32 Thoughts: The Podcast


Episode Summary

Jeff and Elliotte kick things off with a conversation about Bruce Boudreau and his future with the Canucks, remember the late Eugene Melnyk, and look ahead to the off-season for the four teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs

Episode Notes

Jeff and Elliotte are back from the GM Meetings in Florida and have a few things to report. They kick things off with a conversation about Bruce Boudreau and his future with the Vancouver Canucks (2:30) as well as Jay Woodcroft and the Oilers (12:00). The guys then remember the late Eugene Melnyk and wonder what’s next for the Ottawa Senators (13:00).

Before taking your questions (43:20), Jeff and Elliotte break down the four teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs and look ahead to their off-season — Montreal (26:00), Philadelphia (31:40), Arizona (35:40) and Seattle (39:10).

Music Outro: Otis Junior, Dr. Dundiff - 3 Winds

Check out their full discography on Spotify

This podcast is produced and mixed by Amil Delic, and hosted by Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman.

Audio Credits: Sportsnet 650.

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

Episode Transcription

Caller [00:00:01] [Hello! This is Aaron from New Jersey, just calling in, I had two questions, but I'll keep it quick I'll  get right to the point. So I am a school teacher. I'm a high school teacher and I know all about the redirection of behaviours that you are trying to improve. Uh, a couple of different strategies there, but you employed a really nice one. So, you know, I was wondering with an elephant's memory of, uh, what about that, you know, that word association podcast full episode that we were promised a little while ago? You know, I love everything you do, but that was something on the back burner for a while that I was looking forward to, as many were. Love you guys, curious what your thought is, see you later!]. 


[00:00:44] [SFX puck hitting post.] 


Jeff Marek [00:00:46] So you know what's interesting? Thank you very much Aaron in New Jersey. You know what's interesting about that and thanks for playing that Amil. I was thinking about that today while I was washing dishes. As I was thinking about what we're going to do on the podcast today, all of a sudden, yellow laces popped into my brain. I said, oh yeah, we've been meaning to get around to that and we've totally dropped it. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:01:04] So I probably should've told you guys this first is that, I'm taking the week off from Sunday April 17th to Friday April the 23rd, taking the family away for a few days. And I'm not gonna do the blog that week. If you want to do a podcast that week or two with a different co-host, you're more than welcome to. Jeff I also won't be appearing on your radio show that week. 


Jeff Marek [00:01:26] Unacceptable. Both things are, all these things are unacceptable. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:01:30] And maybe what we'll do is we'll do it before then so that it can run that week. 


Jeff Marek [00:01:35] Stick one in the can, release it that week? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:01:37] Stick one in the can and run it that week. 


Jeff Marek [00:01:38] Let's do it. Let's end up doing that one. We can do that, that is... Ah, we've promised this before who's kidding who, we'll try to try, how about that? A real Bart Simpson-esque way. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:01:47] Yes. 


Jeff Marek [00:01:47] We will try to try. Welcome once again to 32 Thoughts the Podcast presented by the all-new GMC AT4 Lineup. Marek, Friedman, Delic, glad to be with you as we are now back from Florida. And we've talked plenty about the general managers meetings on the radio show, on your blog as well. We will have some thoughts on Eugene Melnyk and the future of the Ottawa Senators, but Elliotte. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:02:07] I do wanna mention we're gonna start a new feature on today's podcast. 


Jeff Marek [00:02:11] We are? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:02:12] It was sugges--yes. 


Jeff Marek [00:02:13] Oh! 


Elliotte Friedman [00:02:13] You suggested it. And that is we're, gonna break down a little bit more in depth teams once they get eliminated from the playoffs. 


Jeff Marek [00:02:20] Right. We're gonna do that. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:02:21] So there's four of them: Seattle, Arizona, Montreal, and Philadelphia as we tape this podcast now. 


Jeff Marek [00:02:27] Yup. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:02:27] We're going to talk about them in a little bit. 


Jeff Marek [00:02:30] We are, but we're going to start by talking about! Gaby. I am Bruce Boudreau and the Vancouver Canucks. What are the tea leaves saying about Bruce Boudreau and Vancouver? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:02:41] After trade deadline, Patrik Allvin the GM of the Canucks appeared on Vancouver's radio station, 650 out there, with Dan Riccio and Sat Shah.


Recording [00:02:54] [Host: Now, by our understanding, Bruce Boudreau's contract is still a little bit up in the air as an option for, for next year. Do you see Bruce Boudreau as, as your head coach long term? 


[00:03:04] Patrik Allvin: You know what? We haven't, we haven't got into those discussions yet. I think we've gotta be evaluating our team and as we move along here that will be something that that we in the hockey ops will sit down after the season here and talk about.] 


Elliotte Friedman [00:03:24] And I saw some tweets about it and Jason Brough sent me a DM about it, you know, hey, you should probably listen to this and I did and I sent it to a couple of people and I, my reaction was, what do you think of this and, I think a lot of us had the same kind of reaction. It didn't really sound very, I would say, inviting about the possibility of Boudreau coming back next year? He's on a one year contract with a team option for next year but I think there are some--it's unique. I've been told the language of the contract is unique and that there are protections for Boudreau in it. However, what I think it also means is that there's a possibility that Boudreau might not be coming back next year. And I find it incredibly hard to believe. He has done an unbelievable job there. He's coming out of COVID, the team wasn't doing very well. You know, he helped fill that building and bring some fans back and create some excitement and get them going the right way. But it hardly seems like a 100% foregone conclusion that he's coming back next year, which I find incredibly hard to believe. 


Jeff Marek [00:04:35] I was going to say then the question that everybody is asking themselves right now as they hear this is why? Like when you go right down the list of things that he was brought in to do, and maybe you might look at it and say, well, hold on a second here, Bruce Boudreau was brought in to be a placeholder before the new coach came but even if that's a reality, look what he's done. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:04:53] Yeah. 


Jeff Marek [00:04:53] Look what he's done not just on the ice with the Vancouver Canucks, but off the ice as well. Like listen, whether it was, the chants, to the great press conferences, here's the thing that really impressed me about Bruce Boudreau and, if you know him or if you've followed his career in the in the NHL from Washington to Anaheim to Minnesota, you know this about Bruce Boudreau. Vancouver all season long has been a really tense, tight market. The nerves are close to the skin. People, you know, react quickly around this hockey team and have this season specifically. It's been a miserable season for the Vancouver Canucks up until when Bruce Boudreau was brought in and Jim Rutherford Patrik Allvin were brought in as well. And it almost as if like right away Friedge, Bruce Boudreau made everybody relax and laugh and took all the tension--and you know, when there's a, you're at a party or something like that and two people are having a beef or an argument and someone comes into the room and lightens the mood and everything's okay? Isn't that kind of what Boudreau's done in Vancouver? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:06:03] Mhm. 


