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January 5, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:00 PM)

Happy New Year puck heads! Fighting the flu here but like a gamer, I'm here ! let's go

Eric (Hazelwood, MO)

How can it be that football players that have concussions can be out a week or two then return, yet two Blues players (Perron and McDonald) have concussions and they have spent over a month out of the game and expect to spend even more time away?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:02 PM)

Eric, wish I could answer but I haven't stayed at a Holiday Inn recently so I don't play a doctor.I know from the research I did for our concussion package earlier this season and speaking with concussion experts who deal with hockey players, each and every concussion are different in severity and length of injury. There's no uniform, one-size-fits-all concussion. And as we saw with Marc Savard and Ian Lapperiere returning too quick for the playoffs last season, way better safe than sorry

Ryan (Columbus)

Pierre, It is widely believed that the Jacket's problem is mostly on the blue line, so, I would like to know who you think should be the "7th" defensemen(Commodore right now) currently? Also, do you think they should make a move for a high end player or just wait it out for prospects like Moore and Johansen to mature? Finally, is Mason the francise goaltender we hope he is. Thanks Pierre.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:05 PM)

Ryan, such a promising start to the season for the Jackets. The blue-line was identified not just by us int he media world but by the Jackets front office as the weakness and it's proven true. As for Mason, I just wish he played a year in the AHL like Carey Price did. I alwways compare those two... I think it really hurt Mason's development not to play one year in the AHL. Can he still be that goalie? I think so.

Mike (SJ)

Was arguing with some friends the other night: If you were Doug Wilson, would you trade Joe Thornton for John Tavares? I would love that trade, they thought I was nuts.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:05 PM)

Fantasy talk my friend. The Sharks are about the here and now Thornton is about the here and now. The Isles are building and would never, ever, move Tavares

Brittney A (Los Angeles)

Do you see the LA Kings making a BIG move by the deadline?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:06 PM)

Yes, I think they've been building up to that big move all seasong long. They've got more cap room than any contender and plan to use it.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Where is the NHL Looking at for the 2012 Winter Classic & What Stadium?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:08 PM)

Chris, nice to have you back. Several options out there, still very early in the process. Got an email from the Wild yesterday reminding me that they're very, very keen to host next year's game. Colorado, Philadelphia also options among others... I think the league, deep down, loves a Rangers at Philly matchup at the Linc although I'm not sure how sold the Flyers themselves are on it.... Red Wings source told me they want to host a WC but not next year....

Thomas (Lubbock, TX)

Howdy Pierre from West Texas! Huge Wings fan here, is it me or does Rafalski still look like he's injured? And do you think the Wings would add a D-man at the deadline?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:10 PM)

Funny, every time I ask Ken Holland that question, regarding trade deadline, he always says, ''We're doing nothing." It's his standard answer even if I don't totally believe it. But the Wings have become more quiet the last few years at the deadline. They no loner believe in giving away young assests/picks for rentals, at least not first-round picks anyway.... I still think Holland will beat the bushes for a cheap add-on though... nothing too sexy though

Ryan (Ashburn,VA)

Pierre, what do the Caps do to get some offense? I feel they are more focused on defense this year. The big three are all struggling. (Ovie, Backstrom, Semin) It's pretty rare to see your three best players struggle all at the same time and it's been a few weeks. However, it is nice to see the scoring come from the other guys. Maybe that will be better in the long run.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:10 PM)

Ryan, I think you answered your own question in the end.

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Pierre, great job by you and the rest of the army of analysts from ESPN, NHL Network, CBC and NBC covering the Winter Classic. I watched the whole weekend and the single best part for me was the Penguins power play in the Alumni Game where they used their 1991 formation with 4 hall of famers + Kevin Stevens. Ron Francis scored on assists from Murphy and Lemieux and I felt like I was in fourth grade again putting a sleeping bag in the living room and begging my parents to let me stay up past the first period. Awesome.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:11 PM)

haha, thanks Jesse. Was great to see Mario back on skates, and Mario having a news conference ! He rarely talks to us anymore...

