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 1 p.m. ET!
Do you think Gaborik will be ready to go for the Rangers in a few weeks? Thanks Katie.
Katie Strang (1:00 PM)
Oops sorry, jumped the gun there. Was just so excited that hockey is finally back! Finally, some puck talk! Let's try this again....Fire away!
Katie Strang (1:01 PM)
Kevin-Gaborik will be ready by the opening of training camp. He has been medically cleared since early December (which also means, he began missing paychecks at that time during the lockout).He is en route back from Europe currently
rich (seaford ny)
As a cba confused self loathing Isles fan: Will the Islanders be able to cut bait w Dipietro now???? Please
Katie Strang (1:03 PM)
Can they? Yes. Should they? You bet. Will they? Well, that's a whole different matter.While they should have no problem justifying that buyout, there is the possibility they keep him for cap purposes. They need his hit to reach the floor. Also, there is probably a better chance of them getting off the hook on his contract if he is eventually declared medically ineligible to play
Jim P (CT)
Any updates on Michael Sauer?
Katie Strang (1:05 PM)
Yes, and unfortunately the outlook is very bleak.Sauer will not be in training camp with the Rangers and the team does not expect him to return at all during the 2013 season.The 24-year-old defenseman hasn't played since suffering a nasty concussion in December of last year. Think it's definitely fair to wonder whether his career may be in jeopardy, which would be an absolute shame.
@JaredJBaker (Homer, AK/Grand Rapids, MI)
What part of this CBA is the NHLPA most excited to get?
Katie Strang (1:07 PM)
(You must have figured out I'm partial to taking questions from anyone that hails from my hometown of GR)I think the NHLPA really did a good job standing firm on the Year 2 Salary Cap. Once they went down to $64.3 million they did not budge. They fought hard for this at the 11th hour and got what they wanted. Also the arbitration rights and 7 years re: UFA
What is Wade Reddens future? If his salary counts against the cap, its seems like a waste not to use him this year as a 3rd pair dman. Buy him out in the summer and let him go on his way.
Katie Strang (1:10 PM)
The Rangers could buy him out and likely will. In fact his agent is sitting down with Glen Sather today (not exclusively about that, Newport also reps Michael Del Zotto) so we may gain more clarity on the matter soon.If Redden wants to collect the money he is rightfully owed, the Rangers will buy him out BUT they will likely prohibit him from playing in AHL this season so as to avoid injury.So, if Redden wants to play in the NHL again -- hard to do with significant layoffs in two consecutive seasons -- it is possible that he could void his contract to try and get another shot as a depth defenseman elsewhere.
Hearing Jan. 19th opening night will be Isles-Rangers at Nassau. My source said it's 100% final. Have you heard the same?
Katie Strang (1:11 PM)
I think that would be a great way to begin the season, but no, that is not what I have heard. Can't confirm yet, but should know definitively once schedule is released (hopefully by Wed night)
Max (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Katie, congrats on surviving lockout 2012! I see that the NHL will have its vote on Wednesday, any word when the NHLPA will have its vote?
Katie Strang (1:12 PM)
As soon as possible, but I don't expect it to be completed until the end of this week, or this weekend at the latest.
Who is your pick to win the cup?
Katie Strang (1:13 PM)
Pittsburgh. Think Malkin will have another monster season. Oh, and No. 87's not bad, either ;)
Aaron C. (Long Island, NY)
Do you think the Islanders actually have a shot to contend this season?
Katie Strang (1:14 PM)
Maybe if they get off to a hot start, but I still don't think I see it. Goaltending is still a concern for me and I don't think they have enough depth offensively or defensively
Greg (Washington, DC)
In your opinion, what is the biggest surprise in the new CBA, and how will it affect the league?
Katie Strang (1:15 PM)
I find the rule that allows salary to be retained in trades very interesting. Whereas the previous rules were more prohibitive, I think this will encourage far more movement. Already looking forward to trade deadline day frenzy!
any names floating around that the Rangers could acquire via trade or free agency?
