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Brad Burud

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast – Episode 236 – Best Worst Teams in the League

Brad Burud/Blake Friars December 12, 2023

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THE DEBATE Hockey Podcast


Best Worst Teams in the League

Listen to “THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast – Episode 236 – Best Worst Teams in the League” on Spreaker.

Brad Burud and Blake Friars are the hosts of the Debate Hockey podcast. They are both avid hockey fans and provide in-depth analysis and discussion on NHL hockey.


  • The hosts discuss various topics in the world of hockey, including the recent signing of Shohei Otani by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the debate over his $700 million contract.
  • They also talk about the performance of different NHL teams, such as the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Carolina Hurricanes, and discuss whether certain teams are better or worse than their records indicate.
  • The hosts highlight some stupid plays that have occurred in recent games, including a player shooting a slapshot at another player’s groin and a dangerous hit from behind.
  • They also discuss the recent success of the LA Kings, the injury to Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll, and the potential future of Ethan Bear and Andrei Kuzmenko in the NHL.
  • The hosts conclude by discussing the dominance of the Eastern Conference compared to the Western Conference this season.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shohei Otani’s $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers has sparked debate and controversy.
  • The Ottawa Senators have a positive goal differential, indicating that they may be a better team than their record suggests.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins could be a stronger team if they improve their power play.
  • The Carolina Hurricanes have struggled recently and need to address their goaltending issues.
  • The LA Kings have been on a winning streak and are currently third in the Pacific Division.
  • The injury to Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll is a blow to the team, but they have backup Martin Jones to fill in.
  • Ethan Bear and Andrei Kuzmenko’s future in the NHL is uncertain, with potential interest from other teams.
  • The Eastern Conference has more dominant teams than the Western Conference this season.


  • “The best thing that could ever happen to the Blue Jays is the Blue Jays not to get [Shohei Otani].” – Brad Burud
  • “The best player in the world.” – Blake Friars on Shohei Otani
  • “The Edmonton Oilers are a lot better hockey team than their record.” – Brad Burud
  • “The Philadelphia Flyers are second in the Metro.” – Brad Burud
  • “The LA Kings have won eight of their last ten games.” – Blake Friars
  • “The Eastern Conference is more dominant than the Western Conference this season.” – Brad Burud


The State of the NHL: A Deep Dive into the Hockey World

Welcome to the Debate Hockey podcast, where we dive deep into the world of NHL hockey. In this episode, we explore the most significant topics that have been making waves in the hockey community. From the controversial signing of Shohei Otani to the struggles of the Ottawa Senators, we cover it all. So grab your favorite hockey jersey and let’s get started.

The Shohei Otani Signing: A $700 Million Investment

One of the most talked-about topics in the sports world recently has been the signing of Shohei Otani for a staggering $700 million. The debate surrounding this contract is whether one player is truly worth such a hefty price tag. Brad Burud, the host of the podcast, expresses his disbelief at the amount, stating, “There’s no way that one person is worth that. He’s freaking injured, too.”

Blake Friars, the co-host, argues that the investment will pay for itself quickly through jersey sales and TV deals in Japan. He believes that Otani’s talent and popularity will bring in significant revenue for the team. However, Brad remains skeptical, stating, “Baseball is such a dying sport anyways.”

The Surprising Success of the Ottawa Senators

Despite their struggles in the standings, the Ottawa Senators have managed to maintain a positive goal differential. Brad points out that every team that made the playoffs last year had a positive goal differential, emphasizing the importance of this statistic. He believes that the Senators have the potential to be better if they improve their goaltending and defense.

Blake acknowledges the distractions surrounding the team but highlights their tight-knit group and willingness to stand up for each other. He agrees that the Senators have the potential to turn things around in the second half of the season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Power Play Woes

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been struggling with their power play, despite their overall success. Brad suggests that if they can improve their power play, the team will become even stronger. Blake agrees, noting that their goaltending has been solid, and a better power play could make a significant difference.

Concerns for the Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have recently faced some tough losses, leading to concerns about their performance. Brad expresses his worry about their goaltending situation, as their starter, Frederik Andersen, is out with an injury. Blake agrees, stating that the Hurricanes need to figure out their goaltending and regain their consistency.

The Dominance of the Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers have been surprising everyone with their strong performance this season. Brad wonders how head coach DJ Smith feels about the recent hiring of Jaques Martin as an advisor. Blake believes that Smith might feel threatened by the addition of a respected figure in the organization. However, he also acknowledges that Smith has the opportunity to prove himself and turn things around for the team.

The Future of Ethan Bear

Ethan Bear’s future is uncertain as he becomes a sought-after player in the NHL. Brad and Blake discuss potential landing spots for Bear, including the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, and Toronto Maple Leafs. They agree that Bear’s talent and affordability make him an attractive option for many teams.

The Impact of Patrick Kane on the Detroit Red Wings

Patrick Kane’s addition to the Detroit Red Wings has raised questions about how he will fit into the team. Brad wonders if the team’s recent losses are a result of the adjustment period or if there are deeper issues. Blake believes that it will take time for Kane to fully integrate into the team and make a significant impact.

The Dominance of the Eastern Conference

The Eastern Conference has been dominating this season, with eleven teams boasting a point percentage over .500. Brad and Blake discuss the depth of the Eastern Conference and the top-heavy nature of the Western Conference. They agree that while the East may appear more dominant, the West has its fair share of strong teams.

In conclusion, the NHL season has been full of surprises and intriguing storylines. From the controversial signings to the struggles and successes of various teams, the hockey world is buzzing with excitement. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see how these themes develop and what impact they will have on the league. So grab your popcorn and get ready for more thrilling hockey action.

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Brad Burud/Blake Friars

Brad Burud brings the rock-solid old-school approach to the show. The Minot, North Dakota native grew up playing hockey, and spends his summers on the links. The diehard hockey fan watches tons of hockey and is full of comments and opinions. The Calgary Flames are his favorite team, and he is often accused of having a Western Conference bias. He is also the host of Flames Unfiltered. Brad brings the conservative, old school approach to the show. He is opinionated and hates losing a debate. Blake Friars brings the Canadian approach to the show. The Bienfait, Saskatchewan native grew up playing hockey for 16 years. The goalie is also a long time Roberto Luongo fan and claims the Vancouver Canucks as his favorite team. Rumors and a few photos have him in Oilers jerseys and cheering for the Habs. He denies it but tends to jump on bandwagons quickly. Blake brings the millennial approach to the show. He is candid in his approach and creates numerous laughs and bad predictions.

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