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December 21, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:59 PM)

Alright puck fans, let's talk some puck !

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Happens in the NHL If a Player Stomps another Player?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:59 PM)

Match penalty for attempt to injure, ejection from game, and likely suspension from Brendan Shanahan

Zach Williams (Nashua NH)

Who's goal caught your eye last night? Between Ovechkin's, Semin's, and Backstrom's?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:00 PM)

Ovechkin's for sure because it's been a while since I've seen him with that kind of speed attack the net from the wing and score such a beauty. Welcome back, Alex ?

Jim (Chicago)

Pierre. How does the league explain what happened in Pittsburgh last night. A clear penalty should have been called instead the Blackhawks end up shorthanded because of the instigator rule. Turned the whole game.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:03 PM)

That's always the case, unfortunately with instigator penalties. I remember once when Colby Armstrong took a vicious run at Saku Koivu in a Montreal-Pittsburgh game, Sheldon Souray came to Koivu's defense and ended up with all the extra penalties including an instigator. ... But believe me, Engelland didn't get away with it totally. Brendan Shanahan will have a hearing with him to determine if it's worth more discipline and my guess is yes

Matt (Orlando, FL)

Pierre, what are the Rangers going to do with Sean Avery? Is it time to send him down again?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:04 PM)

Holiday roster freeze through Dec. 27. Can't do anything with him right now

Joe (Hinsdale)

How many games do you think will Engelland get for his hit on Kruger last night?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:05 PM)

My guess is 3-4 games

Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)

Dear Pierre Have the NHL Ref ever had a strike?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:08 PM)

Yup, a 17-day strike early in the 1993-94 created havoc as replacement refs took over for a while until a new CBA was reached with refs and NHL

Charles (MA)

Pierre great work as always...first of all i wish you and everyone in your family a happy and healthy holiday season...secondly, what the heck is Colby Armstrong thinking about not telling the staff about his concussion? Leads to wonder how many other players are going out there still even with all the effort to quell concussions and properly diagnose...I know he has been beset by injuries but that is just insane to do...your thought?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:10 PM)

Thank you Charles, the same to you and yours.I think what Colby did is representative of a big issue that remains in the fight vs concussions: player honesty. When I interviewed the NHL's lead concussion doctor last season, he said that was still the biggest hurdle by far in trying to make advancements in this field.And the thing is, while the higher-profile players like Crosby, Giroux, Letang, etc., can be honest and cautious with their concussions, the checking player who is scared to lose his job or playing time may not always be just as forcoming. THat's been the case for all kinds of injuries over the years, not just concussions. Just have to keep educating players about the dangers of withholding on concussions. So, so dangerous.

Bruce (Detroit)

Happy Holidays Pierre - I saw some speculation about the Preds possibly being open to trading Weber to the Wings if they can't strike a deal before the deadline. It makes sense since I think the Wings will make a serious run for him in July if he's unsigned and they could get something in return. Your thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:12 PM)

I don't see why the Preds would need to move Weber before Feb. 27. He's RFA (restricted) not UFA, so if the Preds can't re-sign him in the off-season they can still field huge trade offers for his rights then... The guy that's more pressing is Ryan Suter because he in fact is UFA (unrestricted) July 1. If Suter isn't signed by Feb. 27 trade deadline, I can't see how Nashville can afford not to trade him.And yes, Detroit would have interest in either player

Coach Randy (La Belle Province)

I do so now how to speak french - Tabarnak les habs son merde

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:14 PM)

Bonne chance Randy, ca sera pas facile

Jason (Long Island, NY)

Happy Holidays to you Pierre! The Rangers continue to amaze me with a depleted blue line still getting wins. Will they be able to continue this?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:14 PM)

They'll soldier through, yes

Ice Ace (Alabama)

Good game b/w Chicago and Pittsburgh last night. Do you think Emery will stay as the number 1 as he played good despite the loss or Crawford will regain the top spot?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:15 PM)

I think at some point Crawford gets back in as the No. 1... it was a good break for him... But Emery will continue to push hard and gets his starts in too

Mark (San Jose)

Hello Pierre, if Detroit does end up hosting the next Winter Classic, is it too much to ask for the Sharks to be the visiting team? They may be a small-market team, but they sell-out consistently and have the star talent for the national spotlight. I know the Blackhawks, Avalanche, and Maple Leafs are being suggested, but those are the rivalries of yesteryear. I think you'll agree Wings-Sharks is always entertaining.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:16 PM)

I'd be surprised, Mark, even though you know my affinity for the Sharks.The NHL has made no apologies for saying the WC is not a democracy, it intends on mostly using teams that generate big TV numbers.Detroit, Minnesota and Washington all candidates to possibly host it next year

Andrew (Chicago)

Pierre, your beloved Pacific division doesn't have a team with more than 40 points, even though the Atlantic and Central each have three teams with 40+ points. What gives? It can't just be due to the Ducks not playing well so far, right? Thanks for the chat!

