32 Thoughts: The Podcast

Price Speaks and Is ‘The Michigan’ Boring

Episode Summary

Jeff and Elliotte discuss the Carey Price press conference, wonder what's next for the Canadiens and the Canucks, provide an update on Anaheim's GM search, tell us why they love jersey retirement ceremonies, and debate if the 'The Michigan' is now boring.

Episode Notes

Carey Price held a press conference in Montreal on Sunday. Jeff and Elliotte discuss the goaltenders' comments regarding his health as well as his desire to stay in Montreal (3:00).

They also give credit to Craig Anderson (0:10), touch on Montreal’s potential off-season moves (7:00) along with Vancouver’s (11:30), provide an update on Anaheim's GM search (18:20), discuss some names that are linked to Toronto (25:30) and Florida (28:30), tell us why they love jersey retirement ceremonies (30:00), and debate if the 'The Michigan' is getting boring (44:20).

Full transcript for the episode can be found here by Medha Monjaury

Music Outro: Mike Clay - Côte à côte

Listen to the full track by Mike Clay on Spotify

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

Audio Credits: KLAA-AM, MSG, Sportsnet and WQAM-AM.

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

OPEN //// Jeff Marek [00:00:00] What's the the Thought Line again? 1-833-311-3232. 

[00:00:01] [SFX puck hitting post.] 

Jeff Marek [00:00:07] Elliotte here we go, welcome once again to 32 Thoughts the Podcast presented by the all-new GMC AT4 Lineup and Elliotte, contrary to popular opinion, there are actually good news stories happening all around us all the time. Case in point: Craig Anderson. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:00:23] I just wanted to shout him out to start off the podcast. Craig Anderson, how many times is it looked like his career is over? 

Jeff Marek [00:00:31] Most recently, this offseason was one of the last times. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:00:34] Basically, Buffalo found themselves with no goaltenders and said, we gotta sign one and called him. And even this year, didn't we hear both hear rumours his career was over with a neck injury?

Jeff Marek [00:00:44] Yup, that that might be it, we may have seen the last of Craig Anderson. Wasn't on the ice, no news, away from the team... 

Elliotte Friedman [00:00:51] Neck injury... 

Jeff Marek [00:00:53] Not good. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:00:54] Octogenarian in his 40s. You're sitting here and you're saying, there's no way this guy is playing again, and how many times throughout his career has that happened? Several times. And then he comes back on a day where the Sabres get multiple positive COVID tests, get a scare, they don't know if they're even gonna play. Basically, every other goalie that's in the organisation is either injured or suspended. And what does he do? He goes out and pitches a shutout for 50 plus minutes, and they beat Arizona 3-to-1 on the road. 

Jeff Marek [00:01:22] Yeah. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:01:22] I have to say that when you look at his overall career arc and how many times he's been completely written off and come back and also what his family went through when his wife was ill. I mean, he's, he's had an amazing career, an amazing career. But I wanted to shout him out to start. 

Jeff Marek [00:01:39] Yeah. And yeah, really quietly because he doesn't get a lot of fanfare, of this past era, like a really outstanding goaltender at every stop. Right? But he just goes about his business quietly. He's almost like this reluctant type outstanding netminder. Here's my question about Craig Anderson, and I'm with you, I, it's impossible not to feel good for this guy. What does Buffalo do with him at trade deadline? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:02:03] First of all, he's gonna be one of those guys where nothing's happening unless he wants it to happen. 

Jeff Marek [00:02:08] I believe that. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:02:09] It's kind of like Fleury. You know, one of the things that's going on right now is, is I think Washington is all over Fleury. They want him to join them. And I don't think that he's comfortable as a longtime Penguin doing it at this time. Now, will it change? I don't know. But they're gonna try. But when Fleury was traded from Vegas to Chicago, one of the things he was promised was nothing's gonna happen to him without his permission. And I would say that Anderson's probably on the same wavelength. Nothing's gonna happen to him without his permission. But holy smokes, is he one competitive S.O.B. and I, and I say that with the utmost respect. 

Jeff Marek [00:02:49] We always cheer for the great story, right? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:02:51] Mhm! 

Jeff Marek [00:02:52] Wouldn't it be a great story if he goes to a team and helps them on a playoff run and helps them put a significant dent in the playoffs? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:03:00] Be fantastic. 

Jeff Marek [00:03:01] I just think that here's a guy that's, you know, clearly on the back nine can probably see the clubhouse. I don't know. I just want to see one last great run from Craig Anderson. I'm just cheering for that great story and we've always talked about cheering for players and not teams. I cheer for Craig Anderson. I'm with you. Another player that we all cheer for, and it's impossible not to, whether you were a Habs fan or not, even if you're a Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs fan, your mortal enemies of the Montreal Canadiens. This season specifically, impossible not to cheer for Carey Price. And Sunday evening we heard from Carey Price, how he said he had no plans to go anywhere else, wants to play this season, we'll know in the next few weeks. What did you make of the Price press conference? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:03:47] You never know how a media conference like that is going to go right, because the subject matter is significant. He took a mental health break and needed time away, he's coming back from a knee injury, so you never know if it's going to be serious, if there's going to be some levity. So I really didn't know what to expect, Jeff. It was pretty solemn. And the one thing, I don't want to jump to any conclusions, the number one thing that I thought was important was he said, he's doing well mentally. That's the most important thing and that's what we all wanted to hear. But, you know, other than that, I thought it was a pretty solemn media conference, you know, there wasn't a lot of joking around there, there wasn't a lot of smiling and you know what stood out to me that he wants to play, but he doesn't know if he's gonna be able to play. And there's clearly some uncertainty there from him about what it means if he can't play. He's gonna try again, he says he's gonna know in the next couple of weeks if his knee allows him to play. But if the answer is no, what does that mean? And I think that uncertainty... I'm sure he doesn't really like it. So this isn't the last chapter in this, and I think we all wish him the best. So what I take from it, number one is, he says he's doing well, that's important. Number two, he doesn't know if he's gonna play. And that's also significant because I think that most athletes want to call their own shot. They want to go out on their terms. And, you know, being a competitor, the way Carey Price is, I just got the impression watching that, that he wants one more try to go out on his terms. And I certainly would understand that if I was in his shoes. 

