Chat with Scott Burnside
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's Scott Burnside will stop by to chat about the NHL's latest news and events.
Before joining ESPN in 2005, he was a reporter for the Windsor Star and Toronto Sun. Burnside has won numerous awards, including the 1990 National Newspaper Award, and also co-authored the best-selling true crime book "Deadly Innocence" in the mid-1990s. He is based in Atlanta.
Send your questions now and join Burnside on Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Scott Burnside (2:00 PM)
Greetings and Happy New Year all. Well, should be a pretty quiet 2012 in hockey. Or not. Now, where were we?
Don (Columbus, OH)
Hi Scott- So my Blackhawks are going through one of their 'slumps' again. I know they are starting 2-3 rookies which is not an ideal situation, but it makes me wonder again, who are they going to acquire via trade? I keep hearing Carolina is going to be big sellers. Do you see Eric Staal coming to the Hawks?
Scott Burnside (2:02 PM)
Don; The 'Canes will likely be trying to move as many contracts as they can but I would be shocked if the captain was among them. As tough a year as Eric Staal is having don't see Jim Rutherford moving him. But how about a little reunion for Tuomo Ruutu? Add some grit and some offense up front. Or Joni Pitkanen who is a minute-muncher on the blue line. If Pitkanen is on the move, though, there will be lots of suitors.
The Rangers and Bruins have 4 games yet to play...must-see TV, no?
Scott Burnside (2:04 PM)
Alex; For sure. Interesting that there continues to be some separation at the very top in the Eastern Conference with the Rangers and Bruins looking like they could be headed for an old-time Original Six conference final. I know, a million miles to go before mid-May but both teams have all the parts and getting that top seed will be a big deal given how poor the teams are at the bottom of the playoff bracket. Or at least that's the theory.
With the recent injuries to the penguins, finally, too much for them to overcome?
Scott Burnside (2:05 PM)
Shawn; Hard to imagine where Ray Shero goes with this; no Letang, Crosby, Staal, Neal, Adams (maybe) for the long haul. Honestly I don't see Shero making a big play. Better to keep your powder dry for when/if you get all your big guns back even if it is next season.
Josh S. (Philly)
When is Timonen going to get some love and get an all-star bid?
Scott Burnside (2:06 PM)
Josh; The good thing is that most people in the game know how good Timonen is and how important he is to the Flyers. Without Pronger he becomes the single-most important player on that blue line. One of the class acts in the league.
Tim (Denver, CO)
Hi Scott...The Avs are playing pretty good right now..do you think they will try to get a scoring forward or defenseman to help them make a run for the playoffs?
Scott Burnside (2:07 PM)
Tim; Interesting revival by the Avs. And they have lots of good young assets. Still, I would guess Greg Sherman is going to be pretty conservative and not divest himself of those assets when realistically the Avs are still maturing. Let's be honest a playoff berth of any kind will be a bonus. No need to press the issue and risk hurting yourself long-term.
Scott, Love the way the Sharks are playing right now, but special teams are still a major major concern. Since the team is one of the top 5v5 teams do the sharks problems boil down to coaching and schemes?
Scott Burnside (2:09 PM)
Steven; Not sure that's necessarily the case. If memory serves the Bruins were excellent five on five last year and their special teams issues didn't hurt them too much in the playoffs. The key for the Sharks - as with any team - is to keep getting that balanced scoring. When they roll three lines like they have the Sharks are as big a handful as there is in the Western Conference.
Are the Sens going to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot?
Scott Burnside (2:11 PM)
Jared; What a great job done by Paul MacLean with a Sens team many figured to be a draft lottery squad. Still give up way too much in terms of scoring chances and goals but got to love their never say die mentality and the play of some of their kids especially Karlsson. Good thing for the Sens is that there are a lot of junky, flawed teams in the middle of the Eastern Conference. So, why not the Sens?
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
As you mentioned, the Canes are going to be selling again this year. What kind of value do they have moving players like Ruutu, Gleason, and/or Pitkanen? Mostly 2nd round picks, or something else?