Jeff Marek [00:06:04] Like it's stunning. It's stunning to me. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:06:05] I agree with that. I completely agree with that. And... he's not as much an X's and O's guy. At least the perception of him is that way. He's more of, he makes people want to play for him and he makes it easier on people to perform. Although I do remember Viktor Kozlov once told me, I saw Viktor Kozlov once in Russia after he played for Washington, and he said Boudreau was the best coach he ever played for at getting people through the neutral zone. But anyway, he has the reputation of being better at getting you to play as opposed to how a team is structured and things like that. And sometimes I think that leads to, well we need more structure, we need more structure. And if you look at what happened in Minnesota, for example, you know, Bill Guerin fired him when his contract was coming up. And essentially what it did was, it allowed Guerin to promote Dean Evason full time. Boudreau was starting to have success in Minnesota that I don't know that they were expecting, and I don't think they wanted to keep him long term at the time. And Guerin made the decision, he said, look, like, I'm making this change. And it kind of reminds me of the same thing that Boudreau is building something here in Vancouver, but I just don't know that they're committed to him around them. And the one thing I think here is that Boudreau's playoff record is such that, you know, people say, well that's where it catches up to you. Maybe lack of structure catches up to you there. But the one thing I'm reminded of, it's hard to make the playoffs in this league. You can't win in the playoffs until you at least get to the playoffs. And I think when you take a look at some of these teams, Bruce Boudreau gets you to the playoffs. And I think there's a lot of teams here that sometimes forget how hard that is. And I wonder if what's gonna happen is, and I'm not saying that I've been told this, but I'm kind of wondering this, is if, at some point in time Boudreau or his representatives are gonna go to the Canucks and say, look, if you're not keeping him, we want to know fast, because someone else may want to hire him. 


Jeff Marek [00:08:25] Well that becomes my next point here. Do you not think that Bruce Boudreau has done enough with the Vancouver Canucks this season to get the attention of other people around the NHL? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:08:34] I think so.


Jeff Marek [00:08:36] Like we know that Bruce Boudreau was offered, I believe he was, was he offered officially an assistant position with the Maple Leafs or he wanted something on the Maple Leafs bench? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:08:44] He wasn't, he wanted to be on the Leafs bench, but it never went anywhere. 


Jeff Marek [00:08:48] And I think it was that he had maintained it would be the only assistant position in the NHL that he would want. That he sees himself as he is, he's a head coach. But when it came to his, you know, the team that he grew up admiring and playing for, he would be an assistant coach. But hasn't Boudreau done enough in this last and like there were a lot of people surprised when Boudreau got hired. Like people thought that, okay, he's done in Minnesota, is that it for Bruce Boudreau? He comes back into Vancouver and helps pop the team. Same players. Right? Same players it wasn't as if, you know, the new, the new management came in and brought in a whole new--it's the same players that Boudreau worked with here and got different results out of these guys and all of a sudden, listen, J.T. Miller is having a career season. I know, and Boudreau will always say it, it helps when you have an elite level goaltender, but has he not done enough to get the attention of other people around the NHL? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:09:43] I think so, Jeff. And again, it goes back to the point I'm trying to make, which is, people forget how hard it is to make the playoffs in this league. 


Jeff Marek [00:09:51] Mhm. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:09:52] It reminds me of, I remember was having this argument with someone, when the Blue Jays made the playoffs for the first time in whatever year that was, 2015, the first time they made it in 20-something years. We were having an argument about whether or not they should keep David Price next year. And obviously they got blown out of the water but. 


Jeff Marek [00:10:09] Yeah. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:10:10] One of my buddies said to me, well, you know, Price doesn't pitch very well in the playoffs. And I said to him, they haven't made the playoffs in 23 years like, how about you just get them to get you there? 


Jeff Marek [00:10:21] Here's the other thing Eliotte. We've talked about this before. 82 games is a lot of games. The season is really long and there comes a point where it really feels like you're grinding and lifting heavy every single day. And I don't know that Bruce Boudreau is someone that makes it miserable for anybody to come to the rink. Like I'm with you on this. Getting to the playoffs is tough. Getting through a season is tough. And when you have a coach with a certain disposition and every time you look behind you when you're on the bench like, oh, that guy and that look and that sneer and now he's ignoring me and all that's great. I think he to have people around there help you get through 82 games. I really do. And I see Bruce as one of those guys. Like Bruce is the guy that, as long as he's talking about hockey, hasn't had a bad day in his life. And I know he has, like Bruce Boudreau's had personal tragedy in his life. But as long as he's around hockey and talking hockey, he's in a great spot. And he makes it great for everybody around him. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:11:22] Do you ever read Moneyball? 


Jeff Marek [00:11:23] Of course. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:11:24] So what does Billy Beane talk about in that book? He talks about the look of a player. Someone looks like a player, someone doesn't look like a player. What's his line? We're not selling blue jeans here? 


Jeff Marek [00:11:37] Yeah. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:11:37] We don't care how it looks, we only care about the results? 


Jeff Marek [00:11:41] Yeah. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:11:41] What he's trying to say is don't overthink it. And I just wonder if this is getting overthought. Look, it's been a hard few years in Vancouver. The math isn't their friend. It looks like they've run out of road. But he injected some life this year. 


Jeff Marek [00:11:54] Yeah. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:11:54] I always say this, be careful what you wish for. Are you selling blue jeans or are you trying to win? And I would just say that if I was Vancouver, I would be very careful about what I'm doing here. 


Jeff Marek [00:12:09] Another coach of a Canadian team I want to get your thoughts on since you write about him on the 32 Thoughts blog, and that is Jay Woodcroft with the Edmonton Oilers. That is a decision that you write will probably be dealt with in the offseason? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:12:21] I had a chat with Ken Holland after the GM meetings. You know, he was the one who brought up the salary cap thing in the playoffs. 


Jeff Marek [00:12:29] Yup. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:12:29] And then I just asked him quickly, Woodcroft, have you talked to him at all? And he just said, look, like I told him, we're gonna sit down the end of the year. He said, obviously things are going really well. They won their 15th game under him the other night against the Kings. He kind of joked like, if it goes into the dumper in the next couple of weeks, then, you know, who knows what's gonna happen, but he said that the way it's going right now, it looks really good and, but he said we talk after the season. So that's where it is. 


