Since I had to leave a few minutes early last week, let's get it going a few minutes early today !
What do you think of Shanahan's work with the All Star game? Revitalizing, or is it going to more of the same?
Listen, I think most people know that I'm on record for many years saying the all-star game should be cancelled altogether. Having said that, since that's not an option Shanny had when presented with the challenge of making this better, I think he did a terrific job. The captains picking the teams will be fun to watch for fans.
Hi Pierre! Which Canadian team has the best chance of winning the cup? Also, why is Toews name pronounced Tays rather than Toes? Just wondering. Thanks!
Rachel, Vancouver Canucks _ not even close. They're the best Canadian team.As for Toews, no clue. There's also a prominent politician in Winnipeg (Toews' hometown) by same last name and pronunciation
What Happens if a NHL Player hits an Opposing Player in the Head with his Head Gear?
Well if it's from the blindside, it's a penalty under new rule 48.otherwise it's roughing
Pierre, is Dan Bylsma now being exposed as the Penguins coach? There was a post about this in your rant column, but their power play is indeed depressingly awful. And the way he has handled the goaltending situation (saying Fleury is still #1 when he is clearly struggling then starting Johnson back-to-back nights and pulling Fleury after two goals in Phoenix) can be considered "botched" at best. I understand you can't fire a guy right after he wins a Cup, but is it time for Ray Shero to re-evaluate things here.
Jesse, welcome back.It's a fair question. But because he did win a Stanley Cup, I always give those guys way, way more leeway. It's not like they're last in the conference. Let's give this more time.
Pierre, do you know if there are any openings in the CFL? Maybe I could be next in line for the Devils job that should be open any day now....
Wade, while I appreciate last season's solid run, including those back-to-back wins over the Eagles, may I just say as a dieheard Cowboys fan: Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Pierre, did you see my sick rip of a goal last night? Should Stamkos be worried about the Rocket Richard race?
How you still have a job in this league is beyond me.
Pierre, do you have any new shorts I could borrow after my play on the Boogaard goal last night? Thank god we won or I would be in the chateau bow bow today....
As they said in Slap Shot, you should ''feel shame."
Why does everyone think that Babcock is a good coach? His team allows goals in the first minute of the game, they allow goals in the last minute, they allow short handed goals, and then, they go in the shootout where Howard manages to stop FIVE shooters and still lose!!! This drives me insane! This is a great team, their success has nothing to do with Babcock's coaching. Even Dave Lewis got them to the playoffs for crying out loud.
Oh, I don't know.... World junior gold in 1997, men's world championship gold in 2004, Stanley Cup in 2008, Olympic gold in 2010.No you're right, he has no clue what he's doing.
Will I sign an decent extension with the Kings anytime soon?
Well I do know Dean Lombardi has spent the last few weeks working up different contract models for all his upcoming free agents, including you and Drew Doughty.You should be hearing from him soon enough
Do you think the Pens are off to a bad start because of Staalsy's injury and Geno's lack of plays? Geno lit the lamp in Phoenix so was that the turning point for the team with that much talent to start becoming leaders on the board?
MAF and Malkin are main culprits but yes, big, strong Staal sorely missed
Pierre, what can you say about Teemu Selanna, in no way does he look like a 40 year old, how do you see the Ducks finishing in the West?
If you mean Selanne, as opposed to Selanna :), then yes, the man looks re-born. Interesting to see the Ducks respond like they have after their GM called them out two weeks ago. Impressive
Are the Stars for real this year, or are they just getting our hopes up?
I had them battling on the bubble for 7-8th and they've still got a shot at that for sure
With JS calling out his teammates in Toronto, what do you think will happen? I don't think they have enough secondary scoring and I feel there defensemen don't work well together. I'm hoping they implode so my Bruins will have another high pick this year
Good for Giggy, I love that from veteran players. THey also held a players-only meeting this morning in Sunrise, Fla., by the way. Secondary scoring? What about primary scoring !!!!
How much better do you think Mike Green has become defensively in his own zone?
So far this season this is the best I've ever seen him play defenseively. Ever. Good for him.
