Tag:

Brian Strait

New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports Images)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The final week of New York Islanders training camp promises to be busy. Players on the bubble hoping to make the 23-man roster, which has to be announced by Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. ET, will have plenty of opportunities to put forth their best case to management and the coaching staff.

New additions Andrew Ladd, P.A Parenteau and Jason Chimera have been assimilated into the squad, while captain John Tavares, goaltender Jaroslav Halak and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg are expected to join their teammates as early as tomorrow.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brian Strait, Brock Nelson, Calvin De Haan, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Okposo, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic
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New York Islanders defenseman Brian Strait (37) reaches for the puck during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders defenseman Brian Strait (37) reaches for the puck during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Defenseman Brian Strait has signed a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets, the team announced Friday. 

Strait's one-way contract will be worth $600,000 for the year. 

Strait joined the Islanders in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, playing a combined 170 games over four seasons. 

Tags: Brian Strait, Winnipeg Jets
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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Brian Strait, 28, Defense

Contract: Unrestricted Free Agent

Season stats: 52 GP - 1 G - 5 A - 6 pts - 43 shots - 15:26 ATOI - 47.2 CF%

Tags: Brian Strait, Brian Erni
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

This summer, coming to general manager Garth Snow's office near you, the long awaited sequel to the blockbuster hit "The Departed." Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin star in…"The Unrestricted."

Now that we have gotten that poor attempt at humor out of the way, Snow does face some challenges, maybe for the first time in his tenure, in deciding what to do with three very core members of the Islanders organization -- three players who have never worn another sweater in their careers and bring different attributes to the table.

With the unrestricted free agent market looking average yet again outside of superstar Steven Stamkos, Nielsen and Okposo especially will be highly coveted by rival general managers looking to improve their clubs over the summer. Snow will be talking to Nielsen's agent soon and opening up dialogue. As far as Okposo and Martin go, there has been no contact to date and, specifically in Okposo's case, an uphill battle awaits to keep them in the fold.

Tags: Brian Strait, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Marek Zidlicky, Matt Martin, Steve Bernier, Andy Graziano
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)
Tags: Brian Strait
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Islanders are only a few weeks away from filling out a playoff lineup for Game 1 of a first round matchup, but questions remain as to just what mix of guys gives the team its best chance to win a series for the first time in 23 years.

Chief among these is on defense. Provided they get through the next seven games unscathed, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic, Calvin de Haan, and Thomas Hickey are locks. That leaves Brian Strait and Ryan Pulock duking it out to grab the sixth d-man assignment while Marek Zidlicky works his way back from injury.

"[Pulock] knows that when he first got here, when I talked to him, you're going to play some games and you're going to be in and out," head coach Jack Capuano told the New York Post's Brett Cyrgalis, who tackled this very issue. "It's a great experience for him, just being able to practice with our guys, working on his feet. He's still a young kid. That's what it's about, too. I just like the fact that he's getting better every day. That's a big thing for me."

Tags: Brian Strait, Calvin De Haan, Johnny Boychuk, Marek Zidlicky, Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic
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 (Christopher Hanewinckel)
(Christopher Hanewinckel)

Our latest edition of a new weekly column here at SNY's Islanders Point Blank, as Andy Graziano and Brian Erni will trade opinions on two of the hot topics working their way around the Islanders and give their two cents.

The Isles picked up just three of a possible eight points this week, dropping games in Boston and Nashville, picking up a point in a shootout defeat in Pittsburgh, and beating Florida with a furious third period comeback. New York wraps up their road trip Saturday in Dallas before heading home to square off against Philadelphia and Ottawa.

Ryan Pulock scored his first NHL goal on Thursday night in Nashville and the early returns on him have been solid. Do you envision Pulock getting significant ice time in the playoffs?

Tags: Brian Strait, Brock Nelson, Marek Zidlicky, Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders forward Anders Lee reaches for a loose puck against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period at Rexall Place. (Perry Nelson/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders forward Anders Lee reaches for a loose puck against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period at Rexall Place. (Perry Nelson/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders are currently at the 60-game mark this season with the trade deadline now in the rear view mirror. While top-flight rentals would have cost a first-round pick and a prospect (too rich for Garth Snow's blood) or a second-round pick that they didn't own thanks to the Johnny Boychuk trade, the only changes came at the AHL level. New York picked up Shane Prince for a third-round pick, and Marc-Andre Cliche for Taylor Beck.

At the NHL level, the Islanders are still searching for that consistent 60-minute game that they can ride into the final 22 games of the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs. Currently, according to sportsclubstats.com, New York has a 96.2 percent chance of making the postseason with a 69 percent chance of facing the rival New York Rangers in the opening round.

