Hey folks, it looks like Craig got tied up and won't be chatting today.
Just kidding everyone! Craig will be here at 2 p.m. ET to chat!
Hey everyone! Sorry for the schedule change. Things are starting to heat up. Let's jump in.
A couple of weeks ago you picked the Hawks in 7 over the Blues in the Central Division Finals, but said if the Blues picked up Miller that might change things. Well, Mr. Custance, have the tables turned?
I did say that. And I think it's an absolute coin toss. I still love the Blackhawks though. I'm slightly concerned that the Blues don't have the same kind of firepower. It would be a heck of a series though.
Who do the Kings eventually get?
My sense is that the Kings don't want to pay an extremely high price for a rental and are a little cool on Vanek. The guy they'll take a long look at is Matt Moulson, they think he fits into their style of play.
Wild Fan Here...What do you think of the Wild's chances at being the Wild Card team that could make some noise in the Playoffs? I feel they would be Eastern Conference Finals bound if they weren't stuck in the Powerhouse West
I agree with you Travis. The Wild are good enough to come out of the East. I still don't put Minny in the same class as LA, Anaheim, Chicago and STL but I could see them winning a round with the right matchup. I'm not sure Bryz changes things dramatically.
Hey Craig, thanks for doing these chats they are always a lot of fun and informative. If the trade front stays fairly quiet into tonight, do you think Doug Armstrong makes another move for an extra scorer or have they made their final move?
Armstrong gave the impression that he was done although wouldn't rule out another deal. They gave up a lot of assets to get Miller and the conditions of that deal could make it even more costly if he re-signs. So I'm not sure Armstrong is going to want to dig deeper into their pool of prospects at this point.
What is the latest on the Bruins? Is Gaborick and Johnson on their Radar.? Will they trade Ericksson?
Bruins are looking to add a D. A couple names that fit include Chris Phillips and MacDonald. Maybe a guy like Tallinder for depth. Don't see them moving Eriksson.
Craig, why did Anaheim ship Penner out? Do they need his salary removed to add something? He seemed to gel with their top 6 real nicely this year.
Assuming that was a move to create salary space for Robidas.
Thoughts on kesler
Love him. If Pittsburgh or anyone can get him and the price is in the ballpark of what we're hearing, I think he's a great addition. Those types of players don't come available this time of year too often.
Does San Jose make any moves? To me it seems like they stand pat (and can't really do much as they are up close to the cap) unless they trade Stuart or Havlat (which ain't gonna happen). What say you?
Yeah, GM Doug Wilson has been quiet this year after making his splash this year. Haven't heard their name kicked around in conversations but he's a guy I never count out.
The Avalanche are 3 pts behind both Chicago and St. Louis...why is no one talking about them contending for the division title?
It says more about Chicago and St. Louis than it does Colorado. I just think people realize those teams are a little further ahead in their development. The Avs have overachieved a bit and you wonder if their goaltending/defense can keep this pace. While STL and CHI are a couple powerhouses at this point.
Do the Flyers do much at the deadline? Do they have a shot in the POs?
As one source I spoke with yesterday said of Paul Holmgren, "Paul just can't help himself." I'd bet they've at least kicked the tires on Kesler. Could see them moving Meszaros with Boston being a possible fit there.
Craig - All seems quiet on the Nashville front after Poile's comment about not trading Legwand. Anything else out there (i.e. Gagner, something nobody's talked about yet)? Also, do the Preds take a waiver run at Conacher?
I'm still not completely ruling out a Legwand trade. Poile made it clear that he's not going to just give away Legwand nor should he. But if he can get a real asset, like a first round pick, and Legwand is open to it, they have to do it.
Do the Pens get Kesler???
They're definitely in the mix. I'd keep an eye on Detroit and New York here too. Chicago has been mentioned but I believe Stan Bowman when he says he's done.
Sorry if these are short answers or not quick, trying to juggle a few things here.
Do the Wings make any deals for a D-man before the deadline? also there have been rumors about both Kesler and Legwand, do you see either one of those happening?
Don't see Detroit making a big move for a rental but could absolutely see the Red Wings trade for Kesler, Edler or Ehrhoff if the asking price is reasonable.
Yes but all season people have been wondering if the Avs can keep it up...we're 3/4 done with the season and they're still in the thick of it. I think they answered yes to that question....oh btw Col has 3 more regulation wins than Chi with a game in hand
I hear ya Tony. I've been waiting for the cool off all year.
Sorry, on the phone. Hold on.
if you are stan bowman do you try to make any more moves before the deadline?
Craig, has Drew Doughty become underrated now? He doesn't have the points but is that a function of him being asked to shutdown the opposition? Thanks
Jason - I think the hockey world got a great taste of just how dynamic a player he is during the Olympics. It's hard to call him underrated when everybody I talk to absolutely raves about him. It was fun to see him play in that style with that talent around him. One of the best players in the game, regardless of position.
Hi Craig, your general assessment of Minnesota to the date is? Needs, and what do they do with Backstrom? Thank you kindly.
Now that they've shored up their goaltending in the short-term without giving up anything of consequence, I'd still like to see them add some scoring. There's still a gap there between the Wild and some of the elite teams in the West. I wonder if a guy like Vanek would change that.
Anything new with the Rangers?
Katie Strang is sitting right next to me. Hold on.
She says nothing new.
The Rangers are a team to watch in the Kesler talks. Callahan doesn't sound to far off in contract talks.
