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, as free agency is a week old.
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 (1:58 PM)
Greetings all. Been a wacky couple of weeks. Now, where were we?
Jay (Southgate, MI)
Is it just me, or did Suter and Parise get overpaid? Dual 13 year 98 million deals for two players that have never been nominated for a Norris, Richard, Hart, or any other award in their 5 plus years of experience? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have them on the Wings, but I'm sorta glad we didn't get stuck with those deals....
Scott Burnside (2:00 PM)
Jay; I think you have to look at their cap hits which are more than manageable at just over $7.5 million annually. Now will either of those guys be playing at the end of the deals when they're making $1 million? Hard to imagine which is why the NHL hates these kinds of contracts. But overall I think the Wild did pretty well to bring in two stud free agents at that annual hit.
Scott, I love the Sabres move in trading for Ott. He's exactly the type of player we need. in saying that, trading Roy leaves us thin at center. I am excited for the futures of Hogdson and Ennis, but neither are ready to be #1 centers. Who do you see as a potential trade target to address this need?
Scott Burnside (2:03 PM)
kurt; Agreed that the Sabres needed a shakeup when it came to the personality of their team. No excuse (oh I know, injuries, blah, blah, blah, everyone has injuries) for that team to miss the playoffs last season. And Ott brings a lot of intangibles including he ability to infuriate opposing players. But you're also right that the cost was steep. I think Derek Roy will flourish in Dallas. And it's going to put more pressure on Ennis and Hodgson to step up. As for a trade don't see a readily available pivot that's going to step into the number one role in Buffalo.
jimh (miami, fl)
Semin is an "enigmatic" slacker coach-killer. He's also a former 40-goal scorer. Why hasn't a team signed him yet? Might he be headed to the KHL?
Scott Burnside (2:05 PM)
jimh; I think he'll end up signing with an NHL club although the issue will be that few teams will give term beyond two years (that's my guess based on the Caps' handling of Semin). He is a great puzzlement given his skills and the fact that he has found it difficult to put them on display when the Caps have needed it the most in the past. Still, he can score 30 in his sleep and if motivated can do it all. Wings? Flyers? Penguins? Lots of teams I think will take a chance on a big one to two-year deal.
Mike (Sinking Spring)
I know the Flyers did not make their normal "splash" in FA, but is it un-realistic that they are better next year giving the young players more quality minutes and "hoping" Bryz shows us why we gave him that contract?
Scott Burnside (2:09 PM)
Mike; I still think Paul Holmgren would like to add an impact player at either forward or defense but if the status quo remains there are worse things than finding out whether all those kids; Wellwood, Read, Couturier, Bourdon, Gustafsson, can take a bigger bit of responsibility. As for Bryzgalov, wow, not sure what next season will be like but am guessing no more 'universe is humungous big' commentary.
Garrett (Long Island)
Hey Scott huge Rangers fan here. With Jordan Staal and Zach Parise leaving the Atlantic Division can you see them sticking with their current roster? If not, and you had to pick a player or two, who do they add?
Scott Burnside (2:10 PM)
Garrett; I still think the Rick Nash thing looms large for the Rangers. At some point Columbus GM Scott Howson is going to have to modify his demands and I think the Rangers have enough parts to get a deal done without moving McDonagh, Stepan, Kreider. That said no question they have to get better/more depth scoring which cost them against the Devils in the conference final.
Aaron (Columbus, Ohio)
What is going on with Rick Nash? I have heard tons of rumors but even us fans in Columbus are wondering what Howsen is doing.
Scott Burnside (2:13 PM)
Aaron; Further to the last question it's going to be fascinating to see how Howson handles this. He hasn't flinched since the trade deadline when he asked for the moon and couldn't get it. San Jose, Detroit, Philadelphia and of course the Rangers would pay a premium but not the moon for Nash. As we get closer to training camp assuming camp starts on time that'll be the true test. Can't imagine Nash still wearing a Jackets jersey come September but Howson has really dug his heels in on this one.
