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April 11, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:56 AM)

Bonjour les amis from snowy Toronto. Man, snow in mid-April. Give me a break.

Brad (Philly)

Bonjour Pierre.. depressed Flyers fan. what happened to Sean Couturier this year? Is he still a keeper for the Flyers and do you think it would be a mistake to trade him for a much needed mobile puck moving defensiveman like Yandle, Johnson or Shattenkirk?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:57 AM)

Doesn't seem to me looking at it from the outside that the coach and player on the same page... but I don't know that for sure. I know one thing, I wouldn't move him

Tim (North Bay)

In defference to Rush being inducted in to the Rock Hall of Fame in 1 week, what Rush tune will you be rocking out to while writing your next article?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:58 AM)

I was born in North Bay, Ontario, exactly 41 years ago today my friend, haha.Rush tune? How about Tom Sawyer !

Cory (Verdun)

Will the Habs rip up P.K. Subban's contract after the year and renegotiate a new contract? If not, things could get ugly a year from now in my opinion...

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:59 AM)

CBA does not allow for contracts to be ''ripped up." Not allowed. But it wouldn't surprise me if both sides started talking about an extension, which the CBA allows for extensions to be signed one year out from free agency

Norm (Pte. Claire)

How well do you think the Habs will do in the playoffs? Every time I feel confident in their play they seem to lose a game they shouldn't have and I get nervous again.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:00 PM)

This is my standard answer for all 16 teams who will make it in, and I'm serious when I say this: every team that makes it has a shot. The NHL has never had so much parity. You get in, you get hot, you stay healthy, you get hot goatlending, you get the 8th-seeded Kings from last season.ANY TEAM CAN WIN THE CUP ONCE THEY"RE IN.

Stephen (Oshawa)

Bonne Jenner getting a shot with Gaborik in Minny? Do you see Jenner making the Blue Jackets next year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:01 PM)

Hard to say, I dont 'think Jarmo Kekalainen will want to rush any prospects, he's got the long-term view, going to be patient. but if the kid is ready, he's ready

Chris (Montreal)

When NHL "insiders" speculate about Calder trophy candidates I rarely hear the name Brendan Gallagher come up yet all he has done is been a productive member of the Habs this year. I realize he has to work on his overall game, but don't all 20 year olds? is he a legit Calder candidate?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:01 PM)

ACtualy his name comes up a lot among the media colleagues that I hang with.... it would surprise me if he wasn't nominated at the very least

Buddy (Boston)

Pierre, will the Bruins ever put a complete game together? What should we expect from Soderburg? Thanks.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:02 PM)

haha, first place in the division and you're still complaining !Sodeberg is a third=line player is how scouts are describing him. Smart player

Jeremy (Waltham)

which team at the bottom of the eastern conference playoff picture do the top teams not want to face?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:02 PM)

Rangers. Should never have been down there to begin with.

Dom (NY)

In an effort to increase scoring without changing the game why not have the long change in the 1st and 3rd periods instead of the second?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:03 PM)

Ha, great point I never thought of.My simple suggestion is to make players sit out their full 2-min penalty regardless if a goal is scored... Full 2-min PP now matter what

Sarah (Chicago)

Hi Pierre,The 8th seed in the Western Conference race is really tight! Who do you think will take the final spot?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:03 PM)

I'd bet on Detroit at this point, but not doing so with much confidence however

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:08 PM)

By the way, huge news today just announced by NHL and NHLPA.About time, too.http://youcanplayproject.org/news/entry/nhl-and-nhlpa-announce-partnership-with-you-can-play

Trevor (Vancouver)

Who are your dark horses in the east and west to contend for the Cup?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:09 PM)

OK if we agree that Pitt/Bos and Chi are the 3 obvious Cup favorites. Let's focus on darkhorses:East _ Montreal, RangersWest _ Blues, CanucksDidn't mention Kings cause they're defending Cup champs but I wouldn't count them out, either

Yves (Moncton)

What is you take on Montreal getting Ryder re-signed? I get the sense he will want 3-4 years and they will want 1-2 with some of the kids on the way.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:12 PM)

Yeah Bergevin's approach so far has been reluctance on term

Wade (France)

Hi Pierre! Just wondering if you have any thoughts on which coaches will be out of a job after the season is over, and where Lindy Ruff is going to end up. Thanks!

