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 Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET!
Pierre LeBrun (5:05 PM)
Ok puck heads, Happy New Year. Let's talk hockey here from frigid Wrigley Field.
Chad, Bloom, PA
Okay so Crosby and Malkin haven't been putting up a lot of points lately, but last night they blew the game for the Pens. This team is really flat and needs help. What players do you seem them trying to get? Or will getting healthy be all they are looking for?
Pierre LeBrun (5:07 PM)
Chad, I understand your frustration. But believe me, getting Gonchar back in February or March will be gigantic, better than any trade deadline deal. He's the guy who keys their transition game and power play. Still, I wouln't be surprised if Ray Shero tried to pick up some offensive support come the March 4 deadline
Jim, Regina, Sask.
Who do you think is the best so far this year of these three: Malkin, Crosby or Ovechkin?
Pierre LeBrun (5:08 PM)
I would say Ryan Getzlaf. Regina kid, right? Ha ha. Right now I'd say Ovechkin but quite frankly between all three there's not much to choose from. Three fantastic players
Pierre, what did you think of the Bruins dominating win over Pittsburgh last night and will the Bruins make a trade for a defenseman or veteran foward for the playoff push?
Pierre LeBrun (5:09 PM)
I would think Peter Chiarelli would look at adding both a forward and a defenseman come March 4, especially with the injuries to Bergeron and Sturm
Chris (Sunnyvale, CA)
Pound for pound, at the end of the season: San Jose or Boston?
Pierre LeBrun (5:10 PM)
Sharks all the way
hi, will the dallas stars try to acquire a player with all the injuries they have had, because there only a few points out of the playoffs & do you think mike modano will make the hall of fame?
Pierre LeBrun (5:12 PM)
The Stars are right at the salary cap so I don't think there's much they can do right now. What you see if what you've got for now. Modano? No question he's a Hall of Famer. Geat American scorer ever and a Cup champion
shawn plattsburgh ny
where should the next winter classic be.
Pierre LeBrun (5:16 PM)
Interesting question that the NHL doens't yet have an answer for. But certrainly Boston, New York, Philadelphia (Penn State), Denver will be in the mix. Caps owner Ted Leonsis also told me in an email yesterday that he'd like his team to be involved somehow. Would indeed be great to showcase Ovechkin
shawn new york ny
Who will meat in the stanley cup
Pierre LeBrun (5:17 PM)
Hot dog and Hamburger
Kevin (Rochester, NY)
Do you think this years Winter Classic will be more successful than last years? Do you feel that if this becomes a yearly tradition, it will begin to lack the luster with which it began?
Pierre LeBrun (5:19 PM)
Having been to last year's in Buffalo and this one right now, I'd say this one has a little more buzz to it. Buffalo did a great job and Sid The Kid provided the perfect ending in the snow but there's way more fanfare here in the Windy City this week. Doens't hurt that two divisonal rivals are going at it. Really perfect timing for the NHL to be in Chicago with the Hawks revival. I'd be shocked if this wasn't a yearly event. That definitely what both the NHL and NHLPA hopes to see
RJ, Miami Fl
What do you think the Panthers will do with Jay Bouwmeester. What do the Panthers need to do to become a playoff team?
Pierre LeBrun (5:20 PM)
I think they'll try hard at signing him over the next month or so. If he doesn't agree. they'll move him by the trade deadline
Who are some other favorites in the eastern conference besides the boston bruins?
Pierre LeBrun (5:21 PM)
The East is wide-open. Even with Boston's tremendous success this season. one Western Conference pro scout told me recently he grades six or seven teams in the East pretty much the same. Boston, Washinton, Philadelphia, New York, Montreal and Pittsburgh can all beat each other come playoff time. It's that close.
Are the Coyotes for real this season? With Anaheim's play falling off should I expect them to climb into a more secure playoff possition or should I expect them to lose their game over the next few weeks?
Pierre LeBrun (5:22 PM)
The Coyotes are for real in the sense that they're finally building in the right direction. Great young core. The team is in good hands for years to come. But as for this season alone, it wouldn't surprise me if their youth showed crack come the stretch drive and they missed the playoffs. But I hope I'm wrong.
Pierre, do you know what the goaltending situation is for tomorrow's game? Both former outdoor participants Huet and Conklin getting the starts for their respective teams?
Pierre LeBrun (5:23 PM)
Huet is starting for the Hawks and Conklin for the Wings
Pierre, Nick Lidstrom healthy enough to go in tomorrow's game?
