Bonjour les amis ! Greetings from Toronto. Anything to talk about this week? Mercy. Lets get at it.
Bonjour Pierre!Who would the Habs have more trouble with in the post season, the Bruins or Philly?
You know Richard, until last night I thought the B's would be a brutal matchup for the Habs because of their physicality. But I've changed my mind. The Habs skated circles around Boston last night and while it's only one game, even the B's broadcast team mentioned Montreal's speed/quickness has been an issue for Boston throughout the season series. Philly is a faster team than Boston. I think Flyers would be a tougher matchup for Les Canadiens
With Staal not playing as well has some people hoped in the absence of Crosby and Malkin and the PK unit ranking high without him during the start of the season...is he now expendable?
Highly doubt it. Pens hierarchy LOVE Jordan Staal
How do you like the Pittsburgh Penguins chances of going to the Stanley Cup Finals this season with all the injuries they have now?
I don't like them at all unless 87 comes back
Can we just forget about factoring in the intent and inflicted damage on hits? It's all about who is responsible for the hit. If Gillies warranted a 10 game suspension for his hit on Clutterbuck, Chara should get a two year suspension for last nights act. But Chara is an All Star, so he'll get a free pass. Do you think there is a double standard in the way suspensions are administered?
Obviously the NHL disagrees with you.NHL announced 30 minutes ago that there would be no suspension/no fine for Chara
Pierre, tomorrow's game between Vancouver and San Jose: possible Western Conference final? Both teams are definitely not going to let up tomorrow.
Possible indeed. The four clubs I really like in the West are Van, SJ, Chicago and Detroit. But West is so tight _ all 8 teams who make it have a real shot. That's no hyperbole, it's true.
As the game gets faster and the players get bigger, and as the shots to the head seem to increase and the lack of respect players seem to show their opponent decreases, is there anyone in the NHL that worries one of these on ice incidents like last night's could escalate to a fatality?
I sure do
Assuming the Phoenix relocation goes through, it does not make sense to have Winnipeg in the Pacific Division. Would the NHL consider taking Colorado out of the NW Division, putting them in the Pacific and replacing them with the Winnipeg franchise in the NW?
Haven't heard anything regarding that yet. League is so focused on saving Coyotes right now...But you make a good point if Winnipeg does get the Coyotes. Would make more sense for Winnipeg to be in same division as Edmonton and Calgary and Minnesota, no question
Pierre, why did I wait so long to fire John MacLean when his "die hard" philosophy clearly was not working? Last night's loss to Ottawa notwithstanding, can you imagine where we would be right now if Lemaire had come in two months earlier? The folks in Calgary just called and were wondering the same thing.
You'd be in a playoff spot
Is it fair to say Leafs vs Sabers on Saturday will show who gets in the playoffs for the last spot?
Toronto only has outside shot in my opnion. Carolina/Buffalo/NYR have better shot at last 2 spots
What are the odds of the Stars catching the Sharks in the standings? Any way Dallas can win the Pacific or is it too late?
I don't think SJ will be caught now
Pierre, is good to be back at my old stomping ground. If I score a big game winning goal for the Pens at home in the new igloo, should I break out the moonwalk celebration again....just like I once did for the Pens against the Flyers.
No, don't want you to pull a groin :)
Just because there isn't intent to injure doesnt exonerate a player. The standard should be reckless disregard, and chara clearly displayed reckless disregard in nearly killing another player.
That is your opinion and my chat is a democracy !
Love your work Pierre. Question: How long until my pathetic Oilers become a playoff team again? Or even relevant? Is Steve Tambellini the guy to get this rebuild done? Two last place seasons in a row (with five consecutive playoff misses) is making a crappy winter even crappier.
Doesn't take that much to turn it around in this league. Good young base. Add another lottery stud in June... maybe 2 years away from playoffs?
What are the chances that we will have a team in Winnipeg by next year? Bettman's press conference was fantastic. I love seeing him just as angry as we were when we lost the team. I see this being played out for a week or two.. maybe longer.. and then cutting Phoenix loose. They have no choice, right?