Jeff Marek [00:12:55] Let's get to the story that dominated the headlines and dominated discussions Tuesday when we were in Florida at the GM's meetings, and that is the passing of Eugene Melnyk. We've talked a lot. You've written about plenty. We've spoken about on the air, on the radio show. And a couple of thoughts here, one on Eugene and one on the, the future of the Ottawa Senators. A lot of people have made the correct point that it is a complicated past that Eugene has with the Ottawa Senators, and that happens. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:13:22] Yup. 


Jeff Marek [00:13:22] One of the points that I've tried to make over the past few days is, you know, we're moving into an era now where teams are corporately owned. And we talked plenty about the Fenway Sports Group and their purchase of the Pittsburgh Penguins. So they got, you know, they got soccer, they've got baseball, and now they've got hockey. And this is probably the future of sports ownership. And we're moving away from a singular owner or a family based ownership structure in all of sports, certainly now in hockey, and I think we lose something. I don't know what it is, but it just changes. It changes the city and it changes the sports. When I say Eugene Melnyk, what are the things that come to your mind, Elliotte? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:14:07] There's a lot, and it doesn't always go down the same roads. I mean, you remember the beginning. You know, he saved the Senators. The promise that came with that the Eagles concert he had is kind of like his first official act and all the excitement. You know, the Stanley Cup run. I talked in the blog about the one incident where in the middle of a playoff game, a game they would get knocked out in 2010, he tried to go in the dressing room in the intermission to fire up the team and-- 


Jeff Marek [00:14:37] Yeah. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:14:37] And Brian Murray came running down [to] stop him from doing that. I got actually a text message about the fact that in that series on the road, he flew in to Pittsburgh on his jet and wanted to address the team before the game. And some of the staff like, put up some, you know, they just created some obstacles that he couldn't get there in time. And so what he could do was he could high five the players going out on the ice but, you know, he loved the Senators. He really did love the Senators. And he wanted them to win and he cared about them a lot and he loved being the owner of the Senators. You know, I would say that the last few years haven't been easy. The Alfredsson thing, I think is a big deal. I don't think you should be surprised to see them reach out to Alfredsson and say, how can we fix this? Because I don't think it was ever gonna happen under Melnyk. It became a very difficult place to work. You know, there were people who quit out of frustration, there were people who were kind of fired, who were good people, and there were some people who stayed under very stressful circumstances. And I do think that that's something that's gonna have to be fixed as well. I just think the biggest question is, you know, what's gonna be the future of the team? Right now the team is kind of in trust. There's an executor, I believe it's Sheldon Plener who's been a long-time lawyer there and a member of the Board of Governors from the Senators and he has been seen at BoG meetings for a long time. You know, his daughters, Anna and Olivia, Melnyk had said he wanted them to take over the team. It's not unheard of in NHL circles, I mean, obviously, the, the biggest one would be the Wirtz family. But I don't know that anybody's been as as young as his daughters have been, I think one's 22 and the other's 20. By obviously you have people in place, if they want to do it, they can teach them the business, and I believe it was Olivia who was an intern there for a while or worked on the staff and I actually heard very good things about her. I mean, that's gotta be decided. Are they gonna keep it in the family? Are they going to sell the team? I mean, there would be a lineup of people [if they] are gonna sell the team. I've said to you many times, I don't think that team is going anywhere. I think they will work on getting the arena downtown, that process is, is done. You know, someone reached out to me today and said, they read what I wrote and they heard what I said and said, you're right to say that team's not going anywhere. Gary Bettman has fought for Arizona. He hasn't had to be as vocal about it, but he believes very strongly in Ottawa and someone said to me too that, you know, he knows the optics of moving a team out of the capital of Canada, and how that would look. Like a few years ago I think in some frustration, I think some people said, what if we just packed up and went to Quebec City? But, you know, someone just said to me, don't even go down that road. It's not gonna happen. That team's gonna be there. I think the question is just going to be, you know, who's gonna own it? And I think there's a lot of interest. But again, it comes down to the Melnyk daughters. What do they wanna do? And they deserve their time to wrap their head around what's happened and mourn and then we'll find out how they feel. 


Jeff Marek [00:18:03] You know, we know that people like Justin Bieber, for one, have kicked tires on the idea of owning the Ottawa Senators. How many different rumours do you think we're gonna hear in the next little while about various ownership groups trying to get in and purchase the Ottawa Senators should they go up for sale? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:18:21] You know, I think there's already people positioning like I think there have been some people who've been in contact with the league for quite some time. I think there are minority owners of current NHL teams who've done it. I think there have been people kind of around the periphery of the game that have done it. I think there have been some other groups outside of the game that have done it. And like I said, I think the biggest question's gonna be is what does the family want to do? But I believe Bettman is prepared. I think that he knows if this team is gonna go on the market or if there's going to be a sale. He has people lined up that he can say, okay, do you wanna talk about this? Are you willing to do this? And it's gonna be a big number. I mean, there's been at least one attempt where somebody tried to lowball them like a $400, $450 million thing, and the league laughed at it. They're not doing it. It's going to be a, especially with the possibility of a new downtown rink on the horizon. It's gonna be much higher than that. I think at the end of the day the Senators fans have to know, I believe the, and I wrote it today and I'll say it again, I believe the NHL has a plan for an Ottawa team downtown and ready. 


Jeff Marek [00:19:30] I was really impressed at how Pierre Dorion spoke. I mean, he was the first one to come out of the meeting on Tuesday, general manager of the Ottawa Senators talking about the late owner and how, you know, how emotional he was and how, you know, visibly moved and how compassionately he spoke about Eugene Melnyk. 


Recording [00:19:55] [Pierre Dorion: He's... [emotional pause] Sorry. He's someone that meant a lot to a lot of people. He gave a lot. He made a commitment to the city of Ottawa. To the franchise, to try and build a winner. I think one of the saddest parts about his passing is he won't get to see, I think all the work that we all did together to try to build a winner. A lot of you didn't know the great man that he was as far as... how much he cared about Ottawa Senators. I'm so thankful to him on a personal note. He allowed me to be one of the 32 GMs in the league. It's, it's an elite position. And I'm so thankful for him for giving me that opportunity. And I want to promise all the fans in Ottawa that we will deliver a Stanley Cup one day.] 


Elliotte Friedman [00:20:57] That was pretty impressive because I don't think Melnyk is always the easiest guy to work for. 