Jeff Marek [00:05:31] You know, one of the things he was asked about as well, the idea of maybe playing somewhere else, I mean... 

Elliotte Friedman [00:05:36] Mhm. 

Jeff Marek [00:05:37] That's been existing in whispers for a while now as well. We all saw what happened, the expansion draft and how he could have gone to the Seattle Kraken. But I thought it was... not interesting, I think sort of expected I think? That he said he had no plans to go anywhere else. 

Clip [00:05:54] [Carey Price: "I haven't made any plans to do so. You know, me and my family are very happy here, we're settled in. You know, this is our home. You know there's, there's a reason I signed the contract like I did here with a no-movement clause was to be here so, as of right now, I have no plans to move anywhere."] 

Jeff Marek [00:06:12] Do you have a thought on that comment? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:06:14] I thought it was really good of him to come out and take that emphatic stance, because if he does anything but that, that's the headline, right? The headline is not that he feels good, the headline is not that he's trying to make a comeback. The headline is he wouldn't commit. And, to be honest, whether or not he wants to go anywhere else is completely irrelevant if he's not healthy enough to play so, I see it as one step at a time and step one is getting back on the ice. I don't want anyone to think that I'm saying that, that doesn't mean I don't believe them. I'm not saying that at all. I'm just saying that there's really no point in even discussing what his future might be until we know his knee is healthy enough to get out there, and then we can cross that bridge if we need to come to it. His honest truth might be, I prefer to stay in Montreal, I want to be here. But there's no point in igniting any controversy until you know if that's even relevant. 

Jeff Marek [00:07:11] Okay sticking with Montreal Elliotte, you know, we've talked to a couple of different times on this programme that we wondered if Ben Chiarot would be Kent Hughes's first move as General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens. Do we add another name and is that name Jeff Petry? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:07:26] Well first of all, I still do think Chiarot's the first move, because he's unrestricted. I think that teams are really making their intentions known like, I think St. Louis is very much in there and they're not the only ones. So my guess is Chiarot is still move number one. Now I'm assuming you're talking about the other night, and we'll talk about that in a couple of minutes. 

Jeff Marek [00:07:48] Saturday with Kassian, that one? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:07:49] Yeah, you're referring to that eh? Well, look, all I'll just say with Petry is, there's time. You know, you can say, okay, if somebody wants to do it now, they can do it now. But because he's got term, you can also look at it and say, we can wait until the summer. And, you know, the one thing about now is, there's not a lot of cap space. And if you trade a Chiarot and you're retaining to make your deal better, you only have to do it for now. And if you're trading a Petry and you have to retain, there's term on that. So I wouldn't be surprised if, I mean, it could happen now, I never want to discount it, you know, for my old takes exposed moment? Ice cold take. But I really do think that they can wait on that one till the summer if they have to. You know, Montreal had nobody on the ice there that was gonna be able to handle Zack Kassian. Nobody. 

Game clip [00:08:46] [Penalty against the Edmonton Oilers after Zack Kassian steamrolls Montreal Canadiens goaltender. Habs don't challenge him.] 

Elliotte Friedman [00:09:23] Would I have liked to see more? Yes. Do I think the Canadiens players on the ice realise more could have happened, at least? Yes. But that's not the game anymore, at least not until, you know, the playoffs start. You know the other thing too Jeff is that I wondered, do you think there's anything to the fact that both of those incidents happened in buildings where there's no fans? Like what do you think happens in Ottawa or Montreal, if there's fans in the building? 

Jeff Marek [00:09:54] They go berserk. They go berserk. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:09:55] Yeah. 

Jeff Marek [00:09:55] They go berserk and there's an emotional expectation that you do something and do something right away. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:10:00] Like do you think I have anything on that or do you think that's a completely nuts theory? 

Jeff Marek [00:10:06] Uh boy. No, I don't. Because if you want to do it, you do it, and I don't think that if there were fans screaming there like, first of all, Jeff Petry's not the kind of player and he's not gonna do anything, whether there's fans there or not. Again, the Ottawa situation, I just wondered about the remainder of the game, because, you know, there's still significant time to do a lot of things. For this one, this is directed specifically at Zack Kassian. I'm not willing to make that leap that because there's no fans there you suck the emotion out of a player playing that game. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:10:46] Fair enough. Just because it happened in both cases? 

Jeff Marek [00:10:49] Yeah. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:10:49] So I wondered if the reaction of the crowd could have changed things. But, you know, like I said, the game has changed. I don't always like it. Maybe I'm a Neanderthal. I don't care, that's my opinion. But it's where we're going. 

Jeff Marek [00:11:02] The only reason I ask about Petry as well too is we think we know all, we all know the conversations are coming with Kent Hughes and players with term on their contracts that may or may not want to be part of this rebuild or whatever this thing is gonna be called. The Montreal Canadiens are going to go through like, look, Jeff Petry's 34 years old. Jeff Petry's got three more years after this at 6.25 million dollars. Does he want to be part of this in his career or does he want to chase a Stanley Cup? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:11:29] I think Montreal's going through all that right now. All of that right now. 

