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November 2, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:01 PM)

Hey cool cats, let's rock and roll

Vinnie (San Jose)

Is it true "Jumbo" Joe Thornton called you "soft" this week? If the NHL plays a game in Dallas, Phoenix or Anaheim, and there's no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound? Some scary attendance figures out here in the Pacific.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:04 PM)

I think we all know by now that Jumbo didn't mean the Rangers were soft, but rather they were a team they should have beat given the Rangers' problems heading into that game. Joe used the wrong word though and the ensuing broohaha was predictable, haha.As for attendance in Phx and Dallas, especially, yes scary. Dallas will fix itself once Gagliardi takes over and invests back into the market. Phoenix? Not so sure. The ownership limbo of the last 3 years had turned away some fans perhaps for good.

Cody (Mankato, MN)

Hello Pierre, quite the lackluster performance by the offensively challenged Wild last night, but an amazing performance by the finally healed Josh Harding. Do you see him creating a timeshare in MN between him and Backstrom? Possible trade bait?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:04 PM)

I think the hot hand approach is definitely in play now in Minny for now...

Ice Ace (Alabama)

Which Conference has been better in the first month of the season? Same question for division? And, why?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:06 PM)

I've been on the Western Conference bangwagon for a few years now, most people on this chat now that. Pacific Division is tops in the league.

Bruce (Detroit)

Hi Pierre - it's only 10 games, but I'm not liking what I'm seeing from my Wings. We need scoring and I think perhaps a little shake up in the form of a trade. What do you think?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:08 PM)

Certainly doesn't look great right now. I spoke with Ken Holland on Monday and he felt obviously that goal scoring was a problem right now. But he was also confident things would turn around. As for trades, didn't get the impression from Holland at all that anything was imminent. Tough this early in the season to do much. Most teams are still sizing up their rosters before they want to act. Usually, U.S. Thanksgiving is the threshold moment before trades begin to really happen

Mark (kansas city)

How does Joel Quennville never get any respect or mention in conversation? The man has done nothing but win. His in game adjustments are incredible and he has the vision to move Kane to center. With as well as the hawks turnover has been documented the fact they are still on top is a testament to Joel.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:08 PM)

We killed plenty of trees during the spring of 2010 writing stories about Coach Q my friend. You have a short-term memory !

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:09 PM)

By the way, old habits die heard. I'm from a print background. ''Killing trees" expression works in newspapers, not web sites, haha. I didn't kill any trees writing for espn.com in 2010, hahaha

Sergei (Madison, WI)

Pierre, others may disagree, but I think Babcock is not doing his job, and I'm not just talking about this year. In the playoffs, when it matters most, June of 2009, Detroit WITH HOSSA (clearly a better team than they were in 2008, when they won the Cup) blew a 3-2 lead against 'Burgh, with game 7 being on home ice. In 2010 there was an embarassing 5 game loss to the Sharks. Last year we fell behind 0-3 and we all know what the odds are of coming back from that. Finally, a five game losing streak with the most frustrating loss last night, when the Wings only played with a spark until they scored and couldn't put the Wild away. (BTW, refs did such a "GREAT JOB", especially with the elbowing call on Kronwall, that left us 2 on 4)... In any event, Bobcock's coaching has been deteriorating for 4 years now and I am saying that it's time for his head to roll. Please don't mention his accolates from before, in his own words: "it doesn't matter what you did in the past, what matters is what you can do now".

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:10 PM)

We'll agree to disagree. I think he's one of the best coaches in the league. But at least I allowed you to have your say. I'm democratic that way !

