Chat with Scott Burnside
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com's Scott Burnside will stop by to chat about the NHL's latest news and events.
Before joining ESPN in 2005, he was a reporter for the Windsor Star and Toronto Sun. Burnside has won numerous awards, including the 1990 National Newspaper Award, and also co-authored the best-selling true crime book "Deadly Innocence" in the mid-1990s. He is based in Atlanta.
Send your questions now and join Burnside on Thursday at noon ET!
Scott Burnside (12:01 PM)
Greetings all from chilly Atlanta. Things heating up in the standings and in the trade talk department as we're just over a week away from the Olympic roster freeze. Now where were we?
Jean Claude (Vermont)
Is Patrick Roy the hands down favorite for Coach of the Year?
Scott Burnside (12:02 PM)
Jean Claude; I'm not sure 'hand's down' would be accurate but he'd definitely be in my top three if I was voting today (the broadcasters actually cast ballots for the Jack Adams Trophy). But I think you have to consider the job done by Jon Cooper in Tampa, Dan Bylsma in Pittsburgh given the injuries both teams have had to deal with and then for me Bruce Boudreau deserves consideration too with his work in Anaheim where the Ducks are the league's best team.
what will the blues do with their goaltending. surely they move one of them due to the fact that they are both ufa's next summer.
Scott Burnside (12:06 PM)
wit; Fascinating to see how GM Doug Armstrong handles this situation. Both as you point out are UFA this summer and according to Capgeek.com neither have no-trade, no-move clauses so if Armstrong can find a taker he can move one or both. But the Blues also have salary cap issues that could inhibit acquiring a guy like Ryan Miller if he wanted to go that way. Simple question he has to ask; does he think the current tandem can take them to a final? If the answer is no he has to go after Miller or perhaps a Cam Ward or even Tim Thomas. But given how well the Blues have played and for the most part how solid the goaltending has been it's not necessarily a slam dunk that the Blues will make a move in goal.
Biggest name moved at the deadline besides Ryan Miller is.....?
Scott Burnside (12:09 PM)
B-Diddy; I would say Thomas Vanek, Mike Cammalleri, Tim Thomas, maybe Chris Stewart (see Blues salary cap issues), Matt Moulson. Not sure if they qualify as 'big' names but I think those are the ones you'll hear about the most. Things are a bit iffy in Montreal and I think Daniel Briere's name will also come up. And for me the biggest issue is what the New York Rangers do with Dan Girardi and captain Ryan Callahan. Can't afford to see both walk in July and not sure they can afford to keep both. Callahan would be the most logical to move I think.
Craig (St. Paul, MN)
The Wild seem to have righted the ship, but probably too late to finish in the top 4, right?
Scott Burnside (12:11 PM)
Craig; Right now the Wild are seven points back of third-place Colorado in the Central and the Avs have three games in hand. So the Wild are going to have to be content with a wild card spot and that will mean a first-place date with either Anaheim or Chicago/St. Louis. Might match up better against Anaheim but there are no easy tracks in the Western Conference.
The rumors are starting up regarding trades. As a Rangers fan, hearing the rumors regarding a Callahan trade is somewhat disconcerting. While I undertsamd this is a business, it's hard to imagine Callahan playing in a different team's jersey, especially if that team is in the Eastern conference. Do you think the Rangers pull the trigger and trade Callahan (or Girardi) or does a deal get done? If Callahan is traded who's the new C on this team?
Scott Burnside (12:14 PM)
Al; No question it will be a hard decision if the Rangers decide to part with Callahan and I can't imagine GM Glen Sather will be sending him anywhere in the east (and yes, Pittsburgh would be a good landing place as would Tampa etc etc.) which means you could look at a team like Minnesota perhaps, Vancouver or Los Angeles which will be desperate to add some scoring oomph. One thing would seem clear and that is the Rangers will want an NHL-ready (or close) player as part of a return package.
Scott, in light of Coach Q standing alone at #3 with 2 head coaching Stanley Cups, would you say he's more of a lock to make the Hall of Fame?
Scott Burnside (12:17 PM)
third; Funny, Craig Custance and I were talking about Joel Quenneville this morning and how he doesn't really get the respect he deserves given his track record. But I would think he's coached himself into Hall of Fame territory with a pair of Cups and his win total. But coaches and the Hall of Fame are a funny thing. No such thing as a 'lock'. Just ask Fred Shero who won two Cups and then spent decades on the outside looking in before being, rightfully, inducted posthumously last fall.
Mike H (Baltimore, MD)
One of the hardest things to trade for at the deadline is top end help on the blue line. I think this is the area the Capitals need some help in. Any chance they can score some help for their back end? (and how much will they have to give up to get it?)