Dan Craig (Mobile Ice Unit)

Pierre, is there any discernable difference in physical appearance between myself and Brett Favre...right down to the frozen icicles on our beards?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:13 PM)

oh my, never even made the connection ! But so true. Both have shown to deliver under immense pressure over the years as well

Paul Coffey (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pierre, after seeing me skate at the alumni game and you in the media skate, do you think if we raced right now in 2011 I could complete two laps around the rink before you could complete one? The doctor still has the good wheels baby.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:14 PM)

I can hold my own at the media skate, but you'd clean the ice with my Finland national jersey for sure. you still got it, Paul, and you sell cars here north of Toronto ! (little known fact)

Citizens of Buffalo (New York)

Pierre, once the World Juniors are over tonight can we finally be traded back to the United States? The entire place reeks of Tim Hortons coffee and all these red sweaters is like a New Years hangover that won't end....

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:15 PM)

Really is unbelievable. On the one hand I'm proud of my countrymen's passion for hockey, crossing over the border in droves like that... but I thought it was real sad that the crowd was anti-USA in their own rink for a semifinal game... Mercy, I really didn't like that

Chris (Durham, NC)

I've not seen Logan Couture play because he's on the west coast, but I get to see Jeff Skinner every night here in NC. Could you compare the two Calder Trophy hopefuls and handicap the race?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:16 PM)

Both equally deserving. Skinner has more speed and quickness. Couture is a more complete, two-way player, one that because he's older has seasoned his defensive game in the AHL... Todd McLellan told me last month Couture has been the catalyst for the Sharks season on a team that's been real inconsistent

Alex (NY)

Pierre, what is wrong with the Red Wings? Injuries aside they just seem completely out of sync. When the team is solid the goalies are like swiss cheese and when the goalies are solid they seem to catch all the bad breaks with teammates deflecting pucks into their own net. They win when they are outplayed(DAL,COL) and lose when they dominate(NYI). Plus, they can't seem to allow fewer than 3 GA. Where do they go from here?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:17 PM)

Alex, after two decades of NHL dominance, I forbid any Wings fan from coming to me with complaints about their team. Try being an Islanders or Leafs fan for two decades !

Ron (Las Vegas)

Happy New Year Pierre! I know I bring this up every week and you respond every time, but please please explain to the hockey world outside of Detroit why Lidstrom is 4th in votes in this years all-star game. I want answers from other teams fans why this happened as well. He has all-star captain written all over him. This will be the first year I am not watching the game and I'm a true fan of the sport. What a freaking joke!! Wake up Pens and Blackhawks fans and stop making a mockery of the best sport on earth. Act like you know the game!!! Thank you

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:20 PM)

That one is really a head-scratcher. You're talking about the second- or third-best defenseman ever in the history of the NHL and he's having a Norris-type year... Just surprised Hockeytown, USA, got outmuscled by Pens and Hawks fans like that !

Mark (San Jose)

Hello Pierre, can you please tell me why there are so many rumors about Calgary moving Kiprusoff or NJ moving Brodeur? There hasnt seemed to be much demand for expensive goaltending ever since last years finals and the team that needed goaltending the most (TB) has made it's move. Could either of these teams actually get enough of a package to be worth giving up a franchise icon?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:21 PM)

Mark, be careful where you get those ''rumors." I haven't heard either one involved in trade trade talks

Styx (Chicago, IL)

Pierre, since you are the big music guy...what did you think of our performance at the Winter Classic? Apparently the league only wanted us to play the opening part of "Renegade" because of the Steelers connection....but we stuck to our guns and hit you with an entire version of "The Grand Illusion." This would be awesome for the laser light show at the planetarium, but did this make any sense at all in the context of a hockey game? Granted we are no Honeymoon Suite....

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:22 PM)

Wow, I think this is the post of the week here. Impressive.Unfortunately I missed Styx while I was doing Hot Stove !

