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The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Rampant trade speculation, hockey is hard to predict, the bubble Canucks, and more

Nov 20, 2013, 1:16 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

This is a new thing we’re trying. Every Wednesday, we’ll publish a little back-and-forth we have via email. We’re calling it the Chip ‘n’ Chase. Yes, it’s a terrible name. Enjoy.

Jason Brough: Hey buddy, so I was thinking after Kris Versteeg got traded back to Chicago, imagine how lame it would be if teams couldn’t eat salary. With half the NHL right up against the cap? It would be gridlock out there. I predict we’re going to see a lot more salary-eating before the March 5 deadline. And I guess we should thank Brian Burke for the new rules. The ability to retain salary was something he was trying to push when he was still in Anaheim. As a blogger who traffics in rampant speculation, I heartily concur with his opinion that trades are “healthy for our business.”

Mike Halford: Yeah, I want teams eating paper like a wonky fax machine. It just opens up so many more possibilities. The Florida situation is a great example, because it allowed Tallon to shake things up after he’d exhausted all the other conventional methods, like firing his coach and offering up Ryan Whitney via mass email. (Can you even believe that? Mass email? I bet some GMs got it and thought it was like a Nigerian banking scam. “Good day friend, I am manager general Tallon of Panther. Interested you R. Whitney, defender? Price is free.”) Now I’m trying to think of other guys who could be traded a la Versteeg. If Calgary’s willing to retain a good share of Mike Cammalleri‘s $6 million hit, a lot of teams could be in the running for a proven sniper who’s off to a pretty hot start.

source: Getty ImagesJB: Absolutely. I already tried to stoke some Cammalleri speculation here, but it didn’t exactly set the comments section on fire. What, nobody cares about the Flames or something? Fine, let’s try another candidate: Ryan Miller, whose cap hit is $6.25 million. I’ve already mentioned a couple of times I think the Blues should see about adding him. I know they’ve already got Jaroslav Halak; I just don’t trust him to stay healthy. Besides, I think Miller is better, and the time is now for that team. The Blues are ridiculously loaded on defense, their forwards are actually scoring. If they got Miller without losing a significant roster player, I’d probably change my Stanley Cup pick from L.A. to St. Louis.

MH: Ah yes, Jason Brough’s famed Stanley Cup pick, the prediction by which all GMs set their rosters. I can just see Doug Armstrong scrambling to call Pat LaFontaine in a desperate attempt to get your endorsement…before realizing you picked Edmonton to make the playoffs. Anyway, since you’re floating the idea of Miller getting traded to a team that’s already loaded with goalies, let’s keep with the crazy and discuss the idea of Shea Weber getting dealt to Edmonton, which you wrote about last week. Oilers GM Craig MacTavish said a “big stud defenseman” would help his club “immensely,” but here’s my question: after losing Ryan Suter to free agency, could the Preds really ship out Weber – clearly the face of the franchise — and do it after paying him an ungodly amount of money in salary and signing bonuses? Could make for a lot of disappointed fans.

JB: Ah yes, the old “face of the franchise” argument. It’s the same one I read here. I don’t buy it. If the Preds traded Weber to the Oilers, you realize it wouldn’t be for Luke Gadzic and Tyler Pitlick, right? Unless David Poile somehow loses his mind, it would have to include one of Edmonton’s young stars. Now, suppose that’s Taylor Hall, a recent first overall pick who would instantly become the most exciting player in Nashville franchise history, save for possibly Paul Kariya, who was only there for two seasons. The Preds’ marketing department couldn’t drum up some buzz for a future with Hall and Seth Jones? Look, I never said this was going to happen. It probably won’t. I just wouldn’t be totally shocked if it did, because unlike most blockbuster trade scenarios that get floated on the interweb, it makes some semblance of sense. At any rate, the Oilers have won two straight, including last night’s 7-0 blowout of Columbus, so maybe this isn’t the best time to discuss this. Almost as bad as our timing yesterday, when we talked about the Avs getting a “reality check”…about an hour before they went out and smoked the defending Stanley Cup champs. Is there any sport tougher to predict than hockey?

source: Getty ImagesMH: Based on the fact I predicted Joel Quenneville would be fired last season, I’m going to answer no to that question. Makes me feel a bit better about myself. Let’s get back to the Avs for a sec. Yes, they hammered Chicago last night, but they also got outshot, 37-23. This team still has a lot to prove in the next few weeks. Look at their next five games: at Phoenix, at Los Angeles, versus St. Louis, then a home-and-home against Minnesota. I know a lot of people are focused on the injuries to Duchene/Tanguay and expecting Varlamov/Giguere to come back to earth, but how about the smoke-and-mirrors on defense? Call me a skeptic, but a unit comprised of Jan Hejda, Erik Johnson, Andre Benoit, Cory Sarich, Nate Guenin and a rotating No. 6 will eventually get exposed.

