team USA will be a nice darkhorse team in that tournament. Lots of hype and pressure on Team Canada. Can the Canadians handle it? Defending champion Sweden will be mighty tough to beat with Zetterberg and Lundqvist and the gang returning although Sundin and Lidstrom are aging... The Russians are loaded with Ovechkin, Malkin, Semin, Markov, Kovalev _ but can they get along? The Americans are loading up on young talent, from Dustin Brown to Patrick Kane to more established guys like Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. They've got a shot.
Any word on Michael Nylander gettting traded to Chicago? I've heard reports that the deal is almost done once the Hawks figure out how to shed some payroll. It would allow the Caps to bring up Karl Alzner and shore up their D.
Pierre LeBrun (5:34 PM)
Spoke to someone today that's close to the situation. I'm told it's not immnent per se, but obviously something both teams have talked about. Once Chicago finally deals a goalie then they can get serious
Where will the Hurricanes be at the end of the season?
Pierre LeBrun (5:35 PM)
Fifth in the Eastern Conference. Love the way they'r eplaying right now
How far do you think the Caps can go this year? Their goalies have been solid since the first week, but their D has been very up and down. Do you see them making any external moves or just promoting some of their young talent like Karl Alzner?
Pierre LeBrun (5:36 PM)
ALzer will get called up at some point this season. He's a stud. But in the end, they need consistent goaltending from Theodore and Johnson to go far. And there are questions marks there
Hey Pierre, what do you think of the Blue Jackets this season? Do you think they will make the playoffs? They can finally score now but it seems their defense is lacking. Thanks!
Pierre LeBrun (5:37 PM)
If only they were in the Eastern Conference where logic dictates they should actually be. But in the tough West, I think teams like Chicago and Edmonton will edge them. But I like the direction they're going.
Hey Pierre, You think it's a little funny to see that nearly all of ESPN's NHL Experts picked Dallas to win the pacific division whereas you chose the Sharks? And are you amazed by the Sharks huge and hot start right now?
Pierre LeBrun (5:39 PM)
I'm not amazed. I think Doug Wilson delivered the right touches in the summer, bringing in two Cup-winning blue-liners in Blake and Boyle and hiring a coach from last seaon's Cup winner in Detroit. The talent has been there for a few years. But not the know-how to win. Detroit is still the beat but I think San Jose has its best shot ever this season.
Pierre, Are you going to catch that Football game on Sunday since your in Montreal anyways!
Pierre LeBrun (5:40 PM)
Nope, back home Sunday night. My loss !
hi, are the stars going to pull a trade because at the moment they look terrible?
Pierre LeBrun (5:40 PM)
Well they made the deal for Sydor on Sunday. He's quality dressing-room guy. Quite frankly I think the Stars will rue the day they signed Sean Avery.
Dom (Fairl, NJ)
What are the Devils chances for the playoffs this season. Keep in mind Clemmensen has proved himself to be a formidable replace for Brodeur for the time being
Pierre LeBrun (5:41 PM)
I should know better than to go against a team with Lamoriello as the GM and Brent Sutter as the coach, but I think they're toast without Brodeur. I actually though they'd be a bubble team even with Brodeur in net. But hey, that's just me
Sean, OC Cal.
What's wrong with my Ducks? Scotty Nieds is not looking at all like the great hockey player we all know him to be. Could he be playing injured?
Pierre LeBrun (5:42 PM)
Quite frankly, I don't think Nieermayer has looked like his 2007 form ever since he came back last December. Food for thought for all those guys stashing away Mats Sundin in their pools !
Randy (St. Paul)
What is going on with Gaborik? He's out this long because of a hacky sack injury. Or are the Wild just holding him out until they get rid of him?
Pierre LeBrun (5:43 PM)
Wish I could tell you Randy. The Wild are one of the worst teams in the league at hiding injury details ! But until he returns and plays a few games, it's goin to be hard to move him.
Mike, San Jose CA
Obviously, the Panthers stink. So where does Jay Bowmeester end up? I don't see him going to SJ, Det, Ana, Minn, Pit, or Bos - they are all deep enough on D and he'll have too big a price tag. Maybe the Caps???
Pierre LeBrun (5:45 PM)
Too early to tell but one team that should definitely call up Jacques Martin is Montreal. I think the habs are a little thin after Markov, Komisarek and Hamlrik and could use that kind of rental player at the deadine
Jeremy (Boston, Massachusetts)
Pierre, do you think hockey is entertaining? How can you like it its so boring
Pierre LeBrun (5:46 PM)
Dude, check out the team in your own backyard. They're awesome to watch !
pierre huge flyers fan what do you think about mike richards as MVP this year
Pierre LeBrun (5:47 PM)
I actually picked him as my pre-season MVP in September. Love the guy. Natural born leader, plus he's from Northern Ontario so you know he's solid. :) I just realized I dropped him from my MPV list that is running tomorrow. Ooops. That was an oversight on my part. Although I did have Simon Gagne on my list.
So, here's the magic question. I know you're probably sick of hearing Rangers fans proclamations of Stanley Cup victory... I'm not one of those. I see real problems looming for this team, especially in the on-again off-again play on the team level, and their absolutely awful power play. What do you think the Rangers need to be firing on all cylinders?
Pierre LeBrun (5:49 PM)
I tell you a great, great addition would be Mats Sundin and I know he's already spoken to the Rangers. But th team has no cap room. The Canucks are offering loads of cash and other teams will also offer more than New York... if there's a way for Sather to make it happen, he's be a great addition. Good leader, team-first guy.
How many stories involving Paul De Zara would get you fired if you shared them on ESPN?
Pierre LeBrun (5:49 PM)
All of them
I've been really impressed by Kris Versteeg so far this season, what kind of numbers do you see him putting up in the future?
Pierre LeBrun (5:50 PM)
Jason, check out my Calder Trophy column tonight/tomorrow. He gets a shout-out in there. Impressive guy, took longer than other guys to develop _ three-plus years in AHL. But he's got nice vision, soft hands, and smart defensive awareness. 60 points this season
Pierre LeBrun (5:51 PM)
OK guys, gotta run. Talk to you next Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. cheers