Hello all. Quite a weekend in Ottawa for All-Star. Now happy to be back about the business of real hockey. Now, where were we?
Seattle keeps being named as a possible relocation spot for the Coyotes. If this happens, is there a belief that the team would play in the Tacoma Dome for a couple seasons while the new arena gets built since it holds a greater capacity? Or would they suffer in the smaller and less desirable Key Arena because it's actually in Seattle?
Brian; Not sure exactly although off the top of my head the league would want the team in the city proper. But that's just a guess. Just as it's just a guess - educated but a guess nonetheless - that if the NHL finally does have to relocate the 'Yotes they would prefer to go to a big American market like Seattle. That is certainly the buzz, though, around the league. Unlike a year ago with Winnipeg there is no clear relocation path the league will follow.
What would the interest be in Zidlicky and what could the Wild expect in return?
Mike; I would say there would be significant interest in Zidlicky especially after telling veteran beat Mike Russo he'd waive his no-trade clause after being scratched for the past three games. But he's not going to command a first-round pick or something of that nature. He doesn't have the playoff pedigree of say a Hal Gill and his offensive game isn't enough to get teams to ante up big-time assets. Given his comments though I wouldn't be surprised to see the Wild move him just to avoid continued annoyance.
In my opinion Vancouver needs to deal Schneider before the deadline. Morrow is supposedly on the block and seems to me like the missing piece in Vancouver, could a deal be worked out sending Schneider to Dallas(im assuming Dallas would then trade Schneider or Lehtonen for young talent).
Dave; You are not alone in thinking that the Canucks need to deal their big asset in the hopes of adding a top-six winger with skill and grit. Not sure it would be a one-for-one deal with Dallas if they decide to move Brenden Morrow (not a given by any stretch by the way) but maybe deal Schneider for picks/prospects and then do a deal with Dallas if Morrow is available. But for my money I'm not sure the Canucks can win a Cup without Schneider between the pipes at some point. Food for thought, no?
I suggested a Patrick Kane for Tim Thomas deal two years ago. Everyone said that I was insane and that TT was finished. I actually posted here in a chat, and either you or LeBrun responded to it saying, "There's always one in every chat." How would that work out now adays in your opinion?
Bobby; I would never have said that so I'll blame Pierre. I can also assure you that GM Peter Chiarelli has insisted publicly he's not trading Tim Thomas. Had such a deal been consummated hard to know where both teams would be but I still think the 'Hawks are committed to Kane and to their current goaltending. Need another defenseman and maybe another skilled/gritty forward pending how Brenden Morrison fits in over the next couple of weeks. Bruins obviously are fine with Thomas/Rask.
Do you see any goaltenders going before the trade deadline this year? If so, who?
Mike; I would think Evgeni Nabokov will be on the move somewhere; maybe a back-up in Detroit? I suppose it's possible that if Calgary fell off the pace significantly Miikka Kiprusoff might be in play but if that happens I'm guessing that's a deal better suited for the draft in terms of the Flames rebuilding. Certainly there isn't a team that is obviously looking to shore up number-one goaltending among the playoff teams at this point (and I don't consider Tampa in that boat right now as I expect they'll address goaltending in the off-season).
Scott, we have a couple predominant players reaching the end of their careers (ex. Selanne, Alfie, Brodeur, Jagr, Lindstrom....). Who do you see postponing retirement and coming back for another year?
Nick; I wouldn't be surprised to see them all return for one more kick at the can. All continue to produce at a high level. If the Wings won a Cup or even got to another final maybe that would be enough for Lidstrom. Maybe I'm being selfish but figure the game is better for having those greats still on the ice.
Can you explain to me how it makes ANY sense for that goal in the Kings game to count? The puck clearly went in with tenths of a second left and the clock was clearly stopped for more than a few tenths of a second. Why can't the officials overturn it when it's so blatant?
Adam; A lot of discussion about clock-gate last night in Los Angeles. To the league's credit they've dispatched a couple of staffers to check out what really went down. GM Dean Lombardi sent a note to Pierre LeBrun a short time ago suggesting it's really the clock recalibrating itself over tenths of seconds and that there wasn't a screw-up (or something like that). But the replays and the league itself indicate the goal shouldn't have counted. If it's a straight-on malfunction the league needs to find out and reveal that. If it's a manipulation of the clock on behalf of the Kings by someone at Staples they need to identify that individual(s) and fire them. No matter how you cut it, not pretty.
There was a lot of talk about the clock error in the LA-Columbus game last night. I get that it might have no implication on the playoffs, since Columbus is certainly not getting in and LA will most likely be in the playoffs, but how does the NHL rectify this for the future? And do you think the NHL would actually re-play this time if this were the last game of the season and one of the two teams were one point out of the playoffs?