Don (Chicago)

I think the NHL should capitalize on the NBA lock-out and show case as many games as possible to a national audience. Any talk amongst the NHL at doing this and take advantage of being the only sports leauge playing Tuesday-Saturday?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:11 PM)

Don, TV sked was put in place a long time ago

Alex (Anaheim)

Why not recall Zuccarello instead of Avery?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:11 PM)

Because the fans at MSG changed ''We want Avery."

miljan (denver) [via mobile]

With varlamov in goal and the big defense in front of him, do the avs have enough offense to make the playoffs? Any trades likely to improve the offense?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:12 PM)

I think they've shown me enough that they'll compete for a spot. As you know, making top 8 in West always a mad scramble and a few good teams fall short every year. but I think they'll be in the mix. I don't see the kind of collapse we saw last season with them

Mike (SJ)

I'd like to thank Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher for taking Dany Heatley and his awful contract and giving the Sharks a way better player in Martin Havlat. Watching him play just 6 games so far for the Sharks, Havlat is has proven to be a substantially better player than Heatley in every facet of the game. OK, I'll concede Heatley has a better shot, but so does Al Iafrate, and he can't play anymore either. Considering most Shark fans were ready to trade Heatley for a used puck bag (1 PPG in 104 PP in 6 playoff series as a Shark), this has to go down as the best/worst move of the summer. I'd also like to offer my condolences to the people of Minnesota. At least Heatley's contract ends after the 2014 season. Thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:13 PM)

I like both trades better for San Jose and have been on record saying that since last summer

RM (California)

Hi Pierre, thanks for taking questions, it's awesome that you do this! The Canucks, when Raymond is back (supposed to be this month), will have 4 bodies for the second line. At different times coach AV has said Hodgson & Raymond need to be top 6 forwards to be on the team, so will that coupled with the salary cap necessitate another trade? I know Hodgson could just be demoted, but he is playing decently and getting better playing with a returning from injury Kes,

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:14 PM)

No worriees, RM, it's my job ! I certainly think the Canucks will want to see Raymond perform for a while before they make any rash decisions. They'll want to be sure they're getting the Raymond of old before they do anything else.

Joshua Sung (Washington, D.C.)

As a die-hard Caps fan for 6 years now, I am always wanting that Stanley Cup to be hoisted for the nation's capital. So far, the Capitals are 8-2-0, but its road record is a mere 2-2-0. The Caps' penalty kill is pretty bad yet their power play and goals for is pretty decent. How do you evaluate the Caps so far in the season even though its only November? Also, would you expect Bruce Boudreau's job to be in jeopardy if we don't win the Cup?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:17 PM)

What I like the most about the Caps this season is the play for their third line: Chimera-Laich-Ward. For my money, the best third line in the NHL. I think playoff success comes from having enough secondary scoring/depth to alleviate the big boys when they're struggling come spring time.Burnside and I chatted about OV and the Caps this morning in the Daily Debate if you want more, http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/12074/daily-debate-not-even-alex-ovechkin-gets-a-free-pass

Sandy (Toronto)

The Leafs have been rumored since the start of the season to be in the market for another top six forward. Who do you think would they be targeting / available and what would they have to give up to get him?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:19 PM)

Well, it's not a rumor, it's very much true. The Leafs have made it a priority to add a top-six forward before the Feb. 27 deadline.Right now Cody Franson is definitely available from the Leafs' roster but that's not enough to get you a top-six forward. THey're going to have to be creative with a package to get what they want.

Rory W (Toronto)

The tune has seemed to have changed for the Yotes and Turris. At first I thought they were NOT going to trade him by any means, now it seems they won't trade him without a contract. Was there a shift? or was I just not understanding the Yotes position correctly?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:19 PM)

There no shift, just more details coming out

Mike (NY)

Hometown question. Do you see Connolly sticking with Kessel & Lupul for most of the season (barring injury)? Or do you see Ronny juggling the lines a bit as coaches tend to do with clubs- leaving Connolly with just as much 3rd line duty as 1st?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:20 PM)

As long as that unit continues to produce, the plan is to have those three together

Alex D (Pittsburgh PA (Go Flyers))

How long do you see Khabibulin keeping up his hot play? Can't last too much longer, or could I be wrong? What's your take Mr Lebrun?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:20 PM)

He's UFA July 1. I think he's very motivated to maintain it. But I think at some point he'll hit some valleys especially with such a young team in front of him.