Jeff Marek [00:21:02] No, we all know that like we've all heard the stories. Everybody has a story who's, who's worked there and listen, I thought Dorion was really brave to do that, to come out and face everybody and speak the way that he did and good for him and some of the things he said were quite touching and beautiful. I do think, one thing I do want to say is, I really feel for someone like Roger Lajoie. Now many of you listening may not know that name. Roger in the Toronto area is a sports legend, long time host on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. You know, Eugene has, you know, employed him in a number of different positions in OHL Mississauga, in AHL Bellville, and you know, with the NHL team, the Ottawa Senators as well and I know that Roger was really feeling it when, when Eugene passed away and I just want to make sure that I mention Roger Lajoie's name through all of this, because I'm a, listen, I have a lot of respect for Roger. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:21:55] Yeah they were tight. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:21:55] I just want to make sure, want to make sure that his name gets mentioned here as well as someone, you know who really cared for the, the late Ottawa Senators owner. And you know what else, Elliotte, I thought about this was yesterday afternoon, out for a run. You know what I really, you know what I really loved? I really loved hearing Eugene Melnyk on with Bob McCown. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:22:13] If you ever really wanted to know what he was thinking, you had to turn into those interviews. 


Jeff Marek [00:22:17] Now I know it ruffled some feathers in Ottawa that here he is, you know, the owner going on the Toronto radio station. But it wasn't as if he was going on there to wave any Toronto flag, he was going on there as Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators, and always made that obvious on the number one sports radio property in the country and those, first of all, those interviews got Eugene in hot water sometimes around the league for a couple of different reasons but they were must-listen to. I'm really gonna miss you know hearing Eugene Melnyk interviewed because no matter what, it was television it was radio it was podcast here. You always knew you were getting something out of Eugene and we pass on our condolences here to the family and the friends of Eugene Melnyk. 


[00:22:59] [Silence.]. 


[00:22:59] [Break.] 


Elliotte Friedman [00:23:13] By the way, before we talk about some teams, I got a call after my hit on your radio show. 


Jeff Marek [00:23:18] To say how good I was?


Elliotte Friedman [00:23:20] No. To say-- 


Jeff Marek [00:23:21] How you should let Marek talk more? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:23:22] No. Actually, after today, you should probably never be allowed to speak again. Because it was from John Davis, our buddy, West Coast Hockey, and he, and he agreed with me that your idea of the chase shootout is the dumbest idea you've ever come up with. 


Jeff Marek [00:23:39] That covers a lot of ground, first of all. Second of all, I'm just, I'm just throwing ideas out there and listen, it's funny, because I asked Colin Campbell about that, it was on the hour after you and I were on-- 


Elliotte Friedman [00:23:49] I hope he laughed his head off and said-- 


Jeff Marek [00:23:51] He said they've talked about it. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:23:52] Oh, my god.


Jeff Marek [00:23:53] He said it's been, I don't think it's gonna happen, but it's been, though, just so everyone listening is on the same page here. We were talking, Eliotte and I were talking on the radio Thursday about the Blake Wheeler shootout goal against Craig Anderson, where he approaches the net slowly, appears to not just slow down but appears to stop. And then it's about, you know, shoulder fakes Pat Kane style and then tucks it over Anderson's glove. And the question is, did he stop? And then the question then becomes, do you want this as a shootout or do you want the shootout to replicate what a breakaway should be? And when you're on a breakaway, someone's giving chase so the idea is, an example that I brought up to you, Friedge, was our kids do this in 3-on-3. Instead of a two minute penalty, someone gets a penalty shot, but someone's allowed to give chase. Someone lines up from the blue line, you got the puck at centre ice and the chase is on, that way it replicates a breakaway. I'm just lobbing these ideas out there Elliotte. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:24:48] That's your worst idea ever and, I just, I actually want it to happen because I want to see the players who don't get to take shootouts, but they're always the chasers. That's worse than being the the, oh okay, we got a bench minor, you go to the box and serve it. 


Jeff Marek [00:25:07] You get the chase instead. Yeah the example we raised was Nick Ehlers. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:25:10] Ilya Lyubushkin. No shot attempts in the shootout, 476 unsuccessful chases. 


Jeff Marek [00:25:17] You just go chase. That'd be a whole new stat top, how many successful chases? Listen man, I'm coming up with something here. Like, I don't expect you to understand any of this, 15 years from now, you'll look back. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:25:28] I understand that it's stupid. 


Jeff Marek [00:25:30] Oh look at this. Marek was so far ahead of his time. All right. Let's get to some teams here. Montreal, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Arizona all have one thing in common. They've all been eliminated from playoff contention so far. Let's begin with Kent Hughes's team, the Montreal Canadiens. And the question we ask for all of these teams, Elliotte. What now? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:25:52] It's just amazing. Think about where we were a year ago. 


Jeff Marek [00:25:56] Crazy town. I know. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:25:57] And now here we are with Montreal. We've gone from the Canadiens about to begin their ride to the Stanley Cup Final to the Canadiens, maybe getting the number one overall pick and getting eliminated from the playoffs in the middle of March. 


Jeff Marek [00:26:09] There we were watching the Montreal Canadiens respect attendance bylaws and not try to break them in any way shape or form as their team went to the Stanley Cup Final. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:26:17] There's no way they were were more than 5000 people in the building. Impossible. 


Jeff Marek [00:26:24] So what happens now? What happens now? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:26:27] I think one of the most interesting questions I have for them is, okay, first of all, you gotta think that Marty St. Louis is getting an extension here, right? 


Jeff Marek [00:26:36] You gonna drop another Boudreau note on us here? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:26:38] No no no, unless he doesn't want to do it. 


Jeff Marek [00:26:41] Yeah. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:26:42] So Marty St. Louis' coming back. So that's number one. Number two, I think is do we see Carey Price again? That's the only other thing for the rest of this season that I look at with them, because if Carey Price comes back and plays, then I think there's a chance he's playing somewhere else next year. 


Jeff Marek [00:26:59] Yeah. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:27:00] If he doesn't come back and play, then where are we? 


Jeff Marek [00:27:03] To the Price question, I have no answer. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:27:05] Yeah. 


Jeff Marek [00:27:05] I could see Carey Price coming back and playing somewhere else. I could see Carey Price riding off into the sunset. Think of all the things that he's already done. I mean, I don't know. Like I don't have a, I don't have a concrete answer for any of it. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:27:19] It all comes down to his body, right? So. 


Jeff Marek [00:27:22] Correct. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:27:22] So number one question, St. Louis, we think we know the answer to that. Number two question, Price. 


Jeff Marek [00:27:27] Don't know. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:27:27]  We have no idea as we, as we do this podcast, the answer to that. But to me, I see it being extremely difficult for him to get traded if, you know, he doesn't play a game between now and the end of the season. If he does get into a few games, then I could see the possibility of it. You know, the other thing I've wondered is, you know, is there any chance he could be any way like Weber in the sense that the body and again, I'm not reporting that I know this to be a fact, but, you know, I watched Weber ride off to the sunset at the end of last year, and you just wonder, is there any chance Price could be going through the same thing? Is there any part of him that says, my body can't do this anymore? So I think those are all the questions we have. But my number three question, Jeff, is, how big fish are the Canadians gonna be this summer? Are they gonna say next year we're going to continue to turn it over to the kids? All of our prospects are gonna play. We're gonna move out Petry, we're gonna see who else wants to go. Do we continue to turn over our group and see where some of these guys are, or are they gonna go out, are they gonna try to get somebody? Are they gonna try to land a big free agent or are they gonna try to land a big body like a star player somewhere? Or do they just say, you know what, it's not our time and we're doing a rebuild? Because I think Chicago is going full rebuild. But my question is, how far is Montreal gonna go? 


