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Good Opinion Haver
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Jun 7, 2018
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St. Louis Blues
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Forum: Armchair-GM24 hours ago
Forum: Armchair-GMWed at 11:30 am
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>BeastModeUnknown</b></div><div>I have my questions when it comes to Binnington as well, but I'm throwing the bubble completely out. I think this is his contract year, this is what's going to prove if he is going to be worth another contract or if we go out and get Tuukka Rask/Frederik Andersen. I think Ville Husso is a boom or bust, but I really like Colten Ellis. I think Colten Ellis last year when I went to the prospect camp was probably the best goalie on the ice, and Evan Fitzpatrick, Joel Hofer, and Ville Husso were all out there. I'm thinking Joel Hofer is probably better than Ville Husso in the future, but I'm thinking it's next year he comes out ready for NHL. I'm more hesitant to see what he can do because he's still a little young, and I wouldn't want to just throw him into the fire. But Binnington is going to be a very interesting situation because while yes he could do very well for us, I'm not sure if he's consistently reliable in that aspect. This year is going to be the year to see with a new team shape. This is basically 2017, but with a better team. Captain is gone team is reshaped, and I think this time around we will do a lot better than we did in 2017.</div></div>

Yeah I agree you got to throw out the bubble completely. I think that's true for any player, regardless of if they played well or poorly (for example, I'm raising an eyebrow at Pierre-Luc Dubois who didn't crack fifty points in the regular season but played really well in the bubble).

The thing about not committing to Binnington is all in how much he's going to want and for how long. I'm of the mind that he's a perfectly capable, probably about league average goaltender long term. And I'm just not sure that's what I want if I'm going to spend, idk 6x4, 5x5, whatever it is. Goaltending is just too wacky to commit eight-ish million (Binnington+backup) long term to the position if all you're gonna get is league average. And then also term- having goalies on long-term contracts is risky because if they implode, you get stuck with Martin Jones for the next four years.

So yeah, I think the Blues have done a lot of really good work in the goaltending department at least for prospects. I like Ellis a lot, I like Hofer a lot, it looks like Husso may still be something after it looked a bit shaky there for a bit. So bridging the gap in such a way that you get quality goaltending but also so that they aren't blocked long term is going to be key.
Forum: Armchair-GMTue at 6:07 pm
Forum: Armchair-GMTue at 5:58 pm
Yeah I'm not big on the Neighbors pick either. He's one of those guys that will for sure be an NHL player but there were more boom-or-bust type guys that I would have liked to take a flyer on. That's how we got someone like Tarasenko after all.

I would love Buchnevich on this team. Won't cost a lot and solid underlying numbers. I'd also like to see us go after Coleman on a short-ish deal if he prices himself out of Tampa (and, looking at their cap, he might!) I think Kyrou's speed and shoot first mentality will translate well next to someone like Thomas but I can see the argument that he might not be your ideal top six RW. I would be shocked if the other guys are much more than bottom six guys. Alexandrov might be a good 3C yet, hard to tell with the Q though.

Defense is much harder to wrap my head around because it's really hard to improve that position with Scandella and Faulk taking up space. I think Scandella is a fine player, but he's the third best LHD on this team and I think Mikkola will pass him up eventually too, and at that point why did we give him so many years. Meanwhile I don't think anyone needs any reminders of my opinion on Faulk...I think Perunovich will probably stick on the right and I'd like to see maybe a pricier RHD fill in while they're cheap just to give the team added depth (I like Mete and Pesce, Colin Miller also comes to mind and maybe even a defense first guy like Ilya Lyubushkin though that's kind of redundant with Mikkola. Maybe that guy is Reinke or Walman if he can switch hands. Walman used to be awesome in college so I think he's got it in him, his development has just really been hamstrung by injuries and our AHL debacles. But that only works if we move out both Scandella and Faulk and Doug's gonna have to work some real magic on that one.

My hot-ish take is that one of the best things that could happen to this team is Husso looking like a competent starting goaltender. I'm really wary about committing money/term to Binnington (or any goalie, really, but especially him). The Blues are really high on Hofer, he's on the taxi squad this year which was a surprise. He might not be far off from NHL work. If Husso is legit, I'd like to see us bridge the gap to a Husso-Hofer tandem with an older (and hopefully cheaper than whatever Binnington wants) starter-caliber goalie like Andersen, Bishop, or even Rask. There's question marks on all of those guys for various (and somewhat undeserved) reasons, but I'd rather gamble on a two or three year deal with one of them for 4/5 million than 6milx5 or whatever we'll give Binnington. But that only works if Husso looks good, and he's not going to have many games to show it. Otherwise, I don't know if you have a choice but to extend Binnington. I could see Ellis or the russian kid making some noise in three years or so.