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:17 PM)

Yes Burnside and I talked about that this morning in the Daily Debate. The Pacific has really been a disappointment this year. The Ducks have fallen apart, the Kings have surprisingly struggled, the Stras and Coyotes are up and down, the Sharks have yet to hit their stride

Mark (California)

Good Afternoon Pierre, How long is this rebuild for the Islanders allowed to last before GM Snow's seat begins to heat up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:18 PM)

If I had any clue what goes through the mind of Charles Wang, I would tell you. But I don't.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Pierre: I thought Wayne Simmonds would contribute more offensively than he has. Has he been a bit of a disappointment?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:18 PM)

No his game all along was to be a third-line energy guy. Very nice physical player with smarts, but scoring goals isn't among the best things he's good at

Ben (Maine)

Can anyone beat the Boston Bruins in a 7 game series in the playoffs this season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:21 PM)

To me you've got a clear list of elite teams that can all beat each other: Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia from the East, Chicago, Detroit, San Jose, Vancouver from the West are my top 7 teams with St. Louis, Minnesota and the Rangers chargingThe Cup is coming from there this year

steve (victoria)

Hi Pierre, With the struggles Vokoun has been having and the tandem goaltending created by his inability to hold the #1 position, would you drop him in a pool for the likes of Lehtonen or Reimer moving forward? thnx

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:21 PM)

I'd take Lehtonen over him

HBK (Middletown, DE)

Pierre- have you heard anything about somebody from Hearst appearing in an NHL game this evening?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:21 PM)

I know he's hoping to... at this hour still undecided whether it's a go or not

Alex (Anaheim)

Has there been a wilder finish this year than Saturday night in Glendale?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:22 PM)

not likely, that was crazy

Greg (Philadelphia)

Do you think that Kimmo Timonen is underrated or is that my Philadelphia bias shining through?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:22 PM)

No, he's always been very underrated his entire career starting with his days in Nashville. No question

Tyler (Toronto)

Hey Pierre, lots of chatter lately about Eric Staal. Given his salary, their depth at center, and the probability of a rebuild, it makes sense to move him. What do you see Rutherford doing?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:23 PM)

Rutherford has told me Staal is NOT on the trade block.My guess, however, is that perhaps he re-visits that notion come the off-season. We'll see.

Bernie (DC)

Hi (Bon Jour) Pierre, So that Caps game last night had me thinking that we could be looking back thinking this was the game where the players bought into Dale's system. What do you think?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:24 PM)

One game doesn't make a trend but it's certainly by far the best they've looked since he took over

Nate (Bristol, CT)

Pierre, bienvenue! Joyeux Noel! What are the chances the NHL pleases its fans and goes back to the old division names (Adams, Patrick, Smythe, Norris) instead of chickening out and going geographic? Also, as a christmas bonus, do you see Timmy Thomas as a Hall of Famer at this point?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:25 PM)

A league source told me last week (and I wrote it in my weekend notebook) that the league is leaning towards remaining geographic with conference names next year. However, no final decision had been taken so there's still time for some lobbying !

Bryan (Arlington, VA)

For pete's sake! Who is the #1 goalie in DC?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:25 PM)

whomever wins the last game :)

Matt W (New Jersey)

Is it time for the Sabres to fire Lindy Ruff? The Sabres don't look like they have any passion right now.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:26 PM)

Spoke with Sabres president Ted Black on Monday and he gave Ruff a huge vote of confidence.... Not sure you can really blame the coach for all the injuries they've had

Amanda (NYC)

If "G" comes back to play tonight...do you think it's too soon, even if he says he feels better? Makes me nervous.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:27 PM)

Amanda, I had a similar thought, sure hope the Flyers will make more sure than sure.... especially with Christmas break coming... could afford him more time off... but if he's ready, hey, let him play

Mark (Seattle)

Hey Peirre! Care to weigh in on how horribly boring and like mediocre the Kings will be under Sutter and maybe WHAT Lomabardi was thinking???? I thought they were finally there with adding Richards. Now I feel they've taken a HUGE step backwards...