Andrew; As a follow-up Colin Campbell, league executive vice-president, made it pretty clear, foul-up or no foul-up when the game's over the game's over. No do-overs. That's pretty standard for all pro sports leagues. Let's see how this gets remembered when the Kings edge Calgary by a point on Game 82 for the final spot. Or slips by San Jose for the Pacific Division crown by a point forcing the Sharks into a first-round match-up with Detroit or Vancouver. This has the potential to haunt the league come springtime.
Scott, what, if anything, will the Rangers do with Wolski and Christensen? Will they try to move one or both for defensemen or top 6 forward (figure would have to give up a prospect as well for this) or will they let me sit and be used on emergency basis?
Marco; Good question and I think a lot will have to do with what Glen Sather can come up with vis a vis an impact forward (likely a center if the Rangers have their way) and another defenseman. Neither of those guys has much value now especially with Wolski's injury issues and the dramatic decline in his production.
Hello Scott! Does Minnesota wipe the egg off their faces from their last loss and comeback hard against Colorado? I got a Colorado friend that cannot have this win.
Cody; Big win for the Wild last time they played right before the break. Need this one desperately although no more desperately than the Avs need it. First of three in a row on the road versus Avs, Stars and Blue Jackets. I would say Wild need to go at least 2-1 as they come home and take on Vancouver a week tonight.
Burnside....What do you think ends up happening with Ryan Suter? What kind of guy do think Nashville tries to add for the playoff push? And how far do you think the Preds can do this season?
Jackson; My guess is that Ryan Suter remains a Predator through the end of the season. With him they have a shot at winning a round or two maybe more. If they move him and end up with a top-six forward somehow I'm not sure they're any further ahead. I wouldn't be surprised to see GM David Poile try and add some offensive depth without moving Suter and hope a long run keeps both Suter and Weber in the fold. A lot of hoping going on in Nashville right now.
Another goalie/trade question. Ben Bishop in the Blues organization...any interest around the league?
Greg; He's a guy that could go at the deadline or more likely at the draft as teams figure out their long-term plans. Detroit, perhaps, will be looking to get younger in the back-up behind Jimmy Howard. Tampa definitely looking to get younger. New Jersey at some point has to come up with a Plan B. Bishop could be a guy that figures in although he won't command a big return in terms of draft picks or prospects.
Any truth in the rumors that Kings are shopping Jack Johnson and hoping to get a top six forward in return?
zubin; I would say no. Dean Lombardi will be looking to add a top six forward and specifically a winger without disrupting his everyday roster and without trading a big piece like Johnson.
Out of my personal cup contenders (Bruins, Rangers, Pens, Wings, Blackhawks) who has the highest potential that we have yet to see? Which 2 will fight for the cop?
Devin; Based on current level of play and assuming, right now, no Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh I would say Boston/Chicago. But a lot of road to travel before the start of the playoffs so I reserve the right to adjust those picks in the coming days. All those squads you mentioned have a lot going for them.
Scott, as a Wings fan living in Chicago, please tell me there's no way Ryan Miller becomes a Blackhawk.
GBK; That's not going to happen.
Not sure that Seattle is the right place for the 'yotes. Would'nt a team in Quebec City or Hamilton make more sense? Guranteed sellouts and more teams in Canada is never a bad thing. Seattle is a great city, but I think they would rather have the SuperSonics back before welcoming hockey.
tdiddy; Problem with all the relocation possibilities is that there isn't an NHL-ready rink in any of the prime locales except Kansas City which isn't, well, a prime locale. If there was an arena under construction right now in Quebec City, agreed, but NHL not going to commit to that market until arena deal is signed, sealed, delivered. Would be the same pretty much anywhere which is why the league is so circumspect about talking about a Plan B at this point.
Scott I've waited all day to ask,So Who do you see the kings looking to get as a Top 6? and what pieces would go?
Joshua; A number of similar questions but I would guess a guy like Ales Hemsky who might help the PP and pump up the offense in general (although he's not my cup of tea frankly). Maybe a Tuomo Ruutu. If the Coyotes fall off the pace a guy like Ray Whitney would be interesting not just to the Kings (hard to do that deal in the division) but maybe for the Rangers or Red Wings. You know Jeff Carter's name is going to come up and his connection to Mike Richards could be a factor but that contract plus Carter's durability should make that a non-starter. Still, you never know. Kings need to get better up front if they're going to run with Vancouver, Detroit or Chicago.
How do you see the Central standings shaping out for the playoffs?
Bill; How great is that race? And now with Nashville right in the middle of it. If the Blues can get Alexander Steen and Andy McDonald back in a timely fashion (apparently they won't play tomorrow) that's like adding a pair of top six forwards and could nudge them ahead of the rest. If they can't come back I'll go with Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago and Nashville in that order.