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:13 PM)

Joe Sacco in Colorado most likely _ just guessing though, nobody has told me that. And I'm not sure it's even fair. Problem starts above him.

joe (buffalo)

So where will the coyotes be located next season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:13 PM)

who knows ! League is still working with potential groups to keep team in Phoenix. Clock is ticking though...

anthony d (jersey)

Who do you think wins the Calder this year? Saad? Huberdeau? Gallagher? and do you put more weight on stats alone or team performance?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:17 PM)

I won't fill out my official NHL awards ballot until after the regular season concludes so haven't made my final decisions yet. But I'd say I'm picking first place vote on my Calder ballot (you put down 5 names) between Huberdeau and Gallagher

Jens (Minnesota)

Will Hall have the first in-person hearing since the new CBA was signed? Brodin (AHL), Clutterbuck, and now his slash on Michalek...

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:18 PM)

we don't know that yet

Raja (Edmonton, AB)

Hi Pierre, The UFA pool is weak this summer. Do you think Tambellini will go after any RFA's to improve the bottom/top 6 & the defense?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:18 PM)

trade more likely

MATT (south jersey)

My guess is that the Flyers buy out both Briere and Bryz. If that happens, what impact players should the Flyers look at this off season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:19 PM)

well, they can't buy out Briere if he's still injured, FYI. Can't buy out an injured player

Marco Scichilone (Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada)

Soderberg with the Bruins happening soon (meaning when do you expect him to join the roster)?Any updates on Brad Marchand injury?Thanking you in advance Pierre

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:19 PM)

Sodeberg should join the team within the next 7 days I thinkno update on Marchand yet

Raja (Edmonton, AB)

Picking in at the top of the draft is something Oilers fans, like myself, are getting to. Outside of Jones, Mackinnon, Barkov & Drouin, who do you like in the top 10?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:22 PM)

asking the wrong guy, I'm not a draft guru. Grant Sonier is our draft expert here at ESPN. Check out his draft stuff here, it's awesome:http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/nhl_draft

Brian (Albany, NY)

Could you please explain how the compliance buyouts will work, when teams have to decide to buyout a player's salary and if a buyout would cost against the salary cap?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:23 PM)

Teams can select up to (2) compliance buyouts over the next two summers: 2 total. So either one this summer and one summer after, or both this summer or both next summer. You pay the player 2/3 remaining of his contact but his contract no longer counts vs the salary cap. ZERO cap hit.

Mike (Boston)

What is going to be the punnishment for Volchenkov for that dirty hit from last night? 3 games?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:24 PM)

i gave up guessing suspensions a long time ago

Steven (Philippines)

Hi Pierre! I have two questions. First of all, ever since the Ducks have had this great run this season, I started to think of what could happen in the playoffs. Do you think they will dominate games like in 2007 or will we see a team that was great in the regular season and not do so well in the playoffs?Second, with the Phoenix situation going nowhere, is there any chance that a group from Seattle could swoop in to finally end this brouhaha in the desert??Thanks!

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:25 PM)

Quebec City and Seattle most logical options if Coyotes have to move.As for Ducks, big question I would have is secondary scoring. It's been there all season long, which is a big reason they've succeeded, but will it continue?

Jake (Ottawa (Wish I was in Toronto though!))

What are the chances Toronto makes at least a half decent run in the playoffs assuming that they make them. Will they win a round, or maybe take a good team (Boston/Montreal) to a 7 game series ?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:26 PM)

Jake, as I said in my very first answer in the chat, ALL 16 teams that get in have a real shot. That's the truth.

