still working on my Jim Thomas costume.
I think everyone on the Blues would benefit from taking more one-timers. Someone somewhere probably tracks this, but gosh it sure seems like the Blues, especially their forwards, don't do it. Though I've seen some improvement this season.
By the way, the little number on my computer that tells me how many people are looking on is going up, so welcome to the late arrivals. Here's your personal invitation to ask questions. (Though I can't see the names of who's watching, so I can't make it really personal.)
Pietrangelo has been doing a fair number of them and yes, at least one of them has led to a goal. He's also, as alluded to earlier, been on target more this season. Faulk has also been good for taking one-timers.
The league does promote the game in China, but I think the greater hope is that people in China will want to buy NHL jerseys. That is a vast untapped market. Now, is it more likely they would buy jerseys if they play hockey? Yes. But hockey may have the highest entry cost of any of your major sports. So I wouldn't expect China to be sending players to the NHL in numbers any time soon.
I've been scouring the CBA between questions to find an answer here, but haven't found one. And maybe readers will remember better than I. You would have to be pretty confident you weren't getting Tarasenko back for the whole season to make a deal like that, because if he does come back early, you're screwed.
You have to be compliant on the day of the trade deadline, but after that, the roster limits are off and teams can carry as many players as they want, and right now, I'm trying to remember what the rule is on that, because obviously teams carry more players after that. The Blues had 30 guys on their roster for Game 7 of the Boston series, which obviously put them over the cap.
Players don't get paid in the postseason; their contracts cover only the regular season. In the postseason, the league sets aside a pool of money -- in 2017, it was $15 million -- which then gets divided among the 16 playoff teams. The longer you go, the more you get, and the winner gets more than the loser. In 2017, the Penguins got $4.3 million to divide up. How the teams divide that money is apparently up to them. So it's not a boatload of money they get -- $4.3 million divided by 25 is $172,000 -- but I wouldn't turn it down.
More questions? Now's a good time to ask.
We were talking about Halloween with Sammy Blais today. He said he usually went as a hockey player, which seems like he wasn't putting a lot of work into it. It also seems like 1/3rd of the population of Canada could do that.
And apparently Halloween isn't a big deal in Sweden.
There's a chance Jordan Kyrou plays tonight for San Antonio. They're in Rockford, so that will be something to keep an eye. Once he starts playing, you can start the clock on his showing up here.
One thing working in the Blues' favor is that Minnesota and Chicago haven't been playing well, which effectively makes the Central a five-team division. Dallas is looking better after a slow start, and Winnipeg I'm expecting to have a down season. So the competition for third may not be as deep as it's been in other seasons. I think I had the Blues picked for second in the division at the start of the season, now third may be more likely. They'll need to hold off Dallas. But if the Blues get third, then you're looking at Colorado or Nashville in the first round. Last year, the top three teams in the Central were essentially interchangeable. That may not be the case this season. But there's a long way to go before we get there. As last season showed, seasons can take some very unexpected twists and turns.
Mikkola is getting very good reviews in San Antonio and either he or Jake Walman, who's having a bounceback season there, would be the first D up if someone was needed. Kyrou and Kostin are the only potential top six forwards down in San Antonio. Toropchenko is still a couple years away. But on the forward front, before those guys get looks, Sanford, Blais and Fabbri all have to get looks. They're all low-salaried players and will be for a few more years. Mikkola have the biggest upside, but he's also the one the least likely to play this season because off the depth at defenseman.
I think the wheels would have to come off the wagon for the Blues to finish worse than fourth. You're right: the depth in the division just isn't there. Chicago's record is worse than it was at this point a year ago and Minnesota is a mess. Dallas can still go either way. I wouldn't say the Blues are a lock; one more injury to a key forward and this season takes on a very different look. Teams should be able to handle one key injury per season, but once the number gets above that, a team's resources are tested. One advantage for Central teams: there should be plenty of points to be had against those teams at the bottom. Those are ones, like the ones available tonight against Minnesota, that a team can't afford to pass up.
It's time for the last call. Any questions?
I think that's down the road a bit, if anywhere, and I don't think you're trading Allen for the forward help. If you're trading Allen, it's for the salary cap space he would create. Husso would have to show very well for the Blues to feel they can turn the keys over to Binnington and him. Binnington has been good but not great so far. Allen has shown he can be an NHL goalie. Husso hasn't. But that is the easiest place for the Blues to open cap space if they needed it. I'm just not sure what the market for Allen is.
Last year convinced people that anything was possible. There's no way to know, but you wonder if management's approach would be different too. If this was Year 2 of a five-year Cup window, would they not want to let it pass? Or having already won a Cup, can they set their sights on years 3-5 of that window?
By the way, Kreider's cap hit this year is $4.625 million.
Things are not going well there. Can't blame Thornton for wanting another try after coming close last season, and can't blame San Jose for sticking with their spiritual leader, especially at a budget rate. But yeah, things aren't going well there. Tied for the second worst goal difference in the league.
OK, it's about time for me to head back down to the rink for the game tonight, which you can find on NBCSN with John Forslund, Mike Milbury and Brian Boucher handling the call. Kerber and Vitale on the radio as usual. Jim and I in the press box. Until next week, when I think I'll be back because Jim will be enjoying the splendors of western Canada, thanks for stopping by. And any moment now, look for Jim and Gordo on the Net Front Presence podcast.
If for some reason the game-time decision on both Steen and Blais is no, they'd have to go with seven and put in Bortuzzo. But Blais said he was good enough to play, so I think he'll be in. Didn't get a chance to talk to Steen after the morning skate. He was off the ice very quickly. Hitchcock liked the thought of Bortuzzo on the wing. Interestingly, Bortuzzo is fourth from last in the league on expected goals.
Schenn and Parayko, though so much depends on what they need to fill out the roster. Schenn's a gimme.
OK, that will do it. Thanks.