Even if the Isles were to crawl to a .500 finish at 10-10-2, they would still be looking at a 97.9 percent chance of being able to play for Lord Stanley, although 55 percent of that chance would be as a wild-card team.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brian Strait, Brock Nelson, Frans Nielsen, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) battles with New Jersey Devils center Brian O'Neill (18) for the puck during the second period in the NHL game at Prudential Center. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) battles with New Jersey Devils center Brian O'Neill (18) for the puck during the second period in the NHL game at Prudential Center. (Vincent Carchietta)

The hectic, no-rest-for-the-weary part of the schedule is now upon the New York Islanders as they fight for every last bit of standings points in the NHL's crowded playoff picture.

New York currently sits four points back of the second-place New York Rangers with a game in hand in guaranteed playoff positioning. But they are just one point ahead of the New Jersey Devils (with two games in hand) and two points up on the Pittsburgh Penguins (even in games). It's that thin of a line from being given a playoff spot outside the wildcard to being on the outside looking in.

Looking further at the overall conference picture, Washington and Florida are Nos. 1 and 2 in the standings due to leading their respective divisions. The Capitals, who come to Brooklyn Thursday, are pretty much locked in while Florida has stumbled lately, giving hope to Detroit and Boston that there might be some ground there that they can make up. The third spot in the conference (Rangers) is only separated from the 10th spot (Carolina) by 10 points. The Western conference divide for the same positioning is 15 points.

Tags: Brian Strait, Calvin De Haan, Marek Zidlicky, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates his goal as center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his assist during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates his goal as center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his assist during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Locker room chemistry. It's this mystical element in sports that no one can pinpoint. In retrospect, it's obvious, as cases in Islanders lore abound. The 1993 team that made an unexpected run to the Prince of Wales Finals had it. The dynasty teams had so much they could sent some extra mojo around the league and still gone on their run. But how easy is it to spot in the midst of a season? And does this Islanders team have that elusive 'it'? 

 

One this is for certain. They're spending a lot of time talking about it.

 

"We've got a lot of good leaders in here, so there's calm, there's no panic," Ryan Strome told reporters after the Islanders 3-2 shootout win in Columbus. "We know how tight it is in the standings. We've been playing a lot of good hockey lately and we couldn't let this one slip away."

 

That may seem like a simple case of Strome speaking about a come-from-behind win on the road. But on Sunday, when Brian Strait took on the Oilers' Zack Kassian, who originally had tried to take on Thomas Hickey, Matt Martin showered Strait with praise, citing his contributions to locker room.

 

"Straiter's a hell of a guy in this room and he stepped up for Hicks there," Martin said. "That shows you something."

 

Even when Johnny Boychuk returned to the lineup, it wasn't solely his blue line presence Jack Capuano was eager to have back. He specifically called out Boychuk's leadership to bolster the room.

 

"For me, it's more of his leadership and what he can bring to the room," Capuano said. "He's been there before, started in the minors, worked his way up, he's won a Stanley Cup, he knows the grind that it takes. And he knows the accountability factor. Hey, it doesn't matter if you hurt somebody's feelings. And you need a guy like that."

 

These quotes are all in the last five days. It's almost as if the Isles are screaming upwards to Garth Snow, imploring him not to shake up this roster. Trying to convince him that the faith he showed in this young core this offseason will be rewarded. 

 

As fans, we're hard on players for what they bring on the ice, because that's all we see. We form notions about a guy with our eyes or our analytics, often eager to discard someone into the worthless pile. Strait is a good example of that. We're hard on him and, at times, that's justified. But does he bring more? Martin's comments give me pause. This is a game played by human beings after all. How many times have we heard about Eric Boulton's role as the man in charge of boosting morale? Just like working in an office, a better environment certainly leads to happier players. Are contributions from guys like Strait and Boulton worth just as much a timely carry-in or shot on net? And does a room ever become too comfortable, with the grind of an NHL season likened to an extended stay at hockey camp?

 

Answering these questions have to be one of the most difficult elements of a general manager's job. For the Islanders rebuild is over, and was overall a success. But during the course of what's been an extremely uneven season, the most vexing question is how do they take the next step? Is it just by letting their young players grow? Or is it with a move for that one, perfect piece that brings it all together? It seems like the Islanders know what they want, and only time will tell if they're justified in asking for it or not. It just all may come down to what Garth's gut is telling him.

 

Tags: Brian Strait, Johnny Boychuk, Matt Martin, Ryan Strome, Thomas Hickey, Brian Erni
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The New York Islanders celebrate a goal against the New York Rangers during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
The New York Islanders celebrate a goal against the New York Rangers during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

With the Islanders off through the All-Star break, the Islanders Point Blank team took a look back at the first-half of the season. Next up, the team's biggest need, a trade deadline acquisition question, the 2015-16 season and beyond...

Biggest need

Brian Erni:

Tags: Anders Lee, Brian Strait, Brock Nelson, Marek Zidlicky, Ryan Strome
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If there is one thing that the Islanders have had a lot of this season, it has been broken sticks at the most inconvenient times.