Scott Burnside (12:20 PM)
Mike; You are absolutely right. There are simply very few defensemen whose contracts are expiring that qualify as 'top end' rental type players. And the fact is GMs are just as often looking to acquire a player with term at the deadline these days which makes the process of adding an impact player on defense even harder. I am curious to see what the Dallas Stars do with Stephane Robidas. Yes, a little longer in the tooth, but he's a warrior and I would think be a terrific addition as a 4/5 guy somewhere.
As a Kings fan I enjoy watching how dominant they are in terms of puck possession and time in the opposition zone but it's so painful to see them not score and hit 5 goal posts a game. Who is Lombardi going to bring over to help the boys out?
Scott Burnside (12:23 PM)
Bob; Actually most of the big name guys are left-handed shots in terms of potential rentals; Cammalleri, Vanek, Moulson. Ray Whitney is another interesting guy. Cammalleri started in the Kings' organization and he's a proven playoff performer. But I am sure Dean Lombardi is keeping the phone pressed tight to his ear as his team continues to come up dry offensively. That said, didn't we have these same conversations about the Kings in 2012?
Evan (Santa Barbara)
With Dan Boyle's contract set to expire at the end of this season, do you realistically see him resigning with the Sharks? If not, what other teams would be interested in an aging puck moving Dman this summer?
Scott Burnside (12:25 PM)
Evan; With the Thornton/Marleau signings you wonder if there's room for Dan Boyle and it may be one of those things that in July he moves on a la Sergei Gonchar signing with a team that is willing to give him a two/three year deal. But I wouldn't expect the Sharks to make a move with Boyle before the trade deadline. Still an important part of that team and its chemistry. That said GM Doug Wilson did make several moves a year ago at the deadline that made his team faster and more competitive and Boyle would be an interesting asset to dangle.
Rob (Blackwood, NJ)
Now that the US outdoor games are completed, how do you think the Winter Classic in Detroit compared to the Stadium Series in LA and NYC? Do you think the NHL will try this again in the 2014-15 season?
Scott Burnside (12:27 PM)
Rob; Not sure it's a fair comparison Winter Classic to Stadium Series. Having been in Ann Arbor and at Dodger Stadium both were pretty impressive, unique events. The challenge for the NHL I think is in having one or maximum two Stadium Series events that compliment but don't overshadow the Winter Classic moving forward. Next year we're in Washington Jan. 1 and the challenge will be in creating an atmosphere/vibe that isn't too big a letdown from Michigan Stadium which was over the top great.
Washington has failed to build a real/consistent winner around the best goal scorer in the leauge, do you think they go out and get a goalie like Thomas/Miller/Ward or opt for a defenseman, or really push it and get a guy like Moulson?
Scott Burnside (12:29 PM)
KT; Caps are one of the most confounding teams in the NHL. They've drafted top end young goaltending talent; Varlamov, Holtby, Neuvirth, Grubauer and is there a franchise netminder among them? Varlamov appears to be on the way to being that guy in Denver. This season it's been a variety of flaws; goaltending some of the time but lots of nights it's been a lack of depth scoring in spite of a lineup that looks like it should be among the most potent in the Eastern Conference. In short, not sure it's just one thing upon which the Caps need to focus.
Neal (Menlo Park)
Who is your Norris trophy front runner?
Scott Burnside (12:33 PM)
Neal; I would say right now Duncan Keith is the clubhouse leader for the Norris but Ryan Suter has closed the gap in the last month or so given how important he is to a Wild team that has revived itself. Zdeno Chara will be in the mix, too.
Jonathan Hartstein (Columbus)
With a healthy Gaborek, do the Blue Jackets have enough?
Scott Burnside (12:36 PM)
Jonathan; A bit of a dilemma for GM Jarmo Kekalainen when Gaborik returns to action. The Blue Jackets have developed an identity without him and he's going to be UFA this summer. He has a no move clause and a big ticket ($7.5 million this year)also he does not have a history of being much of a playoff contributor. So, do you hope he chips in a few timely goals or do you try and move him for a younger building block type piece? Tough.
After a little hiccup in the aftermath of the Seidenberg injury the Bruins seem to have righted the ship. Do they still try to add a piece on D? If so, who are the most likely targets. I think they could use a veteran minutes eating d-man to help lower Chara's playing time each night. He really wore down in the playoffs last year.