Scott Burnside (2:12 PM)
Richard; A lot will depend on what else is available. For instance if Ryan Suter is on the market that changes Pitkanen's value. But if not Pitkanen and Gleason suddenly take on greater value. I think with the demand for defensemen Jim Rutherford may be able to add not just picks but maybe a couple of decent prospects, too. I would think at least second round for either of them given that there are never enough defensemen to go around at the deadline.
Who makes the all-star team from the Rangers? Lundqvist? Gabby? Cally? Girardi?
Scott Burnside (2:13 PM)
Michael; My guess is Lundqvist and Gaborik. Girardi deserves a look but guessing he is a victim of numbers given that the NHL has to suck up to all the teams by having someone represented from each franchise.
Nate (Bristol, CT)
Scott - holy crap, this marchand hit has got EVERYONE picking sides and throwing accusations. Two things - what's your take? and two, does everyone need to just calm down? I'm looking at you, Vigneault and Charialli.
Scott Burnside (2:18 PM)
Nate; I don't like it because Marchand sees Salo is vulnerable and deliberately flips him. And the result could have been a lot worse. But agreed with you the level of vitriol and rhetoric from both sides suggests, well, two teams that can't stand each other. Interesting case for the league as it's not your typical hit from behind, blow to the head that we've been seeing all too often.
adam henrique, calder trophy even if RNH returns for next game?henrique has 3 less points, but plays in more situations, pk, better defensively, has worked his way to 1st line and is a +9 to RNH's evenoh and FYI the NHL doesnt have to have someone represented at the actual game from each team, just at least 1 player represented during the AS weekend
Scott Burnside (2:21 PM)
david; There's a bit of separation between Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Henrique and the rest of the rookie field. And if Henrique keeps up the pace it makes for an interesting vote for the reasons you've outlined. The fact the Devils are a playoff team or will be a contender at the very least and given Henrique's importance compared to the woeful Oilers who are free falling down the western standings I like his chances.
It's telling that not one person has asked about the Columbus coaching change yet; clearly this franchise is the worst in all of hockey
Scott Burnside (2:24 PM)
Matt; Actually have been some queries about the Blue Jackets but mostly about who gets moved at the deadline. For my money the worst-run franchise in the game and that says a lot considering the mess on Long Island and the ongoing ownership issues in Phoenix. Unless Rick Nash waives his no-move probably the best player the Jackets will have to offer is Vinny Prospal. And with all due respect to Mr. Prospal that tells you all you need to know about the state of the Blue Jackets.
ok, what's the deal with the blues ownership situation? is the asking price too high? are there no credible suitors? do you think the blues will have this resolved by the end of the season or do they need to win a stanley cup before rich guys who like hockey realize this might be an organization worth buying?
Scott Burnside (2:25 PM)
al; I think it will get done although it's certainly not following the path I had anticipated as late as just before Christmas. Good young team with a lot of up-side and one that could win a round or two next spring.
Where do the Kings go for scoring wingers?
Scott Burnside (2:27 PM)
Joe; Well, first they've got to institute a no-pancake rule for team meals (sorry, couldn't resist shot at Dustin Penner injured while assaulting a stack of flapjacks). Seriously? Well if guys like Jarome Iginla or Rick Nash ever became available sure the Kings would make a play. I hear Ales Hemsky's name although he's not my cup of tea. What about Zach Parise pending the Devils' plans for their franchise winger? Alexander Semin, again pending where the Caps are in a month? Rest assured with Darryl Sutter coaxing some Ws out of the Kings GM Dean Lombardi will be looking to add offense.
Am I going to have to move to see the Coyotes play next season? And should I be working on my french?
Scott Burnside (2:29 PM)
Kyle; Radio silence on the whole ownership situation in Phoenix but all the whispers I hear aren't good for the team's residency in Arizona. And I would think Quebec City looks like the most logical relocation city assuming funding comes through for a new NHL arena the city. Beautiful place, you should visit.
Scott when Mats Sundin retired a couple years ago you wrote he was the greatest Swedish player ever (obviously you've spent way too much time in the East since #5 in Detroit has owned that title for about 10 years now), but recently you said he wasn't HOF worthy. Is that even possible?