Today on Twitter you tweeted, "If Nick Lidstrom (should he play) is not chosen as one of the all-star captains, I will cover the all-star game in my underwear." Can we expect you in boxers or briefs? Perhaps an ESPN logo affixed?
I was kidding, of course, simply stating my hope that the young all-stars will show respect and vote Lidstrom one of the two captains.
I read David Poile's quote regarding the CBA in your blog. How realistic is the cap being lowered to $48-$50 million in the next CBA? If that happens,would a compliance buy-out period take place following the ratification of the new CBA?Fans don't like to talk about the CBA but it will expire in 22 months. Thank you.
Nick, who knows !One hot rumor is that owners/league will try to lower players' current share of HRR pie from 57 percent to 50 percent in next CBA (which would lower cap).... players/Donald Fehr will obviously fight that... time will tell
I know the Rangers lost a tough game to the Caps yesterday, but resiliency does build character for the long season, does it? At least I hope so:)
As i wrote last week on the Rangers, Jason, win or lose I like the fact they're doing this mostly with homegrown players. It's a change of philosphy from the pre-cap spending ways and Rangers fans will be better for it in the long term.
Howdy Pierre, I am debating on whether I want should trade Brad Richards? I'm not sure what I could get in return for him. Oh and how do you feel on me making the HHOF next year?
You're not even thinking about trading Brad unless you're out of a playoff spot the morning of Feb. 28.As for HHOF, you should have been selected last June and it's a crying shame you weren't. Hopefully next June that will be rectified.
My All Star Game:4 Players Voted as Capitans by the Public. 36 other skaters and 4 goailes picked by NHL players and Coaches. Four Capitains Pick four teams totaling 10 skaters and 1 Goalie.3 Game Tourney all games = 20 minutes. All include 4min of PP Each . Ties = Shootout.Champions win Cars.
Pete, I take it you had the day off today
What's your solution for the OT/SO 'problem' the GM's have been discussing? Extend the OT period? 3-on-3? 3 points for a regulation win?
Hello from England !Holland's idea is this: four on four for 4 min, three on three for 4 min; so OT expands from 5 min to 8 min. This would likely end more games before shootout.I like it
What's your prediction for the Bruins and Pens game tonight? What will the score be?
Yes that's ESPN.com's Game of the Week. We have live blog by the way starting at 6:45 p.m. ET, join us ! Prediction: Pens 2, Bruins 1, SO
Pierre, what is your opinion on Joel Quenneville's line movements in Chicago, splitting up Keith and Seabrook while putting Kane and Hossa on the same line? Is this just temporary until the Hawks start playing better or will he keep it that way if it works out well?PS Sorry if I posted this earlier but its not showing up for me on the chat.
Mike, you've watched the Q long enough now to know that he changes line combos like I change underwear. Every day !
Pierre, what are your thoughts on the Caps playing a "tighter" defensive game this year? They've been excellent in 1-goal games, and seem to be able to button up defensively when it matters most (minus two bad periods against Toronto and Boston).
Ben, agreed. Listen, they should know by now that after three frustrating playoff years, playoff hockey is won with a strong two-way game. The Blackhawks figured that out last spring, believe me. So far the Caps have impressed me in how they're committed to both ends of the ice _ led by Mike Green
Sorry on phone with a GM. Back in a second
Considering how well the Rangers have been playing without a few key players (Dubinsky is tied for 2nd in goal scoring? Really???), how dangerous will they be once they come back?
Well that's a very interesting question. Said an NHL scout to me last week regarding the Rangers, ''They're playing better as a team without those guys."Food for thought
Pierre,One rule that I would like to see changed would be no more hand passes in the defensive zone. It gets so frustrating watching a team work circles around a team on a cycle, only to have the defender drop to his knees and bat the puck with his hands.
Interesting. Never thought of that. But a good point
Kings are looking good so far...what could you see being their undoing, if anything?
Injuries _ which have started... hopefully they won't have too many
Pierre, I have a rule related question. It is a penalty to high stick an opponent even if it is unintentional, is it a penalty if you high stick your teammate? If it is not why?
Correct, only a penalty if you do it to the opponent. Why it's not a penalty if you do it to your teammate? Do you think coaches would want that? They'd go berserk
Will Halak ever settle down or is he the real deal?