Do you have the Kings as the favorite to repeat? Knowing they have everyone back and a full season together should be enough reason to think they could repeat. Right?
Scott Burnside (2:15 PM)
Tyler; In theory, yes, the Kings have to be considered favorites to repeat. But history just tells you that the emotional toll of winning a Cup makes it all but impossible. Still, no obvious holes in the Kings' line-up and lots of growth potential from guys like Jonathan Quick and some of the younger role players. A healthy Jeff Carter for the entire season should also ensure not having to fight for a playoff spot to the final days which should bode well for another long run.
Does Ryan get traded and if so, where does he land?
Scott Burnside (2:17 PM)
Eric; A few Bobby Ryan questions today and with good reason given that he is a nice perhaps even better alternative to teams looking to add an impact player without having to pay Rick Nash prices. But GM Bob Murray isn't going to give him away and that means top prospects/picks in a package. Flyers have real interest but aren't likely to send Brayden Schenn especially after acquiring his brother, Luke, from the Leafs. Rangers if no Nash deal. Don't expect Murray to keep Ryan in-Conference if he does decide he wants to move him and I'm not convinced it's a given even though there have been some awkward moments between the player and the team given how often his names surfaces in trade rumors.
Pat (New York)
The Rangers and Alex Semin, match made in heaven or hell?
Scott Burnside (2:18 PM)
Pat; Probably bits of both before he is done in Gotham.
Josh (San Francisco)
Scott, I just found out that this morning Larry Robinson is on his way to San Jose, while Parise and Oates left last week (congrats to both of them on the new opportunities). That's a lot of leadership and talent walking out the door in a short span, not to mention all the finance issues ownership is combating. In two years the best goalie of all time will be out the door too.What are the chances that the Devils can be competitive this year and beyond? Are there any trades or acquisitions that would help them?
Scott Burnside (2:21 PM)
Josh; Hard summer for the Devils after coming so close to the Cup and there is no doubt the team's financial problems remain a dark cloud over the team. Still, credit to Lou Lamoriello for returning Martin Brodeur and Bryce Salvador to the fold. Throw in the strong play/leadership displayed by Adam Henrique and the potential of Adam Larsson to become a defensive cornerstone and I'm not convinced the Devils won't be among the top eight next April even without Parise. Lots of ifs; Brodeur's continued high level of play, injuries, but never count Lamoriello's teams out.
Jeremy (Los Angeles)
Shane Doan to the Kings? Does this rumor have any legs?
Scott Burnside (2:24 PM)
Jeremy; It's obvious Shane Doan isn't looking to leave Phoenix but it's also obvious the ownership situation isn't going to be cleared up any time soon which means a big decision for the veteran winger. Huge interest from around the league including Detroit, New York (Rangers) and yes, I think the Kings would definitely be interested given that they never fully engaged in the Parise hunt. Another quality, gritty guy for Darryl Sutter? Why not. And if Doan can't be in Phoenix staying on the west coast might be an attractive option for him (not to mention playing for the Cup champs).
I'm not too concerned about the Red Wings. But it is a little concerning with out Nick Lidstrom plus the loss of Brad Stuart. Without Ryan Suter and with Matt Carle signing with Tampa. I've heard Keith Yandle's name as another option. What other options do the Red Wings to fill the gap on the Blue line?
Scott Burnside (2:25 PM)
mike; Keith Yandle's name has come up because teams have called Don Maloney given his nice cast of young defensive talent in Phoenix. Maloney isn't looking to move the skilled defenseman unless he gets an offer that blows him away; couple of young NHL-ready players including some offense preferably a center I am guessing. Not sure it's likely the 'Yotes would be interested in trading Yandle in-conference especially Detroit whom they've faced twice in the last three playoff years.