So hard to say... I know that everyone involved is really concerned at how things stand right now in Phoenix... Let's put it this way, this is as good a chance as Winnipeg has had since Jets left. But that doesn't guarantee a team will be there next year
Hi Pierre, was glad to read in the daily debate that you wont be leaving your job to be league disciplinarian anytime soon, i need you here defending my sharks to Mr. Burnside. Anyways, if the league does decide to move the Coyotes to would they announce it before the end of the season? I imagine phoenix playoff games would be a sad sight for a franchise on death row.
yes my understanding is that they wouldn't delay that type of announcement should they decide in fact to re-locate the team
Please tell me the Flyers are finished with the bad efforts! Hard to tell against an Oilers team. Have they moved out of the dark, into the light?
they'll be fine. Deep breaths.
Pierre, good thing I kept that house in Winnipeg, eh? I hope the heat still works and somebody has been mowing the lawn for the last 14 years.
The Panthers beat the 'Hawks last night and for one period, looked really good doing it. Vokoun looked like himself, too. Any chance they'll be that good next season? Being nine points out, I've given up on this year.Also, Chara meant to do it. He just didn't mean to do it so effectively.
Would be stunned if Vokoun is in Florida next season
is the Chara hit further evidence of players lack of repect for each other? in my opinion, chara knew exactly where he was and who he was against. he could have pulled up.
Impossible for me to get into Chara's head, as much as that would be interesting.But yes on respect factor, I think that's a concern generally among 700-odd players
Hey there Pierre, didn't know what your take is on the Chara hit last night?
dude, read the Daily Debate from this morning on our site ! http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/5395/daily-debate-punishement-for-zdeno-chara-gary-bettmans-message-to-phoenix
Pierre, if you were named NHL commissioner for a day and given absolute power....what is the first change you would make? My list would include a mandatory game misconduct for any player that immediately jumps a guy following a big hit, eliminating the shootout, pulling the plug on Phoenix and Atlanta and moving these teams to Canada immediately, and making teams go back to wearing white uniforms at home.
First thing I would do is begin regular season in mid-September and make sure not a single playoff game is played past May 31. NO JUNE HOCKEY. I would also move draft and start of free agency up as a result. That way, I can spend two months at my cottage in Muskoka in July and August in peace and quiet. :)
With the unfortunate play that happened last night with the hit by Chara on Pacioretty should the NHL look into getting rid of the "turn buckle" in between the 2 benches or woud it actually take Max (or someone else for that mater) being paralyzed? What purpose does that serve anyways besides allow some big crushing hits?
yes I think they should look at that.... always a dangerous play when player gets rammed into it
Do you agree or disagree with the no suspension ruling on Chara?Also, after reading Murphy's comments, how should the NHL go abouts hits resulting in injury or with intent to injure? When Murphy stated that he also took into account that Chara hasn't had any suspension in 13 years, do you consider this somewhat biased?
Even though I don't think Chara showed malicious intent, I'm surprised he still didn't get 2-3 games just given result of the play... But I'm not worked up over it either way
If you had to pick 5 teams who can win the cup this year, what would they be?
Vancouver, Detroit, Chicago, San Jose, Philadelphia
The NHL finally got one right, eh?
haha, everyone from Boston is saying that. Everyone from Montreal is not. That's why fans are fans !
In the real world, Pierre, we're held responsible for the consequences of our actions even if they're unintended. I probably wouldn't mean to sideswipe the car in the lane next to me but if I did and injuries occurred, I'd be held responsible. I'd obviously be held more responsible if there were intent but even without intent, there's culpability. Why doesn't this apply in the NHL? Chara should've gotten a few games regardless of whether you think there was intent. And if you think there was intent, he should've gotten a lot of games. There's just no way that makes sense. And yet, the NHL managed to go another way.
Nothing to add, just wanted Digusted from San Jose to have his say
I'm not surprised on the Chara ruling, considering that Colin Campbell's son plays for the Bruins. What kind of precedent is the NHL setting if it allows these dangerous hits on Crosby, Green, Savard and now Pacioretty to go unpunished! Pacioretty may never play again and the NHL has shown different rules for different players. This is a dark day for the game of hockey.