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:28 PM)

Here was my reaction blog from yesterday on the hiring:''This is all about trust.You can argue whether or not Darryl Sutter is the right man for the Los Angeles Kings, but he is certainly the right hire for general manager Dean Lombardi.This could be Lombardi's last coaching hire in Los Angeles. So, with his own job on the line, Lombardi reached out to someone he trusts.Lombardi and Sutter were together in San Jose, and they view hockey through a similar prism.Lombardi wasn't going to bring in a coach he didn't personally know with so much riding on the line. And I can't fault him for that.What Lombardi knows about Sutter is that whether the players love playing for him or not, those same players usually look back and admit Sutter got the best out of them. That's what Lombardi is looking for -- to jump-start a Kings roster that should be so much better than this, for Sutter to bring the best out of them, just as he did when he coached the underdog Calgary Flames to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals.Lombardi wants Sutter to jolt the dressing room. And, oh, he will.You can argue there were better coaching options out there, but you can't say there was anybody out there that Lombardi could trust as much as the man he hired.And if you stood in Lombardi's shoes, you likely would not have made a different decision."

Bryan (Arlington, VA)

I see slight improvement since Dale Hunter has started coaching the Caps. Caps look much better in the defensive zone. Do new coaches start with the defense, offense, or whatever needs improvement most?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:29 PM)

They usually start with special teams and then slowly as off-day practices permit, integrate five-on-five system as the season goes on

walsh (vancity.)

if the devils are 10 points out of the playoffs at any points, Parise is a goner. where you think he could end up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:30 PM)

unless of course he re-signs before Feb. 27... all is up in the air on that front. Both sides had to wait until Jan. 1 to talk as per the CBA rules for players under one-year deals...Real though decision for Lou if the Devils are in a playoff spot Feb. 27 and Parise is still unsigned... Whoa, wouldn't want to be Lou in that spot... 29 teams would lineup and make offers for Parise but I know the Kings have coveted him for a long, long time

Andy M (Erie PA)

Do you think the sharks will get going, and make a push for the presidents trophy this year

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:31 PM)

Oui

Mike Gillis (Roger's Arena)

Pierre, David Poile has remained fairly quiet on the contract front for Shea Weber. Has Shea Weber already given him the indication that he would not renew his contract? Will he be shopped around the trade deadline time? If so, what kind of a package will Poile be expecting and say, if the Canucks were interested, what kind of package would land Shea Weber? Thanks Pierre, Sushi is on me the next time you are in Van!!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:32 PM)

Weber, like Parise in NJ, can't talk contract until Jan. 1 as per CBA rules for players on one-year deals.

Zach (Michigan)

Do you see Detroit making a move at the deadline to put them over the top?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:32 PM)

I know that because of their cap room _ the most they've had in the 7 years under the cap system _ they will certainly look at what's out there and act if the price is right

Mark (Seattle)

Originally I was enraged the Ducks (Murray) could let Pronger go, knowing he was losing Neidermeyer in the near future. He now loks like a genius. Was this luck, or did the Ducks see the great D-Man was breaking down?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:33 PM)

Neither, it was a financial move

Connor (Normal, IL)

How come the Blues are getting no respect or coverage? They've been the hottest team in the NHL since hiring Hitchcock and recently saw the return of David Perron to the ice.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:33 PM)

I talked about them all the time my friend...Every fan of every team always feels that way. My message boards are littered with ''how come my team doesn't get talks about enough... "It gets kind of tiresome after a while

Peter (Philadelphia)

If Erik Karlsson ends the regular season with 70+ points, is a positive net plus/minus and the Sens contend for a playoff spot, does a Norris trophy nominee await him?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:34 PM)

As a guy who gets to vote for the Norris Trophy, I'm not sure I could give him my first-place ballot (we rank five players on our ballot). Unless he falls on his head, I'm pretty sure Shea Weber will get my first-place vote

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:35 PM)

He ddin't want to go there and he's not overly pleased he's still there but he's doing his job like the pro he is right now

Tim (England)

What do you believe is the real story with Jeff Carter and the Bluejackets? Also if Carter did want a trade away what do you think the Jackets would want/get in return?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:35 PM)

sorry the last answer was for this question

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:35 PM)

Oh man, Here I Go Again by Whitesnake just came on my tunes... wow, what a tune

Connor (Normal, IL)

How do you see the Western Conference shaking out by the end of the year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:38 PM)

1. Chicago (Central title)2. Vancouver (NW title)3. San Jose (Pacific title)4. Detroit5. St. Louis after that, a total rat race between L.A., Minny, Nash, Phx and Dallas for the last 3 spots

Rick (San Diego, CA)