WM (Long Island)

Hi, Pierre. Isles fan since '72 (I was 5) - their expansion year. Thoughts on them? 7-1-1 in their last 9. If this is a dream, I don't want to wake up.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:26 PM)

Love it. would be great to see them get in

Dan (Bethpage, NY)

Islanders season ticket holder here, the Coliseum hasn't been this loud since the epic 7 game series against the Leafs in '02. Big test tonight against the Bruins in Boston but can we all agree that Saturday's game at the Coliseum against the Rangers will be THE biggest game this organization will have played in a LONG time?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:27 PM)

must see TV Saturday. How many Rangers fans will get into the Coliseum?

Devin (PA)

Pen's are being typical holding details on Crosby/Neal's return close to the chest. From what you are hearing, when is a reasonable expectation for when they return?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:27 PM)

wouldn't want to speculate on that stuff.

Frank (Pittsburgh)

What place do the Rangers end up in the East standings at the end of the regular season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:29 PM)

6th

Charles (North Carolina)

Do you get the sense that Phoenix will resolve any ownership issues in time for free agency this summer?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:30 PM)

My sense is that this has to have some resolution by late May/early June. But given the history with this story, don't hold me to it

Dan (Chicago)

Hi Pierre, which potential first round match-up are you most looking forward to (besides obviously Toronto-Montreal)?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:30 PM)

would love to see Ducks-Kings in a 2-7 matchup

Paul (Philly)

Top 5 favorite arena's to watch NHL games?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:33 PM)

1. Montreal2. Chicago3. New York (MSG)4. San Jose5. Edmonton

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:34 PM)

Give me 5 min, folks. on ESPN St. Louis radio

rod (Vancouver bc )

What are your predictions out west?? (San Jose, again?)

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:42 PM)

Before the season I had the Blues coming out of the West. Might as well stay loyal to that pick

Frank (Pittsburgh)

Now that we have had (almost) a full season, which conference top to bottom looks stronger? The East or the West?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:42 PM)

West

David (Brantford)

It may be too long term, but can the Leafs sustain their success going forward or is this just a one year blip?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:42 PM)

No I think long-term the Leafs program is on solid foundation

Kyle (London)

As the only hockey reporter that doesn't consistently crap all over the Sharks, how far do you think Thornton and co. can go? They don't seem to be the legit contenders of years past, but do you think they could surprise?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:43 PM)

Really depends on their matchup I think. They're not a fast team, but they're well balanced. If they don't get one of the faster teams in the first round, they've got a shot, especially with the way Niemi has played

Vince Acc (Virginia )

Are the Washington Capitals a serious contender for the stanley cup this year? Or will they just fail like previous years?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:45 PM)

I don't think they have the goaltending or the blue-line depth to win a Cup

Dennis (Toronto )

Saw the Leafs and Rangers last night and was not at all impressed by the Rangers especially against the Leafs who missing their best player in Lupul. Is John T job on the line if they miss the playoffs or lose in the first round?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:45 PM)

Yes if Rangers miss the playoffs, would be hard to believe it not costing Torts his job. But who knows

James (Vancouver)

If NHL players do end up going to Sochi, how do you like Canada's chances against the Russians, Americans, etc.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:47 PM)

Canada as always would be the deepest team on paper. But for whatever teams has struggled overseas on Olympics since NHL has gone in.4th place in Nagano, lost in quarters in TurinWon gold in Salt Lake and Vancouver.Sochi?

Jon (Stl)

Pierre, just heard you on the radio. This D is looking pretty scary with the additions of Bouwmeester and Leopold. Once this team puts up some consistent scoring teams better watch out.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:47 PM)

yup, thanks for listening Jon

Craig (Maryland)

Don't you think it is about time for the talking heads to stop ripping Ovie? The man has been instrumental in the Caps climbing up the ladder recently and I just feel he is unfairly targeted.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:48 PM)

Pretty sure the ripping has stopped

Jeremy (Springfield,Mo)

