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February 16, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:00 PM)

Greetings puck fans from Florida, one more day in the sun before I head back to the Great White North.OK I've got a stoagie lit up while I sit pool side, let's get it going !

El Capitan (Philly)

With the injuries to Pitt continually piling up, do you think the Flyers will still end the season as #1 in the East? Who do you think they match up with best in the first round?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:03 PM)

Flyers will run away with the Eastern Conference. I think they match up well with anyone but Tampa which seems to have given them fits this season

Mark Freedman (Toronto)

Hey Pierre, just heard a rumor that the leafs may be talking about a 3 way trade with Ottawa and Boston involving Phillips. Sounds absolutely ridiculous to me, but just wondering if there is anything to it so I can decide whether or not to trust this source. Thanks,- Mark

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:04 PM)

Folks, I'm not commenting on made-up trade rumors.All I can is that Phillips is among the d-men Boston has inquired about

James (Pittsburgh)

Pens-Isles - biggest culprits? Response to clean Talbot hit warranted? Biggest joke of the affair?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:05 PM)

First of all, I didn't like the way the Pens laughed when Johnson KO'd DP a while back.Second, I thought Matt Martin sucker-punch and Gillies attack on Tangradi were brutal. I would have given Martin more than 4 games.

Spencer (Philadelphia)

Pierre, how do you rate the Flyers' decision to give up a 1st and 3rd round draft pick for Kris Versteeg? Smarter in the short term or dumber in the long tern?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:06 PM)

The way I look at it, the player the Flyers would have taken near the bottom of the first round _ in a weak 2011 draft _ likely wouldn't have been much better than Versteeg and that prospect next June is at least 3 years removed from helping the Flyers _ who are contending right now for the CUp.

Scott (Westchester)

Hi Pierre, who's your odds-on favorite from the East and West right now? Nucks-Flyers?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:07 PM)

Yup those two teams plus throw in a healthy Detroit and Pittsburgh if and only Sid is back to normal (plus a wink towards Tampa, ya never know... they looked great to me last night in person)

Michael (Moline, IL)

Why was the NHL so lenient on the sucker punch in the Pens-Isles game? Todd Bertuzzi ended a career and pretty much a life with that hit, it shouldnt be about the injury it should be about the intent, what do u think?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:08 PM)

As I stated earlier, agreed

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the Worst NHL Team ever in the History of the NHL?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:08 PM)

I'd say the 1992-93 expansion Senators

John (Islander Country)

From your most recent 'Cross Checks':I am still surprised Matt Martin didn't receive more than four games, for example. That was a Todd Bertuzzi-like sucker-punch, without the same result. I would have given Martin 10-plus games.Then what would you have given Jordan Staal after he performed the exact same thing on Rangers forward Brandon Prust a few weeks ago.....or because Staal is a Penguin and their Top 2 players are out, he shouldn't have been suspended?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:09 PM)

Staal didn't look like a sucker-punch to me.

Bill (Toronto)

What are the chances Montreal improves themselves at the trade deadline. I think theyt have a strong team but may need another defenceman or a forward to do some heavy lifting. Thoughts? Any names circulating about for the Habs?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:10 PM)

Habs GM Pierre Gauthier a secretive man. But I know from talking to other teams that he's talked to them about a d-man. The names out there are obvious

Tyler (New Hampshire)

Hey Pierre, Two questions; How good or how well can Chris Kelly contribute to the Bruins and what is up with our defense, last night vs Toronto the D-men just kept getting beat by the toronto players in 1on1 battles.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:11 PM)

Don't get too overly excited. Kelly is a third-line checker. He's a hard-worker, has a great attitude, but he's not a savior

William (Decatur,Alabama)

What is going on witht the Dallas Stars? Is their a crisis in Big D? Should I be worried as a Stars fan?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:12 PM)

Yes you should be worried. Key injuries to Jamie Benn and Brad Richards plus other guys are down. Confidence is shaken.Spoke with Joe Nieuwendyk today and he hopes Benn will be back sometime next week and possibly Richards as well

Kyle (NYC)

Be honest, would the typical hockey fans (who by tickets and the Center Ice package) and casual sports fans, would much rather watch the Pens/Isles games from last Friday, than a typical Wings/Preds ho hitter? I watched the game live, and didn't hear any booing.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:12 PM)

No question. Just like all the kids today love UFC. If that what we want in hockey?