Jeff Marek [00:11:34] From Montreal let's go to the other end of Canada. Vancouver Canucks and it seems and feels like the Vancouver Canucks are laying the foundation should we say or is the, are the wheels already turning to start changing the look of this team? And I would imagine the job number one would be and we listen, we heard Rutherford talk about it at the Patrik Allvin press conference. 

Press conference clip [00:11:59] [Jim Rutherford: "We have to add more players to get to where we want to get to, and that's something that's gonna have to be decided here leading up to the trading deadline. How do we go about that? And, we gotta figure out a way to get a little cushion on the cap. It's always difficult, but being up against the cap and a team that's not in the playoffs at this point in time is not a good thing. So some big decisions are coming up. But now that we've added more people to hockey ops, we're now in a position that, a stronger position to make those decisions."]

Jeff Marek [00:12:32] It seems as if job number one for the Vancouver Canucks to me Elliotte, correct me if you think I'm wrong: get rid of salary. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:12:40] I don't think that you're wrong. I definitely believe that job number one is to create some room. And I think he's going to try to do that. You know, I give Jim Rutherford credit. He's said that he was gonna take his time and formulate things, and that's exactly what he's done. He's taken his time and he's formulating things and now I think he's starting to act. About a week ago, I got told, start watching them, and then last weekend I started to hear some of the stuff that they're talking about and, J.T. Miller's name has been front and centre, and I think for a lot of people, he's the crown jewel of what Vancouver might do. But, you know, I think there's some other pieces there. I think, you know, Garland is the interesting one to me because I definitely think his name is out there. You know, one of the reasons I linked New Jersey to it is that, the thing that I heard appeals to the Devils is that Garland signed. He's locked in for a good number. The Devils have really talented young, offensive players in, you know, Hughes obviously and Hischier, and you want to be able to say, okay, we can play you with someone and we know it's someone who's going to be here. When someone mentioned to me that they heard New Jersey was in it, I said that made perfect sense for me, and that's the kind of player they should be looking at to play with their people now, I know Jeff, some people were writing and saying that it's New Jersey because, you know, Rachel Doerrie, who used to work for the Devils, is now part of the Canucks front office. I don't necessarily believe that. I think it helps that she's got some institutional knowledge there, but I think it's more the Devils looking at it and saying, this is a player who makes sense for us. And, you know, I think it does. I could see why there could be a marriage there. 

Jeff Marek [00:14:30] You know it's interesting, on Saturday, you talked about the forwards with the Vancouver Canucks, and I wonder how much of that is watch the forwards because that's where Vancouver can make moves. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:14:39] Yes. 

Jeff Marek [00:14:40] Oliver Ekman-Larsson contract is one thing, the Tyler Myers contract is another like, those are two ways you can make cap space and a lot of it really quickly and they just can't, I'm guessing, make those moves at all. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:14:53] Well, it's not that you can't make those moves at all. It's just the Ekman-Larsson has control over the situation. That's number one. You know, he's got the say, you have to deal with him to make him feel that he wants to go anywhere. And it was, you know, it was hard enough to get him to leave Arizona really, it took him a long time, and he only said I was willing to go to two teams and he picked one of them. So it's not an easy trade to make, even if you wanted to. You know, Myers takes a lot of grief out there. The one thing I will say this about Myers is, he cares about being a Canuck. Like he competes hard. And now in this day and age, I think that would be a contract that would be hard to move. But I like Myers. I really do. I think that if I was, I would at least look at it from a Canucks organisational point of view, that he gives me everything he can give me whenever he plays and I can deal with that. I like that. You know, I know he got ejected the other night, but he plays hard. I really do think that and he plays with a mean streak. I think he really cares about doing well for that team. I can deal with that. But I think your overall theory is, is right, Jeff, in the sense that, you know, I think they could move Miller easily. I think they can move Garland. You know, I think they could move a Tanner Pearson and, you know, the name that I know always comes up there is Boeser. And one of the questions is his qualifying offer. I mean, we'll see what happens with all of this but, I do think that there's a lot of traction around their forwards. And I think that he's learning what the market is, Rutherford, and I think he's gonna have the ability to do some things here. I think Miller in particular is gonna be a coveted player. 

Jeff Marek [00:16:40] Would it be safe to say then, and this may be just obvious, but let's get it out there. That the Vancouver Canucks, unless your name is Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, or Thatcher Demko? They're listening. Or is that too far? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:16:55] I don't know if it's too far, but I didn't hear Horvat's name. Like I asked around. Like here's the thing to me about Horvat. If you really want to win in this league long term, you need players like that guy. 

Jeff Marek [00:17:08] I agree with that. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:17:10] I would be surprised. I've been surprised before. Bo Horvat, as crappy as Vancouver start was. He was right on the Olympic bubble. Like that tells you what people think about him out there. Now Jim Rutherford may look at that and say, ooh, I can get a lot of that, but you know, to me at some point in time, you've gotta try to win and, you know, I'll tell you this if I had a choice Bo Horvat or no Bo Horvat, I'm taking Bo Horvat. But we'll see.

Jeff Marek [00:17:38] It's interesting because we're talking about all of this and saying Jim Rutherford Jim Rutherford, yet Patrik Allvin is now the general manager. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:17:45] Yeah, you know, I understand that, but Rutherford's going to be ultimately making the decisions, that's gonna be his personality. 

Jeff Marek [00:17:51] I get that. I just wonder when that transition, to this Allvin's move, this is Allvin's move happens. I don't know. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:17:58] You know what they'll do, they'll joke, the good moves are Rutherford and the bad ones are Allvin. 

Jeff Marek [00:18:03] Well, they do the same thing in Montreal as well with Hughes and Gorton?

Elliotte Friedman [00:18:06] That's right, the good moves are Gorton's and the bad moves are Hughes'. 