RM (California)

Insider trading on TSN is great, replaced the Hotstove as best NHL segment.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:21 PM)

I still enjoy the Hot Stove, i have good friends over there at HINC. But thanks for the note on Insider Trading. We're proud of it at TSN and working with McKenzie, Duthie and Dreger has been a terrific blast

John (Philly)

Do you think Bettman will get the backing it needs to break up the Flyers_Pens rivalry..I have never seen this state so united on a hockey related issue, the media in both cities are working together as are the teams. I know Mario and Snider have enough support to block it.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:23 PM)

There are all kinds of proposals and scenarios still getting looked at for re-aligment. That one is just one of several but it's getting the most attention. Still all kinds of possibilities and lots of lobbying still being done behind the scenes. Impossible to tell what wins out at this point

Danny (Great Mills, MD)

We saw Ovie get benched last game in the final minute. There have been past games where he should have been benched but wasnt. Now that it has been done, do you think there will be a time where he will be demoted off the top line to start the game instead of a mid game benching to send him a message?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:24 PM)

I spoke with Boudreau this morning for that Daily Debate blog I wrote with Burnside. The Caps coach downplayed what happened last night but clearly there's a different message being sent this season to OV and everyone else on the roster: no free passes

Ryan (Ottawa)

Hi Pierre,Have there been any specifics on what Don Maloney is seeking for compensation for Turris? Has it been indicated that he wants specifically prospects, draftpicks, or rosterplayers that can play right now?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:26 PM)

First of all, I feel like a broken record but Maloney continues to tell me and everyone else that asks him that he won't trade Turris. But if he changes his mind? My guess is he would want a Grade A player in his early 20s...

Keith (Hamilton, MA)

Over/Under Claude Giroux 85.5 points

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:26 PM)

Over ! (biased of course since we're from same home town, haha)

mark (milton)

hi..do u know if the leafs are really trying to move a defenceman? Franson maybe?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:27 PM)

As I've reported a few times the last few weeks, the Leafs are fielding calls. They've got a surplus of d-men. Eventually they'll move one to get a forward. Right now the debate in Leafs front office is that maybe they should wait because things are doing well, etc...

GBK (Lincoln Park)

Pierre, before all the crazy people calling for Babcock's job ask a question, I just have to ask you: what is happening in Detroit? I can see defense being an issue as it has in the past couple of years, but the offense? I never would have imagined. And thoughts on the (non) interference call against Franzen?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:28 PM)

Before last night, Datsyuk was minus-8 in 6 previous games. That's insane. And won't continue. The big boys will get going.

Matt (South Bend)

How do you feel about the division realignment and the possibility of a four division setup. Also, Could Gustav Nyquist be a superstar in the making?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:28 PM)

Personally, while most governors still prefer six-division set up over the four-conference proposal, I like the four-conference idea. It takes care of most of the geographical concerns some teams have

Randy (MInn)

Hey Pierre, How do you think the northwest will playout this year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:29 PM)

1. Van2. Col3. Min4. Edm5. Cal

Keith (Hamilton, MA)

How impressive has Jaromir Jagr looked so far? People wonder if he will have enough in the tank as the season goes on, but with all the power play time he sees, I can't see him really having those cold streaks... do you?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:30 PM)

well the 82-game grind is certainly the question regarding No. 68. He's played shorter schedules in Russia the last few years and he's 39. We'll see. But I also think Laviolette will monitor that in the second half.

Rich (Chicago)

Why is everyone making such a big deal of the Hawks pp? If you watched the game Monday night they moved the puck about as well as you could expect. If not for Rinne's play they would've scored 2-3 times. By the way, they're 7-2-2. Not a bad start.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:30 PM)

Well said

mark (cottage country)

what ever became of AL STRACHIN? the reporter

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:31 PM)

It's Strachan. Good pal of mine, a mentor. He's now retired and living in New Brunswick. He continues to write books. Check them out online.

brendan (providence)

with james neal off to such a hot start (9G-2A) without crosby and malkin (although malkin has returned) do you think he can keep up this scoring pace and reach the 30 goal plateau or possibly even higher?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:31 PM)

definitely will score minimum 30

Brian G (Long Island)

Will Garth Snow ever make an in-season trade as GM of the Islanders? I know its only 11 games in, but this team is stale.It seems they match up well with columbus for a trade. Nabakov, Comeau, & Bailey for Brassard

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:33 PM)

Makes no sense to carry 3 goalies. I find it mind-boggling.