What are the chances the Pen's try to move a blueliner (Martin or Michalek) for a scoring winger? Any chance of a trade with Dallas for Morrow? Or Phoenix for Doan?
Paul; Doubt if Ray Shero goes that way. Paul Martin has played a lot better of late and Michalek is solid. In fact if the Pens are going anywhere without Sidney Crosby my guess is the blue line remains in tact as it's as deep as anyone's in the conference when healthy. Assuming Jordan Staal gets back before the playoffs not sure Shero makes a move that takes anyone off his everyday roster.
Scott, there has been conversation about the Sharks going after a top-six forward ahead of the trade deadline. Any ideas on who could be a good fit and available?
Jerry; Actually I think the Sharks will be looking to add some depth along the blue line as opposed to adding up front. Unless of course Doug Wilson thinks there's no chance Martin Havlat gets back into shape for the playoffs in which case the usual suspects will come into play; Hemsky, Ruutu, maybe a Dominic Moore.
Any chance Colorado does anything to bolster their playoff chances? Zach Parise perhaps? Or at least making a run at him in the off-season?
Matt; Doubt if Greg Sherman will disrupt his evolving young roster. And Zach Parise is unlikely to be moved at the deadline in my opinion because the Devils are in such a bind financially they need the money from home playoff dates even if it is for just the first round. Parise will more likely hit the market July 1 at which point I think Sherman would be in the hunt. He'd be a perfect fit with the young talent assembled in Denver.
Scott, what kind of return do you think Niittymaki gives the Sharks in a trade?
Steve; A low draft pick. His value is minimal at best really.
Any Islander rumors besides Nabakov? Somebody please answer a question about the Isles!!!
Chris; We always give the Isles the love here. As for moves there aren't any obvious ones that stand to really help the team. P.A. Parenteau is having a terrific year and is UFA on July 1 but it sounds like he'd like to stay on Long Island and Garth Snow would be crazy not to want to keep him. Suppose he could deal him for a top draft pick (Parenteau is almost a point a game guy) and then agree to re-sign him in the summer but sometimes those things go awry. The rest of the team's potential UFAs are pretty pedestrian so nothing that's going to change the team dramatically moving forward.
Do you think the Caps would ever consider trading Ovy? He has been on the decline in regards to production the past couple of years. Also, his destructive ways on the ice are going to make him more prone to injuries in the future.
Shawn; A lot of issues with trading the face of the franchise but I can guarantee if the Caps miss the playoffs this year there will be a lot more discussion about that very possibility. Not that the Caps will necessarily be looking to move Ovechkin but there will have to be some hard questions asked about the core of the team and Ovechkin's place as the central figure there. Shocking to think that a guy of his talent might actually end up being considered expendable.
Big game in Philly tonight...who ya got?
Mike; Great game between two teams (Nashville and Philly) with a long connection even though they reside in opposite conferences. Lindback in for the Preds so I'll take the Flyers at home. 3-2.
The Caps have been out-shot since Christmas in every game. That's not how this teams wins and I don't see anything changing without Backstrom. When do you see him getting back in the lineup?
Chris; Sadly I hear nothing about a timetable for Backstrom's return. Even when they were on the rocks and Bruce Boudreau was removed he was still bringing it every night. I think he's really matured and might be the team's most important player and ultimately become their most important leader. Assuming he comes back. A shame.
Can you just talk a little about the ridiculous play of the rookies in Philly? The team was young last year, then made trades to get younger (minus the bryz and jagr moves) and they haven't lost a step, seemingly. Who do you think will be the best of the bunch? Couturier, Schenn, Read, Harry Z, Bourdon, etc
Andrew; A little Philly follow here. Had to do the Calder Trophy tracker this week and asked around Philly on who to give the nod to out of Couturier and Read and it was too close to call (I gave it to Read) but that whole group is pretty impressive and the Flyers have done a nice job of remaining a Cup contender while building a terrific future base. Paul Holmgren might now be as good a GM as there is in the business.
Is there any indication now with ownership in place in Dallas if the Stars are actually leaning towards trading out of contention to rebuild? Or does it just seem to be speculation that many players in Dallas would be useful elsewhere in the league?
Carl; My sense is that Tom Gaglardi is taking a wait and see approach to the deadline. No sense wasting assets in terms of picks/prospects or young position players to add veterans for a one-round run. But by the same token I think he understands it would be counter-productive to shed guys like Sheldon Souray and Nicklas Grossman just because they'll be sought-after if it means further alienating an already fragile fan base. I guess it's called walking the ownership tightrope; keep 'em happy today and make 'em even happier tomorrow.
Okay folks. Thanks as always for the time and the questions. Let's do it again next week. Be well.