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January 29, 1:12 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:58 PM)

Holy smokes Batman, already a long line of questions in the queue... ok, let's get it going puck nation !

Austin Wallace Victoria BC

What are the chances of Vancouver getting lecavilier?? They could trade Kesler, Raymond, La Barbra, and some draft picks also think about Sundin. It would make sense for TB. I year prorated contract could still provide offence costs less money...the list goes on. Would it make sense and if not what other trades could possibly happen for big forwards.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:01 PM)

Austin, hope you are breathing a little easier with the big Vancouver win last night. Edmonton and Montreal are the two Canadian teams that had talks with Tampa on Lecavalier but that has since died down... I think Vancouver will make a play for either Hossa or Gaborik next July 1, to play with fellow Slovak Demitra... but that's easier said than done... Hossa may also yet re-sign in Detroit depending on how much of a pay cut he can live with...

Travis, Canada

Pierre, Is this truly how sad NHL clubs have become by retiring a players number simply because they were with the club for one Stanley Cup win or a stretch 400 games in the 1980's/1990's, such as Adam Graves or Doug Gilmour?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:03 PM)

Travis, I disagree. I think guys like Graves and Gilmor meant a lot to those organizations and deserve to be recognized. Not everyone can be Montreal and have guys to retire with a bunch of Cup rings... besides, they too have run out of those guys to honor

Garrett (Santa Cruz,California)

Do you think the Sharks Will make a move at the trade deadline? what do you think the team needs

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:04 PM)

I think Doug Wilson will definitely take a close look at what's out there. He's left himself some room under the cap to acquire a decent player. There are no holes on this team but I suspect he'll try to pick yet more Cup experience again....

matt vancouver, bc

pierre, what do you make of the canucks recent troubles? do you see them making the playoffs?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:05 PM)

Well, let's keep everything in perspective. Most people predicted they would be a bubble team last September so that's exactly where they are right now. Obviously it's been a terrible two months. But now they've finally got all their bodies back and there's no more excuses. Sundin hasn't looked very good, which has to be worrysome.

simon (dallas)

hi, is there anyone the stars are loooking acquire & can the make a deep playoff run eg taking down a team like san jose?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:06 PM)

Given the injury to Zubov I think they might look at adding depth on defense.

sean somerville ma.

if the bruins trade for tkachuk who you think the bruins will give up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:07 PM)

Sean, Tkachuk is a rental player (UFA July 1) so you don't have to give up that much in return... maybe a second-round draft pick or an AHL prospect

Chris Michigan

Do you see Ilya Kovalchuk getting dealt anywhere? I am really hoping he does!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:08 PM)

Chris, the word I got again this week is that the Thrashers won't trade him before march 4. He's got another year left on his deal next season. But if it's clear he doesn't want to sign an extension in the off-season, maybe the Thrashers will look at moving him around the June NHL draft.

Sergey (Brooklyn, NY)

Hi Pierre, Do you see my Rangers making any serious moves before the trading deadline? If yes, can you name the players they might be after? Thank you.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:09 PM)

Sergey, I think the Rangers will scour the market for a puck-moving defenseman that can help their transition game and ma the point on the power play.

Lisa (Bay Area, CA)

Pierre, Ty Conkin and Chris Osgood have been short of spectacular in the last six Red Wings games. That said, do you think GM Ken Holland will be trading for a quality goalie before the trade deadline?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:10 PM)

I don't think so Lisa, the Wings are committed to those two goalies sink or swim. Hey, Osgood won a Cup last year, right?

Jim (Miami, FL)

I'm a die-hard Panthers fan (after the past seven seasons, we're all die-hards now) and the Boumeester situation is difficult to watch. Whoever told you Bouw to the Senators is crazy - they're not going to acquire a rental when they're so far out of the playoffs now. I think if he's traded, it's going to be to a Western conference team like the Oilers or Flames. The Panthers would get more from a team that thinks it has a chance to sign him, and they want speed or scoring in return. My guess is Bouw to the Oil for Cole or Horcoff. Your thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:13 PM)

Jim, maybe I didn't make it clear in my blog but I was presenting that rumor as a crazy example of how things get at this time of year. I don't believe it for a second. Having said that, it's looking more and more to me like the panthers will have to move him. There will be a long list of teams interested. Not really sure why Edmonton would be interested given all the puck-movers they have in Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbet, Grebreshkov _ they need wingers and goaltending.... but Calgary could easily be interested. I would think so would Philadelphia, Rangers, Montreal, etc.... The Panthers have already told teams around the league they are looking for help at center...