Jeff Marek [00:28:50] Look here's the thing about rebuilds that I always come back to. What are rebuilds all about? Getting good players. And this is what I liked about the Rangers for example. The Rangers got Artemi Panarin. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:29:02] Yup. 


Jeff Marek [00:29:02] Like, I wonder how closely... 


Elliotte Friedman [00:29:04] Well, the thing is, he picked them, right? 


Jeff Marek [00:29:06] He did. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:29:07] Who's picking Montreal right now? 


Jeff Marek [00:29:08] But, but if someone saying, hey, I want to, and I don't know who it is, I understand what you're trying to say, but if rebuilds are all about getting the best possible players and someone falls into your lap, do you worry about, well, it doesn't fit our timeline? Or do you say, you know what, here's a really good player that can, you know, help make us respectable while we rebuild and help our young prospects. Does it matter what the position is? So my, my only question is, and again, I know there was some luck involved at the lottery, but I just wonder how closely this rebuild is gonna mirror what Jeff Gorton did with the Rangers.


Elliotte Friedman [00:29:43] Your dynamic changes if a star player says, I wanna play for you. So maybe that's the question. Does Montreal have someone who says, I'm coming there? 


Jeff Marek [00:29:53] I don't know. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:29:55] Or if it's no, and they say, look, we're, we're not gonna chase, we're gonna just grow. That's my thing for Montreal. Is this a full rebuild or is it we're rebuilding, but we're also going out to get some big players? 


Jeff Marek [00:30:10] Okay. Again, I'm going to say the same thing that you just said. I am not reporting this, I am spitballing this. If the Montreal Canadiens, because I just thought of a name, if the Montreal Canadiens are committing to a traditional rebuild here and we're loading up on first rounders here, we got the draft in our backyard this year. And Kris Letang's deal expires and he doesn't re-signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins and says, you know what? I wonder what it feels like to play in Montreal. And you're Kent Hughes, what do you say? Oh, sorry, you know what, we're, we're not following your timeline here. We're following Nick Suzuki's timeline and you don't fit. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:30:47] Like, I think the question with Letang is purely health. I don't think anybody questions his ability. I think it's all health. I think the biggest issue that Letang has faced in Pittsburgh getting a contract done his term. So my question is, does Montreal feel any differently? 


Jeff Marek [00:31:04] No idea. We know that they're gonna move Petry out. Does that open a spot to bring in another established player? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:31:11] Well, sure it does. 


Jeff Marek [00:31:12] Or. Or. Do you use that spot for one of your kids? Like, I think Justin Barron's gonna be a really good defenceman for a long time. I think we all can see that and suspect that with with Justin Barron. But, you know, Justin Barron is 20 years old. Romanoff is 22 years old. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:31:28] They've got Harris coming. They have the possibility of Struble coming. 


Jeff Marek [00:31:33] But then you always have to ask yourself, too, how many is too many kids specifically on the blue line? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:31:39] Right. 


Jeff Marek [00:31:39] That's the only question. Okay. To the Philadelphia Flyers, this season has not gone the way it was intended. And, it's, you know, we just saw Claude Giroux traded to the Florida Panthers as well. Justin Braun goes to the New York Rangers. Derick Brassard goes to the Edmonton Oilers. Geez, I don't even know where to begin with the questions about the Philadelphia Flyers. I don't think they're gonna do a traditional rebuild. That is not the Flyers M.O. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:32:03] No way. 


Jeff Marek [00:32:04] Not a chance. I think we're all still very much of the mind that they're goinna load up on whoever is available and they can fit under their cap. Do you feel otherwise? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:32:14] No. I think Kadri's gonna be a big target there. But I think the questions they're gonna have is, who's going out? You know, is Provorov gonna be there? Is Sanheim gonna be there? What's Ryan Ellis's health? Those are my big questions is, who's staying? Who do they believe is a long term Flyer? That's number one. Chuck Fletcher, he got the vote of confidence. 


Jeff Marek [00:32:37] Yup. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:32:38] Is there any reason to believe that's changed? I don't have any intel that says to me it is, but I just wanted to make sure at the end of the year. Is Mike Yeo staying or they're going to get somebody else? Could John Tortorella end up there? Could a Rick Tocchet end up there? I think they have a lot of questions that they kind of have to answer here. But I do agree with you. I think they're going out hard. I, I said the moment that Dave Scott went out and had that press conference that we're going for, Kadri was the number one name on my list. And I think there's reason to believe that even though he's still playing somewhere else and might win a Stanley Cup this year, I think Philly's going to have a fascinating, fascinating offseason. I think their renewal numbers and their sponsorship numbers are a little bit soft and they have a way that they tend to react to that. And that way is to go out and get something shiny that the fans find attractive. 


Jeff Marek [00:33:39] To the Provorov question. I think we've talked about this before, I still believe that they're not gonna make their minds up on Provorov until they see him play with Ryan Ellis. I mean listen, unless a whopper lands in Chuck Fletcher's lap. Because I think the plan all along was Ellis and Provorov and Ellis got hurt and stayed hurt and they never really saw it. And I don't know that you make your mind up on a 25 year-old that you've invested so much in until you see him playing with Ryan Ellis for at least, at least one season, no Friedge? I think when people call Philadelphia for the home run trade, I'm pretty sure that Sanheim's nam,e much like maybe even Konecny too. Those are the names that are out there. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:34:21] Well, you know, I'm glad you mentioned Konecny because that's a name I should have mentioned too, I didn't before. The thing is that after you signed Ristolainen I'm not sure you can keep both Provorov and Sanheim, but then, you know, Provorov signs, Sanheim has to be signed. 


Jeff Marek [00:34:36] Yeah, that's the thing. The only thing about Sanheim is, his contract is up at the end of next season. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:34:42] Right. The clock says that you have to make a decision. And the other thing you have to worry about here is, what if you don't get Ellis next year? I mean, all of us are hoping the guy can come back and play. 


