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September 25, 10:00 AM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (9:58 AM)

Greetings friends, let's get this rolling.

Kyle (CA)

Pierre, kind of an odd question, but do you think after playing in the Olympics in Russia, for Russia, that it will inspire some guys to leave the NHL for the KHL?

Pierre LeBrun
  (9:59 AM)

Unless they've got the blessing of their NHL team to do so, they would be in violation of their contracts and technically speaking not allowed to do so. The KHL and NHL have an agreement on this. Now, having said all that, it's Russia and who the heck knows?

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

When will the Islanders move to the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, NY Current Home of the NBA Nets?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:01 AM)

The plan right now is for the team to move there permanently for the 2015-16 season.

Todd (Atlanta)

Hi Pierre, What do you think is the key for the wild to scoremore this year. Shots on goal were up lastsseason, but similar results of not enough goals. Thanks

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:02 AM)

To me a key guy is Granlund, his development is huge. If he can jump up and become a reliable second-line guy, then that helps fill the void of Cullen being gone.

Danny (Manitoba)

Who is your tender for team Canada?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:02 AM)

I'd go with Price, Luongo and Smith right now as my 3 guysWaiting to see how Cam Ward bounces back as well.

Georgio (Rome)

I have Ryan Mathews and Deangelo Williams as my 3rd and 4th RB's. I desperately need a third WR and was thinking about trading one for T.Y. Hilton. Which one would you rather trade (given Stewart's imminent return)? Or what other WR value could I get for these guys?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:02 AM)

Um, wrong chat :)ANd I'd be the last guy to ask since my fantasy team has started the NFL season 0-3 !

Erin Conners (Belleville, Ontario)

What moves do you think the Habs should make this season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:05 AM)

I know it's boring and hard for fans to accept but the best possible strategy for Marc Bergevin is to continue to be patient, patient, patient, build this team from the ground up with long-term vision, not give up anything of value in terms of picks and/or top prospects in any trade. Building an organization that can contend year in and year out means having the kind of organizational depth that has to be built up over 3-4 years. If I'm Bergevin, I don't care what happens this season, I'd keep my focus on the long-term goal. Last year was not realistic, the Habs aren't really a No. 2 seed, they're not among the elite teams in this league. They're not there yet. They're a bubble team, right in th e middle of the pack, they may make the playoffs, they may not. But the key for the GM is to keep his vision long term

Alex (Toronto)

Does Morgan Rielly's play in the preseason change how Toronto handles the Cody Franson situation?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:07 AM)

It certainly doesn't help Franson's leverage, that's for sure. Plus Paul Ranger has been great, too. Those are 2 guys who weren't in Toronto last season. The reality is that Clarkson's suspension is the biggest problem for Franson now, Clarkson eating away at the cap while he's sitting out. The Leafs can still sign Franson if he gives in, but now they'd have to move some money out to make it happen because of the Clarkson situation

Bryan (Waterloo)

Which team perplexes you most heading into the season in terms of what to expect?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:09 AM)

I'd say Vancouver for sure. I actually have them missing the playoffs if you can believe it, but it wouldn't surprise me if they won their division, either. I'm all over the place on them because I think the whole Torts thing could go a million different ways. The Canucks' window is closing in terms of being a contender and the question is whether they can squeeze out 1-2 more seasons in that window or whether this season is the beginning of the downfall. The owner is ornery, the GM could be on thin ice, the goalie wanted out and didn't get his wish, the twins are unsigned past this year... yeeh, going to be quite the interesting year in Van City

Bill (Toronto)

which goaltender(s) do you think will have a breakout year this year? Markstrom? Pavelec? Dubnyk? someone else?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:18 AM)

I think Pavelec bounces back in Winnipeg

James Wisniewski (Columbus, OH)

Pierre, please tell David Clarkson good start to his Leafs career. What is 1/8 of 7million?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:20 AM)

Haha, his heart was in the right place, not his head though. Ooof.

Terry (Pickering)

Which teams in your opinion are most helped and most hurt by the realignment of teams and change in travel/schedule this year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:23 AM)

Toronto and Montreal not helped by the imbalance, 16 teams in the East, and having Detroit join them in their division. To me, Boston-Detroit-Ottawa most likely top 3 in the Atlantic so that leaves Habs-Leafs and maybe Tampa battling for 4th _ which isn't a guaranteed playoff spot either

Rob (St. Louis)

What kind of roster moves do you see the Blues making with the log jam they have at forward, especially after the Morrow signing? Thanks.

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:25 AM)

They are hoping to trade away a forward to help the logjam. One of their bottom six guys obviously.

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:25 AM)

I'd say the Isles. Boy, I love that team up front. But Nabby is one year older and wasn't very good in the playoffs.

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Pierre, what team in the Patrick (i mean "Metro") Division has the biggest goaltending question mark? There are a lot of choices. Penguins (Fleury lost it/Vokoun hurt), Islanders (Nabokov old/bad in playoffs), Devils (Brodeur-Schneider trying to split time), Rangers (Lundquist not signing extension), Hurricanes (Cam Ward always hurt), or Flyers (being the Flyers). As odd as it seems, Columbus and Washington might have the most long-term stability in goal right now.