And before anyone jumps down my throat about Rask leaving the Bruins- Bruins fans weirdly hate him and also who ever though Chara and Krug would leave the Bruins?

This team still is very capable of hanging with the best but we really gotta make the right moves for the next two or three years to maximize our cup window and I think the past year has been a mixed bag on that front.

If I could waive a somewhat realistic magic wand and make all the things I mention above break right, this is probably how I would set the Blues next year:

Schwartz- Thomas -Tarasenko
Blais - Coleman - Kyrou
MacEachern - Barbashev - Sundqvist
Clifford, whoever

Krug - Parayko
Dunn - Perunovich
Mikkola - Miller/Walman/Reinke

Forum: Armchair-GMTue at 11:16 am
Thread: I called it
Forum: Armchair-GMMon at 8:03 pm
Arguments for each:

Barbashev: Full disclosure- I love Ivan Barbashev. His advanced stats are abysmal, and I'm a big computer boy. In this case, I don't care. If he's cheap enough, I want him on this team. The problem is that on his next deal he'll likely be looking for roughly Sundqvist money, which in a flat cap world is not cheap for a fourth liner, especially when we're already paying Sundqvist money to *checks notes* Oscar Sundqvist. With guys like Clifford and (hopefully) MacEachern and Kostin on the roster in the future, his "intagibles" are mostly replaceable for less. He scores enough that we can get something for him too.

Sanford: I've been in favor of trading Sanford for awhile. He had a really good year last year so his value is as high as its ever been. I also think his production last year was unsustainable and significantly overhyped considering 1/3 of his goals came in one game. But even if I'm wrong about that, every aging curve would suggest that Sanford is hitting his peak right now at 26. And while some players occasionally defy that- Perron, you might say- if this or even a little more than this is Sanford's peak, he's not going to be outplaying Schwartz or Schenn for a top-six LW spot anytime soon. He's also going to command a decent amount on his next deal, with arb rights- probably about Hintz money- and that money is better spent elsewhere. He's also Seattle's clear best pick and if we want them to take someone like Scandella, Perron or Faulk (wishful thinking), we need to remove their better options. Long story short- he's not good enough to be in our top six, he'll be too expensive to play in our bottom six, and we've got a cap issue to solve, so we might as well.

Blais: I love Sammy Blais as much as I love Barabshev. He's got lots of upside BUT he's not much younger than Sanford at 24 so his time to show that he's something more than a bottom-six guy is now. That's gonna be tough considering he's not projected to make the opening night roster. He's had some injury trouble in the past that's held him back and he doesn't score much so that hurts his trade value. In reality, his upside is probably not much more than 20-25 points, but there's still time to surprise in a Sanford-esque way. The good news? He's cost controlled for the next two years instead of just this season. He's probably never going to perform well enough to be in the top six, but that also means he'll probably never cost as much either. At the same time, the window is now and he doesn't have a spot in the lineup. There's cheaper guys to scratch. If you want to trade a guy with as little disruption to the talent of our regular lineup as possible, he's probably it.
Forum: Armchair-GMMon at 6:36 pm
Thread: I called it
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Shibbal18</b></div><div>It may not be a good thing, that may mean SJ is very depleted</div></div>

<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>yikes</b></div><div>More on the side of impressing than depletion. (Not gunning for you so don’t take the long comment as a slight against yah).

Sasha for example had some good praise come his way (as well as merkley) but they both got sent to the AHL because it’s better for them. The team has looked alright without them and it’ll allow them to get some AHL time before we “NEED” them if we’re struggling.

Ferraro legitimately has been “head turning” according to the ones closer to the team as he’s not “gotten a top 4 role” but earned it by making it without question he should play there; and honestly 99% of SJS people believe Vlasic shouldn’t even be on the top pair and that Ferraro should be there.

Leonard is about the same, the plan was for Donato to get top6 time but Leonard earned it; not the exact same as Ferraro level of impressing but I would say close too.

Vlasic in the top4 is depletion as well as Gregor/ Kellman as the 3C 4C (not saying Gregor has played bad [he’s actually been solid] or Kellman but those are moves out of nothing better). Handemark didn’t take a starting role and not much else to chose from (other than Sasha but he’s already been explained that he’ll likely start in the A).</div></div>

I think two things can be true - 1: The forward corps is stronger both in talent and in depth than last year and 2: there is still enough deficiency in the roster where it's very probable they are DOA anyway (barring extraneous COVID circumstances which are always possible).

