Chat with Craig Custance
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com NHL Insider Craig Custance stops by to chat about the latest news from the ice.
Custance joined ESPN in September 2011 as an NHL reporter for ESPN the Magazine, ESPN Insider and ESPN.com. He joined ESPN following a stint with the Sporting News. A graduate of Michigan State University, he lived for nearly a decade in Georgia working for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he spent time covering the late Atlanta Thrashers.
Send your questions now and join Custance Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:29 PM)
Sorry folks, we're rescheduling Craig Custance for another time.
Buzzmaster (2:28 PM)
OK folks, I've got good news. Craig Custance will be here at 3 p.m. ET to take your questions!
Craig Custance (3:00 PM)
Hey everyone! Crazy day, so much to talk about. Let's jump in!
Mitchell (Santa Rosa, CA)
I've been hearing all sorts of rumors as to what the Sharks are being offered for Clowe. What doyou think they will realistically get for him and whose still in on him as I now assume the Bruins are out?
Craig Custance (3:03 PM)
Lots of interest in Clowe. The wildcard here is that there may be some teams interested in him because they want to sign him to a contract extension, so that opens up the field to include teams not necessarily a lock to make the playoffs, like the Flyers. I think the Sharks would love to get a first rounder plus for him and it may happen if there's enough competition. It may have to be conditional though based on some of the prices we're seeing so far.
austin (LA) [via mobile]
Is it time to start worrying about the blues competing in the playoffs and how much does Leopold actually help this defense?
Craig Custance (3:05 PM)
Bouwmeester is the big addition for St. Louis. They were willing to move a first-rounder for him, something other interested teams weren't. This fills a huge hole for the Blues who are a team I wouldn't want to face in the playoffs. Goaltending still questionable though.
John (Wings fan in Minny)
With Filppula a UFA and wanting 5+ mil a year and the Wings not wanting to give it to him, is it a possibility that Kenny Holland actually trades him? KH never seems to get rid of UFAs at the deadline...
Craig Custance (3:06 PM)
John - I know the Red Wings like Jagr and Bouwmeester. With those two off the market, I don't think they'll be too active. Ken Holland is just looking for his team to get healthy and make a run. Don't see them being sellers either.
What in the world are the Stars doing?
Craig Custance (3:08 PM)
It's a tough call but after last night's loss, they had to make some tough decisions. At some point that team has to make the playoffs but I agree with dealing Jagr and Roy. They tried to extend Roy's contract and couldn't agree on a deal. Now they're loading up with picks in what should be a good draft.
Jagr to Boston?
Craig Custance (3:10 PM)
Yup. Done. Like that move a lot for the Bruins, who needed the help on the power play. It'll be interesting to see where Claude Julien slots Jagr at even strength. But if he can stay healthy, that's a great addition for the postseason.
What would the Wild have to send in a package to get Clowe? Not sure I am interested in them giving him the contract he is looking for. What would be a good contract to get Clowe at? 3 yrs $4m per?
Craig Custance (3:11 PM)
Joe - Yeah, the Wild have a lot of money committed to players moving forward and also have to sign Backstrom. If you could get Clowe at 3/$4m per year, that'd be great. I don't think that gets it done though.
Brian (Eugene, OR)
Will the Oilers deal Whitney before tomorrow? And what is your sense on whether or not Streit might be made available tomorrow if he doesn't re-sign with NYI?
Craig Custance (3:13 PM)
Brian - Yes, I think Whitney gets dealt before the deadline although it's quiet now. Islanders want to extend Streit although won't be getting it done before the deadline. At this point, I don't think Streit gets dealt. Islanders fighting for a playoff spot and he's a key piece there.
I think Calgary is approaching this re-tool/rebuild wrong. They seems fixated on getting 1st round picks and settling for middling prospects. It seems to me that getting better prospects with more data/development to support a firmer long-term projection would go farther than picks which can be a crap-shoot (even with a deep draft), especially considering Feaster's pathetic draft record in Tampa and Calgary. Agree or Disagree?
Craig Custance (3:15 PM)
Chris - I've definitely been underwhelmed by the return for Iginla/Bouwmeester but part of that is because the players had so much control of the situation. This is a good draft, so it makes sense to try to accumulate as many first-round picks as possible. You have to trust your scouting staff and give them these opportunities, regardless of anything that happened in TB.
Joshua Bass (Los Angeles)
Craig. Do you see the Kings making any moves? If so. What do you see as the most likely thing to happen?
Craig Custance (3:17 PM)
Regehr was a fantastic addition for Dean Lombardi and the Kings. I know they liked Jarome Iginla and might want to add more help up front but they're in good shape if they sit tight moving forward.
What do you think the rangers will do, if anything at the deadline? They need some physical players but who do they have to give up, or go after?
Craig Custance (3:19 PM)
James - Nothing you haven't heard before. Need a defenseman to help on the PP and would love to regain some of the depth up front lost in the Nash deal. Clowe could be an interesting option for the Rangers, a physical presence with a history of playoff success.