He's the real deal. And so is Carey Price. Funny how that all worked out for both teams.
What are the odds of bringing the Hartford Whalers back? Word is NHL is generating a lot of revenue from sales of merchandise
a million to one
While I agree Van City is the best CDN team, Ottawa is much better than the credit they get. I think it may be closer than you think...if only they could play one another some time soon so we could get an idea...hmm
haha, like Saturday night here in Toronto ! (On Hockey Night In Canada, of course)
I like the change to the All-Star game... Who do you think the Captains SHOULD be? Hope it's not another case of seeing Crosby and Ovechkin crammed down our throats again. Another question, how does this fix the REAL problem that players have no incentive to play hard?
I'd like Nick Lidstrom for sure to be one of them. Otherwise it's an insult to one of the greatest players ever to play the game. To me the two most senior all-stars should be captain
Are the Kings for real? I see high they are in the standings right now, and I just have to question if they actually are this good or if they are just hot.
Pierre, to piggyback on my question above...what do you blame for the absolutely brutal state of the Pens power play?....bad coaching (Bylsma trying play Goligoski as a "rover" like Niedermayer did in Anaheim...which has failed), the loss of Gonchar, the lack of power forward to play in front of the net (since Malone and to a lesser extent Guerin left), the lack of a big bomber from the point that can actually get shots on net, or is this whole thing as simple as Sid and Geno are both left handed shots that want to play the same position on the right boards and Crosby needs to be told to move down low to defer to Geno's one-timer (again...see bad coaching).....or is this somehow Marc-Andre Fleury's fault too?
loss on Gonch is huge
Whats Up Pierre, is there any hope that Marc-Andre Fleury can regain his winning form and it you think Malkin can find his scoring touch and why are pp is so bad!
Spoke with Ray Shero about MAF yesterday. He made a good point about believing MAF can bounce back eventually when you consider the mental toughness MAF showed in in Cup finals '08 after beling blown out in Game 5...
Pierre, what do you think about the Blues and are they legitiamte playoff and Stanley Cup contenders?
Love the Blues. Acutally planning a trip there over the next month or so to write about them in more detail. Only thing that worries me right now is overall lack of scoring.
How many teams from the Central division do you think will make the playoffs?
3 or 4
Blue Jackets vs. Blues tonight, what's the outcome?
Blues, 4-3 OT
Hi pierre, Are the Wild in a lucky streak or can they keep this up and make the playoffs? Thanks
Don't see them keeping it up
Pierre,I know hockey is the fastest game around and violent (and borderline) hits are going to happen but I think it's time that individual teams take some responsibility. That's why I believe that a team shouldn't be able to fill a roster spot when they have a player suspended. I don't think alot of coaches want to play with 17 skaters against the other team's 18 skaters...unless they're the Devils, of course!
Ok run that through the NHLPA and get back to me !
Hey Pierre, what to make of the ducks recent streak? There top d pair is looking better, and of course they are scoring goals, man the pacific is gonna be tight to the end...
One guy I really noticed in last night's game (yes I stayed up) is Tony Lydman. He's really played well for them
haha, you wish :)
With all their trouble on the blueline, how bad does that Christian Erhoff for absolutely nothing trade the Sharks made with Vancover last year look now? I know it was a salary cap dump, but boy did they dump the wrong guy. The only player on their blueline who can make a decent outlet pass (much less score) is Dan Boyle. Their transistion game is one of the worst in the league and they've gone from being a true contender to bubble team. Anyone available that they can get to help out? I'm sure the Sharks would love to offer nothing to Vancouver to get Erhoff back...
Good point Mike but at the time as you said they needed cap relief so....Still, I've been saying it since September but Sharks need to improve blue-line if hey want to get back to Final Four. Rob Blake was not replaced.
Hey Pierre, I think the captains picking the teams will be a fun way to do the all-star game too. I don't think I understand this part though, "Fans will vote for a starting team of three forwards, two defensemen and a goalie, regardless of conference.... The players will then elect two captains, who will choose sides in a fantasy draft on Jan. 28. Each team must pick three goalies, six defensemen and 23 forwards, but they can pick in any order they choose."Why not just let the fans choose the pool, and the captains pick the lineups completely from that?
