Chat with Scott Burnside
Send your questions for Scott now and join him in The Show on Monday at 4 p.m. ET.
Buzzmaster (3:58 PM)
We'll have Scott here soon!
Scott Burnside (4:01 PM)
Welcome back for another as the NHL turns! I'm ready to go!
Is there any word on Luongo? I thought they were going to announce after the morning skate but I haven't heard anything.
Scott Burnside (4:04 PM)
There has been at least one MRI and there mnay be a second, and there is no word as of yet. It is always dangerous to speculate on these kinds of things, but the early indications are not good. The Canucks are being cautious here as far as what the injury is. But early indications point that it will be bad news. Just how bad that news will be is yet to be seen.
Do you see Ray Shero making a move for a veteran backup goalie if the Fleury injury lingers?
Scott Burnside (4:07 PM)
Well if ray Shero has not has such great success with Ty Conklin, filling in so capably for Fleurry, I think there might be a case to be made there, as far as a change at goaltending depth. But Denny Sabourin has been excellent, filling in the last few games and so I think the Pens will take a wait and see approach. I think there are bigger fish for Ray Shero to fry between now and the March 4th trade deadline.
Chris NY NY
Do you see the Rangers making a move to help the scoring situation? I think Renney is panicking and juggling lines too much
Scott Burnside (4:10 PM)
I am not sure is he is panicking so much as trying to find the right combinations. Gomez has been out and the team started very well, getting good balance on offense from all three lines and that has dried up. The coach has limited options. He can wait and hope something works, or he can mix and match. The Rangers have a lot of new moving parts. Yes we are a quarter of the way through, but think back to last year. It took a while for Gomez and Drury to get going as far as chemistry with Shanahan and Jagr. Yes the Rangers should be better on offense, but I think this is not a case where they need more new personnel.
Bill Haubert Rochester Hills, MI
Do you see San Jose sustaining their rampant pace in the Western Conference or do you see Detroit eventaully taking over first place?
Scott Burnside (4:15 PM)
Great question. Both the Sharks and red Wings are off to torrid paces. It is hard to imagine either team keeping up that pace. That said, I think this is a the kind of race that will come down to the wire. Both teams are very talented and well coached, and are built for the long haul. It should provide for a great battle for the No. 1 seed in the West and home ice throughout the NHL playoffs. We saw how important that was to the Wings in the Cup finals. That kind of battle will be very important come playoff time. Injuries will lead to dips in the level of play for both teams. I think it is not a stretch to say that whoever wins the West will be the team left standing in the Stanley Cup finals.
Gaborik gets all of the press but Backstrom will be a free agent soon as well. Losing both of these players would be a disaster. What have you heard about signing these players?
Scott Burnside (4:20 PM)
Gaborik is the easiest one to answer. He has rejected the overtures from the Wild thus far, and the fact that his return is unknown at best, I do not think there will be anything further. I think he will be traded as soon as he can prove he can play more than a game or two. Backstrom, to me is the clear priority. They made Backstrom the team starter when Fernadez was dealt. He has proved to be an elite goaltender, so I would expect a contract extension to happen sonner than later. I agree, if you were to lose both there would be a fan revolt, but I do not see it happening. In the same way that Henrik Zetterberg is almost ceretain to re-sign in Detroit, Nicholas Backstrom will remain in Minnesota barring some cataclysmic event.
Can the Avs find any takers at the trade deadline for Smith or Arnason? Both of them make WAY too much money for the numbers they put up.
Scott Burnside (4:24 PM)
I assume you are speaking of Ryan Smyth. The short answer is no. Unless the Avs are willing to take back salary. I would be surprised if there was a taker for Arnanson, unless it was a desperate team looking to bolster its scoring at the expense of two-way hockey. As for Smyth, yes he is making a lot of money for a player in the twilight of his career, but he is a gamer, and has decent touch and is willing to go in high traffic areas. He has three years left on his contract and that is a big bite for another team to take. I would be surprised if Smyth left because he is a character guy and the Avs have bigger problems, like golatending and blueline depth.
Scott (Edmonton, Alberta)
Do you think a goaltender trade is in order to spark the Oilers once again and turn their season around?
Scott Burnside (4:28 PM)
I am sure if you asked one of the three golatenders on the Olilers, they would say yes., The question is, which one to trade. Obviously GM Steve Tambellini is not going to trade Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, who is right now the golatender of the future. so it comes down to a question of which golatender is more marketable or less valuable. Is it Garon or Roloson? Both will become UFA after this season. Roloson makes $3 million this season and Garon $1 million. Right now you would think Roloson will probably help the Oilers make the playoffs this season, but that also makes him more marketable. So it is a sticky situation. But three goaltenders is never a good thing.
Any word on Shanahan?
Scott Burnside (4:31 PM)
No. It is interesting because it looked like he would make a decision quickly in returning to the NHL. Once he decided his future was not in New York, it looked like he would join a team like Philly, or St. Louis, or even NJ. The Blues this afternoon picked up Alex Steen and Carlos Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak, so there is still room in St. Louis if the two sides can come to an agreement. But it is interesting it has taken this long. A lot of it comes down to cap issues. Shanahan will not play for free and many teams, especially those in the East, which appeal to Shanahan, may not have financial room to bring him aboard, even if they would like to. Stay tuned.