I foresee a great exodus of Russian talent from the NHL to the KHL. Russians here are often harped on for cultural differences and can make more money in the KHL anyway. Bryz, Ovie, Semin, Radulov, all have been called enigmatic. How is, say, Jeff Carter (prior to about three months ago) any different? Agree?
Scott Burnside (2:28 PM)
Nostra; I agree that there's often a double-standard when it comes to assessing a player's skills depending on their country of origin and sometimes their friendliness with the media. That said I'm pretty confident had two North American players been seen whooping it up in the wee hours before a crucial playoff game that, too, would have been big news. Maybe bigger. As for a migration away from the NHL to the KHL those factors; more money, less pressure, have always existed not just for Russian players. Still, anyone who wants to be regarded as a world class player plays in the NHL. That's the measuring stick. Can't imagine that it will ever change.
chris (long island)
I have seen in multiple rumors the Isles are serious contenders to get J. bouwmeester, Is it true? Wouldn't the Isles be better suited going hard after B. Ryan?
Scott Burnside (2:31 PM)
chris; Jay Bouwmeester remains a great enigma (and he's not even Russian). Great skating ability and yet an almost total lack of offensive impact (hence the acquisition of Dennis Wideman). As for the Isles throw Bouwmeester in with Lubomir Visnovsky and Mark Streit and some of the youngsters and that's an interesting blue line corps. The question is what Jay Feaster would want in return. Plus two more years at $6.68 million annually that's a lot for a guy who is at best a 3/4 guy on your depth chart.
Hello Scott! Always great to talk hockey, even in July. So Bobby Lou says it's time to move on - question is, where? I know he'd love to go to Florida, but I don't look at goaltending as being the Panthers greatest need. I also don't really see Toronto and Vancouver seeing eye to eye on terms. And does Bernier stay put, too?
Scott Burnside (2:35 PM)
Andrew; Never a bad day to talk hockey. As for Luongo I still think Florida ends up being the best fit assuming Jose Theodore would agree to go back as Cory Schneider's back-up. As for Bernier I don't think there's any urgency for Dean Lombardi to move him and his body of work is so small that I can't imagine a team giving up much to find out if he's a number-one guy. And you're right about the Leafs and Canucks but at some point Mike Gillis needs to move Luongo and if that means holding his nose and dealing with Brian Burke and vise versa so be it. Just don't think any team given how small the market is for Luongo will be giving up much in assets and may in fact be demanding the Canucks take unwanted salary back for Luongo.
DCa (in Mich)
Does Weber get traded if he doesn't sign a long term contract as a RFA in Nashville? Or will Poile take a risk with him until the trade deadline and how much value would he lose as a rental player vs being traded now?
Scott Burnside (2:38 PM)
DCa; I think given the uncertainty over what the next CBA will look like the Preds will offer Weber a giant, front-loaded deal a la Parise/Suter (plus a bit) and if he won't take it then Poile will move relatively quickly to move Weber in a play that will dwarf all of the Rick Nash trade discussion.
Does Luongo come to the Hawks?
Scott Burnside (2:39 PM)
Tim; Maybe. How does Stan Bowman explain that one, though. Yeah, we ate this guy's lunch twice and almost a third time in the playoffs but he's the guy we're counting on to get us back to the Promised Land. Hmmm. Not sure how that plays on Madison.
Taylor Hall (Edmonton)
Our team really seems loaded for bear after three #1 picks and Schultz signing. I know we're not going to be a dynasty right away, but do you think in a year or two we'll be were Pitt was a year or two back? I hope we win it before all the entry-level contracts expire and they actually have to start paying us...
Scott Burnside (2:40 PM)
Taylor; Yes, exciting times in Edmonton. Still, Schultz hasn't played a single NHL game and the blue line is still a mess. And we're still not sure if you've got a bona fide number one goalie. Still a long road for Ralph Krueger, whom we think is a terrific hire, by the way.