James (Richmond, VA)

With the Caps playing amazing hockey right now, what, if anything, do you think GMGM will do at the trade deadline?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:15 PM)

I was talking to GM yesterday actually... despite the loss of Chris Clark he felt pretty good about his group. Maybe a shot of experience would be nice but this is a solid team with no glaring weaknesses. Theodore can be inconsistent but he's won some playoff series in Colorado and Montreal

Ryan: Baltimore, MD

With the the recent play of Nylander being better than it has been, do you see the Caps using this performance to bolster his trade value? Or do they see it as a reason to keep him? On that note, do you see them making a deal at all...especially if Johnson is done for the year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:16 PM)

They actually had a meeting with him last month where they told him to unpack his bags. For now they're happy with him on board. But i still think if they get a decent offer March 4 they'll take a good look at it given the money he's got left on that deal

JOE(BUFFALO)

Any rumors about the Sabres shoring up their blue line by trade-deadline?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:17 PM)

I'm actually in Buffalo today.... I know they are going to look at trying to acquire an offensive blue-liner... but so many teams are... no easy task

Chris (Sunnyvale, CA)

Can we expect to see Melanie LeBrun suiting up for Team Canada down to the road?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:18 PM)

Ha ha _ I certainly hope so !!!!! She hasn't started skating yet, she's only 13 days old however

Anthony NJ

You're crazy rumor mentioned Scott Gomez to Florida, but does he have a no trade clause?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:19 PM)

Again, that rumor was a joke. I wasn't serious !

Ethan(LA)

Hey Pierre have the kings far and away passed your expectations for them this season? I mean they are still playing games that count in feb. Also what's your take on Jonathan Quick, he now has 3 shutouts in only 16 games played?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:21 PM)

Yes they've been better than I had envisioned. The future is so exciting there. Doughty, Quincey, Johnson, Greene and later Thomas Hickey on defense... impressive... Quick so far has been terrific, he'll need to hold off Bernier next year for the No. 1 job... I thnk the Kings have a real shot at the playoffs next season

John(Ithaca)

Can you name the US sqaud for 2010 please?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:21 PM)

John, Scott Burnside, EJ Hradek and I will name our U.S. and Canadian 2010 teams next week. Stay tuned !

Mike Packer, Bonita Springs, FL

Will the Sabres move Afinogenov? Where do you see him fitting in nicely?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:23 PM)

Mike, they have tried all year long to move him and they will continue to try. I figure since he's UFA July 1 they should be able to dump the remaining two months of his contract march 4.... I like Pittsburgh as a fit, someone to try out on Crosby's wing. Better than what they have now anyway

Mke Plainview, New York

Who is the best player that will be traded in the next month?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:23 PM)

Easy _ Jay Bouwmeester

Iggy (Closter, NJ)

Hey Pierre, Enjoying your work as always. As a Rangers fan, I've been very concerned with the recent inconsistent play, especially when considering that the core of the team is locked up long term for a significant cap number. What moves can you see the Rangers making leading up to the deadline and possibly in the summer to improve the team? Any chance we can dump Redden?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:25 PM)

Iggy, as I mentioned earlier to another Rangers fan, I think the club will try long and hard to add a puck-moving defenseman.

Gerry: Easton, MA

Who is your favorite to win the cup right now?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:25 PM)

I'll stick with my September pick _ San Jose

david (maryland)

congrulation on being a father. Which teams must make a trade to make the playoffs?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:26 PM)

David, thanks. I would say Vancouver. Something's not right and the Canucks need a shake-up.

Rob H (New Jersey)

Pierre, Whats up with Pando are we trading him for some defense and do you think weekes is going to be traded when marty comes back. I never got a chance to wish you luck on ESPN your an awesome hockey writer your a great addition.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:27 PM)

Rob, thank you. I have no update on Jay, sorry, but I think Weekes will be waived and then if unclaimed will be sent down to the AHL once Marty returns

Drew (Pittsburgh)

Any truth to the story in the Toronto Sun about either Malkin or Staal being traded to save money?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:29 PM)

I think eventually, whether that's this summer or later on... The Penguins have to decide on either Malkin or Staal to stay with Crosby. No sense in a cap world to have three No. 1 centers _ that's overkill and leaves a team weaker in too many other areas. I lean more towrads Staal beeing eventually moved.