Walter, while I don't always agree with NHL disciplinarian decisions, i NEVER question the integrity of Colin Campbell and Mike Murphy. Believe me when I saw that Gregory being on the Bruins had ZERO impact on today's decision. I know Campbell and Murphy, you do not.
What are your feelings on the ruling of the NHL? I def. thought it warranted something but not more than a few games. God Bless Max on his recovery
already gave my thoughts, but yes, God Bless Max indeed. Thoughts and prayers for his recovery.
What does losing Pacioretty mean for the Habs playoff chances?
It hurts for sure. He was really coming on in the second half of the season and had become a go-to guy.But one thing about the Habs (Markov/Gorges), they always seem to overcome injuries... Resilient team
Video of the Chara hit was up on NHL.com last night; usually the NHL waits to post the video in such cases until a suspension is announced. Think the NHL decided almost immediately that Chara would not be suspended?
Obviously not since Mike Murphy did a hearing with Chara today
The nhl's discipline system needs a complete overhaul. Will the BoG make this an issue in their next round of meetings? Is this something that needs to be addressed in the CBA? Its a joke that the maximum fine is $2500 and goons like Gillies can run around hurting people like he has. Add in nothing for chara and countless other hits from this season and I really think things are broken in that office.
It's not on the agenda at this point
First of all, your a boss Pierre. Secondly, Chara should have got suspended...no penalty shows the league is weak, just like it took them multiple days to reach a decision on Gillies. Anyways, I am a die hard rangers fan, missed only 7 periods all year. Do you think Hank has enough around him to make the playoffs, and if so, do you think we can be contenders this postseason? I believe so, we have all the heart there can be in this league, and I think the hockey gods like the rangers this year hopefully.
I think Sabres are in and NYR/Carolina battle for last spot.... don't know ....
With many rookies performing so well, who are your 3 Calder finalists right now?
Tom, great question. Such a deep field. Got a bit easier with season-ending injury to Taylor Hall, who was really coming on. But he can't win now that he's out month-plus...Right now I'd go Skinner, Couture and Crawford.But I really like Grabner, Fowler, Subban, Carlson, Bobrovski, Marchand.... mercy
Folks lots of questions asking me about non-suspension to Chara. I've already answered that so apopogize for skipping over your question if you're among 50-odd question asking same thing
What the latest news about Sidney Crosby?
Same ol' .. .unfortunately, still not sympton-free, no timetable...
Why can't there be concrete criteria for suspensions? I'm to the point now where I don't care about what it is...just set some guidelines and go with it.
With the sharks regaining their winning ways, do you think this team can challenge the likes of vancouver, detroit and Philadelphia for the cup? Also, as thornton, marleau and heatly age, how long can they sustain their status as cup contenders?
yes I thnk Sharks are legit once again.
Nice work by Ray Shero in locking up Dan Bylsma for another 3 years. Where does he stand terms of the Adams award?
agreed Bob. terrific coach.Man, like every year, Jack Adams so tough. You can make the case easily for a dozen guys.I can be swayed for Bylsma, Boucher, Laviolette, Vigneault, Babcock, McLellan, Tippett, Martin, Trotz, Lemaire, Sutter ... I mean, I'm glad I don't vote on this one, broadcasters do
Hello PLB! What effect do you think the Chara hit will have on the rest of the Bruins? Will it become a distraction enough where you would downgrade their playoff success chances, or do you see them keeping calm and carrying on at a high level as usual, now and in the playoffs? Thanks!
Actually the one thing I was thinking about today was how Chara might react? Will he be the same on the ice now? Will he hold back? Sometimes when you inflict that kind of damage on a fellow player, it can play mind games with you
If it were the other way around, I'm sure I'd be calling for blood too. Can't say I blame Habs fans.
Impressive objectivity. Not too much of it on message boards and twitter today. Well done Adam
Bonjour Pierre! Is the NHL will wait until someone dies on the ice to do something for those hits? They want to stop those hits but they don't do a little thing to help.
As I wrote this morning, I HATE the hit. HATE the result. I feel brutal for Pacioretty. But by letter of the rulebook, Chara didn't break any rules.