Pierre LeBrun (5:24 PM)
Lidstrom took in the full practice today and told us after that he's ''hoping to play" tomorrow. I don't think there's any question. He wouldn't miss this for the world
Will there be seating on the field by the rink?
Pierre LeBrun (5:24 PM)
nope, just the normal Wrigley stadium seats.
george mcphee(washington dc)
We've used 36 guys so far and are rolling. How sick is our depth? And how can I trade Nylander when my 3rd line Center is old and injury prone?
Pierre LeBrun (5:26 PM)
George, congrats on the season so far. Well someone in your organization told me you're no longer as desperate to move Nylander and in fact told the veterean center to unpack his bags for now... We'll if you change your mind come march 4 but at this point might as well keep the most depth you can have down the middle since your team is for real and has a shot at a deep playoff run
Yo Pierre... I'm a flyers fan who has a great concern for our defense and knows that without a high powered offense this season could already be done. Any chance the flyers make a move at the deadline? If so, who do you think they would move(don't say knuble) and who would they go after?
Pierre LeBrun (5:28 PM)
Ryan, I can tell you that GM Paul Holmgreen is keenly interested in signing Peter Forsberg if and when the Swedish star deems himself healthy enough to play. Keep an eye on that. In the meantime, if the Panthers put Jay Bouwmeester on the block I wouldn't be surprised if Holmgren took a run at him
Andrew: Holland, MI
How do you feel about the location of the Winter Classic this year?
Pierre LeBrun (5:29 PM)
Could not have been a better lcoation. Chicago is buzzing. The team is alive. Awesome.
Jeremy (Milwaukee, WI)
If you could pick any seat to watch the game in, where would you sit to catch this classic game?
Pierre LeBrun (5:29 PM)
The higher up the better Jeremy. the lower seats won't catch much. The 500's sections will get a much better view
Kyle (Muskegon, MI)
When it comes to the Wings, who is the MVP over in Hockeytown?
Pierre LeBrun (5:31 PM)
Right now I would say Hossa. He's been their best this season at this point. Of course, he has the most to prove !
Cory (Florence, Al)
What do you think about tennessee hired Lane Kiffin?
Pierre LeBrun (5:31 PM)
What are your thoughts on the Claude Lemieux comeback?
Pierre LeBrun (5:32 PM)
I still can't believe it. But now that Doug Wilson actually signed him to an NHL contract, guess I have to stop making fun of it.
who in your pick for mvp so by what you have seen so far this season
Pierre LeBrun (5:33 PM)
Ovechkin. Crosby, Malkin also have good cases but right now it's OV for me. He makes that much of a difference every night for his team
Do you think Ilya Kovalchuk will be traded before the end of the year?
Pierre LeBrun (5:34 PM)
Don Waddell I think wants to wait at least until June before making that call given that Kovalchuk has another year on his contract. That's the plan right now but as we all know, that can change
Jay - Boston, MA
Is it possible that Marc Savard is the most underated player in the league?
Pierre LeBrun (5:35 PM)
Probably is. It has to do with his lacklustre defensive work earlier in his career. But under Claude Julien he's really become a two-way player and deserves a shot at the Team Canada roster for 2010
Larry (New York)
Hey Pierre, does the league have a vendetta against the Flyers?...gagne has been elbowed by kovalev, boarded by bieska and no penalty...that would have been a 5 game suspension if a Flyer did that...we've been shorthanded 40 more times then the opposition....what's the deal?...and don't tell me it's coincidence
Pierre LeBrun (5:36 PM)
Larry, I can assure you from talking to the League's hockey ops people on a regular basis that there is no vendetta against the Flyers.
Chad, Boston, MA
Speaking of frustration, what is in the cards for my poor Leafs beyond adding Brian Burke?
Pierre LeBrun (5:37 PM)
Total rebuild. Burke will be busy, busy, busy over the next 12 months. This will be a strip-down job.
Sri, Rochester Hills, MI
Your pick: Detriot or Chicago in the Winter Classic tommorrow?
Pierre LeBrun (5:40 PM)
I hate to say it, but Wings
What are your thoughts on the Kings trading Jason LaBarbera to Vancouver?
Pierre LeBrun (5:41 PM)
Curtis Sanford went down with a groin injury this morning so the timing was good. I thnk it also speaks to concerns that Luongo might be out for longer than anticipated
Do you think Gaborik is going to be traded?
Pierre LeBrun (5:42 PM)
Yes I do. They need him to play a big chunk of games without any recurring injuries but I think come March 4 he's a gonner
Jackson: Grayslake IL
Hey Pierre, what do you think about Ducan Keith. How can he not be on the All Star ballot?
