Chat with Katie Strang
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, hockey writer Katie Strang stops by to chat about the latest news from around ice.
In addition to covering the NHL as a whole, Strang, who previously covered the Islanders for Newsday, also covers the Rangers, Isles and Devils for ESPNNewYork.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
Send your questions now and join Strang Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Brett (Long Island)
Will the Islanders give Ryan Strone a legit chance to make the team for the season or is his time in camp a tease?
Katie Strang (3:08 PM)
Hey All! Sorry for late start...had some late-breaking news on the compliance buyouts. Go ahead and fire away!
Katie Strang (3:09 PM)
Re: Strome-Yes, the Islanders will give him a legitimate shot to make the team. Given team's need for scoring and lack of depth I think he has a good chance at cracking the roster.Because of shortened season, he will only have 6 games for club to make a decision as opposed to the normal 9 games.
Braden (NY to LA)
Katie, trying to wrap my head around this compliance buyout for Redden and Gomez. There's really no incentive for NYR, MTL to do this other than a favor, correct? Do you think any other NHL teams will look into this option?
Katie Strang (3:12 PM)
It really does no favors for either of these teams, correct. They pay 100% of salary owed this year, and incur the full cap charge minus the money saved by assigning him to the minors (minimum salary plus $375,000).
Chris (Long Island)
is anyone being bought out a ufa now?
Katie Strang (3:13 PM)
Not quite yet. They must first be waived by their clubs and subsequently clear waivers. So, assuming that the Rangers waive Redden tomorrow, he could not become a UFA until clearing at noon on Thursday
Jeremy (Forest Hills, NY)
If Montreal & Rangers go forward with the early buyouts, are Gomez or Wredden serviceable?
Katie Strang (3:16 PM)
Actually, yes. Neither has performed to the level of their salaries, but I believe Gomez could still be a productive forward option if put in the right situation and that Redden could be a useful third-pair/depth defenseman
will (chi city)
Welcome back hockey! with the Kings opening up against the Hawks, it should be a good match up against the last 2 Cup teams from the west. everyone's been saying the Kings have been underrated coming into the season and are begin looked over....i disagree since essentialy Jonathon Quick won the cup for them and if anything happens to him or he doesn't have a record setting perfroamcne again they won't be a top team...where do you see them standing and whats ur prediction for the opener?
Katie Strang (3:18 PM)
Think it all depends on how Quick recovers from back surgery. Granted, the procedure was said to be a minor one (to repair a disc fragment I believe), but strong goaltending will be an absolute necessity in such a compressed season.
PT (St. Louis)
Katie, I think the short season really plays into the strength of a young team like my Blues. They won't be surprising people any more, so do you think they repeat last seasons success?
Katie Strang (3:19 PM)
I actually picked them to win the Western Conference. Predicting they will not only replicate last season's success, but build on it. Think they have a good chance at getting to the Stanley Cup Finals. Some good young talent and a strong goaltending tandem in Elliott/Halak
Hi Katie, what have you heard coming out of the Capitals training camp? What kinds of changes is Adam Oates making? And will the Caps be able to come out of the gate strong, or will they struggle early?
Katie Strang (3:21 PM)
Sounds like first-year coach Adam Oates is tinkering with playing Ovechkin at right wing. Interested to see how that works out....Liked Oates a lot as an assistant with NJ. Looking forward to seeing what happens with him and Caps this season
What do you think the Rangers line combinations will be to start off the season?
Katie Strang (3:23 PM)
Hagelin-Richards-NashGaborik-Stepan-CallahanKreider-Boyle-PyattRupp-Halpern- Bickel/Asham(suspended for game 1)
Hello Katie, Excellent work on the lock-out coverage! My question is this, do you think the lockout favored/harmed a team in the Atlantic Division more so than the others? I think this will be the most exciting division to watch this season!
Katie Strang (3:25 PM)
The fact that such importance will be placed on intra-division games AND the strength of the Atlantic will be a challenge for all five of those teams, I think.If any is hurt worse than others, I think maybe NJ. With goaltending such a vital element in a compressed season, there will likely be concerned about older goaltender like Brodeur and Hedberg and how they handle the long layoff
Steve (St. Louis)
If Tukka Rask has a solid season for the Bruins, will Tim Thomas even have a job to come back too?
Katie Strang (3:25 PM)
Regardless, I believe Tim Thomas' time with the Bruins is done
Do you think Gilroy gets the 6th D spot opening night?
Katie Strang (3:26 PM)
He'll have a shot. Top five spots: Girardi, McDonagh, Staal, Del Zotto, Stralman are all but set in stone but that sixth spot is up for grabs. Gilroy will battle with both Steve Eminger and Stu Bickel to round out the team's third pair
With the CSS Mid-Term Rankings out, the road to the NHL Draft begin. Which team do you think will finish in the seller and have a better chance of snagging the #1 pick with the expanded lottery?