The additions of Donato, Leonard, and Ferraro are good and will help the team. However, their division just got significantly harder- instead of having one top-5 team in Vegas and then everyone else, you have two top-5 teams in Vegas and Colorado, a top-10 team in St. Louis, and Minnesota who is a lot better than people remember, lost a lot of games last year to goaltending, and made some decent improvements this year including adding Kaprizov whose most recent KHL numbers were comparable to Panarin's last years in Russia. It's also worth mentioning that even though your forward corps improved, the quality of defense in the division is better- even pseudo-contenders like the Oilers or the Canucks rely specifically on their offense and the Sharks could have exploited the defensive deficiencies of those teams...they'll have a harder time doing that against the four teams I just mentioned, improved or not. Also, you're only playing those teams, a gagillion times.

But even if that wasn't true, the sharks are still playing either Vlasic or Simek in their top four which is a recipe for not good things, and while I understand you can't just open a trapdoor under Martin Jones, maybe replacing Dell with the goalie that caused everyone to think Minnesota is really bad last year isn't exactly an improvement. And if your goaltending sucks, it really doesn't matter what the rest of your team looks like.

Honestly if you're going to tank, this isn't a bad year to do it. No fans, short season, losing a bunch of money anyway. You got the first rounder, just be bad and go for Powers or that other guy.
Forum: Armchair-GMJan 4 at 11:45
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>StLHockey</b></div><div>Yeah but you also have to remember he was working under the assumption that the cap was going up at the time he extended Faulk. Which to be fair, we still had the money for Petro even with Faulk (who I think will rebound this year). Scandella is the one I don’t get. I mean we’ll never know how negotiations went, but I think the Scandella extension said a lot.

That said Dougie could drive to my house and punch me in the mouth and I’d probably still not be mad. I guess Lord Stanley hasn’t worn off yet</div></div>

I'm not sure I can get on board with that train of thought because independent of the incremental cap increases it didn't make sense to do. At the time, the general thinking was that Faulk would help our power play and that would probably be about it. That's cool because our power play was bad heading into last season, but you simply cannot pay that much money and that much term to someone if that's all he's going to do especially when you already have two better defensemen overall playing on that side (so you're forcing someone to play where they aren't comfortable), one of whom is an elite defenseman, and your captain, and needs a new contract. And I'm of the opinion that Faulk's "value" on the power play isn't really all that valuable (and we saw this when he lost his freaking power play spot last year!) considering he does a lot of shooting on the power play and you really want those shots to be coming from closer to the net than the point.

And what was the rush? Why paint yourself into a corner with Pietrangelo by rushing into things with Faulk as opposed to just trading for Faulk and having him as a fallback in case negotations don't go well with Pietrangelo? Obviously this looks worse with Covid like you say but not that much worse than it already looked.

Scandella at least I can kind of get because our left side was shot other than Dunn and they stupidly refuse to give Dunn any more ice time, but it is way too much term and enough money to be a headache, he'll be 34 by the end and we'll have lefties that will be better than him by next year. But that's a contract we can get out of at least, Faulk is probably not.

I think (I hope!) Faulk will be better than he was but I really cannot see him possibly being good enough to live up to year 1 of that contract (let alone year six) or to make us believe letting Pietrangelo walk was a good move. And clearly the front office agrees, considering they got Faulk to help our power play and then this offseason went out and got Krug...who is known primarily for his power play skills. Baffling decision making in my opinion, and I'm not satisfied enough with one cup to ignore it. This team is (was?) good enough to win again, you only get so many kicks at the can, and the reasons our current roster is not the above roster are entirely self-inflicted.
Forum: Armchair-GMDec 28, 2020 at 6:52
Forum: Armchair-GMDec 28, 2020 at 6:07
Forum: Armchair-GMDec 22, 2020 at 2:07
I really think Minnesota is better than some people remember. They've got a stingy defense sunk by horrible goaltending last year. They shouldn't have traded Staal, but Bonino will help them more than Kunin would, Fiala took a big step, Greenway is really good, and Kaprizov is finally here. I think they'll take fourth by quite a bit, especially if Talbot is decent (which, everyone only thinks he's bad because he had to play ninety eight games a season behind a horrible Edmonton defense).

Do not understand the San Jose love at all. So many things have to break right for them to be that good, including Vlasic, Jones, and Dubnyk having not-horrible seasons, Karlsson and Hertl being relatively healthy and productive, and the young guys taking a step. Basically, all the things they were counting on last year that didn't happen, and I'm not exactly sure what's changed. Their top guys also haven't played in like a year and they're not a young bunch that can just turn it on like that after so much time off.

We know Arizona and Anaheim can win games based on their goaltenders stealing it alone, and LA was on a seven game win streak to end the season last year with an influx of much higher touted young talent so I would put all of them ahead of the Sharks as far as ability-to-pick-up-points go (not that I think any of those teams are playoff bound).

Obviously all of that is COVID dependent because that could easily put Colorado in last place if all their top guys get wiped out during camp or something due to that but generally speaking