Sorry left for a few minutes. Habs PR guy just called me to read me Pierre Gauthier statement/quote:''The NHL took its decision. And it's not for us to express our opinion publicly."
I'm so disgusted by the lack of NHL actions in the Chara case that I will stop there and stay polite. 'nuf said...
Fair enough, chum
With Chara escaping any kind of suspension or fine, in your opinion, is it safe to say that a player with more of a 'goonish' reputation would've had the book thrown at him?
Salut Pierre, Do you think its the right time to call Dawes from hamilton ?
good call, I would
What will it take to change the NHL's mentality regarding these head shots?
Head shots/concussions will once again dominate agenda at GMs meeting next week in Boca Raton, Florida
Is Ryan Kesler's struggle to put the puck in the net temporary, or should we have expected a slowdown after such a hot start to the season?
Hi Pierre,The Caps are much improved on the defensive side of the puck this season and are 6th in the league in goals against per game, and 4th in the league on the PK, but are 24th on the PP and 23rd in Goals per game scored.Is the new defensive style better suited to a long playoff run, or are the offensive woes this seasons Achilles heel?Given the makeup of the team today, would you consider them a serious cup contender, a team who could compete given the right run, or a team who will make it only as far as the 2nd round (or another first round exit)?
I really like what I've seen most recently. They seem to have turned a corner. took a long time to figure out new system, etc... but maybe they're peaking at right time?
If I had done the same thing to Max Pacioretty would I have been suspended?
Dear Mr. LeBrun,The Bruins looked awful last night against the Habs. My question is do you think they would have faired better had Thomas been given the start or do you think it would have been the same result. Clearly the B's have had trouble playing in Monteal however, doesn't Thomas give them the best chance for a Divisional win?
I have to admit I was surprised Thomas didn't start. Reminds me of when Montreal started Auld vs. Toronto recently... Mind you, Rask is a much better goalie than Auld
I know they have to lose eventually, but really at home to Ottawa? Do you have faith in the Devs still?
That one hurt their drive.... you can't lose those...
I would love to see a player get suspended for the same length of time player is injured. I'm sick of my 8 yr old watching this crap!!!
worthy comment by a hockey dad
The week of the trade deadline, many sports writers did not give Dallas much of a chance to make the playoffs in the tight Western Conference. With Brad Richards coming back tonight and the recent roll the Stars have been on, do you feel they have a good chance of being a playoff team?
With the latest developments in Phoenix, what do you think the odds are that the NHL will return to Winnipeg next season?
50/50 I'd say at this point, which as high a chance as Winnipeg has had ever since losing their Jets
Any updates on Hiller? Hard to find any info at all about what he's got or what the timeframe is for recovery. I feel bad for the guy.
Just heard from the Ducks. Basically not much is new and there's not much improvement although he is skating
I know you keep saying to have patience with the Wings, and I certainly do, but why are they always........mediocre in March?
Can't answer that my friend
If the Wild survive's this next road trip (@Nash, Dallas, San Jose and Van), wins a couple of games and stays in the thick of the West playoff race, would you buy them as a legit playoff team then?
How would you feel about an automatic one game suspension for any player given a fighting major?
Milbury was giving me similar ideas off air last Saturdat at CBC... idea has some merit...
I'm not a fan of Boston nor Montreal, but as a hockey fan I'm disgusted that Chara wasn't even fined let alone suspended for his hit last night. How out of control does the game between these two teams get on March 24th?
Well, habs don't have a tradioonal tough guy. Moen is their toughest guy, maybe White who faught las tnight. But B's have more guys who know/willing to fight and Montreal certainly has no match int he fighting department for Chara/Thonrton/Lucic. So not sure how revenge could be had, to answer your question
Do the Vancouver Canucks this year remind you of the Caps last year, or are they a more rounded team than the Caps were?
more rounded, more sand paper, and stronger leadership. All of which guarantees nothing.
I think NHL had a chance to send message and blew it!! Accident or not, shots involving head must end!until you make players, even good guys like Chara think about actions such as this.....players safety is NOT major concern for league!
again, will allow democracy to exist in our chat :)
Why aren't the Jackets ever in the playoffs. Aside from one year, they have been terrible. They get all of these top 5 drafts picks, and never seem to improve. Whats the deal?
