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October 19, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:59 PM)

Greetings puck fans, thanks for dropping in again this week. Let's get it going

Mike (Virginia)

I feel like you've given my Avs the 'kiss of death' by writing something nice about them Monday. Were you just trying to jinx them for the Toronto game or were you trying to ruin the whole season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:01 PM)

Mike, I don't have that power :)The Avs were in town so I figured I'd write about their strong start. Really like their young talent. Question is whether they can whether the dog days. Always tougher for a younger team. But you can't question where this team is headed. Good times in Denver, long term

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:01 PM)

Mike, I don't have that power :)The Avs were in town so I figured I'd write about their strong start. Really like their young talent. Question is whether they can whether the dog days. Always tougher for a younger team. But you can't question where this team is headed. Good times in Denver, long term

Samson (Toronto)

Two questions:Over/Under Kopitar 100ptsAs a leafs fan, do you think they can finally make it this year?This would be my third time asking, so please answer.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:01 PM)

Kopitar _ 91 ptsLeafs, 9th place

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the Hardest NHL Team that the New York Rangers will face this season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:02 PM)

Looks like the Islanders !

Zach Williams (Nashua NH)

Which NHL team in the future will make the Washington Capitals suffer thier first loss? As I am a huge Caps fan I have no doubt they will suffer there first loss. But I am liking this start.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:05 PM)

Terrific start by the Caps, they look fantastic.First loss? How about either in Philly next or vs. Detroit. They'll drop one of those two

Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pierre, I don't know if you heard this...but Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact in practice. No seriously, he is. But what type of hit should I have him take first to test him out....a Cooke elbow to the head, an Asham punch to the face, or a Letang board from behind?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:07 PM)

He's looking pretty darn good to me... Can't be too long now...

Chris Morrissey (ridgefield,ct)

can you guys comment on the size of the goalie equipment? Liked John Vanbiesbrouck's recent comments about NHL goalie's "playing to their equipment". leg pads now narrower, but seem to go up halfway up the thigh. the extra blocker thing on the writst area of the catching glove and the extra blocker on the inside of the actual blocker glove. these gloves have to be bigger than they used to be. Can the chest area of the goalie's padding look more inflated? it looks like these pads go 3-4 inches up next to their ears. they look like those totally inflated looking professional indoor lacrosse goalies now.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:08 PM)

Interesting you should ask. Brendan Shanahan during a presentation he made to us at TSN last month showed us a new prototype for smaller shoulder pads players will likely wear next season. League and union are aware this is an issue, no question

Charles (MA)

Hey Pierre, love your work...my question is do you believe that the Bruins will get it gear soon...I saw signs of it last night in their fightfest with Carolina that they may be getting their physical edge back...again keep up the great work

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:12 PM)

Thank you Charles. I spoke with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli today for a blog I'm writing tomorrow morning on Leafs-Bruins... One thing he told me today is that he feels better about his team's play last 2 games but that they seem to lose focus once they get frustrated offensively. B's last in NHL in goals per game right now... You can't discount hangover: Bruins, Canucks, Lightning and Sharks (conf finalists) combined for only 6 wins in 22 games so far

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:12 PM)

Thank you Charles. I spoke with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli today for a blog I'm writing tomorrow morning on Leafs-Bruins... One thing he told me today is that he feels better about his team's play last 2 games but that they seem to lose focus once they get frustrated offensively. B's last in NHL in goals per game right now... You can't discount hangover: Bruins, Canucks, Lightning and Sharks (conf finalists) combined for only 6 wins in 22 games so far

Andrew (York, PA) [via mobile]

Pierre, My goodness am I excited to see Brayden Schenn get called up to the Flyers today! The kid seems like he could be an instant gamebreaker. What are your thoughts on this? Where do you see him fitting in the lineup?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:13 PM)

The Kings always viewed Schenn as the guy that would eventually be their No. 2 center behind Kopitar. Schenn doesn't have 100-point talent but he's going to be a real good two-way guy that the coach will trust. You're going to love him in Philly

UpFront (Toronto)

What's the best opening song for Thursday night Karaoke?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:14 PM)

Come On Feel The Noise by Quiet Riot _ of course !!!!!