Rich (Chicago)

Where's the ceiling for Viktor Stalberg? He's looked great the last two games.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:33 PM)

Shh... don't upset Toronto fans :)

Derek T (Halifax)

Pierre, could you see the Flames moving JI if they continue to struggle? I mean he would look great in Buffalo and Cal/Buff has trade history. Thank you

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:35 PM)

Feaster had told me repeatedly he won't move Iginla....However, if the team continues to struggle.... something's got to give at some point in terms of the direction of the team and the unavoidable rebuilt that's needed in Calgary... Iginla's no-trade clause is a sticky matter. I don't think Iggy wants to ever ''ask" out... if the times comes, it has to be handled in a way that PR-wise makes it appear as though the Flames asked him, etc...But as I said above, the GM says he's not trading him... we'll see

Scott California [via mobile]

hey Pierre how r u liking marty havlat in SJ?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:35 PM)

looks terrific early on, like he's been playing with CLowe and Couture for years. Impressive

Phillip (Hershey)

Do you think Alex Ovechkin will step up his play as a result of being benched against Anaheim

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:36 PM)

I think he's going to step up his play _ period. Not sure it will have anything to do with last night

Rich (Chicago)

If you had to start your franchise with 3 players today, who would they be?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:37 PM)

1. 872. Toews3. Weber

Mike (NY)

Does Avery make the roster Thursday night? My guess is yes, but 6 mins of ice time tops. Like my style?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:38 PM)

No Torterella announced after skate today that he's going with same lineup that beat San Jose on Monday night. So no Avery

Allen (Dallas)

What is wrong with Dustin Penner... The guy should be a great player, he has size and skill, but has been nothing short of a train wreck in LA.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:39 PM)

Kings head coach Terry Murray told me via text yesterday that Penner has battle some minor injuries... also says Penner needs to shoot more, but said he thinks Penner is trying to work his way out of this.Still, one assist in nine games _ that's pretty stinky

jimh (miami, fl)

The Panthers are 6-4-1. Can they keep it up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:39 PM)

I think they'll be in that ''bubble group", 5-6 teams battling for final 2 playoff spots in East

sctvfan (washington state)

how are you feeling today Pierre? any headaches?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:41 PM)

hahahaha

Mike (NY)

Pierre. you need to remind Alex, that Zuccarello recently was ROCKED by Adam Mair and probably still isnt seeing straight. http://www.blueseatblogs.com/2011/10/25/ahl-loser-adam-mair-blindsides-zuccarello/

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:42 PM)

there ya go Alex

Derek T (Halifax)

Pierre,Several fans in Buffalo believe Enroth gives them a better chance to win right now...any chance we see a goalie controversy in Buffalo this season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:43 PM)

Enroth has been terrific but I don't see anyone confusing the reality here

Rich (Chicago)

Will Carcillo and Lappiere drop the gloves on Sunday? Carbomb has been calling him out since he joined the Hawks.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:44 PM)

don't think so. Lapierre isn't a fighter like Carcillo,

Rich (Chicago)

Bama/LSU who ya got?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:44 PM)

Apparently that's a big game. I don't watch college sports

Razor (Buffalo)

Pierre, the Sabres made some significant moves this offseason and have struggled so far (6-4 through first ten). Do you think they need more time to gel before we really start to judge this group? I still feel the bottom 6 needs more jam for later in the year.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:45 PM)

gelling time required is all in my opinion

Claude Lodin (Hearst, Ontario)

Hi Pierre,will Claude Giroux finish in the top 5 in scoring??? Will the Bruins repeat? and are the Make Beliefs for real this year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:46 PM)

Is this really Claude Lodin? Neat.Yes on Giroux. Bruins will not repeat. Leafs will be in the bubble group (7-10)

Mike (NY)

What would e an adequate thank you to Mr. Gainey for not only taking Gomez (with that horrendous Sather contract) but also, shipping McDonaugh to us. This kid continues to impress. With Staal out, he and Girardi are keeping NYR's blueline together. He will be fillling the void on the blank rangers jersey I've had since the lockout. I finally feel complete.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:47 PM)

Weird timing on your question. I actually spoke with Gainey today for a Joe Nieuwnedyk HHOF piece I'm writing.But yes _ not a trade Montreal wants to relive

Ice Ace (Alabama)

With you on the Western Conference bandwagon, do you see the Stars continuing their good start with K.L. playing well in goal.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:47 PM)

I think Dallas will drop a bit but I predict they will still make the playoffs.