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Pierre, I don't expect this question to get posted but I wanted to ask it to you anyway in case you don't know the back story. Why were Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis asked to be part of the Winter Classic festivities when in 2007 they both openly campaigned for rival casinos that did not support the Pens bid for the Consol Energy center and wanted to move the Pens out of town. Harris in particular slammed Lemieux in the media and called his ownership group "absentee." I find it hard to believe this was a Pens call, so why did the NHL have to force a football connection when this was supposed to be a hockey event.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:23 PM)

Because the Steelers bent over backhawks and gave up two Sundays for this event

Lenny 713 (Queens, New York)

I understand the Rangers are looking at the center position as a slight problem, but I think the biggest problem which they've had since the lockout is that they do not have a powerplay quarterback from the point. They have tons of minor league depth that they can afford to move and I would love maybe a Tomas Kaberle come to NY for the remainder of the season. I would love a Brad Richards trade but the Rangers are 100% better off signing him in July and if Dallas signs him, big deal. I also think a smart franchise move would be to offer maybe Marc Staal or Michael Del Zotto and maybe a draft pick to the Ducks for Ryan Getzlaf. Pairing a player of his skill level would only be a great thing for the blueshirts. Tell me what you think. Thanks Pierre

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:24 PM)

Getzlaf ain't going anywhere.Kaberle's agent told me last month they're not moving their no-trade clause. We'll see how that plays out closer to Feb. 28.As for a center and a guy that can play the point? Brad Richards does both extremely well. Circle July 1 !

Harv (CT)

How is hockey not popular in the US when the greatest sports moment in US history was a little hockey game played in 1980?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:24 PM)

I can't speak for a country I never lived in !

Bruce (Detroit)

Pierre - New Year's Day in Detroit was perfect for an outdoor game - mild temps and no rain. Any idea when we might see a Winter Classic here?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:25 PM)

Bruce, Wings source told me last weekend he didn't think his team was in play for next year but yes, would like to host one ''eventually."

Richard D (San Jose)

If you were Mike Gillis, how would you handle Sami Salo's Return to the payroll?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:30 PM)

I would shop Bieksa once and only once Salo proves he's ready

Charlie (Montreal)

I guess you're watching the Bronze Medal game in the corner of your eye, Pierre? ;-)

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:30 PM)

Kinda, it's on TV but I've watched barely a lick of the WJC this year

Jon (Albany NY)

If any teams were to steal Marc-Andre Bergeron and his $1 million salary from the Lightning, who do you think would?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:31 PM)

Spoke to a few teams today and none of them showed interest... of course, didn't have time to talk to all 29... I can't think of one... If you pick him up, you have to take his cap number while he gets back into game shape. he's two weeks away at least from playing NHL hockey

Flad (Centereach)

What gives with Alexander Semin? He has been invisible the entire month of December. Kind of worrisome in a contract year he simply doesn't show up for long stretches at a time.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:31 PM)

Why does that surprise you at all???

Tom (Lebanon, PA)

Pierre, what are the odds that the NHL would have the winter classic at Citizen's Bank Park as opposed to Lincoln Financial Field?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:32 PM)

Tom, that's a valid question. My belief is that the NHL is now married to NFL stadium, better sight lines, etc., for fans, plus the strengthening of NFL-NHL relationship important

PatM (Toronto)

Pierre:What's to stop a well-heeled team like Toronto from using its $$$ to pry young talent from poor NHL cousins? For ex. why not offer a 3rd-round pick at $15M to the Isles for Tavares? Or a 4th-rounder and $5M to ATL for Bryan Little? Are there rules against this? I can't imagine there are ... but MLSE is too cheap to do this anyway. Feedback apprecaited.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:33 PM)

What's to stop it is the CBA. Not allowed to include money in trades in this CBA.