Daniel T (Chapel Hill, NC)

Nathan Horton's attack on Gleason last night was completely unacceptable. Is the Bruin's new strategy just to fight the other teams best players to get them off the ice?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:15 PM)

Soometimes the rough stuff comes at the right time to change a game. But I thought last night was just silly. Cost the B's the game. I wasn't impressed one bit by that stuff

Kenny G (NY)

Hi! Big fan here LeBrun! Where will Claude Giroux and Ryan Getzlaf end up in the scoring race? Will any of them reach 100+ ?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:17 PM)

Well I hope they're both near the top since I own both players in the Toronto Media Hacks Fantasy league. I've always believed Getzlaf had Art Ross potential. He's off to a slow start, though.Giroux I predict will be top five. He's from Hearst, Ontario, after all ! All Northern Ontario boys are clutch

Joe (Minneapolis)

Hi Pierre. How is it that the Flyers always have 9+ quality forwards when most teams (like the Wild) struggle to fill out 2 solid lines? Is it great scouting or have they just been lucky?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:18 PM)

For sure scouting is a big part of it. Look at Flyers rookie Matt Read _ tied for NHL rookie scoring lead. He was a free-agent signing from college by the Flyers. ANy team could have had him

Matt (Chicago)

Can Andrew Brunette skate well enough to stay on a line with Toews and Sharp or will it hinder them?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:19 PM)

Brunette is a crafty veteran who has found a way to mesh with faster linemates throughout his career. I wouldn't worry about that

Charlie (Illinois)

Do you see James Neal being paired up with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin when they both return? My opinion, best bet would be Crosby-Kunitz, Malkin-Neal, Staal-Sullivan and Cooke stays on the 3rd line. Thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:21 PM)

For sure Neal will play with either 71 or 87. I wouldn't put Sully on third line, he's better suited for top six roleand yes Kunitz-Crosby has been a good pairing

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:21 PM)

For sure Neal will play with either 71 or 87. I wouldn't put Sully on third line, he's better suited for top six roleand yes Kunitz-Crosby has been a good pairing

Vinnie (San Jose)

Pierre, what in the world is going on with my Sharks? They looked like world beaters in their first game vs. Phoenix and haven't shown up since. They've been outscored 6-1 in the 3rd period so far this season. Will the upcoming long road trip pull them out of their dive?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:22 PM)

Slow start just like last year. And it was exactly what they wanted to avoid. Too many guys trying to do too many things right now. They need to focus on what they're supposed to do and not worry about other players' responsbilities

Kyle Turris (PHX Still)

When is Maloney going to trade me to a team like Ottawa that could use my skills on its second line?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:23 PM)

I don't know Kyle, but when Don Maloney digs in his heals, he really digs in

Mitch (New York)

Let's say Nabokov puts up good numbers in the first third of the season (8-3 2.10 .920), is there really any team that woudl trade anything more than a third round pick (if that) for an aging goaltender? Isn't he worth more to the Islanders as insurance/veteran presence?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:24 PM)

Certainly that's the debate. If the Islanders are challenging for a playoff spot, do you keep Nabokov for insurance? Or do you make sure you turn the asset into some value, no matter how little, rather than have him walk away July 1 for nothing?

andy (pittsburgh, pa)

Pierre,Play the part of Coach Disco and the Pens' staff for a moment - Evgeni is experiencing soreness in his surgically prepared knee and your team is alright for now, but could really use a boost. What kind of policy do you run with regarding his return?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:25 PM)

Pens keep telling me it's nothing serious but if I'm them, I wait until he has zero concern, zero pain. It's October. you need him in May

Captain (Montreal)

I would like to know if you heard someting about brassard to mtl?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:27 PM)

All I know is that teams have been calling Columbus about Brassard and Vermette and so far _ I stress so far _ the answer has been no, especially with jeff Carter out...But I suspect if the losing continues in Columbus, the Jackets will need to do something and pull the trigger

Charlie (Illinois)

Thoughts on the Patrick Kane center "experiment" in Chicago? Seems more like a genius move by Coach Q more than a desperate one. Questions about center coming into the season and now they look like the deepest team at the center position in the league when healthy! Lots of options. Toews at 1, Kane/Sharp can both center the 2 at any point, Bolland 3, Kruger/Mayers 4.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:29 PM)

The thing that I like about it the most is that if/when there are injuries come playoff time and Q has to shuffle the deck, he's got several flexible options up front. If Kane has to play center because of injuries next spring, he will have at least had a taste of it and it wont' be unfamiliar to him.

Ben (LA)

Goalie controversy? What goalie controversy? Quick has been a stud so far for the Kings. Ditto Simon Gagne.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:31 PM)

Gagne is especially encouraging for the Kings. he's battled injuries last few years and wasn't same effective player. He looks great right now. That's huge for LA

João Arthur - Rangers (BRAZIL)

McDonagh and Sauer, will raise up more than have last season? Those are future of Rangers defense?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:33 PM)

I like McDonagh's upside especially

Keith (Hamilton)

So it sounds like the Flyers will sport an all-rookie line of Matt Read-Sean Couturier- Brayden Schenn tomorrow night vs. the caps... Scott Hartnell bumped to the 4th line and has seen his time on PP reduced as well... Is Hartnell a guy who is shopped at the draft (i.e. is it a poor decision to move his experience with such a young team this season)?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:33 PM)

yes wouldn't surprise me if Hartnell gets shopped this season

Pat (Chicago)