Katie Strang (1:16 PM)
I believe the Rangers will look into the possibility of acquiring Dominic Moore. Need a depth defenseman as well. Thought Paul Ranger was on radar before, but that ship may have sailed
Do you think the heavy division schedule is going to wear down the teams in the Atlantic and make it a tougher road in the playoffs?
Katie Strang (1:17 PM)
To play devil's advocate: think about how humane the travel will be. THAT could be a huge advantage to those teams down the stretch
What to make of the Wild in this abbreviated season? Can they get enough goaltending to make a push towards the playoffs and hopefully Stanley Cup finals?
Katie Strang (1:18 PM)
I like their roster a lot, and obviously the addition of Parise and Suter was huge, but I'm a bit skeptical on how long it will take for the team to gel on that front. Tons of talent, but we may not see true potential until next season
What impact of the shortened season will it have on the Blues
Katie Strang (1:19 PM)
Gotta imagine goaltending will play a huge role in such a truncated season and to that end, I like the Blues chances. One of the best tandems in the league with Halak and Elliott
Kevin G (NJ)
Odds of Kovalchuck not returning to New Jersey?
Katie Strang (1:22 PM)
Still think he does return, as the the threat of international sanctions and olympic participation restrictions looms large. if he doesn't, the Devils would certainly feel his absence from a production standpoint. It would not, however, be the worst thing in the world considering the cash-strapped club could void his whopper of a 15-yr $100 m deal
Which teams does a shortened season help?
Katie Strang (1:23 PM)
I think it favors a young team like the Edmonton Oilers. Lot of talented guys who have been playing in the AHL during the lockout and can hit the ground running as soon as camps open. That's just one example, though
Thoughts on Strome at least getting a 9 game tryout on the first two lines? He's been on fire and I think that players like Strome and Tavares who have been playing in actual competition will drive all teams through game 10-15
Katie Strang (1:25 PM)
Not sure if the lockout situation or new CBA changes the 9-game tryout rule. Spoke to his agent earlier this week and it sounds like they are waiting to hear some of the components of the new agreement. I do think he will be at camp and I do think he has a great shot at cracking the roster
Greg K (Scotland)
What is your two cents on Kreider starting on the Rangers roster, with his form with the Whale being very suspect?
Katie Strang (1:26 PM)
He's been having some growing pains this year, which is no huge surprise. Rangers may decide it best for his development to stay in the AHL for more seasoning. Not a knock on him. He's still gonna turn out to be one heck of a player
Patrick Christianson (Las Vegas, NV)
When is the season going to start?
Katie Strang (1:27 PM)
January 19th. Almost 100% sure, but not definite until the CBA is ratified.
Anmesty clause.... good or no? Being a Flyers fan, we'd sure like to get Bryz off the books if he has a disappointing season.
Katie Strang (1:28 PM)
I like it, and fans should too. I think the Flyers should buy out Bryz, no question, but that's an awfully expensive mistake for Holmgren/Snider to justify
do you see any inprovement for the cbj this year?
Katie Strang (1:29 PM)
Definitely. Especially considering the addition of John Davidson. He's one of the most well-respected guys in hockey and his presence will certainly contribute to a culture change I think
What was your favorite part of last weeks stake-out? What was your least favorite part?
Katie Strang (1:31 PM)
The obvious: the lockout coming to a (tentative) end but Evergreen Diner is a very close second. Worst part? I never want to see the HSBC bank terminal ever again
Dan (Long Island)
You think that the owners are going to have it out with each other when they meet? You think they will try to change up who is on the BOG?
Katie Strang (1:31 PM)
Nope, I expect it to be a pretty straightforward vote that passes with a resounding yes.
Katie Strang (1:33 PM)
Ok all, have to make this an abbreviated chat since I have some SEASON PREVIEWS to work on (finally!!!!), but we will do this again soon.Thanks for all the great questions and for sticking with us through the lockout!