Chat with Katie Strang
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, hockey writer Katie Strang stops by to chat about the latest news from around the ice.
Strang 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!
Katie Strang (1:00 PM)
Hey hockey fans! Looking forward to another week of puck talk with you all.Let's get cracking. Fire Away!
What are your thoughts on Evgeny Kuznetsov? Will he be able to fill that 2nd line center role that the Caps are so evidently lacking?
Katie Strang (1:02 PM)
I spoke to someone recently that thinks the top prospect is poised to have a breakout season. Certainly, he should get the opportunity to carve out a spot. Has the skill necessary. With a few NHL games now under his belt from last season, he should be better prepared heading into training camp looking to secure his spot
Mike (New York)
Are the Islanders going to be sold soon?
Katie Strang (1:04 PM)
Honestly, I don't see it and here's why: I've heard from multiple sources that Charles Wang really does not have a realistic view of the team's value. And if the recent lawsuit filed by Andrew Barroway is any indication, he is having trouble sticking to an agreement. Doesn't exactly entice me if I'm a potential buyer.
Chris CT [via mobile]
What teams do you see making it to the ECF this year?
Katie Strang (1:05 PM)
I still like the way that Boston is built, even without Iginla to chip in 30 goals. Deep team with speed, skill, grit and some young guys that can contribute. Plus, Tuukka Rask in goal. I am very intrigued to see how the Lightning fare, though. Think they could be a sleeper team in the East this season
John (Grand Rapids)
Gut feeling, does Hayes wind up with the Rangers?
Katie Strang (1:07 PM)
Would not be surprised to see that happen but I think the Bruins and the Avalanche will be in the mix as well. Love some GR love on here. What a storm right now, huh? If a power outage knocks me offline, I'm leaving it to you to explain what sort of torrential downpour we are experiencing at the moment!
Johnny (Long Beach,CA)
Did the Kings improve enough this off-season to stay competitive with Chicago?
Katie Strang (1:08 PM)
I'm not sure I'd necessarily say improve, but in terms of keeping much of their Cup-winning team intact, absolutely. They will remain one of the teams to beat, no doubt. And they have a leg up in the goaltending department on the Hawks, in my opinion
Hi, Realistically speaking are the Habs a contentender in the east this upcoming season? If Yes why? If not which teams are better then them?
Katie Strang (1:09 PM)
If Carey Price is healthy, absolutely. Though I think the lack of veteran leadership will be exposed at times. Young guys like Subban and Gallagher will have to step up and assume a much bigger role
Jessica L (NJ)
Thoughts on Josh Ho-Sang not being invited to Canada's world juniors camp? Do you think his commentary is valid and that he was snubbed?
Katie Strang (1:11 PM)
He's been a polarizing figure. Not the first time Canada has snubbed a player whose personality has thrust himself into the spotlight
Joe (Cubicle Hell)
Hi Katie... What kind of contract will Alfie get in Detroit? Would you bring him back or use the roster spot on one of the many up and coming forwards if you were Kenny Holland?
Katie Strang (1:13 PM)
Really sounds like the Wings do want him back, but that will likely depend on how he feels in the next few weeks or so leading up to camp. With his age getting up there and durability an issue, expect his base salary to be lower than last season, but they could set up a bonus structure for him that still might be enticing to come back for another year
matt (south jersey)
Where do you see the Flyers ending up? In the playoffs, or out?
Katie Strang (1:14 PM)
Another team whose success hinges on goaltending. Probably depends on what sort of season we see from Steve Mason,
The sad Steve Moore saga comes to an out of court ending. The biggest stain on Bettman's wretched time in office is allowing the criminal Bertuzzi to return to the ice.
Katie Strang (1:16 PM)
You are certainly entitled to your opinion Joe, but Bertuzzi and Moore were entitled to their day in court as well. That is unlikely to happen now that the two sides reached an agreement on a settlement, but the latest twist is that the settlement may have encountered a snag. Checking on this now and have calls out to both lawyers. WIll update if I hear back any time soon
who do you think ends up with the calder trophy this year?
Katie Strang (1:16 PM)
Jonathan Drouin. And again, the intrigue with the Tampa Bay Lightning ...
Dara (South Florida)
Hi Katie! Hockey is so soon! Do you think the panthers go after any other remaining UFA's or make a trade? They still lack a pure goal scorer.
Katie Strang (1:18 PM)
Hi Dara! Good to see you again. Hmmmm...no I don't. They already made some significant acquisitions this summer with Bolland, Jokinen, Mitchell. Not sure who is left on the market that would fulfill that true goal-scorer role. Perfect time to let the young kids step up and play a bigger role in the offense
Hey Katie! The Islanders finally have a good problem with too many NHL level forwards and prospects trying to make the jump.However the talk I have been hearing is trading a Bailey/Grabner and demoting Lee to the NHL (he was great in limited action last year). Isn't a 4th line of Strome-Czikas-Lee a better option than Martin-Czikas-McDonald?? As much as I love Martin having a 4th line you can play 14-18 minutes a game and not be a defensive liability is much better than a checking line no? Teams like Chicago and last years Rangers (cringing) were able to roll 4 legitimate lines last year.
Katie Strang (1:19 PM)
Mitch- I see what you're saying, and I don't think a fourth-line has to be one-dimensional. In fact, it's better when those players have some versatility. But I do not think it behooves the Islanders to place Strome on their fourth line. Not what is best for the young player's development.
Where do you see the Sharks ending up this year?
Katie Strang (1:21 PM)
I'm really torn on this, Ben. On the one hand, I was reluctant to jump on board with the whole rebuild, team of the future talk. This is a team that had the Kings on the ropes during the playoffs. I think the concern over the leadership is legitimate but I still see a lot of strong pieces foundationally for that team. On the other side of things, I can see them stripping Thornton of the captaincy and things getting ugly real quick. Could be a toxic scenario
can the rangers win the east again?
Katie Strang (1:23 PM)
Lundqvist will always give them the chance, but I think they lost too many of their top performers from the playoffs last spring: Pouliot, Stralman, Boyle, etc. Their bottom six has gotten worse and depth is needed at that time of year
Aaron (Long Island)
Whoa! Arthur Staple reporting the Isles have been sold to John Ledecky and Scott Malkin. pending BOG approval
Katie Strang (1:24 PM)
If Arthur Staple is reporting it, that's as good as gold. Will check into it now
Katie Strang (1:26 PM)
Considering this news, we are gonna end early today so I can get working on following this story. Hope you all understand. See you next week!