Scotty (Cobblestones)

Hey Pierre, What type of beverage are you currently consuming?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:47 PM)

V-8

Rich (Chicago)

Who would win in a fight: you or Scotty?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:48 PM)

Me because I would just sit on him

Mike Gillis (Roger's Arena)

How many teams, including my team the Canucks, are in the Turris sweepstakes? The Dec. 1 deadline is pretty close and I doubt Don Maloney will just waste an asset like that to improve his team. Don may have his poker face on, but this guy is a bluffer, I know him personally when I was a player's agent. By the way, how is Shea Weber's contract situation...I am ready to throw him an offer sheet come July 1

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:48 PM)

5-6 teams but in reality from what we uncovered yesterday, Calgary and Ottawa seem the most serious bidders... Again, Maloney says he won't move him so... who knows

Rich (Chicago)

Had poutine for the first time. Thanks for the suggestion!

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:49 PM)

POUTINE ROCKS.But make sure you only get it if it's with real cheese curds. Any other cheese and it's not real poutine

Sergei (Madison, WI)

Thanks Pierre, you rock!

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:49 PM)

you're welcome, sir

Rich (Chicago)

Who would play you in a movie?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:50 PM)

Ricky Gervais? Or Kevin Smith?

Keith (Hamilton, MA)

Turris holding out is ridiculous... he has bust written all over him... why would a team like Calgary give away (seemingly a lot) for him when they could probably get a player with more potential than him in the draft this spring?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:50 PM)

Well I think what Calgary hopes is to not give away a lot :)

Mike Gillis (Roger's Arena)

Pierre, good sushi or good steak? Your pick...your next meal in Van is on me

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:50 PM)

I didn't get this fat by not working at it: of course, steak !

Rich (Chicago)

Will Nugent-Hopkins stick with the team this year or get sent back to juniors?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:51 PM)

Oilers announced last week he was sticking

Nick (Pittsburgh)

With Mike Green and John Carlson becoming restricted free agents, do you see either one of them being moved or given large offer sheets. Washington now has a much better defensive core, but you can never have enough D.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:51 PM)

My guess is that the club will try to sign both to extensions before the season is over

Mel (Ottawa)

What grade would you give Shanahan so far? As an Ottawa fan, I was not pleased with the lack of call on Wolski for the Alfie hit...

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:52 PM)

Grade: Incomplete.One thing Shanahan said when I talked to him recently is that he hoped people would judge him at end of the season on his full body of work _ not decide now.

Scott (Vancouver)

There has been speculation into trading Cory Schneider this season and I assume it will persist. At some point the Canucks hand will be forced into doing something.What kind of return can be expected for Schneider? Would the return be similar to what Colorado sent to washington?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:53 PM)

They can either trade him this season or wait until the summer. They are both good options.

Sandy (Toronto)

Simple question: What is wrong in Boston? (Ok, maybe not simple. lol)

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:55 PM)

First of all, Cup hangover is real. Short summer affects off-season training, etc...Duncan Keith told me that last season after their Cup year his body never felt totally recoveredBut I also think a few players aren't delivering right now _ Krecji and Horton especially come to mind

sctvfan (washington state)

realignment.. why not jsut switch red wings and jets.. and wait until the whole Arizonia situation is settled before we screw around with all the divisions?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:56 PM)

that's what I would do if I were in charge; might as well wait until Phoenix is figured out before doing the big one

Rich (Chicago)

What's the funniest movie you've ever seen?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:56 PM)

My all-time favs: Anchorman, Old School, Strange Brew, Blazing Saddles, Dumb and Dumber

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:57 PM)

OK folks, gotta run, appreciated you guys taking the time to submit questions. Can't get to all of them but thanks to all.And talk next week