Philip (Philly)

First off, how's being a dad going so far? Second, any trade rumors about the Flyers I should keep an eye on?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:30 PM)

Daddy-hood has been a blast despite the lack of sleep ! As for the Flyers, I know they love Bouwmeester but they'll be among a long line of suitors there.... But I think adding a top-four type blue-liner is what they covet

Brad (Chicago, IL)

Granted, I see them far more than most players in the league, but it seems as if the Blackhawks defensive combination of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are among the best duos in the league. Who are some of the best defensive tandems in the league in your opinion?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:33 PM)

They're pretty darn impressive Brad, no question. But I think right now Wideman-Chara is hard to beat although I guess they don't always play together... Markov/Komisrek in Montreal is also tough to beat and any combo of Detroit's top four

Bruce (Detroit)

Hey Pierre - Holland does it again. Do you think that Hossa will look at all the factors around him now and possibly take a hometown discount like Zet to continue playing here in Detroit? He seems to have settled in very well.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:34 PM)

Bruce, that will be fascinating to watch. The plan right now for Holland is to try and sign either Franzen or Hossa and then wait until June to figure out the salary cap number for next season before deciding whether he can complete the hat trick.... No one knows what Hossa will do because he himself hasn't decided yet

Rick (San Diego, CA)

What do you think the Ducks will do before the Trading deadline? I am hoping that they decide that this year is worth making a run and not the year to trade off their players like Pronger, etc. Do you see Niedermeyer and Selane returning for one more year? Congrats and your life has changed forever with the birth of your daughter. Much Joy to you!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:36 PM)

Rick, thanks for wishes. Great question by the way, it's one that GM Bob Murray is still asking himself as we speak. He told me he's taking a long look at how his team performs right now before deciding whether or not it's time to turn the page. I think if they win a bunch of games in the next three weeks he'll hang with this core but if they can't win enough games and drop down the standings he may look at blowing it up... very interesting time in Anaheim right now

Stephen (Pittsburgh, PA)

I have been a die hard Pens fan for quite some time, and after going so far last year and being so low this year i am clueless... If you can answer one or all of these questions: 1) What is therriens status, it seems like if this keeps up for another few games he will be gone. If so, who will be a good replacement? John Torteralla? 2) With the trade deadline roughly a month away, what can this team do, if so who will they get rid of? I say maybe make a move for ilia and get rid of a defender or something? Thanks for your time, Steve

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:38 PM)

Stephen if the Penguins miss the playoffs I'd be worried for my job if I was both Ray Shero and Michel Therrien. But I think they'll both get a chance to at least finish the season... In the meantime, the Penguins have a surplus of blue-liners, especially when Gonchar returns, and Shero will try to use that to pick up a forward at the trade deadline

Jeff (Boston, MA)

With the Sabres severely depleted blue line, do they move up into the category of teams likely to make a trade before the March 4th deadline, or possibly even take a run at Bouwmeester?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

Jeff, Numminen returns tonight for the Sabres and Spacek and Sekera may both return Friday or Saturday... so the blue-line is getting healthier.. but i still think the Sabres will look hard at trying to add an offensive-type blue-liner

Scott (DC)

The question all season for the Caps has been whether or not they can get consistent goaltending. Well since Christmas, Jose Theodore has a .925 save percentage and a 2.07 GAA (this compared to a .881/3.35 before Dec. 26th). If Theo keeps playing this way, are the Caps complete enough to win the Cup?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:41 PM)

If Theodore remains consistent, the Caps have as good a shot as anyone in the East to make it to the Cup Finals

Phil (Orlando, FL)

Tampa Bay ownership/management has been a complete disaster so would it be a surprise if they traded Vincent Lecavalier? How about a straight up trade, Lecavalier for Luongo assuming Tampa Bay can sign him to an extesion?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

Phil, ownership backed off big time from the idea of trading Vinny once they saw the negative backlash from Bolts fans and sponsors.... that's not to say they won't re-visit it however... Montreal remains the best trading partner because of the Habs' cap sapce moving forward next season and the Canadiens' owner's immense desire to have Lecavalier

Dave M. Victoria BC

Hey Pierre, WOuld you please give my San jose Sharks some love. They are having a ridiculous year!!...Off the tonic really.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

Well Dave, I wrote a 2,000-word piece on them around Christmas time and also picked them to win the Cup in September. You want me to wash their cars, too?