Darcy Regier has a pretty bum rep with Sabres fans (some of it warranted), but how does he keep getting away with robbery in trading players for picks? Last week, a 2nd seemed like wishful thinking for Leopold, and he gets that plus a 4/5!?
Craig Custance (3:21 PM)
Alex - Darcy has done well the last couple deadlines. When you look at some of the prices we're seeing now for players, where second-round picks are the standard, it's even more impressive he got a first last year for Paul Gaustad. But at some point you have to do more than make good trades at the deadline.
Any chance Glencross, Tanguay, Stempniak, Cammallerri, Sarich, Babchuk & Kip are all dealt?
Craig Custance (3:22 PM)
All of them? Wow, that wouldn't leave much left in Calgary. At this point, you can't rule out anything with the Flames. They're in full rebuild mode as they should be. Lots of no-trade clauses among the guys you mentioned.
Hey Craig. How would you grade the Dallas Stars trade deadline deals so far?
Craig Custance (3:24 PM)
I actually think they've gotten a solid return, although I would have liked to see a firm first-rounder in the Jagr deal. But the price they got was about what was anticipated. So my grade is a solid B.
Can you confirm Yandle is hawks top trade target?
Craig Custance (3:25 PM)
Bob - Here's what I can say about Keith Yandle. The Coyotes aren't actively shopping him. They'd have to be pretty impressed with any offer for Yandle, a good offensive defenseman signed to a pretty reasonable contract. The return would have to be a legit NHL center who can play in the top six and I'm not sure there's a logical match in the Blackhawks organization.
Did you happen to see Kevin Wares injury?
Craig Custance (3:26 PM)
No, I did not. Not really eager to either.
Are the Bruins done making moves?
Craig Custance (3:26 PM)
Mark - I wouldn't rule another deal out of Peter Chiarelli. I think he'd like to add another defenseman if possible. But Jagr was a crucial piece to the puzzle there.
Dave (San Francisco)
Are there other Sharks player's names being thrown around for trades? Or is Clowe the only one really being considered?
Craig Custance (3:28 PM)
Dave - Well, Clowe would be the third player traded in the last week or so from a team that's fighting for a playoff spot. But you can't argue the return Doug Wilson is getting. The only other player to keep an eye on is Dan Boyle, who wants to stay in SJ. Wilson would have to listen if somebody came strong with an offer for him.
GBK (Lincoln Park)
True or false: Michigan State riots are worse than Vancouver riots. What did those innocent couches ever do to Sparty?
Craig Custance (3:30 PM)
Great question. Having experienced both in person, I can say the Vancouver post-Cup riot was actually a little scarier than anything I experienced in East Lansing. Although I do remember opening up my sliding glass door on my Waters Edge apartment in EL so fellow students could use my bathroom to rinse tear gas out of their eyes. Good times. Also, friendly tip, water doesn't particularly help with tear gas.
Steve (Saratoga, NY)
Will the Bruins get Streit, Whitney or McBain before the deadline?
Craig Custance (3:30 PM)
I'd say no on Streit. Definite maybe on Whitney and last I heard nothing close yet on McBain.
elisabeth (new york city)
if you had your druthers, who would you pick--jagr or iginla?
Craig Custance (3:32 PM)
I love that question. Was just debating that here in Bristol with Scott Burnside. Iginla would be my first choice but not by as much as you'd think.
Brian (East Lansing, MI)
Craig, the Devils ship is sinking fast, is there anybody else out there to get or are the Devils going to have to make due with what they have?
Craig Custance (3:33 PM)
Brian - Nobody plays their cards closer to the vest than Lou Lamoriello. So, I can't give you any specifics on what New Jersey may be targeting. I would like to see them add a top six forward.
with Anderson appearing to be ready for a return how do you feel the market for Bishop is right now
Craig Custance (3:34 PM)
Alex - The goalie market is a strange one, but there is definitely interest in Bishop. There's a good four or five teams that have expressed interest and for good reason. This guy is ready to get a shot at being a No. 1 goalie.
Do you think Shero is done trading? If not, who do you think he'll go for?
Craig Custance (3:36 PM)
You never want to underestimate Ray Shero, but I think the Penguins are done. It was a good run for Ray.
I have heard Montreal is in on Clowe but if the price is too high, whom else might Bergevin be targeting?
Craig Custance (3:37 PM)
They could use more size up front and Clowe would be a great fit but I don't blame Bergevin for not wanting to give up his first rounder. The Canadiens are still early on in the building process there under Bergevin and need to continue adding young pieces. Now is not the time to sell out at the deadline.
Pierre (Shreveport LA)
Long time B's fan and love the Jagr move today...was also hoping for some much needed help on D. Any moves coming here you see - maybe Whitney??
Craig Custance (3:38 PM)
Pierre - I think Whitney is a distinct possibility. Wouldn't be surprised to see Chiarelli add a d-man at all.
Are the rangers looking to move Gaborik before the deadline?
Craig Custance (3:39 PM)
They'd move him in the right deal but that's a tough contract to move right now. Not sure there's a deal out there that makes sense for the Rangers.
