Chat with Katie Strang
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Katie Strang (1:00 PM)
Hey hockey fans! Exciting week ahead with the trade deadline just six days away. Prepare for rampant rumors, speculation and just about everything in between.Lots to discuss so let's get started. Fire away!
I think it's obvious what the question you will get the most of today, so here it goes from my end..... Callahan says he wants to be a Ranger but doesn't sound like he is lowering his years or $$ to stay... St. Louis was asked about his trade request rumors and he didn't shoot them down... is it seriously possible a trade involving these two could actually happen????
Katie Strang (1:04 PM)
You're right. Have a feeling this is going to be a popular one today, so let's get right to it. Callahan says he wants to stay a Ranger and I believe that is his preference, but not if he feels like he is taking a discount to stay. Now we can debate what actually qualifies as a discount but the fact of the matter is this: If he can get what he is seeking elsewhere and the Rangers are not willing to budge, I see him standing firm and being dealt. Now, I have been told that St. Louis was livid after the initial Olympic snub and though various reports suggest as much, I can't personally confirm he requested out or that GM Glen Sather inquired. I believe the Rangers have interest in him, but I don't see this deal being made Callahan-for St. Louis straight up. Imagine the Rangers would have to beef up their end of the bargain
Dom (Brooklyn, NY)
Hey Katie?Do you see the Pens standing pat at the deadline? Seems like they need to do something about the backup goalie situation given Fleury and his past playoff performances.
Katie Strang (1:06 PM)
Especially with Vokoun's tenuous health situation as well, you'd think. So, no I don't think they will stand pat. I could see them going after a backup netminder -- Marty Brodeur perhaps -- and a winger to fill the void of Pascal Dupuis' absence. GM Ray Shero always a major player this time of year. Never seems afraid to make a splash
Any chance Marty Brodeur wears a different jersey this year, and what would the return on that trade be? I can't imagine any team giving him a starting role and if playing backup to Cory doesn't suit him I don't see why it would be different elsewhere.
Katie Strang (1:07 PM)
I do think there is a chance, yes. Marty's not gonna get too many more kicks at the can, so even if he can't latch on anywhere as a starter, he still might be enticed by the prospect of winning again before hanging up the skates.
Colin (Chicago IL)
The whole Callahan for St Louis report doesn't seem to make sense for the Rangers. Why give up your 29 yr old captain for a 39 yr old with a $5+ million cap hit and no younth to replace Callahan?
Katie Strang (1:10 PM)
I think you would have people argue the other side as well, Colin. Why would you move your captain and the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner, who is currently leading the team in scoring with 25 goals and 56 points and has a year remaining on his deal, for a rental player that is set to hit the market as an unrestricted free agent and has a prohibitive injury history?
Any intel on what the Sabres are asking for Moulson? I think he would be the perfect fit on 87's wing.
Katie Strang (1:12 PM)
I think he'd be a nice fit there as well, though he has a lot of the same qualities Kunitz provides on Crosby's wing. Could be a great fit for a lot of teams looking for offense and grit. Have to imagine they are looking for at least a first-round pick
Hi Katie, I know this question is premature but if Callahan is indeed traded who do you think will be the Rangers captain? Wouldn't it be a foreshadowing of events to come if it is not either Richards or Staal?
Katie Strang (1:12 PM)
Katie - With the Islanders in full sell mode do you think that they are looking for draft picks in this year's draft or in the coveted 2015 draft?
Katie Strang (1:14 PM)
If it's a first-rounder? Definitely 2015, considering that is Connor McDavid's draft class. Also, Snow will have to give up a 2015 first-rounder to Buffalo if the Isles finish in the bottom ten this season and he exercises his right to retain his 2014 pick surrendered in the Moulson-Vanek deal
Aaron (Leesburg, VA)
I didn't expect the men to win the gold, but the USA Women really let one slip away. What is your final take now that the smoke has cleared a week later?
Katie Strang (1:15 PM)
That was absolutely brutal. No other way to describe it. I had to break out the red wine at 2:20 p.m. for the overtime period my nerves were so frayed. Not proud of that
Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden)
Banned for Zyrtec the day before a Gold Medal game... is there anything more ridiculous?
