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June 23, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:01 PM)

Hey puck heads, greetings from the Palms in Las Vegas where I'm working the NHL Awards tonight. Let's go !

david (maryland)

which blackhawks such as versteeg, ladd, and byfuglien will likely be traded at this weeks nhl draft?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:04 PM)

Well David, even the Hawks don't know that at this point. All three of those players are certainly being shopped, that much I know. But three NHL GMs I spoke with yesterday said the Hawks are asking too much right now. So we'll see... Once the price comes down, there will be movement

Josh (Nashville)

Hi Pierre, can you please explain the RFA process? Do teams often try to "poach" other teams RFA's, or is it a generally frowned upon practice? I know there was a big hubbaloo over Dustin Penner a few years back, but was that because Edmonton overpaid, or just the fact that they signed the Ducks RFA? Thanks!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:08 PM)

Josh, it's pretty rare although it's become a little more common since the lockout five years ago under this CBA. Edmonton got heavily criticized for slapping offer sheets on both Thomas Vanek and then Dustin Penner in the summer of 2007. But since then, there have been others, including Vancouver giving David Backes an offer sheet I think in 2008. The reason it's no common is that the team that owns the player's rights has seven days to match the offer. So as the other team, you really have to be sure it's worth the aggravation. But for example with Chicago this summer, the Hawks would be prime target in terms of Hlarmasson... can they match???

JimyC (Southgate, MI)

If guys like Gilmour and Nieuwendyk don't make it into the Hall this year with one other guy, what is going to make next year or the year after any better for them ? Nothing will change. These guys are Hall of Famers and they deserve to be voted in !! Time to change the voting process !!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:19 PM)

sorry guys, had to take a call. Busy time !JimyC, the HHOF decisions in the men's player category yesterday were a complete disgrace to hockey. I'm so upset I can barely speak. Nieuwendyk should have been a first-year automatic choice. And then guys like Gilmour and Bure and Andreychuck, among others, should finally get in before there's too much of a back log.There are some smart men on the selection committee but the process is severely flawed. You need 14 of 18 votes from the committee and there's too much vote-splitting and guys bank on one player... long story and complicated but the process doesn't work and needs to be fixed

John (St. Louis)

The Blues landed what they hope to be their goalie of the future in Halak. I love the move, but isn't the more pressing need scoring? What do you see them doing to fill that need?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:20 PM)

John, had a long chat with Doug Armstong a few weeks ago and the Blues' belief is taht this is the year a lot of their young core forwards step up...

Michael (Toronto)

Pierre, what are the Leafs going to do? Savard for Kaberle? Can we get Versteeg/Sharp/Ladd or Buffy from Chicago? Kovulchuk - is there a slight chance? We could be losing a franchise player this draft, and with another terrible performance in 10-11' we could lose another star, and rebuild Boston for them...

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:23 PM)

Spoke with Burke today who vehemently denied all the Boston trade rumors. Said it was total crap. So forget that.He will try to move Kaberle this week but won't give him away. Wants a top-six forward

Pete (Chevy Chase, MD)

All of the talk in DC is that we need a legit 2nd line center and shutdown defenceman but there aren't many FAs out there with Cup experience (something I think the Caps need more then anything). Any suggestions on players GMGM should target with Cup experience even if they don't fill one of the above 2 positions?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:28 PM)

My colleague Tarek El-Bashir of the Wasington Post is sitting near me here in the media work room at the Palms and he says the Caps will NOT be in on Volchenkov. He believes they may go after Michalek from Coyotes who's UFA. He also thinks Matt Cullen could be cheap fit at center. My take: Michalek will be a popular target. Ottawa likes him a lot, both brothers would like to play together...

Brandon Johansen (Fresno, CA) [via mobile]

What do you think of San Jose not bringing Evgeni Nabokov back? Do you think Thomas Greiss will be ready, or will the Sharks need to find a veteran like Marty Turco or Michael Leighton?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:31 PM)

Not surprised at all. If you had followed my blogs the last few weeks I had predicted Nabby would be the odd man out there. I think they like Greiss a lot but will look at what's out there in free agency and see if there's a cheap addition as well. Turco is a good choice, as well as Dan Ellis... But they don't want to spend a lot of money there

Sam (Pittsburgh)

Who SHOULD win in Las Vegas tonight? Who will win tonight?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

Who I think will win:Hart _ SedinNorris _ KeithVezina _ MillerSelke _ DatsyukJack Adams _ Tippett

Saul (New York)

Hey Pierre! How about the Wizard heading to Pittsburgh? Good fit? How much $ and how many years is he looking for?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:41 PM)

I think he's a guy the Pens will look at but cap space always an issue with Pitt. The problem is not $$$$ with Whitney but rather term because he's 38...

