I'm expecting lots of Pietrangelo questions today, and I'll get to them, but let's see who provide the variety today. Let's get chattin....
Let me guess, you were going to ask when Tarasenko was coming over? If Perron would get traded? When Stewart would sign? C'mon tell me.
12/1 according to OddsShark (I don't know what OddsShark is....it's the first website that popped up).
I will be checking into that soon. If he hasn't arrived yet, he will be shortly.
According to Blues Talk, he signed last Tuesday.
The Blues' payroll for 2013-14 is about $58 million currently and that of course is without Pietrangelo. Let's say hypothetically that he gets $5 million next year. That's $63 million, which is about $10-$11 million more than last year's $52 million payroll. That's the increase ownership committed to this offseason. They are continuing to look for new revenue and hoping for increasing support from the business community. But the ownership realizes that to get that support, they've got to spend some money. I'll have more on this (whether they can sustain spending this type of money) in the Post-Dispatch very soon.
I know it's happened before, but I can't believe, even if Halak is past his groin issues, that two goalies make it through the 82-game schedule healthy. I will wash your car .... (No, I'm not doing that again) .... I really think we'll see Allen at some point.
We talked about this a couple of weeks ago, but it's worth touching on again. Hitch told reporters recently he likes the pairs of Steen-Backes, Roy-Stewart and Paajarvi-Berglund. My personal opinion was that Oshie would play with Steen and Backes, Schwartz would play with Roy and Stewart and Tarasenko would play with Paajarvi and Berglund. However, that makes for a pretty small line with Schwartz and Roy together. Also, I think Hitch thinks of Sobotka as more than a fourth-line player. As far as the fourth line, based on what I've already written, you might go Sobotka-Lapierre-Porter .... with Reaves and Cracknell ready to step in.
Well, it's going to be somewhat different. The Blues had total control over everything in Peoria. The coaching staff, the ice time, etc. That won't be the case with the new affiliate. Yes, Armstrong and Chicago GM Wendell Young have an agreement that they will confer with each other on some of those decisions and some of that is in their contract. An example is the head coach. The Wolves recently announced that John Anderson, who won several championships with the club in a prior stint, is returning. I didn't talk to Doug Armstrong about this, but I'm sure he was partly involved in that decision. But otherwise, it's not the same. If the Blues want Ty Rattie and Dmitrij Jaskin both on the first-team power play, but Anderson and Wolves see it different, they make those decisions. The relationship seems very cordial and perhaps it will stay that way, but as I've written in this chat, it wasn't always chummy with Vancouver and that's why they bought the Blues' affiliate. But going back to your question, as far as the development, Anderson has a great reputation for developing players, so from that standpoint the Blues appear to be in pretty good hands.
That wouldn't be bad, but Tarasenko prefers to play on the right side. Roy's a center and Stewart plays on the right, so I don't see how it could work unless Tarasenko switched.
Realistic? I guess you have to say yes. Newport has that reputation with its clients. I probably wouldn't go as far as to say it's likely. First of all, the Blues realize Pietrangelo's status and know they're going to have to pay him. I don't think Doug Armstrong will risk starting the season without Pietrangelo and take the chance of going 4-6 in the first 10 games over the difference in what Pietrangelo wants and what the team wants to pay him. From Pietrangelo's perspective, it's an Olympic year and Pietrangelo wants to be on the team. He won't want to miss 15 games and perhaps ruin his chance of making the Team Canada roster. So it's realistic, yes, but I don't believe it's likely.
I read that article. That's the problem with blogs. They are some very, very good bloggers who can handle their own. But when you open a link, you never know what the person's credentials are. My personal favorite in the blog you're talking about was the Central Division being a "cake walk." The bottom line is I have a very, very, very difficult job and not everybody can do it. At least that's what I tell my wife.
Well, the Blues have his rights for four years, so under your scenario, that would be a three-year contract. To me, a bridge deal is one or two years, but I don't think it really matters. If he signs a three-year deal, both sides are going to want to get the money closer to where they want it. Whereas with a bridge deal, the Blues might pay a little more knowing that it's not long-term and they have a way out soon if Pietrangelo doesn't live up to expectations. Pietrangelo might alter his thinking too with a shorter-term deal, knowing that if he performs he's going to cash in. If they don't do the eight-year deal, I would expect a one- or two-year deal.
I don't think you can say that. After the Prez Trophy team, the Blues had 103 pts, 98, 99, 99 before the lockout. You're still talking about a roster with Pronger, MacInnis, Tkachuk, Weight, Demitra, etc. I know there was some injuries in there, and some playoff failure, but those were good teams. I like this current Blues team, but they've still got something to prove ... at least to me.
I scanned the Forbes article this morning about the Devils, who reportedly owe the NHL $25 million. Everyone was familiar with the Devils' financial problems, so it wasn't a surprise. But yeah, that's unfortunate that finally the Phoenix situation is solved and now this. What blows me away is that a franchise with deep financial problems is able to even sign a player like Kovalchuk to a $100 million deal. At least he "retired," eh?
In the "old" Central," I would go with Nashville. If you're including the "new" Central teams, I would say Colorado.
Toughest as in physical? Who can beat each other up? If that's the question, I think there's some tough teams in both conferences, so it's hard to pick one over the other. I would probably agree that on a nightly basis, as far as constant forechecking and banging, the West has more teams that play that style. I also would agree, and this might not have been your question, but the West to me is tougher because of the travel. Some of that will be offset this year with every team playing at every building.
No telling as far as stats. But I think he'll be a good player who stays within himself and continues to improve as a two-way player. Obviously folks are interested to see if the chemistry between he and Berglund at the World Championships can translate with the Blues. Hitch said recently that he believes Paajarvi is a player who's ready to start taking his career seriously. I don't think he meant that as a knock on Paajarvi, that he's been lolly-gagging, but at 22 or 23 is when young players realize the opportunity that they have in front of them.
A playmaker ... the Blues' top two center (Backes and Berglund) are guys who drive to the net and shoot the puck. Roy is a guy with some vision. He can hold on to the puck, hold on, hold on, draw the defender to him and make a play. That's why Hitch plans to play him with Stewart. He wants to create some space for Stewart and then put the puck on his stick. The Blues' system isn't going to change per se - they're still going to funnel the puck to the net. But Roy gives them a look that they didn't have.
Buying out a contract is like giving money away, paying a player to leave. So to me, that hurts a club with, as you say, financial constraints. The key is not getting yourself into those contracts and I think Armstrong has done a very good job of avoiding them.
Can I still build around Datsyuk? Haha. How about Tavares? Or how about one of the guys in Edmonton? Hall? I might go with Eberle myself.
Stillman is involved to a degree, but from what I gather, it's not so much giving his evaluation on players. It's more asking Armstrong why he thinking the way he is, or what his plan is, what his goals are? From the conversations I've had, Tom likes to understand the logic behind things. He will be the first one to tell you that he's not beating down Armstrong's door with trade proposals.