Dave Hamilton (Hamilton, Ont)

Hey Pierre, just to get an off-topic question out of the way, your prediction for SWE/USA and CAN/RUS?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:34 PM)

Sorry Dave, haven't watched much of the tournament so it wouldn't be an educated guess

Joe (DC)

How much better is the Southeast? Will the Caps be unseated as top dog?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:35 PM)

Southeast is a beast. Florida isn't that bad either

Matthew (LA, Cali)

What is one of your favorite things about the LA Kings?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:35 PM)

Ryan Smyth and Drew Doughty

Bryant (Los Angeles)

With Brad Richards being traded becoming less likely each day and Iggy seems to be styaing put as well... who is left at the deadline that can make significant impact??

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:37 PM)

Well you have to assume the Devils will shop UFAs-to-be Langenbrunner and Arnott

Darren (Surrey)

Hi Pierre. Do you think Cory Schneider will ever be the #1 goalie for the Canucks despite the length of Luongo's current contract or will they move him while his stock is high?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:37 PM)

I would predict that one day they move him. Good bargaining chip

James (St. John's, NL)

Hey, old buddy! Great work so far this season...a pleasure to read as always. How soon do you think the Panthers will look to pull the trigger on a Vokoun deal? With Tampa snagging Roloson, it doesn't appear as if the current goalie market is that warm...

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:38 PM)

Thanks James. Actually Dale Tallon was quoted this week at WJC saying now he's suddenly possibly interested in re-signing Vokoun... although depends on money....

Kyle (Beverly Hills, CA)

Did Bobby Clarke break Scott Burnside's ankle? Why does he hate the Flyers? He's never written a positive article about them in his career, and always goes against them.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:39 PM)

Kyle, you have a short memory. Scotty wrote a number of glowing pieces on the Flyers en route to last year's Cup finals and even picked them to beat Chicago ! (I picked the Hawks)

Jack (Sherman Oaks, CA)

Hello Pierre. Do you think Dean Lombardi is still actively seeking a LW for the first line, or is Marco Sturm his answer?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:39 PM)

Still seeking in my mind

Kevin (Barrie)

Are the Leafs any closer to making a trade or is this going to be a deadline deal thing

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

I know they are trying extremely hard. Busy on the phones

Corey (Windsor, On)

Pierre, just wondering your thoughts or anything you have herd coming out of what looks to be a mess in Ottawa?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:41 PM)

Busy talki trade, getting lots of offers for Phillips and Fisher but not sure they want to deal either, coach on hot seat, and wants to trade for a goalie... did I miss anything?

Vincent (Toronto)

Hey Pierre, happy new year. Do you think anyone that played in the Spengler Cup might be brought back to the NHL for the end of the season. I thought Richard Park was outstanding. A lot of teams could use him. Thoughts ?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

They all would need to clear waivers which is what scares NHL front offices (ie Svatos)

Chris ((PA))

How much do you think the pens will run staal at center with malkin on his wing?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

That's the plan

Charles (Québec)

Hey !Quel est votre opinion sur l'utilisation de Carey Price ? Sur-utilise ou normal ?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)


Mike (Sacramento, CA)

After watching the Sharks vs. Vancouver it is very evident the Sharks defense is not up to par with the teams like Vancouver and Chicago. What to do you see happening (if anything), trade wise?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

Mike, getting another top-4 D-man was the plan all along for the Sharks, they've just been waiting for cap room to work (later it is, the smaller the cap hit)

Jeff (Charlotte)

Just how good are the Bolts? They look damn impressive to me.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:46 PM)

As I wrote today Jeff, if Vinny can be the old Vinny like he's been lately, they're in great shape

Sam (LA)

predection time, as of right now, who u got in the finals and who wins?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:47 PM)

I predicted Wash-SJ back in September, well, because every year I pick the Sharks in September. Must continue the tradition.Come April I send in new picks to ESPN. Right now i'd say Philly-Vancouver

Mark (Atlanta, Georgia)

