Chat with Scott Burnside
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:20 PM)
Hang on folks, we're having some tech issues with Scott's chat.
Scott Burnside (2:40 PM)
Greetings all. Brought to my knees once again by technology. So, where were we?
Ryan (new Jersey)
Scott, How important is the 2 days off for the Rangers? It was obvious to me after watching every game this year that they were clearly running on fumes and the Devils have not seen a Ranger team even close to 100% energy wise.
Scott Burnside (2:41 PM)
Ryan; I think the timing of this is good for the Rangers and less so for the Devils. The Rangers, of course, went almost directly from Game 7 versus Washington into the conference final. And you're right, I thought they didn't have the legs in Game 2 and for much of the second period of Game 1. The extra day should give guys like Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi some much-needed rest for Saturday's Game 3.
Eric (Athens, Greece) [via mobile]
Talking about Richards and carter in LA.... Most would have said Philly got the better end of the deal shipping them away, but now that LA is where they are... Who got the better end of that deal?
Scott Burnside (2:43 PM)
Eric; Glad you could join us. And you're right. Even with the Kings handling Vancouver in the first round it looked like the Flyers might be further ahead given the youth they obtained in both the Carter and Richards deal. But with Carter finally getting his legs going and with Richards enjoying a top-end postseason hard to argue with Dean Lombardi's moves. That said Paul Holmgren has a nice stable of top-end talent that should help the Flyers stay in contention for years and a lot of that is thanks to those two deals last June.
Chris (Newport Beach)
Scott, explain to me why Mike Smith gets away with the hack job on Brown? I have seen a lot of goalies give little pokes to the back of the legs, but a blatant slash with a heavy goalie stick seems a bit extreme. Between that and his flopping, I think Smith is starting to show his true colors.
Scott Burnside (2:46 PM)
Chris; I think you're seeing the frustration of being steamrolled by the Kings in a lot of different ways for the Coyotes whether it's the Smith whack on Brown (not sure officials arrived at coincidental minors but there you go) or Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal both delivering dangerous hits. Still, Smith is the reason the Coyotes are where they are so will cut him some slack even though I'm not sure Mr. Brown would share that sentiment.
Have the Devils done enough to keep Parise happy and want to stay in New Jersey?
Scott Burnside (2:48 PM)
Kyle; Hard to tell. If they go on to the final and win a Cup no doubt it would be harder for Parise to walk away. But I think it'll come down to whether he thinks the Devils are the team he wants to be with essentially for the rest of his career. Money, naturally will be an issue, and I can't help but think the team's precarious financial situation may play into Parise's decision; if he's looking for stability do the Devils represent that? But certainly the Devils' run this spring will make a difficult decision even harder.
Scott, if you are GM of the Lightning, how do you manage a deal to bring in a Luongo or Bernier? Or do you go to free agency and look for a starter?
Scott Burnside (2:51 PM)
Chris; Well I rarely pretend I'm Steve Yzerman but he definitely needs to find some help between the pipes. Bernier and Luongo represent opposite ends of the spectrum of course. To bring in Luongo I would imagine Yzerman will need to shed salary and that would mean trying to move someone like Vincent Lecavalier (and I doubt Lecavalier would go for that) or Ryan Malone (maybe more likely). Bernier is an unknown quantity. Is he a Cory Schneider in waiting and could he be the Bolts' franchise goalie? To acquire him would likely have to give up a nice package of picks/prospects and then you're rolling the dice that he turns out to be what his potential suggests.
Nick (Pittsburgh) [via mobile]
If you were Ray Shero, who would you trade out of the big three? Implying the new CBA keeping the salary cap the same or lowering it.
Scott Burnside (2:53 PM)
Nick; That's such a tough question. I think assuming there will be a flattening or lowering of the cap by the time the new CBA is hammered out not sure Shero can afford all three. Jordan Staal will be UFA next June as will Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin the year after. Staal becomes the obvious odd man out given that he doesn't control his fate with a no-trade clause. And he would be highly coveted on the open market which would help cap wise and in bringing in a top young defenseman and/or top winger. That's my guess on how it plays out and it may get done at the draft in Pittsburgh next month.
