Chat with Katie Strang
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Friday, 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 Friday at noon ET!
Katie Strang (11:58 AM)
Hey everyone...thanks for joining! Go ahead and fire away your questions. Will get to as many as possible!
Brandon (Ottawa, Canada)
With Staios signing with the Isles, what veteran d-man do you see (if any) on the Rangers?
Katie Strang (12:01 PM)
Good question, Brandon. Rangers need some help on the back end, no doubt. Very concerned about Staal's condition and Sauer's status doesn't help. They NEED to add a veteran D in my opinion. I can tell you that the Rangers are NOT willing to re-visit UFA Bryan McCabe. I think Paul Mara is the best option for them, but he's not willing to come on a tryout. That doesn't help his case.
Katie:First of all, congrats on the move from Newsday to ESPN. Very well deserved.I am very disappointed that Garth Snow has not effectively addressed this team's need for an imposing top 4 defender. Steve Staios is a capable third pairing Dman, but he's 38. Who, besides Streit, Hamonic and maybe Andy Mac could you see filling that role or is that player still not here (ex: Rob Scuderi).Congrats again.Alan
Katie Strang (12:03 PM)
Thanks Alan! I think Staios is a very good signing for the Islanders, but he is not a top-4 defenseman. Neither is Milan Jurcina, Mark Eaton, or Mike Mottau. All sturdy blue-liners, but not top 4 moving forward. I know Garth Snow wasn't too thrilled with what was available in FA this July, so if they are going to get a d-man of that caliber it will be via trade.
Hank (Jersey )
Life long Devils fan here but I'm really concerned with our goaltending situation now and for the future. Broduer, while an all-time great, has seen his best years past him and can't carry the load like in the past, where are we going to find a replacement?
Katie Strang (12:06 PM)
I think Brodeur is definitely aware that the game plan may be to use him less than in years past, and in some ways, I think that will be a very telling sign in Pete DeBoer's tenure as coach of the Devils. Like you see Yankees skipper Joe Girardi scrutinized for how he handles aging icons, DeBoer is under the same sort of pressure. If I had to guess, I'd say this could be Brodeur's last year of an illustrious career.
How do you think the Rangers lines will shake out? That 4th line could be a punisher with Rupp-Boyle-Prust.
Katie Strang (12:08 PM)
Punishing, physical, high-energy line for sure and I believe that trio will stick together. Barring injury this is how I see the four lines shaking out:Wolski-Richards-GaborikDubinsky-Anisimov-CallahanFedotenko-Stepan-ZuccarelloRupp-Boyle-Prust
John (Long Island)
Why can't we ever get lucky enough to draft a Henrik Lundqvist? We need a goaltender so badly. But on the plus side, Isles will atleast be competitive right? D is a little shaky but our offense is pretty explosive.
Katie Strang (12:10 PM)
I'm not going to say him to Lundqvist, who was an absolute steal for the Rangers in the 7th round of the 2000 draft, but Kevin Poulin is the goaltender of the future for the Islanders. He likely needs one more year of seasoning in the AHL--and that's the current plan--but he's tremendously talented and confident. Question will be how his knees hold up. He's dislocated his kneecap twice since being drafted
Torterella on 24/7? WOW he's gonna be the star of the show.
Katie Strang (12:12 PM)
Yes, it will be a must-see. Tortorella is candid and colorful and, as we've seen with Jets head coach Rex Ryan--that's a winning combination in television. Tortorella isn't thrilled about having so many cameras around his team, but he's encouraged his players to embrace the opportunity. Remember though, the Rangers do have some veto power about what is shown on the final cut. May be some long hours in the editing room...
Brandon (West Islip)
Can the Rangers powerplay really be successful with a 5 forward system? Why not have Del Zotto and Richards on the point with Rupp in front of the net, Gabby unleasing bombs and Callahan down low going for lose pucks. Makes more sense right?
Katie Strang (12:13 PM)
If Tortorella tinkers with PP personnel like he does line combinations, anything is possible. He did really like the dynamic of the five-forward PP last weekend against NJ, though
Dylan (long island)
do you think Bryan McCabe will end up back in New York
Katie Strang (12:15 PM)
No. In fact, check Pierre LeBrun's cross-checks blog. He provides some good insight into the McCabe camp and what scenarios are likely to unfold for the veteran d-man. Sounds like he is pretty content living in South Florida for the time being and would need a very enticing offer to leave.
Oleg Kvasha (DC)
What is Blake Comeau's future with the Isles?
Katie Strang (12:18 PM)
Really great question. For whatever reason, Comeau have never been a golden boy within the organization. His name was often--and sometimes unfairly--left out of the team's "young core." He had a breakout season last year, scoring 24 goals with third-line minutes. He definitely has trade value and with Moulson and Grabner occupying the left wing slots on the top two lines, he may be better served elsewhere.
Katie Strang (12:18 PM)
Hey everyone...brief break...DeBoer is about to talk...brb
Katie Strang (12:27 PM)
Thanks for waiting. Devils fans: Salvador (hip/groin soreness) will likely play tomorrow; Zubrus also a possibility. Tomorrow's lineup will resemble opening night roster as much as possible, per DeBoer
What is Strome's chance of making NYI
Katie Strang (12:28 PM)
Very small. He is not ready physically. Not even close, in my opinion. Definitely has great skill, but needs more time.
The Sabres defense is looking amazing this year, and Ryan Miller finally has a true backup in Jhonas Enroth. Do you think they can put together 4 solid lines of offense to compliment the defense/goaltending and be a real threat out of the Eastern Conference?
Katie Strang (12:29 PM)
Real threat, absolutely. Like I said last week, they had a tremendous off-season and with good goaltending a team can always be dangerous
Katie Strang (12:30 PM)
OK all, Devils locker room opening up now, so have to jet. Thanks for stopping by. Join me next week and hopefully we can go a little longer!