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June 3, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:01 PM)

Greetings from the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. Let's talk puck

Joe P. (Bangkok, Thailand)

Antti Niemi has been playing very well for most of the playoffs this year. Hard to believe a guy plucked out of the Finnish League can come over here and be a viable NHL goaltender for his whole career. What say you?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:02 PM)

Tim Thomas was also plucked from Finnish League :)But Niemi is a great story. Hard to believe on the eve of the season last October that the Hawks almost kept Corey Crawford over him. But GM Stan Bowman made the right call in rolling the dice on Niemi instead

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Has there been any Suspensions Yet for ON-Ice Altercations in the 2009-2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs since they are at Game 3 of the Finals?

Josh S. (Philly)

What has happened to mike richards this series? after being so good in the previous ones, he seems to have disappearing except for taking dumb penalties

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:03 PM)

NO

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:04 PM)

Regarding Mike Richards, he has been a disappointment so far, I think he's playing better than his linemates, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne, who have both really struggled. But credit Dave Bolland's line. Bolland did it to Joe Thornton and the Sedin twins and now Richards

david (maryland)

if the blackhawks can move huet to the minor for next season what other blackhawks are likely to be traded this offseason?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:08 PM)

Everyone wants to know the answer to that question but the reality is that Hawks front office hasn't turned its attention to that yet. So it's pure speculation on our part. But I would guess guys like Versteeg or Sharp would be candidates. They are terrific players, guys that are popular in the room, but the Hawks will be forced to do some serioues cap juggling. Right now they have 14 players signed for nexdt season at $57 million, Cap will be around $59 million. PLlus Niemi, Ladd and Hjalmarsson are RFAs.

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Pierre, what was your immediate reaction upon seeing the NHL's new "There are no words" commercial during the Finals. I am not going to say my eyes welled up, but I am not going to deny it either (especially after seeing Teemu Selanne). Who is the '90 Oilers player in the final clip...Bill Ranford?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlHgRl2iHaA

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:08 PM)

awesome. love that ad. It says it all about how much that silver mug means to these players who sacrifice it all in the pursuit of it

Jack (C-ville)

Who do you see being a surprise team next year?

Philadelphia, Pa [via mobile]

Will the flyers keep goalie michael leighton or get one in free agency this offseason?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:09 PM)

Tough to say without all the off-season transactions yet... but I believe the Kings could be Cup contenders

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:10 PM)

Was asked about Leighton, Flyers do want to keep him but wont overspend on him

Pucky the Whale (Hartford, CT)

Pierre, is there any chance Baldwin's 10-day outdoor hockey festival in Hartford will have any affect whatsoever on helping bring the Whale back to the NHL? Just for you I will request that he blares the Brass Bonanza from a PA system on top of city hall on a continuous loop for the entire 10 days.

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:11 PM)

haha, I would love to see a team back in Hartford but I can tell you that when I talk to league officials, Winnipeg and Quebec City are deemed the front-runners

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:11 PM)

haha, I would love to see a team back in Hartford but I can tell you that when I talk to league officials, Winnipeg and Quebec City are deemed the front-runners

Josh S. (Philly)

Do you think the Flyers deserved to win last night? or do you think they just got lucky with a couple pucks bouncing the right way?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:14 PM)

I thought the Flyers totally deserved to win. The Hawks, who I picked to win the series, I feel are lucky to be ahead 2-1 in the Cup finals given their special teams brutality through three games. Hawks need to get PP and PK in order ASAP

Claude philly [via mobile]

I rule overtime pierre

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:14 PM)

Claude Giroux of my hometown of Hearst, Northern Ontario

Brad (Philadelphia,Pa)

Hey Pierre... love your work but certainly hope ur prediction chicago wins the Cup is wrong. Jeff Carter seems to be a major liability offensively and defensively so far in this series. Is his injury worst than expected? Your thoughts??

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:16 PM)

Thanks Brad. Yeah Carter has not been effective at all. I don't think he's even close to 100 per cent, he's gutting it out and deserves credit for that. When I see him off the ice he walks with a bit of a limp. He's not fully fit

Sean (Orange County)

What's the latest regarding Scott Neidermayer. Retiring or returning to play with the Ducks next year? It's been too quiet.