Pierre, I guess Gabby is not the answer for the Ducks? Is there anything that can be done for this team? Other than Teemu, I think that none of the big guns are playing up to expectation. It would be a shame if this was the last year for the Flash

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:39 PM)

I think some of those guys should be slightly embarassed that a 41-year-old leads the team in scoring even if he is a future slamdunk HHOF'er

Andrew (Toronto)

Hoping that his injury from last night isn't too serious, do you think Mike Smith is the real deal, or just a goalie who was on an extended hot streak? His has been my favourite story to this point of the season

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:40 PM)

No offense to Mike who has played real well. Any goalie who plays in front a Dave Tippett system should have some success. Look at Bryz before him... plus goalie goalie Sean Burke does a tremendous job with these guys

Jason (Detroit)

Pierre do you think the Red Wings have transitioned well from guys like Draper and Maltby to guys like Helm and Abdelkader? and can they contend past round 2 this year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:41 PM)

yes they've transitioned wellAs for playoffs, flip a coin _ the Western Conference is so close and has so many elite teams.

Justin P (Raleigh,NC)

Hey pierre will the canes make a deal for a top 6 foward this season or just unload and look to add one in the off season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:42 PM)

I mean if they can get one this season they'll take him but the overall plan will be to look at the big picture, unload some UFAs, get assets back in return, etc..

Eric (Alto, Mi)

Could the Central Div have 4 teams make the playoffs or will St Louis or Nashville fold

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:42 PM)

It could possibly

Mike (Rochester)

Lebrunski- Can you go do an interview with Joe Thornton and wake the Sharks up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:43 PM)

They've won their last two haven't they? I'll talk to Joe in the second half :)

TiM (Pittsburgh)

Would you be in favor of a coach's review of a referee call if it appeared the ref made the mistake, ala the Harmonic elbow?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:43 PM)

No because it would make games longer

Ice Ace (Alabama)

Who has a better goaltender - defensemen combo than Predators with Rinne, Suter and Weber?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:44 PM)

Probably no one but just to be Devil's advocate...Howard-Lidstrom-KronwallFleury-Letang-MichalekThomas-Chara-Seidenberg

Greg (Florida)

Mid-season Calder prediction: The Nuge or Henrique?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:45 PM)

Henrique has been unreal but I'll stick with RNH

Jeff (Chicago)

Hey Pierre, Happy Holidays! No musical updates today? Are my Bruins better than last year? And how much credit should their GM get for making this team seemingly a contender for years with the young core?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:46 PM)

Well right now I'm listening to I Hate Myself For Loving You by Joan Jett. Rockin' tune. I think Peter Chiarelli didn't get nearly enough credit for the Cup year but more importantly for the way in which he managed his cap so that the Cup champs didn't have to be blown up. He's gone a super, super job

Kirk (Uniontown, Pa)

Pierre, always enjoy the chats. Name your top five restaurants/watering holes to hit while traveling to nhl cities

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:49 PM)

Oh boy... I'm going to leave out a bunch I love cause I'm thinkin off top of my head but... 1. Harry Caray's, Chicago 2. Shale's Cafe, Pittsburgh3. La Cabane, Montreal4. Original Joe's, San Jose5. The Keg (Yaletown), Vancouver

mike (boston)

Do you think the Bruins can continue to be as dominant as they have been, and if so are we looking at 3-5 year run of being at the top of the NHL

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:50 PM)

yes I think they're around for a while as a contender, no question

Sergei (WI)

Hi, Pierre,I just read your debate with Burnside and must say that I disagree with a couple of points:One- Central is the toughest division in the NHL, not Atlantic. So far, we are 4-2 against them. Wings beat Pens; Blues beat Pens, Philly, and NYR; Preds lost to NJ in SO (btw, they have 7 s.o. wins, which is more than all of central, and it's the weakest tie-breaker), and Chicago lost to Pit in a close game. Secondly, the next time you offer us a poll on the sharks, please give us the option that says "Won't Make Playoffs" because only you and sharks fans belive they will win the Cup, none of us do. They are middle of the pack in goals for and PP, and just about dead-last in PK. May I challenge you for the job and offer my end-of-year standings?Detroit, Vancouver, Dallas, Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis, Calgary, Nashville.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:52 PM)

Sergei, people must think I owe you money for posting your ramblings every week, but you make me laugh so that counts for something, haha.

Ben Robin (Whitby, Ontario)

Winter Classic? MTL-TOR!!!!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:58 PM)

I believe that's called a Heritage Classic, haha.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:58 PM)

OK cool cats, I wish you a terrific weekend. And for those of you like me who celebrate that party on Dec. 25:JOYEUX NOEL