Katie Strang (1:16 PM)
If it is true that he indeed took a regular dosage of a pill he has taken consistently over the past seven years, then yes, that is a shame. But there are conflicting reports out there about this results of the test, so I'd like to reserve judgment on this one until I have more information. The timing was stunning, though. Imagine the locker room after the news was delivered?
What moves will the Devils make at the deadline, I think it's a long shot that Marty gets traded, but they have extra defensemen they can trade.
Katie Strang (1:17 PM)
I think they'll acquire a winger that adds some offense. Hemsky is an interesting one to consider. They need scoring desperately and Jagr and Elias can't do it all themselves
Katie, earlier in the week you said "Snow?s complaints ring a little hollow considering how many times he has disappointed the fan base with his unwillingness to spend money." Is it Snow's reluctance to spend money or Wang's?
Katie Strang (1:19 PM)
Good question. Snow should have the autonomy to spend as he sees fit, though the assumption is that Wang controls the purse strings pretty tightly. It is definitely not all Snow's fault. The team's frugality definitely starts at the top.
Ultimately, do the Blues get involved in the Callahan trade? Or do you think it will just be NYR and TAM?
Katie Strang (1:21 PM)
Still believe St. Louis has keen interest in Callahan, yes, and I expect the Blues to make some significant moves at the deadline. They are believed to be the front-runner for Ryan Miller as well. With the way they have played this year, you can see why they'd want to go all in and load up for a deep playoff run
Ray (Moose Jaw)
Who steps up to fill the void when Girardi is dealt? Kline? Stralman?
Katie Strang (1:23 PM)
Still believe it's at the "if" stage, not "when." In fact, I wrote about this today right here -- http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/rangers/post/_/id/1414/update-dan-girardi-rangers-still-talkingI think that there is a better chance Callahan gets dealt before Girardi, though it's entirely conceivable that they could both be moved. But you make a good point here in that his absence will create a HUGE hole on the right side. Hard to replace the type of minutes Girardi logs
Derek (New York)
Livid Islander fan that we lose our best player for the season & who is to say he's ever the same after this? Sure he gets a gold medal, but he didn't even play 1 minute in a meaningful full medal game. to come right back
Katie Strang (1:24 PM)
Understand the frustration, Derek, and I imagine Tavares himself feels gutted as well. The fact that he does not require surgery is a good sign, though, and I believe he came back from a similar injury sustained in junior hockey. And he turned out just fine after that ;)
who are some potential targets for the rangers? and do you think they will go after any big players?
Katie Strang (1:26 PM)
I definitely believe that they have interest in both Marty St. Louis and Chris Stewart. Could see them liking David Legwand as well
Kris G (Indy)
Is there anything the Wild "should" do in your opinion before the trade deadline?
Katie Strang (1:27 PM)
I think they need to make an insurance move to address the goaltending position given the uncertainty surrounding Josh Harding. As such, I think Brodeur is a good option
Aunt Helen (College Point, NY)
I've always liked Matt Moulson. Fun to watch, puts pucks in the net. His bro in law in Jonathan Quick in LA.If he doesnt get traded to Kings by March 5th, how could he NOT wind up there after free agency begins in July?? Your thoughts Katie.
Katie Strang (1:29 PM)
He came up through the Kings system, actually, and never truly cracked the roster after toiling with their AHL team in Manchester for years. Don't think there was much love lost between him and GM Dean Lombardi when they parted ways
Do you think the Leaf braintrust is smart enough to stand pat at the deadline? They're not legit Cup contenders at this stage, and I'd hate for them to give up on a young player too soon, as has been their habit.
Katie Strang (1:30 PM)
Let's just say that I agree with you that they shouldn't unload young talent in hopes of winning now. Ain't gonna happen
What's your take on the Kesler situation. Does he get moved? Where too? Do you think he has asked for a change of scenery?
Katie Strang (1:31 PM)
My guess is that it wasn't an explicit trade request, but maybe he has had discussions with management to say that he wouldn't stand in the way if they wanted to go in a different direction. Particularly because of the injury, I don't think he gets dealt until the draft
Have you ever played competitive hockey? Or are your credentials simply around covering the metro NY teams from a journalistic perspective?