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:16 PM)

Thanks Brad. Yeah Carter has not been effective at all. I don't think he's even close to 100 per cent, he's gutting it out and deserves credit for that. When I see him off the ice he walks with a bit of a limp. He's not fully fit

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:18 PM)

Sean, spoke with Niedermayer's agent on Monday night, he was at Game 2 of the Cup finals. Kevin Epp, the agent, said Scott was still undecided as of then. They hope to make a decision before the draft for the Ducks

Steve (Atlanta)

What is your latest series prediction?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:18 PM)

Not allowed to change my mind, that's cheating ! I said Hawks in 6 because I respected the Flyers to make it a series and I won't change my mind. Great series we have.

Will (Colorado)

What do you think the Avs should/will do this off season? Wait for all the rising stars to sign them to new longer, bigger contracts, or try and pick up a big name at least for a couple years?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:19 PM)

I would stay young, stay with the growth curve, don't try to jump a step with band-aid signings.

Mike (Philadelphia, PA)

How financially strapped are the Flyers this offseason? It doesnt appear that they are losing much due to UFA except maybe Asham Leighton and Emery (Leighton I def. see them bringing back) Any chance they unload a Jeff Carter now that Giroux is establishing himself and Leino seems like he might be a potential star? Also is it me or is Chicago's playoff beards not even close to the Flyers...?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:22 PM)

The cap goes to $59 million (around there) so that's extra $2 million to play with, don't discount that. Holmgren has told me repeatedly this season that he would never, ever, trade Carter. I take him to his word there. I think despite a great playoffs, Hartnell could be a candidate.... but that's just a guess

Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbor)

Hey Pierre! Wondering what you would think of Matt Lombardi on my wing next year and if we're bringing back Billy G?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:23 PM)

Lombardi is a natural center so I don't think that's a great fit...

Milan Jurcina (Slovakai)

Where am I headed this summer, Pierre?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:23 PM)

Not anywhere on July 1.... :) you may have to wait for the second or third wave of free agency

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:23 PM)

Folks, I have to go shoot an ESPN video with Burnside. Back in 15 mins. Hang tight !

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:23 PM)

Not anywhere on July 1.... :) you may have to wait for the second or third wave of free agency

Mikko (Atlanta, GA)

How real KHL league for Kovalchuk and Frolov?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:39 PM)

I'm back.Kovalchuk will get more money offered to him by the KHL, that I'm sure about. But will he take less to stay in the best league in the world? We'll find out.As for Frolov, I've also heard the KHL will take a run at him and I don't think with the Kings will re-sign him. But I believe he likes the North American lifestyel and will stay put

Tony (Charlotte, NC)

Pierre, after seeing all of the composite stick implosions at innoportune times lately coupled with the seemingly automatic slashing penalties when one of them breaks, how soon before we see players turn back to wooden sticks?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:40 PM)

I agree.. bothers me too... but I spoke to Brian Boucher the other day that he couldn't believe how much velocity players picked up when those new sticks came out and because of that, the players will never give that up

Steve (Pierre)

First off, great series between the flyers and hawks two fun teams. My question isn't about that though.As a penguins fan i'm interested to see what happens this off-season with free agency. If you look at gonchar (35 now or something) he just can't play defensively anymore. He just seems to have lost it. So is he worth resigning JUST for his power-play ability? I think not, why not go after someone like Anton Volchenkov or Andy Sutton? We already have tanger and gogo, why not bring in some REAL defense now?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:42 PM)

Gonchar is still the best transition game defenseman on the team. Penguins need to get the puck up to Crosby and Malkin. I would try to sign him but only for one season. Right now Gonchar camnp wants two years. Also, Volchenkov will get way more money than he's worth because it's a weak free-agent year. He's in a position of strength and whichever teams gets him July 1 will pay through the nose for a quality defensive defenseman, but not a two-way blue-liner

Christopher (Mesa, AZ)

Was it just me or did the Blackhawks did not agressively forecheck and kind of sat back and let Philly dictate the play. Not the kind of play that I have seen from Chicago all playoffs. How can they get the mojo back?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:45 PM)

You are correct. One thing they really need to do is force Leighton to make second and third saves. They didn't get to the net enough last night to create traffic in front of him.