Mr. Burnside I know many agree that the Avs can't take the next step without getting one or two stud defensemen. Their best D, Johnson, is best suited for the second pairing. Having missed out on Carle, do you think the Avs will be able to shore up their D at all? Maybe use Stastny/Duchene as bait? or is management content with another run at maybe an 8th seed and a first round exit?
Scott Burnside (2:44 PM)
Matt; I'm intrigued by what Greg Sherman is doing in Denver. Very low profile yet I am impressed with his top nine forward group. The blue line is a work in progress but I think has potential. The Devils showed that a defense by committee can still produce a long playoff run. The 'Canes showed that in both '06 and '09 when they went to the Eastern Conference final. Plus, there just aren't impact defensemen to be had on the market (Suter being the obvious example and look at the price tag there).
Hey Scott, assuming Weber does not want to resign in Nashville in light of Suter leaving, do you think the Flyers have a realistic shot at acquiring him? I think if he wants out of Nashville, then Polie loses a lot of leverage. What would it take to bring him to Philly? Thanks!
Scott Burnside (2:48 PM)
Tyler; No doubt if Weber doesn't want to sign long-term it puts the Preds in a bad place. And as for trading partners there would be 25 potential partners and I think the Flyers would be able to assemble an impressive collection of top end young talent although if I'm David Poile I'm looking at both Schenns, Couturier and maybe Read. If you think Scott Howson is asking for the moon Weber would be moon times ten as it should be.
Hey Scott, what do you think the pens will do? trades? or try sign free agents like Semin or Doan?
Scott Burnside (2:49 PM)
Josh; I wouldn't be surprised to see Ray Shero explore Semin as an option having fallen short on Parise (no, I'm not comparing them in any fashion). And Doan, as mentioned, will be getting loads of attention. He would fit nicely, I think, with Crosby but the same can be said for a dozen teams looking for that kind of character and skill.
Chris (Downingtown, PA)
Do you think Mike Knuble will play in the NHL again? If so, where?
Scott Burnside (2:52 PM)
Chris; Mike Knuble remains one of my favorite guys in the locker room and on the ice. Hope he gets another shot somewhere. What about Pittsburgh? What about any team looking for a character guy who still has a little left in the tank?
Maybe I'm just feeling depressed about the state of my team, but does the Wideman deal make any sense? Wideman seems to the kind of player you pick up as a "last piece." Honestly, I think they have to be working to stock up on young talent because I don't think the Flames are even close to being a playoff team next year.
Scott Burnside (2:54 PM)
Greg; Not really sure what to make of the Wideman deal or the four-year, $16 million deal given Jiri Hudler. Wideman definitely comes with defensive baggage but is a boon to the power play. Hudler? Not sure what to expect from a guy that Wings weren't interested in even though they've got tons of cap room. One thing is for sure GM Jay Feaster isn't having any part of a traditional rebuild. Still, hard to see them being in the top eight the way things stand now in the west.
Scott, how do you think P.A. Parenteau will fare in Colorado? I wonder how much production came from playing with Tavares (this generations early-Joe Sakic in Quebec)
Scott Burnside (2:55 PM)
Matt; I like the talent the Avs have up front and so I'm not sure there will be that big a drop-off in Parenteau's production.
What are your thoughts for the Bruins next season? They seemed to find their game after the shook the hangover off but fell short. What do they need to get back? Is a health Horton enough or do they need to bring in something more? Who?
Scott Burnside (2:58 PM)
Eric; Disappointing season no doubt with all the Tim Thomas stuff and then getting bounced in the first round. But Dougie Hamilton is the real deal, Seguin will mature even more and Bergeron will be healthy. Now, is Tuukka Rask ready for a prime time role assuming Thomas is truly going to pack it in for at least a season? That, to me, is the bigger question mark. This is still a good, balanced team with terrific defense and coaching.
Scott Burnside (2:58 PM)
Okay folks thanks as always for dropping by even in sunny July. Appreciate the time. 'Til next time.