Katie Strang (1:33 PM)
I never played hockey, though I wish I did. In fact, I put skates on for the first time in 20 years just last weekend and it was a shameful display. I love hockey and enjoy watching and covering it, but I have no delusions about my actual acumen
Jeff (Holbrook, NY)
As Isles fans, Andrew MacDonald has been more than a 'serviceable' defensemen filling in on the power play and playing 1st line minutes. How good do you think he is? and what can Garth Snow expect in return? thanks.
Katie Strang (1:35 PM)
Quite honestly I think he's a sturdy second or third-pair defenseman that was forced into a first-pair role because of circumstances. That has certainly showcased some of his shortcomings but I think he'd be a better player on a better team. I think the Isles will ASK for a 1st-rounder, but I don't see them getting better than a second rounder, plus a prospect
Hi Katie, how come it doesn't appear the Rangers are considering retaining Callahan as their own sort of deadline "rental" and letting him walk in July? Isn't there a point where keeping him to make a run this year is more valuable than the proposed returns? For example, I'd rather have Callahan for 3 month than Chris Stewart for 15 months.
Katie Strang (1:36 PM)
I actually agree with you on this Bob. You know what you're getting with him and you don't take the risk of disrupting the chemistry in the room. I think the Rangers could make things interesting in the playoffs this spring, and I think they'll be better with Callahan. If he wants to walk in July, let him
What's your favourite 80's song?
Katie Strang (1:38 PM)
Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine"
Tim Murray has publicly stated his preference is to trade(not resign) Ryan Miller and ideally he would receive 2 prospects in a deal. Do you think this public openness hurts his negotiating position at all?
Katie Strang (1:40 PM)
That's a good question. No, I don't. Because I think people around the league are well aware of Miller's situation, which makes it unlikely he'd resign. I found that refreshing that both sides were honest about it. They were candid about what could be a very difficult situation and handled it with class and professionalism
Will the Devils make Jagr available before deadline? ...and if so, what would be the price?
Katie Strang (1:42 PM)
Actually Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said yesterday that he intends to be a buyer not a seller at the deadline, though I can see him making a hockey trade. The sense is that there will be more of those at the deadline this year because there are so few teams that are definitely out of it. Plus, Jagr intimated yesterday that he may not report to certain teams if he wasn't crazy about the situation
Katie, I dare you! I double dog dare you. No, I TRIPLE DOG DARE you to come to Chicago for the Stadium Series this weekend. You know it's going to be cold. Who you like in the game? (Don't say Pittsburgh, Don't say Pittsburgh)
Katie Strang (1:43 PM)
I just spent two and a half weeks in Michigan during the Olympic break so I have plenty of love for the Midwest but I am holed up in NY until the trade deadline. Should be a great game, and I do like the Hawks :)
Who brings the most return in Buffalo's firesale? Moulson, Ott, Miller, other...?
Katie Strang (1:44 PM)
I believe it will be Moulson because he'll be in much higher demand. Only a select few teams will be active in the goalie market
How was your olympic experience?
Katie Strang (1:45 PM)
Awesome, thanks. I watched from the comfort of my couch and spent lots of time eating my mom's home-cooking :)
Adam (New York)
Who should Tallon trade to free up cap space for this offseason as Vincent Viola has promised to spend?
Katie Strang (1:46 PM)
This isn't so much a cap space issue, but I think he'll have some real interest in Tim Thomas. Brad Boyes, too, though I could see Tallon keeping him around
Chris (NE CT)
Hi, Katie. This may be a stupid question, but I'll ask it anyway. Callahan wants 7 yrs. at $45 - 50 million. Sather is offering 5 yrs. at $30 million. Why can't they settle at 6 yrs. at $40 million?
Katie Strang (1:47 PM)
Haha, Chris don't be fooled by using logic. If only it were that easy....
How many outdoor games can you see the NHL expanding to in the next couple years?
Katie Strang (1:48 PM)
They will definitely scale back next year, not increase. This year was a bit overkill as the NHL looked to capitalize on the Olympics. Don't expect that again next season
Sean Avery (NEW YORK)
will i win the dancing with the stars competition
Katie Strang (1:49 PM)
I don't know, but I do know that I will be tuning in now!
Katie Strang (1:49 PM)
Ok all, we will end there today. Make sure to join us next week on trade deadline day for all the latest updates! See you then!