Chat with Katie Strang
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Thursday, hockey writer Katie Strang stops by to chat about the New York area teams on ice.
After spending the past two seasons as the Islanders beat writer for Newsday, Strang joins ESPNNewYork.com to cover the Rangers, Isles and Devils. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
Send your questions now and join Strang Thursday at 3 p.m. ET!
Katie Strang (3:02 PM)
Hey everyone. Hope your Turkey day was as great and gluttonous as mine! Let's get to some questions. Fire away
any trade rumors regarding the rangers? larry brooks mentioned bobby ryan before the coaching change in anaheim. any updates? thanks
Katie Strang (3:04 PM)
Hey Jeremy- I do believe the Rangers have expressed interest in Ryan, interest that has gone beyond the proverbial "tire-kicking" but it doesn't sound as if anything is imminent. Have to think that the coaching change will also have a pretty significant impact. I think Boudreau will get some time with Ryan before they try to shake things up via trade.
What seems to be the Isles' approach with Nino? Scratched as many games as he has, then relegated to 4th line duties hardly seems like a good way to develop a player.
Katie Strang (3:08 PM)
Agree with you 100% Luke. It is indeed very strange and puzzling. I asked GM Garth Snow if he was considering sending Niederreiter back to his junior team in Portland. He's not. I then asked if he was injured. He's not. Which led me to wonder: why the hell is he sitting? The only logical explanation I can come up with is that his stay on LI is cap-related. With Blake Comeau and his $2.5 million cap hit gone, they'd drop below the floor with Niedereitter's charge of 2.795. Keep in mind that is his cap charge, which includes a good chunk of what are likely unachievable bonuses, not his actual salary. Whatever the explanation, this is not the way to develop a 19-year-old player.
What's up with the Devils right now? They played some of their best hockey on their past road trip and it seems like they've been falling off since that loss to the Panthers.
Katie Strang (3:11 PM)
You're right and I believe one of the Devils beat writer, the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti, astutely noted that after last night's loss. There has certainly been a dropoff of late, but I don't find it that surprising. They have done a very good job weathering some difficult injuries through the first quarter of the season, but are finding their play suffering recently. Zach Parise still hasn't hit his stride either. Once Parise and Kovalchuk are firing on all cylinders and team is healthy we'll know more.
Has Garth Snow inquired about Bobby Ryan? And do the Islanders have the player/picks to land a player like that? If so, what do you think it would take?Thanks!!
Katie Strang (3:14 PM)
Not to my knowledge Dennis. But, honestly, I don't think the Islanders have the assets needed to pull it off anyway. Presumably the Ducks are looking for a top-6 forward, a young defenseman and a prospect or a pick. If I'm the Ducks I'd want Travis Hamonic and the team's first-round pick for 2012 (which, keep in mind, could be a very high pick). The Islanders should not part with either of those in my opinion. ANd they don't have many top-six forwards teams would want.
Hi, Katie. Is DP done as a starting goalie with the Isles? Is Montoya the man for the rest of this season? Do you think they might buy him out this summer?
Katie Strang (3:17 PM)
Yes, I believe Rick DiPietro is done as a starting goaltender. Not through lack of effort on his part, but the numbers just aren't there. I think the Islanders will ride out Montoya as the starter for the remainder of the season. As far as a buyout, it should be interesting to see what the next collective bargaining agreement brings in terms of amnesty buyouts and such. They will likely wait until then to decide on his future with organization. In all reality, DiPietro is probably one more serious injury away from being declared medically ineligible to play as well.
are you liking haglen and mitchel on the same line
Katie Strang (3:18 PM)
Very much so. Have been really impressed with both and they seem to have some good chemistry together. Clearly the Rangers are pleased with it too; the team sent down Andre Deveaux this afternoon so both players will be in the lineup for their fourth straight game. Both enter tonight's contest with a three-game point streak as well.
Has there been a better trade in the NHL in the last 5 years then the rangers stealing ryan mcdonaugh from montreal for scott gomez
Katie Strang (3:22 PM)
Tremendous move by Sather David. And let's not forget that, ultimately, it helped bring Brandon Prust to the team and allowed the Rangers to clear cap space to sign Marian Gaborik. Holy shoot that was a coup for Sather and the Rangers.
Sanyi (Long Island)
one more question please?! Any chance DiPietro gets placed on waivers? NO one wants him so he will clear waivers and play for the soundtigers and let Nilsson backup Montoya.
Katie Strang (3:22 PM)
Nope. They need his 4.5 M cap hit to reach the floor, plain and simple
Any idea how Tim Erixon has looked in Hartford and what the plan is for him this season?
Katie Strang (3:24 PM)
Was wondering about him recently myself, Greg. Haven;t heard much but he has one goal, seven assists and a minus-2 rating for the Whale in 10 games this season. Would not be surprised at all to see him back up with the big club later this season
Ray (Upstate NY)
if the rangers are interested in bobby ryan, would they have to trade either dubinsky or anisimov?
Katie Strang (3:26 PM)
In my opinion, yes. If we are working under the assumption that the Rangers must part with a top-six forward, a young defenseman and a prospect/pick, then the only forwards I think they'd be willing to move would be those two.
Katie, would it be outlandish to say that the Penguins are better WITHOUT Sid the Kid?
Katie Strang (3:27 PM)
Yes. He's a special player that makes any team he plays for better. Often overlooked in his return, however, was how deep and dangerous that Penguins team was in his absence. So I'll give you that.
Hi Katie, I was wondering what is the reasoning behind Coach Deboer keeping Kovalchuk on the right wing? Also, I keep hearing about this but, with the way the seasons been turned out and Brodeur soon to retire as well as Hedberg up there, what are the chances of this so-called trade rumor involving Parise and Jonathan Quick/ Bernier actually happening?
Katie Strang (3:29 PM)
I've heard a lot of people speculate whether or no Lou Lamoriello would ever move Parise if he got the sense he wasn't going to re-sign. I'd be shocked. I really don't see that happening. I don't see the Devils ever thinking they don't have a chance to keep him around.
Michael Dunn (Bloomfield NJ)
Katie, what line changes would you expect for the Devils when Zajac returns? Does Henrique move to the 3rd line? Does he play wing?
Katie Strang (3:31 PM)
Good question Michael. Honestly, I'm not sure. Coach Pete DeBoer said he wants Elias to stay at center, which makes sense given his performance this season. Probably a lot depends on how quickly Zajac returns to form, Henrique's play, and injuries/personnel changes elsewhere. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Katie Strang (3:32 PM)
OK all thanks for stopping by. Still working on getting a mailbag set up so I can get to more of your questions on a weekly basis, so keep an eye out for that soon!