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:28 AM)

Sorry jesse the Nabby answer was for your question

Mickey (Chicago)

All the reports I've read from the Hawks training camp talk about how impressive Teuvo Teravainen has been, and made a lot of comparisons to Patrick Kane. How good is he really, and how high do you think his ceiling is? Can he be an impact player as soon as next year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:29 AM)

Haven't seen him play so don't know yet myself

Chris (LA)

What are the Kings missing to make them contenders this year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:31 AM)

To me a real key for them is the health of Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell this season. If they stay in the lineup, this is a mighty strong contender again. But with the loss of Scuderi. they can't afford to lose to those guys to injury

Ron Burgundy (San Diego, CA)

Pierre, that Leafs-Sabres pre-season game really escalated quickly.

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:31 AM)

It's like they were all in a glass cage of emotion

Marc (Malden, MA)

What happens with Vanek, seems like Buffalo isn't going to resign him? Does he get traded and is an extension part of that trade? Or does he hit free agency? Would love to see him in Boston.

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:32 AM)

My guess is he's a rental trade before the March deadline. Great pickup for any contender, big body and a goal machine

Bryan (Waterloo, Ontario)

The Ducks and Blues both having great depth in net, do you see one or both of them shipping a goalie somewhere such as Calgary, and if so, which goalies are most likely?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:34 AM)

Hiller is UFA after the season and John Gibson is a franchise goalie in the making in their system so that will be interesting to follow in Anaheim... But if the Ducks are in a playoff spot, not sure they can afford to move Hiller unless they feel Gibson is ready later this season.As for St. Louis, they have depth but do they have a real No. 1 guy that can help them win the Cup? They need Halak to step up. Elliott has shown that he's a real good backup but losing to LA two straight years, he isn't No.1 matieral. Allen is young but promising... The Blues internally really really hope Halak answer the call this year and becomes the 2010 version in Montreal of himself. .... if Halak isn't on that level come March, I wonder if St. Louis doesn't look at their trade options.... should be interesting

Randy Carlyle (Toronto, ON)

Pierre, all the fights in our pre-season game against Buffalo were an abomination. Who still tries to use fighting as a intimidation tactic in today's NHL? I would NEVER coach a team that would employ multiple goons and lead the league in fights on the way to winning a Stanley Cup, then switch to a new team only to have that team employ a similar number of goons and lead the league in fights. That would never happen. Hear me?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:35 AM)

Yes, the irony of the Leafs being bullied on that night after two years of the Bay St. Bullies from Toronto doing that to other teams... well, it was hard not to see that irony indeed :)

David (Hartford)

Is it a matter of time before someone (the Islanders maybe???) throws a lucrative offer sheet at Derek Stepan and forces Glen Sather's hand? Or is there some kind of unwritten code stopping GMs from trying to scoop up one of the best young centers in the league?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:36 AM)

I mean, when I speak with GMS, they just feel that the other team will match the offer so... Nashville matching that crazy, front-loaded offer sheet to Shea Weber from Philly in summer of 2012 just proved that

Erin (Belleville, Ontario)

I definitely agree with you as far as the long term vision goes there with the Habs. Just wondering how you think Bergevin should deal with making room in both the roster and the salary cap when it comes to signing all of the players that will be coming to the end of their contracts in the next year or two.

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:39 AM)

Right, good question. Gionta, for starters, is a $5-M player right now and unless I'm reading things wrongly, I just don't think he returns after this season. So that's $5 M in the bank there. And don't forget the cap is going up from here on in. Subban and Eller are the two key guys that need new deals after this season. There will be ample room under the cap I think. The Subban negotiation will be interesting for sure. With deals Pietrangelo and Karlsson have signed over the past year, it gives you an idea, anywhere from $6.5 M to $7 M a year over 7-8 years is going to be the ball park I think...

Andrew (Toronto)

Bonjour, Pierre! Glad to be back talking hockey. Let's discuss goalie you see there being a clear winner in Philly, St. Louis and Toronto? Or will they be timeshares throughout the season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:40 AM)

I'm a big Bernier guy so I see him winning out over Reimer eventually but not early.... going to be a time share for a while I think... Philly smells like a time share... The Blues are hoping Halak can be that true No. 1 guy so they're going to give him that chance early on

Brian Parsons (Gloucester, Ontario)

Ottawa's only got Bobby Ryan and Jason Spezza under contract until the end of next season, and Milan Michalek until the end of this season. Do you think they are they going to make a push for the cup with all the cap space and prospects available in their system as trade pieces, or will they keep on with the current crew and see where they can take the team for the next two seasons?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:41 AM)

Ottawa doesn't have the financial freedom of their Canadian cousins in the East. They're a budget team. So I don't think they can add players like crazy just go for it. But they're a very competitive team as is, I picked them to be a surprise Atlantic winner...

Canucks Fans (Vancouver, BC)

Pierre, above you said our window is closing and we might only be able to squeeze out 1-2 more contending years. The Sharks window has been "closing" for 5 years and Katie Strang just picked them to win the Stanley Cup. So.....yeah......

