Chat with Katie Strang
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Katie Strang (1:58 PM)
Hey everyone! Fire away!
Are the Islanders still planning to use Nabokov as trade bait, because if so I would assume they would want to do that sooner rather than later.
Katie Strang (2:00 PM)
Yes, that is the plan. However, people often forget that goalies are the toughest position to trade. GM Garth Snow will have to wait until a team suffers a key injury that requires them to address depth. BUT, for Nabokov to have any trade value, he needs to start playing. And he's only backing up tonight.
Teresa (Brooklyn, NY)
do you see Marc Staal returning to the Rangers line up in the next month?
Katie Strang (2:02 PM)
Good question Teresa and surely the most important one for all Rangers fans right now. If I had to guess, I'd say yes. However, it's impossible to predict timetables with head injuries. Staal and Rangers have to hope the methods he's trying now -- acupuncture, cortisone shots -- improve his situation. Even if those things work, he'll still need some time to get his conditioning up to par.
ChrisS. (Bellmore, NY)
Why did Strome get sent away?
Katie Strang (2:05 PM)
I was actually shocked he made the opening-night roster to begin with, Chris. He is very clearly not ready to play in the NHL, which isn't to say he isn't a highly-skilled offensive player. The potential is there, no doubt, but he absolutely needs another year in juniors to fill out and develop physically. Will also be tremendous for his development to play for Team Canada in World Juniors this year.
What is the chances of Claude Giroux hitting 40 goals & 100 points sooner rather than later? I think he's got the tools to deliver on both benchmarks.
Katie Strang (2:06 PM)
Connor- Claude Giroux is SCARY good and he makes my colleague Pierre LeBrun beam with pride (Giroux and LeBrun both hail from a small town in Canada called Hearst, Ontario). Don't think 40 goals is beyond his reach by any means
Is Deboar going to stick with Tendenby on the line with Clarksona and Zubrus? I think he's such a young and talented playmaker he needs some guys who have finish ability.
Katie Strang (2:09 PM)
I don't think DeBoer is a shuffler to the Tortorella extreme, but ti's way to soon to think lines are set. We've already seen Kovalchuk paired with Josefson, Zubrus, back with Josefson. And honestly, where else is he going to play besides third or fourth line with Kovalchuk and Parise both playing left wing on top two?
Ed (Long Island)
What are the Islanders planning on doing with Kirill Kabanov
Katie Strang (2:11 PM)
Source tells me that a deal is close to loan him to a team in the Swedish Elite League. Long story short, Kabanov and Co. feel he belongs in AHL, but he can't play there per the rules of the CHL/NHL agreement. They think his development will be stunt by another year in junior. He was added to Armada through the QMJHL's dispersal draft and has no intentions to play there.
rob (White Plains, New York)
who should be on Rangers first offensive line? Defensive line?where is Alex Frolov this year?
Katie Strang (2:14 PM)
Well we know that Richards and Gaborik need to be there, but this vacant spot at left wing is really vexing. I think Dubinsky would be a good fit, but you move him there at the expense of screwing with the chemistry of the Dubinsky-Anismov-Callahan line. Tortorella said yesterday he'd really like an option ( ie Wolski, Stepan) to fill the role that wouldn't force him to change the second line. Top d pair should be Staal and Girardi but Staal is out for at least a significant amount of time. Ryan McDonagh has been pretty good paired with Girardi. That's their top pair right now.
Larry (Long Island, NY)
When should we expect Nino in the starting lineup?
Katie Strang (2:15 PM)
Probably not for at least another week. Jack Capuano said he will be out for at least a couple more days and he hasn't practiced with the team since suffering the injury in the preseason
Do you see the devils actually signing Stralman? if so, whose spot does he take?
Katie Strang (2:17 PM)
I find it bizarre that he is still skating with the team, to be honest (he returned recently after acquiring a visa). Maybe they have given him some indication that they will sign him when the cap permits? But I doubt it.
Todd (Stamford Ct)
What are your early thoughts on Larsson? I think he's been showing great poise with the puck!
Katie Strang (2:18 PM)
If I could designate a font to connote gushing I would here. He has been really impressive. Really impressive. Does not play like an 18-year-old. Poised and confident with the puck, good on the power play. My early pick for Calder
John Millan (Monroe NJ)
How do you think the 3 headed goalie situation on the island will end?
Katie Strang (2:21 PM)
I'll tell you one thing, John: having three goalies never ends well. Players don't like it, no matter what they tell you. Impossible to stay sharp, especially for the third guy on the outside looking in. I think the Islanders will try to trade Nabokov but they can't until a goalie on another team goes down and he establishes some trade value. For now, he's good insurance for DiPietro if the latter gets hurt.
JB (New York)
Why haven't the Rangers given Boyle or Stepan a look on the first line LW?
Katie Strang (2:22 PM)
Stepan skated on the first line with the Rangers in practice Wednesday. That could be how they choose to go for Saturday's game against the Islanders. Don't think they see Boyle as being well-suited to the wing.
So should we just pencil in DiPi for another concussion after yesterday?
Katie Strang (2:23 PM)
He's being re-evaluated today. Hope to have an update later in the day. Capuano said he didn't think DiPietro was exhibiting concussion symptoms, but who knows? Docs hadn't ruled it out as of this morning.
Steve (Long Island)
do u think Garth Snow is going to make a "major deal" sometime this year for a big time playmaker or Top 5 pick?
Katie Strang (2:24 PM)
I really don't think they have the assets to give up to make that kind of deal
Do you think Parise will be playing for another team by the trade deadline or will he sign longterm with the Devils after January 1?
Katie Strang (2:26 PM)
I do not think for a second he will be traded. I think Lou Lamoriello will make every effort possible to sign him long-term and even if he isn't getting great vibes from Parise's camp come January 1, he'll keep pursuing.. The rest is left up to Parise. If he wants to stay, he will. If he doesn't, he is in for a huge payday and a line of interested teams around the corner.
Brian C (toronto)
What position or positions do the Islanders need to get better players?Are they at the cap floor in salaries?
Katie Strang (2:28 PM)
They need to make the playoffs before the perception changes. And no, they are at about $50.9 mill
Matt (New Jersey)
Where do you see the Devils finishing this season?
Katie Strang (2:29 PM)
I see them finishing ninth or tenth. Think this is a transitional year for them and, although I like Larsson, I'm not convinced about their defense.
Seth (Long Island)
When Nino Niedereiter returns from injury, where do you see P.A. Parenteau playing?
Katie Strang (2:31 PM)
Good question. I think he needs to play on the top line to produce the way he did in a career-high season last year, but I also think they see that as Nino's spot in the future. One thing they will not do is disrupt the second line of Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo. They love the way that line is looking now
Katie Strang (2:31 PM)
OK all. Thanks for stopping by and sending your questions! Check back in next week!!!!!