Craig, this is my third chat in two days, and all I want to know is if you think SY brings any new blood to Tampa, who you think that might be, and if St. Louis moves at the deadline or at the draft
I still don't think there's upside to trading Martin St. Louis at this point unless things are so bad between him and Yzerman that they absolutely have to. He's limited the market and I'm not sure how you get full value right now. If he's traded, my bet is in the off-season.
Anything on phoenix?
Phoenix looking for help on the wing. In the mix for Erat and Hemsky.
Any chance the Ducks make a run at Vanek, Moulson, Gaborik, MacDonald? It's all in for the Ducks now!
I don't believe the Ducks are in the all-in phase right now. Smart move for Robidas but they also moved Penner to make it happen. They're very lukewarm on Vanek.
Any news from the phone call?
Nothing breaking. But have a better feel on a situation I'm tracking. Sorry to be so vague.
What kind of return would CBJ get for Gaborik?
They'll move him. The asking price right now on these wingers is a first and a B+ prospect. The interest in Gaborik good. I think Columbus will be able to move him but maybe not at that price.
What's more important than answering our questions? Lol
Haha. Nothing. I love you guys.
While Katie is there, anything new with the Devils?
Katie likes Hemsky as a fit with NJ.
She says hello everyone.
Craig - do you get the sense that Garth Snow is still in the driver's seat with offers for Vanek or is he starting to panic?
I don't know if he's starting to panic but I definitely wouldn't say he's in the drivers seat. Teams I speak with don't seem crazy about him. But all it takes is one to bite.
Any moves coming for Colorado? Any chance Statsny gets moved? Or do they want him back past this season?
Yes, I think Stastny could be moved although with the Avs in the playoff hunt still it would have to be a piece they can use right now. Or a significant futures package.
so does Brodeur stay put?
The Wild were the most logical conclusion. Maybe the Penguins but the last conversations I had on their goaltending situation led me to believe they were content to stick with their current situation and spend money at forward.
Is Robidas to ANA a done deal? I haven't seen any announcement.
It's done. Hasn't been announced yet. They're going to spin the fourth-round pick they got from Washington for Penner to Dallas for Robidas.
If I trade Vanek for a first round pick, a top prospect, and the world's best chili recipe, do I get to keep my job, or am I fired and forced to eat Fritos on my sub for an entire year?
The chili recipe puts the deal over the top. You get to keep your job.
The first name that came to mind when the Canucks were shopping Kesler in my mind was Ryan O'Reilly. Why isn't there a fit for the basis of a deal there?
Avs don't want to move O'Reilly. Vancouver likes him too.
Any chance the Predators make a run at Gaborik?
I guess you never say never but I haven't heard the Preds connected to Gaborik.
Why are the Flyers in on Kesler? Seems like an overpay they already have in Couturier and a waste of resources they can use to augment the D?
Can you give us a hint on "the situation" you are following ? Like...a division? Conference? Anything ?
I like Couturier but Kesler is a pretty significant upgrade there offensively. But you're right about augmenting the D. That should be the focus.
I was checking in on Ducks follow-up moves.
You are not getting a first round pick, a top prospect, and the world's best chili recipe for Vanek. Settle for the Chili.
haha. He'd better get more than chili.
Does Lamoriello look to add some goal scoring, like Cammalleri?
Yeah, they're definitely looking for help on the wing. That would be a nice fit. Asking price was high though. Needs to come down. Brian Burke also said that teams are waiting to see where Vanek goes before they get serious on Cam.
Where do you think Callahan will end up going to?
My gut says he stays in New York and signs extension.
Is it true that Kessler to Pitt is pretty much a forgone conclusion? If he is moved of course.
No. Not a forgone conclusion at all. Detroit and New York are a couple teams I'd put in the mix. Maybe Philly too.
My friend Jeremy would think I was so cool if somehow I got a question answered in your chat. Why wouldn't the Caps just trade for Robidas?
You know what? That's a great question. I'd feel much better about the Caps if they had traded for Robidas instead of Penner.
Also, hey Jeremy!
Who will be our third linemate now that Pancakes is gone?
I'd expect Palmieri to get a good look there.
What's your gut on where Moulson/Vanek end up tomorrow? Do you think Erhoff gets moved too?
Put me down for LA and Moulson. I'm still figuring out Vanek.
"I was checking in on Ducks follow-up moves." You mean possibly more coming or just confirming the 3 moves today (Penner, Fasth, Robidas)?
Was just making sure those moves weren't a precursor to something bigger. THey aren't.
Any chance Edler and Kesler get traded to one team?
They both have no-trade clauses so that complicates things. Plus, they're only going to want to go to a contender. And most contenders are tight against the cap. Because of that, it makes it almost impossible that they're a package deal.
are the capitals at all interested in halak? with minnesota grabbing bryz, this seems like the only other logical destination for halak.
When I spoke to GMGM recently he seemed intent on letting Holtby prove his worth one way or the other. I'm not sure Halak is that huge an upgrade. Plus they'd have to move Neuvirth first. Not sure that's a fit.
Do you think Stepan, JT Miller and a pick is enough for Kessler?
Make that pick a first-rounder and it may be in the ballpark.
Will the Devils really trade Brodeur? Is he going to retire somewhere other than New Jersey?
I think with Minny out of the equation, it makes it harder. I don't see many other logical destinations.
Seems like Buffalo is stocking up on picks. Are they headed to complete rebuild? Anyone else headed that way?
Oh yeah, Buffalo is knee deep in a true rebuild. It's a smart move and so far Tim Murray and Darcy Regier have done a nice job maximizing the return on their players.
Hey everyone. Sorry I wasn't able to get to everyone. Crazy time right now, gotta get back on the phones. Thanks so much for stopping by.