Happy B-day pierre! I finally had my first plate of poutine the other day! INCREDIBLE! Should pens fans be worried about all the injuries stacking up? Letang,sid,martin,neal?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:48 PM)

haha, thanks Jeremy. Yes, Poutine rocks. Letang is playing tonight by the way

Eddie (Hoboken, NJ)

DEVILS please? Regarding the compliance question earlier, would the Devils consider using it on Kovalchuk and rebuilding? Also, why won't they trade for Bernier? It's time to think about having the next Brodeur in NJ!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:48 PM)

I wouldn't use it on Kovalchuk, he's their best player. They need him

Tyler (Louisville, KY)

Pierre, totally agree that the Colorado situation starts much higher than Sacco. What would it take to fix the Avs?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:50 PM)

Get the ownership group to commit to winning. Hire a GM who has a plan and a vision.

Jake (North Dakota)

Hey Pierre, the Wild have really tumbled lately. Do you think they'll still make the playoffs? If so, which seed?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:50 PM)

yes they will make it

Adam (Chicago)

As a Blackhawks fan, I'm hoping the Wings stay in 8th. I just don't see how they can lose. They play the same style but the Hawks are just better at it.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:50 PM)

true

Dan (Hamilton, ON)

After going 1st overall -- what are your thoughts about Yakupov this season? I notice he isn't mentioned in any Calder Trophy conversations.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:51 PM)

so-so...

JP (DC)

With Crosby sidelined, the MVP race is wide open now, right?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:52 PM)

He will still get my first-place vote on my official Hart ballot

Neal (Menlo Park)

If it's Montreal v.s. Toronto in the first round would Don Cherry's head explode?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:53 PM)

Hope not, he's a good man

Socklesshal (Smithers B.C.)

BTW Pierre.....Happy Birthday! If you ever get out to the west coast, i'm buying.....Granville Island lager??

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:53 PM)

I'm out West every spring !!!!

Chris (Rutgers Grease Trucks, NJ)

Hi Pierre! This Rangers fan is getting into the coliseum! I have been a die hard fan since John D. was in goal. Barry Beck and Ron Duguay were my favs! This will be my first time in the Coliseum ever. I miss the late 70's-mid 80's. This was once the best rivalry in hockey!!!!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:53 PM)

Nice, enjoy and be safe !

Matt (Pittsburgh)

Will Crosby be back for the playoffs?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:55 PM)

I'm guessing yes. But I'm GUESSING

Richard (Halifax)

Do you feel Mackinnion or Drouin have a chance at making the jump next year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:56 PM)

yes, both

Raj (Vancouver)

Any idea what will happen with Lu situation in summer?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:56 PM)

Personally I would buy him out, but I'm not the one paying the $27-M cheque

Garrett (Long Island)

Hey Pierre! I met you the day the lockout ended in front of the NHL store and we talked about the Rangers offense. You said Torts will probably let the players play more wide open. Clearly they are still having trouble producing offensivley. Do you think its his system? They have way to much offensive talent to not be able to produce more consistently.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:57 PM)

I must have been brain dead from being up for 30-plus hours at the end of the lockout to have told you that, LOL

scott (dallas)

Can you explain Dallas to me? Trade their top 3 and they look better. How does this happen? Was this a case of older more established players holding the younger players back?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:58 PM)

THey traded Jamie Benn, Kari Lehtonen and Loui Ericksson?Oh wait, no they didn't :)

Jac (Columbus)

Who's your choice for the Vezina this year? And is there any chance that Sergei Bobrovsky might win it.

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:59 PM)

If Bobrovsky wins the Vezina (voted on by 30 GMs), what will Holmgren's vote have been? And how will Philly media react?Wow

Jeff (Ottawa)

Happy Birhtday Pierre! You are my favourite anaylst ...well 1A-1B (its hard to beat Mr. McKenzie)

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:00 PM)

Bob is the king. But glad to make your list :)Thanks jeff

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:00 PM)

OK everyone, was fun chatting, sorry for all those I didn't get to. Cheers and enjoy the great hockey over the next two plus weeks