Scott Burnside (2:31 PM)
Tom; Don't you hate how the internet never lets you forget your faux pas? At the time perhaps I was suggesting the greatest Swede to that point, who had retired and wore number 13 and a nice scarf. Whatever. Point taken on Lidstrom and have no argument there. But still don't like Mats Sundin, who had a great career but was not, in my mind a great player, in my Hall of Fame. Sorry. Too many short or non-existent playoff runs for him to be included at least in my hall.
What moves do the Stars make before the deadline? A premier wing to go alongside Ribiero? A top-2 D?
Scott Burnside (2:33 PM)
Joe; I would think it will depend on the health of guys like Robidas and Souray along the blue line where Joe Nieuwendyk focuses his attention. Still pretty good down the middle which is a big bonus and I would think perhaps some help along the blue line would be a priority. It all comes down to Kari Lehtonen, though, and can he stay healthy and/or can he regain the form he showed through the first quarter of the season? History suggests that doesn't happen which may make trade deadline talk moot.
J (San Diego)
If Eric Staal is on the move, Dean Lombardi should be at his door with chocolate and flowers...
Scott Burnside (2:34 PM)
J: He may have to shoulder Peter Chiarelli, Ken Holland and Glen Sather out of the way. I just don't see it happening.
Ice Ace (Alabama)
Do you believe the Capitals will catch the Panthers to grab a Top 3 seed in the East?
Scott Burnside (2:36 PM)
Ice Ace; Logic suggests the Caps will get better although they still have trouble beating quality teams with regularity as witnessed by their mauling by the Sharks Saturday. Intersesting tilt tonight versus the Kings. And the Panthers have sort of hit a wall and are nicked up. I liked the Panthers to make the playoffs but I'm not sure they hold off the Caps for top spot in the division.
Speaking of swedes, how would you rate Alfredsson? He's having a great season after missing lots of time last year due to injuries. He's been an important part of the sens team again this year. Would he make it in the HOF, despite not having a stanley cup? He does have a Calder.
Scott Burnside (2:39 PM)
Mel; Alfredsson is another interesting case or will be when it comes time to consider the Hall of Fame. He's almost a point a game guy for more than 1,000 games and has good playoff numbers and there was the '07 run to the final when he was terrific even though he was all banged up. I would have Alfredsson ahead of Sundin on my list.
Eric (Chicago) [via mobile]
Shane Doan would look good with the Blackhawk insignia on his sweater, yes? Any interest in moving him yet?
Scott Burnside (2:41 PM)
Eric; Doan would be, like Jarome Iginla, wildly attractive to a team looking for a veteran character guy who's still got some offensive zip to him. My sense will be that Doan will chart his own course. If the 'Yotes are out of it and it looks like the team will be on the move I wouldn't be surprised to see Doan made available. But if the Coyotes stay close - and when does a Dave Tippett team not stay close? - then my gut says he stays and any move is put on hold until the draft.
Jason (Long Island, NY)
Thoughts on Iginla's 500th goal? Always a fearless scorer in his career but always seem to be a bit under the radar if you ask me.
Scott Burnside (2:43 PM)
Jason; Great player, great leader. Reminds me of Shane Doan in that he is always a thoughtful and courteous player away from the rink who does a ton of community stuff. That's why teams will be after him like crazed dogs if GM Jay Feaster ever arranged for Iginla to waive his no-move clause. Not sure it will happen but a la Ray Bourque it would be nice to see a guy like Iginla get a shot at a championship. It's sure not going to happen in Calgary.
Amir (Tel Aviv, Isreal)
Who will still be on their team come March: Getzlaf, Ryan, Nash, Iginla, Weber or all the above?
Scott Burnside (2:44 PM)
Amir; Here's my guess; Nash, Iginla, Weber. Make sure you send in a question the first chat after the deadline to see how I fared.
Think Pegula is having with his investment? What happens first- blow up the underachieving core at the deadline, Regier gets fired, or Ruff gets fired.
Scott Burnside (2:46 PM)
kurt; Wildly disappointing year in Buffalo which just goes to reinforce that money can't always buy you happiness or even consistency. Sabres haven't won two in a row since mid-November. I would say everything is in play; GM, coach, core (I was going to say leadership core but I think therein lies much of the problem, a lack of leadership.) Not sure what else the Sabres do at the deadline given they have little cap room. But missing the playoffs will definitely mean some changes which it should given the money invested in this squad.
