Chat with Katie Strang
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at noon ET!
Katie Strang (12:01 PM)
Hey hockey fans! Hope all is well now that the hockey season has come to a close. Still lots to talk about with the trade and free agency approaching soon. Let's get to it!
Ray Stinger Jr (Pittsburgh)
Hi Katie! Who do you think will be the Penguins next head coach?
Katie Strang (12:03 PM)
I like the idea of promoting John Hynes from their AHL club. He's been highly touted internally and is regarded as a guy with a good feel for making in-game adjustments. In the wake of Bylsma's axing we have learned that was one of the biggest knocks on him (during the Olympics too). Also think Ulf Samuelsson could be an attractive candidate as well. Has a son in the Pens system as well ...
Ed (Queens Village)
If Rangers were to trade Rick Nash could they get a 1st round pick in next week draft?
Katie Strang (12:05 PM)
Yes, he still has that sort of talent and size to command that value despite a very disappointing playoff performance this spring. Remember though, he has a full no-move clause so they can only move him if he consents. And not sure the Rangers have made a decision on what they would like to do with him yet
Any chance that Toews and Kane give the hawks a home town discount so they can keep a hold of sharpy??
Katie Strang (12:08 PM)
Not sure how creative CHI will have to be, but I have no doubt that they will get both of those two under max, eight-year contracts. Assume they will look pretty similar as well. Considering that, and having Duncan Keith locked up long term, CHI has one of the most fearsome cores in the league. Will be contenders for years to come
Whats the holdup with Tallon hiring a coach? Do you think it is going to be Byslma? I sure hope so. Also, what UFA's do you think the Panthers are targeting?
Katie Strang (12:11 PM)
Hey Dara- Good to hear from you again! Sounds like the Panthers want to make an announcement on a coach by early next week. I'd bet on it being either Bylsma or Gallant. Panthers might have some interesting UFA options, especially considering they have money to spend. If Brian Campbell does indeed want out, they'd be smart to add someone on D. Might be a nice idea to throw a bunch of money at Matt Niskanen, who will headline the free agent class of defensemen. Maybe a scoring winger like Ales Hemsky or Mike Cammalleri as well? COuld be a fun offseason in FLA
If the Sharks go the sweeping changes route can they actually get commensurate value for Thornton and/or Marleau? Seems that more often than not in trades like this the sum of the parts coming in does not even up to the one star going out.
Katie Strang (12:12 PM)
Very unlikely. Chris. Especially considering both players have no move clauses that run through 2017. Puts them in the driver's seat and nullifies a lot of leverage on San Jose's end
Mark P. (New York City)
What are the chances the Rangers sign Staal to an extension this Summer? I would love to see it and avoid another Lundqvist and Cally situation. I thin Stralman is gone, so we need to lock up Staal.
Katie Strang (12:14 PM)
This absolutely needs to be a priority for the Rangers, though I think the team still needs to try and get Stralman under contract as well. If they can't, it becomes even more imperative, yes. Staal himself said earlier this season that he wants to avoid the type of protracted contract negotiations he saw both Lundqvist and Callahan go through
Do the Canucks move Kessler before the draft? Or does he stick around with a new coach coming in?
Katie Strang (12:16 PM)
Still sounds like they are intent on moving him. But this is sort of an interesting predicament because 1) the impending coaching change and 2) the atypical trade market at center. Never before have we seen the availability of three legitimate top-line centers -- Kesler, Thornton, Spezza -- at the same time. Have to wonder how that impacts the type of return they can get
This Rangers team reminds me a bit of the Hasek Sabres. Decent team with legendary goalie. Hoping Hank doesn't join a better team later in his career to finally hoist the cup.
Katie Strang (12:17 PM)
He's signed for a looooong time Bill and he is a very NY-type guy. Can't see him bolting anytime soon. Rest easy
Do you think there will be buyouts of anyone we aren't expecting?
Katie Strang (12:21 PM)
I think Mike Richards could happen. I think Johan Franzen is an interesting idea, in theory, though Detroit seems hell-bent on using theirs on Jordin Tootoo.And I think Ondrej Pavelec definitely should be, though the Jets seem totally unwilling as well. For more on this subject, I really enjoyed the three-part buyout candidate series from Justin Bourne and Thomas Drance over at The Score. If you haven't yet, go give this series a read. Well worth your time: http://www.thescore.com/news/518959
@MattHurst (Brooklyn, NY) [via mobile]
With the St. Louis Blues passing on Miller in favor of an Elliot/Allen tandem, what do you think the Blues need to add in the off-season to push over the hump? Is the a top 6 forward the Blues should add to give their team more depth?
Katie Strang (12:22 PM)
I think it had more to do with money than anything. Blues are facing some financial difficulties from the sounds of it
Alex (Long Island)
Will the Rangers be in play for any of the available #1 centers? (Spezza, Thornton, Statsny)
Katie Strang (12:23 PM)
I don't see Spezza. I see him landing in Anaheim, though there was also a recent report that suggested St. Louis is his desired landing spot. I think Thornton and Statsny have to be appealing options for the Rangers, especially assuming they buy out Brad Richards.
Thanks for the great reporting Katie, which team do you predict will give Boyle a Prust-like contract?
