Hosted by Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman, 31 Thoughts: The Podcast dives deep into the world of hockey and connects fans with the biggest news going on each week.
We’re just over a month away from the NHL’s trade deadline, and this year seems different in terms of the players available. In this week’s podcast, Elliotte and Jeff discuss how top-four defencemen – usually a precious resource – might not be so difficult to acquire this year.
Here’s how the rest of the conversation unfolds:
• New Carolina Hurricanes majority owner Tom Dundon has made comments about how he’ll manage his team’s salary structure, and that has Elliotte and Jeff thinking about how the Hurricanes organization is run in general — from scouting to roster and cap management.
• And speaking of cap management, with fewer big players hitting the free agent market, the guys discuss the future of offer sheets. Is it inevitable that more are on the horizon? Is there a better format for them in terms of timing? Why aren’t there more? And who have the Vancouver Canucks considered offering the past few years? (3:55)
• Andrew Cogliano hadn’t missed a game since his career began 11 seasons ago. Now that streak of 830 consecutive contests is over thanks to a suspension. That’s a huge feat; how did its ending go over among NHL players? Turns out, not well. Elliotte explains why. (16:55)
• What’s the best rivalry in the NHL right now? Toronto-Montreal? Edmonton-Calgary? New York-New York? Pittsburgh-Washington? No, no, no and … no. Find out what the guys think. (24:22)
• Why are top-four defencemen easier to trade for this season and what does it mean for teams and players with the trade deadline just over a month away? And how are things shaking out in terms of buyers and sellers? (26:10)
• Is Chicago a buyer? That might very well depend on Corey Crawford’s health the rest of the season. But there are conflicting reports. What exactly is going on with the Hawks goaltender? How worried is the team? And what moves does it mean around the future of the blue ice in Chicago? (32:30)
• In #Ask31, Jeff and Elliotte answer listener Twitter questions. How much leverage do individual players have in future Olympic participation? How good is Colorado really? With Seattle looking like the next expansion team, what will conference alignment look like? What’s the long-term plan in Philadelphia and Edmonton? And much more… (36:25)