Dave, that was funny (1 of 20 jackets fans)Easy answer: terrible drafting for decade-plus
You realize Devils questions decrease by 90% since you are doing chat and not Scotty, right?
haha, you guys love going after my man, SCotty
The Kings are taking years off of my life, can they just WIN and score some friggen PP goals so they can get some breathing room? they go on a tear and lose two games and are back in 8th. I can't take it!!
Dustin, they've surprised me lately (in a negative way). Thought they'd join SJ on that kind of run the Sharks have had
I know this is completely implausible to happen in the near future, but in the long run, do you think a soccer style-relegation/promotion leagues (2 of 15, maybe?) could be good for the league? Especially with all the talk of teams tanking and whatnot.
Not with expansion teams paying anywhere from $50 million to $100 million to have gotten into the league. You don't pay that kind of money to pay second-tier hockey
Any thoughts on the possibilities of having the Thrashers move to Quebec City? They'll be showing the next Montreal / Atlanta game here in QC at the arena on a big screen, I think the event is almost sold out! They want to show the league we can fill an arena even with no players on the ice... do you have any theories?
Source told me last week that in the event Coyotes move to Winnipeg, and that's still an IF, Quebec City would NOT be considered the only option for Thrashers should they leave Atlanta. KC, Portland, Seattle and Houston would be thrown into the mix as well along with Quebec City
The NHL is a joke. Too bad I already paid for my tickets to tonight's game, but I won't be investing any more time or money in a league that has no regard for player safety. And we wonder why nobody in this country cares about hockey.
Chara..no suspension...I think the NHL finally got one right. But very unfortunate what happened. Any word on what is next for Pacioretty in terms of treatment?
and now for the other opinion
Do you think there should be a place in the NHL for a player like Gilles?
If the Chara hit happened one foot in eaither direction there would not be a cover story on it this morning. An unfortunate injury, but it was a fluke.
and another interesting viewpoint
How would you rank the top goaltenders in the NHL? I am curious of this because it is always Luongo at the top. But how come Luongo's team never lasts in the playoffs.
My Vezina picks right now, in order:1. Tim Thomas2. Carey Price3. Pekka Rinne4. Roberto Luongo
Do you think Reimer will get consideration for the World Championships?
Don't know but I certainly would
What's the free agent class look like this summer for wingers? Anyone willing to take an extra 1 million a season to play next to Tavares?
The reverse angle where Pacioretty and Chara are skating towards the camera does a LOT more justice for those who cry suspension, have to agree with the double standard post
I was half sleeping on my couch when the incident occured, needless to say it woke me up. Of course, it's not the same kind of hit as Bertuzzi on Moore, it's not the same kind of madness, of course you have to punish the intent not the result but the arm of Chara did follow through (proof here http://twitpic.com/47s8ub), on an interference play, close to the board, in a no-man's-land.But Chara was an angel... Larry Robinson too...Max Pac almost died yesterday a fractured vertebrae means he almost died there. If it was Gill on Bergeron I would advocate the same thing : remaining of the season. But they decide otherwise.I'm from Montreal, but I'm a hockey fan no more (like Austin Collie's second concussion ended my football affair). I will still care about the NHL for a while, but I'm on the NBA now, for one reason :Respect.
oh yeah, lots of respect in the NBA. Yikes.
My Avs are making a B-line to the #1 pick and I really don't see why they won't it with the way they are playing/collapsing, who would you take with the #1 pick, I would take Larsson, it would give them two potential franchise Dmen to build in the coming years.
John, our ESPN draft guru Gare Joyce ranked Sean Couturier No. 1 today in his latest rankings. But obvioulsy larsson is a top-3 pick
Suggestion on how far the NHL has come: go back and look at Scott Stevens' greatest hits and consider how many would be illegal today. I recently did this and it was surprising.
If the Thrashers lose tonight in Raleigh can we officially pull the plug on their 2010-11 season?
OK folks, interesting chat today. I have to run, got live TV hit over the phone in 2 min. Cheers everyone and thank you for taking the time to send in questions.