Katie Strang (3:28 PM)
Hard to say now because draft format has changed in accordance with the new collective bargaining agreement.In fact, I really like the new modification.Now all non-playoff teams are eligible to compete for the No. 1 pick
Ryan Miller (Buffalo, NY)
Katie, when you and Craig Custance play street hockey in your MSU Spartans jerseys back in Grand Rapids, who gets to pretend they are me in goal? And who gets to be Rod Brind'Amour?
Katie Strang (3:29 PM)
Paper Stanley Cup champs (NY)
Is this finally the rangers year?
Katie Strang (3:31 PM)
It really could be. They are in my top four -- Canucks, Blues, Penguins, Rangers, in no particular order -- of Stanley Cup favorites. They have good depth, great coaching and the leadership necessary to make a deep run. Think they will battle it out with Pens for top spot in the East
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey Katie, who is a young, exciting team you are looking forward to seeing?
Katie Strang (3:33 PM)
Edmonton, definitely. Should be interesting to see how all their young stars develop and how their time playing in AHL during lockout served them
Tom (New Jersey)
Do you think the Isles will buy out the remaining 3493209 years on DP's contract?
Katie Strang (3:34 PM)
I think they should, but I don't think they will. This is a franchise that pinches pennies. Buying him out would mean paying him not to play. Do I think it is the right thing to do by him and for the franchise? AbsolutelyBut my gut tells me they won't do it
What's going to happen with Visnovsky? Will he ever play in the NHL again?
Katie Strang (3:36 PM)
The latest on the Visnovsky situation:He tried appealing to the KHL with a letter asking to stay with his club Slovan for the rest of the season. The KHL rejected that request.However, the Memorandum of agreement between the KHL and NHL allows the two leagues to negotiate on the matter and I've been told that reps will meet in near future in "joint consideration" of issue
Katie, what do you think the Flyers chances of winning the Cup this year are? Also, where does Claude Giroux rank among the top players in the world? Thanks!
Katie Strang (3:36 PM)
Slim. They are really thin on D and hurting right now injury-wise.
Did you know if you take the first and last letters off the names of the teams you cover you get Slander, Anger and Evil? Have fun with that.
Katie Strang (3:37 PM)
Why didn't they allow compliance buyouts for this year? Seems silly to have players sit out the entire shortened season so they don't get injured
Katie Strang (3:38 PM)
They have. Just agreed to it earlier today, albeit with different rules than the compliance buyouts agreed to in the recently-brokered CBA.See news story here: http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/8847030/nhl-nhlpa-agree-terms-compliance-buyouts-source-says
FT (Iselin, NJ)
Who is the leading candidate to be the next NJD captain? Any chance it can be a young guy like Zajac or even Henrique??
Katie Strang (3:40 PM)
This may be a left-field selection, but I'd make it Andy Greene. Smart, well-respected teammate and a good leader
Colin (Long Island)
I like how the Islanders are throwing a ton of names at the blue line...any chance one of these new D-men pan out (and I'll include Martinek in this group...let's hope he stays healthy!)
Katie Strang (3:41 PM)
When healthy, I believe Martinek is one of the most underrated defenseman out there. Very steady and a great veteran presence. Glad to see him back there as his family remained on Long Island while he played in Columbus. Know he has to be thrilled to return
Ron (Long Island)
The Isles like reclamation projects. Think they have interest in Gomez or Redden?
Katie Strang (3:42 PM)
Yes, I do. But those players would have to be amenable to a pretty bargain basement offer, I imagine
Any thought on the Wild's upgraded lineup and there chances this year??
Katie Strang (3:43 PM)
Really excited to see what this team can do from Parise/Suter to Granlund to second-year coach Mike Yeo. Might take some time to gel, but they should make the playoffs
DZ (New York)
Anything to be read into the fact that Capuano has been lining Strome on the bottom two lines? Shouldn't he be playing him with the skilled guys if he's considering Strome for a roster spot?
Katie Strang (3:44 PM)
He should, yes. No sense keeping him around unless team is planning on giving him minutes and placing him with players that can expedite his development.As we've seen with Nino Niederreiter, that hasn't always been the Islanders philosophy
First line center for Devils... Henrique or Zajac? And does your pick last the season there?
Katie Strang (3:45 PM)
Good question. Zajac, especially given the fact that Henrique is out for at least a few more weeks with the hand injury. But, by season's end, I think Henrique eventually reclaims that spot
Katie Strang (3:46 PM)
Ok all. Thanks for the great questions as always!Have some more work to do on the compliance buyouts story so make sure to check back on ESPN.com for updates.XO