[00:18:09] [Break.] 

Jeff Marek [00:18:22] Anaheim Ducks and their general manager search, you talked about this on Saturday as well and the name Pat Verbeek came up. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:18:27] I think someone told me that one's getting... tight. We could be getting close. I wouldn't say like it's Monday or Tuesday, but I do think we're getting close here. The challenge for me is, is, is determining the difference between the internal candidates who in alphabetical order are Martin Madden, Dave Nonis, and Jeff Solomon, and the external candidates. And I think that Pat Verbeek is very, very much in the picture here and someone actually called me on Sunday before we taped the podcast and they said, you know how you mentioned Verbeek in Vancouver? And I said, yes, I had wondered if he was part of the thing there. He goes, you just got the wrong team. It was Anaheim. And you know, the one thing too here is that, Anaheim, part of their search committee here are Scott Niedermayer and Paul Kariya, right? 

Jeff Marek [00:19:24] Yes. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:19:25] Both those guys know Steve Yzerman really well, obviously, because they won gold medals with him, right? 

Jeff Marek [00:19:31] Mhm. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:19:32] And Steve Yzerman doesn't really promote anyone, but he's been promoting Pat Verbeek for years, and he feels that Pat Verbeek is ready and deserves an opportunity. You know, the thing about Verbeek is he worked with Yzerman in Tampa, he worked with Yzerman in Detroit. You know, he was a really good player. And the other thing too is, he's another guy who's put in the work. He's one of those guys, he turns up in all the dirty, dark rinks looking at players and, he's done everything you have to do to climb your way up and, he's very quiet, he doesn't say much. He's right out of the Yzerman mould that way. And Yzerman has been saying for a while now that, look, he learned with us in Tampa, he learned with us in Detroit, he knows what to do, he deserves his chance. And I will say this: I've had other people outside of this Yzerman-Kariya-Niedermayer realm who have said to me for a couple of years now that they really think that Verbeek has earned his opportunity, and I wonder if it could be here. 

Jeff Marek [00:20:38] You know, one of the things that we're interested in here as well is, when the general manager gets named, what the, the first couple of orders of business are for them because there's some business to do in Anaheim. There's impending unrestricted free agents in Rickard Rakell. We talked to Ryan Getzlaf on the podcast last week as well, he's a UFA. We know all about Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson and players like Nicolas Deslauriers, I think you put in that conversation Sam Carrick, et cetera. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:21:07] Yeah. 

Jeff Marek [00:21:08] You know, someone said to me over the weekend, you know, one of the reasons why it's important that Anaheim gets business done sooner than later and names a general manager sooner than later is John Gibson. They feel that John Gibson needs to be shown that this team is interested in remaining competitive and not just let players, you know, get traded at deadline or walk at free agency and not improve the team. What do you think of that? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:21:42] I think it's important, but I don't think it's your biggest deal, right? I think what's important is that you have guidance about what to do with some guys at the deadline. To me, the biggest question is Lindholm. 

Jeff Marek [00:21:57] Same. I'm with you on Lindholm, and I think that job number one needs to be resigning him, don't you?

Elliotte Friedman [00:22:04] I just think that if you let him go, then you are constantly gonna be looking for someone like him for years. What I heard was, and I don't know where it stands right now, but one of the rumours I had heard was that they were willing to give him a little bit more if he was willing to take a little less term. Like I just heard they didn't wanna go into the big term. And that was the issue now, I just don't know where that stands right now. You know, because obviously, Bob Murray's no longer the GM there and, you know we're gonna have a new philosophy, whether it's, you know, one of the internal candidates or Verbeek. But, I don't know. I've heard Rakell's name out there a little bit. I think he's on the market and I think everybody there is kind of wondering, you know, is it just time for everybody here to take a new route? I don't know if that's where it ends up, but I know that's kind of been asked. With Manson, you know, they have a lot of interest in Manson. You know, I mentioned Toronto. I think there's a lot of teams out there who are... like I wouldn't be surprised if Josh Manson wants to stay in California. If this becomes a, how do you feel about going somewhere for a short time? 

Jeff Marek [00:23:17] And come back? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:23:18] We can get some assets and then you come back. Now that could be wrong, they could end up signing him, but, I wouldn't be hugely surprised like I think the priority is Lindholm. But then again, if Lindholm leaves, do they keep Manson? Like I don't think you can hold--even if you're in the playoffs there, I don't think you can hold on to Lindholm at the deadline if you don't think you can sign him. But that's just me. 

Jeff Marek [00:23:43] You see I, I look at those big three and I say, you lose Rickard Rakell, okay, you have younger players that can fill that spot. Take that role. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:23:55] Mhm. 

Jeff Marek [00:23:56] You lose Josh Manson, okay, to that previous point, I think you can live with losing Josh Manson. Again I come back to Lindholm. You can't replace that. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:24:07] Yeah, I agree with you on that. 

Jeff Marek [00:24:08] Like, that's the one that I think you really can't afford to lose. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:24:11] I would agree with that. 

Jeff Marek [00:24:13] I understand the conversation about term with someone who's 28 years old. I know everyone gets weird about giving term to players that are either in their 30s or approaching their 30s quickly. But I don't know man. Hampus Lindholm is a special defenceman, Hampus Lindholm is a special player, and there's not many players like him in the NHL. And you know, someone mentioned something to me a while ago that I thought was pretty interesting as well, which is how important someone like Nic Deslauriers is for these younger players, especially someone like Trevor Zegras. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:24:45] Hugely popular teammate too. 

Jeff Marek [00:24:47] I can believe that. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:24:48] Yup. 