We all know Detroit and Columbus both want to move east. However, how are other teams in the conference/division treating realignment and supporting one team over the other? Teams might like to see Detroit go east from a win/loss perspective but might miss them at the ticket gate.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:35 PM)

Almost no Western governor wants Detroit to move East, but some of them may end up obliging I suspect if that's what the commish is pushing... Remember that when the govs vote on re-alignment Dec. 5-6 you need 2/3 board vote to get it through

Sergei (Madison, WI)

Salut, Pierre! I have an idea about how to fix this rediculous player salary bubble. Let's say Ovi signed a contract that pays him $10mil a year after his 100 point season. That means that with the new contract every point he scores, earns him $100K. If he only gets 82 points, his total salary for the year would be $8.2mil.. So, each team's top 6 forwards get paid this way. Bottom 6 get paid some combination of poins AND +/- (I haven't worked out the math yet), defense gets paid on /- only (with bonuses for PP points), and goalies- on their GAA and save %. This way they EARN their pay, just like the rest of us.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:35 PM)

Good luck selling that to the NHLPA :)

Luke (Brick)

With Marty being most likely out for this weekend's games vs SJS and Pitt, the question I have is if he appears to be out for the long term do the Devils keep Kinkaid or Frazee up, or do they test out the Trade/Free Agent market, and if so who is available?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:36 PM)

If I were Lou next summer, I'd be dialing up LA or Vancouver and looking at those young backups...

Wade (London)

Hey PL, big fan here - whats the best or most positive surprise about joining the tsn crew since you've arrived?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:37 PM)

No real surprise, always had good relationships with Bob and Darren even when we were competitors. Now that we're teammates it's been really terrific. A lot of respect for both those guys and thrilled to be working with them now

eric (baltimore)

Huge hype already for Caps-Flyers tomorrow. Does the game live up to it?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:38 PM)

I predict quadruple OT... Oh wait, that's my playoff line.OK I predict OT plus SO and it goes nine rounds :)

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:39 PM)

FYI the Devils just announced moments ago that Brodeur is out another 7-10 days while he continues to rehab shoulder. No surgery required

Suzanne (Nashville)

What changes do the Preds make to get back on track? The last few games have been pretty ugly, minus Rinne's stellar performances..

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:40 PM)

Suzanne, I didn't like the way the Preds didn't forecheck at all vs. Edmonton. I know it's defense-first as always, but you need some form of forecheck to force turnovers, etc.... That's what I would preach

BJ (Indiana)

Nice comeback win for the Flames last night...are they capable of making the playoffs?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:40 PM)

I don't have them in, no

Andrew (New York)

Based on the young season, which division do you think will be the toughest this year? With the Flyers and Pens strong out of the gate, surprising early performances by the Devils and the Isles, and Brad Richards finding his groove on the Rangers, could the Atlantic be the division to fear the most?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:41 PM)

Pacific is the toughest division in hockey, Atlantic a close second

Best Kept Secret in the NHL (Unknown)

Who Am I and when am I going to break out?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:42 PM)

Jamie Benn, superstar in the making

Cody (Long Island)

As an Islander's fan, we're not used to all of these accolades from the major sports networks. So we assume there is attempt to jinx us. But all kidding aside, do you think the Isles can sustain this run all season barring injuries, and do they need to add a defensive piece?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:42 PM)

I'd like to see them add a blue-line piece before Feb. 27th

Bik (Vancouver)

Are the Predators taking their conventional "training wheels" route with Ryan Ellis? Any chance he's available during the year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:44 PM)

I spoke to Barry Trotz a few weeks ago about the team's decision to demote Ellis... He wanted to see Ellis polish up a few things down in AHL, learn the pro game, etc... Remember that even Weber and Suter started in AHL. It's the Nashville way

Ian (Red Bank, NJ)

GIROUX RULES!!!! ...now that I got your attention. Out of Read, Schenn, and Couturier, who do you think is playing for the Flyers during the playoffs? (assuming they make it)

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:44 PM)

All 3

Brian (Boston)

Wings with extra cap space what players do you envision them bringing near the trade deadline?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:46 PM)

Brian, will be interesting to see whether Detroit is more active at the deadline or rather next summer..... The Wings no longer want to give away first-round draft pick at the trade deadline, they haven't done it for a while now. So it really depends on the price come Feb. 27th. Whereas come July 1, they can simply spend money and not give up any assets. My guess is that they do a little bit of both but their bigger moves come next summer with all the cap room they'll have

Joe (Atlanta)

How long will Phoenix (or Glendale) pay $25 million a year to keep the team without a sale?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:46 PM)

Joe, the NHL is not running the team in Glendale another season after this year. Either they finally resolve the ownership situation, or the team will be moved. The NHL is not maintaining the status quo past this season

mark (milton ont)

u there?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:47 PM)

yes

Curtis (Vancouver)

Just wondering if you think Luongo could get moved? Or what other movement they could make? Thanks

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:48 PM)

Don't see him getting moved.... methinks Schneider moves either this season or next summer

Sergei (Madison, WI)

What's with Detroit's PP? Even the only goal they scored couldn't have been any uglier...