Bill (York, PA)
What's going on with the Sabres? I'm hearing rumblings that Coach Ruff may have "lost" the team somewhat....thoughts???
Scott Burnside (4:34 PM)
It is fascinating to see how quickly things have gone of the rails in Buffalo. This team got off to a great start and Ryan Miller was great in net and the Sabres looked like they were back after an off year. They are now 1-6-1 in the last 8, and I go back to whether this is a team looking to fill the void of key veterans who left. This is a team that still does not know who to turn to when things go badly, which they are now. How does this end? Do they keep sliding, or do they find that resiliency somewhere in the dressing room? It will be an interesting story to follow in the coming weeks.
Har in Vancouver
What's up with Afinogenov?? What does his future hold... and where will he end playing by seasons end??
Scott Burnside (4:39 PM)
He is making a nice 3.5 million and will become an UFA. But unless he can get back to the scoring levels of 2 years ago, you have to figure he will take a paycut wherever he ends up. The Sabres will be looking to move him, especially if the team keeps struggling. He has shown flashes of brilliance in his career. He had 61 points in 56 games in 2006-07, but slumped to ten goals and 28 points last year and has one gola in 18 games this season. We talked about the problems facing the Sabres, and he is part of it right now and if he cannot get it going it would be a huge surprise if he finishes the season as a Sabre.
Michael (Tustin, CA)
Is Scott Niedermayer playing with an undisclosed injury because he hasn't looked anything like himself this season?
Scott Burnside (4:41 PM)
I have no knowledge that he is injured in any way. But the Ducks have gone through more than a few ups and downs this year. They have been streaky and perhaps that makes it look like players are hurt. I know Scott Niedermayer's brother was a healthy scratch recently, as coach Carlisle tries to shake the Ducks back into form. As for Scott he has 11 points in 22 games, which is off a little bit, but this may be a function of the team going up and down.
Adam - Boston MA
Is it me, or are the Bruins not getting a lot of press from the national media? (ie ESPN)?
Scott Burnside (4:43 PM)
Ask and you shall receive. Later this week you will find a couple of pieces on the Bruins and their start. I was in Boston at the end of last week and certainly, barring something unforseen, something should be up on the site in the next couple of days.
Hey Scott, With the Sharks having a stellar season right now do you see them making any trades at all by the time the trade deadline rolls around?
Scott Burnside (4:45 PM)
So much of what teams do at the deadline is based on injury problems. But all things being equal, I am not sure what they need to do. It is ahrd to imagine Doug Wilson doing anything dramatic, assuming it keeps playing at a similar level. The other issue is that over the last three years Wilson has dealt a significant amount of prospects and draft picks, so I would think any changes would be of the tinkering variety and nothing dramatic.
The FAJ (Denver)
Are the stars done? And who's the first to go, Modanno or Avery?
Scott Burnside (4:49 PM)
I still remain shocked when I look at the standings and see the Stars where they are...last place. I feel shocked because I picked them to win the Cup. To answer you, I do not think they are done. I think the problems have persisted much longer than anyone expected. But Marty Turco did not forget how to play goal overnight. He is world class and there is no reason to think he cannot produce world-class performances. Missing Morrow for the balance of the season to injury is a huge blow, but sometimes adversity can bring a team together. They are well coached a very close and the same team that made the West final. I think they will make it back into the hunt, they are nly 5 points removed from the last playoff spot. If they do not turn it around, I think you will see a change in management before you will see dramatic lineup moves...although those moves may come as well.
What's a realistic expectation for this years Hawks team? Everyone is so excited that they are relevant again, but this is a really young team.
Scott Burnside (4:52 PM)
Great question. You are right the expectations are through the roof, and that is exactly why magement/ownership made a coaching move just four games in. They lacked the cofidence in Savard to take the Hawks on a playoff. The Hawks are playing very well under Joel Quenneville, and they are a team that is explosive and also better defensively than they have been in the past. This is a team thst should make the playoffs, and if they finish in the middle of the pack, they could win a series. I think it is a stretch to say they can beat Detroit or SJ.
Chris NY NY
Hey Scott Do you see Tampa getting better with Tocchet? Most of the time it's not the General but the troops. Different drive same bad engine
Scott Burnside (4:56 PM)
That is a fair point. Whether you think Melrose was a bad choice or not, sixteen games is not a big body of evidence. Whatever ailed them during the first 16 is not likely to go away anytime soon. Can they get better? yes. They should be much more prolific on offense. They have some concerns, with Mike Smith missing a game yesterday, a game won 7-3 by the Devils. So if Smith is out for as long period, that will set them back. If Smith can return soon, they have proven to be better on defense than thought. They play in the East, so they do not have to get that much better to make the playoffs. But can the players respond under Tocchet? We are about to find out soon if it was the troops or the General.
Scott Burnside (4:56 PM)
As always thank you for the questions and we will see where the NHL world has turned between now and next Monday.
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