Jeff Marek [00:24:49] You talked about, you know, old school mentality in NHL like, Trevor Zegras is a guy that has flashy moves and that's not always gonna rub people the right way, that's not gonna always rub the other team the right way. And I just wonder about having someone like Zegras in the lineup, do you need...? I don't know, do you need someone... Do you need someone who might deter someone from taking out their frustrations after someone does the Michigan on them for the second time in a season or the second time in a game? I think Deslaurier's important there too. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:25:23] I know they really like them. 

Jeff Marek [00:25:25] You mentioned Josh Manson with Toronto, do you wannna expand on that a little bit? There's significant interest, there's what type of interest in Toronto with Josh Manson? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:25:33] I think he's a player they're really taking a deep look at. You know he's a right shot. You know, the difference with a guy like Chiarot is, you know Chiarot, you might have to move people around because he's a lefty, depending on, you know, what you decide to do. Manson's a righty, it's a bit of a more seamless fit in Toronto. The thing about Manson, though is, it's the Canadian question, right? First of all, he's got a modified no-trade list, can he even go there? And number two is that, you know, we've talked about this, some teams and their players, like, they've made it very clear that they don't wanna go to Canada right now. So that would be my other question here, would there be any reason that, you know, Manson wouldn't wanna go and, you know, he wouldn't be the only one. 

Jeff Marek [00:26:20] So I reported on Saturday, speaking of the Maple Leafs, that they are not actively shopping Petr Mrazek. And even though there have been some whispers around about his availability or not, teams have called and essentially have, you know, read the situation and said, okay, Jack Campbell is having a Vezina Trophy type season, we know you're gonna have to pay him, could there be a squeeze here for the Maple Leafs? If you're interested in doing something with the goaltender, please give us a call. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:26:47] Please call us at 1-800-DUBAS. 

Jeff Marek [00:26:52] So that's the situation with Petr Mrazek. Had you heard much about the the netminder in Toronto? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:26:57] A little bit, but you know, when I heard you say that, you know what that says to me, Jeff, is that Toronto's doing their summer groundwork. 

Jeff Marek [00:27:04] Yeah, that's another thing too. The goalie decisions are coming in the summer. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:27:07] Because if they can't keep Campbell, then you know, Mrazek, unless they move him too, he's their guy. But if they do keep Campbell, you're gonna to want to know where you could potentially move Mrazek if he wants to go right? Or if you want him to go. 

Jeff Marek [00:27:22] The other thing that I mentioned about goaltenders is that note about Mack Guzda, who's an overage goaltender at the Barrie Colts. A number of teams are looking at him right no, including the Maple Leafs, who met with him last week. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:27:33] Mhm. 

Jeff Marek [00:27:33] Having a wonderful season in the OHL, I think the Leafs are looking at a couple of other away goaltenders, I think they look at their goaltending depth and they see, you know, injuries, whether it's, you know, to Joe Woll and Ian Scott etcetera and they say--. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:27:46] Yup. 

Jeff Marek [00:27:46] We need to shore up this position ASAP. So I don't think that Guzda's the only one they're looking at. And there are other teams and the one interesting team there is the Nashville Predators. Now Mack Guzda's from Knoxville, Tennessee, and after I reported that, I got a call from one team who said... I think it was a couple of years ago that Chris Mason, former Nashville Predators goaltender, now Nashville Predators, um. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:28:16] Broadcaster.

Jeff Marek [00:28:17] Yeah. Has, had, you know, had really been pushing for Mack Guzda and speaking well of him to to any team that would listen. I wonder if he, you know, if he doesn't end up in Toronto, if Nashville ends up--I know the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Rangers are also considered frontrunners, but I wonder about Nashville, but the Maple Leafs are very much into him as well. Florida Panthers Elliotte, I reported about Owen Tippett. That name is very much out there, it seems in every trade that is the one consistence. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:28:45] He was on the first line the other night and people were looking at that and going, interesting! 

Jeff Marek [00:28:52] So... we've seen him play now with Barkov. We've seen him play with Huberdeau. Your eyebrows go up when you see that, Elliotte? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:28:58] Well, I just think that, you know, you know that there's opportunities, right? And they're trying to do something like, I do think if there's a deal with Arizona, Tippett's gonna be a part of it. I do. And I think if there's like, for example, say they go Klingberg for argument's sake, I wouldn't be surprised if Tippett's, you know, a part of that, too. Sometimes, you know, like, like I was, you were talking about earlier with Rakell. You know, sometimes it runs its course. And that doesn't mean anybody's wrong or anyone's at fault. But sometimes a situation just runs its course. And, you know I think that, you look at what Florida's got going up and down their lineup. That's probably the case here. 

Jeff Marek [00:29:34] Hey, listen, I'll go back to our earliest conversation here on the podcast. Jeff Petry. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:29:40] Yup. 

Jeff Marek [00:29:41] He's not the same defenceman this year is the one that we've seen before. Not even close. Like every time I watch the Montreal Canadiens I'm like, that is not Jeff Petry. I think we all see that when we watch the Montreal Canadiens. A couple of things I wanna remark upon we get to some e-mails here. Wanna talk about Doughty's 1000th, wanna talk about Zubov and his number retired, but I want to start by talking about Henrik Lundqvist. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:30:02] Yup! 

Jeff Marek [00:30:02] And number 30 goes to the rafters joining netminders Eddie Giacomin and Mike Richter, two of the most popular goaltenders to ever put on the the Rangers jersey. Henrik Lundqvist joins them in the rafters at MSG, your thoughts on Hank. 

Clip [00:30:20] [Henrik Lundqvist at his jersey retirement: "I missed you guys. I missed you. I really have. I'm so happy to get this moment with my family and my friends. They're up here somewhere. But most of all, I'm so happy I get an opportunity to say thank you. It's been an amazing experience, and it's given me so much joy. And it's definitely played a huge part in making my journey so special, so thank you to everyone in here and around the city."] 