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:48 PM)

SOS Andrei Markov

Fredrik Jonsson (Sweden)

How do you rank Nicklas Lidstrom all time? Do you think he could tie Orr for a 8th Norris?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:50 PM)

The all-time debate is so hard because quite frankly, none of us have watched the great players of the 50s, etc.. play.... But certainly from talking to legends like Scotty Bowman, etc... I would rank the all-time d-men:1. Orr2a. Harvey2b. Lidstrom

Ryan M (Buffalo, NY)

With all the talk of concussions and player safety do you think Dan Wheldon's death will prompt other sports, especially the NHL, to be preemptive rather than reactive with safety regulations? Indy car drivers had expressed concerns long before the race and likewise the general fear seems to be that it will happen in the NHL some day, either through fighting or in some other way. So, the biggest question is, is fighting actually good for the game or is it something just championed by the 'old guard' and nostalgia? If you eliminate fighting, how much does the game change, really?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:52 PM)

I know this: my biggest fear, because the players punch harder than ever, is a player not getting up after taking a punch. It's I believe as a sport we need to seriously examine the issue of fighthing

Brendon (Toronto)

Hey Pierre, any guesses on how the Red Wings will spend all of that cap space come trade deadline time? There's been the obvious Weber/Parise rumours going around, and we know that players want to play in Detroit, so it could get interesting. You just know Kenny Holland had a plan in mind when he decided to hold off on spending this offseason.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:53 PM)

Well, WEber is RFA, not UFA, and the Wings don't do offer sheets so I don't hink Weber is in play unless it's a trade...Ryan Suter, however, that's a different story. He's UFA July 1 unless he signs an extension with the Preds before then. If he hits July 1, I think the Wings would be in play

Sean (NJ)

Hi Pierre season is still so fresh and its still as exciting as ever. Two questions in the West can the Flames get back into the playoffs or have they dropped off enough to not keep up. Also, you have to like the moves the Panthers made so far in this early season could they sneak in at an 8 spot? Thanks

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:54 PM)

Sean, no on Flames.Panthers have surprised me. I thought with all the new faces, it would take them longer to gel. I was wrong.

Ryan (London, ON)

I know it's early but who do you like for the Calder?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:56 PM)

Funny you should ask. I've got a Calder Trophy blog going up later today.. make sure to check it out !

Paul (Bethesda)

Please help fix this broken record: "What is wrong with Ovechkin?"

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:57 PM)

That's Bruce's problem, not mine :)But I think No. 8 will be fine

Richard (Greensboro, NC)

Hurricanes looked very composed last night, especially for a young squad. Not just in the later stages of the game when things got chippy, but even earlier on the team seemed very calm and steady with their play, which is odd relative to most Hurricanes teams I'm used to watching.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:58 PM)

agreed, I respect them for the way they handled the way the Bruins tried to intimidate them

GBK (Lincoln Park)

Pierre, why is the NHL schedule so sparse right now? Teams like the Red Wings have barely played in October.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:59 PM)

I contacted a league official about this and he passed on the following: The schedule configuration and matrix is not dissimilar to previous seasons; the league constructs the schedule based on home dates that teams provide; most teams will have a multi-day break at some point in the season.

coolpapa51 (buffalo)

I know its early in the season, Is tonight game a must win for Toronto? I do not see people taking them seriously if they lose tonight.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:59 PM)

A little early for ''must-wins."

Keith (Hamilton)

How bad will Ottawa be this year? Lock for the top pick?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:59 PM)

Lottery-pick bad

Frank (Buffalo)

Give me some Sabres love. Still looks like they are trying to gel with all the new players/lines, but they are still winning doing it. What is their ceiling when it all clicks?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:59 PM)

Well, I picked them before the season to win the Northeast and reach the conference finals. That good enough for you?

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:00 PM)

OK kiddos, lots of fun again this week. Sorry I couldn't get to everyone, lots of questions ! Cheers and chat again next Wednesday

Pierre LeBrun
  (3:00 PM)

OK kiddos, lots of fun again this week. Sorry I couldn't get to everyone, lots of questions ! Cheers and chat again next Wednesday