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Pierre, as a Blues fan to say I'm frusterated is putting it mildly. Are the Blues quite frankly an organization that overrated their young talent to the fans to convince them to stay patient?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:13 PM)

No I think the injuuries to half their team at different points this season was the real culprit

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Pierre, what role do you think the media and us as fans had in a??provokinga? the Islanders to seek revenge the way they did? In the previous game Johnson engaged DiPietro one on one and punched him out. One guy beat another guy in a fair hockey fight. It happens. But for two weeks after we glorified Johnson. Pens fans yukked it up. The crowd went crazy. The punch was a top highlight on Sportscenter. There was video of Fleury laughing shown over and over. Max Talbot called it a??the best night of his life.a? The video went viral on youtube. Meanwhile, whatever you think of DiPietro as a player, he is the Islanders starting goalie and one of their a??starsa? and now he is out with a serious facial injurya?which everyone treated as a joke. He is such a bad fighter, only 10 years left on his contract, what a surprise he is hurt again, hardy har har. You could see how the Islanders as an organization could only take so much of that, even if it meant going WAY over the line to make a statement in response.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:15 PM)

Jesse, I've had my say this week in the CrossChecks blog with Scotty... nothing else more to say from my point of view after what I said at the start of the chat

Jordan (Detroit)

What do you think of Hockey day in America? Sorta copying Canada there.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:16 PM)

Hey, if you're going to copy something, copy something great !

Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia, PA)

Pierre, does the Versteeg trade for a first round pick officially signify we are "all in" for this year? And who can blame us. Pittsburgh is hurt, Washington is in the tank, and Tampa has some unproven playoff guys. This has to be one of the easiest paths to the Finals we could hope for, which is saying something considering who we had to play to make it there last year.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:18 PM)

Definitely all in for this year. Definitely

Mike (Boston)

Where do you think Kaberle will be playing come March 1?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:19 PM)

Boston or Rangers.

Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pierre, most people are questioning whether Crosby will come back this year and even if he does he might not be anywhere close to his previous level at which he was leading the scoring race and running away with the MVP. Well let me just remind some that in 1993 I was doing the same thing and then missed 22 games with CANCER. Not only were there questions as to whether I could come back that season, there were questions as to whether I would live. But I did come back. And all I did was score 56 points in the final 20 games and win the scoring race by 18 points over LaFontaine. And the Pens won 17 games in a row and the Presidents Trophy. So there is hope.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:20 PM)

Mario, you're talkative this week !

Kevin Cronan (New Jersey)

What do you think of the talk that Jason Arnott wants to waive his NMC to get a shot on a cup contending team?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:21 PM)

It's 100 percent true.

Mike (DC)

At what point do the Caps make a move? What do they go after/who do they give up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:22 PM)

Mike, how many years have you been a Caps fan? GM GM doesn't share anything with anyone about the trade deadline

Zach (NJ)

Will Lemaire be back as coach of the New Jersey Devils next year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:22 PM)

This is a gut guess, not from anything anyone has told me:YES

Larry (Thunder Bay)

Why is the mainstream media staying away from the Phoenix and Atlanta situation? Why is it that the Winnipeg fans are told behind the scenes that Atlanta is a lock once Phoenix is settled yet the media says boo?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:23 PM)

Larry, what is there to say? Until the league annoucnes that a team is moving, all we can do is speculate

John (Winnipeg)

The Pacific Division is getting very tight at the top. What do you think the final standings will look like?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:24 PM)

I predict SJ will finish first followed by take your pick after that... mad scramble