Elliotte Friedman [00:30:58] Friday night, to sit and watch those two ceremonies. 

Jeff Marek [00:31:02] It's great. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:31:02] I love retirement ceremonies, I love them. They're some of my favourite things to watch when a player gets a jersey retired or a team has a ceremony like that. I love them, the emotion's great and the relationship between that player and the fans is generally fantastic. There's so much about that kind of thing I really enjoy. And both of them, I thought, were spectacular. The thing about Lundqvist is, ever since he's retired, he's decided that he's going to become a presence on social media. I think he's so good at it. 

Jeff Marek [00:31:34] Of course. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:31:36] And that whole week of behind the scenes stuff and-- 

Jeff Marek [00:31:39] Elliotte, hold on. He's good at everything, it gets embarrassing for the rest of us. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:31:43] I know we're all losers compared to him. We're total losers.

Jeff Marek [00:31:46] Like everything he does. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:31:47] Like I'm watching all of his behind the scenes stuff and all this stuff he's throwing out there on social and, I'm like, oh okay, he's good at this too. Well that's just disgusting. But, you know, I just thought it was a really nice ceremony. I tweeted out the pictures of the, all the 30 jerseys in the Rangers room and all the 56 jerseys in the Stars room. 

Jeff Marek [00:32:10] Yeah. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:32:10] Like everything about jersey retirements I love, it's everything that's supposed to be good about a sport. It's the love affair between a player and the fanbase. Like, that one in New York, that was perfect to me. The way he came out of there and the, the eruption of the audience and, one of my favourite pieces I ever did was with Lundqvist on Hockey Night in Canada when it was still at CBC and we walked through New York together. We did the walk from, basically from Madison Square Garden into his apartment, or condo I guess, I guess it wasn't an apartment, but you know, the one person walking by and saying, go Rangers, and he's laughing and he goes, there's one of those fans who notices me now. And there was one time and I think it was when they beat Washington in 2012 I wanna say what it was if I, if I got this wrong, but I interviewed him on the ice after they knocked them out while it was bedlam in Madison Square Garden. And I remember, basically during the interview I said to him like, look at this. Look at this. Like you're on stage here at Madison Square Garden, like, the world's most famous arena, and they're all standing for you while you do this interview and, I got caught up in the moment. There's so many things about that one I just love. And the Zubov one, it's so different cause you couldn't get two completely different people? 

Jeff Marek [00:33:39] Mhm. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:33:39] Like Lundquist is not... He's not boisterous. He's not over the top. But he's very, very comfortable in the spotlight, obviously. And Zubov always hated it. He refused to be interviewed. You know, I remember Pierre LeBron wrote a big piece about him, I think Pierre was still working at ESPN at the time. Pierre wrote a big piece on him a couple of years ago, and they had to work it for like months to get Zubov to agree to do it. And he finally talked because the Stars just said, we need to get you some publicity here. You know, I loved his line about the goalies covering up my mistakes. That guy didn't make too many mistakes. 

Jeff Marek [00:34:18] Nope! 

Elliotte Friedman [00:34:18] You know he was, just a great, great player and I always thought one of the most overlooked players to go to the Hall of Fame for a long time like I, like I have my list of people who I think should be in the Hall of Fame that aren't there, and Zubov was at the top of my list and now my list right near the top of it are guys like Rod Brind'Amour and Daniel Alfredsson. But Zubov, for a long time, was that guy for me and, I was just happy to see him get it. 

Jeff Marek [00:34:48] Best Russian defenceman... ever? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:34:50] No, I think that's Fetisov, and, there's a lot of people who listen to this podcast who might be a bit younger and the real shame was, we never saw Fetisov really at his prime enough. We'd see him at the Olympics, we'd see him in a Canada Cup here and there. You know, Gretzky has always talked about how the winning goal in '87, for whatever reason, Fetisov wasn't on the ice. And does that goal happen if Fetisov is out there. Like, a North American coach would have put him out there. So I think it's tough to say anybody but Fetisov number one with the next level-- 

Jeff Marek [00:35:29] Okay number two then.

Elliotte Friedman [00:35:29] Yeah, I mentioned him on your show, but I forget his name, who mentioned Konstantinov and just unfortunately, sadly, his career cut short in the car accident, but to me, Zubov would be number two. I would put him ahead of Gonchar, who I hope does not listen to this podcast. 

Jeff Marek [00:35:46] Very good. And the one thing about Henrik Lundqvist is, his legacy does live on in the NHL with the Lundqvist Loop. Are you familiar with this piece of technology that goalies now have? So it's a little loop at the back of the goalie's skate that he came up with that attaches, like the goalie pads attach essentially to the back of the skate, which allows, and this is pure, subtle genius by Henrik Lundqvist, which allows the pads to ride high. So when you go down in the butterfly, it covers up your five-hole more. So your pads are still the exact same size, but they just ride higher because of this loop at the back of the skates. So, well, he's retired, his number's up to the rafters. But you look at goalies in the NHL and you can still see the Henrik Lundqvist effect alive in the National Hockey League. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:36:36] That's outstanding. 

Jeff Marek [00:36:37] Drew Doughty! Game number 1000 has come and gone. Your thoughts on one of our favourite defencemen. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:36:42] Well he gave us a great interview with beginning of the year. 

Jeff Marek [00:36:45] Sure did. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:36:46] That's number one. You know, he's still very much at the top of his game. You know, he talked a big game this offseason about being insulted and now wanting to show that he's still an Olympic-level defenceman. And he delivered. He delivered. And I have to say the Kings have a lot more staying power this year than I thought they were going to. And he was injured for a little bit of time, but he's been phenomenal. I don't know how long Drew Doughty is gonna play, but the one thing I think we've all learnt about him is that that chip? Doesn't go away too easily. 