Jeff Marek [00:34:53] Yeah, I know. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:34:54] But what if you don't? Are you banking another season? If you're sole question is, we need to see Provorov play with Ellis, you've gotta ask, what if he doesn't? Like how do we feel like? The thing with me with Provorov is, like I know they're frustrated with him and I know he's frustrated with them. I understand all that. But this has been going on for a long time. And you know the old line, bleep or get off the pot? Like I wonder if we're, we're getting there with Provorov in Philly. Like, everybody here has to decide where they want to go. 


Jeff Marek [00:35:26] Only problem is, if you're gonna make a decision on Provorov right now, are you not making it the worst possible time? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:35:31] Well, the only reason I would say no is that they could have done this last year right? Because there was some frustration last year but they waited it out. 


Jeff Marek [00:35:40] Okay, Arizona Coyotes. And first of all, we wish Clayton Keller all the best. That was gruesome, gruesome to watch. And he's out long term and... like it look bad on impact. But then when you see Logan Couture who's standing right beside him, start signalling right away? Players know. Players know how bad things are. We wish him the speediest of recoveries because that was a real tough one to watch. Arizona Coyotes, what's next Friedge? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:36:07] Well, I think we all know what's next. It's the, you know, Jack McBain. You know, he'll get his chance. Nathan Smith was traded from Winnipeg with the Bryan Little contract. He'll get his chance. They got Vejmelka signed. I'm assuming Chyckrun will be dealt in the offseason. Nick Ritchie's gonna play there for another year. 


Jeff Marek [00:36:26] He's been good. Hang on, Nick Ritchie's been good. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:36:30] You know, the one thing I'll say is, Tourigny gets those guys to play hard. Like this is not a team that's going down meekly. They, they play hard for their head coach.


Jeff Marek [00:36:38] Yup! 


Elliotte Friedman [00:36:38] And that's not an insignificant thing. I think next year, again, I don't think they're gonna be a great team. I think they're gonna play hard. I'm really curious to see they got a lot of cap room. I'm curious to see who's gonna play there. Are they going to have people who are gonna want to go there and say, look, like we talked about this, I've had a difficult time with my last team. I need a mental reset. I'm gonna go there for a year. Like how is all of this gonna go? Are there gonna be players who want to play there? Like there were people in the organisation and elsewhere who were not happy about my reporting about the meeting. And they said, you know, the players didn't say anything that you attributed to them. Okay. But what I said was, well Matthew Schneider was there from the Players Association and what he did was what he's supposed to do. He played the heavy for the players. And I said to somebody, do you really think that the players are gonna go to their owner, or their CEO, as Xavier Gutierrez is, and they're gonna be honest when they know that they hold their fate in their hands. I think some veterans might do that, but I don't think everybody will do that. So I think we're all curious to see how this is gonna go. We'll see, you know, who their top pick is, where they're drafting. But we're now in the phase of, if you're a young player. Arizona's gonna give you a chance. Or you're a player that needs a year to unwind and try to get yourself back. Arizona's gonna give you a chance. But the one thing I do say is that they've played hard for Tourigny. But I still think we have a lot more questions about the future of this franchise than we have answers. And what does that mean for players wanting to go there? 


Jeff Marek [00:38:33] Here's the big one. And we still don't have an answer. What if they don't get the arena deal? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:38:37] Yes, yes. 


Jeff Marek [00:38:38] That's the huge one. Then what? But I'm with you. I think there will be some players that need to reset, and I don't think it'll be easy, but I think there will be players that will go. Like there are some agents that I talked to who are like, oh no, I would, you know, turn my guys away. And then there's a couple that was like, no, listen, an NHL job as an NHL job. An NHL contract is an NHL contract. This is still an NHL team, despite the fact that they're not playing in an NHL building, it's still an NHL team. And these are still NHL contracts. Let's finish up with the expansion. Seattle Kraken. I don't think it's right to measure them against the Vegas Golden Knights, the team that officially eliminated them from playoff contention. But things did not go well for Seattle based on what we saw at the beginning of the season with this lineup. And first of all, I don't think we expected the goaltending to perform quite like this. They were fighting it all season long because of the goaltending to begin with. But even given that, should we have had bigger expectations for the Seattle Kraken? Should we have expected more from this lineup? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:39:44] For one thing, I think the teams were a lot smarter this time around. They weren't, they weren't falling into the same traps. They gotta find people who can score. I heard there was a point this year where I think even ownership was saying to the hockey office, we gotta, we gotta, we gotta do something here, we gotta do something. And Ron Francis was like, no, like, we can't be stupid about this. And the number one thing I thought he did that was smart was he got a lot of draft picks. He's gotta build up their prospect base. And that is absolutely true. But I think the one thing they do have to do, they have to go out and do is they have to find offence. They have to be aggressive in the search of creative players. You know, you still have to score to win in this league. Sometimes I think we all talk defence, defence and you have to be able to check and you have to play hard D, but you also gotta be able to score. And that's the one thing I remember the beginning of the year there were people who said, you know, who's gonna score on this team? And that turned out to be true. Like I've talked to you about this. Like to me, John Klingberg, that's a guy who I think if you're the Kraken you're going after. That's a guy who can create offence and you need that on your team now. And that's what I think Seattle, with all its cap room and its draft picks, it has to go out there like, who are the best offensive players available? And we have to find a way to get our hands on some of them. 


Jeff Marek [00:41:11] I'm glad you brought up goalscoring, because you know what I find myself saying now more so than ever? You mentioned this in the blog this week about how goal scoring is up. And like we're seeing like scores out of 1985 all over again, you know, 11-to-2, 9-to-3, like we're seeing these. I find myself, I catch myself all the time, because my default, and I think a lot of us are have always been when we're talking about teams is, yeah but can they win 2 to 1 games. Yeah, but can they win a 3 to 2 game. You know what I find myself saying to myself more than anything else? Can this team win a 7-6 game? Because that's in a lot of ways the way that it's going right now with the offence, with teams that can put up big numbers on you on any given night. Can you keep pace? It's one thing to your point about playing a locked down 2 to 1 game, and I get that. These are playoffs for sure. But the way the game is trending right now, with the increase in offence, I find myself looking at teams and saying, yeah you know what? I can see them winning 3-2, I can't see them winning 7-6. I'm with you on that one to me I catch myself saying that more and more. Yeah, but can they win 7-6? And I think we're sort of saying that more and more about teams as, as goalscoring continues to rise. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:42:22] Well, I don't know if that's going to continue. This year there's no question that, you know, because the condensed schedule, they're not practising. I think that's got a lot to do with it. I also do think and we have briefly talked about this before. How many true franchise goalies are out there right now? 


Jeff Marek [00:42:38] A handful. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:42:39] I don't think there's that many, really, which changes the equation, too. But I agree, Jeff. I don't know this will happen in the playoffs and I don't know if this will continue next year. But one thing I do believe absolutely is that, we are entering an era where you have to have offensive talent. And they need to find it. 