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:42 AM)

I know, great point on San Jose. Heck, I picked the Sharks to win the Cup for 4-5 years in a row ! haha. The difference though is that San Jose has some key players who are younger, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Marc-Edouard Vlasic are all entering their prime of their careers, etc...

Jim Clark (Long Island, NY)

How come Glen Sather still has a job after a decade of mostly disappointments and seems immune to criticism?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:42 AM)

Well I mean, they make the playoffs almost every year, right?

Brandon (Charlottetown, PE)

Which coach will be the first to get fired this season if their team falters??

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:43 AM)

I'd keep an eye on Claude Noel in Winnipeg if the Jets falter out of the gates. He's one of my favorite people in the game, but just getting a one-year extension in the summer spoke volumes. He's on a short leash

Rebecca (New Mexico)

Would any team be as worried about their #2 backup goalie getting hurt as the Pens. What are the best options? Will Zatkoff be enough?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:47 AM)

Yeah it's dicey these days in goal for Pittsburgh. So much riding on Fleury bouncing back now for sure with Vokoun's unfortunate situation. Zatkoff is 26 and has never played an NHL game so not sure how much trust I have there. If I'm Ray SHero, I'd give some thought to UFA Jose Theodore as insurance but I know it's complicated with the salary cap and opening day rosters, etc...

George (UMiami)

Is there actually a market for a player like JM liles given his high cap hit and randy seemingly losing all faith in him?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:48 AM)

I don't think so, not with 2 more years on his deal after this season at a $3.875 M cap hit

al (denver)

hi, pierre: with the addition of morrow, who is the odd man out in st. louis? my understanding is they need to shed a little salary to get under the cap.

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:49 AM)

Yeah haven't heard any specific names being shopped but if I had to guess it would be Lapierre or Cracknell or somebody like that from the bottom group

Brian (Ottawa, ON)

What "big name" is most likely to get traded this season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:49 AM)

Ryan Miller

Audrey (Montreal)

Hi Pierre! I can't decide myself on the order I should put Mtl, Tor and Ott in terms of playoffs chances. I know it's a tricky question for you to answer but what is your call on that? Thank you!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:51 AM)

To me Ottawa proved last year with having half their team injured all year and still making the playoffs, and waxing Montreal, that a healthy Sens team is ahead of both Toronto and Montreal in terms of where their program sits. I think Ottawa will challenge Boston and Detroit for the top in the Atlantic. I think Montreal, TOronto and Tampa have to fight for scraps after that

Dan (Toronto)

What do you think of the Kessel suspension? I would have thought the rest of the preseason plus 2-3 regular season games.

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:52 AM)

Yes as I tweeted last night, I think the Leafs got very lucky. I think Kessel deserved at least one reg-season game for that second slash, especially when you consider his slash in the Philly game the week before. I can live with the first slash on Scott because he's reacting like we all would in that situation when a big lug head goes after you. But the second slash was not called for, his teammates by then had jumped in for him. ANd it was dangerous .

Steve (CT)

Did the Sabres Ron Rolson really get fined for leaving John Scott on the ice? Could you please explain?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:52 AM)

Yup, league felt Rolston was asking Scott to stir it up by having him out there and blamed that for the start of the brawl

Don (Michigan)

Hey Pierre, how useless will the Northeast's "goons" be against the Wings this season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:58 AM)

As useless as ever I'd say

Bryan (Baltimore)

Schneider only gave up one goal in his 8 periods of preseason play. I've been a Devils fan since '94, I love Marty, but after watching preseason, I almost want Cory to take over the top spot. You see any chance that actually happens this season? Definitely think at the least Cory will push Brodeur into definitely retiring after this season, can't see him clinging to playing while being outplayed by his "backup".

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:59 AM)

DeBoer told me there would be a healthy competition but also pointed to a number of back-to-back games, the most in the league he thought. So those back to back adhere themselves to splitting them up... but I'm with you, by the end of the season a positive thing for the Devils would be to see Schneider as the clear starter

Morris (Oakville, ON)

Pierre, which Oiler youngster do you see having the best season? Is their defence sufficiently improved for them to make a jump?

Pierre LeBrun
  (10:59 AM)

I think Jordan Eberle will have a huge, huge season

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Pierre, to follow-up on David from Hartford's question regarding an offer sheet to Derek Stepan...the same answer we always get is that teams don't do this because they know the other team will match (see Weber and O'Reilly). But even so, if say the Islanders made a big offer to Stepan and the Rangers matched, wouldn't that still hurt the Rangers in the long term because they might have to shed players off their current cap or be unable to re-sign Lundquist. Isles might still benefit. Or is the real reason that they would be afraid is that the Rangers might offer Tavares 20-million a season next time his contract is up as payback.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:00 AM)

True. But then the Rangers could do it the Islanders next time around, and here we go.... Remember Anaheim and Edmonton and Penner offer sheet? Is that bad blood worth it?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:00 AM)

OK cool cats, that was terrific. Talk next week when hockey starts for real !