Jeff Marek [00:37:20] Yeah. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:37:20] Like he's got two Stanley Cups. He's got two Olympic gold medals. And he doesn't strike me as being overly satisfied with himself. 

Jeff Marek [00:37:30] No, he still wants it one more time. He still wants one more crack at it. He wanted one more crack of the gold medal and he wants one more crack at the Stanley Cup. You know what I'm interested in? Remember when he talked to us about wanting to own a junior hockey team? 

Clip [00:37:43] [Drew Doughty: "My like number one thing I wanna do is like, honestly is like, own a junior team or like, work for a junior team or something like that. But at the same time I definitely wanna, I'll continue to to give back to like the youth hockey in the organisation I grew up playing for, I'll continue to always have that tournament and help in that aspect. I don't know if I necessarily want to get into coaching young kids. I mean maybe if one of my kids played hockey I would maybe do it but, my dream would definitely probably be to own the London Knights or like Guelph Storm or something like that. That'd be my dream."] 

Jeff Marek [00:38:14] There's a few guys that have talked about wanting to own junior teams. I would just really be curious to see what type of owner Drew Doughty would be. First of all, he'll have the money to do it. We all know that. I love seeing players, whether it's, you know, you reported on, you know, John Tavares and Sam Gagner with the Marlboros in the GTHL. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:38:33] Yeah. 

Jeff Marek [00:38:33] You know, there's always all kinds of rumours about, you know, different players wanting to get involved in junior hockey in an ownership capacity. I just wonder what kind of owner he'd be. I think he'd be, I think it's always great when you have players that went on to have success, specifically financial success in the NHL, stay in the game and do it at the junior level. Plenty have done it. Some in a quiet capacity, some in a not-so-quiet capacity, some very successful, and we think of the Hunters in London specifically? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:39:03] Yup. 

Jeff Marek [00:39:04] And some, you know, hasn't worked out. I always wonder about Doughty. What type of owner Drew Doughty would be. Be an interesting one. Now he's a London guy, he played for the Guelph Storm. I always wondered about that. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:39:15] Someday you'll get your answer. 

Jeff Marek [00:39:17] I hope he [does it], and we can all beg him jobs! On that we'll take a break, come back with some of your emails after this. 

[00:39:22] [Break.] 

Jeff Marek [00:39:32] All right. Welcome back to the podcast. Your emails at 32thoughts@sportsnet.ca and your phone calls at 1-833-311-3232, let's start there, Anthony in Muskegon. 

Caller [00:39:46] ["Hi Jeff and Friedge, this is Anthony Bartoli calling from Muskegon, Michigan. I just have a question about our hometown guy, Justin Abdelkader, who recently signed with the Grand Rapids Griffins on a PTO. And I was coming to think that, if he's still eligible to play, if he were to ever get called up from the Griffins to the NHL, considering he's still on his buyout history, that'll still carry with the Wings until 2025-2026 season if he's able to still be called up, if he were to have a good job in Grand Rapids while playing underneath there. Thanks, guys. Keep up the great work, buh-bye!]" 

Elliotte Friedman [00:40:19] Well first of all, Anthony, thank you very much for recognising we do great work. That's, that's very important. 

Jeff Marek [00:40:26] Pat yourself on the back there. Barry Horowitz. Very nice. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:40:28] I said we, I said we, but I was more referring to me and Amil. You know, the answer to your question is, yes, they could. Now we should mention that Abdelkader is now going to the Olympics with Team USA, but the answer is yes. Now, where people got confused, and I admit I did too, was if you did a compliance buyout on someone, you couldn't re-sign them for a year. So basically out of the lockout, if you did a compliance buyout, you couldn't re-sign with your team for another year or the team that bought you out for another year. However, there was a situation a couple of years ago where Michael Stone was bought out by the Calgary Flames, and then they signed him, and I was like, what? And they said it was a regular buyout. It was not a compliance buyout. So they were allowed to re-sign him. So the answer is yes. Since Abdelkader was a regular buyout and not a compliance buyout, they could technically re-sign him. 

Jeff Marek [00:41:25] Just for the purposes of people that may not be familiar with what the term compliance buyout means, and I know we make a lot of assumptions on this programme as to who knows what.

Elliotte Friedman [00:41:34] Oh yeah, good call. 

Jeff Marek [00:41:34] Compliance buyout just means it's a buyout, I mean, these come after a lockout when the NHL wants to reset its salary cap, compliance buyouts or buyouts that don't count against your salary cap. Regular buyouts do. And when the NHL Players Association, during their first COVID break, there was some discussion of compliance buyouts in order to give teams some cap relief. But the thought very much was, no, we're keeping all the money in the system. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:42:03] Yeah, the owners were like, there's no extra money that we have to pay. That's right.

Jeff Marek [00:42:07] No money is going out. Just so everyone understands what compliance buyout is versus regular buyouts. Johan from southern Sweden. "Wouldn't Dallas be all-in on Chychrun if they trade Klingberg, they would get assets to include in a trade with Arizona, basically swapping Klingberg, plus something to get a very cap-friendly elite D?" Wouldn't Dallas be involved with Chychrun, Elliotte? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:42:34] I haven't heard it. Doesn't mean it's not true, but I have not heard the Stars specifically. 