Kevin (Edmonton)

People still go nuts saying that a 2:00 penalty for a puck over the boards is too harsh. Am I so crazy to think that a 1:00 penalty makes a ton of sense?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:25 PM)

Either it's a penalty or not. No in-between

Sarah (Quebec City )

Will the Carolina Hurricanes trade Ian White?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:25 PM)

Likely

Trevor (Kansas City )

Will Hiller's health issues hurt Anaheim's chances of making the playoffs?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:26 PM)

yes somewhat

Florian J (Victoria, Bc)

With versteeg traded for a 1st+3rd and fisher fetching a 1st cond.2nd, the price of forwards is established. With that in mind, What forwards are available and what would their acquiring price be?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:27 PM)

Price is established for players with contract term past this season. But rentals haven't moved yet...

Peter Forsberg (Denver, CO)

Well, that didn't last long. At least now the Avs don't have to deal with me being a "game time decision" every day from now to the end of the season.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:28 PM)

All the best to you Foppa, you gave it one last try at least

Chad (Bay Area, CA)

Your colleague at ESPN, Bill Simmons, does a yearly article ranking the 50 most untradebale players in the NBA,...who are your top 3 most untradeable players come the trade deadline

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:30 PM)

Scott Gomez, Mike Komisarek, Wade Redden

Travis (Washington DC)

Pierre, I ran into you on the hotel elevator a couple times in Pittsburgh during the winter classic and we had a small chat...you're a good dude.. Anyway, all the trade talk here in DC is a second line center but will the Caps be able to make a deal? RJ Umberger possibly?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:31 PM)

Travis, yes I remember. Hope you're well.If I were GM GM, I would deal for a second-line center, definitely. But I can't pretend to know for sure what GM GM is thinking

Harold (Las Vegas )

Who is the favorite to be coach of the year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:32 PM)

Guy Boucher I think will win at this point.... but so many great choices. Laviolette, Vigneault, Babcock, Trotz, Martin...

Harv (CT)

Pierre, is it ok for Avs fans to cry now? Foppa retires, they get kicked in the teeth by the Flames, and Duchene is out indefinitely.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:33 PM)

yes, here's some Kleenex and a bottle of Jack Daniels, tooBrutal unlucky year for the Avs.

Michael Grabner (Long Island)

Pierre, who would win in a race.....me, Usain Bolt, or a cheetah?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:33 PM)

I don't know but you're forcing yourself in the Calder mix, that's for sure

Kevin (Buffalo)

What is Tim Conolly's trade value? With a Sabres fan now writing the checks his days must be numbered.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:34 PM)

2nd-round pick?

Dadesh64 (Toronto)

What is the difference between a No MOVEMENT clause and a no TRADE clause in an NHL contract. Are they not one and the same? Player cannot be dealt unless they OK it?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:35 PM)

similar in that player has to ok any tradeMajor difference is that no-movement means you can't be waived or sent to minors whereas with no-trade you can do both those things

Sean (Los Angeles)

What about Milan Michalek to the Kings? Any possible interest on either side?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:35 PM)

I think Hemsky interests Kings the most

Glen (New York)

Pierre, do you think Philly and Boston overpaid for the guys they just acquired, and if so does that mean we won't as many deadline deals as we expected?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:36 PM)

Glen, one thing to remember in those deals is that those players were NOT rentals. Both signed for another season

Jim Balisillie (Hamilton, ON)

Pierre, Mario Lemeiux said in his statement that he was "not sure if he wanted to be part of the league" anymore after the Pens-Isles travesty. Does that mean the Penguins are for sale again? The ice is ready to go at the Copps Coliseum.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:36 PM)

Jimmy, focus on selling those wonderful devices I'm addicted to

Tim (New York)

Out of the small selection of puck-moving blueliners(McCabe, White, Gonchar, Kaberle, etc), which do you think makes the best sense for the Rangers to acquire if the Richards deal doesn't suffice?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:37 PM)