Scott Burnside (12:40 PM)
Marc; Agreed that the Bruins are back in true Bruins mode. And while there are so many good young defensemen in that lineup I still think Peter Chiarelli will be looking to fill a gap left by Seidenberg's injury and the departure of Andrew Ference last off-season. I mentioned Stephane Robidas who would be a great fit with Claude Julien. What about Derek Morris if the Coyotes decide to try and get an asset back instead of letting him walk for free? No one will replace Seidenberg and his role with the Bruins but there are a couple of potentially interesting pieces for the Bs.
Whose your front runner for the Vezina?
Scott Burnside (12:43 PM)
Peyton; Good luck on Sunday. Vezina is tough and thankfully the GMs vote on that one. Right now I would go Ben Bishop, Semyon Varlamov and Tuukka Rask.
Dear Scott,What will take for the Kings to acquire Vanek or Moulson?
Scott Burnside (12:47 PM)
Jeppe; Welcome. If I'm a GM dangling a proven NHL scorer I'm looking at a package that includes one of the Kings' top young forwards who have bounced from the AHL to the NHL over the last year; Tyler Toffoli, Linden Vey or Tanner Pearson. I know Dean Lombardi believes they're a special group but that's who I'd be targeting. Toffoli likely has most value as a center and given his performance in the playoffs last year.
Will the Blackhawks look for a true second line center before the deadline? If so, do you think they could target a NHL experienced promising young center and offer up draft picks/prospects. The idea being their farm system is very deep at this point with many NHL players signed to multiple year deals whom are in their prime?
Scott Burnside (12:49 PM)
Frank; Everyone wondered if the 'Hawks' lack of depth down the middle would hurt them last spring and Michal Handzus was terrific. Wouldn't be a surprise to see Stan Bowman look for a solid citizen who could contribute offensively down the middle but I don't know that he'd give up one of his prized young assets to do so. I think the bigger question is whether Bowman looks for a veteran back-up or whether Antti Raanta has done enough to earn that job.
Scott, It is a very difficult time to be a wings fan!! see any changes there? I feel there is some players and room for a trade or two...Thoughts?
Scott Burnside (12:51 PM)
Robert; Agreed that it has been a strange year for the Wings. With their injuries hard to get a handle on where they're at. Franzen back out of lineup now with concussion. Young players not quite ready to take on roles being asked to fill. But you know Ken Holland will not be selling off any futures to try and add a rental player. That's not going to happen. My guess would be minimal movement from the Wings and they'll just play the hand they're dealt come playoff time.
Is it safe to say both Boston and Dallas have come out victorious in the Seguin - Louis E. trade? Even though Louis has been injured he is still great and Reilly Smith has been stellar while Seguin has emerged as a star in Dallas.
Scott Burnside (12:53 PM)
Steven; Funny how it works out. I thought at the time Dallas had taken the bigger risk and yet Seguin has been exactly what they hoped he'd be on and off the ice. I wonder about Eriksson's durability especially come playoff time but you're right about Reilly Smith who has been the real young gem of the deal. Stars still have too many holes to be a playoff team but Seguin is a real cornerstone player.
Sean (Orange county)
Scott, Who comes out from the olympic break to win the Presidents trophy? Anaheim or Chicago or St. Louis. All three have alot of players going over to Socchi and you have to wonder how that will affect the teams for the last part of the season.
Scott Burnside (12:55 PM)
Sean; Such a great race shaping up especially with Chicago and St. Louis battling to earn what will be home ice in the Central Division final and you know how well Anaheim has played at home this season and that would be a bonus for them starting the playoffs at Honda Center (okay, I know it didn't work out so well last year against Detroit, but I digress). I think the Ducks end up with the Presidents' Trophy although we shouldn't ignore the Penguins who also have a shot at top spot overall.
Any chance 68 returns to Pittsburgh for this year's playoff run?
Scott Burnside (12:57 PM)
Frank; Now wouldn't that be something after he spurned them a couple of years back to sign with Philadelphia. I don't think New Jersey is a playoff team and with Jagr's exceptional play this year you know Lou Lamoriello would love to maximize his value. Why not Pittsburgh? Problem will be he has broken down a little bit in the last couple of playoff years which will drive down his value.
Who will be the captain of team USA? Seems like the choices are Suter, Brown, Parise, Callahan & Backes.
Scott Burnside (12:59 PM)
Will; My guess is Dustin Brown. Can't go wrong with any of those guys though.
Olli Määttä (Pittsburgh)
Why am I not getting any love for Calder?
Scott Burnside (1:00 PM)
Olli; I think you're actually getting more than you think.
Scott Burnside (1:01 PM)
Okay folks time to head out. One more chat next week before we depart for Sochi. Be well. Until next time.