In Game 4, John Tavares found himself stick-less as Washington Capitals' forward Nicklas Backstrom scored in overtime to tie the best-of-seven game series at two. Tavares snapped his stick during?a face-off in the Islanders zone and Backstrom -- cognizant that Tavares didn't have a stick -- shot and scored.

"I've never seen anything like it, to be honest with you. It's the third goal now with a broken stick," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We're all in good position, everybody has good position... [Backstrom] is a smart player and he recognized that Johnny didn't have his stick. When he did he got a puck to the net and it hit off a player, and it goes in the back of the net.

Tags: brian strait, Islanders, john tavares, new york islanders, News, Washington Capitals
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The Islanders' morning skate was optional on Tuesday, but it was pretty well attended as the team prepared for Game 4 against the Washington Capitals.

"It's a good sign our guys are eager and they want to get back at," Islanders' Coach Jack Capuano said. "We had a ?good teaching day yesterday and certain guys skated. Today was a spirited pre-game skate, as it should be in our building."

Lineup decisions have yet to be made by the Islanders coaching staff, but Jaroslav Halak will be in net for the fourth game of the series. It would be hard to imagine that the coaching staff will make any drastic changes to the Isles' lineup after playing so well in Game 3, when they won in overtime 2-1.

Tags: brian strait, Islanders, new york islanders, Washington Capitals
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Brian Strait missed a large portion of last season due to injury, but the 26-year-old has entered this year fully healthy.?Islanders Point Blank had the chance to catch up with the defenseman on Thursday at Islanders Ice Works:

IPB: After the first couple days of camp how does it feel to be back out there?

Strait: Good, really good. It's been a hard first week or so. Just really getting back into it. We've had a lot of hard practices, but it's been good. Everyone is getting their legs under them. It's only going to make us better once the season starts.

Tags: brian strait, Islanders, new york islanders
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Via Arthur Staple, Brian Strait is day-to-day with an upper body injury and will miss tomorrow's game against Pittsburgh. That leaves the Islanders with six defenders, so Radek Martinek will make his season debut tomorrow night.
Tags: brian strait, Islanders, radek martinek, Kevin Schultz

Throughout the next month plus, we'll be reviewing the season that was and over-analyzing the various players that?contributed?to it. That's what the offseason is for, after all. This post is part of a series.?Read them all here.

Brian Strait -- D -- #37

0-4-4 in 19 games

Tags: brian strait, Islanders, summer report cards
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Newsday is reporting that Brian Strait will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle after going feet first into the boards during today's second period. With only 10 weeks left in the season, that will likely end Strait's season.

The Islanders have activated Radek Martinek from the injured reserve, and you can expect that either Martinek or Thomas Hickey will be in the lineup tomorrow. Matt Carkner is traveling with the team on the road trip, so he's probably close, but is still on IR.

If all else fails, the Islanders still have Matt Donovan in Bridgeport. Donovan was an AHL All-Star this season, has 27 points in 48 games and is third on the team in +/-, leading all Sound Tigers defensemen with a +7. Just saying.

Tags: brian strait, Islanders, matt donovan, News, Editorial Aside

Newsday is reporting that the Islanders have agreed to terms on a three-year contract with defender Brian Strait. The Islanders picked up Strait off waivers from the Penguins on January 18th. SB Nation's Penguins blog noted at the time that it seemed the Pens liked Strait but were hoping to sneak him through waivers. The defender has played very well next to Mark Streit for the first six games of this season.

Bob McKenzie reports that the deal is a one-way deal with an average annual value of $775,000.

Tags: brian strait, Islanders, News

Preview -- Box Score -- TOI -- AP Recap -- Highlights

UNIONDALE, NY -- Hockey's back and fans packed the Nassau Coliseum tonight for its return. The Islanders sold out all 16,170 seats at the Coliseum, which are a few less than normal thanks to new lower bowl seating installed over the break.

On the ice, the Islanders came up short giving up the game winning goal to New Jersey's David Clarkson nearly halfway through the third period. Clarkson's shot from the top of the circle beat goalie Evgeni Nabokov along the ice. It seemed as though Nabokov was screened by a Devil and his two defenders in front of him. It was the kind of night where both teams looked out of sorts and sluggish.

Tags: brian strait, Doug Weight, Islanders, News, travis hamonic
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The Islanders have claimed defender Brian Strait off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Strait is a 6-1, 200lb 25-year old drafted in the third round of the 2006 draft. He went to Boston University and has spent the last three seasons with the Penguins AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre. Strait has played a total of 12 NHL games over the last two seasons in Pittsburgh.

The Islanders are once again at the 23-man roster limit, plus three suspended players who do not count towards the roster.

Tags: brian strait, Islanders, News