Hey Pierre,Any idea if Nic Bergfors is still being shopped around? He's been back in the lineup for the Thrashers for a few games in a row now, but with injuries to Ben Eager and others it's hard to tell if he has earned his way back into Coach Ramsay's good graces or if he's just filling in until some other guys get healthy.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:48 PM)

He's still available, yes

Tom (Michigan)

Pierre! You have done an exceptional job covering the Wings over your tenure at ESPN. Thank you. I am worried that this year although they are among the league leaders in points, they won't have the ability to grind out a long playoff run like some of these younger hungry teams. What do the Wings need to do to push for a long playoff run?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:50 PM)

If they are healthy and have all their horses, they can go for a deep run. If they're banged-up like they are now, likely can't do it

Kevin (N. Potomac, MD)

Some of us around the nation's capital (that's D.C. eh) feel that Carlson and Alzner have become the Caps' top D pairing. It would seem Boudreau agrees, putting them against the top line for the past 3 games and them performing admirably. Would you agree?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:51 PM)


Chester Trout (Dallas)

Devils' season is obviously over, so can Lou do what Paul Holmgren did in Philly after their last-place season and totally revamp the roster in one offseason? Does he have the cap flexibility?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

Doesn't have the same cap flexibity but I would start by getting picks/young assets for Arnott/Langenbrunner.

Mike (San Diego)

I say we tell the football players to move out of the way and do Ducks/Kings at the Rose Bowl for the 2012 Winter Classic!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

love it

Tyler (Toronto)

Pierre, how about Avs vs Wings at Mile High? Imagine the Alumni game for those two? :)

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

yup love that too

Dave Hamilton (Hamilton, Ontario)

Hey Pierre, Spying through the microscope that is the Toronto media, do you think there are any legit rumblings going on with regards to trade talk? (ie, Versteeg offers have the potential to become attractive enough? Beauchimen for Setoguchi rumours persisting. Anything out of left field?)

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:54 PM)

All I can tell you is that talking to Leafs source over the weekend and the phone lines are burning and yes, they got a ''hard offer" for Versteeg

Mike (Atlanta, GA)

Pierre,Did you see the attendance for the Thrashers home game last week against Boston? Over 17,000 people. When are you going to give the Atlanta hockey market some love instead of trying to send our team to Canada?Atlanta supports all sports teams when they win or are competitive, and we will stay home when they are not. We were that way with the Falcons, Hawks, and other teams.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:55 PM)

Mike, don't remember ever trying to sent your team to Canada, LOL, besides, I can't leave Burnside without a hockey team in his backyard !

Matt (Chinatown)

If you were Greg Sherman, would you lock up Anderson? I know he hasn't been as dominant, but the fault lies with the Avs shaky blue line and not with him. As an Avs fan I would be livid if they let him walk, even with the plethora of goalie options available these days.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:57 PM)

yes I would

Jonathan (Chicago, IL)

Hello Pierre,Can the Hawks turn this thing around and go on a little run, or is what you see what you're going to get?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:57 PM)

they can turn it around, you heard it here first !

Alex (Washington)

I cant stand Alex Semin anymore....holds the puck on offense too long and could care less about defense...they better not re-sign him

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:58 PM)

Ovie, that's your teammate ! Harsh !

Pissed Off (San Jose)

My blood's been boiling this year as a season ticket holder watching the Sharks sleepwalk through the season. It's looked like they're bored. Which might be ok if I thought they could actually "turn it on" late in the year. I was happy to see Ryan Clowe showing his frustration the other night. I just don't know if there are enough guys like Clowe in that locker room. What do you think?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:59 PM)

Love seeing Ryane Clowe hammer his teammates the other night. That's leadership. You can't do it often, timing has to be right, but in this case I think it was. Clowe is a leader

Dave (PA)

How could you leave out Mike Richards in your all star ballot?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:00 PM)

I love Mike Richards, but all-star game is a no-hitter, no checking. Not his type of thing.

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:01 PM)

ok kids, enjoyed the time as usual. Now back to bed as i try to beat this flu.Cheers everyone