Do you really think the league trusts the fans to select the right 54 players?The smart dudes at Toronto league office will select player pool after the fans select the starters
Whats your take on the Arena situation in EDM? Do you think they will find a way to make it happen? IMO the Oilers are very important to the city and its evident that Rexall needs to be replaced.
Kristian, I haven't really been following that closely. Local politics and all that... But obviously a new downtown rink is pivotal for Edmonton.
I love Nick Lidstrom and all but how is he in the race for the Hart trophy? Norris for sure, but Hart?
I like to mix it up :)
With Semin's and the Caps good start, what are the odds of trading him sometime during the season?
Funny you should ask. Spoke to a source today that said the agent and the team may talk new deal come the New Year although that doesn't mean they'll find common ground...
Do you think I will really be traded or will I re-sign with the Blues again? I think I have the opportunity to be the future captain of this club.
There is no chance you will be traded
I appreciate the sarcasm, but you missed my point. The Red Wings were an awesome team in 2008, so was team Canada these past Olympics. They would have won with Pierry LeBrun coaching. I also was mentioning problems that a great coach would not have.
I know you were. Just don't agree. I think Babcock rocks.
Pierre, Do you think the NHL should have some restrictions on the players use of social media besides no Tweeting during practices or games? Is Twitter good for hockey?
I think twitter or any form of social media is great for the NHL, espy in the U.S. Gotta sell the game !
Hey Pierre, I like the new all-star set up too. Dont quite understand how the conference coaches and starting line-ups are being determined though, according to the article on espn news service... "Fans will vote for a starting team of three forwards, two defensemen and a goalie, regardless of conference." Do you have better detail on that?
Fans select the starters, captains will fill out the rest
How is Holland's 4 on 4, followed by 3 on 3 overtime solution any less of a gimmick than the shootout?
3 on 3 is more of a team thing than shootout, right?
Pierre, I think the city of Hartford has finally given in to the realization that they cannot support an NHL team and is going with the old logo for the rangers' AHL affiliate there. However, I have heard Quebec is back on the horn trying to get a team... what are their odds???
If I had to rate the contenders, I'd rate Quebec first among the cities vying for an NHL team
What are the chances of a team coming to Vegas?
that's a good question, Ron. A few years ago I heard rumblings through reliable sources that Hollywood mogul Jerry Bruckheimer talked to the league about putting a team there... but that has since cooled off...
what are the chances of ESPN and the NHL reaching an agreement on TV rights?
I'm not supposed to be talking about that stuff :)
If your starting goalie gets injured and replaced by the back up who also gets injured who plays goal?
some sucker from the fourth line
Any chance Chris Stewart can win the scoring title? the guy just knows how to put the puke in the net
Love that kid, included him in my Hart honorable mentions !
There is alot of talk about Claude Giroux this season. No doubt the guy is good, but somehow many other flyer fans think this guy should be in the MVP talk. Would you like to address why or why not he is or isnt in the debate.
Well, Claude and I are both from same hometown _ Hearst, population 5,000. Way, way up in Northern Ontario... Given my lack of objectivity I wont' answer that then, LOL
If the two most senior players are captains- who are the first four picks?
I'm not playing that game between now and Jan. 28. Sorry. Not going there.
What do you think of Giroux's deal..I think it's quite a bargain for the Flyers !
Hearst ! Salut Yves ! Yes Giroux left some money on the table but a source close to him told me he did that to help out the Flyers' cap situation and because he wants to win a Cup in Philly.
Pierre, what can Evgeni Malkin do to break out of his slump. He has been very average while making well above average money.
Pure speculation on my part, pure guess: But I wonder how much losing his best friend/mentor Gonchar has hurt him?
What do I do with Brayden Schenn? He's got 9 NHL games under his belt and I need to make a decision.
Send him back
Is Bob the goalie for real should we finally be getting our hopes up here in Philly?
He's been impressive but I don't judge any goalie until playoff time
Why does it seem like there are no NHL power forward these days who play like I (or John Leclair or Gary Roberts) did? All I see is guys like Holmstrom and Frazen who just don't quite measure up.