Jeff Marek [00:42:40] I don't know that the Stars are right now in acquisition mode and specifically on the blue line when... we've talked about this before, the one thing that Jim Nill did is very specifically in the offseason was go out and get two defencemen. One of them, Ryan Suter, and the other was Jani Hakanpaa. And that was to help shore up the defence in case something happened with John Klingberg and they had to either move him or move from him at the end of the season if they couldn't come to a new contract so, I think that's probably the reason you haven't heard Jacob Chychrun mentioned with the Dallas Stars. They've made their defence moves. From Ken in B.C. "What are the chances that with the success of the Rangers so far this year, Chris Drury is willing to move a Kaapo Kakko or Alexis Lafreniere for a J.T. Miller type player?" Woof. That's big. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:43:40] Hmm. How quickly do we wanna to get a phone call from New York? 

Jeff Marek [00:43:46] If I say quickly, will you make this podcast juicer? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:43:49] You know, I think, I don't know that they wanna do that yet. I really don't. Look, I think the Rangers are gonna do something, or at least try to do something big. And if you try to do something big then, you have to give up quality to get quality. But I don't know how eager they are to trade either one of those two guys. So before you introduce our musical guest? 

Jeff Marek [00:44:17] Yes! 

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:17] I have a question for you. I saw a lot of this on my timeline this week, I got a couple of DMs about it. 

Jeff Marek [00:44:23] Okay. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:24] Is the Michigan now boring? 

Jeff Marek [00:44:29] Hah! 

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:29] And you know what? I wanted to say that I was a little bit surprised by this. I guess it shows how quickly our attention spans change. I think the players who've pulled it off deserve credit for being so good at it now and so able to do it that people are actually asking this question. But I'm amazed that we are getting it now. Is the Michigan boring? So Jeff Marek? 

Jeff Marek [00:44:56] Yeah. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:57] Hockey nerd. 

Jeff Marek [00:44:58] Yeah. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:58] What say you? 

Jeff Marek [00:44:59] Okay, so I mentioned this on my radio show, I can't remember whether it was Thursday or Friday, and mainly got grief about it. But for me, I um, the Michigan itself is now boring, but I'll tell you what's not boring. And we saw this on Saturday with Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers. Now I like the fake Michigan. 

Game clip [00:45:18] [Play-by-play: Sam Bennett's overtime winning goal for the Florida Panthers off Jonathan Huberdeau's faked Michigan.] 

Jeff Marek [00:45:46] Now I like the fake Michigan that draws defencemen out of play and then allows it easy pass to the slot. Now I like the Michigan being used as a tactic, and I'll tell you why. Because when someone goes down to scoop the puck, both goaltenders and defenceman freak out because they don't want to be on highlight films. 

Game clip [00:46:04] [Color commentary: Jonathan Huberdeau's faked Michigan.] 

Jeff Marek [00:46:24] And David Savard knows he's going to be on a highlight film every time you see Trevor Zegras throwing a pass. Samuel Montembeault, right? And he's like, ohhh, and you can tell, like Savard's trying to get there to the far side and he just can't make it, I'm sure in the back of his head Savard is saying, oh no, I'm gonna be on this highlight forever, ugh. I like to fake Michigan because people lose their minds. The goaltenders and the defenceman. But the actual move itself? I don't know. I can't get excited about it any more Elliotte. Can you? 

Elliotte Friedman [00:46:56] Well here's the thing. 

Jeff Marek [00:46:57] I'm not saying that it's not a very skilled move. Like being able to do that and having the guts to do that in full stride during an NHL game, and I can't underscore the hugeness of that, this is like the best league in the world, and you're able to do that in a split second. That is guts, and that is skill, and I don't wanna take anything away from that. But I just think we've seen it too much at every single level of hockey that I can't pretend to go, oh wow about it anymore unless there's a twist to it. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:47:28] The one initial where Mike Legg did it, where he was standing and did it? 

Jeff Marek [00:47:32] Yeah. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:47:33] To me that's different than Zegras doing it at speed the other day. 

Game clip [00:47:37] [Play-by-play: Trevor Zegras Michigan goal.] 

Jeff Marek [00:48:21] Or Svechnikov when he did it. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:48:22] Yes. Like if you can do it at speed, I don't care how many times it's been done before. To be able to do that in this game with how fast it is, I think that's amazing.

Jeff Marek [00:48:35] I'm not saying it's not amazing. It is a supremely skilled move. And I know I'm sounding like the ultimate hockey hipster saying, hmm, uh, you know how many, how many people does it take to change a light bulb? It's a rare number, you probably never heard of it. I know I'm turning into the hipster on this one, but, I don't know. I can't get excited about the Michigan anymore Elliotte. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:48:57] You have the attention span of an ordinary housefly. 

Jeff Marek [00:49:00] No, that's you. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:49:02] Yeah, but at least I'm still impressed by it because I recognise the greatness of being able to do it. 

Jeff Marek [00:49:07] I recognise the greatness of it, just like I recognise the greatness of-- 

Elliotte Friedman [00:49:10] You are a victim of social media. 

Jeff Marek [00:49:14] No, I've just seen it too often. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:49:15] You need the dopamine of something different or else you can't handle it anymore. 

Jeff Marek [00:49:20] That might be it, cats and laser pointers. Welcome to the life of Jeff Marek, that's what I need to be constantly stimulated. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:49:27] You shouldn't be like driving a car anymore, because if you don't have dopamine, you're, you're half-asleep and can't control it. 

Jeff Marek [00:49:33] You're probably right, it's so embarrassing. 

Elliotte Friedman [00:49:34] Anyway. Who's our musical guest this week, Jeff? 

Jeff Marek [00:49:37] Well, I'm glad you asked because Elliotte taking us out is a French artist who might be better known for his work with his collective, but his solo project really stands out as well. Mike Clay has spent the last few years putting out great music with Clay and Friends, but has never shied away from going off on his own. With his latest single here's Mike Clay with Cote a cote on 32 Thoughts the Podcast. 

[00:49:58] [Outtro music.]