Katie Strang (12:24 PM)
Maybe he could re-join his buddy in Montreal? I actually think Pittsburgh would be a nice fit
Jason (New York)
Are the Islanders going to make a play for Thomas Vanek and put that big offer back on the table?
Katie Strang (12:25 PM)
Why not? He legitimately really enjoyed Long Island and we already knows he has great chemistry playing with John Tavares. I'm not sold on him as a player, but if the Isles were on board with throwing that sort of money at him then, might as well try again now. His line of suitors may be a lot shorter after the playoffs.
Jean Claude (Vermont)
Any contract updates on O'Reilly and Statsny?
Katie Strang (12:27 PM)
It sounds like things are growing contentious again between Avs and O'Reilly with the team filing for club-elected salary arbitration. I expect Statsny to test the market
It's too bad Glen Sather won't be able to trade his overpaid, aging center to Montreal for a top prospect. That kind of trick does not work the second time.
Katie Strang (12:28 PM)
But the first time will be paying dividends for years to come. Remember, Ryan McDonagh is only 25 years old, folks. Odds-on favorite to become the next Rangers captain
David (San Jose)
Katie, has the Stanley Cup window closed for the Sharks? It's clear that the team will look very different next season. Thornton and/or Marleau may be gone or will no longer be the leaders of this team
Katie Strang (12:30 PM)
When you consider that they had the Kings on the ropes before squandering a 3-0 series lead in the first round of the playoffs, you do have an appreciation for just how close they were. Still, you can't expect to underachieve so consistently and not undergo changes. SJ wants to rebuild. Still have some great, talented young pieces but they want to shake things up
Matt H (NYC)
Is there enough cap space to being pack Pouliot, Moore and Stralman?
Katie Strang (12:31 PM)
Yes, especially if they buy out Richards, but I don't see all three coming back. Rangers are going to need to prioritize on some of their UFAs, especially considering some of their RFAs like Zuccarello, Kreider, Brassard are due significant raises as well
Dan (Hoboken, NJ)
Much of the Devils' off-season talk has centered around Brodeur and Adam Larsson, but this team clearly needs a top-6 forward that can score goals. I know it's easier said than done, but what are the chances Lamiorello actually gets someone like that in this off-season?
Katie Strang (12:33 PM)
He needs to. As much as I love Jaromir Jagr, you can't bank on a 42-year-old to lead the team in scoring. They need offense, badly. Lamoriello has to provide some additional scoring threats. Guys like Hemsky, Cammaleri are interesting options. Now, what are those guys shootout records like ...
Katie... What do you see the ducks looking like come October? Thx
Katie Strang (12:34 PM)
I see Gibson as their goaltender. I see Jason Spezza as their second line center. Having Getzlaf and Spezza as 1 and 2 makes them a pretty dangerous squad
Travis J (New Mexico)
Why have the Rags NOT bought out Richards already? It seems like a no-brainer financially....
Katie Strang (12:35 PM)
I believe they will before June 30. It has less to do with performance and more to do with the financial ramifications of the cap recapture penalties. From that perspective, they really can't afford NOT to.
John ny [via mobile]
I've read rumors of Joe Thornton coming to the Rangers, waiving his no trade clause to play with his best friend, Rick Nash. What would it cost the Rangers to get this deal done?
Katie Strang (12:36 PM)
Those two are friends. Played together in Davos during both lockouts. But I doubt that's enough for Thornton to come to NY. Has to feel it's a good fit and ideal situation, since he's in the driver's seat with any potential trade. Talked to someone close to him today that told me his only thoughts right now are playing in SJ
Tom (Rochester, NY)
Hi Katie, Dan Girardi usually looks pretty solid on the ice but during the finals he appeared to be a step behind, even timid at times. Did you see the same thing? Was there any talk of him being injured or distracted?
Katie Strang (12:40 PM)
He did indeed have a rough series and he admitted afterwards that he was playing through injury, as many suspected. He apparently dislocated his right pinky. Granted, the guy has probably played through worse, but I think the last five games were largely an anomaly. He has proven himself to be a solid, steady defender
anthony (easton, pa)
any teams come forward with interest in Marty B?
Katie Strang (12:41 PM)
Nothing that I've heard but I wonder if Toronto might not be a bad fit. He can handle the spotlight, add a veteran presence with experience and savvy.
Zach (Baltimore )
What is the next step (free agency, draft, trades) for the Colorado Avalanche to make it to the second round and beyond in next year's playoffs?
Katie Strang (12:43 PM)
Obviously they have a few contract situations to work out at the moment. But I think bolstering their blue line could really go a long way in terms of helping them make that next step in the years to come
Do you think the Isles will be able to sign Dan Boyle?
Katie Strang (12:44 PM)
Not unless they are willing to pay him SO much more than everyone else that it blows all other teams out of the water. He'll have offers elsewhere, despite being an over-35 contract with most of his best hockey behind him. Free agent class of defensemen is thin this summer and that's always a big need
Which of their UFAs do you think the Kings will re-sign? Is it Greene or Mitchell at this point?
Katie Strang (12:45 PM)
I don't expect them to re-sign either Greene or Mitchell. I think they will try hard to keep Gaborik, though. Seems like both sides found a really nice fit.
Katie Strang (12:45 PM)
Ok all, we're going to end it there for today. Thanks so much for coming by and see you again soon!