Pierre, I was wondering who you think is the biggest suprise of the season so far. Is it the terrible play of guys like Iginla or Kovalchuk, or is it the team carrying play of guys like Dubinsky and Halak?
Biggest surprise by far for me is how bad Buffalo has been Never would have predicted that
Some teams (Colorado, Bruins come to mind) seem to have been victimized by the "concussion bug" more than others. It is just a fluky coincidence or can something more be read into this, such as coaching philosophy or sub-par equipment?
Fluky _ unlucky
Hi Pierre- Galiardi out with a broken wrist! missing 4 of 6 starting D-men! How do the Avs stay afloat when everybody is hurt?
tough sledding for sure. Greg Sherman, pick up the phone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, the captains are hamstrung with whatever starting lineups the fans choose, but can fill in the rest? Odd. So, will we likely see guys from the west playing for the east and vice versa then????
Jeff Skinner: Early season Rookie of the Year? Can he keep it up?
he would win for sure if award was handed out today, although neuvirth not bad either
Another Yuengling, Pierre?
Why is everyone here named Claude? Why aren't you named Claude?Aaaah! It's your MIDDLE name...
My good pal Claude Breton whom I grew up with in Hearst is also called by that name. Former NHLer Claude Larose also... funny indeed.
What kind of salary is Howard looking at this summer? Any chance someone swoops in and overpays to the point Detroit can't match? Am I worrying over nothing?
I will say this: Keep in mind the Wings general philosphy is that they don't overpay for goaltending.
Let's assume for a second that I'm as unhappy as everything keeps thinking I am. What trade destinations might make the most sense for me?
The West is currently 34-16-7 against the East. Thoughts?
well duh ! I've saying for five years that West is Best !
I was thinking about converting to cage fighting, any thoughts?
don't do that
Who is the best NHL D-man who gets less than 25 points? Would you have to go with Jeff Schultz in Washington - I don't remember seeing a +50 season since the days of Scott Stevens and Vladimir Konstantinov.
Ya he's a good one. Volchenkov?
I know, too much all-star game talk :)
Wow you answered two of my questions this week! Can I go three for three? Who wins the central?? You the man!
I'm starting to hear talk that Ray Emery wants to play in the NHL again. Is that realistic? Would any GM take a chance on him given the injury, not to mention the past attitude issues?
You mean you read the column on Ray Emery i wrote two weeks ago? LOL
if bruckheimer starts a team in vegas, im going to hang myself
please don't do that.
Pierre. How are ya? What will Brad Richards demand on the open market? Do you think the Rangers will take a swing at him given their poor depth at C?
Well, Richards would be by far the only center of his caliber on the market so he'd be in high demand. Rangers need a C, yes, so does Toronto (big time!) but I would think a dozen teams would get in on that come next July 1.
Hello Pierre, Have you heard how Jordan Staal is doing since he broke his hand in that practice accident? Last I read he was off to have another surgery and I haven't read anything since. My Pens sure need him.
Shero told us yesterday at GMs meeting that he's about another month away...
Do you think Brad Richards and the Stars will be able to re-sign him or do you think he gets Traded by the Deadline? I've heard their are ownership problems in Texas and Richards will be a FA this summer. What do you think Pierre?
Har, they can't re-sign him unless they have new ownership in place....
Hey Pierre how is your Fantasy Team doing in the Toronto Media Hacks Hockey Pool?
Fourth place currently. Scott Burnside leading the way right now !
What are your thoughts on the Scott Gomez slump to start the season? How long before he is systematicallly boo'd out of town.
he's been very disappoiting. But thing is, you can't trade that contract...
Wait...you might be onto something with the Iginla thing. But who do I give up? I'm not moving Simmonds. Johnson, Schenn and draft picks make sense to me.
Your minor-league system is stocked with Grade A talent
Hey, Pierre. With all this talk about new contract, in your opinion what is currently the worst contract in the NHL. Please don't say it's Kovy!!!
OK folks, that was fun again this week. Remember that at 6:45 p.m. right through end of Bruins-Penguins game join our live ESPN.com blog. Burnside and I and other friends.