McCabe or Kaberle makes most sense IMO

Kevin (Philadelphia)

Is there a market for Zherdev, he has undeniable talent but his inability to click with the Flyers has to limit has trade value? Do you see him being moved and what sort of return can the Flyers expect?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:39 PM)

Flyers are trying to find a taker as we speak but... not sure if there is one

Blues Fan in San Diego (San Diego, CA)

At what point do the Blues have to decide to Buy/Sell? Who are the players that would attract the most attention should they decide to Sell?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:40 PM)

I'd be selling if I were them and I think that's where they're headed... Eric Brewer could command some interest

Pete (buffalo, ny)

With the new ownership group coming in here do you see the sabres making any deals before the deadline, and if so do they all happen after Terry Pegula officially takes over or does Darcy Regeir have the blessing of his soon to be boss?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:41 PM)

The arrangement is that Regier will run any move through the new owner but it's not expected he'll get any interference whatsoever

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

Further to that, Regier just went on HNIC radio and said he'll be active at the deadline

Bradley (Boston)

Who will be the best player traded in the NHL this season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:42 PM)

POssibly Brad Richards if the Stars don't soon wins some games...

Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles)

Hey Pierre how about some Vezina trophy love here. Even after the all star snub I think I've earned it.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:43 PM)

outside shot for sure... but Thomas, Hiller, Rinne, Luongo and Price my top five right now

Andy M (Erie PA)

Do you think the sharks even though they arnt looking like the narmal sharks, do you think they have enough to win the cup this year

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)

outside shot... maybe for once because no one is talking about them it may work out for them.. but if Canucks get healthy on back end come playoff time and Wings stay healthy... tough to beat those two teams

joe ( chicago)

wouldn't it make sense for the Blackhawks to get Pavol Demitra? maybe he could spark his homie Marian Hossa?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)

He'd have to clear waivers. Good luck with that

Rouse (Detroit)

Does Hank have a shot at the Hart? He carried a team through big time injuries for over a month. Outside of Perry missing Getzalf, I don't see a player in the league with Hanks numbers that missed as many quality players around him as the Wings did with, Datsyuk, Homer, Cleary, Stuart, and Modano.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:44 PM)

I think Lidstrom is the Hart guy on hat team myself...

Joe (Denver)

Pierre, With a sub-ordinary draft class, do you see many first round draft picks being traded around the deadline? A late first round pick doesn't seem to have as much value as it might in other years. -Joe

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

yes more this year than last year and we've already begun to see that (Fisher, Versteeg)

NewYorkisTheBest1 (NY/NJ)

Hi Pierre! With the recent trade activity in the NHL such as the Flyers acquiring Versteeg, do you see my NY Rangers making any trades or possibly signing a FA? I hope they are looking at a 1st line Center to compliment Gaborik!

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:45 PM)

Rangers want puck-moving, PP d-man

Rick Allen (San Diego, cA)

Comrade Lebrunski -- How is it that two Ducks have made into the post season trophy tracker and Cam Fowler is not in the top 5 for Calder. I see visions of his current landlord when I watch him play. Big game with the Caps tonight and no Hiller. Do you think Curtis can get it done for the Ducks?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:46 PM)

To me, the clear race for Calder right now, in no particular order: Fowler, Skinner, Couture and Grabner

Waiting not so patiently (New York)

Will the Kaberle-Bs deal go through? Seems like an awful lot of smoke yesterday, sometimes those things don't actually catch fire. Could an extension be the hold up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:47 PM)

B's and Leafs have talked Kaberle for a while.. but sometimes these things take a while, and it may not happen at all. We'll see

Alli (Tampa, FL)

Any real news on Brad Richard's injury & status?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:49 PM)

Spoke to Nieuwendyk today, Richards hopefully may return next week but that's not for sure...Look for more on Richards (trade-wise) in tomorrow's Daily Debate with Burnside and me...