JB: Well, I can tell you one team that hopes you’re right: the Canucks. According to Sports Club Stats, after yesterday’s shootout loss to Florida, Vancouver has a 34.1 percent chance of making the playoffs. So basically a one-in-three shot. Now, I’m not totally sold on that site’s methodology, and obviously there’s a ton of time to get back into the top eight, but it’s totally fair to call the Canucks a bubble team now. Frankly, I was absolutely shocked to hear Henrik Sedin say last night that Vancouver hung back in the third period when the game was tied. “You look at the clock,” he said. The Canucks wanted to get the point, he said. At home. Versus the freakin’ Florida Panthers! What’s the opposite of swagger? Because that’s what the Canucks have right now. Now imagine they lose at home to Columbus on Friday. There will be lava flowing through the streets of Vancouver, courtesy one Mount Tortorella.

  1. rdk - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Moar Orland Kurtenblog, less blah, blah, blah…

  2. ibieiniid - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    hey, O’Brien’s bullsh** “Top Story” about a potential BSchenn trade set us on fire. Mission: Accomplished? if this is really what you guys are striving for, and make it that blatantly obvious, it may be time for this hockey fan to move on. I love the writing almost 100% of the time, but it’s painfully clear that this is a major network-run site and is strictly looking to generate revenue. And if you’re feeding us bullsh** speculation to do so, you’ll turn out to be the same laughing stock that CNN has.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Brough/Halford normally shoot back, so I’ll preemptively make the overall point I’m trying to make here. I don’t think I’m speaking for myself when I say I’d rather see 1 trade rumor with some merit than sift through 10 made-up stories to find the one that has some merit. As much as I like to read, I don’t like to read sports fiction.

      • Mike Halford - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:04 PM

        I only read the part where you said you loved the writing. Thanks for the kind words!

      • ibieiniid - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        lol alright well I expected way worse than that.

        but that’s nice. I didn’t know I was on a site where the writers don’t read their readers concerns….. since, ya know, you’re trying to get comment sections ON FIRE and clearly care a great deal whether we’ll be returning to read again……. It’s cool you treat your customers’ concerns that way.

      • Jason Brough - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        Re: Brayden Schenn, I don’t see how you can possibly take issue with us for passing along a report from one of the most prominent NHL reporters in the business, TSN’s Darren Dreger.
        Also, the Chip ‘n’ Chase is supposed to be a lighthearted post, where we poke fun at ourselves for some of the things we write. I would advise against taking it as seriously as you appear to be taking it.
        We appreciate the feedback, but come on man, lighten up.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        alright maybe I took it a bit too seriously. BUT, I don’t get how any time Dreger says some player’s name, it’s news. He didn’t give any details on a possible return, no details on who the Flyers are talking to, no details on who’s talking to the Flyers, no details except for one: Brayden Schenn could be traded if the return is right. Replace Brayden Schenn’s name with just about any other name in the league and you could repost almost the exact same story. that’s not news to anybody.

      • kaptaanamerica - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        That’s your problem right there. DD is a buffoon.doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. Always regurgitating what someone else has reported or already put out there.I’m sure he means we’ll, but he sucks balls, metaphorically speaking.

  3. ayblincoln - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Well I was entertained, thanks! Go Caps! half expecting to get blown out of the water tonight

    • ibieiniid - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Don’t get me wrong, I was too. I like the chip and chases, especially since they’re done by the two funniest writers on the site, but their goal of misinforming us into a frenzy seems like the wrong direction. but hey, I don’t run PHT…. I just read it.

      • Jason Brough - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        We’re not “misinforming” you. Good lord.

      • tved12 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        Man, take it easy. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. I understand you commenting once to say you don’t care for it. I’m sure the writers appreciate constructive criticism. That said, you’ve already got 4 comments on here man, lighten up. If you didn’t understand this article was lighthearted and joking I don’t think the writers can help you…

  4. emmpress - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    I loved this! I laughed in the middle of a wednesday, at work…I can’t ask for more than that…

  5. velocirapist - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    PHT needs more weekly features. What happened to the Tire Pump?

    The sense of humour in this post is sorely missed on the rest of this site, and apparently missed by some of your more prolific commentators. The Nigerian Prince bit was the funniest thing I’ve read in a while.

    And I’m with rdk. Y’all need to bring back a little more of the KB’s sense of irreverence

    • tved12 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      Dude, I have to agree about the Nigerian Prince bit, pure gold!

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