Jeff Marek [00:43:00] And that, Elliotte, is a good thing for the NHL. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:43:03] Yeah. 


Jeff Marek [00:43:04] Let's get a break, come back with some emails and a couple of phone calls as well, wrap up another tidy pod to get your weekend started. We're back in a moment. 


[00:43:11] [Break.] 


Jeff Marek [00:43:21] Okay, welcome back to the podcast. Couple of emails and a voicemail. A voicemail. Hey, the hotline is always open. 1-866-311-3232, email 32thoughts@sportsnet.ca. To the phones, Amil. 


Caller [00:43:36] [Jeff, Elliotte, how are you guys? Joe here from Massachusetts. So I'm driving home from work right now listening to the Johnny Oduya interview, and as a Bruins fan, I just wanted to sincerely thank you guys for giving me some PTSD, reliving that goal on the Cup Final, you even put the audio on there and everything, that was great. I did have a question though, about the GM meetings. I know you guys were just down there. It's just kind of about the general format. You know, it's a lot of different opinions in one place. Is there, you know, do the GM get to propose different questions and stuff that they might have or does the league kind of give a list of hot button issues? Yeah. Thanks, guys. Love listening to the pod, you guys do some great work. Have a good one.] 


Jeff Marek [00:44:17] That's a great one. Sorry about the Johnny Oduya Chicago PTSD of that, that was a blitz at the end of that game. You want to tackle this one? It's not the NHL that presents the items I mean you know various managers you know, table things that they want to get, that they want to get discussed. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:44:33] It's sort of both. So the NHL, like there's some things that are part of it. You know, Stephen Walkom who runs the officiating, he gives a presentation. George Parros, who runs the Department of Player Safety, he gives a presentation. The league brought Sheldon Kennedy down this time, and he was part of a presentation in a panel discussion. And so sometimes there are things that the league says, you know, we're gonna talk about. They tell them what the cap is gonna be next year, for example, things like that, too. But there is a question sent out where is there anything you guys wanna talk about? And for example, this year, Ken Holland of Edmonton, he's the one who brought up the cap and the playoffs. So it's, I think a hybrid is the right way to answer it. There's certain NHL initiatives and there's certain GM-based initiatives. You know, one of the GMs was kind of laughing with me because they really know how to run meetings, is what he said. They're really good at limiting debate on things they don't want to talk about too much because they're like, oh okay, well we're out of time, we gotta go on to the next thing in our meeting, so that ends this conversation. He actually said it's a pretty good skill that they have there. So it's sort of both. It's, these are the things that we need to talk about, but what do you guys have that you want to talk about. 


Jeff Marek [00:45:49] So frivolous things like should a player get a minus when his team pulls the goalie and they're scored against, in an era now where goalie pulls are happening earlier and earlier? Yes, this is a conversation that I had with someone who was trying to get this tabled at the managers' meeting Elliotte. I would imagine those don't get much concert. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:46:12] When you have a room full of people in there, you have people who come up with those kinds of ideas. So if I remember correctly and I apologise if I'm butchering the story, but I think I have it right, when they changed that on a power play, you can have choice of which side of the ice you want the first faceoff on? Like that was just, I believe that was Ron Francis who came up with that, and he was just thinking about that as a player. And that was on nobody's radar and he, I heard he said, why don't we do this? And everybody kind of heard it and said, you know what, let's do it, and it became a rule. So I think there is room for that kind of stuff Jeff. It's just that if they, you know, if they really feel that it's too esoteric or not going anywhere, they'll cut off discussion on it. 


Jeff Marek [00:46:58] You know, and I wonder if they've discussed and I'll be curious to hear the various managers discussing the pros and cons of it or the philosophy behind it when it comes to faceoffs. When you're a team that's on the powerplay say there's like, I don't know, 1:20 left in the period and you start the period after on the powerplay, and the play in the previous period ended with you having possession of the park in the offensive zone. I wonder if anybody has proposed or they've had a conversation about not starting the next period with a faceoff at centre ice, but a faceoff back in the offensive zone. Why should you have a faceoff back at centre ice when you're on the powerplay? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:47:36] That's not as dumb as your show idea from... Radko Gudas, no, you don't get to take a shootout attempt, but you know what? For the 98th time, you can go try to chase a guy. 


Jeff Marek [00:47:49] Tell me you wouldn't love to see Radko Gudas chase like Captain Caveman, try to chase down Nick Ehlers. That would be hilarious, just for the visual of it. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:47:59] No shootout attempts, but he's got 948 tries to catch somebody. 


Jeff Marek [00:48:04] I think the chase, that could be a really good one, and you know, deep in your heart, there's part of you that really likes this. You just don't want to admit it to me. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:48:10] No. I'm pretty shallow and it's terrible. 


Jeff Marek [00:48:13] The first part of that is right. Trevor in Edmonton says some really nice things about Amil Delic, calling him the real MVP, and I think this is why Amil has recommended that we read this question on the podcast. There you go. Kudos to Amil, from Trevor in Edmonton. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:48:26] I didn't know you had relatives in Edmonton Amil. 


Jeff Marek [00:48:28] His question, he says, is regarding LTIR cap circumvention in the playoffs. "I'll use Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights as my example. What steps does the NHL take to ensure that Stone is legitimately injured leading up to the playoffs? Does the NHL take the word of a Vegas team doctor? Does the NHL employ their own doctors to ensure the teams like Vegas don't circumvent the cap?" It's funny, Bill Daly talked about this on Tuesday after the the second day of sessions. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:48:57] Well, it's getting tougher now. You know, first of all, the NHL can demand you see a doctor at any time, right, or demand medical reports at any time. And one place where it absolutely changed was the expansion draft last year. Look, I don't think Shea Weber can play anymore. I think it's legit. But they were also really unhappy about the whole Carey Price thing, and teams accused Montreal of manipulating the expansion draft. And the NHL, I think on some level felt it was potentially true and they did not commit to, Shea Weber's never gonna play again. Usually what happened when a guy went LTIR, like Pronger would have to go to Arizona at the beginning of the year, doctor would say, no, he can't play, and then you never see him again, right? Well, now, you know, they made Weber see the doctor a couple of extra times this year. And Jeff Jackson actually told me that when he, he's an agent now, he represents Connor McDavid. But when he worked in the front office in Toronto, I think it was Michael Peca they had a LTIR case with, and he said the league was all over them. I don't think the league really wants to police this stuff incredibly, but I think what's happened in the last calendar year and then, like we talked about the Kucherov thing, when you start putting up the 18 million over the cap tshirts, that's when you're just asking for more investigation. So, like I do think they've stepped up, I think with Vegas, Bettman, you know, when he was asked, you know, are you satisfied with with Vegas, he said: 


Recording [00:50:35] [Gary Bettman: Based on what I know about it to this point. Yes. 