Pierre LeBrun (5:43 PM)
Terrific two-way blue-liner. Overshadowed by Campbell but a wonderdul skater with high-end passing skills.
Jeremy (Milwaukee, WI)
Pierre, assuming you've been around the Wrigleyville neighbor over the past few days, whats the atmosphere like? Think this will live up to all the hype?
Pierre LeBrun (5:44 PM)
Jeremy, the atmosphere has been incredible. The place is jacked up for this. A Red Wings player told me todayif felt like the Stanley Cup finals.
How's the weather over there? Heard it was going to be warm over there.
Pierre LeBrun (5:45 PM)
It's goin to be 34 F with a slight chance of flurries. Pretty good forecast
The LOE (Denver)
Will people finally start taking the Avs seriously after they beat the Coyotes tonight and take the 7th seed all alone? We're getting NO respect in the power rankings, we're in a playoff spot in the WEST for sh*t's sake!!!
Pierre LeBrun (5:46 PM)
Personally I don't think your team is very good to be honest. I don't like the goaltending and with Sakic and Stastny both out, good luck
Ryan (Waterloo, Ontario)
If you're the New Jersey Devils, what do you do with Clemmenson when Marty comes back, trade him to a team that needs goaltending and try to pick up somebody for the playoffs or hold on to him so he can maybe play 2 or 3 more games behind Brodeur for the rest of the year but still have that security?
Pierre LeBrun (5:47 PM)
Keep Clemmenson as insurance because you have to make sure Brodeur doesn't have a setback
Matt Detroit Michigan
Do you consider Nick Lidstrom the best defenseman of all time?
Pierre LeBrun (5:49 PM)
He's up there but I think Bobby Orr is clearly the best ever followed closely by Doug Harvey. You could make an argument for Lidstrom at No. 3
Are the Flyers living up to your preseason expectations? where do you think they will finish when all is said and done?
Pierre LeBrun (5:50 PM)
I picked the Flyers to win the Eastern Conference so no, I guess they're living up to my prediction !
Tom (River North)
Pierre, what do you think about having the All Star game being outdoors instead of a regular season game?
Pierre LeBrun (5:51 PM)
I think the NHL likes the fact that the Winter Classic actually has two points on the line. It means something. The problem with the all-star game is that it's completely meaningless and boring
Fred (charlotte, NC)
do you think the canes can win the cup this year?
Pierre LeBrun (5:52 PM)
Ron (las vegas)
You are one lucky SOB being there, where do you guys sit? Extra plane ticket and game ticket on hand????
Pierre LeBrun (5:55 PM)
We're goin to sit in the Cubs media press box. Sorry, no tickets for you buddy!
Do you think Zach Parise is a Hart winner?
Pierre LeBrun (5:56 PM)
I think he's the best-kept secret in the NHL. That's why I did a big piece on him earlier this month. Wonderful two-way player who has earned his status with a tremendous work ethic
Kurt (Ridgefield, CT)
How do the playoffs in hockey work? I mean how many teams get in from each conference/divison?
Pierre LeBrun (5:57 PM)
Eight teams from each conference, same as NBA.
Pierre, who do you think will win tonights US-Canada match-up in the World Juniors?
Pierre LeBrun (5:58 PM)
I gotta say Pierre, that's a good poll question you guys got on who should play the next outdoor game in the NHL. I think those suggestions are well worth it, but I think New York should. Since it is the "sports industry in th world," why not get recognition like that, especially here in the states?? It could ante up the level...
Pierre LeBrun (6:00 PM)
Good point Franky. New York is where this year's game was supposed to be but logistical problems with old Yankee Stadium (NHL was looking at a net loss of around $3 million) pushed Chicago into the fray. But I think the league will want to go to New York for sure. In fact I know they do.
Thomas, Peterborough Ontario
Do you ever feel like punching Al Strachan during the Hot Stove on HNIC?
Pierre LeBrun (6:01 PM)
Nah, he's a cranky old man but I love him
If you were an NHL GM and a magic genie allowed you to select one of the following threesomes to make up your #1 line, who would you take(assume both lines are in their prime)? Fedorov-Mogilny-Bure or Malkin-Ovechkin-Semin?
Pierre LeBrun (6:02 PM)
Lemieux-Gretzky-Hawerchuk ('87 Canada Cup)
Pierre - can you tell us what time the game itself is starting (actual puck-drop time), if that's something you know?
Pierre LeBrun (6:05 PM)
The league tells me around 12:30 local time (1:30 ET). And on that note, let's drop the puck! Talk to you guys next week