Zach (Chicago(Michigan at heart))
Do you see the Red Wings making a deadline move or waiting until the offseason. Lots of good players out there....
Scott Burnside (2:47 PM)
Zach; Well, I wouldn't be surprised to see Ken Holland shore up the goaltending even though Ty Conklin got a big win last night. But as for big ticket items unless Holland thought he could land and then sign a guy like Zach Parise or Ryan Suter I expect summer will be where Holland does his heavy lifting given the cap space he'll have.
Fine coming for Vigneault for basically threatening a player?
Scott Burnside (2:48 PM)
jim; Well, it was sort of a vague thing, no? Somebody will hurt him, someday, kind of thing. Plus the Canucks and Bruins won't meet again until the final so different than if they were division foes, I think.
Ben (San Jose)
Hi Scott: What's the deal with the NHLPA nixing the realignment? Did the league drop the ball on this? Anytime soon we say a similar plan proposed again? Besides the issue on the general statistical advantage of making the playoffs from being in a 7 vs. 8-team conference I don't see any legitimate gripe from the players on this (travel is not - the western conference teams consistently get hosed there).
Scott Burnside (2:50 PM)
Ben; Lots of finger pointing here. Union didn't supply suggestions when asked before Board of Governors meeting. League couldn't provide mock schedule to players and wouldn't agree to limit the number of back to back games or length of road trips under new schedule. Bottom line is that barring something dramatic realignment won't be a reality until 2013-14. Hopefully by then the two sides have agreed on a new CBA.
How soon before I give up on the Lightning making the playoffs?
Scott Burnside (2:52 PM)
Scott; I would give them 'til the All-Star break. It doesn't look good. No depth in scoring, defensive breakdowns and the goaltending has fallen entirely to Mathieu Garon. I know the Bolts likely overachieved last year but this is a slide that few predicted.
Sean Avery (NYC)
Will I ever play in the NHL again?
Scott Burnside (2:53 PM)
Sean; Never say never.
Alex O. (Alexandria, VA)
Me no coach killer. Rick Nash coach killer eight coaches. Thoughts?
Scott Burnside (2:55 PM)
Alex; Not sure it's fair to put this on Rick Nash who adjusted his style under Ken Hitchcock and even if the two didn't get along helped the 'Jackets to their only playoff berth. Perennially poor drafting, poor development and misguided free agent signings are more to blame for this team's woes (and they are many) than one player in my humble estimation.
Scott, where do you see the Leafs going? Can they sneak by the Sabres back to back this week?
Scott Burnside (2:56 PM)
Thomas; When was the last time the Leafs beat the Sabres in back to back outings (i'm guessing years and years). But these represent interesting tilts for both squads. Just when you're ready to write off the Leafs as 'same old same old' they bounce back as they did in winning their third in a row against Detroit Saturday. Win two versus the Sabres this week and I'm a believer. Just don't see it happening.
Sam (Los Angeles)
Scott, now that the Stars have an owner with money, do you see them making a trade for a star player who's contract is set to run out (Parise?) or signing a big time free agent to bring their salary up from the basement? Thanks
Scott Burnside (2:58 PM)
Sam; New ownership will be important at the deadline although I think for the Stars more important next summer as Joe Nieuwendyk won't want to part with the young assets he's collected in Dallas. The Stars need to keep those assets to keep moving forward as opposed to shedding them for rentals. Lots of good pieces in place in Dallas but they're not close enough to be thinking of a trade deadline home run.
Where will Parise end up? Lou has never re-signed a player mid year...Will they let him walk for nothing like Rafalski, Niedermayer, Gomez, Holik, Gionta... Or do you see him signing mid season or being dealt at the deadline?Thanks.
Scott Burnside (3:00 PM)
jon; Such a tough choice for Lou Lamoriello given where they are in the standings. My gut tells me he rides this out and hopes a playoff run will encourage Parise to sign an extension. I will be shocked if Parise doesn't go to July 1 and free agency, though, too big a market for him and too many options for him to consider to lock himself into a still evolving Devils team.
Scott Burnside (3:00 PM)
Okay folks. Thanks as always for hanging out. Let's do it again next week.