[00:50:39] Bill Daly: I'd say the same. 


[00:50:41] Gary Bettman: You're looking for us to disagree on that? No, I saw, I saw, I saw the look. Well no, I was I was thinking about the question and how my answer is going to be scrutinised. So I wanted to make sure there was no ambiguity and that it couldn't be misconstrued. Not that that ever happens on things that I say. Anybody else?] 


Elliotte Friedman [00:51:04] That answers said to me, a) was expecting it, b) was ready for it, but c) they've been doing their due diligence on it. Because there have been a lot of teams complaining about it. 


Jeff Marek [00:51:15] Yeah. That was an interesting moment on the Tuesday when he was asked about that. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:51:18] Although Kelly McCrimmon, what I asked him about it said basically he said no one's, no one's done it to my face. 


Jeff Marek [00:51:24] What did you make of the pause between when Bettman was, it was pretty interesting pause between when Bettman was asked that question and he gave the answer, and he said something about, oh, I don't want to, you know, I want to make sure that I measure my words because, you know, you in the media will interpret it a certain way. Should we read anything into that pause? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:51:44] I just think he wanted to make sure he said what he wanted to say and you know what that said to me? That said to me that he's heard the complaints. 


Jeff Marek [00:51:53] Fair. Let's end on this one. Scott in Ottawa, this is kind of hockey trivia too, but it's also a good question. "I was happy to see Jack Eichel get traded, the surgery he wanted and to get back on the ice." Amen. "I was also excited at the prospect of him finally getting to see some playoff action. However, with the Knights on the outside looking in." Well actually, as we record this right now, they are in the final wild card spot but hello Dallas, look out. This might not be the case. "Eichel must be at the top of the active list for best player slash career, never to play a playoff game. But who's at the top of the retired list for best player slash career to never play a playoff game?" We;; right now the leader is Jeff Skinner. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:52:39] So Guy Charron was the long time record holder, he played from 1969 to 81. 


Jeff Marek [00:52:45] Yes. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:52:46] You could tell that Charron was kind of cursed because he was drafted by Montreal and he's there like the one year that they didn't make the playoffs. 


Jeff Marek [00:52:52] Off to Atlanta, I want to say after that, correct? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:52:55] Detroit, Kansas City, Washington. You know who you're thinking of? You're thinking of Guy Chouinard. 


Jeff Marek [00:53:01] Oh I'm thinking of Guy Chouinard! You're right, no I'm sorry. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:53:03] Which is funny, because I made the same mistake before. So he played for Montreal, Detroit, the Kansas City Scouts and the, and the Capitals, and he never made the playoffs. Now, as you said, Jeff Skinner, who's over 800 games now, he's the leader. Another guy who was the leader at one point was Jay Bouwmeester. When he was traded from Calgary to Saint Louis he had actually passed Charron and was number one, and then he went to the playoffs. So he got knocked out, and another guy who was very high until recently was Zach Bogosian. But not only did he break it, he won a Stanley Cup. 


Jeff Marek [00:53:43] Same as Ron Hainsey. He was in the 800 game area, I think, before he got into the playoffs and ended up winning the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. You know, you know who else is, you know you hate talking about because it's so tough. These guys want to play in the playoffs. I feel, I feel bad for Sam Gagner who's only played in his career 11 playoff games. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:54:05] Yeah, it's a tough one. 


Jeff Marek [00:54:05] The long one. He played those games with Philadelphia and Columbus and was last in the playoffs in 2017. Ladislav Smid just retired Elliotte. He never played in any playoff games either, but I will say one thing. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:54:19] Shame because that guy was a good guy and he played hard. 


Jeff Marek [00:54:22] He did play hard. I always like Ladislav Smid a lot. Listen, I think we're all happy that Sam Reinhart is going to finally see the playoffs. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:54:28] All these guys were connected to Buffalo. Ristolainen, still hasn't played in the playoffs. Girgensons has not played in the playoffs. Another guy who's 400 plus games and is gonna get a chance to finally play in the playoffs, and a guy I want to see in the postseason is Johan Larsson. Nick Deslauriers, I think was another one of those guys. 


Jeff Marek [00:54:48] If he can stay healthy, he stops having these savage fights with players like Nick Seeler. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:54:55] Jack Eichel. 


Jeff Marek [00:54:56] Yeah, that's what the question was about. Yeah, Jack Eichel, it'd be good to see him in the in the playoffs should Vegas get there. Do you think Vegas gets there? 


Elliotte Friedman [00:55:05] I don't--


Jeff Marek [00:55:06] I keep saying I can't see them not. But then I look at like Dallas and-- 


Elliotte Friedman [00:55:10] I don't like the math, but they're, you know, the one thing is, and congratulations to Logan Thompson. I mean, that was a big night for him on Wednesday. First career shutout. 


Jeff Marek [00:55:18] Yeah, shutout.


Elliotte Friedman [00:55:18] At least you know what they're doing, they're giving themselves a chance, they're taking care of their own business. They probably watched that Edmonton-LA game the other night and they're like, oh crap, this has to go into overtime. Like, that's what you root for. Someone win the game, don't go into overtime. 


Jeff Marek [00:55:33] Yeah. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:55:34] Oh, Matthews just scored his 50th into the empty netter. 


Jeff Marek [00:55:37] Rick Vaive, Gary Leeman, Dave Andreychuck, all have company now. Auston Matthews the first in the NHL this season to hit 50. I'll take seven games of L.A. and Edmonton. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:55:48] I would too. 


Jeff Marek [00:55:49] If we get seven games of that, I'll take that thank you very much. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:55:52] I would too, I love Jonathan Quick, I just-- 


Jeff Marek [00:55:54] I know you're a big fan. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:55:56] He's one of my man crush guys. Johan Larsson, two man crush guys on this podcast. Johan Larsson, Jonathan Quick. 


Jeff Marek [00:56:02] Well taking us out today Fridge is a singer and songwriter based in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2015, Otis Junior spent a few months around the Louisville open mic scene before finding some of his biggest collaborators, like hip hop and neo soul producer Dr. Dundiff. Since 2016, the two have connected on four albums and have found a sound that connects with their audience. From their 2017 record Hemispheres, here's Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff with 3 Winds on 32 Thoughts the Podcast, and special shoutout to Mike Russo of The Athletic who says, when I do these reads at the end, I sound like Casey Kasem. Thanks, Mike. 


Elliotte Friedman [00:56:42] Keep dreaming. 


[00:56:42] [Outtro music.]