Mike (Allentown, PA)

I was glad to hear that Game 2 was the highest rate cup final ever...I am really hoping Hockey returns to the American Fans like it was before the lockout...do you think games 4-7 (if nec) will continue to be 1 goal games?

Coug (SS Universe)

Oy vey! Oy vey! Oy vey! After the sweep by the 'Hawks in the conference finals, where do you see the Sharks going in terms of their big names? What do you think is Nabby's future in San Jose? He is often so robotic between the pipes - like he's made of mechanical parts! Can somebody please give me an Oy Vey??!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:46 PM)

Yup, this is a close series all the way

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:46 PM)

I believe the Sharks try to keep Marleau but say goodbye to Nabby... we'll see

Mike (Allentown, PA)

As a Flyers fan i have to admit...Duncan Keith is a monster...he is playing like Jonathan Toewes played in all the other series. Anything we can do to slow him down?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:47 PM)

Hammer him hard on the forecheck. But nevertheless, he's a monster

sergei (madison, wi)

Hey Pierre, here is one for you. Since Lidstrom is back with the Wings and his only requirement has been that the team stay competitive I have a feeling that Mr. Holland is planning something big. I am thinking Kovalchuk, what do you think?P.S. Does Lidstrom hold the record for most concecutive playoff apprearances and is he the only one to never miss it in his career?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:48 PM)

Don't think so. Holland told me last weekend that he'll use remaining cap space to try and re-sign Bertuzzi and Holmstrom

Tom (Philly)

Pierre, You were raving over the speed in the Western Conference Finals compared to that of the Eastern finals..are you willing to admit the Flyers can keep up with the Hawks in terms of speed?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:49 PM)

Definitely, it's funny because even the Flyers players were telling me how fast the Hawks were after Game 1 and their concern about keeping up with them but they've surprised even themselves by doing just that

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:49 PM)

Definitely, it's funny because even the Flyers players were telling me how fast the Hawks were after Game 1 and their concern about keeping up with them but they've surprised even themselves by doing just that

Kevin (Illinois)

When are the refs going to start calling ANY of Pronger's slashes and cross-checks?? The guy is worse than Ogilthrope with his stick out there... just brutal.

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:51 PM)

haha, the Hawks players were talking about just that today... Quenneville will talk about it to the series supervisor

Kris (San Jose)

Do you think Pronger is making a impact on the hawks, playing with their minds?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:51 PM)

Totally. No question. Shut down Buff so far. He did it to Spezza and Heatley in 2007 Cup finals

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:52 PM)

Totally. No question. Shut down Buff so far. He did it to Spezza and Heatley in 2007 Cup finals

joey (los angeles)

what has happened to the Hawks pk, it was so good in the first 3 rounds. also what do they have to do to get the power play going?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:52 PM)

FLyers PP been great all year long, Hawks PK have met its match. As for the PP, Keith told me last night they need to get more shots through and keep PP simnpler, not fancy stuff

Kyle (Orlando)

This might seem a silly question, but where has JVR been for the Flyers in this series, he was really playing well in the Boston and Montreal series, did I miss something?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:53 PM)

Cup finals _ young players often freeze up first time around and that was certainly the case for him...

Mike (Philly)

Aside from the Blackhawks...is there a better young core than the Flyers? With Richards, Giroux, JVR, Leino, Coburn, Parent...is this team built to stay?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:55 PM)

Yup, very impressive young core, no question.I guess you'd have to look at LA as well, DOughty, Johnson, Brown, Simmponds, Braydon Schenn coming ...

Paul (Boston)

Hi Pierre ... What are your thoughts on the officiating so far, I have to admit I am having a hard time figuring out what will and won't be called.

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:56 PM)

They letting a lot go... I caught three hooks that should have been called last night. On the other hand, they're letting two great teams go aat it... compelling stuff

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:56 PM)

OK folks, enjoy the rest of the Cup finals.