John (Edmonton)

If we trade Hemskey to the Kings, who can we realistically get? Picks? Prospects? Roster Players?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:50 PM)

All kinds of options my friend... but real good prospect for sure. I'm just not convinced Edmonton wants or will trade him

kurt (Buff)

Sabres, buyers or sellers?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:52 PM)

my prediction is a bit of both

Jim (Grand Rapids, MI)

Pierre! Love the columns. With the Wings starting to get healtier now, do you see Kenny H and Co. doing something at trade deadline? Goalie help? Defense help? A little sandpaper? Thoughts? And, what about Big Bert?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:53 PM)

Spoke to Holland yeseterday and he gave me the impression he'll be preetty quiet as long as Ozzie is on course to recover

Sean (Orange County, Ca.)

Pierre, How bout some praise for the Ducks? or maybe a feature article? All we ever hear about is the Kings and the Sharks, well the Ducks can leapfrog into 1st in the Pacific tonight with a win over Washington. Even without Getzlaf and Hiller at times, they're still finding a way to win.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:55 PM)

First of all, I've written three Ducks pieces this season alone: one on their early season win streak, one on Koivu's return to Montreal and one on Hiller deserving an all-star spot... and, I ranked them fifth in Power Rankings this week !!!!

kevin (philly)

hey pierre, if u were peter laviolette which goalie would u roll with if u had one game to win, boosh or bob?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:55 PM)

Boosh _ veteran won't be frazzled.

Fred (Calgary)

Do you think Calgary has a chance to win the cup?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:56 PM)

no, but they might upset somebody in the first round if they get in...

Stu (Newport Beach)

Pierre, should the Ducks be worried about the status of Hiller? Mcelhinney filled in nicely on the Canadian road trip recently. How do you see the Ducks finishing up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:56 PM)

Ducks will make the playoffs but yes, I'd be worried about Hiller's mellon

Kim (Columbus, OH)

Hi Pierre -- As an inaugural CBJ season ticket holder, I am thrilled to see them playing so well and still in the playoff hunt. But I'm in the minority, I think, when I say that I *don't* want to see them make a big trade. They are more than a player or two away from even making the playoffs, much less making it out of the first round or seriously contending. So why mortage what finally looks like a promising future? I'm I wrong in this thinking? I certainly don't envy GM Scott Howson! Thanks.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:57 PM)

Problem is that there's a ton of pressure on Howson right here and now.. .sometimes GMs think short, short, short term in those situations...

J.T. (Exton, PA)

LeBrun- you didn't respond to my rant this week on the officials. So I'll ask it here- how can you continue to defend the officiating in the NHL when it seems we have terrible calls all around the league on a nightly basis? My latest example was Jarrett Stoll's obvious boarding/charge on Pronger in Sunday's Kings-Flyers tilt. Not only was Stoll very close to severely injuring Pronger and unpenalized, but Pronger gets up, give Stoll a shove, and is called for roughing. So, again, with the consistent, terrible calls by officials, can you honestly and with good faith continue to defend them? It's has gotten ridiculous.

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:58 PM)

J.T., I didn't respond because I'm tired of this subject. The officials are human, they make mistakes. Can't replace them with robots so what else can you do? They're doing their best and some nights they're better than others...

Drew (Philly)

Why do the Flyers healthy scratch Zherdev?? He always seems to play well to me and is much better than Shelley or Carcillo

Pierre LeBrun
  (4:59 PM)

Laviolette and some teammates can't stand his reluctance to buy into the system ...

Kmeghji (Vancity!)

Hey LeBrun! Just heard on the wire that the Canucks picked up Ian White from Carolina. Any idea what they gave up, and what we can expect?

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:00 PM)

was a bogus rumor, Gillis shot it down to me and others... so you obviously didn't hear it on the CP wire because the wire wouldn't run that !

Pierre LeBrun
  (5:02 PM)

Well, my cigar still has a bit left but I have to end this chat. Until next week my friends. I'm off to Calgary on Friday for the Heritage Classic, should be fun.Cheers everyone