Steve (Charlotte, NC)
Craig, big 'canes fan here. Do you see them making any more moves before the deadline, we need some massive power play help, as well as a big winger and/or defenseman..? On top of this, I might be in the minority but how bad of a job has Rutherford done the past 3 years, then team has just always been too young AND too small.
Craig Custance (3:42 PM)
Steve - I disagree with your assessment of Jim Rutherford. He's put together some nice young pieces in Carolina, love what he's doing on defense there. Loved the Jordan STaal trade for him. He's kept that team competitive for a long time without ever doing a traditional rebuild. My only criticism would be on the Semin deal, thought that was too much term. Don't think Rutherford is too interested in adding a rental in the positions you're talking about.
Is Handzus really the answer for the Hawks at center? Any more logical moves that Stan could make?
Craig Custance (3:44 PM)
Pat - I like Handzus for depth down the middle but he's not the answer in that No. 2 center spot. I like Roy there, but Vancouver denied that. I'd love to see them make a move for Ribeiro but I'm not sure Washington is eager to trade him with the Capitals fighting for the playoffs.
Will the penguins add another d-men and or center?
Craig Custance (3:44 PM)
Doug - I think the Penguins are done.
Any chance that bobby ryan gets dealt now or in the offseason? The ducks will have a lot of money tied up with getzlaf and perry now
Craig Custance (3:45 PM)
James - No need to trade Bobby Ryan right now. Ducks could probably use a center but their big move was keeping Getzlaf and Perry. Maybe a Ryan deal becomes a possibility in the summer, but I don't see a lot of motivation to do anything right now. They're trying to win a Cup in Anaheim.
I once thought Luongo to TB made sense, but I know the Lightning won't take the contract. Yet they really need a solid goalie. Is TB trying to get one now or waiting for the off-season?
Craig Custance (3:47 PM)
Rudy - It's a tough one because I still think they like Lindback. He's a talented young goalie who you want to give more time to develop, it's still just his first year as starter. Maybe the move would be to bring in a short-term veteran and, as you know, there's nothing short-term about Luongo's deal.
We all know the Rangers are rumored to be in on Clowe. What kind of package do you think it will take to land him? A big body to help fill out the bottom 6 for sure, but why not open up the system a bit to let speedsters like Hagelin, Kreider & Gaborik get a little creative?
Craig Custance (3:48 PM)
Considering all the teams involved on Clowe, I think SJ should be able to get a first-rounder for him. Wilson would probably like that plus a prospect, although that's a huge price for a guy without a goal. But don't forget, he's got a history of success in the playoffs and he's exactly the kind of player who thrives this time of year.
Matt (Duisburg, Germany)
What do you think will the leafs trust in their goalie tandem, or will they acquire a goalie?
Craig Custance (3:50 PM)
Leafs would like to add a veteran goalie but I honestly don't see the big need. James Reimer has been great for them this season and they're on their way back into the playoffs. But those Kipper and Luongo rumors won't stop, so we'll see.
Will the Avs trade Stastny or any of their other parts? Or does management just not realize the team exists?
Craig Custance (3:51 PM)
Matt - Another team that plays things close to the vest, it's hard to get a read on what the Avs are doing. Or what they're thinking, ever. Stastny is on the IR so that hurts the cause there, not to mention his contract.
Is Miller still getting moved? Interest from Tampa Bay still?
Craig Custance (3:53 PM)
Blake - You never say never, but a Ryan Miller trade to me is a deal that gets done in the summer, if at all. He's a goalie still in his prime and isn't saddled with a long-term contract so there will be a lot of interest if he's available. You might want to wait until the summer when there are more teams potentially in the goalie market.
Suburban Rhythm (Pittsburgh)
Tyler Kennedy with Kunitz and Dupuis. Has Bylsma lost it? I understand not wanting to break up the other lines, but Kunitz might not have an ESP the rest of the season with this setup
Craig Custance (3:54 PM)
Dan Bylsma knows that team better than I do, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But yeah, we might be seeing a decline in Kunitz's production.
Do you see Pominville being moved before 3pm tomorrow to, say... Columbus?
Craig Custance (3:57 PM)
I'd love to see that for Columbus who would be willing to add before the deadline if it helps them in the future as well as this season. But Pominville has some control over where he's traded, which has to be kept in mind.
Tampa's been full of wild (and often baseless) trade rumors this season, ranging from the annual Trade Vinny, to a throw-away Tampa beat writer saying maybe St. Louis should ask for a trade, to now people thinking that Tampa is making a pitch to get Ryan Miller. We did manage to ship out M.A. Bergeron. So, what really is going on with Tampa this trade deadline, Craig?
Craig Custance (4:01 PM)
Yeah, it does seem like TB is the center of some wild trade speculation back to the Vinny to MTL days. St. Louis isn't being traded. Ryan Miller seems like a longshot and I'm an advocate of giving Lindback more time. At this point, I'd just let Jon Cooper get settled in and then re-assess this summer.
Craig Custance (4:01 PM)
Alright everyone, tons of questions. Wish I could have gotten to all of them. Have a great trade deadline!