Scott, how much will the uncertainty with the CBA affect the top free agents like Parise/Suter? Obviously the market for both players is huge, but the contracts have to be difficult to determine without knowing what is coming. And do you see Semin as a secondary target for the Wings - Pavel has mentioned in the past how he'd like to play with another Russian.
Scott Burnside (2:56 PM)
Tom; It's going to be a difficult summer for GMs who will operate with one cap (let's call it $69 million) but knowing there's a new CBA on the horizon that may require dramatic changes to the current structure. But I still think GMs will be lining up to court both Suter and Parise and that will mean offering dollar and term. Look for Detroit to be hard after both. As for Semin, hard to imagine that he would make life easy for Mike Babcock given his penchant for disappearing when the games matter most. But his skill is undeniable and maybe Datsyuk would be the positive influence that Semin would need to be more consistent.
Jon (Redlands, Ca)
Hey Scott! My question is have you ever seen a team play as disciplined as the Kings have over an entire playoffs like this? I am just amazed at how they are adhering to Coach Sutters whistle to whistle concept!
Scott Burnside (2:58 PM)
Jon; Agreed. Hard to imagine anyone thought hiring Darryl Sutter was a bad idea. (Well, besides me of course.) They really have managed to keep their focus against top teams and teams that lost their cool more than a little like St. Louis and Phoenix. That's hard to do and that is the mark of a well-coached team.
Why not trade Malkin instead of Staal? Staal plays the big minutes against the top lines in every situation. He's the Ron Francis to Crosby's Lemieux. Malkin, the probable Hart winner to go with his Ross and past Calder and Conn Smythe, would bring a massive haul.
Scott Burnside (3:00 PM)
Tony; I think there is some question about what Staal's top end is as a producer. If he slots in as your number one or two center does he have 40-goal potential or even 35 which is what you would need if you're going to ink him to a big-boy contract. Malkin and Crosby assuming health would remain a dominant one-two punch down the middle and while this is no knock on Staal but I think the feeling is the Penguins would be able to find players to fill that void easier than if they traded Malkin (or Crosby for that matter).
Scotty , pella ia [via mobile]
Hi scott ... the kings are on a roll . do you see them taking it all ?
Scott Burnside (3:01 PM)
Scotty; Not sure any of the four teams left have the goods to stop the Kings the way they are playing now. I think the Devils might have the best shot given their forecheck and balance up front.
So Hanzel gets suspended but Doan does not. What did Shanny see in the one that he didn't see in the other?
Scott Burnside (3:02 PM)
Dan; I am with you. Both dangerous play and maybe Hanzal had more time to hold up on the hit and didn't but Doan has a history of supplemental discipline and was suspended for a dangerous elbow to the head of Jamie Benn just before the playoffs. Should have canned them both for at least a game in my books.
I am not ready to give up on my Coyotes. Can they find a way to beat the Kings and keep this series alive? Teams have come back from 2-0 before in the playoffs - can my Yotes channel the Bruins of last year and pull this off?
Scott Burnside (3:04 PM)
Will; Having picked the Coyotes to upend the mighty Kings I thought they had enough balance and team defense to do the job. We'll see tonight.
Scott, is all hope of getting an NHL team lost?
Scott Burnside (3:16 PM)
Dave; I don't think so. You might have noticed there still isn't a deal done in Arizona to keep the Coyotes in town. Stay tuned.
How was the incident with just over 2 minutes last night not deemed goalie interference? Lundqvist had to make a save from his knees after being run into..
Scott Burnside (3:16 PM)
Alex; Funny, in the press room we were watching and the consensus was it was a good non-call that Lundqvist tried to sell the contact (and he still ended up making a fine save).
Ice Ace (Alabama)
What do you believe happened to Gaborik in the final period on why he did not play his normal shifts?
Scott Burnside (3:17 PM)
Ice Ace; He was soft on a defensive play late in the second period that led to the Ryan Carter goal. Tough love from Coach Tortorella.
Scott Burnside (3:18 PM)
Well folks, apologies for the techno difficulties but believe they have been ironed out for future appearances. Enjoy the day.