Figgs (NYC)

Pierre, when is it going to be time to fire Glen Sather? Since becoming GM the team missed the playoffs his first 4 years and hasn't gotten further then the second round in each of the last 3 seasons. I think it's safe to say too that you can add the contracts of Gomez, Redden and Drury to the plethora of awful player acquisitions along with Bure, Lindros and Holik. Your thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)

Who knows what they're thinking up at MSG headquarters Figgs but if it were me _ yes I would look for new leadership in the front office. Mind you, I think Tom Renney is a great head coach.

rob (Virginia)

It is interesting to see the Washington Post starting to cover the Caps more than ever now that they have caught fire and built off of last years run. They are fun to watch and the city has finally caught on to the excitement hockey can bring. How are other markets responding this year to the NHL's rise? Any chance we see the NBA fall behind the NHL like the mid 90's?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:47 PM)

Great question Rob. The answer depends on where you visit. Washington, Chicago and Boston are the spots where the sport has really risen again.... But then there's other places like Long Island and Nashvile where it's not very promising at all... Many of the U.S. markets are fickle, the only that sells is winning.

Jamie T (Wichita, KS)

Any 2nd line centers the Hawks will target before the deadline?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:49 PM)

Your timing is good Jamie because I just got off the phone with Hawks GM Dale Tallon just an hour ago. He's in Sweden scouting. He said if he makes any moves it's with the big picture in mind, he's not goin to mortgage the future for a rental player.... I think if there's a fit for a center that doesn't cost too much he'll do it

King (Howell, NJ)

Pierre, is there anyone besides Bouwmeester that you think the Devils could add that would give them some scoring punch from the blue line?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:51 PM)

Tomas kaberle if Burke decides to move him.

Patrick (Braintree, MA)

Who would win a fight? Milan Lucic or Georges Laraque?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

Laraque. One punch. But Lucic is a great player. Laraque is a relic.

Haines (Stamford, CT)

Any chance the Rangers can just raise a banner to the rafters that says "1994" just to be done with it?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:54 PM)

LOL..... have they honored the trainers from that year yet?

Freddy (Eagan, MN)

Do you think the Wild will re-sign Niklas Backstrom or do you think they will let him go via trade or as a FA after the season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:55 PM)

Freddy, I think they'll get him re-signed. He's comfortable there. Obviously funny things can happen in contract talks and they can fall apart but that's my belief at this point

Tfaust (NYC)

Who would win in a fight LeBrun or Melrose?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:56 PM)

Melrose would probably kill me. Although I had a pretty mean mullet in my hockey laying days in the late 1980s. Mind you, I could probably handle him if I sat on him.

Tom ( Amherst, MA )

I have heard the rumors surrounding Keith Tkachuk and the Bruins, but do you think that move will actually happen. And if it doesn't who (if anyone) will the Bs commit to?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:57 PM)

One thing to remember with Tkachuk is that he has a no-trade clause which means he controls his future. Given where he grew up, I would think playing for Boston would definitely interest him. But other teams will also come calling. He'll have an interesting decision to make.

Mike(San Diego)

As a die hard Blues fan, if you would've told me in 2006 that in 3 years Dennis Wideman would be half of one of the top defensive pairings in hockey, I would've driven you to the looney bin. Crazy how things can change.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:58 PM)

But on the other hand, that's a trade that's helped both teams Mike. Brad Boyes is an excellent finisher and those guys dont' grow on trees either.

Don (Ottawa, ON)

Pierre, you mentioned Montreal's cap space moving forward, assuming they don't trade for Vinny, which UFAs do you see them retaining?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:59 PM)

I think they'll re-sign Komisarek for sure, then maybe Koivu and Tanguay.... Kovalev will depend if he gets his had out of his derriere over the next few months....

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:00 PM)

Puck heads, I want to apologize, more than 100 questions I don't have time to get to as my hour is up. I'm to the HSBC Arena here in Buffalo for tonight's game. Love your questions guys, keep them coming. Until next week