Andrew (Ohio)

Is Trailer Park Boys' the best Canadian tv show ever?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

Well no, Hockey Night In Canada is :)

Gary (West Virginia)

Lots of activity yesterday...not much today. What are a couple deals going to get done before the draft Friday?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

yes there will move more trades between now and Friday night. Guaranteed.

Joe (Chicago)

Who do you see leaving the Blackhawks?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

Byfuglien, Versteeg and Ladd all in play

Mark (San Jose, CA)

Hello Pierre, what's going on with Nikita Filatov? I've been excited to see him play ever since he was drafted and I'm not even a Blue Jackets fan. Will he be coming back from Russia?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

Mark, I texted Jackets GM Scott Howson and passed on your question to him. His answer was: ''yes."

Mike (Rutland, VT)

Pierre,What are the latest Bruin trade rumors? Of those rumors, which one(s) do you see actually happening? Thanks for your time and thoughts.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

Tim Thomas being heavily, heavily shopped

Luke (PA)

Who wins the Hart? Who did you vote for? Also, rumors are swirling about Gonchar to Sharks. What do you think the Penguins could get? Maybe the rights to Marleau? Or am I dreaming?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:46 PM)

My Hart ballot went as follows:1. Henrik Sedin2. Sidney Crosby3. Alex Ovechkin4. Ryan Miller5. Ilya BryzgalovRegarding Marleau in Pitt: no chance. He'll be playing in San Jose or LA next season

Jason (LA)

what moves do you expect the kings to make this offseason?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:49 PM)

Kings will take a run at Kovalchuk on July 1 but who knows if they offer enough... they won't offer a contract that cripples them.... They also like Marleau a lot if he doesn't re-sign in San Jose but can't afford both _ either Kovalchuk or Marleau...

Adam (Detroit)

Burnside was asked the same question a few days ago - If each team started out with a blank roster, and the league had an All-Player Draft, who would be the first 5 players to be selected?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:50 PM)

1. Crosby2. Ovechkin3. Toews4. Doughty5. Keith

Jared (Grand Rapids)

Little early, but who makes it to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:51 PM)

My early pick which I will likely change 10 times between now and September: Washington-LA

Steve (Exton)

Hey Pierre, Today was dead compared to yesterday in terms of activity. Is everyone waiting for the draft or what?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:52 PM)

No, just recovering from a late night in Vegas :)

James (Minnesota)

I was hoping the Wild would go after the 2 Kostitsyn bros & Nikolai Zherdev . What are the chances that happens ?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

Don't you want the Wild to win hockey games?

Loup (DC)

Pierre my friend, what do you make of the Coyotes' offseason thus far? Maloney has made some great contracts (Aucoin, Pyatt, Upshall) in the last few days. The big question is does he keep Michalek or Lombardi, because he likely can not pay both. If you are in his shoes, what do you do, give Michalek the 3.5-4.5 he will command on the free market or Lombardi the 2.5-3.5? Also, with two first rounders, any chance Phoenix tries to move up a few spots to take a particular player? I don't think Alexander Burmistrov will quite fall to the 13th pick and he looks like the center Phoenix desperately needs.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:54 PM)

You probasbly saw my Coyotes blog last week. I chatted with Maloney for it. He's got a tight budget and can't afford to bring back everyone. So it's a game of musical chairs. Sign up before they run out of money !

Joe (Miami)

Did the Panthers get enough for Horton? Will they add scorers in free agency?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:57 PM)

yes I thinks so. Getting the 15th overall pick on top of Wideman was great value.

Liam Hart (Haverford pa)

You think we get a Datsyuk speech tonight? Oh how I hope we do.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:57 PM)

Over under is 16 seconds ;)

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:58 PM)

OK guys, gotta run, lots of phone calls to make ! Make sure to catch all our coverage from Vegas and LA on